Letters to the Editor

Is PNP hotline an act of political sabotage?

Monday, September 04, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Matthew 7: 20 states: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” That is a scripture that fits the People's National Party (PNP) to the T.

When the number of murders went up dramatically earlier this year, the PNP called upon the Government to respond to it. The Government responded by announcing a plan to go into crime hot spots; clear and hold those areas then develop them.

That became know as the zones of special operations (ZOSO) law.

The PNP, led by the unholy trinity of Peter Bunting, Peter Phillips and Mark Golding, raised cane about the effectiveness of the move. They even staged a phony walkout in Parliament after they didn't get their way.

After the legislation was passed, the PNP continued to criticise the move, until recently Peter Phillips did a U-turn on the matter and called on the Government to implement the law.

The Government declared Mount Salem in St James a ZOSO and the PNP have now done what can only be described as a seeming act of political sabotage by launching a hotline that individuals should call to report instances of police or military abuse.

This needs to be investigated.

The message in the PNP setting up that hotline is effectively telling Jamaicans that the police and military are untrustworthy and the Government cannot keep them in check. Has the PNP forgotten that the police and military represent the State?

Here is a political party actively encouraging subversion of the rule of law by telling people to bypass the official communication lines set up. They are effectively running a parallel operation. How can the PNP tell people to work with the police on one hand, while on the other they are saying don't trust them?

Why didn't the PNP call on the Office of the Public Defender or Jamaicans for Justice to set up such a hotline since they are so concerned about abuses? Why do they think Jamaicans should trust them over those institutions? It's baffling, to say the least!

Let's for a moment assume the PNP hotline has good intentions — which I certainly don't think it does — how will the PNP know if the information received is correct? Anybody can call that hotline and say whatever they like. Furthermore, how confidential will that information be? What will happen to the personal details of these individuals once they are given to whomever is collecting them in the PNP?

The only reason the PNP is doing this is in the hope that ZOSO will turn out to be another failed operation. The PNP seems to be hoping that it will get enough information to put in the public domain once the Government declares it to be a success. That way they can continue to preach fire and brimstone across the country with the hope of using it to get back into power. Scandalous!

Without crime the PNP has nothing to campaign on, as the debt-to-GDP ratio is at record low and falling, employment is up, the economy is growing, and businesses are investing. Not to mention that now the Government's budget may well be running a surplus.

I have never seen this level of political desperation from any political party all my years of watching politics in this country. It is very clear that the PNP is willing to go to any length in order to discredit the Government's crime-fighting plan — even to the extent of possibly embarrassing the sitting Government and the security forces.

Fabian Lewis





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