Decision points and healing the wounds
By Staff Writer For the Guardian
It is a given that the nation is in a polarized state. The art of class warfare is alive and well.
Divisions abound among our people and The Bahamas is lurching from pillar to post. All however, is not yet lost and we need not at this time, write the obituary of our beautiful country. Yes, there are a number of serious challenges and more than enough societal and economic 'barbarians' at the proverbial gates.
It is my humble submission however, that if we take a less politically tribal approach, most of what ails us can be cured. Let us take a close look at crime, its alleged causes and suggested solutions. While we are at it, let us not neglect to figure out why our infrastructural work in New Providence is in such shambles. Of course, we must also ask the hard question: Is the prime minister up to the daunting tasks which confront him?
Crime and the fear of crime are literally killing The Bahamas. Far too many misguided persons have lambasted the current minister of national security and sought to blame him for the state of crime in our nation. Is this fair? Crime begins within the inner mind of an individual. It is absolutely impossible for the minister or police to enter the mind of an individual and determine, in advance, if he will commit or is considering committing a crime.
We must find the ways and means to encourage rehabilitation and the literal transformation of the thought processes of recalcitrant anti-social individuals, especially the youthful ones. A dedicated form or system of 'urban renewal' must be implemented in short order, by whatever name you wish. All of this unnecessary politically charged 'in your face' must cease and desist.
The state of our major roads in New Providence is poor. The permanent secretary and the substantive minister of works are, apparently, oblivious to the gridlock which the road builder has created by the disjointed schedule of work. Traffic congestion is extremely frustrating and has led to a massive decrease in productivity.
Why not fix or rehabilitate one road at a time? Why not deploy the traffic and other police officers in the known hot spots instead of having large numbers of them hanging around, looking pretty and doing absolutely nothing? What is the commissioner of police saying or doing about this? In fact, where is he?
The prime minister used to have the fire in his belly, so to speak, but, I postulate that he has long ago lost it. He seems to be on cruise control as is, apparently, the nation at large. A slew of potentially bogus bills were recently presented in the House of Assembly. The PM is well aware that these are not going anywhere any time soon.
No doubt, the right honorable gentleman and his hapless colleagues on the front bench mean well, but the road to hell, historically, has always been paved with good intentions and a massive dose of shaving cream. Nothing has changed.
To attempt, perhaps unconstitutionally, to impose minimum and maximum punishment guidelines and to agree to a parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of the Royal Bahamas Police Force due to public hysterics is not progressive or conducive to nation-building.
What will such attempts do to the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary? What will they do to the overall morale of the police force? Is the veil between the separation of the three branches of government being lifted and if so, what will the lasting repercussions be? Talking what might appear, or be designed to appear as 'a good talk' is one thing. To drag the judiciary and the police into the harsh and glaring arena of politics is another.
The PM's shelf life may well be at an ignoble end. Like he would have shouted at his greatest benefactor and mentor, publicly in the honorable House of Assembly not too many years ago: “It is time to go.” Does that same unwarranted outburst now apply to him?
I used to love and admire the PM with an unbridled affection. Time however, alters many, if not all delusions and cases of infatuation. It is always painful to realize that the object of one's passion is yet another individual made of brittle clay. Realistic decisions are not being made in my perspective and not enough, if anything, is being done to heal the national wounds.
To God then, in all of these mundane things be the glory.
Oct 10, 2011