Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is Montano Sentence Unfair?

Mr. Herbert Volney (Former Justice Minister)
How justice works in Trinidad and Tobago.  Swift & Sure

Most Trinbagonians know that Machel Montano was slapped on the wrist after his conviction on 5 charges which included assault and battery and using obscene language.

But let's face it, that was expected.

 If you have been following the case for any time you would come to the conclusion that there are 2 set of justices in TnT. According to Mr. Herbert Volney, past Justice Minister, big mouth with an axe to grind. He is calling for a judicial review of the sentencing by the DPP. Read his position here Express Article

The articles states that "Section 30 of the Offences Against the Person Act, Chapter 11:08 provides for a maximum term of imprisonment of five years for the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm for which Montano was convicted"

 After Carnival Montano publicly apologized to the victims of the fracas. In my opinion, it was a totally lame apology. It was more of an insult than an apology.  He said that now that the hectic Carnival season was over he could now deal with this and he was sorry for something but not really for his behavior.

Now the victims learn that because of Justice delayed, it is now too late to sue for civil damages.  Express Article.

Do you have an opinion on this or with what was said by Mr. Volney?

Let's hear your position on this.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Arresting Women - Law in Trinidad & Tobago

A Public Service Message
An incident took place recently - a young girl was raped by a man posing as a plain clothes officer; he asked her to come to the police station when she and her male friend didn't have a driver's license to show.

He sent the boy off to get his license and asked the girl to accompany him to the police station. He took her instead to an isolated area where the horrendous crime was committed.

The law which most are not aware of, clearly states that between 6 pm and 6 am, a woman has the right to REFUSE to go to the Police Station, even if an arrest warrant has been issued against her. 

It is a procedural issue that a woman can be arrested between 6 pm and 6am, ONLY if she is arrested by a woman officer and taken to an ALL WOMEN police station. If she is arrested by a male officer, it has to be proven that a woman officer was on duty at the time of arrest.
Please share this with as many girls and women you know.

Also guys.... share with friends because this can help them protect their wives, sisters and mothers.

It is good for us to know our rights. To what extent it becomes of use remains to be seen in any situation. But as they say, Knowledge is Power.

I did not know this and I am sure lots of us don't. Please be informed.

For more information about M.. Hamel-Smith & Co., please visit their website at

Tweet this to your friends let everyone know.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Don't You Dare Try This

Here is what can happen with you if you try smuggling drugs into the UK.  A short vacation to the UK can last for years.
The vacation planned to the UK

His nervous behavior gave him away.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Super Blue - 2013 Road March King

Like Pump Up In 2000 Fantastic Friday Won In Both Competitions

The Blues have it.  Super Blue was elated yesterday after the announcement that he was the 2013 National Road March champion.  He beat  the  defending champion Machel Montano with a landslide score of  511 plays to 56.

He did not just win, he obliterated Machel Montano on the road.  More than one of my friends expressed their disappointment with the results for the Soca Monarch competition.  They felt that he was cheated out of first place in that competition.  According to one friend, his resounding victory where the people judged their preference was inevitable.

Fantastic Friday

In 2000 he won both the Soca Monarch and Road March only this time he had to share the Soca Monarch title with Machel Montano:

The following is Super Blues Road March tally to date:

SuperBlue’s National Road March tally: 

As Blueboy - 1980, 1981, 1983
As SuperBlue - 1991 to present
1980: “Soca Baptist”
1981: “Ethel”
1983: “Rebecca”
1991: “Get Something an’ Wave
1992: “Wine on Something”
1993: “Bacchanal Time”
1995: “Signal for Lara”
2000: “Pump Up”
2013: “Fantastic Friday”

SuperBlue’s Soca Monarch tally 

1993: “Bacchanal Time”
1994: “Flag Party”
1996: “Bounce”
1997: “Barbara”
1998: “Ato Party”
2000: “Pump Up”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Will MacFarlane Stop Carnival?

Dismissed Claims That Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Is "The Greatest Show On Earth"

Here's a direct quote from the veteran mas man:

Rubbish.  What we have is the greatest street party.  But when you see what Rio (Brazil) has the elaborate costumes, their Carnival reflests their culture.  Brazil carnival is far, far superior to outs. 

 "Brazil's carnival is far, far superior to ours. We keep saying we are getting closer to Brazil but we aren't, each costume starts at US$2,500 for a costume. Anybody can join a samba school but you have to sign a contract and learn the dances. It's well-done stuff, not the crap you see here," he admonished.

Now I don't think that MacFarlane read what I had written just before this Carnival. The post entitled Marketing Carnival To the World

If as Mr. MacFarlane's said that it has been a bad business decision to continue he should know.  I certainly don't think he did it because he wants to start  controversy. 

The controversy has been brewing for some time and successive administrations keep missing the point. It certainly not equitable to offer millions in prize money for individuals while offering pittance incentives to large bands. That will not keep the tradition alive.

As Mr. MacFarlane explained he has not been able to come up with a profitable business model to make it worth his while in the nine years he has been trying.  That does not mean that no business model will work, just means that he has not found one yet.

What does this mean for Carnival?

Mr. MacFarlane is the only large mas leader to come out like this.  If it's the same for others we can expect that it will be a wake up call for many of them and we will start seeing a reduction of the size of the now big bands.

Other than that, Carnival will go on.  People are already getting ready for the 2014 Carnival.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Marketing Carnival to the World

Is Carnival  “The Greatest Show On Earth”?

This post was written in response to an article in a Trinidad and Tobago Newsday Newspaper credited to the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce.  You will agree with me at the end of this post that the article got it all wrong.

A link to the article is below.

 The headline read;   "The Marketing Potential of Carnival”  

As a marketer the headline pulled me in but it did not deliver what I expected. The headline suggested that there would be strategic solution to marketing Carnival to the world as an art form.  

 Instead it took the reader on a tangent that seemed farfetched.  Honestly, I really hate writing anything that contradicts another writer.  I understand that writing is not an easy task.  But as a writer I know that some things need to be said in this case I assume the responsibility to say it.  To offer a different perspective, a new view point. Marketing culture is very important and could be a challenge if a real difference cannot be identified.

The author suggested that marketing Carnival should focus on our ethnic  foods.  The article pointed out that all the islands in the Caribbean archipelago offer the same sun, sand and sea.  Trinidad and Tobago had to be different and we can do that by marketing our foods. And here's why...

It cited as proof the popular North American food channel that rated our “Bake and Shark” as a mouth watering and gave it an obscure award.  It suggested that the desire for that special Caribbean flavor could attract more tourists for Carnival.  

Interesting concept, considering the source but to say the least it's an absolutely unworkable proposition.  

Imagine a TnT government ad "Come to Trinidad for Award Winning Foods"

Differentiate we must.  That's why Carnival was labeled as “The Greatest Show On Earth”.  Whoever coined the term had hit on something.  It has been the standard description of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. It worked before the advent of the internet.  It needs to tweaked now.

The relevant government ministry should re-examine its marketing position of the claim.  The Greatest Show On Earth does not stand up to close scrutiny.   

For example, “Greatest” could be quantified by the number of foreign visitors Carnival attracts annually.  Last year a minister in the government estimated that 220,000 visitors came to partake in the festivities.  Seemed high but that’s another post. 

Let’s assume that it was true, and compare it to the number of visitors to Brazil’s Carnival estimated last year at 5.3 million.  Trinidad and Tobago Carnival does not even come close.

Is the claim that TnT Carnival is the Greatest Show on Earth true?

A claim that we can prove is that Trinidad and Tobago has the “Biggest Party in the Caribbean”.  That claim is a much easier sell than what exists now. 

Maybe the rest of the Caribbean would competes with each other to attract tourists but Trinidad and Tobago can compete on a much different level.  

Answer this: 

Which other island has created its own musical instrument?
Which other Caribbean island excluding Jamaica has its own vocal art form?
Which other island or country in the Western Hemisphere host a party that is as big as TnT Carnival?

Sorry, the other Caribbean islands should not be considered competitors. What is a reasonable claim is that Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is quite literally the “Biggest Party In The Caribbean”

Brazil show is grander in terms of number of visitors and their ability to produce ingeniously creative masterpiece costumes may or may not compare However, in terms of a party mentality, Trinidad and Tobago stands alone.  Party is wired to the Trinbagonian psyche.  Instead of making a false claim, TnT should sell is what already exists.  

Which country, in the Caribbean or indeed in the world, has set aside two full days to party in every major city? 

A country where partying is not restricted to the evening or afternoon, You can begin to party from as early as 10 AM or 10 PM to 7 the next morning.  Carnival is a party with numerous pre parties that start at least three days before it Carnival begins. A country where noise pollution is expected and even condone by the law enforcement authorities. 

A perfect place to visit but...  The tourist haven where the only real concern is getting a decent, safe place to sleep.   

Upon awakening, they can be assured that somewhere in TnT there is a party they could attend. Trinbagonians work to party.  Food, of course, is always  integral to any party.  Would you invite a friend to your house for food if you are having a party?

The point is that the only way to market Carnival is with integrity.  It’s not the Greatest Show on Earth it is the Biggest Party in the Caribbean or maybe even in the Western Hemisphere. 

This slight repositioning will open up a doorway to a more sustainable marketable demographic with more disposable income; the younger generation.  

This new strategy could ramp up the number of visitors.  Based on the numbers we will never be the Greatest Show in The World but we do have teh infrastructure to host the "The Partyingest Biggest Party in the Caribbean. 

What do you think?

2013 Soca Power & Groovy Monarch Winners Results

Big Surprise Ending: A Tie For First

Well I was not 100 percent wrong.  

The face off ended in a draw.   Austin "SuperBlue" Lyons and Machel Montano at Friday's Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch results wer not expected by anyone.

Machel gave a spirited performance with his delivery of "Float" while SuperBlue, enchanted the crowd before he took to the stage.  He had the crowd humping with his piece, "Fantastic Friday."
Machel, easily won the Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch defending his title.

Neil "Iwer" George took second with Dexter "Blaxx" Stewart, third.

The complete official results

Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch
1. Austin "SuperBlue" Lyons
1. Machel Montano
3. Rodney "Benjai" Le Blanc

Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch
1. Machel Montano
2. Neil "Iwer" Goerge
3. Dexter "Blaxx" Stewart.


Fantastic Friday

Friday, February 8, 2013

Who Will Be The Groovy Soca & Power Soca Winners?

Last Year Super Blue Must Have Been Wishing He Competed; This Year He Is

Fantastic Friday is here.  This entire weekend will be partying, jumping, dancing, drinking and  loving self for no other reason than the Biggest Party in the World. The streets will be packed from early Monday morning.  As we write this school children are having their kiddies Carnival celebration in the schools and businesses are hosting their annual Carnival fetes tonight. 

Tonight is also the finals for the Digicel Groovy Soca Monarch 2013 and the National Lottery Board Play Whe international Power Soca Monarch 2013.

Last night was the 2013 Calypso Monarch with the PinkPanther being the clear winner. 

Here is the line up for both competitions hosted by the Caribbean Prestige Foundation for Performing Arts

The Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch and Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch Competitions 2013.

This epic competition will take place on Fantasic Friday, tonight 8th February, 2013 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 9:00pm.

 Machel Montano (MMHD) will be defending his crown in both categories.
Each artiste will appear in the following position to challenge the reigning monarch:-
  1. Drupatee Ramgoolai
  2. Nadia Batson
  3. Denise "Saucy" Belfon
  4. Ravi Bissambhar
  5. Rodney "Benju" La Blanc
  6. Darryl "Farmer Nappy" Henry
  7. Destra Garcia
  8. Patrice Roberts
  9. Machel Montano (Defending Monarch)
  10. Neil "Iwer" George
  11. Dexter "Blaxx" Stewart
  1. Shivonne "Lil Bits" Churche
  2. Lornette "Fya Empress" Nedd
  3. Wilt "Tallpree" Cambridge
  4. Devon Matthew
  5. Shurwayne Winchester
  6. Rodney "Benjai" La Blanc
  7. Destra Garcia
  8. Jason "JW" Williams & Ancil "Blaze" Isaac Jr.
  9. Machel Montano (Defending Monarch)
  10. Marvin "Swappi" Davis
  11. Austin "Super Blue" Lyons

I predict that Super Blue will take the crown from Machel Montano.  There are a great line up of stars but the race will be between Mantano and Super Blue.  I know did not get it right with my last prediction.  Super Blue is a supreme performer and by now he is ready to take on Machel. 
Let’s see.  

Following Day Update


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