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Thursday 22 August 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Politics of freeness – root of all our woes

THE EDITOR: In this silly season when so many are jostling to align themselves with one of the main political parties, I ask one simple question:

Is there anyone in this quest, high or low, directly or indirectly, whose motive is other than serving the self for a senior position in the government or its agencies, or to obtain a lucrative contract, or for an HDC house, or a Cepep job, inter alia ad infinitum, with little thought of the good of the country and leadership capacities of those whom they support?

If there is anyone such, kindly respond and I will retract the suggestion.

How do people feel when, through political patronage, they obtain money for which they will not have put in the required effort, or will have obtained same falsely or by corrupt means, or by the same token secure a position which they don’t deserve, or rely on handouts or grovel at the feet of politicians for all of the above?

They should feel a sense of remorse or guilt, that is if their character, as a sense of right and wrong in a broad, general sense, will make it obligatory for them to do so. But what if for them character building would have never been in the equation?

How sweet it must be for the young donut maker to watch her enterprise grow out of her own efforts, or the young woman from small beginnings opening up her own little restaurant, both featured in the Sunday Newsday.

And in the same vein, how gratifying it must be for the budding designers and choclateurs, also featured in the newspaper, and all others who do not get such coverage, not making a mint, but enjoying the fruits of their labour, however small that may be, much like the young Tobago lettuce farmer featured recently.

And this is where we must turn for our inspiration as individuals of this nation – to people such as the above who find joy from the fruits of their own endeavours, and not to the “common herd” which continues to use the politics to jostle for a “mess of pottage.”

The politics has institutionalised the latter phenomenon in this country, which is the root of all of our woes as a people, for in encouraging “freeness” without effort, it destroys what is basic to the dignity of the person, which is to enjoy what you have earned through your own sweat and brow.

But such enlightened thinking is lost on those whose only concern is the quick buck. But who knows, maybe the pioneers above, by their own efforts, may over time bring that jaundiced philosophy into doubt.

DR ERROL N BENJAMIN

via e-mail

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