“Today, because of greed, every institution in our twin island Republican nation is in a state of collapse, through neglect and lack of the necessary resources to maintain them. Yet we choose to bury our heads in the sand like the ostrich, and pretend that we are not living in a failed state.
“[…] Those at the bottom must see about themselves. No amount of draconian laws or action will suffice…”
The following Letter to the Editor on the supposedly perilous state of affairs in Trinidad and Tobago was written by Michael ‘Scobie’ Joseph of the National Workers Union (NWU):
I would like to add my comments to the narratives of the runaway crime situation that is hurting this once blessed, peaceful, fun-loving and prosperous twin island nation, also called Trinbago. Our nation is just under 60 years in existence, coming out of colonialism, through independence right into Republicanism; and we seem to be falling apart.
We were given a template for governance by our colonial masters, who were in fact Pirates, Buccaneers and Seadogs, plundering everything in their paths. We took hold of that system of governance and applied it with a passion, glorifying in our new-found opportunity to govern and manage our own affairs.
Leaders were imposed on us from amongst those who were graded by ‘Massa’ as better qualified and conforming to the neo-colonial order to manage the estate. Hence today, we have people holding high political office with a colonial mindset. That’s the system we have inherited, and have been busy ever since trying our best to perfect and protect it to no avail. If something is not good, it could never be fixed for proper use.
Independence afforded us the luxury to rid ourselves of the colonial Barons and Lords and Masters in the governance of our national affairs. We now have simple but qualified people from amongst us to manage the estates to the benefit of all its citizens. But most of these esteemed functionaries came to the task with an attitude to fill the vacuum of the now absent lords and masters. And they preach the mantra that they are holding power as against office, to which we swallowed hook, line and sinker.
To maintain the Massa lifestyle that these new functionaries crave, they began to manipulate the books of accounts on the estate for their personal benefit. They gambled away, made deals, squandered and misappropriated our national patrimony with impunity. These misdeeds by our elected officials and their unscrupulous business friends, created a grossly inadequate distribution of the physical resources to the people of this immensely wealthy country.
Today, because of greed, every institution in our twin island Republican nation is in a state of collapse, through neglect and lack of the necessary resources to maintain them. Yet we choose to bury our heads in the sand like the ostrich, and pretend that we are not living in a failed state. That will not solve the problems of our chaotic disconnect, nor the hope in some egotistic fall guy to eliminate all objects of discontent.
The disenfranchised young Afro-Trinbagonians seems to be the usual suspect and obvious target. Why?
The average African was always at a disadvantage, started at the bottom of the spectrum and most are still there, given the matrix of the shifting equation. So, it is only natural for them to respond to their survival instincts, by any means necessary.
Remember, ‘iron sharpeneth iron’. When those esteemed functionaries who we elect to manage our national affairs, choose to corrupt the system so that they could maintain their colonial masters’ lifestyle, there would be less resources for social programs to reach those at the lower end—and therein lies the genesis of this collapse.
Our health system is compromised, so too is our education system, there is a lack of job opportunities, our judiciary is manipulated to the extent of denial of justice to the average citizen. All our institutions are compromised because of greed and corruption.
Those at the bottom must see about themselves. No amount of draconian laws or action will suffice. We call all those who resist and retaliate in an aggressive manner ‘common criminals’, but the real criminals that are causing the problems in our society are living nice and easy at taxpayers’ expense and deceiving the people continually.
Fix this anomaly in the society where some have too much that they cannot account for, especially our politicians. Start bringing them to book, for their ill-gotten gains.
Implement a more even distribution of the country’s resources, and see how quickly we will witness a reduction in the runaway crime situation. That is a guarantee.
Everyone must have the right to earn an honest living. But if that opportunity to earn an honest living is denied, one still has the right to earn a living by any means necessary.
Failure to treat with the criminal neglect by our politicians will continue to create this anarchic state—where politicians keep accusing each other of who thief more than who, while the country continues to collapse.
The dishonest political system created a bandit factory, and the more the police kill on the ground, the more the factory produces. Soon no one will be safe.
Open your eyes people! This is no game. Our politicians must practice what they preach. Stop blaming parents who cannot provide food for their children, because of dishonest politicians.