Dear Editor: ‘Monkey business’ from politicians and police could turn anyone to crime!

“[…] I want to suggest that the ‘monkeypox’ virus, which seems to have us agog at the moment, originated in Parliament—for decades home to political baboons and chimps in our country.

“Whatever the host, whether the strain is/has been PNM, UNC, COP, NAR or ONR, the infected behave the same way. They exhibit symptoms of greed, arrogance, corruption and disregard for the well-being of those outside the ‘charmed circle of government’…”

The following Letter to the Editor, which offers a tongue-in-cheek explanation for the crime splurge and other ills currently plaguing T&T, was submitted to Wired868 by Rae Samuel of Balmain:

Image: Monkey see…

I have no medical training. Never even thought of becoming a male nurse. The closest I have ever come to medical school was during visits to Mt Hope Hospital and when I passed near the Teaching Hospital on Chancery Lane in San Fernando.

Bush/herbal medicine? I met one of Papa Neza’s granddaughters a few times. She is a well-respected herbalist in the South. That is the closest I have ever come to alternative medicine training.

What is this all about? Like the creatures I am about to refer to, I am going out on a limb. And I want to suggest that the ‘monkeypox’ virus, which seems to have us agog at the moment, originated in Parliament—for decades home to political baboons and chimps in our country.

Whatever the host, whether the strain is/has been PNM, UNC, COP, NAR or ONR, the infected behave the same way. They exhibit symptoms of greed, arrogance, corruption and disregard for the well-being of those outside the ‘charmed circle of government’.

Why have we not had massive outbreaks among the population? Herd immunity? As far back as we can recall, these carriers have been among us—we have become immune.

Photo: UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar (centre) joins activist Victor Roberts in a ‘March for Democracy’ on 27 November 2021, as part of protests against the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
(via UNC)

Who are the worst infected? The ‘chiefpanzees’ i.e. the ones at the very top. Any threat to their hegemony is met with the most vitriolic response. The current ‘chiefpanzee’ is a classic case.

How does this species respond when moved out of that habitat, such as after losing an election? Some become as bitter as a silver fox; others, en route to finding solace in religious fundamentalism, begin to show signs of dementia. Still others return home and pass the time spouting childish political babble, dreaming of an imminent return.

We have had but a single known incidence of a ‘chiefpanzee’ being discharged and quietly returning to his chambers, content to do birdwatching. The mere threat of loss of ground, such as the recent 14-1 drubbing in Tobago, sends some into genuine panic—much like the patient who goes to clinic hale and hearty and is astounded by the test results.

Meanwhile, to a different type of pandemic, we witness a different kind of response. We are experiencing serious crime on all fronts.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
(via Ministry of National Security)

Things are so bad that a senior police administrator has advised that we should accept that the spike in the murder rate will be with us for a while. What is striking is that those charged with the responsibility of treating the illness seem bent on spreading it.

We read almost weekly that a police officer, an SRP, a coast guardsman or a soldier has been charged with a felony or misbehaviour in public office. Hell, one police officer on suspension found ways to continue his operations.

We must ask ourselves how did we sink so low, how did it get to the point where an assistant commissioner of police facilitates the impersonation of police officers so civilians can with impunity darken their car windows beyond the approved standards.

Is there more to this tint saga than meets the eye?

Photo: Assistant Commissioner of Police Nazrudeen Pragg was charged for misbehaviour in public office.
(via TTPS)

This spike in police, army and coast guard crime reminds us of the old story about former US president Richard Nixon who promised to take crime off the streets. Problem was that he ended up putting a great deal of it in the White House.

Seeing all this competition from a source where you least expect it, many a reformed criminal may well be saying to himself these days, “This could make me turn back to crime.”

Whence will come further news of decline? From sport? Ironically, in times of challenge, countries look to their sporting heroes to lift spirits. But we may have to wait a while. There too, we seem to be exhibiting symptoms of severe weakness. Our cricket team lost again last week in the regional tournament.

In the Diamond League, we are not reading of many outstanding performances by our athletes and/or swimmers.

Football? Nuff said. Culture? Economic recovery? Religious leaders? Oh please!

Photo: Cunupia FC forward Nicholas Bobcombe (right) is bowled over by Moruga FC defender Dwight Douglas during NLCL U-19 action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 15 May 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Our labour leaders, who’ve also been hit, some say, with viral infections of monkeypox?

Allyuh ain’t ketchin me in dat, nah!

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