I read Tuesday’s Express ­editorial, “Action plan for the poor”, but cannot understand that the Ministry of Social Development and Family Affairs and the MPs elected to serve these same poor people in their districts do not know who is in need?

It takes the newspapers to advertise the dire need of families who do not have anything to eat, or even have birth certificates.

All those long lines to collect hampers do not necessarily include the homeless and the very poor, who do not even have the energy to line up to collect handouts. Also reported were 500 persons who applied to the Ministry of Social Development, but still have not received their grants to buy food.

One would think that because of the lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, the MPs elected in all districts would have made it their business to arrive at the homes of the persons who voted for them to find out if they had a salary or food to eat.

We go back to the subject of MPs getting tax-free motor cars, but the people who voted for them are in need and not receiving help.

There is a disconnect in too many areas in our country. The poor we will always have among us, so assistance is needed to help them feed themselves and get back on their feet with some sort of training and employment.

Patricia Blades



As it prepares to ramp up its communications to counteract vaccine hesitancy, the Ministry of Health’s best chance for success lies in aligning its messaging to the concerns of its target audience.

With the race now on to get vaccines into arms before the more transmissible Delta variant arrives, it might be too late for crafting a scientifically sound public awareness campaign. Nonetheless, a willingness to listen and learn will go a long way in erasing lingering doubts and changing minds.

I have termed Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his Finance Minister Colm Imbert the “Diego Martin dinosaurs”, politicians “intellectually fossilised by fossil fuels” who failed to see the global energy revolution threatening the nation’s economy, about which I warned repeatedly for five years.

I got vaccinated last week. I received the first of two doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine. I chose the drive-through option at the Ato Boldon Stadium because it is close to my home and I didn’t have to leave the privacy or comfort of my car to queue up at any stage of the proceedings, which is helpful to people who suffer with Parkinson’s and similar neurological disorders.

There is a story about a Samaritan called “good” in the Bible because he did not walk past a suffering Jew. He had no prior relationship with the man lying beaten on the roadside, was not part of his community, yet he acted out of compassion. Giving up his rights and freedom, he helped the man recover and get on with life.

“By the rivers of Babylon/Where we sat down/And there we wept/When we remembered Zion. But the wicked carried us away in captivity/Required from us a song/How can we sing King Alpha song/In a strange land?”

I cannot pretend to know or fully understand how it feels to be a young person in 2021.

Growing up in 1960s and ’70s Britain as a young black woman was, despite my loving family, often incredibly hard, but it seems staggeringly harder now for the current generation. I cannot imagine waking up at 18 to the news that my entire country, seemingly the whole world, has been shut down, wondering what will happen next and realising that the world has changed beyond recognition and I need to readjust my education and my career pathways.