Saturday, January 09, 2010

Another record year

"The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing." 
Edmund Burke

Jamaica seems to have become the perfect example of Burke's quote.There were (according to police figures) 1,680 murders last year, the highest number ever recorded in Jamaica.

One thousand, six hundred and eighty. That's two giant Airbus A380s chock full of people. That's a Coaster and a Hiace full of people killed each week. That's a car load of people murdered every day. That's unacceptable.

The police force has many shortcomings, which I've pointed out on several occasions and which most, if not all, of us see very regularly, but the members of the JCF are not the "good men" in Burke's quote. That dubious honour belongs to all of us who, through our silence and apathy, allow criminals to be brazen enough to shoot a woman in Half-way-tree in the middle of the day or to invade a party, shoot somebody 30 times and torch 6 houses.

Evil is flourishing because Jamaicans of all classes and creeds simply look the other way. Whether it's rampaging gunmen or someone breaking in to the house next door, we have allowed ourselves to be paralyzed by fear and this has, in turn, impacted the ability of the JCF to investigate and solve crimes. No  police force in the world, no matter how much CSI technology they employ, can effectively combat crime without the cooperation of citizens.

There are those who say that the reason for the lack of cooperation is that fact that people are afraid that the very same policemen who the information is passed along to are in league with the criminals. This collusion may be true, as we've seen in recent cases, but there are anonymous avenues such as Crime Stop and Operation Kingfish through which information can be passed on to the police.

As I pointed out in a previous post, Jamaica is a country of contradictions. We berate the JCF and the Minister of National Security for the high murder rate, but are unwilling to do our part to help bring it under control. The root of the murder problem isn't violent lyrics or video games or the incompetence of the JCF or politicians, it's us. It's the "informer" stigma we cling to and the "me nuh business" attitude which we have towards gang members and murderers.  Until we good men decide to do something, evil will continue to flourish and we'll continue to break records.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Resolutions Politicians Should Make (And Keep) In 2010 and Beyond

Have consistent positions on issues
A tax or policy that's okay when you were/are in power doesn't magically become evil when you aren't, and vice versa. This applies to things like gas taxes, borrowing money from the NHT and garrison constituencies.

Country first
Vote according to your conscience, not whatever the party line is. If you agree with a Government bill when you're in Opposition then vote for it. If members of your party aren't performing then replace them with people who will. Party-line voting helped to get the country into the hole it's in, it sure as hell won't help get it out.

Attend all sessions of Parliament/Senate/Committees
Because it's your damn job.

Stop wasting time in those sessions
The country doesn't want to see or hear grown men and women bickering about who called who what name when the country is rushing headlong towards becoming a failed state. Grow the fuck up. This isn't high school.

Stop thinking that the country is stupid
We all know when you're bullshitting us, whether it's about why you fired the governor of the BOJ or the real reason you want to protest against new taxes. Just stop. Transparency (when coupled with intelligent decision making) will get you far more support and respect than spin.

Make the right decisions, even if that decision means losing political capital
There are decisions which have to be made by people on both sides of the political divide which will prove to be unpopular with their respective parties and party donors but which need to be made for Jamaica to make any significant progress.

Any other resolutions you'd like to see politicians make (and keep)?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

To Be, Or Not To Be

We claim to be anti-gay but flock in droves to roots plays to watch Shebada.

We hate that politicians are corrupt but we're always trying the beat the system.

We want crime to go down but aren't willing to testify.

We give superb customer service to tourists but could care less about serving our own countrymen.

Baby Cham and Vybz Kartel record immensely popular songs glorifying fellatio but Lisa Hype gives head and is chastised.

No wonder we can't run the fucking country. We have no idea who we are or what we want to be.