Despite the lamentations and wailing, cries for relief from high food prices, protection from criminal elements, social decay and a myriad of other issues that are plaguing the country,the suffering goes un-heard.However,the PNM administration had no scruples lavishing $18M on a 3-day retreat for incompetent and intellectually bankrupt ministers. This is the PNM’s version of Marie Antoinette’s insensitive response to cries of hunger from the French common folk. On learning that the people had no bread to eat, it is alleged that she callously responded, “Let them eat cake”. In turn, she was beheaded by guillotine, the monarchy was overthrown and the French Revolution ensued with cries of liberty, fraternity and equality - the war cry of the French Revolution.
History is a good teacher to those who are thoughtful, reflective and introspective. Unfortunately, the lessons of history are often lost upon the arrogant. In the presence of a laughable political opposition and no credible third party to mount a full-scale challenge for political power, the present administration is free to fritter away the country’s wealth with impunity. Euripides (c480 - 406BC) informed us “those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad”. It is absolute madness to squander $18M to develop a corporation’s compound for a 3-day retreat while everywhere; people are clamoring for affordable housing. I am certain that the objectives of this retreat could have been achieved in the ambiance of a less expensive resort. Since it is incomprehensible to me, why so-called “intelligent people” will make such a blatant and apparently wasteful decision, the call for transparency in Government, and the implementation of integrity legislation need to be greatly amplified and urgently implemented. In any country and by any standard, this wanton squandering of taxpayers’ money is totally unacceptable.
But the present administration knows that Trinbagonians are a people with short memories. In fact, after 40 plus years of independence, the state of politics in T&T leaves much to be desired, as people tend to believe that broken promises are just as good as the thing itself. One would think that 40 plus years is sufficient time for a nation to grow into political maturity. Instead, in the absence of innovative ideas to push the country forward, politicians continue to appeal to race - the lowest common denominator - to maintain power and divide the nation. Furthermore, there is no effective opposition to take over the reigns of government. Returning the UNC to power is to jump from the frying pan to the fire. In desperation, the hopeful cast their eyes to the heaven to pray for a political party with a common national vision. False prophets emerge from everywhere but essentially the prayers remain unanswered. In the meantime, food prices are astronomical, crime is beyond control, the masses are unsure of how much more they can bear and all the lamentations fall on deaf ears. While ministers raise their glasses to toast incompetence and loosen their pants to make room for more food, the cries of desperation go unheard. Like Marie Antoinette, the message is clear. Living high on the hog, they cannot identify with suffering and in response they say, “Let them eat cake” or more appropriately, make that “bake”. Yeah! That’s it. “Let them eat bake.”
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