Firstly I must commend our Prime Minister and his cohorts for their consideration to revitalise the capital city.

God knows it’s badly needed, but I have to mention that in my opinion it’s a bit like putting “the cart before the horse”, meaning I believe the problem of handling the vagrants (forgive me, homeless people) should be addressed first.

Maybe there is a plan for them, but I am yet to hear or read about it. This is a problem that has been getting worse year after year, and being ignored by those in authority year after year.

Now, maybe our governments (notice the plural) have no idea how to deal with it, as is evident, but surely the first thing that comes to mind is to seek advice from First World countries that do.

There is no shame in admitting you do not know how to deal with a problem, especially one as ticklish as this, but there must be a solution, and it has to be dealt with if you want to progress.

What good is it to spend millions of dollars to revitalise the city and still have poor, unfortunate homeless people sleeping on the newly refurbished sidewalks or, worse, urinating and defecating, as is the present norm? Worse again, to see some walking around the city in all of their glorious nudity?

It is time to stop sweeping this problem under the proverbial rug and deal with it.

W Dopson



I wrote recently about the startling decision of the Government to reject the offer of Patriotic Energies and Technologies Ltd (Patriotic) to acquire the Petrotrin oil refinery, which the Government closed down.

When the titular head of the Ministry of Energy, Senator Franklin Khan, announced the sudden rejection, he gave no reason for it other than to identify three broad business heads in respect of which there were allegedly problems.

The country was left confused because the Government had chosen Patriotic as the preferred bidder, and had wanted the deal completed before the August general election.

The collapse of the Anti-Gang (Amendment) Bill, 2020, seeking to extend the Anti-Gang Act 2018 for another 30 months was not unexpected.

In contrast to March 2018 when the Government laid the ­initial bill, Friday’s parliamentary debate attracted little interest from the public whose outrage had been decisive in pushing the Opposition United National Congress into giving the required special three-fifths’ support needed for its passage.

In an interdependent world, even the “indispensable” United States cannot stand alone.

Last week, I focused on the need for president-elect Joe Biden to renew America’s transatlantic ties with Europe—the foundation of Western prosperity and stability since 1945—damaged by Donald Trump’s short-sighted “America First” policy. Biden must also urgently attend to Asia, where the US lost considerable ground in the last four years.

There is a notion that Trinis are a happy-go-lucky people—a description that may be more applicable to African-descended people than to members of other groups of the population.

Such a description may be more illustrative of those of us whose world view has been influenced by African religions and philosophies as put forth by John Mbiti in African Religion and Philosophy, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, or Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities.

AFTER 58 years of leadership in both parliamentary and mayoral elections, and 16 or 17 development plans, it has been decreed that the city of Port of Spain will finally be transformed into a shiny new metropolis in North Trinidad. It is a welcomed announcement but like other similar declarations, some of us will adopt a wait-and-see attitude as the plans unfold.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has received a revelation of the state of Port of Spain and the growing homeless situation that exists.

Now, this has been happening for decades—having to be careful of how you walk if visiting the capital, not to step on someone sleeping on the pavement, or other stuff that may be there.