Pay Dirt

It seems like M&M’s acquaintance took my “advice” to heart (see entries Letter to the Editor and Anatomy of a Successful LTE) and made another attempt at writing a letter to the editor and a successful one at that.

Govt must show respect for the people

Information can empower people and the government, local and national, can show how much it respects its population by its willingness to provide information or access to information in a timely and efficient manner. In the case of Trinidad and Tobago, the current local and national government have shown us, maybe some more than others, much contempt.

Shame on the Diego Martin Regional Corporation for installing a spectator stand and industrial-type lighting in a certain Children’s Playfield, without first consulting with the surrounding residents. Any and all “development” will not do.

Shame on a certain supervisor in the aforementioned Corporation who apparently instructed a fellow staff member to not reveal his/her name to members of the public. You are an employee of the State, I am a member of this State and it is my right to know your name.

Shame on the new Ministry of Information. Three plus weeks after the elections and the public still cannot be told the actual ministerial portfolios. That is, where specific departments, statutory bodies and programmes have been placed. A list is all we need now.

Shame on our Executive. The Mustill Report languishes somewhere while the reputation of a man, if not the integrity of the Judiciary hangs in the balance. If it is not in your hands, where is it?

One person’s question is just as valuable as those posed by 1.3 million others. Now that you have this information, what are you going to do with it?

Concerned Taxpayer
Pt Cumana

Acquaintance’s letter made an appearance in the print edition of The Saturday Express (Saturday 1st December, 2007, p. 15). It was a bit shorter than the last letter, included topics with a much wider audience appeal, and with one unavoidable exception (Mustill Report), was fairly relevant (time-frame). Kudos Acquaintance!

That exception is the now late reference to the Mustill Report. News developments take place all the time and that one hit the national radio and television news by yesterday, and the print news by today. Read the full story here.

While I am on this topic, I might as well add in my own “two cents.” Last weekend, Basil Ince did a pretty good commentary relating agenda-setting, a communications theory, to the coverage of the general election. Read the full story here. The media’s ability to gate-keep, to place issues in the forefront or the back-burner, is one that we, as a media-saturated culture should be mindful of. With respect to the Mustill Report, the physical placement of the previously mentioned news item is interesting.

  • Saturday Express (12/01/07) – print edition – p. 9
  • Saturday Express (12/01/07) – online edition – 15th news item
  • Trinidad Guardian (12/01/07) – print edition – p. 5 (with a small front-page reference)
  • Trinidad Guardian (12/01/07) – online edition – not archived yet
  • Trinidad and Tobago Newsday (12/01/07) – print edition – p. 3 (whole front-page)
  • Trinidad and Tobago Newsday (12/01/07) – online edition – 1st news item

Express does not seem to think that this is issue is as important as others, while Newsday gives it primacy. Wonder if this correlates to their political orientation? I dunno, but it is something to think about.

Acquaintance does have a point though, about timeliness and the Mustill Report. This is an issue that has concerned many Trinbagonians and was a contentious matter on the election platform. Yet, little was said by those in the know to assuage our worries about “the delay” of the Report, clarify misconceptions. The information flows between the Privy Council, our Executive and the population have left much to be desired. Indeed, our Executive does not seem to know much about what is going on.

Personally, I would feel a whole lot better if some less tentative language was used when talking about the release of the report. PC: the word “shortly” is relative and the population does deserve an explanation for “the delay.” But suppose there is nothing we can do about it. The subservient nature of the PC-former colony relationship is manifest.



~ by mangoandmosquitoblog on December 1, 2007.

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