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Dear Editor: T&T’s only hope is to abandon neo-colonial system left by pirates and sea dogs

“Because we are too spineless in the face of our failed colonial realities, we must now live in fear of a generation that will have theirs: by any means necessary.

“They cannot be blamed, for it is we who failed to confront the new pirates head-on, so that generations to come would have a better future and enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle from the sacrifices by generations before made through blood, sweat and tears…”

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Michael L Joseph of Marabella:

Photo: Iconic Trinidad labour leader Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler (left) and Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

I have listened to and observed, over the years, the many people in this so-called Republic of Trinidad and Tobago analysing the system and trying to figure out what is wrong with it.

To me this question is so comical; it’s almost bordering on contempt. Most of the questions are coming from people who claim to be highly educated. They are high up on the intellectual totem pole pretending to be agonising over our catastrophic societal situation and seeking solutions to address this systematic elusive puzzle to which most of them contributed. We are tolerating too many game players and political carpetbaggers.

This system is not a puzzle, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find the answers to all the questions that are engaging the minds of many. We have inherited a most corrupt colonial system from the British Empire; one that was always stacked against us, coming out of slavery. We took it lock, stock and barrel and are hell bent on making it work for us.

Is there any method to this madness?

Since gaining self rule or independence, this system has failed my parents, who spent their living years trying to understand it and  work with it to no avail—hence, the reason for the 1970 uprising by their off-spring, which was crushed by the agents of colonialism amongst us.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago citizens march for racial unity on 12 March 1970.
(Courtesy Embau Moheni/NJAC)

It has not worked for our generation and our offspring of the post-independence era—hence the reason for the overcrowding of the jails; and for old, young and innocent blood flowing in our streets.

We look on helplessly as our grandchildren take their places in the line of victimhood, with no greater expectation than those before.

Where have we reached as a nation? All because we are too spineless in the face of our failed colonial realities, we must now live in fear of a generation that will have theirs: by any means necessary.

They cannot be blamed, for it is we who failed to confront the new pirates head-on, so that generations to come would have a better future and enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle from the sacrifices by generations before made through blood sweat and tears.

They will never be able to do so, once we keep on burying our heads in the sand and displaying our learnt ignorance of the fact that these youths today want to enjoy their ancestors’ back pay.

What makes us believe that this system could be made any better?

Photo: Protest in La Brea.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian/Rishi Ragoonath)

I would really like all these technocrats, economists and social scientists to prove me wrong. To bring about a change of attitude in the people that would lead to a fair and just society, we must be prepared to change the entire neo-colonial system that we inherited from pirates and sea dogs. Yes, this is the type of system that is leading us down the road of total chaos.

There is nothing that can be salvaged to the benefit of our future generations from this decayed and dying slave master plantation system. Yet so many of us are prepared to hold on and die with it.

As long as the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ continues to expand at the present rate, then be prepared to be victims.

The only way to avoid such a fearful future is to create a new and just society that is people oriented, where every citizen has a right to benefit from the country’s patrimony.

We are all entitled to royalties from the wealth of our blessed country. Our first move towards changing the system should be coming together to eliminate the piracy in our governance or die trying; not killing each other every day for nothing at all.

Photo: Residents hold a candlelight vigil to mourn a shooting victim in USA.

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22 comments

  1. Firstly we need to check everything that is still governed by british laws and I mean EVERYTHING make plan that can replace it entirely and execute it in steps from our school system, our diets and teach critical thinking…

  2. pls share the issues and solutions discussed so far, i following the carnival show, on what topics can and cannot be discussed at pos meeting, coming from juniors, so before the meeting they starting to dictate, to the two party heads, this must be the age of the millenniums, don’t know what that is ,but all the soaps show little children with no experience trying to run large corporations, is it that?

  3. Well there is a gentleman on social media, Phillip Alexander, who has not only been pointing to the challenges, but making some recommendations on a way forward. I think people should pay attention to him. Of course it cannot be done alone. For the first time in my life in this place (I’m 62) I am hearing issues being discussed, as opposed to the mauvalange, picong, mamaguy and BS.

  4. I sometimes wonder if I don’t write things simple, because peoples response baffle me, One point I highlighted is the Parliamentary system of government adopted by PM Eric Williams has been adjusted by persons in high office of successive government to suit their agenda, Mr Paul is absolutely correct in his commentary , and the issues raised are applicable to other institutions. Trinidad is a corrupted nation, not only politicians,but lawyers, doctors, businessmen, citizens in general. In UK someone is caugh tin prostitution, or some wrong doing he resigns, in T&T they bold face they lie and resist moving, We still waiting to know who was the Minister in the pic smoking weed. We stiil waiting to know what the plant like substance was? Jokers and Gamers? Full of laws no implementation. No jail ?

  5. One quick point: On Remand yard and why it is overcrowding has more to do with the orchestrated, systematic, dysfunctional criminal justice system. Everyone benefits from the way things are. It is why things work the way they do. These institutions are intentionally designed to fail. Many of the young men in prison have been granted bail yet cannot make bail because of the bail law is antiquated. It is still ILLEGAL for someone to bail out another for a fee, usually 10% of the bail granted, using one’s property as collateral.
    Furthermore, it is one of two sets of people who insist on having cases postponed: the defendant’s lawyers, or the prosecutors’ office. Cases are postponed for years on end with no relief in sight for men who have been charged with simple offences, like possession of weed. Many of these men if found guilty they should be freed immediately. Men who can get the maximum of three years for a crime have been in the system 8 years awaiting disposition of their cases….

  6. One quick point: On Remand yard and why it is overcrowding has more to do with the orchestrated, systematic, dysfunctional criminal justice system. Everyone benefits from the way things are. It is why things work the way they do. These institutions are intentionally designed to fail. Many of the young men in prison have been granted bail yet cannot make bail because of the bail law is antiquated. It is still ILLEGAL for someone to bail out another for a fee, usually 10% of the bail granted, using one’s property as collateral.
    Furthermore, it is one of two sets of people who insist on having cases postponed: the defendant’s lawyers, or the prosecutors’ office. Cases are postponed for years on end with no relief in sight for men who have been charged with simple offences, like possession of weed. Many of these men if found guilty they should be freed immediately. Men who can get the maximum of three years for a crime have been in the system 8 years awaiting disposition of their cases….

  7. 1. We can start off by refusing to pay rents in US Dollars for one.

    2. the Neocolonials didn’t leave us Remand Yard that way it is today so it’s not just about hiding our heads in

  8. Only when there is a large group unified and lobbying the government for change, it will be business as usual. As the saying goes,”the more things change, the more they remain the same. Disparate voices crying individually will continue to be decried, ignored, discriminated and disenfranchised

  9. I like the headline

    In fact I love it

  10. so what is the solution. Tired of reading varying views on why the country in this mess, I agree with many things said,but how do we correct the wrongs?

  11. There are a lot of gems in this piece. I will be back later.