Don’t Count on Colm! Chutney bacchanal as Finance Minister gets his Count wrong on CSM funding

Okay, so who’s playing up with their Count at the Ministry of Finance?

Just hours after, Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) promoter George Singh declared that the competition would be scuttled due to a withdrawal of funding from the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB)—after a directive from the Ministry of Finance—the CSM was presumably on again, after a U-turn from Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

It was as bewildering as watching the Red Woman revive Jon Snow’s corpse in Season Six of the Game of Thrones.

Photo: Oh gorm… The Chutney Soca Monarch on or it off?!

In an interview with LoopTT this morning, Singh revealed what happened in his meeting with the NLCB.

“I was informed that I was required to attend an urgent meeting that morning at the offices of NLCB,” Singh told LoopTT. “Whilst there I was greeted by the CEO and informed that there was a change, a change to which he was awaiting a final decision on.

“Within a few minutes, a phone call was received by the CEO and taken outside of the said meeting. A few minutes later the CEO re-entered the room to which he stated that there was an email confirmation and directive by the Ministry of Finance that stated that the Chutney Soca Monarch was no longer to be the recipient of any funding whatsoever.”

And, just like that, a 15 year partnership between the Chutney Soca Monarch and the NLCB looked to be on the rocks. And Singh was probably asking Sport Minister Darryl Smith to recommend a competent couples therapist.

As it turned out, Imbert was just demonstrating the incompetence of his government.

Subsequent to the LoopTT report, Imbert—according to CNC3—promised to raise the figure offered to the Chutney Soca Monarch from TT$300,000 to TT$1 million.

Imbert was quoted as saying that “the initial decision […] was based on false information that the Ministry donated TT$500,000 to CSM last year. However the actual figured [given last year] was TT$1.5 million.”

Eh… Turns out that Rowley’s fictional mudda is not the only person with Counting problems.

Photo: Yuh want to see me count? Step outside if yuh is man…
(Courtesy Power102)

So all’s well that ends well then? Well, except for the “incompetence” thing, of course. But then Trinidad and Tobago citizens have gotten used to that shortcoming, in much the same way that parents of new-borns lose the scent of fully loaded pampers.

So why all the ruction?

Well, there is an elephant room—and, bizarrely, she was dancing in ‘black face’. We are referring, of course, to that silly little ditty from Gosein entitled “Rowley Mudda Count” that was about… Well, it is difficult to look beyond the chorus.

PNM Women’s Arm head Camille Robinson-Regis heard the tune and immediately rallied the nation to protect the wholesomeness of mothers across the country and the children whose innocence might be spoiled forever by chancing across the Massive number on a radio station.

That would be the mothers who the Sport Minister isn’t publicly threatening to toss out of their homes. And the children who aren’t too preoccupied nursing broken limbs in the Education Minister’s gladiatorial pits.

Two boys at Fatima College simulating a rape scene on a smart phone?

Dais small thing, according to Anthony Garcia; let boys be boys.

Rowley’s fictional mother counting vegetables? Well, that’s just going too far isn’t it…

So it is with the backdrop of Gosein’s 2018 tune and the Government’s disproportional reaction that the idea of chutney soca fans dipping into their own pockets to hear their favourite artistes and count the night away became a national talking point.

Photo: Rowley muddah wha?!

Was it a failed attempt at censorship? Or a storm in a tea cup?

More like another example of why State-owned boards should not have their day-to-day operations dictated to by a Minister who ought to have enough on his plate in the first place.

To be fair, though, Mr Live Wire would like to point out that Imbert has a well established reputation as a penny pincher and it would be hasty to impugn improper motives. Little Colm has almost certainly been a massive Counter since Jesus in short pants.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 updated its initial story after the Finance Ministry’s about-turn on funding for the Chutney Soca Monarch.

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  1. Good the content at Chutney Soca Monarch is poor. All they can sing about is Rum & Roti

  2. Thought the country had no money. Apparently that show more important that hospital medicine and money owed to civil servants

  3. Damned if you do, …damned if you don’t!

  4. Soca on the sea who muddah count was there

  5. But wha Dee muddah count wey dat big massive increase cum from. .

  6. It is high time that We The People tell the Government what they should be doing with Our Money and not letting the Government decide how and on what it should be spent !

  7. This Minister have a real smeagul finish tho…but that’s just my opinion….

  8. I work to pay my bills and to support my family, I also pay my Taxes but guess what my Government takes this my Tax money to pay their sycophants to have a good time and to also pay those who make financial contributions to party support. Why the fuck should I be working that other than my family can get “their” share from my honest and hard work ! It is time that Government ceases sponsorship and/or contributions from Government Bodies, Agencies, Organisations and Companies for wining and dining their sycophants and sponsors of ALL Carnival Events.

  9. All the funding should stop, let everyone stand on their own, then there will be no counting to be done!

  10. If you have a show and corporate sponsorship has dried up what does that tell you about the event? Sponsors tend to go where things are happening, they tend to go where there’s a lot of interest. Soca monarch AND chutney soca monarch should take a 2 years off, reassess themselves and return with a new business model and new ideas. They have to figure out how to make people interested again, they have to figure out how to pack a stadium with paying patrons.

    • I still feel if those organisations had three months’ notice, there would be time for them to discuss things like: Smaller appearance fees and prize money for participants, adjusted sales packages for corporate sponsors and stuff like that.
      If you’re told too late, it is really difficult to adjust. Because people would latch on to that uncertainty and would be unwilling to buy early tickets or spend to be a part of event.

    • True, I agree with the early notice. This whole thing is a mess, maybe having all these problems is a blessing in disguise. They need to stop these shows and start fresh but that wouldn’t happen, instead they will apply a quick fix and keep on applying the same quick fix 3, 4, 8 years down the road. In 2030 if God spare our lives we will be in this same position.

    • Yeah. We can only hope that lessons are learnt. But that is always likely to be wishful thinking.
      But I do wonder if the government understands where its responsibility lies when I see them making messy situations worse.

    • I think Soca monarch done it’s time. Can’t see myself paying to attend that. In fact when bmobile was a sponsor it got to the point where I would give away my complimentaries.

  11. Now it might just be me… But I’d think that the Govt should decide what money would be given to these promoters at least three months before Carnival. That way there is sufficient time for them to find additional revenue streams if necessary.
    I have no problem with reduced funding. But what does Minister mean they will decide next week? Is that the sign of a competent body? Or did they not know there would be Carnival in 2018?

  12. All yuh stop discussing the Minister Count.

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