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THE STATE OF OUR NATION by Cecil Paul

posted 22 Apr 2014, 11:10 by Gerry Kangalee
No one, none of us, not even the sitting government, can deny that Trinbago is in deep crisis. Our society has not only seen the steep decline of any moral, ethical and spiritual values by our politicians but those virtues are now absent from those who manage the society and has now compounded our catastrophe – all areas of our lives save and except a few sectors are in a state of deep crisis and decay. 

Political parties when in government usually disappoint a fair section of the population, particularly those who voted for the losing party. Throughout our country’s history we have had several governments that failed to deliver on their promises, have engaged in corruption, nepotism, been inefficient and some have even used violence against protesting citizens. But it is fair to say that the PP government is by far the worst government in all areas of governance that we have experienced in Trinbago 

It is clear that the government has collapsed despite remaining in office. The country is on autopilot heading towards disaster and a failed state. We are like a banana republic where the politicians and the ruling plantation classes do what they wish, when they wish with the country’s wealth with total contempt and no regard for the rest of the population. 

The moral and ethical decay of our ruling classes have filtered down to other sections of the society where the most heinous crimes are committed against our children, our women and our young men. There are no services or structures to intervene before disaster strikes. 
 
With no links to state resources and no recourse to sophisticated corruption and “bobolism” a few of our people have resorted to violence, lawlessness and heartless crimes as a means of acquiring money to survive. “If the politicians and the elite can thief who is we”. Our social infrastructure is rotting away. Our citizens often complain that they have no confidence in the police to effectively deal with crime. 

Some in our ruling classes are involved in white collar criminal acts like insider trading seldom before seen in our society. Barbarous acts of fraud and greed take place in the financial sector where the people’s assets to provide development for all are diverted into the hands of an already rich elite class with no concern for the poor and middle income earners. Billions of our foreign exchange earned through our national energy patrimony is spirited away to the foreign bank accounts of the ruling elites who possess citizenship and properties in countries abroad. 
 
While large state properties are unoccupied we pay many millions or even billions in rent to political financiers, families and friends of those in power. Conflict of interest no longer is an issue of ethics but a normal practice by those who wield power. These corrupt acts deny our people the right to affordable housing and our public officers are left without decent working accommodation conducive to productivity. 
 
Our citizens are scared to go to the public hospitals for medical attention as a result of the unbelievable acts of malpractice reported in the media and testified to by victims and their families. Ordinary people say they are treated with scant care and indifference by some of our health care givers at some of our institutions. Without the means to buy private health care, many are left to suffer and die. 

Some of our schools are unfit to house our children. Inadequate facilities are regular complaints by teachers and parents. Our children in poor areas suffer for lack of teachers, substandard teaching and neglect. These negatives contribute to a high rate of illiteracy which in turn leads to low self esteem, an inferiority complex and provides a haven for gang leaders to recruit these children into a life of crime and violence. 
 
Corruption through kickbacks and fraud in awarding government contracts have become standard practice while the majority of our workers are on a minimum wage of five hundred dollars ($500) dollars a week; a sum our elite politicians pay to wash their luxury tax free government-loan personal vehicles which they most times don’t use on official business but instead use luxury government vehicles; despite collecting a monthly travelling allowance for use of their personal vehicles. There is corruption wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. 
 
Our political governance has reached an all time low with minister after minister telling lies to the public, threatening media people and those who dare to criticize their governance, engaging in massive corrupt practices with some in the business class and practising the worst form of immorality and violence against some citizens. As a result the Prime Minister has been forced to fire several Ministers for gross acts of indiscretion. 
  
Nepotism and Corruption have become the “modus operandi” in the public and state enterprise sectors with the resultant victimization and loss of jobs for those perceived to be opponents of the sitting government. These nepotistic practices have ushered in a state of inefficiency and crisis in most of our state enterprises particularly with respect to proper management, maintenance of critical plant and machinery and provision of services to the public. This crisis is giving justification to the programme of divestment of the peoples’ assets into the hands of the elite classes. 
  
These are just some of the abuses, excesses and violations of the citizens’ mandate and the PP government’s promises when overwhelmingly elected on May 2010. None of us can doubt that our country is in deep crisis. Some of us are looking to the next general elections as a solution (from Bim to Bam). Some of us are silent while others make excuses as their party is in power and hope that their party will change its ways and correct the indiscretions. 
 
Lennox Pierre
The late lawyer, cultural and political activist Lennox Pierre always reminded us that a government is elected for no more than five years, not for five years but for no more than five years. Their term in office could be any time before the next five year election cycle as decided by the people. The every Friday protests at the parliament is a good start but the civic groups, trade unions and other organizations must go to the work places, must visit the communities and inform the people of the grave indiscretions of this PP government. The people must be allowed to offer solutions and be part of the movement for honesty, fairness, integrity morality and good governance. 
 
Our History has taught us that at all times in our periods of governmental crisis where political, social and moral decay are predominant the solution has been the intervention of the people organized in their institutions, not only protesting but making direct demands of those in power to resign, call new elections and have the peoples’ leaders take charge in an organized way to effect the changes the people require for fair distribution of the country’s resources and development of their lives. 
 
The people of Trinbago have a right to a fair share of the resources of this country, which do not belong to the government and the corrupt financiers, and party hacks. The people must intervene or the decay will continue unabated
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