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Global - Earlier this month When Steel Talks began its annual celebration and tribute to "Women in Steelpan," highlighting the multifaceted, multi-talented intellectual, educator and artist Pat Bishop. This global figure is and remains one of the pivotal figures in the history of pan, and the country of Trinidad and Tobago’s modern arts and culture.

So as March - Woman's Month - draws to a close, it is with extreme disappointment that When Steel Talks finds itself commenting on the unfortunate and disrespectful turn of events visited upon at Ms Bishop as outlined in one of Trinidad and Tobago national newspapers.

What has been done cannot never be undone and no apology can ever make amends.  And there lies the problem.  Someone thought they could do this and get away with it in broad daylight - or worse they did not, and do not - care.

Can the untalented plebe who set this action in motion swim in one bead of sweat off of Ms. Bishop’s brow?  Most likely not.  Clearly someone simply lost their mind.
Needless to say this is not the way we expected to wrap up Women's month. Ms. Bishop is more than a cultural icon - she is a Sister in Pan. Furthermore, Ms. Bishop speaks her mind and is not afraid to have an opinion.

Be assured Ms. Bishop will continue to be heard.


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Unfortunately politics finds its way into every facet of a nation's society.
Politicians by their very nature, assume the mantle of being know-it-alls and think that every voice that utters criticism is an enemy of the state.
Notwithstanding that the criticism is justified, constructive and objective.
The whole idea that someone may be more knowledgeable in a particular field than they could ever be appears to make them (politicians) very angry and they revert to type. Authoritarian, pig-headed, spiteful bullies.
The Late Dr. Eric Williams at times displayed these traits but thankfully still sought the advice from Rudolph Charles in areas where he saw fit.
The current leadership pretends to know all the things which will do us good but all the while ignore the truth. They are not Gods. They are more fallible than any of us could ever be for they are driven by egos, greed and the power which the voters have foolishly given them.
Pat Bishop and all other likeminded people must continue to speak-out whenever stupidity or ignorance is affecting the things in which they strongly believe.
While those to whom we have entrusted to serve and govern remember it is the people who have put them there.
Humility wisdom honesty are things they leave at the door of parliament, when they enter, “ every ting tun ole mas”

God Bless Our Nation

"Can the untalented plebe who set this action in motion swim in one bead of sweat off of Ms. Bishop’s brow? Most likely not. Clearly someone simply lost their mind"

This sentence sums it up. The person responsible for giving such an instruction is indeed "an untalented and, evidently, uneducated plebe". However, it is to be noted that this IS the style of Government that we have brought on ourselves. There is no regard for the people, even talented, well respected, educated persons like Ms Bishop who has contributed so much to this Country, especially in the areas om music and pan. Of course Ms. Bishop must continued to be heard, We must ensure it.
For peace of mind for all, can someone inform us as to who or whom, and why Dr. Pat Bishop presence was rescinded.
Unfortunately, I do not know much about the incident, perhaps, you can direct me to a source. Thank you
All that have been said, I remain ignorant as to her commnmets...
The discussion was started by Pan Woman under the heading...

Pat Bishop snubbed - Govt gags Pat BishopPosted by Pan Woman on March 22, 2010 at 12:58pm in Uncategorized

There are links to T&T newspapers to help provide some background...hope this info helps.
The effects of this dictatorship in our democratic society is staggering. Ms. Bishop dared to criticise the works and plans of the PNM administration and I guess paid the price by being ostracised or simply dissed. The steelband movement (fraternity not sorority) is so dependent on the Gov't for meager handouts that, this dissing will go the ways of the nine-day trini mentality.

WST needs to give the full story and try to explain why everyone did not boycott the damn show, rather than go along with the mis-deeds of one who could not swim comfortably in a regular sized pool far less than in "one bead of sweat off Ms. Bishop's brow"..
Patrick, still waiting for the full story...

By Helen Drayton Independent Senator Sunday, March 28 2010

click on pic to zoom inHelen Drayton...« prev photo next photo »Over the past month I have heard the word civility on several occasions. What was a coincidence or perhaps not, is that I heard it from people in London, America and here at home. On each occasion the question was posed as to whether “we have lost civility.”

In London it had to do with the tension and acrimony over the abuse of allowances by parliamentarians, in the USA the divide over health care reform and here, during the recent debate in our Senate on the motion with respect to “showing gratitude” to our past presidents and prime ministers.

I understand only too well the power of repetition. The more you hear, or repeat something, the more it becomes internalised. I did not, therefore, surprise myself when that same word, which is such a beautiful word — civility — came to mind when I read about the appalling treatment of Dr Pat Bishop. I have yet to hear anything from the powers that be, that it was because of miscommunication, or preferably, to read or hear through the normal public channels of communication, that no directive was given to remove the distinguished lady from the agenda by the Minister of Culture or anyone in her Ministry. Maybe, Dr Bishop has received a private apology. I really don’t know and it does not matter because the fact remains that the public has been left to believe that orders came from the Ministry of Culture to excise our Trinity Cross holder from the agenda of a special event.

I have reason to believe that something uncivil and ugly did happen. Dr Pat Bishop is a citizen who dignifies our art and culture, our country, shares her time, talent and skills freely to uplift battered communities and does not deserve to be treated with disrespect, ungratefulness and incivility. No citizen deserves to be treated that way.

When we speak of civility we refer also to courtesy and graciousness. What also comes to mind as I pen this article is a statement I jotted down some time ago. Regrettably, I cannot recall the author. It was this: “My thesis is that any organisation of society which depresses free and spontaneous melding is on the decline however showy its immediate spoils. I maintain that in such a society liberty is gone, little as its members may know it, that the nirvana of the individual is too high a price for a collective paradise.”

Now, I do not believe that anyone has fantasises about how challenging the times are, or living in a collective paradise; nor do I believe that liberty has gone from our society. You only have to read and hear the media by the minute especially Newsday — or, get on the road if you have not mastered the art of defensive driving. However, I do believe that there is less civility in our daily existence and more arrogance.

I am not one to jump to conclusions, so I cannot say, or leave the reader to believe that I know that the Minister gave the directive; but, leaders have an obligation to communicate with their public, if only, to say unconditionally, “I am sorry, the situation should never have occurred and I sincerely apologise.” Anything else is unacceptable. An apology puts one on neutral ground, especially at this time when many are not likely to believe or want to hear anything else.

But, let me be presumptuous and suggest to the Ministry some appropriate words for an apology.

“Dear Dr Bishop, I am sorry for what happened. It is most regrettable that My Ministry threw away the opportunity to hear what you had to say, for in the long run it is only our talented people and outstanding artists such as yourself who can give credibility and beauty to our institutions. We need the wisdom and intelligence of our distinguished sons and daughters to guide and mentor the next generation of artists in the National Academy for Performing Arts. That is what will give it character. I acknowledge that it is only when the sounds of music, the footsteps of dancers, the call of drums, the rapport of tassa and the applause of the man in the street are heard in the halls only then, could it become a thing of beauty.

Also, I acknowledge profound views with respect to the substance of our National Museum, a special heritage building that houses the history and artworks of our people. I acknowledge that there are some things citizens hold almost sacred, and that our precious museum imbues the city with character. By preserving its purpose, we signify to our children that we value our history, beautiful traditions, our solid foundation –substance; that we value as a people.

I accept that wrong was done to you. Please accept my sincerest apology.”

Yours respectfully

Ministry of Culture

© newsday.co.tt - www.newsday.co.tt
We should not be surprised,at this latest directive,from this present set of administrators.
While I love Pat Bishop and abhor the minister's treatment of her, I must say that it took a long time for PNM to attack its African middle class supporters. These same supporters remained silent as PNM ran amok through our country destroying Laventille and the rest of behind the bridge. Not a peep from them about the carnage from PNM. Now, a personal slight and insult has awakened a sleeping class. Who they fooling, they know that the minister is doing Patos work for him. Let's see how they will vote come this elections.


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