26 Mar 2008

Just another observation

On any typical day, I begin my morning by reading the newspapers on-line... both English and Trinidadian. Sometimes I even delve into other countries', like Zimbabwe, or South Africa, Jamaica etc. This depends on how much time I have as well as whether the news is interesting or not.

More and more though, I notice a difference in news from 'developed' countries, and the news from so-called 'third world' or developing nations.

Developing nations have news that are filled with corruption and cronyism stories, abuse of power by low, middle and high level authority figures, and many, many stories of how the common folk struggle to eke out a living on a daily basis. Sounds familiar?

This morning, the Trinidad Express reported on a shortage of flour, shortage of ketchup, signs that the struggle to survive is getting worse in this oil rich but poorly managed country.

At the risk of sounding racist, Pa-trick is behaving like the leaders of many African states where self-aggrandisement, corruption and cronyism are promoted rather than being stamped out. Something I read a while ago from the BBC website stuck in my head - the black man is his own worst enemy. No matter how much the rest of the world tries to help him, he insists on bringing himself and his people down through a combination of his attitude, greed and stupidity. Ever noticed that the protesters against the crimes in Darfur are mainly white?

Pa-trick and friends fit the mould like tights on a woman's legs.

Looking from the outside, I see mismanagement, but more than that, I see selfishness, dotishness (abject stupidity for my non-Trini readers) and a penchant to fill their own pockets before attending to the needs of the people. Not that they openly put money or assets into their already fat bank accounts (Monteil and Shermie are exceptions), but by lavishing upon themselves the lifestyles of failed African leaders above and beyond the imaginings of the common people... one can only wonder how the hell they can sleep at night when people cannot afford basic items such as flour, oil or other staples.

Then again, many of these 'leaders' do not have consciences. Their minds are as closed as a camel's arse in a sandstorm, and they have skins like crapaud leather.

In other news, Tattoo stoutly defended the URP program a few weeks ago. Remember his media release that stated that just because the few (he quoted less than 10% if I recall correctly) deaths of people working in the program, it was mere coincidence and not that there were criminal gangs involved in fighting over state contracts? Yeah, right!

Fast forward to today. Martin Joseph, the effeminate Minister of National Insecurity contradicts the PNM's mouthpiece. Once again he admits that the gangs are in control and fighting over lucrative state contracts. Expect Tattoo to deny this within 3-5 days.

Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert who is the URP's line minister has however said that the programme is not a criminal enterprise, even though he acknowledged that some of its participants have criminal records.

Joseph was asked yesterday if criminal gangs were not only fighting over physical turf but what people are describing as contracts in the social services programmes.

"It is possible. It is very possible," Joseph said.

Again though, the same excuse is made... what is happening is not only in Trinidad but elsewhere. That makes it okay as far as this government is concerned.
"What is new is that, again as part of the development that is taking place and the ease with which...persons who are bent on criminal activity can now access their weapons of choice. That is what is new and it is not just unique to Trinidad and Tobago, it also part of a Caribbean situation," Joseph said.
But wait...
The homicide rate for the year now stands at 96. The comparable figures for 2005, was 74, while in 2006 there were 96 murders and in 2007 there were 58, according to police statistics.
Let me see... last year we had an all time high of 392 murders (the governments reclassification to drop the figure to 388 isn't my idea of the truth).

392 murders when the comparative figure till March was 58. This year we have for the same period 96. Anyone see us beating the 500 mark? But it is okay, because it's happening everywhere, not just Trinidad.

Well, maybe there is hope yet. Martin Joseph has finally realised that the police cannot rely on eye witnesses alone (maybe he should also realise that a man beaten to within an inch of his life or having his balls locked in a drawer will confess to anything) and wants to move evidence gathering forward. Sigh.... is it possible to teach dunceys? I doubt it.