Sunday, February 25, 2018

Picking up the pieces

 There are many persons who believe that T&T is a failed state because of a lack of good governance, social justice and national security.

There are serious allegations of impropriety made against this administration and like its predecessor, there is a lack of appreciation for the adverse effect on the population.

Although the polls show that the Prime Minister still enjoys commendable popularity, it is clear that her government is not well liked.

And with only 11 months to go before elections are constitutionally due, there is a short time left for the PM to get her players to follow the script of accountability and transparency.

If coalition politics is here to stay, then much more has to be done by all the leaders of parties in order to ensure that they do not break the good governance social contract.

The citizenry has been extremely disappointed over the decades with campaign promises that have not materialised, with perhaps the greatest betrayal being the guarantee by this regime that there would be new politics in which the ordinary person would be able to participate in and contribute to the positive development of the country.

Time has shown that the nation is not in a better place than it was before, when one views the political landscape.

The admission by former leader of the Congress of the People, (COP) Winston Dookeran, that his party has not yet delivered the brand of new politics based on the tenets of integrity, truth and justice begs the question—what went wrong when the COP became a junior member in the  People’s Partnership?

The COP was not the vigilant watchdog but instead it played freely with its counterparts and never stood its ground when called upon to do so.

Instead of abusing the phrase “collective responsibility” to explain its silence on issues that outraged the population, the COP ought to have assured everyone that taking different positions on matters did not mean that it was “mashing up” the Government.

Mr Dookeran continues to speak in theory about politics of the people but his failure to step up to the plate when the time came to demand adherence to the Fyzabad accord has left the COP in pieces.

And while many consider the COP to be irrelevant, others believe that with the right leader, the party can pick up the pieces and move forward.

After its internal election in two weeks time, the leader of the COP must recommit to the party’s core values and reverse that ridiculous statement made by Mr Dookeran that the COP must find a way to “walk in the rain without getting wet.”

The COP leader must be prepared to walk in a storm if necessary and get soaked to the bone, in the name of integrity and fairness.

Nothing less will suffice at a time when everything seems to be crashing around us.

And while pointing fingers never really gets us anywhere in solving problems, we should determine who is responsible for the sad state of affairs in our country.

For those who believe that all is well and point to the paved roads and greater supply of water as the main indicators of a thriving state, then the country is in good order.

The rest of the citizenry may well be concerned about the dismally low detection rate for serious and violent crimes, including but not limited to murder.

Crime was a major problem before this administration was elected in May 2010 and now the situation appears just as bad or perhaps, even worse.

The murder of Dana  Saroop Seetahal SC 42 days ago should be a game-changer for all involved in the administration of criminal justice because her death has left an intellectual, academic and practical crime-fighting void which is difficult if not impossible to fill.

Of course there are several other horrific killings that put the nail in the coffin when it comes to our losing the battle against crime.

But as I have often stated, the war against the criminals can be won provided that all the entities involved in law enforcement are given the requisite resources.

And further, all intelligence gathered by these organisations must be made available through a confidential networking system so that criminals can be stopped before they actual commit heinous crimes.

Our country has become a reactive rather than proactive state and we totally ignore the writing on the wall.

To move forward, we must prevent the collapse instead of having to pick up more pieces.