The real victims of parliamentary decisions

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Once again the people of Jamaica have found themselves at the end of the proverbial stick as a result of a decision taken in Parliament that serves the interests of political parties and their fortunes, totally disregarding the crying voices and will of those who elected them for representation at that level.

On Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Parliament again voted to extend the state of emergency in the St Catherine North Police Division. The extent to which the lives of ordinary Jamaicans are inconvenienced is immeasurable when compared to the very little or no success that the state of emergency has reaped.

Over time we have allowed the moral and social fabric of our society to be eroded to the point at which good values and attitudes have become things of the past, while indiscipline, 'gangsterism', corruption and immorality permeate the society at all levels, including the Church.

I have watched painfully and helplessly for decades the tyranny which serves as an incubator for the escalation of crime and violence and very little or no regard for life and property, while the police force has been used by administration after administration as a political tool to help win elections and promote party operatives. This period has been characterised by the naming of successive, so-called crime fighting squads which invariably yield the same result — higher levels of crime.

While politicians boast and pound the desks in Parliament, in the act of making cosmetic pronouncements about the reduction of murders in the St Catherine North Police Division and St James, where all the State's security resources are deployed, I urge them to take off the political blinkers and open their eyes to the increase in the levels of crime in other areas from which the security personnel were transferred. Not only is it that their security is compromised and they become vulnerable, but they have become victims.

After multiple extensions it has become abundantly clear that the Government has failed to establish a plan for crime; hence, no policy direction.

Of even greater concern is the cowardly behaviour of the Opposition with its “yes” vote in support of the extension of the state of emergency. This is indicative of either of two things:

1) the Opposition, like the Government, doesn't have a clue of what it is that needs to be done to effectively tackle the crime monster, or

2) they are in collusion with their political cronies on the other side.

Unfortunately, when these decisions are to be taken the only voices that are taken into consideration are those of tourism interest groups and funders of political parties, while small business operations and ordinary Jamaicans are marginalised. The real economy of the areas of the declared states of emergency, if properly assessed, could be described as being in a state of depression.

It is no secret that those who continue to call for the extension of the states of emergency are either political operatives whose heads are buried in the guarded “prosperity trough” or those whose businesses are negotiated and transacted abroad, and their earnings, for the most part, do not touch our shores.

Things have fallen apart, the centre is not holding. Sooner than later this can, and I dare say, will result in mere anarchy in this Jamaica, land we love.

The time has come now for us to start listening to the voices and the will of the masses and make decisions for the people, not politics.


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