On the problem of ministries.

Every day on this island, ordinary people complain about the extraordinary ones who hold the title “minister.” This complaining is due perhaps mainly to two facts. Firstly, to the fact that the latter group of extraordinary folks are often having a direct impact on the former. For example, when the minister of transport makes a pronouncement on the subject of his ministry, he is making a pronouncement on something which although he has control over, really is more belonging to the ordinary man than it is to him. After all, I have never seen the minister of transport in a maxi. The second reason for this complaining may be due to the fact that the minister is often getting it wrong or failing to do what the ordinary man sees as “the right thing to do.” Regardless, it is the ordinary man who is most impacted by every word the minister says and every action he takes and he logically then, feeling the ministers to be wrong, goes on complaining about it.

That ministers often fail to properly run their ministries is not untrue or false, in fact, this has become the one more or less agreed on thing about ministers. Several examples can be demonstrated to show the failure of ministers, only two will suffice for now. Truly, from Minister Stuart Young’s stance on the Chinatown project to the Ministry of Education being successfully sued by a secondary schooler (for being deprived of a rightfully earned scholarship), it is clear that ministers are consistently failing. Hence, the largest part of the street talk about ministries and ministers regards how exactly we shall fix them.

I have heard it suggested that the solution to the problem of ministers would be to simply get rid of every last one of them. Yet I think this, far from being the solution, is actually the problem with which we are dealing. Just as it would be silly to think that every household in Trinidad should go unfathered, it would be almost as equally unreasonable to claim that ministries should go “unministered.” Such a claim is better suited for anarchists, who really are anarchist because they know nothing of anarchy. I am no anarchist and thus, I think it wrong to say a man should not be in control of his home and likewise, a minister his ministry. The problem with ministers, therefore, cannot be the problem of having them.

The other commonly suggested method of fixing the ministers is to have them do something, I often hear the talk that goes; “ah, if these ministers would only do something!” Yet I also think this is not the solution. It is apparent, at least to me, that the problem of ministers will not be solved in having them do something for their ministry, for in my opinion, they are often doing too much. The true problem of ministers I believe to be a simpler one, as simple, for example, as having an undrivable car that is undrivable for no other reason than the fact that it has not been started.

Now, if man never knew a thing about cars, and therefore didn’t know how simple it was to start one, he should want to blow the car up in frustration. I suppose the frustration people have for ministers is similar. The problem of ministers that leads sane people to think we should perhaps have them publicly hung or beheaded can be found in the fact that the ministers are always publicly beheading themselves. The problem is really that the heads of entire ministries are decapitated from their bodies. Hence, just as many fathers are sadly not part of the family they started, very few ministers are actually a part of the ministry they run. And just as you will rarely find the anti-father fathering his children, you will also rarely find the minister of health receiving treatment in the general hospital or the minister of education having his son educated in a public school.

Seeing that I have taken up that sad group of men who left the home they were meant to run and compared them with that other sad group who left their ministries, I shall continue in this comparison to further illustrate this true problem of ministers. When a father abandons the home, it is common for him to go on spoiling the now “unfathered” children. The anti-father goes on satisfying all his children’s wants while neglecting their needs, first of which is for him to be a father and not an anti-father. A similar situation is occurring in ministries, which is why I say ministers often do too much. Ministries are having to go on without ministers in the true sense. The anti-ministers who are already publicly no part of the ministry, do everything they can to give the impression that they, in fact, love their ministry. Just as the anti-father claims he would die for his abandoned children; the anti-minister says he would do likewise for his ministry and all its people. It is pure irony that we find both deplorables saying they would die for a thing they seemingly go on refusing to live for.

Since we are in a health-related lockdown at the time of my writing, I would like to remind you that the real reason for this lockdown is to save our failed healthcare system/ministry and not to save ourselves. I have heard it said by many doctors that it would be better for our nation to get a wider spread of the virus so as to build anti-bodies. Yet in so doing the ministry, as we all know, would be overburdened. Therefore, we have all been forced to shoulder the shutdown that the healthcare system would have experienced. But what are we to expect? Is it not totally natural for a thing to die when its head is chopped from its body? The fact that minister Deyalsingh shared and promoted a fake news story regarding Ian Alleyne that was directly condemned by and related to his ministry is evidence of this divorce between minister and ministry where the head of the ministry goes rolling off to wonderland.

The solution then to the problem of bringing our ministries back to life would not be to get rid of them or have them, as they are, do more things. Rather, like how solving the problem of a fatherless home would be to get the father back at home, solving the problem of the ministers should be done in the same sense. Just as we advocate for the father to loyally stay at home with his wife and children, we must also advocate for ministers to be in their ministry. This way, the minister will know what needs to be done since the problems he’d be solving would not only be the problem of others but also the problems of his own. This may also be the best way to get the maxi man to refrain from speaking badly about the minister who does nothing for the subjects of his ministry, since the maxi man may find the said minister seated next to him requesting change for a 100.