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Dat Good For Yuh
Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2006

By Michael De Gale

I can't wait until the next general election to see if bold face politicians who abandoned their constituencies for years, have the gall to come and campaign in the hood, begging poor people to put them back into power. What will be even more interesting, is to see if all those who ketching hell to make ends meet and reeling from the unrelenting frustrations of daily life, will stain their fingers and vote those slackers back into office. If people who are the victims of Governmental indifference, maladministration, corruption and gross incompetence should re-elect the present administration or even a UNC Government who can't even decide on a leader, then they damn well deserve what they get.

If after 40 plus years of independence and a history of jurisprudence, a so-called sovereign Government still has to refer matters to the Privy Council instead of a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) then psychologically, they are not ready for the independence that was thrust upon them. Consequently, they cannot deliver on promises to improve the lives of ordinary citizens, because they don't have the psychological permission, neither do they have the moral integrity nor the commitment necessary to create a model nation. They have inherited a social, economic and political structure, which works in favour of an elite group to the detriment of the vast majority and will therefore do nothing to upset that imbalance. Their political survival demands that they make no changes and must therefore confine themselves to making empty promises.

As a result, people are faced with appalling social conditions in terms of housing, health care and education, a crumbling physical infrastructure, wanton waste of taxpayers' money and widespread corruption as a way of life. They cannot deliver on promises to address these issues because they are beholden to their economic masters, who make money despite all of the above. These masters are insulated from the realities of daily life, focusing only on what they can take from the country. They feel no compulsion to contribute to the country's overall development. The high cost of food, inadequate housing, substandard education and access to health care are not issues that affect the wealthy. They could pay for these services and they reserve the right to pull up roots and move to greener pastures. These options are not readily available to ordinary citizens who are adversely affected. Their options are to continue to endure pain and suffering or to organize themselves to bring about political change that favours them.

Since there is no accountability to the people, and the Government does what it wants despite the wishes of the people, one must also ponder on the nature of our so-called democracy. It is increasingly apparent that we are controlled by an oligarchy, and that elections by ballot is only a farce to give a semblance of democratic rule. The Governments' in/actions lends support to this theory which I will develop at another time.

Given the above, if when election gone you continue to pay through your nose for basic food items and nothing is done to stop the profiteering by unscrupulous business owners – then dat good for yuh. If you continue to experience water and electricity shortages, as you struggle to give your children an education in a crumbling school system, that produces functional illiterates in abundance - that good for you. If foreigners live more comfortably here, than they do in their own country, while you continue to live in substandard housing and under dilapidated conditions - that good for you. If African youths continue to fill the country's prisons in disproportionate numbers, and the only answer to this crisis is more jails and increased law enforcement without social, educational and economic investment – that good for you too. If like the ever increasing vagrant population, multi-million dollar Blimps pile up on the side of the road, while British police officers, who are paid millions to reduce crime, live in air conditioned comfort in Champs Fleur and people can’t see them – that good for you. If after years of constant disappointment, broken promises, gross incompetence, unaccountability and increasing corruption, people would still allow themselves to be hoodwinked into voting for an administration that clearly does not have the interest of the country at heart – yuh damn well deserve what yuh get. If foreigners are allowed to buy up all the good land and then turn around and tell you that you can't bathe on the beach at Crown Point in Tobago, long after Eric Williams booted the Yankees out of Chaguaramas, so we too could enjoy every square inch of this blessed country – that good for yuh. As the old people say, "if yuh can't hear you go feel."

I know that that sounds cold, insensitive and even ignorant, but the manner in which these issues are addressed will usually determine the fate of a Government operating in any true democracy, where the Government is the servant of the people and must give account for their in/actions. There is something intrinsically wrong in a country, where the Government follows its own agenda and no attempt is made to satisfy the needs of the people. There is an old saying that if you make yourself an ass, there will always be people willing to ride you. Governments are no exception.

Trinbagonians have short political memories and are easily swayed with music, rum and an opportunity to "wine on something." It will be prudent for you to write down all the pain and suffering experienced outside the election period, so that when election season comes, you will remember why they don't deserve your support. If your memory should fail on election day and the present administration or opposition is elected, then you damn well deserve everything that you're experiencing. If despite all that is mentioned above, a PNM or UNC Government should emerge victorious in the polls and you continue to suffer as a result, then I'm sorry - but dat damn good for yuh.

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