You know when staunch PNM calypsonians sing against the PNM, then that party or Government is in trouble!
Whenever the PNM is in Opposition, calypsonians make merry singing anti-UNC songs, much to the delight of tent managers and at the Calypso Fiesta.
To hear some of the calypsonians sing against the ruling PNM Government at Calypso Fiesta last Saturday, means that something has gone wrong for this Government led by Dr Keith Rowley.
Weston Rawlins has been so anti Basdeo Panday and Kamla Persad-Bissessar over the years. Now the people he adored have turned their backs on him. Better known as Cro Cro, he decided to perform “Belated” at Calypso Fiesta, but the judges kicked him out of the finals on Sunday. Poor Cro Cro.
Joanne Rowley, known as Tigress, sang “Rowley to Rowley” but she made it to the finals at Dimanche Gras. This is another anti-PNM song.
Former Calypso Monarch, Sugar Aloes, endured toilet paper at Skinner Park, San Fernando, but he was smart by performing a tribute to the Lord Kitchener. He made it to the finals. Aloes angered PNMites when he went and performed for then Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar at Mid Center Mall, Chaguanas, in 2012.
What will the defending Monarch, Chalkdust sing? Another anti-PNM song, or that nonsense be performed in 2017 to take the title.
One thing is clear – the calypsonians are suffering like the ordinary man and woman. Like Fitzgerald Hinds turning the sod to building a $4.5 million swimming pool in Laventille.
Dear Fitzgerald, the people of Laventille do not need a swimming pool. They need jobs to sustain their families, otherwise crime and the gangs will continue to plague that community.
For many of the people involved in Carnival, they believe this Government has shown no interest in the art form. With the oil dollars down at the moment, one would have thought that the Government would have spent money to woe the tourists by making Carnival an event they would never forget.
But the Minister of Community Development, Arts, and Culture, Dr Nyan Gadsy-Dolly, still does not understand her role. The Government has reduced funding for Carnival – an event which could bring in the much needed US dollars.
But no. Less money for Carnival! Tents have not been able to function because of reduced funding. The Chutney Monarch, Soca Monarch, and Calypso Monarch will receive less prize money this year. How come George Singh was able to get $1 million for the Chutney Monarch competition? Because he is close to the Attorney General, or that his son is in the law chambers of Al Rawi and Company?
The San Fernando Carnival Committee has had to cancel some events because of less funding. Regional Carnival Committees have downsized their events.
In 2017, the North Stand was not used for Dimanche Gras. Just the Grand Stand was used and the price of tickets was a whopping $800. Gone are the days when both the Grand and North Stands were packed, including hundreds of tourists.
We await to see what is the difference in the Dimanche Gras production in 2018. The new NCC Chairman, Colin Lucas, has been thrown into the limelight to fail.
He is surrounded by the same people who have failed over the years and nothing new will happen.