The Economics of Covid-19 Lockdowns & Opening Up w/ Sir John Redwood and Peter George, Jr.
A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E3
streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST
repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST
Welcome to Season 2 Episode 3 of A Story Club: Global Politics & Cultures, brought to you by Bulletproof Podcast Formula.
My name is Dr. Kirk Meighoo and I'm the public relations officer of the United National Congress, the official Opposition Party in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
This is a unique venture, streaming simulataneously from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Dehra Dun in India, and San Franciso in the United States.
We speak with people around the world, trying to understand different issues and problems relevant to my own country, Trinidad and Tobago, and also to people in sometimes very similar and sometimes very different situations, cultures, histories, politics, sociology, etc.
The goal is to learn from each other, build networks, widen our perspectives, and work for solutions in our distinctive contexts.
Today’s episode is titled, "The Economics of Covid-19 Lockdowns & Opening Up"
15 months ago, Trinidad and Tobago had one of the lowest infection and death rates from covid in the world. We watched the BBC, CNN and other news outlets relay what looked like horrific situations in New York, Italy, and saw harsh lockdown measures instituted in the UK, Australia, Germany and elsewhere.
Today, the situation is reversed. We in Trinidad and Tobago are looking at some of those very countries with envy, as we see the Brit Awards, football matches, and late-night clubbing with large, maskless crowds and no social distancing in the UK, or life apparently returning to normal in New York City.
Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, is experiencing an upsurge of infections and deaths unlike anything experienced in the months previous, with the covid death toll this month alone exceeding all covid deaths for the previous 14 months. A severe State of Emergency has been declared, but in the meanwhile people and businesses are experiencing economic hardship on an unprecedented scale.
This raises the questions, what have the covid lockdown experiences and policies been like in different countries? What social and economic effects has it had? How have different societies coped with saving lives and livelihoods? What is the way forward?
This week, I am honoured to have as my guests Sir John Redwood from the UK, and Peter George, Jr. from Trinidad and Tobago.
Sir John Redwood is Member of Parliament for Wokingham in Berkshire. He was formerly Secretary of State for Wales in the Major government and subsequently served in the Shadow Cabinets of William Hague and Michael Howard. He was the co-chairman of the Conservative Party's Policy Review Group on Economic Competitiveness and the author of 8 books, by my count.
Sir John has recently insisted that the faster UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson relaxes coronavirus restrictions, the quicker the economic bounce back, arguing that the pace of the recovery will remain mainly determined by the rate of relaxation.
Peter George, Jr. is CEO of the Trent Restaurants Group in Trinidad and Tobago, one of the largest indigenous restaurant chains in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. He is well-known for his outspoken, independent views on politics and the economy, and has recently called for a radical liquidity injection in the Trinidad and Tobago economy in the face of the continuing covid lockdowns.