THE EDITOR: The intense disagreement over Petrotrin’s future is more evidence of the corrosiveness and aimlessness of TT’s politic. Both major political blocs have always touted national pride.
Yet, in reality, both have promoted tribalism, to the extent where, in the 56 years after independence, no government has had any convincing story to tell about our history, what being a TT national means, nor where we are going.
Is it any wonder that disappeared from the arena is any commitment to serious examination/entertaining of what the other side has to say/offer? The battlefield is totally hostile to the truth that government for the people means uncompromising transparency. Unsympathetic also towards anyone who insists patriotism must underpin decisions affecting the national patrimony.
Thus, while successive administrations blame the previous for everything that crumbles, the elite few continue to run away with the cheese.
Things cannot be allowed to continue as they are. In my view, without a new political framework and outlook, those responsible would/could never own up to contributing to the sorry mess of Petrotrin and of state-owned enterprises in general. Far more, fix things.
This new political framework and outlook will frown upon and put aside the notion that only one group holds all the keys. Our anthem opens with “Forged from the love of liberty” doesn’t it? Not with “Forged from steel.”
This new politics understands that, in this life, nothing is cast in concrete. Here today, gone tomorrow. Progress, therefore, is always contextual; and fluid.
Consequently, the new politics would underscore mutual acceptance, not mutual demonisation. And its focus would be on the welfare of the human beings, not on promoting non-concrete notions such as GDP or never-named stakeholders. For the vitality of the overall depends on the health of the constituent parts.
This new politics appreciates that only individuals impact/affect the value/shape of anything. And there’s nothing more important than the freedom/ability to live a dignified and fulfilling life. Which is what “here, every creed and race finds an equal place” implies. Such freedom/ ability is the cradle of cohesion and commitment. Cohesion and commitment are vital for the growth of democracy and joint action.
Without this new politics then, we will remain unequal parts/tribes, will never be a nation, forever a victim of takers.
Unless we introduce new politics across the length and breadth of our country, the national patrimony will not be sensibly saved and nurtured.
RICHARD WM THOMAS