It’s sometimes difficult to hear yourself think in all of the noise and incoherent nonsensical gibberish on the topical issues of the day.
It is not that each and every person doesn’t have a right to their opinion, it’s just that they also want to have their own facts.
So, on the germane issue of violent crimes in Jamaica and the decision by the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) to withdraw support from the States of Emergency you may just imagine the level of partisan gibberish out there?
Difficult though it is to cut through the near-impenetrable partisan stubbornness, facts are still facts, and so we will continue to present the facts regardless of what the likes of Fitz Jackson and Peter Phillips and others say are the reasons the party pulled its support from the measure which is slated to expire in January.
Before we get too far afield, it is important that in the interest of clarity we state factually that the PNP has never supported the Law Enforcement agencies in their fight for the security and soul of our country.
Instead, the party has taken members of the security forces for fools tactically gambling that cheap populism with the broader electorate is a better bet than the smaller group of voters in the security forces.
As for as respect goes for the PNP police and soldiers are second class citizens.
Tactically that gamble has paid off for the party and truthfully they needn’t bother to worry about some members of the security forces who can’t tell their heads from a broomstick.
The chart above gives a breakdown of homicides reported to police between 2000 and 2016.
Let us remember that in the year 2005, the very same Peter Phillips who is now the leader of the opposition was the Minister of National Security.
That year saw murders reach 1674.
Peter Phillips said then that the nation needed resolute measures to fight crime.
What was Peter Phillips the in-power politician subscribing to then?
For his part, Peter Bunting took over the National Security portfolio in 2012. He benefitted from the work of the security forces which saw murders drop after the Tivoli Gardens incursion. Murder rose on his watch prompting him to state that the country needed divine intervention.
Now I don’t have a problem with the PNP doing what it thinks will benefit the party politically.
What I find reprehensible is that the party would lie about its motives for putting politics above the lives of people.
Thus far this year there has been a 21% decrease in murders as a result of the additional powers given the security forces and the mass of security bodies in trouble spots.
The PNP has every right to decide to wade in the blood of dead Jamaicans to political victory but in this medium, we will spend every day bringing this fact to the silent majority of the Jamaican people.
I couldn’t care less who runs the government, what I care about are fewer dead bodies.
It is not the first time that the PNP has done this and they must be made to own it, they should be held accountable as the anti-law enforcement party in our country.
The arguments proffered by Peter Phillips that the number of people scooped up in security dragnets and held without charge are legitimate ones.
If Peter Phillips legitimately understood that the role of the Opposition party is also part of the governing structure he would have opted for a more responsible approach.
If Peter Phillips, Fitz Jackson et al cared about National security as they crave state power that issue is something they could easily have worked out with the heads of the security agencies.
The number one reason Peter Phillips gave for his party’s decision not to support an extension of the SOE was the issue of mass detention.
Then he quoted JFJ, a virulent and antagonistic anti-police, anti-law -enforcement lobby which all but enhances the process of criminality on the Island.
Phillips inadvertently gave away his hand when he cited the anti-police lobby. JFJ has a documented history of using fraudulent information to ginn up dissent against the police department.
That includes using fraudulent numbers to report to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights In Washington DC.
This writer has written extensively about that for years and I would be remiss if I did not mention that the head of that criminal rights lobby Carolyn Gomes was forced to step down in disgrace over the proliferation of homosexual literature to minors.
In other countries that would certainly have consequences of up to a stiff prison sentence, not so in Jamaica.
There is no question that SOE’s and ZOSO’s cannot be the standard for fighting crime. A sustained and sustainable crime-fighting methodology is needed.
Nevertheless, the killings in Jamaica was a matter of national emergency requiring an emergency response.
A 21% reduction in homicides over the same period last year translates into roughly 325 fewer dead Jamaicans.
The fact that the PNP is willing to play games with these facts demonstrates that the party does not care about the people they pretend to care about.
They never did, what matters to the PNP has always been holding state power and enriching themselves criminally at the public’s expense.
There is a legitimate political conversation to be had about whether the governing party came to the table with a full understanding of what it takes to generate the prosperity it promised.
This writer has spoken to that question repeatedly. National security cannot be a political football.
The opposition PNP did not have a strategy to stop the bloodletting a mere three years ago. Peter Phillips called for decisive actions, Peter Bunting called for divine intervention.
What the nation needs are solutions and neither political party has demonstrated that it has the will and capacity to do what is required.
The PNP must tell the nation the truth that it’s big donor criminal supporters who are unable to hold massive dance parties and other activities are restless and threatening to withdraw support from the party.
Let’s stop with the pretense, let’s stop with the lies