‘Don man ship’ survives when depressed communities, puerile business owners, feeble politicians, insincere people of the cloth, and misguided law enforcement personnel tacitly turn a blind eye. And upright, fearful citizens, the majority of the population, acquiesce to this tyranny.
If dons are starved of their ill gotten gain for long enough they must, and will, find alternate ways to make a living. Hopefully, readily available, new and honest opportunities will then be more inviting and appealing.
The States of Emergency (SOEs) and Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) have partially helped in providing the avenue to accomplish this reorientation and acceptance of the more appropriate and acceptable modus operandi.
Deprived of the easy pickings and spoils from exploiting others at the end of the barrel of a gun or the threat of same, most perpetrators of these illegal acts will not sit by and starve. Should viable, honest options be easily available some may see the merit in the saying ‘by the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread’, Genesis 3:19. The more entrenched may require reorientation in confined settings, being prisoners of the state, where choices are limited and behaviour change can be supervised and enforced.
During incarceration all will be required to participate in acquiring a new skill. The skills toolkit could include; painting, basic plumbing, introduction to electrical wiring, keyboarding, aqua-culture, basic crafts, introduction to basic art, and greenhouse farming. Designing, developing and constructing collapsible craft items may be especially challenging but rewarding. Tourists would likely relish these high quality collapsible craft products since this would reduce space requirements and facilitate easy transport. All the collapsible craft items would be stamped with the impressive made in Jamaica label. Each student at completion of the course of training would be awarded a certificate of participation. Once released these reoriented ex-prisoners will have an increased opportunity of starting their own business.
If legal, professional psychological evaluations and behaviour modification should be considered and provided during incarceration where necessary.
The executive branch must engage and display the willingness and the fortitude to make it illegal to pay dons for offering or providing guarantees of protection to operators of businesses. The penalty for non-adherence must be intimidating if not terrifying.
A similar approach must be advanced for politicians who procure the services of, or engage in work using public agencies like the National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC), Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) without first securing the typical approval required of other members of society. All members of the society must be able to plainly see that the indiscipline of the few unruly, course and childish in the privileged political class will not be tolerated, and swiftly punished.
Any guilty government leader, politician, employee on government business, or other public official who threatens to, or actually seeks the help of superiors when stopped for traffic violations by on duty traffic officers should be immediately disciplined. The power of the law must be uniformly and transparently applied to all in the society. Rich or poor. The message must be clear and unambiguous, the old ways are a thing of the past. Public service announcements and government advertisements should broadcast this new way.
As the new police commissioner, Major General Anthony Anderson, has stressed trafficking in or hiding the presence of improperly obtained guns or other illegal weapons must be aggressively prosecuted. Resources dedicated to finding hidden weapons should be immediately undertaken. The promised surveillance aircraft, canine teams, and drones cannot be integrated into the security apparatus too quickly.
Flickers indicating economic and other progress are begging to appear. Moody’s just released an updated financial outlook for the country (as reported in the Jamaica Observer “Moody’s outlook for the country moves from stable to positive”.) The SOEs in Northern St. Catherine and St. James are beginning to slowly and consistently cauterise murders. The ZOSOs in Kingston and St. James are helping residents to understand the best ways to interface with security personnel and government agencies. Hopefully these commendable changes will soon impact domestic violence, resulting in reduction of same.
Port Royal, soon, will definitely get a floating cruise ship peer. If properly executed this should rapidly and permanently increase the number of guests arriving in Port Royal, Kingston and other nearby parishes. Once guests are treated respectfully their injection of significant foreign exchange in the impacted communities will be significant.
The awakened PNP has a new, and it appears resolute attitude to rapidly and comprehensively rid Jamaica of all forms of corruption. This unexplained change, the suspicious suggest, confirms the well known saying ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. The clear and acute vision acquired during the PNPs aspiration for power will hopefully not be transient. Most recommend we not hold our breaths. As mass suffocation could ensue.
So dons are beginning to sense it is a new way and a new day. An end to don man ship! And many are beginning to sense a new dawn and the rising optimism for a better Jamaica.
By Guest author: Leon Wright.
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