Saturday, March 27, 2010

Those who fail to learn from history. . .

. . . fail again. Before I begin, you could argue about this post and say: "But DeepThought, the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, is running at 60% or more these days and you have Wendy's name in it and all! Think of all the lives its saved over the years!" Well that may be true, but how long did it take for us to get to "60% and more" utilization? The EWMSC was finished in 1989. That's over 21 years ago! Twenty one years! How long did it take to build? Longer than that! You think we finish paying for it? Think again.

This post is about NAPA. If you haven't figured it out by now I am paralleling the construction of not only NAPA, but of Campus Plaza, Waterfront, Tarouba and all the other "mega" projects built in the last years since the PNM has been in government, to EWMSC. This is like shooting fish in a barrel. I'll tell you why.

The EWMSC was presented to Cabinet, the Chamber's government I believe, in a feasability study in the early 80's that basically compared two things: The wealth of the nation and the future health of the Caribbean region. They figured that the more money flowing into the T&T via oil and gas, the less prevalent diseases such as SIDS, cholera, malaria and other "third world diseases" and the more wealthier the nations got as a result of gas and oil the more prevalent maladies such as heart disease, cancer and plastic surgery, would be on the rise, as in "Developed Nations." (I added Plastic Surgery for effect, to show how they were thinking)

In other words, in the future (which is now) we won't be dying from common things like dengue, malaria and infant mortality, we'd be SO rich and developed we'd be dying more from cancer etc.

Well, what do you think? I think in the end we're all JUST DYING really!

So they built this massive "complex" to handle all of the diseases that we MAY suffer from in the future! Now I'm not saying this study was wrong, it was just one sided, putting the future wealth of the nation above the HEALTH of the nation, because in the end as usual a big building was going to solve all our problems! (Never mind who was going to staff it or use it!) But I digress.

Is this starting to sound familiar? There is scant research available to me at this time to post here showing the controversy surrounding EWMSC, suffice to say that it was built by foreigners, took VERY long, and when opened became known as the biggest white elephant in T&T. You see people not only forget this government conveniently forgets to mention the mistakes of the past, so our youth, don't know what transpired before!

It has always been the prevue of PNM regimes, from as far back as Eric Williams, to build monuments to themselves. People remember the monuments and the faces that go with them, but not what goes on inside of these edifices nor what really went on behind the names attached to these symbols.

I think ACTT did a very good thing in releasing the problems associated with the NAPA, because we need to know. We cannot accept anything anymore "carte blanche" we've done it before, its been covered up and swept away into the dust of history. We cannot ever forget again! I urge you to do your own research. Go to the libraries, go to the UWI West India section and look up the old newspaper clippings on the Mount Hope Medical Sciences Complex and decide for yourself what I'm saying makes sense, that we've been here before, let's not be there again!

You see ACTT is right, about the SPIRIT of NAPA, more that the "design flaws." It was NOT built with our environment in mind! Just like EWMSC, where they set up huge theatres to handle diseases that the population couldn't pay for, nay sustain to recover the cost, we have a building ill suited to our "culture!" If we're a performance driven culture that involves less structure and more, organic styled presentations, then NAPA is not fulfilling those needs.

But what IS NAPA fulfilling? Well if you listen to the latest brouhaha over chutney and Ravi B, the NAPA is for "culture." This kind of culture. and this and definitely, its seems, this. You get my drift? Now nothing is wrong with that, but is it the only things that make up our "culture" or is it this is what the PNM wants to make T&T's culture INTO?

Think about it.

Now stop thinking and go do something!

The only thing I could find relating to the history of EWMSC online is this and the PDF link below on that page. If you have any more info on the history and controversy of EWMDSC please do send me a link, msg here in the comments section. Thanks.

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