Raffique Shah

“...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights... whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organising its powers...”

Donald Trump seems prepared to plunge the United States of America into civil war if that becomes his only option as he clings to the office of president, refusing to acknowledge that he lost the presidential election to Joseph Biden. The world looks on with much foreboding as this real-life tragi-comedy plays before an audience of billions of people.

It was a critical juncture in the history of the United States of America, when its outgoing president, having lied his way to sitting in a po…

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A few weeks ago, in this space, and not for the first time, I made a case for stimulating the production of local foods as a means of reducing our dependence on foreign foods and, in particular, to chip away at the staggering $5 billion per year in foreign exchange that we must find to pay for just about everything we eat and drink.

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At age 74, and stricken with two “co-morbidi­ties”, as members of the medical profession would describe Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and asthma, I know that if ever I contracted the Covid-19 virus, odds are that it could be a fatal affliction, and I’d likely die during such encounter.

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A few weeks ago, a short news item in one of the daily newspapers reported the death of Phyllis Coard in Jamaica. I read it, looked an accompanying photograph of her with her husband, Bernard, and I experienced the awakening deep inside me of something that had remained buried for a very long time. Maybe it was revulsion, not hatred, contempt, certainly not sympathy.

For the first time in many years, food security and food production got some attention by a government in a budget presentation. This happened only because the Covid-19 crisis exposed the country’s vulnerability, its dependence on imports for almost everything we consume, especially food for basic sustenance.

I am hopeful that Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s Budget 2021 will remain open to ideas that may come from ordinary citizens or professionals or anyone else even after he will have presented it to Parliament tomorrow.

When I look back at it, my life that is, the many sharp, unpredictable turns I made that often intersected with the history of my country, I cannot help but feel fated to its destiny, inextricably linked to its history.

I do not believe the Commissioner of Police, Captain Gary Griffith, is a foolish man. He may be egotistic, over-sensitive, loquacious, combative. But foolish? No. I make this assessment of him purely by watching him from a distance, listening to his pronouncements on people from every strata of the society whom he perceives as being his critics.

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