BUDGET 2008 – 2009
SENDING SHIVERS UP MIH SPINE
A friend ask me, what he thought was a simple
question, and when I answer him, he vex with mih.
He say I too controversial for he. So I must be
a robot. I must not think for myself. I must
think what they want me to think, and say only
what they want to hear. The man asked mih, what
I think of the 2008 – 2009 budget presentation
by the Minister of Finance Karen Nunez –
Tesheira, in the house of Representative of
Trinidad and Tobago?
And my answer to him was, Black Stalin could
scarce have said it better when he sang Mr.
Divider. Where he stated the fact that “Oil
money come, and Oil money go, yet Black People
remain on Pavements and Ghettoes
I have listened to Trinbagonian at every walk of
life, comment and complain about the adverse
effects this budget would have on them. I shear
their sentiments, and felt a deeper sense of
hurt as some one with in the bowels of culture.
At Pan Trinbago, we sat and listened, and heard
no mention made about an allocation towards the
development of Arts and Culture. Or is it that
Culture is suddenly best represented in the
G-Pan/National Steel Symphony, the Devine
Echoes, and the intended setting up of an eighty
(80) piece Philharmonic Orchestra. Or, maybe is
all of the above and Carnival.
We who have dedicated our very lives to the
Culture, knows that it is the very soul of our
people. That people, where ever they find
themselves in the world, under what ever
conditions, find freedom of spirit in songs,
music and dance. And this is never controlled or
dictated too, by any government or agents
thereof. Arts and Culture are always encouraged
and supported so that it brings out the beauty
and creativity of its people. Suppression of
this expression, this freeing up of the spirit
in mankind, can only lead to conflict.
In this Oil Rich Economy where projects are on
longer budgeted for in millions but billions, we
expect that part payment of our Royalties would
reach us in the form of realistically
sustainable allocations towards the development
of our Arts and Culture. This must not be
manipulated and controlled as a political tool
under the “who is not with me is my enemy and
dust will be “syndrome.
As a matter of fact, there should be no
political influence or interference in Arts and
Culture. This should be Governed by an
Independent body of people drawn from amongst
the different interest groups, and funded out of
the appropriation bill and good cooperate
citizens from around the world, who understand
and appreciate the role of Arts and Culture in
the life of a people.
If the stake holders must embrace the 2020
vision that we are all aspiring to achieve,
spite and bad mindedness must not cloud the way.
People placed in position of services must stop
acting like demi-gods going about sowing seeds
of division and confusion and talking about who
will survive and who will fall under their
weight. Maybe, just maybe some people forgetting
that the Culture is bigger than the man, and it
has been proven time and time again, that those
who sort to destroy, they themselves shall first
Culture must never be or made to be a beggar’s
maid in this land of plenty. No group of esteem
functionaries must be allowed to sit and decide
who would get a shear of the Cultural Pie, and
who will not. Service to mankind is a sacred
gift from the creator, it’s not a position one
should abuse lease they suffer the wroth of god.
You see, when to evil mortal bend their will,
how soon they fit instrument of destruction.
Culture should never be a victim, hence the
reason we are requesting that an Independent
body be establish so that Cultural groups may
not feel they are victims of political spite.
An allocation for Arts and Culture must be
appropriated just like Health and Education and
all other bodies in the budget.
I rest my case.
Michael L Joseph.
Public Relations Officer
World Governing Body for Steelpan.
From the news desk of Pan
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