Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 19th 2014 Contents A25
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
These comments come from
a very simple citizen who
can only make sense of
the world in very simple terms
and they refer to the multimil-
lion-dollar marijuana find in
February 2014, which has been
branded a major success.
With the workings of a sim-
ple mind I ask the question:
"Would it have not been more
laudable if, on verifying the
location of the marijuana plan-
tation some officers had
remained behind to detect and
detain the people who were
tending this crop?"
The simple mind would think
that with such a large-scale
marijuana farm to be in opera-
tion the ganja farmer would not
stay too far away for too long.
These plants would have to
be tended and guarded (silly
me) in order for the investment
to be profitable.
When one destroys the pro-
duce but gives the producer a
"stay out of jail to plant more"
free card, all they will do is
shift cultivation to another par-
cel of land.
To the simple mind it seems
that there is an unwritten law
which states: As long as the
drug haul is over a certain
amount, investigations will be
Over a certain amount in this
case would refer to any amount
which would rule out owner-
ship by the small fry in the
neighbourhoods now known as
"hot spots." To the ordinary
citizen there really seems to be
a fear on the part of the police
to detain anyone above a cer-
tain socio-economic level.
I certainly don t know what
is fuelling that fear but it is
unfair to the poorer class citi-
zens and also to the wider
population when law enforce-
ment efforts keep being chan-
nelled in only one direction.
Minister Ramnarine, I urge you and
your fellow legislators to bring
before the Upper and Lower House, a
bill for stricter laws and harsher
penalties for perpetrators in the illegal
But this will become all null and
void if the authorities do not appre-
hend the actual perpetrators and
have them brought before the courts
for these illegal acts.
Given such a large fuel find, sug-
gests, some may suspect, that these
unlawful acts are well orchestrated
between financially stable business
folks and key personnel from within
the very source of the fuel (the pro-
I'm highly appreciative of the au-
thorities in their work in discovering
and seizing the large amount of illegal
However, it appears that the actual
ones responsible carrying out these
acts always elude arrest.
Could the management at the San
Fernando General Hospital explain
why they saw it fit to remove the ma-
jority of young able-bodied male reg-
istered nurses off the wards and have
them work in bed bureau?
For those who don't know what
the bed bureau is, it is a system
where male registered nurses walk to
the various wards (some call instead
of walk) and ask what is the ward ca-
pacity and how many patients are
warded at present, thus assessing
how many beds are available.
Wow! Imagine three years plus of
training to become a registered nurse
to walk the floor collecting numbers.
What utter nonsense! To make mat-
ters worse, some of these male
nurses are relatively new RNs, with
barely any practical experience work-
ing on the wards. So again I ask, why
take the RNs off the wards? This not
only deprives them of gaining real
nursing experience but doing so also
depletes the supply of nurses needed
daily on the wards.
Can't this task of collecting such in-
formation be done by a regular clerk?
This is a waste of manpower.
These strong, hard-back, able-bod-
ied male nurses need to be on the
ward, supplementing the already
over-worked and under-appreciated
RNs, instead of walking around the
hospital with a note book collecting
Please, can someone in authority
at the San Fernando General Hospital
look into the bed bureau madness?
There is one thing that both Government and Opposi-
tion agree on, that is, that parliamentarians should be
paid more money.
They value their own jobs so highly that they will do
anything to keep it, including maligning each other.
They all agree that they deserve higher pay.
Never mind that if a referendum on this matter is
called, the public at large would vote for a salary cut for
all politicians because of their abysmal performance.
Not one of them would willingly surrender the posi-
tion they hold despite their complaints about the
salaries they are being paid.
The self-serving hypocrisy is almost too much to bear.
OFF TO PASTURE
QUESTIONS FROM A SIMPLE MIND
Harsher penalties for illegal fuel trade
Bed bureau madness at San Fernando hospital
We need the money
Ican remember a statement made by a
senior politician in Tobago a few years
ago that "garbage" has no money in it.
Yet a major headline in the press of
March 18, stated "B'dos to build
US$241m (clean) energy plant."
Congratulations Barbados! Our politi-
cians still don't get it. We are only talking
about diversifying and our neighbour to
the north has signed a deal that will
bring in valuable foreign exchange, create
high-value jobs (650 skilled jobs) and will
use waste to generate clean energy.
This is indeed a significant event for
an energy-starved nation like Barbados
and will mean less oil imports from T&T
in the future. The facility will begin oper-
ations by the second quarter of 2017 ac-
cording to the article.
To be able to attract this kind of in-
vestment and commission an invest-
ment of this nature can in fact take three
to four years. So why haven't we been
able to do this? Historically, the poor for-
tune of resource-rich countries was at-
tributed to sloth. As the 16th century
French political philosopher Jean Bodin
put it: "Men of a fat and fertile soil
(Trinidad) are most commonly effemi-
nate and cowards; whereas contrariwise
a barren country (Barbados) makes men
temperate by necessity, and by conse-
quence careful, vigilant and industrious."
Investment opportunities pass us day-
in, day-out because we take too long to
ponder the benefits of the investment
and how we can actually turn potential
into actual investment, which takes
years. I can remember chocolate compa-
nies from Japan, and waste-to-energy
and other types of non-energy investors
seeking to set up shop in T&T but these
investments were never given priority
and the processes were painfully long.
What did we lose out? High-value jobs
for UWI graduates, foreign exchange, in-
tegrating local industry with foreign ex-
pertise, diversification of the economy
We have been talking about renew-
able energy for the longest while but no
significant investments have materi-
alised. For example, we keep hearing the
same old story of a wind assessment
being done by the Ministry of Energy to
determine the best location to set up
wind mills across the country. This has
been going on since 2006 or earlier.
Wake up, we are in 2014 with no major
investment in wind energy and the con-
tribution of renewable energy to our grid
is virtually nil.
While Barbados seeks to proactively
turn potential into actual investment in
clean energy and drive down their fossil
fuel consumption, it seems we are con-
tent to drink oil, eat gas and blow wind
for a long time to come.
T&T taking too long on energy diversification
A farmer walks his cow along the
Blanchisseuse Road before putting it to graze
for the day, last Wednesday.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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