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It’s a great year 2018 is.

No matter where one looks, there are “smokes” indicating there are fires out there. Fires that must be extinguished or it would consume us.

Fire is good. It is a tool to help us in a lot of ways. We use it to cook our food. We also use fire to get rid of rubbish that otherwise could attract and spread airborne diseases.

In the contemporary world we now live, we must be alert as well. For fires, large fires could bring huge destruction to buildings and other important installations in our communities, towns and cities. That’s why we have fire tenders out there so that when there are fires, these fire trucks are almost always the first to be at the scene to ensure the potential spread of such fires are curtailed, using fire retardant chemicals.

Politically, it would seem there are internal activities intended to undermine the stability of government.

In the days since last Saturday, one particular party has reportedly been holding meetings. Understandably, this is the period when political parties must be getting together to weigh the pros and cons as we approach the next election.

That sort of preparation is vitally important. One would hope that the series of high level meetings in Honiara are focussed entirely on winning as many votes as possible at the next general election due in March 2019. One would hope that there’s nothing more to these meetings.

There are however persistent rumours of undercurrents which seem to be gathering momentum. Its intention seems to suggest disrupting what the new government may have planned to undertake in the remaining months of Parliament.

That we hope is not true. Time is far too short to continue lighting the fires of politics, which are more destructive to the common good than anything else.

And while money and human efforts are spent organizing destructive forces, our hospital suffers. Our people suffer at the hands of those who wield powers to make good things happen in the country so that our people can enjoy.

Sometimes one wonders whether we, as a nation, have set priorities at all … in economic development, education, health and so on.

We have trained our people to be better educated and equipped. But when they returned, there’s nothing for them to do. Many are disillusioned, stressed and really have nothing to do but look at the ceiling all day long.

We cannot continue like that forever. There must be a change of approach to give our young a hope and a future. As a one-time international public servant I know there are people out there who are more than keen to assist.

Is our vetting system credible? Or are we encouraging second class mentality. That near enough is good enough.

In doing so, we have lost our desire to enjoy a quality life. This is why a few years ago I called on the then government to establish a quality control body so that only quality goods go past Customs and Quarantine at our ports.

Right now everything and anything goes – hook, sink and all.

Our people who do not have access to good health care, not because we do not have professionally trained and qualified doctors, nurses and a raft of other professional health workers. No.

The fact is that we do not even have medical equipment that our doctors need to diagnose illnesses that befell our people. Mother Theresa’s principle of Health before Wealth, appears to have escaped us all – from the leadership down.

So it is well and good to have political party meetings here and there to plan for the day after. But one wonders whether party meetings are the priority.

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