Pushing 60, pulling…



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THE ROLLING STONES, the greatest rock ’n’ roll band of all time that is not yet dead, is the same age as the country of Trinidad and Tobago, 56 years old today, and it isn’t treasonous to observe that the Stones has done far better than us in its 56 years as an independent unit.

Individually, the Stones’ members are all old fogies by anyone’s standards: Mick Jagger is 75; Keith Richards, 74; Charlie Watts, 77; and Ronnie Wood, the baby of the band, turned 71 in June. Yet the Stones is still rocking, while Trinidad and Tobago is just reeling.

Jagger and company are poised to release an album of new songs, while Trinidad and Tobago, Keithos and his cohorts, are poised to send 2,500 state workers home, throwing that many families on the breadline as the new school year starts. The Stones this year played sellout gigs on its No Filter tour; the PNM (and the UNC before it) has just sold us out.

How did we firetruck this thing up so comprehensively? googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1530739344582-7′); });

What does the Stones know that the PNM and the UNC (or any quasi-political organisation with three letters as a name) can’t grasp? Is it that the Stones is a band and our governments are bandits?

The really depressing thought on our 56th birthday, though, is that we had plenty more money than the Stones; PLEN-firetrucking-TY!

In 1986, when the National Alliance for Reconstruction chucked the George Chambers PNM out of office, the NAR had a powerful slogan printed on its best-selling T-shirt (or, more accurately, most popular free “joe-sey”): “$56B – Whey the Money Gone?” The Eric Williams PNM, in 36 years continuously in office, had spent that astronomical, difficult-to-imagine sum – and there was almost nothing to show for it.

In ’86, trying to understand just how much had been squandered, I thought of $56B this way: if you spent a dollar a second, you would spend $60 in a minute, $3,600 in an hour, $86,400 in a day, $604,800 in a week. If you did not sleep, eat, defecate or clear your e-mail, if you did nothing but spend a dollar a second, morning, noon and night, it would take 12 days to spend a million dollars. In a full year of 24 hours a day, seven days a week, four-point-three weeks a month of relentless, dollar-a-second spending, you would spend $31, 536,000.

To spend $56 billion, it would take you 1,775 years. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1530739344582-6′); });

You could start spending a dollar a second at the birth of Christ and Shakespeare would have been dead for more than a century and a half before you’d done.

The PNM squandered that amount in 36 years!

But it gets worse.

Most of TT’s national budgets have been over $50B for years, perhaps decades. (I’d research the correct figure if I didn’t know it would just depress me more.)

Put another, more distressing, way, our governments have, for the last 20 years (probably), thrown away more every single year than the Eric Williams PNM did in an entire anthropological generation! If my arithmetic or my constitution were strong enough to comprehend or countenance the result, I’d work out just how many centuries of wastage our spending has encompassed at a dollar a second. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1530739344582-5′); });

And slit my firetrucking wrists.

The Rolling Stones old fogies, next to us, are paupers, almost vagrants, with Sir Mick sitting on a paltry TT$2.1B and Keef a little bit less.

Ask me how, in the course of the same 56 years, the Stones can be rock ‘n’ roll aristocrats on a fraction of what we’ve spent, thrown away or stolen, and we can be so broke on so much more that the best we can do is send 2,500 workers home and all I could say is, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

Ask me what the responsible citizen did over the 36 years of PNM wastage, followed by 26 years of alternate PNM/UNC wastage, broken only by five years of NAR austerity, and I’d say, “I sit and watch as tears go by.”

But ask me what the responsible citizen should have done and I’d say, “Hey, I think the time is right for palace revolution/ But where I live the game to play is compromise solution.” If you suggested people should protest with their fists in the air and Xs on their ballots, I’d say, “If you start me up, I’ll never stop.”googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1530739344582-4′); });

But if you asked me what happened to the Trinidad and Tobago born 56 years ago in the fires of hope, I’d say, “Oooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-oh-ooh/ Lord, I miss you.”

BC Pires is rocking and rolling but Lloyd Best is spinning in his grave

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Source: Newsday https://newsday.co.tt/2018/08/31/pushing-60-pulling/