Street Vibes: The jamming done; time to done with the political distractions

How many times since last Carnival have we heard the refrain “We jamming still” quoted? And in how many different contexts?

Lifted from the Ultimate Rejects’ mega soca track “We Doh Business,” it has tended to be used so often because it sums up very neatly the “carnival mentality” we have been accused of having. But it has been used outside of the party mood in the wine and jam sense to refer to the party mood in the entirely different sense of the sorry current situation brought about by the (mis)deeds of the political parties over the last 55-plus years.

Photo: I. Got. This!
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley gestures to supporters at Balisier House after the election results on September 7.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Remember the relatively recent statement by the current Minister of Finance about his having raised fuel prices several times and the population having yet to riot? Well, that’s just one of the many examples of “We jamming still.”

Of older vintage is Sparrow’s synonymous line “We like it so..” Truth be told, most of us have long since stopped liking it so, long since stopped “jamming still.”

The comments on social media, the editorials, the letters to the editor all point to changes in the conversation. But economics is such a hard task-master that we are still psychically and sometimes physically unable to distance ourselves from the social institutions to which we are all attached.

The powers-that-be, however, have yet to take notice. They have been living in their safety bubbles for so long that they have failed to recognize the seismic shift in the conversations taking place across the landscape, in the bars, in the buses, perhaps even in the boardrooms and the classrooms.

Thanks, perhaps, to technology in general and social media in particular, many members of the Baby Boom generation have become irrelevant, holding on as they do to a model which has, to all intents and purposes, outlived its usefulness. They have yet to come to terms with the reality that the “Doctor Politics” model and the narrative which flows from it have expired and must be removed from the shelf along with all those whose understanding and interpretation of the world remain rooted in that now outdated model.

Photo: The Cabo Star docks at Scarborough in Tobago.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

The citizens of this two-island republic are daily more and more acutely aware of the myriad distractions which have been masquerading as genuine politics ever since the Doctor Politics days. I have long held that such distractions—I label them “Distractions 101”—cannot be accidental; they are, I think, nothing but political sleight-of-hand, deliberately practised in plain sight while the mouse runs away with the cheese, the bandit clan flies off with the nation’s resources and the contractocracy engages, with the full support of the selected few in high places, in the unlimited rape of the Treasury.

But that was okay because we was jamming still!

The distractions, renewed every 24 hours, have a clear purpose. Without distractions, noise and noise-makers, how do you not destroy the dreams of the average citizen who’s frustrated at not being able to access a couple hundred US dollars to take a trip to one of the smaller islands?

That explains why, before the noise of some idiot in a life jacket trying, for Jah alone knows what reason, to float from Tobago to Toco subsides, we learn that a former AG is being “questioned by the cops.” Just to ensure that we are kept distracted, that we are consistently shifting our focus, others tell us that he was “arrested.”

And the question is why?

Photo: Former attorney general Anand Ramlogan speaks in Parliament during the tenure of the People’s Partnership Government.
(Courtesy Baltimore Post Examiner)

Meanwhile, the mantra from the mouth of a failed-contractor-turned-financial-guru-overnight is that the nation has no money. Yet we learn about an interchange at Curepe on the CHR, with a starting cost of over $200M.

Given the government’s record on projects coming in on time and on budget, we can safely guesstimate a completion cost of about $2B. We need look no further back than the tsunami shelter in Tarouba or at any of the many still incomplete HDC projects that dot the nation’s landscape.

Then there is the highway to Toco, which is really a scaled-back version of Napoleon’s pet project, the Rapid Rail, which has an estimated cost of $5B.

In a nation, Napoleon constantly reminds us, which has no money.

So is this regime any different, as far as distractions go, from the rest? From, for example, the Kamla version, which featured players like Anil Roberts, Anand Ramlogan, SC, Jack Warner and that famous faster with the appetite for late-night doubles, Wayne Kublalsingh?

Fortunately, after 55 years, the nation has finally awakened from its deep slumber. So the political parasites are hereby being put on notice that a new day is dawning.

Photo: Protest in La Brea.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian/Rishi Ragoonath)

We doh like it so and we done jamming now.

We, the people, have recognised the distractions for the BS they are.

We, the people, are henceforth going to demand, once and for all, transparency, accountability, equity, respect…

… and plenty jail time for all those found guilty of deceiving citizens in divers ways, including with their distractions.

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  1. Wow. And pray God, bless our nation.

  2. Two cyat (UNC supporters and PNM supporters) fighting for ah piece ah cheese and guess who dey went to? They both went to ah monkey tuh divide the cheese and the monkey eat all the cheese. We are left with one thing: “Wine and jam” with no bread.

  3. What country you living in. You went to any of the 2017 T20’s. Noise even when the ‘ cricket’ playing. Drunkeness. Women on display…how much cricket the dotish trini posse stand know remains elusive. Cricket is fete…every blasted thing in this country is rum, noise as music and literàl jamming without shame. You living here? Rubbish more than food all over the place..things as usual…any discrepancy away from the norm is jammin! Where you could find the norm? We gone thru bàd bad! And the damned thing is thàt apart from the politicians it is our so called ARTISTES that are as responsible for our decent into eternal bacchanalia! If you outside the ‘action’ you is ah bobolee! How many of us are there?

    • The malady is all over?
      It is not only the officer in uniform posing inappropriately but did any one observe the female that was accompanying the Minister of National Security out of the Grand Stand after the parade?
      Class is class but surely if they have to play a role decency would dictate proper attire for the occasion and respect for the office?
      No wonder we are faced with so many mishaps ?

  4. Great article. But the author is part if a small subset. Tapia-esque. Good thinking. Shall Garner little support at the polls.

  5. Would like to agree, but the forecaster worries me. He forecasted that WI will continue to lose – he was wrong. Now he forecasts that Doctor Politics is coming to an end – he could be wrong again. Food for thought: I believe Doctor Politics is deeper than just politics; it is cultural, we apply it in almost every facet of our daily lives. N to get rid of such a deep seated cultural mores will take a revolution or something close.

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