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Ashen facesback

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

People’s National Movement MPs and Senators had to keep Carnival celebrations shorter to be bright and sharp for today’s party retreat. And there’s a lot for the current Government to mull over at the retreat called by the Prime Minister.

The economy remains fragile, including an ongoing de facto rationing of hard currency. Despite our continued dependency on oil and gas, we are yet to see the much-touted plan to, at least in theory, bring the morbidly obese Petrotrin back to some kind of fit state.

Diversification remains firmly at the talking shop stage and hopes of major inward investment are likely to be dashed if the Government continues to remain absent at best when it comes to dealing with the country’s employment legislation (and irresponsible unions). The crime crisis hasn’t gone away, either.

Dr Keith Rowley has a long list of problems to deal with. His biggest mistake will be to use the retreat to start thinking more about the next election than the next courageous decisions he needs to make.

Safety first

A health safety officer from more developed economies is likely to have a heart attack when visiting these shores for Carnival. After all, most of the events seem to be devoid of any credible risk assessment or
measures to avoid potential accidents.

By and large, we seem to do okay, but incidents like the death of a Florida resident hit by a reversing Carnival truck suggests not all is right.

We must try and keep Carnival celebrations as spontaneous and free as possible, but more can be done to make the party easier and safer for all. Some are relatively simple and easy to implement.

They should include plans to establish routes all bands must use and close them to traffic; clear the routes of parked cars and other obstacles; block or cover trip and fall hazards like open drains and holes; and place police officers throughout the routes to prevent petty crime and fights.

None of them would take the fun away but could reduce the risk of injury and death.

Time to give up

For Christians, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time for reflection, prayers and—for many—also for giving up something.

Giving up on treats may help. But given the state of our nation, let’s give up on some more impactful things as well: violence, breaking the law and unethical behaviour would make a good start


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