Even more interesting is not just the 47 years, but it is also the anniversary of the date this country adopted it’s own constitution August 31st 1976. A much attacked constitution and as the cry for reform continues, we must take the time to look at our successes and our mistakes.
Critics have at times compared this country to other countries of similar age, and have come to the conclusion that we have not progressed as others. Critics have also noted that a wanting of intellectuals, morals, and ethics have been devoid of society. I have at times found that their aspirations were not entirely unfounded. However, I have found that Trinidad & Tobago stands tall in the Caribbean and increasingly extended its tentacles’ into major areas in world affairs.
Trinis as they say in everything. From the oil platforms in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the North Sea. To treating washed out pop stars attempting to make a comeback. We have done I often wonder how far this country would have been if we lived together in peace, regardless of class and creed far better than many countries. Our Manufacturing industry continues to grow, our banking sector is strong and we are a leading exporter of Methanol and Natural gas and this has been so for a while.
We have certainly outperformed many countries on the African continent, and a few in Asia. We have not taken the time like India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and others to develop certain types of industries. We have not developed munitions, medicine, heavy machinery manufacturing or IT technology and our governance has not been the most prudent. A wanton waste of public expenses and corruption has plagued our country almost from inception of Independence to today, this along with the continued racial and political tensions and divisions has been the main factor in our growth.
I often wonder how far this country would have been if we lived together in peace, regardless of class and creed.
I often wonder if the monies stolen from taxpayers that ended in the hands of politicians like Johnny O Halloran and the boys were spent to update and develop our oil exploration capabilities, would we still have a need for B.P Amoco here in Trinidad?
I often sit and wonder if the money we have spent on foreign contractors would have done us better if locals had the job instead, and more locals employed. From the French contractors who did a deplorable job on the Eric Williams Medical complex maybe 40 years ago, to the Chinese on the Arts centre today.
I sometimes wonder if we had taken the time to plan our development better, and not build houses on the river banks, or mansions on our best agricultural lands, would our food prices been cheaper today. (less claims when the rains came)
I sometimes wonder if we had moved that prison out of the capital city of Port of Spain, would the landscape be more pleasant?
And if we ate less fast food, would our health care cost been lower?
I love my country, we don’t have the best beaches, the lowest crime rate, and we certainly have a great number of social and political issues. But I can still choose “check “ and hang out with my friendly neighbours and friends, stop at a bar or two. Stand at the side of the road and eat a doubles and go to church without fear of persecution.
We have not done all that badly, but I think the politicians have done a terrible job.
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