Serve the people, not yourself
It is somewhat unfortunate that in the Tobago political setting we would be writing an editorial perceived financial mismanagement by local politicians.
We do not find any joy in recognising that two Tobago candidates in the last general elections have found themselves in positions where no people's representatives would want to be.
The TOP candidate for Tobago East and the PNM candidate for Tobago West will most likely prefer not to be in the situations they are in at present. It is not our intention to make a determination about whether these individuals should take full responsibility for what has transpired or if they should take any responsibility for that matter. We would however, take this opportunity to advise those who represent people of some basic fundamentals of people's representation.
We believe that anytime anyone has won or been given the right to serve the people at whatever level of governance, it represents a sacred pact with the people. Whether, as a member of a State Board, state official or Government Minister, the primary responsibility is for such individuals to serve in the best interest of the people of the nation.
The ascension to high office could sometimes blur or even change the fundamentals of service to the people by those who hold office. As we have seen in the recent past a leader could become so consumed by self righteousness that he sees himself as the 'one and only'. What is therefore needed is a constant reminder by whatever means for such an individual to remember the 'straight and narrow road' of serving the people and not themselves.
As Caribbean people, we have witnessed extreme occurrences of leaders who seem to lose their sanity while in office. The example of the late Grenadian leader Eric Gairy was a classic tale of how holders of office lose their balance. Here was a man who was so taken up with himself that he once told the people of Grenada he would walk on water like Jesus Christ. When the people gathered on the waterfront to see him carry out his act, he told them 'the time was not right'.
This is why we must be very attentive to the actions of all our representatives to ensure that they 'keep their heads on their shoulders'.
As a responsible newspaper, it is our duty to keep on monitoring the activities of all our representatives. We will let our views be known whenever the occasion demands our comment. Hence the reason why we commend the TOP for speaking out on the Credit Card issue concerning Tobago Development Minister Vernella Alleyne-Toppin.
The predicament Minister Toppin finds herself in must serve as a caution to other local politicians that public funds must not be taken for granted.