THE EDITOR: There are manifestations here and there of arcanum methods of governing and social intervention. Examples are the kettling of the whole of the Palestinian people in their own territories and telling them they have none; the EU’s refusal to recognise new Donbas passports; the use of QR codes to spread relief in times of famine or fuel shortages, but using the information gained for other purposes; the perpetual lockdown in Australia and harassment of people by authorities.
Here in Trinidad and Tobago a similar trend can be spotted. The Rowley Government claims to be forward-looking, but instead of making the nation wealthy and flexible ahead of potential emergence of new economies, it set up multiple disadvantages and dependencies and is still trying to lay a groundwork of limitations. Also, it wants advantages for Tobago it will not give to parts of Trinidad.
More generally the Public Health Ordinance should be renovated. Law in modern times must reflect the primacy of civil life, not be a fallback for martial law. That means assuring general medicine in the hands of patients as against tipping to involuntary vaccination, medical denialism/automaticity and prolonged waiting.
Any government can use the law in a positive sense, but a bad Government remains free to use the law, as it stands, very negatively.
The law should be amended to leave the way open that allows people, medical doctors and science, to respond quickly and measurably – free and responsible – to perceived unfolding dangers. This conditions the environment into accurate, speedy and substantial feedback that otherwise is stifled.