Letter to the Editor – UDECOTT’s failure to consult response

udecott-complaintIn response to a full page UDECOTT advert (embedded below) in response to my article “Invader’s Bay Review” (excerpted above), also published in the Business Express.

From: Afra Raymond <afraraymond@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor – UDECOTT’s failure to consult
To: Editors of daily newspapers. Email addresses withheld

The 17th recommendation of the Uff Report is –

User groups and other interest groups should be properly consulted on decisions regarding public building projects, to ensure that relevant views can be expressed at the appropriate time and taken into account before decisions are made.

The decisive part is ‘before decisions are made.

The Peoples Partnership has not implemented the Uff Report’s 90 recommendations as promised and there has never been an explanation of that failure or refusal to carry out those critical measures. The sod was turned for the Couva Children’s Hospital on 2nd March 2012, at which time the project type, location, size, budget and procurement arrangements were all announced for the first time. Plainly, no consultation took place before those decisions were made, which was the point made in my 11th December article ‘Invader’s Bay Review’.

UDECOTT has now issued full-page newspaper advertisements to attempt to label my irrefutable observation as ‘reckless and damaging’ and so on. Yet another waste of public money, given that UDECOTT provided no examples of consultation before the key decisions were made on this huge project.

That pattern of secret development is inimical to our country’s progress. We must be properly consulted before decisions are made. We strongly criticised the last administration for that pattern of development and we will continue to make the same point. We must become a learning society.

Afra Raymond


One thought on “Letter to the Editor – UDECOTT’s failure to consult response

  1. Afra,
    The transformation from pawn to queen or king lay in our knowledge of chess. Pawns are blind and their limitations are fatalistic. Royalty is defended by knights, bishops and castles or rooks which are the sovereign property of kings and queens. This game has no princes or princesses so there is no inheritance. All is geared towards the blind protection of his majesty. This game of life translates into Prime Ministers and Presidents (kings and queens); knights become army and police, bishops become the law and clergy and the rooks become the bankers and those other bastions of righteousness that believe, like Boxer the horse on Animal Farm, that hard work and dedication is all that is needed to succeed in life. That Boxer becomes meat for the lions is seldom mentioned and then justified as his karma.

    To stop the bulldozers of greed we need to educate their drivers that castles need to be destroyed and housing for the pawns need to be erected not the other way. How many of us know that each drop of alcohol we consume, including beer, feeds the very rich and impoverishes the future generations of the poor. Every designer piece and foreign good we purchase sends money to the rich and denies our own parents, wives and our entrepreneurial sons and daughters their potential.

    I wish that I could be positive and patriotic and, to quote the Mighty Sparrow, “follow our leaders, they always do their best. In order to achieve, we bound to aspire and we bound to be a success.” Yet I know that you are right and that our educated leaders are unapologetically stealing the resources from future generations while they root their looted incomes in foreign banks for their children who will laugh at our humility, naivety and blind trust in taught phrases like: ‘the Lord will provide, God doh sleep,’ and ‘render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.’ Examine the quantity of money spent on things we shall never use, clothes to wear once (on Old Year’s night) and the way we become fastidious about a pair of shoes rather than on the diction of our children and the acquisition of their goals. Somehow money will be found to play mas next year and excuses will be given to debtors and our children whose needs are always trivialised. UDeCOTT represents that rook with its impregnable walls guarded jealously by underpaid knights whose dreams of living in castles remain dreams. The world, according to Naipaul, is what it is. We have to become the changes we wish of others and await their awakening. Revolution is always an option but knowledge has always manipulated all the advertised triumphs like those on Wall Street and our unique equivalent- Clico.

    I see the vending stalls for next carnival already being erected with the recycled material of the last six or seven years. These savings will be audited and the several proceeds will add abundantly to the innovators of children carnival, pan, calypso and to those good people who make an honest dollar by selling their home prepared meals and beverages among others. The auditors will, shortly after carnival, make public the income and expenditure data replete with receipts and invoices and carnival will elevate itself from year to year. Carnival 2014 will be the greatest.
    Yours in hope

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