THE EDITOR: To many observers TT runs on a sort of anaesthetically induced form of remote control, where so many forms of bad behaviour, in both private and public, are allowed to continue, free of charge, for extended periods of time, as the following examples will show:
1. A $1 billion allegation (about $2.5 billion in today’s money) when an airport was built 20 years ago. The foreign culprits have been charged, prosecuted, convicted and served their jail terms over ten years ago, while we are yet to complete our preliminary enquiry into this matter.
2. Stealing of large tracts of government land, be it large-scale quarrying, farming or just for the fun of seeing a big section of trees, plants and grasses go up in smoke, not to mention the extermination of wildlife that previously inhabited said forested area.
3. Payment of taxes. So many business operators in Trinidad choose to pay little or no taxes, while the companies that pay their correct taxes every year face increased rates, such as the now 30 per cent corporate tax.
4. Apply through the correct channels for Town and Country approval for a proposed new building and have your plans held up for nine months because you need to show three-point parking for all vehicles entering the property. However, on almost every main road in Trinidad your motoring progress is stopped every 100 yards by drivers reversing onto the main road, many of whom are exiting very large and successfully run businesses.
5. Purchase an expensive dream home apartment in an upscale residential community of over 300 apartments, only to then discover, to your horror, that the developer has been allowed to erect what amounts to a small town, with no green park space for children of said community.
6. You own a bar or a home that is part of a residential community and choose to play exceedingly loud music, day and night, making yourself an extreme nuisance to your neighbours and you are good to go. The police are not legally responsible and generally don’t give a hoot and if you can raise the EMA from its perennial slumber, its response will be much the same.
7. Stopping in the traffic lane. This has now become par for the course, with some PH taxis (also lawbreakers) taking minutes to drop off and pick-up passengers.
8. Parking on a main road. There are many cars parked on busy main roads, such as Ryan Street off the Eastern Main Road or Morne Cocoa Road in Diego Martin, for 24 hours a day.
Indeed, there is one particular vehicle parked on a dangerous corner on Morne Cocoa Road in La Platte Village that has not moved for over ten years. A couple of years ago that section of road was repaved and the contractor was forced to pave around the vehicle.
Sadly, these are just a few of the situations in TT where bad behaviour is consistently rewarded. Likewise, there are a similar number of instances where, when you follow the rules and do the right thing, your progress is much slower that those who openly flout the rules.
In this regard, just remind yourself of what it is like to drive on our nation’s roads.