Govt: Now Prepared For Action On Crime: We Were Right All Along, They Weren’t…

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 is 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 demon­strates 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 advi­sors 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.

ZOSO ‑So So ?

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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.

PM Andrew Holness

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 after 1616 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 six­teen hun­dred and six­teen 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 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 believes that the Government knew its approach to crime was piece-meal bull­shit.

I call on Jamaicans of all stripes, irre­spec­tive of where you are domi­ciled if you love Jamaica and rec­og­nize that it is not a shit­hole 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.