Friday, December 11, 2015

Kamla, Bombs and Toilet Paper

This past week was dominated with election news, as voters exercised their democratic rights. Let’s look at the big electoral winners of the week.

 Kamla strikes back

She may have lost five straight elections, been mired in one controversy after another and could possibly have a charge for possession hanging over her, but Kamla Persad-Bissessar has shown that just like Charlie Sheen, she too still has legions of adoring fans who believe in her no matter what she does.  Last Saturday Mrs. Persad-Bissessar crushed her rivals to win reelection as leader of the UNC.  Of course this being a UNC election it was not without accusations of fraud and at least one threat of court action.

Mr. Roodal Moonial who ran against Mrs. Persad- Bissessar made accusations of vote rigging saying ballots indicating votes for him were found on the riverbank near the Pravati Girls Hindu College in Debe; presumably amongst One Direction and Justin Bieber posters.

The other contender Mr. Vasant Bharath voiced concerns regarding the electoral ink, saying it washed off so easily, they might as well have used fake sticker tattoos found in packets of chewing gum to mark voters.

Mrs. Persad-Bissessar maintains that the election was free and fair and that she is willing to work with Mr. Moonilal and Mr. Bharath, and by work with them, she means think of them fondly anytime she glances at the backbenches in Parliament or hears the word ‘Judas’. Some cynics have argued that the PNM loves the fact that Mrs. Persad-Bissessar won reelection, considering that they have defeated her 6 times already if you count the recent Arima and Tunapuna bye-elections.

Even so you have to admire Mrs. Persad-Bissessar, like the West Indies Cricket team, no matter how many humiliating defeats she suffers; she always manages to convince her supporters that the return to glory is just a game or court ruling away.

Viva La Toilet Paper!

The UNC weren’t the only ones having an election over the weekend. Last Sunday, our neighbours in the socialist paradise of Venezuela sent a resounding message across the world that they really like being able to use toilet paper. I am speaking of course of the Venezuelan Congressional elections, where for the first time in over a decade, Venezuela’s opposition parties, The Democratic Unity Coalition overwhelmingly defeated the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. (PSUV)

PSUV is the party headed by President Nicolas Maduro and was founded by the late Hugo Chavez; the Charismatic psychopath who enthralled crackpots at UWI, trade unionists and bogus hunger strikers in T&T with his so-called socialist Bolivarian revolution. Supporters of the Bolivarian revolution claim it has eliminated economic inequality, class privilege and imperialism.

Most Venezuelans though feel all it has really done is eliminate food, democracy and toilet paper. Forget the socialist slogan “power to the people”, the only power Venezuela’s want now is the power to wipe their butts again.

Naturally President Maduro was disappointed with the election results. After all he devoted a lot of time to campaigning, spreading the message of socialism as well as jailing his opposition rivals.  Opposition politician, Luis Diaz was even shot dead days before the election, and if that couldn’t convince swing voters of the glory of the revolution then perhaps nothing would.

In light of his loss in congress, President Maduro has vowed to “radicalize “the Bolivarian revolution in time for the next general election. It will be a tough task considering that Venezuela already has sky high crime, the highest inflation in the world and a worthless currency. But one should never underestimate the ability of socialism to be even more “radical”.

War and Peace

The most controversial vote of the past two weeks though wasn’t an election but a Parliamentary vote in the British House of Commons.  By a margin of 524 to 42 British MPs voted in favor of launching airstrikes on ISIS controlled areas in Syria.  Critics of the vote argued that such airstrikes could potentially harm civilians. 

Those in favor countered by asking to which Syrian civilians were critics referring too-the ones currently being burnt alive, thrown off buildings or decapitated by ISIS lunatics? To which, said critics responded by muttering “ok point taken”. Of course that didn’t satisfy hippies, conspiracy theorists and apologists for terrorism.

Writing in his Sunday column, UWI lecturer Dylan Kerrigan suggested it was wrong for British MPs to blame “the individual” for becoming a terrorist. After all just because someone jumps on a plane, travels to Turkey, sneaks into Syria and joins a notorious terrorist group, doesn’t mean they are responsible for their actions. Capitalism, racism and the illuminati all made them do it. 

So congratulations to the winners of the past week and to the losers, I leave you with the wise words of Winston Churchill; “democracy is the worst form of government-except for all the others”.


Anonymous said...

Just to point out an error with your statistics which also misguides your argument on the decision by the UK House of Commons in support of bombing Syria - the vote was actually 397 votes for the bombing, and 223 votes against, and not the ludicrous margin of 524 to 4 as you suggest. Are you also suggesting that anyone who was against the bombing is a terrorist sympathiser, or are you making fun of Cameron's highly criticized rhetoric bearing those same words?

Darryn Boodan said...


Anonymous is correct, The stat quoted is the vote in favour of strikes on ISIS in Iraq not Syria. The Syria vote was indeed 397-223 in favour.

Will leave article as is.

Dylan said...

In my column the argument i was trying to make was that individuals are the products of culture and society. They are not simply timeless persons born that way. People as social beings are made (produced), they are not simply born. They are enculturated, then socialised, both under particular environmental conditions (social, economic and cultural pressures). Sociology for the whole of the last 150 years has been making the same argument. Did you miss that?

My problem is society - specifically elites and the masses - both like simple explanations rather than accurate ones. Newspapers pander to such simplicity all the time. These simplifications are then used as smokescreens to distract from avenues to social change. We are misdirected by culture industries. happens with the education system too. Religion as well. The list of such industries is a long one.

I see in your bio you make claims to being a "freelance writer". I hope that goes well for you. Calling fellow writers "morons", and failing to engage with ideas you don't understand or like in courteous ways is probably not the smartest approach to making your way in that field.

I'm more than happy to debate someone that doesn't agree with me, but you didn't seem to want to do that and instead called me names. That was brilliant of you. I was really impressed.

Tell me why i'm wrong. Write something about it. People make knowledge in conversation with each other, not in their silos. Tell me my writing wasn't clear this week. Tell me psychology takes a different vista to what i'm suggesting. Show me why the individual is always to blame and context is not important. Show me why your way of thinking is worth considering and perhaps even changing my position. That is what good writers do. Teach me if you can. I'm willing to learn.

So why not write an argument/post back to me? no one likes a person that is rude and doesn't want to debate. It just makes me think poorly of you and i don't even know you.

Good luck with the freelance writing.