Friday, December 15, 2017

Our growing list of litanies

Over the last three years I have observed with increasing awe and disgust the unholy depredation being inflicted upon citizens by those in positions of authority and I am at a loss to understand why it is tolerated by so many.

1. Since abuse is accepted as normal, is it any wonder that schoolchildren are tearing into each other with such viciousness? The children are aping the adults around them — they are human sponges — and are demonstrating the effects of indifferent parenting, psychological, physical abuse, sexual abuse and voilŕ, the bullies and the disaffected are born.

How else are the children to exorcise their demons? How else does one explain a lost 17-year-old girl who considers herself nothing but “goods” and who had two children (two!) by the time she was 13 years old? Parents must be held accountable in court for the endangerment of their minor children.

Adults must step up and take responsibility for the children in their midst. This is basic to the well-being of the whole. It does take a village to raise a child!

The relevant ministries must train teachers to identify signs of abuse in children under their charge (from inattention to bruises to poor grades and absences), employ psychologists and sociologists, to support the children and their parents in every way necessary.

2. Then we have deadly doctors. One removed cocaine pellets from a patient’s stomach in a private hospital and returned said gems to the quality patient.

And the outcome of the latest publicised tragedy is The UWI’s vaunting of their qualified medical practitioner who was on duty when a newborn’s head was fatally sliced open.

But what about the cases that don’t make the papers because the affected feel so downtrodden by their tragedy and circumstances?

3. Our AG volubly sounds off about penalising people for abandoning their pitbulls, using his latest tactic of distraction, the deliberately inflammatory and unworkable Dog Control Act 2014. Mr Ramlogan is patently uninterested in the rights of all who live here, human and animal. If the contrary was true, he would have included information in the Act to make it workable and not polarise and terrorise the population since the only thing dangerous about pitbulls are their ignorant and irresponsible owners — and this in no way minimises or condones the mauling and death of the innocent.

4. If the AG wants to leave office with something positive on his resume he would ensure that investigations and charges are brought to bear on all persons exposed as receiving salaries with false credentials. He would be inundated with kudos for demanding and ensuring that all monies paid were returned to the public coffers by those fraudsters.

5. First Citizens ex-chief risk officer purchased 659,588 shares in the bank’s initial public offering (IPO) but so did other executives. The limit was 5,000 shares per staff member but the offer was undersubscribed. The difference here is that Mr Rahaman reportedly sold 634,588 of his shares for a cool $12 million profit via an external brokerage firm and it has been revealed that he has relatives at that firm.

Since the public shares were vastly oversubscribed — a measly allotment of 15 per cent — why wasn’t the balance from the under-subscription offered to the public? Why wasn’t Mr Rahaman’s purchase and subsequent sale flagged when they occurred? Why did the Stock Exchange take two months to report the sale when a five-day notice is mandatory? Where did Mr Rahaman’s funds originate and did anyone else participate in his purchase? Why did he use an external brokerage firm when similar facilities were available internally? Why hasn’t this sale been reversed and the shares returned?

6. Another example of power gone wild is a minister’s reported harassment of a flight attendant with accusations of rowdiness and disorderly conduct on a flight from Tobago to Trinidad. At least he was justly and promptly fired.

Normally security officers board a flight and summarily escort troublemakers off the plane and directly into detention (regardless of who they are) and eventually in front of a judge.

I end by quoting our Prime Minister: “There must be no compromise on integrity, no allowance for arrogance, no room for violation of mutual respect; there will be no sacrifice of our values on the altar of political expediency.”

Yes, Madam Minister, we know elections are coming.

Catherine Hidalgo

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