“No one wants to wake up and see a front-page story in our newspapers stating, ‘Jamaica bleeds’,” Bartlett told delegates attending the 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston two days ago.
If this statement wasn’t so seriously unhelpful and dangerous I would bust out laughing …..
Look I have always liked Ed Bartlett. As a Jamaican Politician Ed Bartlett is probably one of the nicer persons you will find of any of the creeps who traverse Gordon House.
I have met and interacted with Minister Bartlett twice in his capacity as member of parliament of the Nannyville-Back-Bush area of St, Andrew and they were rather positive encounters.
On that basis I will try to be charitable to minister Bartlett , even as I disagree with his approach.
TWO SERIOUS INFRACTIONS SUGGESTED WHICH WILL ONLY EXACERBATE THE KILLINGS
♦ Minister Bartlett in his understandable concern for the sector over which he has portfolio has unwittingly suggested that dollars are more important than people.
Now lets be real here, there are many people in this present day Jamaica who aren’t worth fighting for , despite that however we have to work toward building a better Jamaica regardless of those deplorables.
Said Bartlett : While acknowledging the role of the media in a free democracy, graphic details of crime in Jamaica can destroy all the gains that have been made in the tourism sector in recent years.”
In other words lets pretend that this isn’t happening. We will just simply sweep the garbage under the rug and pretend the house is clean, no one will, know.
Laughable, crime is a metastasizing phenomenon which feeds on acquiescence and fear.
Those two defining characteristics have been part of Jamaica’s attitude toward crime for decades.
The yearly escalation in the number of homicides is testament to the fact that-that policy does not fix the problem it enables it.
♦ In a Democracy you don’t get to suppress news you don’t like .
Instead of lobbying stakeholders withing the tourism sector to pony up money to help train, equip, and pay the police Minister Bartlett wants what little effectiveness the Media has left to be further diminished through censorship .
This is what makes Ed Bartlett’s statement so significant.
The Minister must know that neither he nor the administration of which he is a part have a right to demand where and how the media operates.
On the other hand Minister Bartlett is woefully behind the times if he believes that the news out of Jamaica is coming largely from the few little news papers there .
Clearly the minister does not understand the power of Blogs and social media platforms in shaping and disseminating the news and information in real time organically.
As exasperating as the issue of crime and terrorism is to the delicate tourism industry, the answer is certainly not to try to suppress the news but to brainstorm with a view toward resolving this existential issue.
For decades successive governments of both political parties have supported criminal conduct at the expense of the rule of law and law enforcement.
The present Prime Minister, as did the previous labor party Prime Minister Bruce Golding, clearly misunderstood that supporting those who are opposed to the police would lead to calamitous consequences for the Island.
As I have said consistently I do not talk about the People’s National Party whenever the issue of crime and terror is being debated.That party has done immeasurable harm to our country which should disqualify that party from representational politics in my opinion.
The labor party should know better…..
With the terrifying murder statistics and the turning of popular opinion on INDECOM Andrew Holness is singing a different tune, and has recently called for a revising of the INDECOM Act.
This writer has written dozens if not hundreds of articles in this medium as well as in other mediums in which I have laid out that the JCF must have oversight but INDECOM is not that oversight.
INDECOM from the outset through it’s commissioner Terrence Williams and Assistant Commissioner Hamish Campbell, set a confrontational anti-police agenda.
That agenda was evidenced through INDECOM’S principals sharing platforms with anti police agitators and lobbyists like JFJ, the IACHR, FAST to name a few.
Contrary to it’s mandate to re-actively investigate allegations of abuse by the Military,Police and Correction’s Departments, as well as cases in which these entities use force as part of their daily routine , INDECOM’s principals turned the agency into a an anti-police , anti-military lobby.
On that basis alone ,not only should Williams,Campbell and others from INDECOM who attended the conferences with those anti-police lobby groups be fired at the time , the Act should have been revisited at that time.
The Police and Military protested at the time, yet Bruce Golding and his administration refused to correct this egregious travesty resulting in a mass exodus of good cops who saw the writing on the wall.
The Government had established an agency to collaborate with forces against them .
Others took up the offer of early retirement , leaving behind a cadre of police impostors many of whom were only there for the little pay-check given the Island’s dismal job producing record.
Degrees yes, motivated to go out and fight crime , No!
Scenes of crime investigations which begin with full protocols of the process are only a charade which hardly result in murderers being brought to justice .
There is hardly any detective work being done outside the charade of the crime scene tapes and the guys in the long coats….
Sure we need the gathering of the scientific evidence but nothing replaces the need for good old fashioned police work through intelligence gathering.
Police work in Jamaica has being reduced to people with a few years service smartly dressed in the uniform of seniority , sitting behind desks making inane statements.
But whats the use of removing the killers from the streets if the ideologically liberal judges out of the Norman Manley Law just turns them loose?
There is a never ending parade of opinions and working papers on how to deal effectively with crime in our country.
The vast majority of what I have seen and read seem to be about the writers sense of themselves rather than a comprehensive assessment of what exist and a radical approach on how to fix it.
Let me be clear, in order to build a sky-scraper with shiny glass windows and cool air-conditioned offices ,the work of creating a design must be done.
Then comes the hard work of digging deep into the earth to establish a foundation and in many cases several floors below ground.
After the excavation is done then comes the hard work of laying concrete and steel , inch by inch .It is hard dirty work ,but work which must be done if ever the workmen want to have that tower delivered to the owners.
So too is the issue of taking back our streets from the murderers and gangsters who control them, hard dirty work .
Not everyone want to face those realities. It is necessary work which must be done. This requires police officers , not academics.
Hands must get dirty . hundreds of the young men walking around Jamaica rubbing shoulders with law abiding Jamaicans have the blood of several people on their hands.
We must never surrender to the idea that the sheer volume of murders is too great to bring the killers to justice,or bring justice to them , their choice.
There is no arriving at a prosperous and pleasant Jamaica using pleasantries and platitudes.
The honest fact is that the dirty work of driving fear into criminals and putting murderers in jail and keeping them there, must begin if this issue is ever to be addressed successfully.
We can have truth and reconciliation after we have control , not before.
I am not dissuaded by those who criticize my arguments they are exactly the arguments I expected to hear from murderers and supporters of murderers.
We are never ever going to deal effectively with crime and terror by sweeping murder statistics under the carpet.