The communities in Trinidad and Tobago, and indeed the Caribbean, deserve a constitutional shot at government. Not every citizen wants to lead; not everyone can handle governing themselves or others; but, the intelligentsia, the leaders on the ground, deserve a shot. Here are seven reasons why.
. According to Einstein’s famous equation, energy is relative to mass. Mass is energy in another configuration. The bulky mass of central government has absorbed, sapped the energy of the lands, peoples and communities of Trinidad and Tobago. It has slowed down progress, becoming lethargic, unwieldy, bureaucratic, too massive. More mass means more bent space around, gravity, shoving us down.
The Central Government has lost touch with the citizens on the ground. We are wailing in Dante’s hell and they are out champagning. Crime, loss of access to trusted litigation, inflated land and food prices, highway traffic, lawlessness, loss of incomes, youth inertia, ecological withering and fallout. Virtual abandonment.
Our governments have become a revolving door of amnesty for crimes in high office. One government follows the other, failing to treat with the crimes of its predecessors. Drug crimes, Debe to Mon Desir corruption, big bank account in Panama; in opposition they wail like us, in government they pay-off the crooks, pay back Big Pappy.
Smart Economists and Scientists.
A good part of the intelligentsia and leadership, armed with economic and scientific solutions, have been politically jettisoned or side-lined. Made into outsiders. Ignored by political insiders. Our smart economists and scientists must not die unrequited and unrecognized, “unnecessary and unaccommodated”. They must not die like Bob Marley’s prophets “while we stand aside and look”.
Ital means real, genuine. Authentic development. We have been sniffing the molecules of party power too long. Like marijuana or coke they make us into dopes. It condemns us to the narrow round of partisan bacchanal. Development must be de-politicized. The grass of party politics grows rich and green; while the horse is starving.
Power must be devolved, therefore, to the local intelligentsia on the ground. A three tiered system of local government. Local police, local judiciary, local clinics and sports. Local commons and affordable land to grow wealth. Democratize the local solar power and water grid. Internationalize knowledge and the apps economy. Train locally, work internationally.
The political and financial capital of the Parliament and Red House are not worth more than the economic, social, ecological capital of the Oropouche Wetland and its food-basket. It is the agrarian economy of the hinterland which has built the Red House. Levering a deficient EIA to destroy economic and ecological capital is unconstitutional. It creates knock-on effects. Chaos in one will lead to chaos in the other.
Our citizens have been crying on the ground for power since the colonial times. Armed with an altered constitution, the devolution of St Vincent and Abercrombie Street power, there is 100 percent certainty that they will succeed.