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Tobago’s destruction

Published: 
Monday, December 6, 2010

The persons who have been charged with the authourity over the years for managing Tobago’s affairs must now step forward and take responsibility for what can only be described as the systematic and sustained destruction of Tobago. This is despite the recent statement of the Finance Secretary Dr Anslem London who sought vainly to convince listeners that the “Tobago economy” was not in a bad shape and that projects are continuing apace.

What a shallow, hollow and superficial analysis? First of all, what really, is the “Tobago Economy” when one considers the fact that if Tobago does not go begging, cap in hand each year to Trinidad for money to get its yearly handout from Central Government it cannot do squat? Dr London in his skewed, illogical and irrational arguments also said that it is important to distinguish the “economy of Tobago” from that of Trinidad and Tobago.

While engaging in that exercise in futility, why doesn’t he also distinguish the fact that Tobago does not really generate any significant income of its own and has been neutered, spayed and rendered handicapped, immobile and defunct as far as economic independence is concerned.What the Tobago House of Assembly has done is to systematically dismantle the means and abilities of the average Tobagonian to engage in entrepreneurship and to develop self-reliance by its myopic, Machiavellian agendas and policies all designed to reduce the population to a state of dependency, whereby they remain beholden to the Political directorate for their survival.

The follies of their acquisitorial and expansionist agendas have been exposed for their naked immaturity of thought and planning and their naivety in the affairs of the world as they started with chasing after Pigeon Point with a view to acquire it from “the Syrian,” then like a dog running after a car, when it finally catches it, just doesn’t know what to do with the car.

The result is the multi-million dollar lawsuit for damages sustained in the boating accident at Pigeon Point where a Court has already ruled against the THA and the matter is now under Appeal.The foolish pursuit of this pipe dream where someone must have filled his pipes with rubbish for him to smoke and out of the fog emerged this flawed and fatalistic idea of the Cove Eco-Industrial Park which apart from a not-too- reliable power plant is a virtual ghost town and a monument to the useless squander of billions of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

Their backward, Third World, banana republic ideas of chasing out the foreigners and making it virtually impossible for them to buy lands and invest in Tobago have back-fired immensely with the Tobago real estate market practically grinding to a halt, with nothing moving, nothing selling and nothing trading except for rich Trinidadians who are coming across and picking up plum pieces of property for a song.

The spin off effect of this archaic and anachronistic way of thinking has resulted in a severe drop also in the tourism on the island as there was almost a feeling that this present Tobago House of Assembly was fashioned somewhere out of an episode of “Planet of the Apes” and was not welcoming to foreigners at all and not at all open to new ideas and new ways of thinking.

The foreign investment which would have been a catalyst to stimulate business and trading on the island was stifled, snuffed out and stamped out yet the tourism jefes at the THA would be on a plane every other week ostensibly going to “market Tobago” to every corner of the world they could manage to scramble a flight and hotel accommodation at the public’s expense and yet the tourism keeps plummeting.

I have actually grown tired of hearing Mr Christopher James and Mrs Birchwood-James on the television and radio harping about the declining tourism in Tobago and it is not for want of agreeing with them, but I am tired of them having to face the same challenges and obstacles and constraints from an administration which appears to be clueless.

How many times have we as citizens of T&T been in foreign countries and seen ads for St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, even St Kitts appearing all over the place and nary a word about Tobago, no one even seems to know or care about Tobago. Just do a simple internet search for Caribbean Tourism Destinations and you will see for yourself, where is Tobago? Where
is it positioned, if it’s there at all?

In fairness to the current THA administration, the TDC in its previous incarnations has to take a hefty share of the blame also and I have never spared them my withering and scathing comments on their inefficiency and ineffectiveness and wanton wastefulness as a statutory body. Now that they have a new Board under the chairmanship of George Stanley Beard, we all look forward to great thing coming from them and look forward to a new dawn and new hope for Tobago, so that maybe one day we will really be able to speak of something which truly is Tobago’s economy and will no longer have to lament the destruction of Tobago.

The foreign investment which would have been a catalyst to stimulate business and trading on the island was stifled, snuffed out and stamped out yet the tourism jefes at the THA would be on a plane every other week ostensibly going to “market Tobago” to every corner of the world they could manage to scramble a flight and hotel accommodation at the public’s expense and yet the tourism keeps plummeting.

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