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Saturday 21 July 2018
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Commentary

An epidemic in nationalism

REV ROBERT DASH

 

OUR NATION is suffering from an epidemic that has taken hold of the masses. It is at a chronic stage and needs immediate attention by all and sundry. Our nation is sick and for too long we have pretended that it is okay to keep doing the same thing over and over.

The behaviour of the present generation came out of this same pretence and now they are mimicking us and we are mad with them. We have seen our nation and its affairs for too long as theirs and not ours. We have destroyed public property and exhausted the public purse as though it belonged to them and not us. We have failed to see that these things belongs to us and we need to preserve and protect them.

So when I see the behaviour of some youths of Robert Village, Tableland, I know they are products of this misconception. After more than half a century of waiting and fighting for a community centre and a recreation ground, finally, the people of Warwell were able to move the hands of the Princes Town Regional Corporation to get a modern designed recreation ground, minus lighting.

There are those in Warwell who are national minded but there are those who are bent on destroying the facility. It was this same type of people who were responsible for the demise of the Robert Village community centre. A centre that was never completed and ended as an eyesore covered by grass.

This nationalism epidemic has impacted the Warwell facility. Some of our youths who use this facility really do not appreciate the 50-plus-years struggle that it came from. They have vandalised the doors. They have defaced the walls. They have stolen the water pump. They have tampered with the electrical fittings. They have damaged the cricket field with their vehicles. They have damaged the fencing.

Warwell Recreation Ground is a microcosm of the epidemic that exists in our nation. When will the haemorrhaging of the Treasury stop? People, the Treasury is not a bottomless pit of money.

I cannot understand what type of people the State has hired to run the affairs of our nation. These people need a good dose of integrity. Once they are paid by the State, they do as they please and there is no consequences for their bad behaviour. They need to get a taste of work with a private company where one has to work and be on time or you need a job.

In 2018, most, if not all, State enterprise are draining the Treasury — Nidco, NGC, PTSC, WASA, TTEC etc. I listened to the CAL board members before the JSC and I was appalled at the information that came out. This board should be fired. It is out on a limb operating without consulting its superiors. The CEO is sitting on a committee that hired 11employee of his former employer.

Salaries at CAL are too high in this guava season. The salary of the person in charge of cargo is $71,000 a month. This salary is more than the PM’s. How can this board explain these high wages? It is not making profits.

This is the trend at most, if not all, State enterprise. These boards are doing as they please. All of these enterprises are top heavy and that is where the money is going. The amount of managers at Petrotrin is unnecessary. When Texaco owed the refinery, with a throughput of 350,000 barrels a day, there was one general manager and very few other managers.

Today, Petrotrin has an overflow of managers and the real workers are short in proportion to the many managers and the

refinery throughput is 140,000 barrels a day. Petrotrin cannot be viable with this millstone of managers around its neck. It has to sink.

How are we going to deal with this epidemic? This is crunch time. The economy is in a stalemate. Income is lower than expenditure. These vultures are not willing to stop preying on the public purse.

The nation is on a slippery path. How to plug the mouths of these vultures?

The PM has to fire all those failed boards. Make a call for new people of integrity and competence and appoint new boards. The PM must search out for a team of men and women of integrity and competence who will make the affairs of our nation a personal commitment.

These men and women he will appoint over the affairs of the State. This team should have access to contracts and matters of spending. There is need to cut all those inflated contracts.

This team must ensure that there is a fair exchange of money for labour/services.

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