Posted by: nastylittletruths | February 9, 2011

Editor At Large

Keith Smith died yesterday morning after losing the battle against cancer and the local journalism fraternity has lost a giant… If you know this blog well, you will know the love I have for words and the admiration I also have for those who know to use it well.

One of his columns that has remained with me for many years was his re-telling of the mood of the people on the night of November 6th, 1995 in Rienzi Complex (the night the Panday led UNC won 17 seats out of 36) and though not a majority, they knew that the first prime minister of Indian descent was in their midst. In honour of a man who loved to write in a rambling way that connected certain moods when it came to him, I’ll try to do the same today:

Jump high or jump low, the KPB led PP government was caught in the slips with this whole Reshmi Ramnarine affair and as much as they would like it to go away, it ain’t happening. And discarding all the noise about the issue, some fundamentals remain: Who is Julie Browne and why did she do what she did? What influence did Sasha Mohammed (the woman with the most annoying voice who ever was on TV – thank God I don’t hear it anymore) have on the PM and what was really their intention?

Suruj Rambachan is touting that whether it was a $1 or $1,000,000 he was going to bring relief to TnT citizens in distress in Egypt. What I see was some of the people held US passports and opted to go somewhere else rather than Trinidad even though he paid to get them out. Second, they all look like Muslims to me and I was wondering if he was using his ministerial clout to buy back favour from a demographic that has turned their back on this administration because of his involvement in the Fazeer Mohammed affair. And why can’t the other ministers take care of the “citizens in distress” which is their job, but only interested if it’s a ‘pappyshow’?

A Suzannah Singh wrote a letter to the Sunday Express complaining about her missing MP, and while she was roundly condemned by some bloggers for telling untruths about Dr. Moonilal, I can’t help but reflect on my own experiences. When I had a PNM MP it was practically guaranteed you will see her on a Thursday afternoon. I have a UNC MP now (who I voted for unlike the PNM one) and when you call/visit the receptionist/secretary/executive assistant/whatever wants to know what’s the purpose of your request to meet. Excuse me? After eight going on nine months they still can’t tell me what day is his office day. This blog’s position is that all an MP wants to be is a minister – not a representative of the people.

Selwyn Ryan had an excellent article on the Sunday Express and if you missed it, here’s a link:

My response to the article would have been caustic if I had the chance to reply to the Prof himself because the answer was simple really – governments fail because we, the people, vote for mediocrity. We truly deserve the leadership we get because that magic bullet of educating ourselves has passed us untouched.

We rant, rave and misbehave and yet we still vote in people who has no interest in doing what they say. I hear excuses being made about “the system”, but what I see is the lack of political will to get it done. If I ever had the chance to represent the people (hmmm…. I wonder….) there is a way to go about it that becomes unassailable – even the media can’t touch you. The hint is that you have to work at it knowing fully well that your tenure is temporary and the best legacy to have is to leave it better than you met it. Our politicians think that they will live forever, rule forever and steal forever…

A blogger on the Express was crediting Keith Smith for opening up a “virtual rum shop” so that people can express the opinions online and if it’s true that he read it everyday, then he would have died a sad man… Because what you see there is probably more alien to him – ignorance feeding on ignorance and getting fat – than the killing fields of his beloved Laventille. Rest in peace Keith. Words are god-like and you have used them to bring light to many.



  1. Julie Browne** not Julie Thomas.

    • Thanks Jumbie. I have *no* idea where that Thomas came from… What was I thinking? Post corrected.

  2. De nada…

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