Sunday, July 7, 2013

Let's examine our own actions - The Peter O'Connor commentary

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer 
Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world 
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere 
The ceremony of innocence is drowned 
The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity”. 
Taken from William Butler Yeats poem The Second Coming written in 1919. As things were falling apart, he was searching for hope, as we are today while we face a rising tide of anarchy and incompetence. 

Confusion and chaos reign and there is no one to whom we can turn to bring things back under control. “The falcon cannot hear the falconer”, or does not want to. 

The belief by everyone that the law is for other people but justice is for “me” is causing a wave of anarchy to sweep our society, at every income level and social strata. 

That this indifference to custom, law, order and ritual has not yet exploded into mass violence in our streets can be attributed to the same pathetic laissez faire trait of which we are so proud. We simply have no commitment to better ourselves, and those who do simply leave and contribute to societies elsewhere.

We like to fool ourselves that anarchy is mob violence in the streets. But anarchy is how we illegally park, the blaring noise we make, the way we drive, the litter we toss everywhere, the pollution we create, and the total disregard for everyone but “self”. 

And all this, perpetuated from “big man” expanding his buildings without requisite approval, down to street vendor huffing a piece of city pavement to sell his wares, simply gives encouragement to all — from Prime Minister to vagrant — to behave in exactly the same way, to just do or take whatever they want.

But this is how we have been governed for decades. The arrogance, the dishonesty, the nepotism and cronyism, the corruption, and therefore the inefficiency and incompetence — is the same, only the faces change. 

Manning threatened to put Calder Hart on the Integrity Commission; Kamla put the fired chairman from one State Board to head another. The reason each government gives for every sin they commit is that “All you did it too”.

But in fairness, the PNM allowed and encouraged our money to be stolen in more structured ways. Calder Hart’s largesse at Tarouba and elsewhere, Clico and HCU, thirty million wasted on the church for Manning’s seer, the wastes at E-teck, Petrotrin and countless other ornaments of Patrick Manning’s ego are forgotten now. 

Forgotten also is the PNM’s record regarding Labour, the same Labour who was told by Manning that increased wages would be inflationary. But Labour marched on Friday, arm in arm with the PNM. At least this Government negotiated and settled 65 separate sets of negotiations “left over” by the PNM while they raped the treasury?

But please do not interpret my categorisation of Friday’s March as a form of support for what is going on now in the name of governance of our country. It is not that “the centre cannot hold…” but rather that there is no centre any more. 

This administration has become a total farce, and the nation waits daily, ready to pounce on the next blooper. And what choice do we have? Rowley and the PNM? 

Thanks, but “been there, done that” and we know there will be no changes. We are showing a clear inability to move forward as a society. We blame the Government for our predicament today, but the truth is that we, the people and our institutions, are doing nothing.

How do we explain the fiasco of the emails and the hysteria it has created? Who can doubt that the emails were pathetic frauds? But by the same token, who can doubt that they were “based upon the truth”, as the government worked to ensure that their financiers would never face deportation nor face trial? 

And if things were not farcical enough, we had one of the protagonists in this ongoing confusion holding a private meeting with the Chairman of the Integrity Commission. And they both actually take umbrage at our concern!

But let us come to a firetrucking end of this rant. The construction industry and many others must be heartened by Cabinet’s new stance regarding payments due by government, with Ministers alleging that if the Chief Fire Officer had “approved” payment then Cabinet had no choice!

Everyone is shouting and nobody is listening. If we do not pause to listen, we are going to end with violence.

So who might seek to rescue us from the impending disaster? Who indeed, for
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity”. 

And that is where we are right now.

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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