“My Government has “reached the point where we are now prepared to take these firm and resolute measures to ensure that the crime monster does not destabilize the promising future that is in store for Jamaica”. – Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness Wednesday, January 17th.2018.
Speaking up and out on topical issues affecting the country immediately elicits a certain degree of risk. Not only are the country’s libel laws onerous, the people are deeply partisan and the society extremely polarized.
The people, for the most part, tend to view even the most serious and consequential issues through the narrowest of partisan lens. Even those who are educated demonstrate the same frustrating tendencies.
The general consensus of what patriotism represents is to ignore, pretend and sweep the horrific murder statistics under the rug and go on as if the world does not know. This insanely silly mindset prevails even as other nations are issuing travel advisories to their citizens wishing to visit our country.
The mind-numbing idiocy of that kind of approach defies logic in an age of social media and instant messaging.
Last year the Prime Minister gave the country (ZOSO), Zones Of Special Operations legislation, his supporters hailed as the panacea which would stop the bloodshed.
After careful analysis, I took the position that ZOSO was a smokescreen by the Government designed to placate the public and the powerful criminal rights lobby.
Not only did I argue that it would not be successful, I outlined categorically why it would not and could not have the results the Government promised. Many of the Prime Ministers supporters labeled me a member of the PNP solely on that basis, even as they failed to defend or debunk the reasons I indicated the law could not work.
Their mentality reminded me of Harriet Tubman’s statement, quote” I freed a thousand slaves and could have freed thousands more if only they knew they were slaves”. When the logic is irrefutable like mindless robots they attack the messenger, particularly if he/she is clear-eyed on what is happening while they chose willful ignorance.
“We are now prepared to take these firm and resolute measures.“ A shocking confession by the Prime Minister [not surprising to us who knew], that with over 1,600 reported dead last year his Government just sees it fit to act decisively.
Now based on precedent, it is advisable that despite the prime minister’s words we wait and see what course of actions will be adopted. Will it be another flailing smack at the charging lion, or will it be a resolute and decisive blast putting down the beast?
Since his revealing admission, soldiers have poured into the Parish of Saint James in what we are told is a limited state of emergency. Whether that is the extent to which the Prime Minister and his Administration is willing to go still remain to be seen. However, the Prime Minister has demonstrated by his own words that he is leading from behind on crime.
Quote: “Over the past months, I have been observing public discourse very closely on this matter. It is an emerging view that now is the time that the Government should take firm and resolute measures.”
Leaders cannot spit on their finger and stick it in the air to see where the winds blow. Leaders must take bold actions as long as the cause is just and the data supports the action being contemplated. Jamaicans are extremely opinionated, usually to a fault and that includes even when we have no relationship with or access to the facts.
The Prime Minister has demonstrably polled public sentiments on crime in order to act, much to the horror of conscientious people, not to mention those remaining relatives of the over sixteen hundred who were summarily murdered last year. We do not choose our leaders so they may wait to see what we are talking about in the press and social media before they act. The Prime Minister’s admission that public sentiment informs his decision making should give citizens much pause.
Jamaica is a small country with a small population and a large criminal population contrary to the Prime Minister’s assertion that 99% of the population are law-abiding citizens. Not true, Transparency International’s assessment disproves that assertion, the crime statistics contradicts that assertion and the number of people being arrested for their involvement in criminal activity disagrees with that assertion, despite the rancid liberalism and corruption within the justice system and the lack of resources dedicated to law enforcement.
“A huge percentage — 99 percent of Jamaicans — are decent, law-abiding, upstanding people who want to see this country grow and prosper. Now, that one percent that is causing the destabilization, we must put in place the laws and the measures to deal with them once and for all…” Holness asserts. A clear indication of what many people including this publication believe that the Government knew its approach to crime was piece-meal bulls**t.
I call on Jamaicans of all stripes, irrespective of where you are domiciled if you love Jamaica and recognise that it is not a ‘sh*thole country’ and you want to keep it that way. Do not be distracted by fake patriots who believe that sweeping the garbage under the carpet translates into a clean house. Raise your voices and demand change.
Disregard the curry goat and red stripe crowd who believe that as long as they can eat and drink and gyrate to dancehall lyrics, all is well. We were given a beautiful country by our fore-parents, they slaved and died for it we owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave it better than we got it.
We will not do so by pretense and deniability, not by throwing our support to criminals but by standing up against corruption and criminality, toxic vices which are sucking the lifeblood of our country. Nothing succeeds like success, solid leadership can ill afford to wait for a population with hardly any semblance of peace and security to determine what peace and security look like.
Forget about public sentiment and do the right thing, in the end, people will realize that they are safer. Political considerations cannot always be the guiding principle.
By Mike Beckles – Check out his blog HERE
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