What’s in a name?
Do dogs still bark when called by new names? Changing names can change perception but will not necessarily result in a change of behaviour or performance to yield the desired results. Understanding the cause and nature of things is always crucial to guide our actions.
Some things will change with new names and others won’t. It’s oftentimes observed that sales are boosted, even significantly, by rebranding the old as new. Sometimes ‘old wines’ and everyday food products which are rebranded as new, with different labels and new packaging, will, for many, taste much better and be consumed far more. But things like shelf life will no doubt remain unchanged.
Human beings are driven first and foremost by emotions. It’s all about our desires, beliefs, fears, perception, and the feel-good factor which is never to be underestimated. There is no doubt that rebranding does encourage the feel-good factor.
Is the recent announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness of a new ministry to be possibly named “Ministry of Human Development and Peace” a rebranding of former Prime Minister P J Patterson’s ‘Values and Attitudes’ campaign? It’s irrelevant to me, but I do have a sense of ambivalence.
I readily welcome interventions within the confines of the laws, whether at the community or national level, which would ensure a more orderly society and reduce crime and violence. But given our tradition of many grand announcements, then excitement, followed by no meaningful achievements, I do have reservations. Regarding measures for crime prevention and detection, there have been not many but numerous over the last half a century.
Many factors contribute to crime. But I remain convinced that effective measures, such as keeping our communities clean, the timely collection and proper disposal of garbage and waste, enforcing the noise abatement act and traffic ticketing system, will create more social order and help to reduce crime and give the impression that the Government means business.
In this technological age, why are so many motorists still allowed to accumulate hundreds of unpaid traffic tickets? Over many decades there has been inefficiency in the traffic ticketing system and the recklessness and carnage increase despite the feel-good factor of many grand announcements and increased traffic fines. New measures won’t work with old mindsets and old ways of doing things, like lack of accountability, inefficiency, and preferential treatment.
Unless a Government demonstrates it can effectively enforce the aforementioned it’s not cynicism when we hear grand announcements to wonder: Will it be old wine in new bottles?
Daive R Facey