Odd SoE decision

Express Editorial
November 15, 2021 – trinidadexpress.com

PM Dr Keith RowleyGiven the Prime Minister’s statement that he had no intention of seeking an extension of the state of emergency when it came to a natural end at month-end, we, too, are taken aback by his decision to end the SoE on Wednesday, 12 days ahead if its scheduled end.

We find the decision surprising not only because of his prior statement just a week earlier, but because it came on the very day that the country recorded its second highest daily number of Covid-19 deaths amid a spike in new infections from 400 to 500-plus over four consecutive days.

Dr Rowley’s comment that the SoE had served its purpose as a “holding arrangement” to limit “exposure and mixing” until the vaccine programme had been rolled out made little sense given that roughly 50 per cent of the population is unvaccinated at a time when the dangerous Delta variant is raging. Could a more plausible explanation for Dr Rowley’s decision be the ruling party’s campaign for the Tobago House of Assembly election on December 6?
Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

3 thoughts on “Odd SoE decision”

    1. I believe that ‘Reporting the News’ should go back to people who are interested in journalism and not big media corporate owners.
      It is important that people are fed information that are relevant for their their sake of knowledge rather than corporations needling us to favor their point of view. The Express editorial question is “Could a more plausible explanation for Dr Rowley’s decision be the ruling party’s campaign for the Tobago House of Assembly election on December 6?”. The question in itself suggests that it is more advantageous for the PNM to call the Tobago election in an environment when people were more free (no SOE) than under a restricted condition of movement. I remember very well when the last General Elections were held last year, it was under the restricted conditions of the SOE. So, is the Express saying that last year, it was advantageous for them to call the election during the restricted period and now, a year later, when people are fed up of the COVID restricted environment, it is advantageous for them to call it in an SOE free
      environment? You cant have your argument both ways. It must either be one or the other. It is either we feel freer to vote in an SOE free environment or we don’t. And this is where I find media interference becomes directive rather than informative.
      These are the kinds of reportage that lead to stagnancy in the understanding of facts. I understand that an ‘editorial’ is a stated opinion by a news agency. But, since they take it upon themselves to echo the suggestions of the Leader of the Opposition, it means that they are politicking on behalf of the Opposition. The Express editorial did not weigh the critical issues before taking this stand. Editorials are the expressed purview of the publisher. But such editorials, when weighed must reason on behalf of the readers at large NOT the view of management. An editorial must demonstrate that it has the respect of the intelligence of its readers in mind when making a conclusive argument. What is the advantage of an election held during the height of the pandemic, where time to move around is restricted and one in which there is no restriction of time? I am not sure this editorial has made the case where the PNM had an advantage during the height of the pandemic and now where no SOE would be in place for the Tobago House of Assembly. It is a clear case of the Express Editorial taking its preferred side of the issue with the Leader of the Opposition as opposed to the PNM. In other words, it is a clear case of the editorial being used as a political tool rather than a studied case of the issues involved.

  1. An editorial is a newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue.
    There is nothing shocking or surprising in this editorial. Newspapers everywhere present editorials with positions which are influenced by political, social and philosophical leanings.
    Editors are permitted the freedom of publishing a variety of viewpoints on their editorial page. I certainly hope this this freedom of expression is never abandoned. It could be criticized but this diversity of opinions must never be abandoned.
    There was a general election last year during the SOE, but let us not forget that the rules were overlooked by both political organizations and the Police also.
    The real question here is not the motive of the Express, but the political forces which disagreed with the SOE when it was in effect and now disagree with the removal of the SOE. They cannot have it both ways.
    Who was it who said, “politics has a morality of its own”?

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