I have seen him around the place but he was not really a friend; so when I heard him saying that he was going down to Trinidad to vote I didn’t put my mouth.
I had no idea whether he was Trinidad- born, whether he was eligible to vote down there and what difference who won down there made to him, since he lived here. I did not know and did not ask because it was none of my business.
He was making a lot of noise in front of the parlour across the road about how he was going to vote and help make sure that the PNM won the election. Others of his liming buddies voiced the UNC was a better group to manage the twin island republic as Indians are more entrepreneurial and knew how to get things done.
They said black people only know how to bling and profile and are eventually left behind by other races more serious about building themselves and their surroundings.
But the guy would not be bought over, lamenting how “dem coolie just come and take over Trinidad and if people en see how dem Guyana negroes take back their country from dem coolie and dem”.
I had serious problems with the race line he was taking but I was not in the conversation and so kept my mouth shut and listened, which I much prefer to do sometimes.
The talk went on for a while, during which time, names like Coolie Kankalang and Coolie Cutlass and so on, were used by this guy to describe our East Indian brothers and sisters.
He definitely inspired the anger of his liming buddies who though while he had a right to an opinion on who should win the elections in Trinidad, it should never be based on race. They especially didn’t like the Coolie Cutlass name calling because as they rightly pointed out, there’s never anybody calling anybody names like Chinese Chopper or Pyul Pooyah or Nigger Knife or anything like that.
After the excited voter had been calmed down and his friends had commended him for being the one about to change the whole course of history in Trinidad as he claimed, the conversation went on to more constructive realms.
They began to discuss the challenges facing whichever party eventually won the elections in that country. The falling global prices of petroleum products, which accounted for a significant percentage of Trinidad’s revenue, was of course the main consideration.
The guys analyzed that whoever emerged victorious would immediately have to begin to identify new revenue streams and minimize the economic and social impact of the reduction in that particular area of income.
The gentleman, who claimed that he was fixing to go and vote, had reached the stage where he was claiming that his choice of party was based on what is good for the people and economy of Trinidad and Tobago and that he felt Rowley would do a better job, he was not corrupt and had plenty of political experience even though he had never been prime minister before.
He though there was too much suspicion of corruption in the UNC and in this challenging era the country was facing, corruption would wreak havoc on the development of the country.
One of his friends looked at him sideways and asked him when had his views on politics changed. He (the friend) reminded him of the 2013 election campaign in Grenada when he (Mr. Talkative) had rallied strongly behind a candidate he referred to as The Man.
He wanted The Man to win because The Man had style and could talk much better than his main opponent. He had said, his friend accused him, that he liked what The Man was promising because “tings go run”.
When he was asked about honesty and good governance and so on his response was that “people can’t eat dat so don’t come and tell me about dat”.
His final summing up of the situation had been that The Man is the kind of person that “even though he thief we go get some of what he thief.” In his view the main opponent playing honest and don’t want to thief so he won’t achieve anything.
His friends were left wondering how come he had more concern for the welfare of Trinidad than for Grenada where he was living and working. They thought maybe he was really a Trinidadian and wasn’t lying about going and vote and in that case didn’t really care about Grenada too much.