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An open letter to Pantrinbago presidential hopeful Aquil Arrindell.

Dear Aquil,

Speaking as a panman, I am encouraged by the statements of senior cabinet ministers within the last week. Their decisive action in announcing measures designed to unblock avenues of revenue earning streams for artistes is visionary. As a supporter of the incumbent government of our Republic, I am motivated with the response to the global pandemic, in ensuring that the health of our nation is preserved. As a citizen of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, I am satisfied with the leadership of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the current leadership of the steelband movement. I will continue to advocate that the leadership of the steelband movement must take a stand on vaccination publicly. Vaccination is the key to getting the engine of the steeband industry running again. The Beverley Ramsey Moore led administration continues to fail as leaders of the “World Governing Body For Pan”. Mrs Ramsey Moore and those members of her administration who have remained loyal to her, continue to look out for themselves only.

In a last ditch effort at self preservation, the incumbent jumps up from deep slumber, “passes through the office” to receive books, and hampers as they launch their reelection campaign on social media and in the local press. I am sure that the contents of the book are edifying. I do not doubt that many mouths have been/will be fed with the donated hampers that pantrinbago plans to re-donate. However, a photo op receiving some good books and hampers when steel bands are disintegrating, is not headline news for one who prides themselves as being the leader of the “World Governing Body For Pan”. The education officer should be the face seen dealing with literature. The public relations officer should be the face of intended publicity for relief for the needy. Evidence of poor governance predicated on a lack of trust, characteristic of weak leadership grasping to power.

Steel bands need capital injection to prepare for action. To start up any mothballed operation successfully and get it producing, requires proper planning, and optimal intelligent use of time, goods and services. Steel bands are no different. I would not elaborate on this here, but shall presently address the subject of startup. I would be cautious in recommending the disbursement of necessary state funds across the board for this purpose. 

This is an election year, I am inclined to recommend to the Minister of Culture that similar independent background checks as is required for national social assistance be made, and not to depend on the recommendations of regional officials only for disbursement.

The likelihood of nonfunctional ghost bands jumping ahead of the queue undeserving cannot be understated. The fact that the number of single pan bands almost double that of conventional bands is atrocious. The fact that small bands and medium bands collectively may more than quadruple the number of large bands is alarming. This is so only because of padding. Voter padding takes place to fatten the delegate pool. It is reported that regional officials who are disciples of embattled executive dissenters, but followers of the incumbent president, may already be suggesting to bands whom they suspect may not be inclined to throw their support behind the sitting leader in any upcoming election, to remember the hand that feeds them. These people cannot be trusted with recommending disbursement of scarce state funds equitably to the most deserving functional bands that promote the art form all year round, and not seasonally.

The following is what is expected of the leader of the “World Governing Body For Pan”;

  1. Lobbying with national leaders for decisive action,
  2. Putting forward consensual suggestions coming out of dialogue with stakeholders for consideration,
  3. Proposing mitigation measures to accelerate the reopening of the steel band industry.
  4. Presenting short to medium term plans towards sustainability and self sufficiency.

Initiating conversations on suitable actions that would benefit the entire fraternity when the opening bell is rung is what is expected of the leader of the “World Governing Body For Pan”.

You country bookie bredrin.

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Russell Providence, you have continuously impressed the pan movement with your forward  thinking, intellectual and thought evoking way you present those ideas. In response to your four points in particular;

 

 

  1. Lobbying with national leaders for decisive action.

Totally agree but, what action? Decided by who? The whole steel band movement is in a state of nothingness. One year without a panorama and we are like fish out of water.

 

 

  1. Putting forward consensual suggestions coming out of dialogue with stakeholders for consideration.

The organization held two discussions per region in the last year and three months, (none of which were properly constituted), which means the president was the authority and not the memberships. No motion could be moved then or voted on, which equals to no consensus.  

 

  1. Proposing mitigation measures to accelerate the reopening of the steel band industry.

This is very much possible between the executive members and the government as this is not something the membership need to grant permission for.

 

  1. Presenting short to medium term plans towards sustainability and self-sufficiency.

This is expected from the beginning of any executive’s term in office. This is the end of an incumbent term and yet no presentation on any plans, short, medium or long term at any time.

                                                           

What comes to mind with every good, bad or indifferent action from the leaders of my organization is the saying “Smart people learn for their mistakes but wise people learn from the mistakes of others”.

I am in class, front row and paying attention.

 

Thanks for your indulgence.

AQUIL: You pick RUSSELL PROVIDENCE OVER ME to be YOUR CAMPAIGN MANAGER. Well I going and join up with THE BEV and teach allyuh ah little lesson IN POLITICS.

Imagine if ME and MARCUS and LAUREN and THE BEV and BOOGSIE and DUVONE and ALL THE TOBAGO BANDS join forces -- nobody could BEAT WE.

All I want is the post of GLOBAL AMBASSADOR for THE PROMOTION OF PAN MUSIC and I WORKING FOR FREE ... because of ALL THE SO CALLED PAN LOVERS IN THE WORLD ... I could MATCH ANYBODY with my DEMONSTRATED GOODWILL PAN CREDENTIALS!!! Even though THE MUSIC cannot quite reach MY EXPECTATIONS.

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