lies in prayer and civic action
PNM administration of the last four years has demonstrated
its incapability to counter criminal activity, which is
spreading as criminals take on the security forces with
no fear of being apprehended.
Moreover, at times it seems as if the Government is not
merely incapable but unwilling to take off the kid gloves
and grapple with the criminals in the same way they are
bludgeoning citizens to an early grave, cavalierly extorting
peoples hard-earned life savings in exchange for the
lives of loved ones and generally wrecking this country
and denying everyone the kind of future they should realistically
be able to expect, given T&Ts resources and the
generally good people who have come to inhabit this place.
Additionally, the credibility of the Government to counter
crime is slipping away, as one of its former senior ministers,
former party chairman and blue-eyed boy of the Prime Minister
is before the courts, with the possibility of at least one
other following suit.
And if other ministers and senior party officials have not
yet been charged, its not for the shortage of questionable
dealings, $200 million cost overruns on construction sites
and the shelling-out of hundreds of millions on all manner
of projects, with the potential for massive squandermania
The picture is as bleak at the level of the security forces.
Incompetence is the prevailing condition; inadequate, even
absent investigative skills; being daily outwitted by criminals
and leadership that is always ready to shirk responsibility.
Like the Governments, the credibility of the security
services is fast dissipating as policemen and army officers
are dragged before the court charged with the very crimes
And just in case someone were to say that this is too harsh,
the saga of the acquisition of the blimp, sky spyship, Zeppelin,
call it what you may, is the classic example of incompetence
and political chicanery.
Out of the blue, a second blimp arrives (blimp
is perhaps the most appropriate nomenclature as the term
has a circus-like feel to it) while the $24 million first
blimp sits on the ground without proper explanation from
those with political responsibility for spending taxpayers
dollars and making policy decisions on the purchase of anti-crime
Is it, for instance, a case of having first purchased the
wrong blimp, hence the scramble to lease another?
But should the country not be given a plausible explanation
about the first blimp? Does it lack the technology required?
Is it a question of our security forces not having the kind
of training required to operate the flying machine? If the
latter, did no one think of that before the purchase? If
thats the problem, as Brig Joseph hinted, are officers
now being trained?
But questions also surround the acquisition of the second
blimp. In this age of fast-evolving technology, can a 12-year-old
gadget adequately counter the wiles of criminals who are
running far ahead of law enforcement?
But lets forget all of that, Brig Joseph has told
the population not to expect too much, as the evidence is
that it takes five years for the blimp to make an impact.
But that was not the impression first given by National
Security Minister Martin Joseph. When the country woke one
morning and saw the thing hovering, Mr Joseph certainly
counted it among the measures that the Government was and
is taking to relieve the society of this incubus of crime.
Where does a population seek solace in times like these?
Most naturally in the alternative government. But what of
that possibility? A badly fractured Opposition party attempting
to patch up something for elections; the de facto leader
of that party and a few other major figures in the UNC before
the courts on serious corruption charges.
The country needs serious prayers and civic action in 2006.