THE EDITOR: From childhood I have understood that port workers and managers were an elite class in TT. As a public servant, port personnel used to make fun of the small change I earned. However, within recent years all this has changed.
I also recall that as a child I saw law enforcement officers and certain adults in society as protectors of the law and exemplars of integrity. However, as I grew up in awareness, read novels about life, and gained experience, I started to discover that no human being is totally perfect and that to falter – just like to err – is human. Even the US, the CIA, and the FBI to me were the saints of the world. So convinced was I that they could do no wrong.
I now accept that in life it is difficult to arrive at the ideal; that we only can approximate it. My point, readers, is now to wonder to what extent our political directorate seems to be making the very mistake I made as a youth – namely that developed countries and private enterprise representatives as professionals or as exemplars can do no wrong.
For those who believe that crime and corrupt practices are found only in the underworld, I, without apologies, remind them that the feared devil of today’s world was once a prime icon in Heaven and now is everywhere on Earth.
My parents used to tell me that shortcuts may one day be the cause of my downfall or demise. I now direct these same words to the Government. So why don’t we as a sovereign nation take the necessary time to engage in research to identify the nature, dynamics, causes, and strategies that can be used to solve our problems on the port and indeed in our society and economy?
As far as I am concerned, all human behaviour is learnt – be it in the private sector, the public sector, the developed world, or the developing world.
We have as a people or as successive governments to build on the culture and achievements that have been generated before our time. Indeed, we have to approach development as an ongoing relay in which we are intent on keeping the baton mobile and headed for an illusionary finishing line.
Anyone who has been monitoring the trend of international crime can tell us that trying to privatise our port to solve its problems may very well be opening the dreaded Pandora’s box. So, people, let us apply our imagination, intelligence, education and training, creativity, and powers of awareness to solving our problems and imperative for national development. Independence is about all of this – not having Independence Day parades or distributing awards on Republic Day. As a nation, we have to pick up our bed and walk purposefully with the long term in mind!
RAYMOND S HACKETT