Over the course of the first four years of the last parliamentary term the economy of the country was in terrible shape, mainly because of the failure of the Minister of Finance to take prudent measures to control government expenditure. It was the view of most commentators that he has no clue about managing the country’s finances.
The crime situation was uncontrolled and uncontrollable.
Blame was placed on the former acting Police Commissioner, although he was functioning under fetters which made him, in the words of a previous commissioner, “a toothless bulldog”.
A new commissioner was appointed. This one taking pains to establish that he is no toothless bulldog. If nothing else, he made sure that everyone knew he was on the job, although it made no difference to the crime rate or the police detection rate.
The seabridge between T&T became almost totally non-functional. Repeated efforts to make it serviceable came to naught, causing the Tobago business chamber to throw up its hands in despair.
There were so many things that failed to function properly in that period it is not possible to list them all. The above issues are simply a reminder of the trials of the local populace over the years of PNM misrule, all of which I am sure will come out during the coming period.
The performance of the government during the COVID pandemic obliterated all these failings and appears likely to give them a rush of support which may well take them over the election line and return them to office. Whether that is what will happen is left to be seen and will be answered in a month’s time.
What we can be sure about is that they cannot count on a COVID bligh in the new parliamentary session thus greater effort has to be made to avoid the problems of the past if they are not to waste the goodwill accruing from their handling of the pandemic.
A good start would be to appoint a competent Minister of Finance. The avoidance of the mess that has been called an election in neighbouring Guyana is a blessing for which we must be forever grateful.