Unfortunately, like Guyana, Tobago recently took a surprisingly long time to decide on who will eventually serve as Chief Secretary in 2021. To my mind this was not at all a good turn for politics in Tobago. In fact it introduced divisiveness into a society that although has been characterised by homogeneity in many ways has not been totally a stranger to political divisiveness.
As soon as I learnt of the many aspirants who offered themselves to lead Tobago’s PNM executive council, I coined the phrase angels of destruction – not because the aspirants were destroyers but simply because history and scholars have taught us that misguided rivalry tends to make the most innocent among us destroyers and perpetrators of evil, violence – especially psychological and sociological – or greed.
As I reflect on the unfolding of politics in Tobago, I hear the chorus of the funeral song, Don’t Cry for Me written by Libby L Allen, which comforts people in pain over the death of a loved one. These particular words which can be so relevant to Tobago now soothe my grief, “Don’t cry for me, we will soon be together.”
In my interpretation, they represent my hope for a leadership in Tobago that reflects togetherness and teamwork which hopefully will see the danger ahead and put Tobago before political ambition.
A few steps from age 80, I personally have witnessed the development of political acumen and maturity in Tobago for 61 years of my mature years. Now in 2020 my hopes for a well governed Tobago are on the brink of disintegration.
All I can do and hope for is that my vision for Tobago will not rival the effort of a camel trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle.
My advice to my metaphorical brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren in Tobago are sincere:
1. No country can be governed without trust, integrity, teamwork, and morality in politics.
2. At all times party members must bond together to achieve the best for the island and its present and future generations.
3. Tobago can do without the rivalry, betrayal, and intrigue that seem to be fast approaching it as a clear and threatening danger.
4. We cannot afford to throw Tobago down the precipice as so many great nations have done since the origin of civilisation.
5. Yes, my people! If we don’t want to hear now, sooner or later we will feel.
6. Trinidad take note and learn how not to isolate co-operation, collaboration, and social cohesion in national development.
RAYMOND S HACKETT