• 24 Jun, 2024

Fools With Power of Foolish With Power?

Fools With Power of Foolish With Power?

Fools With Power of Foolish With Power?

If Independent Senators were capable of independent thought, then people would not accuse them of being politically aligned. But the reality is Independent Senators, like several Government and Opposition Senators, have also ‘buffooned’ their way into Parliament.

Senator Paul Richards is once again calling for excessive regulations. This time around, however, his gripe isn’t cigarettes but rather the gaming and gambling industries. It should be the job of an Independent Senator to protect us from the overreaching arms of government. But if Paul Richards had his way, he would give God competition in stretching his arms across the world.

The ideal government that every country should strive for is a government of laws and not a government of men. No country has achieved this ideal though few have come close. But in a country like ours, where asses of men congregate to prescribe legislation, neither form of government will work in our favour.

There is a major legal confusion in the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Bill that stems from the use of the word ‘gaming’. A roulette machine is obviously a gaming and betting machine, but we’ve expanded the definition to include cryptocurrency and video games.

One does not have to be a Bitcoin investor or Call of Duty pro to understand that neither activity involves gambling. But for all the supposedly intelligent minds we have in the Senate, none of them seem to be aware of this. When politicians think that video game consoles are gambling machines, you know it’s time to implement a retirement age.

Senator Richards believes that making a purchase on the Playstation Network is an ‘underworld’ activity. Does he not see the number of Playstation Network cards selling online? Any sensible Senator would raise the issue of the flexible definition of “gaming industry”, but Paul Richards is not a sensible man. Only a buffoon would ask if there is a link between a shipment of illegal guns and an unregulated gaming industry. Even more foolish was his concern that gambling machines manipulate people into thinking that they’re winning. What’s his next revelation going to be? That politicians manipulate the electorate into thinking they can get proper representation?

How on earth did we reach the point where politicians can comfortably sit in their chairs and openly express their disdain for us spending our money how we want? Do any of us complain about the tax breaks Richards receives on vehicles? But Richards is not alone in his double standards.

For the past five years, the Finance Minister has been trying to regulate our spending of US Dollars. Whether it’s by enforcing spending limits or implementing an online shopping tax, the Minister has a problem with us spending money under the guise of ‘doing what’s best for the economy’. If conserving forex were truly an issue for this government, we wouldn’t have wasted billions of dollars in renovation and construction projects.

A drive around the Queen’s Park Savannah would reveal a massive building for the National Insurance Board. Although the hours of operation are between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. someone thought it was a good idea to add extravagant neon lights. Further down, you would see an enormous Ministry of Health Headquarters being constructed. Is this necessary? Is a building going to suddenly fix our health care woes? We would soon have a Health Headquarters that’s larger than a private hospital.

Just around the corner on Jerningham Avenue, the Belmont Community Centre is being rebuilt. The Eric Williams Library is perhaps the longest ongoing restoration project. It seems as if the only time we’re supposed to spend our money is when the government needs to look important by cutting a ribbon to open a new building that will soon become a white elephant.

If politicians didn’t have double standards, then they would have no standards at all. People who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus were unable to spend those last few days with them or even attend their funeral. But all social gathering protocols were thrown out the window for the funeral service of Franklin Khan. There are still nationals stranded abroad but the offspring of Ministers get to come and go as they please.

The irony of calls for regulation is that the government has avoided the exact stranglehold they want to place on us. The Minister of Finance continues to dodge the IMF because of the rules that come with an IMF loan. Instead, he has turned to China where the loans are given without restrictions—at least for the government. When this money is inevitably squandered, the restrictions the government avoided would be imposed on us.

At a time when it has become fashionable for the government to regulate our lives, the question must be asked: Who’s regulating the government?

Jean-Claude Escalante

JC has an obsession with all things 20th Century Communism. He also enjoys reading the works of Thomas Sowell. Video games & pro wrestling keep him sane.