“[…] When our nation’s leaders—who ought to know better and, therefore, ought to set the right example—demonstrate a wanton disregard for our laws and support such lawlessness, then we know we are in serious trouble.
“Mr ANR Robinson must be turning in his grave and utterly disappointed with the recent comments of the current Chief Secretary or the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), the Honourable Farley Augustine, [and his] admonition of the Licensing Division for conducting a road traffic exercise in Tobago, without any advance notice to drivers and the THA…”
The following Letter to the Editor on THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine’s criticism of Licensing officers in Tobago was submitted to Wired868 by Louis Williams of St Augustine:
Why are we surprised that we have a serious problem when it comes to lawlessness in T&T?
From captain to cook, there is little or no respect for the laws of the land. Everyone expects to run afoul of the law, with impunity, and to get a “bligh”.
Those who commit traffic offences are always keen to offer the excuse that the relevant law enforcement authorities are wasting valuable resources on petty offences when they should be pursuing more serious offences such as murders and home invasions.
In this regard, I am reminded of the statement by our distinguished late former prime minister and president, Mr ANR Robinson: “[…] Bad habits are gathered at slow degrees, as streams running into rivers, and rivers into the sea…”
It is bad enough when the ordinary citizen takes such a jaundiced and perverse view of the law. When our nation’s leaders—who ought to know better and, therefore, ought to set the right example—demonstrate a wanton disregard for our laws and support such lawlessness, then we know we are in serious trouble.
Mr Robinson must be turning in his grave and utterly disappointed with the recent comments of the current Chief Secretary or the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), the Honourable Farley Augustine.
Of course, I am referring to Mr Augustine’s admonition of the Licensing Division for conducting a road traffic exercise in Tobago without any advance notice to drivers and the THA.
Are we serious?! What next?!
Is the TTPS going to issue a news media release stating that it will be obtaining a search warrant to search the premises of a suspected drug lord, and will be conducting that search on a particular day?
Is the TTPS required to give prior notice to the prime minister if it becomes necessary to search a minister’s home for drugs, arms and ammunition?
It is patently obvious that in law enforcement the element of surprise is a critical device employed to catch offenders. Moreover, the operations of such agencies must not be tainted by political considerations. In fact, law enforcement officials must ensure that politicians are not aware of their intended actions.
Therefore, it would be wholly inappropriate for the Licensing Division to inform the THA of its intended action. This is to protect both the THA and the Licensing Division. No one is above the law.
Mr Augustine obviously owes the Licensing Division an apology. However, given the track record of politicians in T&T, I do not expect him to do so.
What I do hope, however, is that Mr Augustine, as a young, inexperienced politician, will view this fiasco as an opportunity to grow and develop in his chosen field—and, accordingly, to correct any misapprehensions he may have about his role and functions and responsibilities.
It is a pity that, unlike in some of the more progressive democratic countries, there seems to be, in the Caribbean, an absence of suitable mentors to provide wisdom and guidance to our young and inexperienced politicians.