by Vernon Khelawan
Today we stand on the cusp of a brand new year. What is in store for us in 2018 is anybody’s guess because of the economy and the runaway crimes which haunt our once happy-go-lucky nation. Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Harris in one of his recent homilies said, “The nation is living in fear”. Or like the late calypsonian Penguin sang “We living in jail.” Many citizens are just afraid to be outside late at nights. Criminal activity is too much.
Anyway, since hope springs eternal, we step into 2018 full of optimism in the belief that things will get better for all of us. Our society will go through a metamorphosis that will make Trinidad and Tobago the beautiful country it once was. Armed with such hope Christians will march into 2018 with faith, hope and love for your fellow man and a zest to do all the right things. And that’s where we stand today.
The acting Police Commissioner recently gave us some good news when he told the nation that the detection rate had gone up to 35 per cent as compared to 23 percent last year. But the kicker was that Trinidad and Tobago had created a Commonwealth record in taking more than 1,000 guns off the streets. But what was scary and of greater interest is that the police had arrested one man with a dozen guns and some 2,200 rounds of varied ammunition! We are definitely living in a ‘war zone’. Why else would one man have in his home 12 guns?
The dailies have not made heavy weather of this disconcerting find, but what it means is that there is a strong possibility there may be other homes with as many guns in other parts of the country. It gives to terrorism, gang war intensification or simply a return to the wild, wild west.
The Prime Minister has not said anything; the minister of national security maintains his silence and the attorney general is speaking about other things. Is the government holding a secret from the people?
New toys are an integral part of Christmas season. It’s probably when many children are happiest. But in Parliament, Christmas seems to be all year round seeing all the games that are being played in the House.
When Dr Keith Rowley was Opposition Leader some years back he accused the government of some secret emails. Then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar took it in stride. Now he is Prime Minister and a similar matter concerning some emails entered the conversation, the Prime Minister is threatening to sue and kick. ‘The more things change, the more they remain the same’ or maybe ‘do so ent like so’ is what comes to mind.
Further, the language used by Dr Rowley is unbecoming of a Prime Minister. It was raw, insulting and downright undignified. Is this the leadership the country voted for two years ago? I think not.
Overall, there seems little respect for the police, for authority and more pronounced is very little respect for one another. With our leaders using inappropriate language and behaving like children in the Parliament, enjoyed by a not-so-amused citizenry, our children, too, observe and take note of the behaviour of our leaders.
Maybe things might change in 2018. Let’s live in hope that a better year beckons in spite of our leaders. I know 2018 will be a tough year, but with hope in my heart I wish Trinidad and Tobago a good and safe year.