RADHICA DE SILVA
Making reference to the controversial removal of former Police Commissioner Gary Griffith from office, businessman Peter George has lamented how political interference has often hampered competence at various levels of society.
Speaking on the Morning Panchayat on Aakash Vani 106.5 FM, where he has been co-hosting the Morning Panchayat every Tuesday morning, George said the biggest issue facing T&T was mismanagement and corruption.
“The country is poorly managed on multiple levels. The people who are most competent are [affected] by a political system so people like Gary Griffith have gone into office and said I’m not going to abide by [politics] because I have a mandate to get things done. But people like Gary Griffith go in and get expunged, so we are faced with a system that does not encourage, welcome, and accept talent. ” George said.
He noted that delinquency is also a major issue that must be addressed from various levels, including the family.
“Criminal entitlement is at the government level. Corruption is the root cause of our problems, not just the repugnant theft from public coffers. This is a reflection of how this place runs,” declared George.
Having been outspoken about mismanagement for the past 15 years, George said T&T was rich in human resources, but the political system has impeded growth.
“We have been imbued with resources, money. But the political party and the State need to be separated. That is not the case and people have to see differently,” George said.
He explained that it was distasteful to see the PNM tagline at the end of Ministry releases.
He said T&T is becoming increasingly fragile, and a social recession was in the making.
Commenting on the reports of delinquency at the Siparia West Secondary School, George said delinquency was learnt behaviour and should be addressed not just at the level of the school, but also at the level of the family.
“Our budgets have been squandered. Corruption is high. There are pockets of brilliance and family values and civic engagement in Trinidad, but how do we create collective responsibility as a society?” George asked.
He pointed out: “Children are not born with delinquency but how we are dealing with it is all wrong. People say deal with criminality in schools but how do we deal with it? Where does that delinquency come from?”
He said even Carnival has become degraded.
“When you look at the brilliance of Carnival but what it has morphed into is nothing less than a lewd street party where you have to search your way through to find the creativity that it was. That’s the kind of degradation. That’s the insanity we are dealing with it,” George said.
He noted that the system of education was too centred on grades.
“Success is far more than grades. It is being aware and conscious. Our children are being pressured and they are panicking about exams and becoming stressed out,” George added.
Gary Griffith has spoken out against the government saying there is currently no regard for the separation of powers.