THE FAULT WITH OUR LEADERS

55

Guest Article By THE PATRIOT

Edmund Burke, the Irish philosopher and poli­tician, penned these words: “The only thing neces­sary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Burke’s statement was made in the 18th century, but it still holds true today.

It is being said that manifesta­tions of wickedness, corruption, violence and immorality are in all walks of life in our country and seem to be endearing to many. We cannot continue to stand idly by, while the aforementioned darkness pervades and prevails. The time has come for good men and women, (there are many), to break their silence and to offer their services for the good of the country. We seem to sit aimlessly in the hope that someone will lead by word and example. We pray for good leadership and gover­nance, but we must remember that” God helps those who help themselves.”
Men and women with poten­tial are afraid to speak out and to constructively criticise because of retaliation. I recall the verse: But man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Most igno­rant of what he’s most assured, His glassy essence like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As make an­gels weep. Let us be fair, isn’t this verse relevant and applicable to several persons in high positions in this country. Some in author­ity have to remember that “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”. They should remember the lament”Oh! How the mighty have fallen”.
You may ask why am I trying to be perspicacious and quoting the foregoing verses, it is because of the messages they contain and by referring to them, I am trying to open the eyes of those who wish to see and to listen and to act and do something positive. The time has come for us to speak of many things that affect us all.
Let us be realistic and note that whenever someone begins to make a positive contribution, to constructively criticise, to point out problems and suggest or pro­vide solutions, he/she is discour­aged with a battery of unwar­ranted comments and sometimes with a smear campaign. I must re­fer to Austin Jack Warner and the journalists of the Sunshine Today newspaper who, despite the nega­tive comments of some who in my view ought to know better, continue to strive for the common good.

How can we help?

The question seems to be: How can we help? Firstly, we must encourage the editor and authors of the excellent articles in the Sunshine Today. Secondly, we should support the newspaper by purchasing copies for ourselves and close relatives and friends. Thirdly, if we are businessmen/women advertise in the Sunshine Today. Fourthly, be brave and let others know what appears in the Sunshine Today. We must think of the future and the future genera­tions. What will they, the future generations, think of us if we wit­ness ills in society and say or do
nothing?
Sometimes, our leaders speak without thinking of the conse­quences that their words, said in haste or to glorify themselves, may have on the weak, their po­litical sycophants and the un­imaginative. Many remember the words of former Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams, “money is no problem”; if you don’t like it get to hell out of here” when I talk let no damn dog bark”; who is not with me is my enemy”. Basdeo Panday is remembered for saying that “politics has a morality of its own”, but never went on to ex­plain what he meant and in what context. Some children and some adults echo these remarks as a form of speech and social behav­iour. T G Mendes is right when he said those who were led astray by the rants of Eric Williams have passed them onto a group who are anti-social and aggressive. We are a peaceful society,” full of mouth and ole talk “, but too compliant. We seem to forget that we have a” weapon” to effect change which is, the right to vote persons into government and to vote them
out.
I am appalled when I hear per­sons say that they are not going to vote at the Local or General Elec­tions. Yet they scream and com­plain when those elected fail to perform or are arrogant and rude. If you exercise the right you can say I did not vote for that clown who is messing up the town/city or country. Before the election they are friends, buddies, listeners and are very pleasant with smiles and kisses and handshakes. After they win an election they sudden­ly become a “know it all “. They have no time to listen to the plight of their constituents and support­ers. They become arrogant and self righteous and adopt the words of Dr Eric Williams as mentioned above.

No man is an island

We heard and read the politi­cal address of Mr Watson Duke. I have to ask whether he has read any issue of the Sunshine Today. If he did he would have realised that independence for Tobago is not a simple matter. We are all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. What will be our status if such oc­curs? I am as much a Tobagonian as a Trinidadian, just as all of us. So let us “wake up and smell the coffee” “A word to the wise is suf­ficient.” Enough said for the time being.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent; a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thy own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am in­volved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” I re­fer to this verse of John Donne to reinforce my point that there are leaders who think that they are “islands” who do not need a team; If the words “Trinidad and Tobago are substituted for “Continent “and “Trinidad and Tobago “for “Europe” the reader will know what I mean. The last line is in reference to Austin Jack
Warner.
I must add that there are others who I must mention. These are patriots whose concern is the need for good governance with leaders who are honest and are persons of high honesty and integrity. Writ­ers such as Peter Green, Shane A Mohammed, Brian G Stone, Herbert Volney, David Walker, T G Mendes, Steve Alverez and Vasant Bharath all who contrib­ute every week to the Sunshine Today. These are persons of mettle.
I end with this verse from the verses of Sir Thomas Browne:
But how shall we expect char­ity towards others, when we are uncharitable to ourselves? Char­ity begins at home, is the voice of the world; yet is every man his greatest enemy, and, as it were, his own executioner.
Enough said!