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The unmentionables

Published: 
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was right in making references to the 1990 attempted coup when talking about the alleged Carnival terror plot last week. The link does not mean a similar event is likely soon, but they share a common root: radical organisations or individuals wanting to change the course of events by force.

His comments are particularly welcome as the attempted coup, at times, seems to be a taboo, an unmentionable event if you like. It shouldn’t be so, as we must remind ourselves of how easy it can be for a nation to get so close to falling off the institutional cliff. And how difficult it is to recover.

Another unmentionable must also be mentioned, though: lawlessness. The PM has been a lot less vocal on unrests, like the effective blockading of parts of the capital city following police action in East Port-of-Spain.

Institutional order normally does not collapse overnight; the breakdown is usually preceded by smaller events not obviously connected to each other. For this reason alone, the Government, especially through the police, must demonstrate it is in charge.

Our authorities must take back control of both the actions and the narrative when it comes to law and order. If they fail to do so, we risk adding another unmentionable in our still young but bumpy life as an independent nation.

Lights on, please

The committee set up by the Government to look into the messy end to the process of selecting the new commissioner of police will have its work cut out, at least if judged by the performance of former members of the Police Service Commission in Parliament.

Attempts by its former chairman to stop another member from speaking freely aside, the process—as explained by its members—seems to have been as clear as mud.

The committee, formed by MPs from both sides of the house, must shed a light on what happened very soon and with a clear set of actions to restore faith in the selection process.

Bowling off

The weekend marks the beginning of this year’s cricket season, perhaps soggier than hoped for following a rainy Saturday. Let’s support our local teams and leagues as it is through these competitions that new and much needed West Indies cricket top quality talent will come through. Good luck to all the competitors—and may the dry season finally be with us.

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