Saturday, February 24, 2018

We must demand more from Govt

IT was no surprise that a recent survey showed widespread disappointment with the performance of the Government. And it was a shame that instead of humility we were informed that the government isn't influenced by surveys. They should be. They would learn that the population knows money is scarce and they didn't want a new cricket stadium, TTT or a road to Toco. The major concern is crime and security.

It will not be easy to repair the damage done over several generations. Nobody trusts the Police Service which is widely viewed as corrupt and incompetent and needs major reform. Similarly the judiciary has been completely ineffective. Cases take too long, the jury system is badly flawed and lawyers and judges are widely held in contempt by the public for their fees, performance and hubris.

Corruption permeates every level of society and, of course, monkey see monkey do. It starts at the top.

Our fiscal system has allowed the rich to get richer and the poor to remain poor and dependent. Those who can't see that this is a recipe for disaster are blind.

Lots of work needs to be done but the United National Congress must not avoid their share of the credit. The criticism and bleating of former ministers who supervised the plundering of the Treasury is distasteful. They cancelled the OPVs to leave our borders porous. They dismissed the foreign commissioner and deputy commissioner of police who were independent enough to be attempting to reform the police.

They also allowed three party financiers to escape extradition to the United States on criminal charges. They introduced section 34 in a naked attempt to avoid justice.

What can the beleaguered population do in such circumstances?

First we must participate and insist on integrity in government. Count Leo Tolstoy once said government is like organised crime as people get together to rape the Treasury. But first they corrupt the people to get elected (by handouts to supporters).

Desmond Cartey said much the same (All ah we tief). It is essential that the people break this cycle and demand better, and the business community stop financing parties and getting contracts in return.

It takes two hands to clap.