Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest commentary: Yes, Prime Minister! Sail on

Coming from a long line of seafarers, I believe I can speak with authority concerning the conduct of ocean-going vessels. Being involved for several years in community activities, I can also speak of things which concern and affect us as a community. 

With stereoscopic vision as just mentioned, I can say with some conviction that both spheres intertwine in a ways from which it's easy to conclude the seafaring experiences and lessons are most suitable examples to follow. Allow me to explain as follows.

No one build a ship intending to go on an extended sea voyage and doesn't take care in designing, constructing and outfitting it. 

However, in situations when one is fleeing catastrophe (like when a volcano is about to explode), the emphasis is on haste, so any material that's buoyant can be strapped together and used to transport who and what needs to leave the perilous location. 

The same principle more or less applies when putting together an instrument to rescue someone who's drowning (the emphasis is on the buoyancy of the material and final product).

When time is not of the essence, in designing and constructing an ocean-bound vessel great and detailed care is taken. Such vessels may very end up being outfitted with all sorts of accoutrements, each one of which is designed with both practical use and creature comfort in mind. However, buoyancy is never sacrificed for the sake of "looking nice". 

Every vessel must be able to withstand the toing and froing of the ocean's tides and currents, else to Davy Jones' Locker everyone aboard will go at the slightest buffeting of the waves.

The principles of ship or boat building and navigating apply completely to the realm of governance. It is within those context we must evaluate our present and recent situations. 

Observing from the beachead in Tobago, I can say that the freighter which was carrying us before May 2010 was listing heavily, no doubt because it was very top-heavy, something which happens when onboard goods aren't properly distributed, but, since May 2010, the good ship Trinbago has been able to skip across the foaming waves and ride out the inevitable storms with an ease reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln, who, today, despite presiding over the horrible American Civil War, is remembered as perhaps the greatest President America has ever known.

It makes sense for the Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and her entire government to keep focused on what they set out to do when they launched. 

They must never fear the pathways ahead, since only God knows what tomorrow may bring. They must neither give a second thought to the deserters, nor to the frothy outpourings of an opposition too leaden-footed and pedantic to row this majestic longship named Trinidad and Tobago at any time soon again.

Yes, Prime Minister! Recalling Simon and Garfunkel, "Sailon on, sailor-girl! Your time has come to shine, all your dreams are underway!" Recalling also that time and tide wait for no captain, take it from this wizened seafarer, "Time and Tide does recoil whenever woman is boss!"
Philip Maxwell Junior | Arnos Vale, Tobago

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai