Letters & Opinion

It’s that time again to Examine the Horns!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

It is so difficult to blame the makers and shakers of this society, and by extension the government, especially when they can always blame someone else for whatever.

We the general public, and by extension our citizens, are forced to accept the explanations given by those in charge because they can also always blame worldwide conditions for their shortfalls.

For example, just a few years ago the water authorities, backed-up by government, advanced the need to hike the cost of water on the basis that they were badly in need of funds to improve the water quality and system; and now, just another few years later, we have had no dredging done, pipes are busting everywhere, water is being rationed, the cost of service has remained, but the lack of rain and global warming are blamed this time.

But look at what happened this past week. One day the government said it had lifted the ‘Water Emergency’, the next day Castries was without water and remained that way until yesterday. So then, where the money gone?

The government promised many more jobs under their watch and that there would be massive development projects coming on stream, especially in the tourism sector, but now their term is coming to an end, the readymade excuse is COVID-19.

The health system was crumbling and health needs island-wide were in question, but as soon as we entered the new hospital and demanded the opening of St. Jude, the big response was, ‘Where is the money coming from to upkeep them, especially since we have limited resources due to this world pandemic?’

Programs that were started under the last government such as the computer school program and the possibility of transformation of the education format to I.T. devices and methods were all discarded, and now we are heading in the same direction once more, but having to start all over again, with no laptops.

Again, how do we always put systems in place to improve the collection of fees and taxes such as VAT and Airport Tax, road tariffs, etc. and at the time of need there is no money in the kitty?

This reminded me of the calypso penned a few years ago entitled ‘Where De Money Gone?’

Every constituency and community is awaiting projects promised by their District Rep to decide if he or she has been working in their interest and is worthy of retaining their votes, but it is only now there is a race to fulfill promises made since 2016.

And despite us hearing daily that loans, grants and monies have been secured for all the promised projects, wait and see if ‘lack of funds’ or ‘COVID-19’ will be the ones blamed.

Those for and against are trying to be patient, believe the excuses and agree with the excuses. Wow! What next? And how and when will the true story be told?

Things are getting tight, everyone has a point of view, people are becoming uneasy, and election time is at hand for the politicians.

It is the season of deals, bargaining and promises and all I can say is ‘examine the horns’, as this is the season when you find a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Some people are calling for new blood, new faces and new visions, but where is all the ‘new’ everything supposed to come from? Do we disregard experience and knowledge just for the sake of change? Do we continue to criticize based on opinions, or self-analysis? Do we continue to remain colour blind  just to go with the flow, rather than following the new trend and paying attention to records?

Well, the answer is always going to be about our choices, so we had better think well and look well before we make that mark on that day, because we only get to do it once every five years, or once every 60 months.

So, look well, think well and take your time to act well. Do everything well — and don’t come back and tell me ‘a well is a deep hole full of water…’

And don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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