“Imps, pimps and chimps” … You know better Mr. Prime Minister!

Originally published on Wired868 Dennise Demming on Tuesday 19 October 2021

If only Members of Parliament could master the same level of decorum and use of language as our esteemed President, this would be a more gentle place.

I contrast the language of the President with the language of the Prime Minister and feel sick to my gut.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley recently made this comment about the Opposition Leader:

“[…] But the Opposition Leader wants to get around that by bringing the President’s name into the Parliament in a substantive motion so that she and her imps, pimps, and chimps can scandalise the President in the worst way…”

Raymond Ramcharitar claims to have used the phrase ‘imps, pimps and chimps’ over the past year to describe the Opposition. The last thing I expected was for my prime minister to copy and use such a degrading phrase to refer to members of the Opposition.

His reference goes, by extension, to the more than 300,000 persons who voted for the UNC. It is insulting and degrading for half of our population. Our dear Prime Minister seems to have forgotten that he is the prime minister of the entire nation, including those who did not vote for him and his political party.

By definition, the Prime Minister is saying that the Leader of the Opposition and her little creatures are hiding in cupboards, that her people control prostitutes for a percentage of their earnings and that her people are in some way chimps. Is this really what was intended?

Photo: UNC leader and Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar (centre in jacket) on the campaign trail during the run-up to the 10 August 2020 elections.
(via UNC)

Among friends, I have heard people refer to each other jokingly as ‘imps’, suggesting that some person was being naughty and even playful. However, not many people will tolerate being called a ‘pimp’ (except maybe in the rap music industry).

Still, to call someone a ‘chimp’ is to invoke the unfortunate theories used to justify Europe’s domination and enslavement of large portions of the world. ‘Chimp’ is often erroneously used as a synonym of ‘monkey’. And that, frankly, is an unacceptable utterance to come from anyone, especially if the holder of our highest office is using the term to describe any citizen of our fair twin islands.

It is now written into our history that one prime minister condoned and used the ‘ape’ insult to degrade his opponents in Parliament. Unfortunately, this cannot be erased.

At the US Democratic National Convention in 2012, former first lady Michelle Obama famously said these words: “Being president doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.”

Photo: Former USA first lady Michelle Obama.

Our population is discovering who our Prime Minister really is. The use of ‘give me a break’ to ‘kiss my ar**’ and now ‘imps, pimps and chimps’ says that some misfortune has befallen our Prime Minister. Why has his vocabulary become so sparse?

At a time in our history when our children more than ever need leaders whose behaviour they can model and emulate, our Prime Minister instead elects to use language that is unbecoming of the office he holds.

Respect for an office should not only be expected from the ordinary people it serves; surely (s)he who holds the office also needs to treat it with no less respect, mindful that the authority (s)he enjoys is an honour bestowed by those who pay the office-holder’s emoluments and fund his perks.

I look forward to the day when listening to our leaders in Parliament again brings me the same hope and joy as when I listen to her Excellency.

Demming Chronicles chats with Transportation Expert Dr. Julia Kotzebue, and Entrepreneur Marlon Jeffers

Pedestrian Injustice

Dr. Kotzebue’s interest in transportation was sparked by her experience growing up in the city of Hamberg, Germany where she walked and bicycled. She describes the pedestrian experience as one of injustice because pedestrians do not contribute to the air pollution and noise but they suffer the impact. They are our most vulnerable road users. She is also convinced that quality of life is a transportation issue.

Walk, Ride, Bathe in the Office
Her academic study and research continuously examine the possibilities of people being mobile in a healthy and sustainable manner. The answer lies in a combination of walkability, bikability, and a well-regulated private-sector mass transportation system. Achieving a human-centred approach to transportation begins with educating our children about the benefits of integrating activity into our daily routines. It may mean incentivizing employers to provide bathroom facilities and lockers for persons who walk or cycle to work to shower and change.

Cars versus Children
In 2020, Trinidad and Tobago imported 25,00 cars while 17,000 children were born. One can interpret this to mean that society consciously allocated more space to cars than to our children.

Event Planners Survival Strategies
At 13:30 the conversation switched to an understanding of how Event Planners have survived the pandemic. Owner/Manager Director of Imperial Events Marlon Jeffers talks about the importance of creating your own job and using passion and resilience to sustain a dream.

Creating New Products
From a background in the hospitality sector, Marlon and his associates provide a range of services from event conceptualization to execution. While business disappeared during the Covid Pandemic, he has been able to develop a new product to stage “Micro Weddings”.
He sees the creative sector as contributing to the healthy balance that is needed for all of us to thrive.

Trying to put the pandemic in pan’s way is putting democracy at risk

Originally published https://wired868.com/2021/10/14/demming-trying-to-put-the-pandemic-in-pans-way-is-putting-democracy-at-risk/ Thursday 14 October 2021

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is now run by a non-elected normalisation committee appointed by the sport’s world umbrella body, The Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa).

Led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, our Parliament acted to override the collective will of Tobagonians when their election results with a 6/6 split spoke to collaboration.

Photo: Robert Hadad is co-CEO of Hadco and board member at the International School in POS.
Hadad was appointed head of Fifa’s normalisation committee in Trinidad and Tobago on 27 March 2020.
(Copyright Gary Jordan Photography ©2017)

The Pan Trinbago Executive has extended its term of office by another three years.

What these three examples communicate to me is that we are pushing towards autocratic styles of leadership instead of seeking to ensure that people are allowed to exercise their democratic rights. The central idea behind democracy is to provide followers with an opportunity to validate leadership, which we do via the electoral process.

Elections provide an opportunity for officials to be held accountable and to seek a fresh mandate. Followers look to leaders to act in their best interests as well as to provide ACT: accountability, collaboration and transparency.

In the absence of these three intangibles, either autocrats will emerge or chaos will reign.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our country has held two in-person national elections and we are currently preparing for a third, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Elections.

Photo: PDP political leader Watson Duke (centre) poses with supporters in Tobago.
(via PDP)

Banks, financial institutions, credit unions and voluntary organisations have all held their elections using technology and blended approaches. If collectively we have the wisdom, capacity and technology to hold elections, why is Pan Trinbago using Covid-19 as the reason for not honouring their constitutional obligation?

If, as reported, the majority of their members have supported deferring the elections, I wonder how this majority was measured. If it was done online, then it follows that you can certainly hold your elections online as well.

If it was done in-person, then the excuse offered is hollow!

If it is true that the majority of their members are unvaccinated, then isn’t this an excellent opportunity to come out in support of the national vaccination drive?

I expect that, as a woman in leadership, the Pan Trinbago president will act in our collective best national interest. That, I submit, means promoting the vaccination drive to increase the numbers of fully vaccinated citizens and assist in a direct way in the fight against the uncompromising pandemic.

Photo: Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore (right).

It also means, I suggest, demonstrating that although she may not be an internet native and may be in an age cohort which is largely resistant to technological change, she is willing and enthusiastic to embrace technology to find solutions to our myriad problems.

A way to vote freely and fairly is just one of them.

The election of president Beverley Ramsey-Moore heralded a wave of hope for forward thinking and doing things right.

I hope she is aware that her reluctance not to say refusal to seek to re-validate her leadership can completely undo whatever good she may so far have done.

Please, madam, hold the elections.

Chatting with CEO of Nevis Tourism Authority.

Tourism in Nevis
This edition of Demming Chronicles explored the island of Nevis with CEO of the Nevis Tourism Authority Jadine Yarde. Under her leadership, the focus is on developing a strong team to communicate clear messages. The Covid Pandemic provided an opportunity for collaboration between Nevis, St. Barts, St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Saba, and Sint Eustatius to promote the concept of island hopping among different islands as a unique experience for visitors.

Intra Regional Travel
A major obstacle to Caribbean island hopping is the cost of intraregional travel to the extent that a ticket from New York to France can cost less than a regional ticket or one to get a person to the Caribbean. Jadine is confident that this long-standing issue can be solved if we collaborate and are prepared to engage in open conversations.

Leveraging Technology

She also commented on the importance of packaging our Caribbean offerings as an opportunity to share the unique cultural experiences of people who are resilient, proud, and fun-loving. To young people across the region, she pointed out that the new shift in technology brings with it opportunities to develop different methods of communicating and creating content to reach audiences whose interests go beyond sun, sea, and sand.

Whether it is “Nevis Naturally” or “Nevis Nice”, a warm welcome awaits you.