At the risk of incurring the wrath of union leaders in this country, I feel compelled to add my voice to the current brouhaha over statements made by the Honourable Prime Minister.

When this storm started, I cast my mind back to the inaugural address of Her Excellency Madam Paula-Mae Weekes, the President of our republic. In that address Her Excellency stated, inter alia, and I quote, “I may have had some advantages others have not, but having lived in Trinidad and Tobago all my life, I have endured the maddening inefficiencies of the public sector.”

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I was trying to get some statistics on the prevalence of mental health issues in our region. One psychiatrist told me that there are no population studies to provide a “gold” standard for measurement.

Such is the revolutionary fervour of those now in charge of Britain’s government, they are testing to its democratic limits the cohesion of a country with no formal constitution.

I refer to the commentary in the Express of September 2 by Archbishop Charles J Gordon. I expected to read something inspiring from the head of the Catholic Church in our country following our Independence Day celebrations. Instead he referred to Alice in Wonderland and then went on to describe our country as a 57-year-old work in progress, evolving into one with its emphasis on materialism and an unfettered pursuit of money, which is idolatry.

I read Andy Johnson’s column in the Express this week about the young man who murdered his own grandmother and who showed signs of mental derangement. I also noted he had been using marijuana since the age of 16 and had progressed to “at least” one other drug. We have all read many similar reports of drug use and mental disorders.

Freedom of speech—embodying the concept of liberty—is of central significance as a key component of democracy — to speak out when any right is threatened.