Saturday, April 20, 2024

EDITORIAL: Enough talk; it’s time for action


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WE’RE BACK TODAY on the the urgency for a building code – a document the first draft of which was seen about 17 or more years ago but which remains a document of recommendation.
We talk about safety in the workplace. Yet businesses can exist with one door serving as the entrance and the exit. What is the role of the Fire Service?
We talk about serving the needs of every child, both the gifted and the not so gifted. Yet we find ourselves with insufficient places to satisfy the needs of those anxious to pursue skills training.
We pray for the families, friends and loved ones of those who perished mere hours ago in that ghastly City fire on Tudor Street.
How is it that in today’s world of technology and new techniques our firemen find every insurmountable obstacle that prevents their effecting entry to the building providing a home for a deadly inferno? Rescue in the face of a rushing fire is no longer a challenge to be overcome?
Not far away two civilians seethed with rage that they could have saved lives, they imagined, if only they had tools. This comment came after, with their bare and bleeding hands, they had ripped away tiles and other roof covering only to be denied further progress by concrete.
We proposed a ban against students using PSVs. We have rescinded this thought and are willing to risk safe passage to and from school or college, presuming adequate protection based on a sticker indicative of safe operation. Yet an insurance executive is said to report several declinations for insurance cover because of the poor health of operators.
We proclaim, and rightly so, every citizen’s right to health care. Yet mothers worry and weep for their young ones who experience asthmatic attacks and are faced with overcrowded emergency and accident clinics day by day.
Recent events ending with cruel deaths or as in the most recent incident the death of six innocent people have evoked debate about the need to resurrect hanging as a punishment for heinous crime. Our CARICOM neighbours Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, in the face of escalating crime, seem clear about their views on this matter. We continue to talk.
In the midst of all this, constituent members, yet to signal acceptance of the Caribbean Court of Justice, raise the issue of future funding, whilst the region remains torn apart on the principle of recognition of that court as the last court of decision for the Caribbean. We continue to talk.
Barbados has made great strides socially, economically and politically, but we cannot deny that further progress has been hampered by a seeming lack of courage and conviction to take certain decisions to which, unfortunately, we have attached far too much consequential political importance to their outcome.
We seem to have abandoned the old adage “remember to perform your allotted tasks while it is still day, for the night cometh when no man shall work”.

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