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Showing posts from September, 2012

Rethinking Education Systems

Last Saturday I met up with a good friend for a chat at a Starbucks in central London.  We had not seen each other since 2007 when I left London to return to Trinidad.  We enjoyed one of those incredibly insightful conversations that one tends to have as we review life in one’s 30s.  Are we where we thought we would be?
We remembered our teenage years.  He attended Presentation College in San Fernando and I attended St Mary’s College where we both developed specific notions of what life would be like.  We once believed that once we studied hard and scored high grades, the world would be ours.  How wrong we were!  As we both progress in our chosen fields, we both now realise that life is a whole lot more complicated than we imagined during our teenage years.  We both read the best seller – ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, which was quite critical of the mainstream education system in its ability to prepare young people for the realities of the business world in particular.
At one point, our conv…

We Need Checks on the Exercise of Power

Last week I was chatting with a work colleague about the U.S. Presidential election race and the strong voice that the far right seems to have.  A voice which among other things supports a reduced role for central government and a voice that has been translated into real influence in the form of the Tea Party.  The Tea Party is a movement which many observers believe has effectively high-jacked the Republican Party.  One of the better exposés of this process has to be the HBO original series called The Newsroom – if you have not seen it, do check it out.    
The inherent distrust that some Americans have of government may be difficult for many to understand but my theory is that one just needs to understand how the country was founded.  It was born of a revolution which sought to overthrow a government which was believed to be unjust.  To this day, there is an air of suspicion which sometimes borders on an instinctive distrust of those in authority and the need for constant checks an…

Time for Austerity

Last night (September 8th) the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission here in London hosted a Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony as part of our celebrating 50 years of Independence.  Kudos to the team at the High Commission who put together a varied and entertaining program in which our multicultural identity was acknowledged.  It was the perfect evening to reflect on the situation in Trinidad and Tobago.  I was also pleased that the keynote address included among other things, a recognition of the role played by Dr Eric Williams in the Independence movement.  Awards were given to persons and organisations that were deemed to have positively contributed to the promotion and development of Trinidad and Tobago.  It was truly a good evening.
In terms of those helping to promote Trinidad and Tobago internationally, Nicki Minaj is now a name on everyone’s lips.  Recently however, my wife drew to my attention some online chatter about her political affiliations.  On Lil Wayne and DJ Drama’s new …

London’s Calypso Dreams

Yesterday (September 1st) we were liming with some Trinbagonian friends and relatives at London’s Southbank Centre.  We all enjoyed  a screening of Geoffrey Dunn’s 2004 film - ‘Calypso Dreams’ at the British Film Institute.  The screening was part of the celebration of 50 years of independence for Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.  My wife, Saleema, and I had seen it before when it was screened at the National Library in Port of Spain back in January 2009 which was when the DVD was launched.  That 2009 screening was dedicated to the memory of the Mighty Duke who had just passed. 
Growing up in Trinidad, Lord Kitchener was always one of my favorite kaisonians.  So one of the highlights of the Calypso Dreams documentary for me, was the BBC clip of Lord Kitchener performing in London.  I am not too sure but I am guessing that it is from the 1950s, and he is singing ‘London is the place for me’ - "London is the place for me, London this lovely city, You can go to France or America, I…