NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY RELEASE
On Friday September 22nd, 2017, two men were shot to death. The following day, Saturday September 23rd, a young woman was shot to death, two bullets to the head we are told.
A day later a man died in hospital from gunshot wounds he had sustained days earlier. He was elderly and had been shot 8 times! On Monday September 25th two person were shot in Vermont, one of them died as a result.
On the same day, another man – a security guard–was found dead, at Fairburn Pasture.
His throat was slashed! On Tuesday in Kingstown, in broad daylight, a man was shot to death and a woman wounded at the bus terminus.
This all happened over a period of just five days! Thirty-two people have been killed so far in 2017! No wonder people throughout our country are in a state of disbelief and shock, as they wonder who is next, or what comes next? A sense of lawlessness pervades the land.
The country, it appears, has become ungovernable. We recall that the same people who are in government today and appear
impotent in the face of the rising tide of crime and violence, when they were in Opposition blamed the Prime Minister James Mitchell and then Commissioner of Police, Randolph Toussaint, for all the crime in the country.
Murders, drug trafficking, burglaries, you name it, it was Mitchell’s and Toussaint’s fault. Who must take responsibility now?
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves as Prime Minister and Minister of National Security must bear responsibility for the situation in the country.
As Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, he has permitted the situation to get out of hand and evidently can no longer control it.
But there is a context for understanding where we are today. Recall that after their loss in the 1998 general elections leaders of the ULP said they would make this country ungovernable.
People heard that call to lawlessness. I say “lawlessness” because it is only lawlessness that can make a country ungovernable.
Now that the ULP holds the reins of government, they find that the chickens have come home to roost, and they are now powerless to do anything about it!
How else can we explain initial silence on the matter and, later their response of trying to downplay the situation, by Gonsalves, for example, asking if he must
have a press conference every time someone is killed; or Senator Francis saying on radio that the shootings are not intended for innocent persons but are gang and drug related.
Does that make it less of a problem? Do the rest of society– the innocents– throw up our hands, lock ourselves in our homes at night and let the carnage rage outside? Surely such an approach is an admission of governmental incompetence and failure!
There was early evidence of this incompetence and failure on the part of the government. In the Searchlight Newspaper of August 27, 2010, Ralph Gonsalves made the following analysis:
“Most crimes”, he said “by far, are committed by young men between the ages of 17 and 35 years who have had little formal schooling, who possess few marketable skills, who have come from dysfunctional families (often without a male father figure), and who are poor, who do not attend church, who are invariably part of a loose sub-culture of crime, and whose life histories suggest social alienation and psychological scars which predispose them to crime.”
Having made that analysis as Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, one would have expected that Gonsalves and his government would have implemented creative and effective strategies of intervention to improve the situation.
Instead, 7 years after Gonsalves made that analysis and 16 years of a professed commitment to be “tough on crimeand the causes of crime”, SVG is plagued with 32 homicides and we are still only in September! And our country is contending for the dubious distinction of having one of the highest murder rates in the world!
And to date, not a reassuring word from our Minister of National Security or from the Commissioner of Police! How is this possible? This is so because this ULP regime is about the rhetoric, sound bites and about the appearance (as opposed to thesubstance) of intellect. For them, all you must do is sound bright. Part of
Part of the problem here is that “they too bright.” They posture and beat their chests, while Vincentians in general sink into despair as our sons and daughters are wantonly murdered.
How do we explain the brutality being inflicted by and on our young people? Many may agree that people are angry and frustrated and that such feelings are fed by poverty and joblessness, exacerbated by the policies of the ULP rulers, who demands that you must own the party to get a job to take care of yourself and feed your children.
This ULP regime has constructed this present reality by their discriminatory policies and by fostering an environment that emboldens criminals.
Remember: the murder of Glen Jackson and killing of Edgar Cruikshank; the reinstatement of police officers who were convicted of police officers who were convicted of crimes; the slap on the wrist given to former Registrar Tamara Gibson- Marks for stealing court money; the parcelling out of jobs to their children, party hacks and other associates; and the lack of accountability in the spending of government money?