Although absorbed over the last week with the Caricom Symposium on Crime, this newspaper has noted with interest the launch of the Tobago People’s Party led by Farley Augustine, the incumbent Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary.
It must, however, be noted that whatever the process of forming the party and arriving at its name, it should not obscure all else, as there is nothing inherently exceptional about the party’s name.
What the focus does is to leave unattended the very serious matters affecting the needs of Tobago and most importantly, how this new party will make a difference to the social, political and economic development of the island.
Mr Augustine, just in case you have not been paying close attention to the issues in Tobago, the very legitimacy of the Assembly as now constituted continues to be cause for concern.
The question must also be asked about how the THA administration is going about meeting the needs of Tobago and its residents for growth and development? What is being done to see the emergence of young people suitably trained, educated and focused on creating indigenous value on the island?
What about, Mr Chief Secretary, new and vibrant initiatives in tourism, now that some breathing space from the scourge of COVID-19 and its derivative viruses has allowed room for attention to other matters, and what are the plans and programmes to meet the outstanding quest of Tobago for self-sufficiency?
The encouragement of private sector investment and management in indigenous production also requires a boost, so too the revival of food production and agro-industrial development.
What is your Assembly doing, Mr Chief Secretary, to have young Tobagonians fitted-out with the skills in modern production methods, in science and technology and advanced computer literacy?
What are the encouraging approaches to facilitate the production and initiation of cultural artefacts and other materials to interest persons in spending their vacations on the island?
All of these and other salient matters are suffering from non-adventure and in instances when a development matter has been put on the agenda, it takes forever, and/or is never brought to fruition.
In typical opposition fashion, Kelvon Morris, the lone elected People’s National Movement representative in the THA, is engaged in a similar misplaced focus. Instead of articulating matters such as those listed above, he engages in an inane name calling game with Mr Augustine. Whatever the name of the party, it will not produce a pound of the famous Tobago peas and increase the catch of Tobago flying fish.
While all of these and far more development issues remain unattended, a significant part of a political meeting and the necessary activity of bringing people together was spent on the name of the party.
Politics and politicians need to move to a higher ground of achievement.