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The Two Radical Actions That Panmen and Panwomen Can Take In 2014 To RECLAIM EARNED RESPECT.

We have always been told that "respect is earned". No one doubts that the thousands of members of the steelbands have earned their respect, but like the "Pan Is Beautiful" prize moneys, the requests for financial audits, and the allowing of spoil brats to fete on top of your biggest event, these steelband members await compensation for respect earned. 

After almost all measures have been attempted, it becomes more convincing that the only way for panmen and panwomen to get their earned respect in Trinidad and Tobago, is to play them by their own game. What does that mean? Well, if they exclude you from the profits, exclude them from your profits. If they exclude you from playing in their fetes, then, exclude yourself from their fetes. It really comes down to two actions the steelbands of Trinidad and Tobago should take, in getting (back) their earned respect. They are:

  1. Boycott Panorama and all Pan Trinbago events. (That's been said before; I know.)
  2. Boycott ALL Carnival activities, and hold your own fetes, limes, whatever...Stop supporting those who do not support you, Mr. Panman and Ms. Panwoman. Shot down their entire Carnival, and show them that besides being "panmen" and "panwomen", you are consumers with BUYING POWER. (How many of you spend your money with these people who do not support you?)

Before some of you go off on me; I understand that such a "radical" move will not happen. I already know that.to many steelband members, that is a sacrifice they are not willing to make, for whatever reasons. Finally, I admit that I have no idea of the outcome, but I do know that in leveraging our "buying power", those who continue to exploit the steelbands will not be making the millions of dollars of which they have grown accustomed, and those who shun us, will also be shunned by us. Reclaim your earned respect.

Ghost. Same philosophy; different attitude.

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Ghost, am with you100%, on the boycott! Talk about  this in the March meeting....this is the only way FORWARD!

Sad to say but we have a shot at a million dollars now.

Brian, unfortunately, I think you are right. The problem is that steelbands have "gate-keepers", who keep information from the masses of steelband members. I have heard that the "eat-ah-food" culture, have these gate-keepers in "check" (pun intended), where as they approach the leadership with their grievances, they are handed "silent money", and they withdraw the troops, until another grievance. And the beat goes on.

What is damaging, is that many of these gate-keepers are the leaders of the individual steelbands, and as long as they are "paid" (even if in secrecy), they forget about their fellow panmen and panwomen. Some are given "celebrity" status, and can be seen posing with the leadership. They cannot speak out against the executive, because it would be like biting the proverbial hand that feeds them. It has become "what is in it for me", rather than what is in the best interests of all. The town hall meeting seeks to uncover what is best for all, and not just a select few. 

I realize that I am attempting to have us take an "intellectual" approach to the conversation. I have faith in the steelband fraternity; that we are an intelligent people. We are also an emotional people; people who have very strong beliefs, and are not afraid to share them. But we must reach to a point, where we sit like elders of an African, Indian, or North American tribe, and approach challenges and differences with wisdom, honesty, and fair judgement.

We need to have a leadership that understands they serve those they "lead"; that they have been entrusted, by a democratic process, to represent "WE, THE PAN PEOPLE". (To adapt from the US "Preamble" opening.) It is no secret that I am a fan of constitutional law. The authors of the original Constitution of Pan Trinbago, attempted to lay a foundation based on the ideals of the value of the individual towards the entire steelband collective. So, we must find a way to get the message to the individual panman and panwoman, as the gate-keepers continue to intercept, censor and manipulate the dissemination of information to the steelband body. As Harriett Tubman said, "Today I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more, if they knew they were slaves." Much respect, Brian.

Ghost. Same philosophy; different attitude.

Ghost, is there elections at pantrinbago? I may be wrong but if elections come up again I believe the winner will be Patrick Arnold. Then after a few years it will be back to Cadiz. We do the same thing with PNM and UNC. No one believes in giving the youth a chance.

I won't doubt your "Gatekeeper" theory, Ghost! But, I do believe that the majority of pan players, are taking part, for their love of the instrument, Panorama, their particular choice of arranger, etc! They don't really care about the money! So it's easy for the gatekeepers!

Unfortunately, while that is the case, Pan Trinbago, NCC, all ah dem continuing to line their pockets!!! What to do??? Continue calling for a boycott, and I hope that enough of those who don't know that they are "slaves", will begin to see some light! Respect, bro!

Good idea breds. The thing about it is that it would work.


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