I’m quite fascinated by the goings on in Trinidad and Tobago over the last couple of days. The Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (UDeCOTT) boss Calder Hart has resigned and fled the country. Surely this is a 9.0 magnitude political earthquake for the Manning Government. I‘d like to see how the ruling party extricates itself from what appears to be damning evidence of guilt: the sudden, hasty departure of one of the major players accused of corruption. “AT LAST!” blared a headline on Newsday’s cover page, referring to Calder’s resignation. The lead article by Andre Bagoo titled “Hart resigns”started off like this:
Hart’s resignation also came one day after High Court Judge Justice Mira Dean-Armorer shot down an attempt by lawyers acting on behalf of Udecott to stop the submission of the final report of the Uff Commission of Inquiry. The judge rejected Udecott’s arguments that the inquiry, which saw damning evidence of corruption and mismanagement emerge, was illegal.
- My name is Calder Hart. I live at No. 6 De Lima Road, Cascade, Trinidad and Tobago. I was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. I have lived in Trinidad and Tobago for the last 22 years and in 2004 I applied for and was granted citizenship of Trinidad & Tobago. To do so I was not required to renounce Canadian citizenship and as a consequence I am now a citizen of both Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.
- As can be seen from my curriculum vitae attached below (annexure 2) before I first came to Trinidad and Tobago in 1986, I had acquired considerable work experience in the areas of housing (both private and public), mortgage financing, land assembly and urban development and redevelopment at both federal and provincial levels.
SUNDAY, MARCH 07, 2010
My Carnival Monday placard from the band Cobo Town, proudly carried through the streets of Port of Spain nearly three weeks ago. The face of Calder “Cobo” Hart — head of the powerful state construction agency Udecott, widely suspected of massive financial improprieties and thought by some to be Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s bagman, subject of investigation by the Uff commission of enquiry — replaced the national coat of arms in the middle of a giant $100 bill. Read the rest of Nicholas‘s blog here:
Breakfast of losers
March 7th, 2010 · No Comments
Mealtime at a Commonwealth heads of government event is never pretty. You’d swear some of these characters have only recently learned to eat with knife and fork, and I’m not talking just about the South Asian and Sub-Saharan African delegates. For instance, it’s well known in Commonwealth heads circles that the person you never want sitting across the table from you isGordon Brown, who, in addition to having the table manners of a warahoon, insists of having a serving of haggis with every single meal. Experienced heads like me know that the thing to do is arrive at the dining room well ahead of time and choose the smallest table possible, which also limits your chances of having to sit near a type like Jacob Zuma.
But even an experienced head like me sometimes oversleeps. Thanks to a combination of jetlag, a not completely guilt-free conscience and a nightmare featuring a horrifying creature with the upper body of Calder Hart and the hindquarters of the Rev Apostle Juliana Peña, I didn’t manage to roll out of bed this morning until well after 8am BST. Hazel was already awake, talking on the phone in hushed tones. She said that she too had lost track of time and planned to skip breakfusses, which didn’t quite explain why she was already fully dressed, nor the general whiff of bacon and sausages about her person. I considered ordering room service, but in heads circles not showing up for a meal when you’re embroiled in a scandal is tantamount to an admission of guilt. Even Mugabe was still eating among us till the bitter end, much to everyone’s chagrin.
The silent procession is part of a video installation being created by the band’s designers Ashraph Ramsaran and Shalini Seereeram.
T’in Cow Fat Cow debuted as an independent mas band in 2009, inspired by the song T’in Cow by 3 Canal.
The procession takes place on the streets of Port of Spain between 9 and 11 and started at that traditional seat of people’s democracy, Woodford Square.
The People Must be Herd manifesto
T’in Cow Fat Cow – The People must be Herd.
Dey belly full but we hungry
And right about now we angry
And de reason dat we angry
Is because we belly hungry
Tin Cow tin cow green grass dey over so
Fat cow de butcher callin yuh
Watch for yuh head ah warnin yuh
Otherwise in de pot yuh goin to go.
T’in Cow, 3 Canal
We represent the voiceless. The many thousands of Trinbagonians outside of the Red Zone. Whose tax dollars are being invested in a display that does not address their most urgent concerns.
New buildings, a repaved highway, painted lamp posts and hidden homeless do not mean that we are on the road to development.
In the midst of the Summit performance we ask, who is seeking the interests of the voiceless? Who is spending many many millions to address our concerns. Who is listening? Who will suffer the most in the face of a global economic meltdown?
The people of high risk communities must be heard.
The missing children must be heard.
The homeless people must be heard.
The women and children who live with abuse every day must be heard.
The people who will lose employment in the aftermath of the Summit must be heard.
The people of communities in danger of environmental destruction must be heard.
The physically challenged must be heard.
5 thoughts on “Let us Prey! The flight of Calder Hart from Trinidad and Tobago”
Annie – thanks for stitching this narrative together! Trinidadians act like they live in a democracy, Jamaicans just like to say it, but we don’t know the hell what it means. And certainly not our artists, too many of who seem to think it’s a requirement hat they suspend all ability to think critically and engage with the issues of the day in order to sell their art. One of the reasons that Jamaica so, so frustrates me is the pervasiveness of cowardice at every level, and the retreat to “law” as the solution for every blasted ting, just so we the people don’t have to get up off our baxides and do anything. For all of the noise about patriotism, such unwillingness to speak up and speak out against the wrongs that are being committed in our midst is definitely unpatriotic. Everything just “too hard” therefore it shouldn’t be done. Its a level of laziness that I really have difficulty wrapping my mind around. Of course, all it takes to change this is a critical mass, but even the people who I was thinking would be down for such, they too are showing themselves to be raging cowards. But I haven’t given up hope. Not yet.
thanks for the comment! the first since i posted this…wondered why no one could bother to say a word one way or the other.
thanks also for recognizing the effort it takes to stitch things together. they’re not just out there waiting to be recorded in their pristine, fully developed forms.
I thought I should (belatedly) share the link to a few notes I wrote about the cows last year (I was a member of the herd):
Thanks Nicholas! i should have included this in my post if i’d remembered—
Well, the post is *not* about some obviously controversial issue in Jamaica, so our die-hard nationalists won’t take to it. But that’s exactly the point made by Nicholas’s piece (thanks for sharing that, NL!). It is for us, the citizens, to define the issues, and to bring what we have to bear on making our voice heard. There is no time like the present to do that. And it’s not like there’s not tonnes of raw material to work with in Ja. On top of the daily body count and the Dudus embarrassment, there’s the JHA, the perennial garbage problem, the selective water shortage but still nuff nuff deh fi UWI Carnival, and that woman who headed the Correctional Services during the Armadale fire is rumoured to have been transferred to another gov’t position. Sounds like musical chairs or dandy shandy happening up in Parliament and Jamaica House. All those are just variations on a theme. My mother used to talk about going to Speaker’s Corner at Parade. Where are the griots, the warner-women and the broadsides to speak the voice of the people?