Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 4th 2013 Contents A31
Thursday, July 4, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Istudied Macbeth, one of Shake-
speare s most popular plays, while I
was in secondary school. It was
one of my favourite stories and its
main theme is one of destruction
wrought when ambition goes
unchecked by moral constraints.
When I reflect on what is happen-
ing currently in our local political
landscape, I cannot help but see par-
allels in this great story.
Mr Warner could definitely be
likened to Macbeth, a once great gen-
eral brought to ruin by unchecked
ambition. Mr Warner was the author
of his own downfall, resigning his
seat and abandoning his mandate and
is now asking the electorate of
Chaguanas West to accept him back.
I have to ask, however, why are we
in this spot, if not for the miscalcula-
tions of Mr Warner? The stink of
alleged corruption follows him like an
attached ball and chain and we can-
not stand for that. Mr Warner, please
spare us and do not take our sensi-
bilities for granted.
- Ministers living
off the fat of
Why must ministers
choose the most expensive
vehicles available in the
country in which to move
around? I mean Range
Rovers and Porsche
Cayennes are the very top
of the line in terms of cost.
Whether or not these ve-
hicles belong to the various
ministries is irrelevant, the
fact remains that taxpayers'
money is being used to
boost someone's ego and
Surely there are much
cheaper vehicles available
which would serve the
transportation needs of
these ministers. The various
state boards are equally to
blame when they allow this
obscene wastage to take
I wonder how citizens feel
when they have to eke out a
daily living and the very per-
sons they voted for rub salt
in their wounds by "gallery-
ing" and "pappy-showing"
with millions of dollars
worth of vehicles?
This abhorrent extrava-
gance must come to an end!
There are thousands of citi-
zens who have to march,
protest, beg and pray for
small increases just to keep
up with the rising cost of liv-
ing, yet we have politicians
enjoying the fat of the land
while ordinary citizens suf-
Thanks, Jack, but
time to move on
Mr Warner, there is no
contending the fact that you
have given great service to
the constituents of Chagua-
nas West as well as T&T as
There are many who can
vouch for your hard, well-in-
tended work for your people
and for the People's Partner-
ship. It would, however, be a
word to the wise to consider
the words of Orson Welles
who states: "If you want a
happy ending, that of course
depends on where you stop
Mr Warner, you have
made yourself out to be a
man of the people and
whose pursuit is to help T&T
and now is the time to show
it. You stated that you
would like to show T&T
what good governance is, so
then do it.
A look at leaders around
the world would show what
it takes to have good gover-
The German Research
Minister, Schavan, resigned
amidst allegations of plagia-
rism in her 1980 disserta-
tion and stated that
although she would contest
these allegations in court,
"the office must not be dis-
honoured." The Czech Prime
Minister Petr Necas re-
signed over a bribery and
spying scandal stating "I am
aware of my political re-
The German President,
Christian Wulff, resigned
due to an alleged corruption
scandal and attempt to
muzzle the press and he ac-
knowledged that he had lost
the trust of the German
people, making it impossible
to continue in a role that is
meant to serve as a moral
compass for the nation.
These leaders all knew
when it was time to put
aside their pride and hang
up their hats for the better-
ment of their country as op-
posed to themselves, and
Mr Warner, I believe your
time has come to do that.
In a recent letter Dr Errol Benjamin dealt
with the matter of so-called "False papers"
which he identified as "a new culture in
Trinidad and Tobago."
In support he referred to the allegation
that a member of the board of a state en-
terprise did not possess the qualifications
which he is purported to have claimed.
Dr Benjamin also referred to suspicion
that a member of a Commission of Enquiry
may not be far from falling into a similar
Unfortunately, I have to take issue with
Dr Benjamin in that in my view, "False pa-
pers" is not a "new culture" in T&T, not to
mention the associated "plagiarism."
Indeed this writer recalls becoming
aware, several years ago, of a situation re-
lating to an individual who had held a senior
position in a state enterprise but whose lack
of sophistication prompted suspicion re-
garding the qualification to which he had
This was confirmed when a review of his
personal file revealed that a certificate de-
picting him as a graduate in engineering
from a "University of Orford"---not "Ox-
ford"---was unearthed. It became clear that
the individual admitted his forgery since,
within a few days, he disappeared from T&T.
Although by no means being the initiator,
the People's Partnership administration
seems to have been more guilty of "placing
square pegs in round holes" than hitherto,
and this, understandably, to the detriment
of accepted standards.
Indeed it seems clear that there is a
growing tendency to award greater priority
to political loyalty as against genuine aca-
demic "papers" and other qualification.
Dr Benjamin has quite correctly, directed
attention to possible adverse effect on
morale, productivity and the overall per-
formance of employees, were persons to be
employed in positions for which they may
not be properly qualified.
This writer also supports the position
taken by Dr Benjamin in respect of holders
of honorary degrees who, (perhaps aided
and abetted by the media) often parade
these degrees, however well-deserved, as
authentic academic achievements."
Needless to say, if this country is serious
in building a meritocracy which is based on
performance and social cohesion, top prior-
ity must be accorded to eliminating vestiges
of discrimination in all its aspects, whether
of race, sex, social class, assumed political
affiliation or otherwise, failing which devel-
oped country status will continue to be in
Finally, as an aside, can it not be said that
the present UNC-led administration had, in
the past, presented the electorate with
"False papers" given its newly-found "volte-
face" in its relationship with Mr Jack
SEEING MACBETH IN LOCAL POLITICS
'False papers' not new to T&T culture
As a member of a south community
who wishes to use the south NAPA
south campus, I have been told that the
venue is booked until next year.
Every time we call this is always the re-
sponse yet there are days when we drive
past the campus and the place has no ac-
tivities going on.
So then, why is it that we cannot get a
booking to use this venue?
I am hoping that either Dr Lincoln Dou-
glas or Rubadiri Victor can shed some light
on this issue.
Accessing the campus' official Web site,
as well as Facebook, to check on these
events has given no results as to this "over
booked" amount of events to take place.
Many messages that have been sent to
the administrator have gone unanswered
since the beginning on June 2013.
Is this how our institution is being run
and managed, where the public, whose tax
dollars paid for this campus, cannot even
use it to help better our youth and aid
them with a grand stage to perform on?
Dr Douglas should quickly get to the
bottom of this issue as this doesn't look
The citizens of this land should be al-
lowed to use these facilities and not be
told "its booked till next year, sorry."
South NAPA booked for the year?
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