Beware of those who wish the worse for us – ULP VIEW

Fellow-Vincentians, it is painful and sobering that despite our immense progress in material and non-material terms, a small number of persons, mainly young males who are wholly unrepresentative of our nation’s young male population, have chosen a life of crime, especially violent crime.

They have chosen to invest in low-end but dangerous gun violence and have become “armed entrepreneurs”, living illegally off the fat of the land, making absolutely no contribution to the country’s development, sucking from it, and on innocent law-abiding people of all walks of life.

Some persons who should know better make excuses for these persons and their criminal conduct; sometimes these ridiculous excuses come close to bizarre justification.

The simple fact is that neither the society nor the economy commits violent crime; it is the individual; that is where the responsibility lies.  There is absolutely no reason for any person in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be violent toward another or to rob anyone.  There are enough opportunities and support systems for anyone who considers himself or herself disadvantaged.

Sensible people do not buy into this so-called “disadvantaged thesis” as the cause of crimes. It is important to note that most of the violent criminals are not truly disadvantaged; they are greedy and covetous; they refuse to work; and they take some selfish pleasure in using violence against other persons. Yet, we must seek to rehabilitate them even as the legal system addresses the appropriate punishments.

Fighting Crime

It continues to be the policy of this government to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.  The coercive and other apparatuses of the state are doing their jobs.  But this venture demands the practical support of all: the family, the school, the community group, the church, and the media.

What we do not need are cynical political operatives and some less-than-thoughtful radio hosts who tilt at the proverbial windmills and make absurd excuses for the violent criminal, but who at the same time traduce unfairly the solid and risky anti-crime efforts of the Police.

Fighting crime and criminals in a liberal democracy is not always easy but our liberal and democratic values must always be maintained in this fight against violent criminals. To be sure, the tiny band of criminals will never win.  On this fundamental matter the government and people are ever more determined to constrain and defeat crime and criminals.

Having said all this, I reiterate that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is overwhelmingly a peaceful and secure part of God’s earth.

Let us bolster further its peace and security against the handful of violent criminals.  Emphatically, we must not be dumb and soft on crime; and we stand askance from those who are playing smart with stupidness on this issue of crime.  We must strive for peace on earth; and it begins with you and me, as the popular hymn avers.

Opportunities for Development

Our government continues to protect, uplift, and afford opportunities for personal development to those who find themselves in a disadvantaged condition.

 In this regard, a raft of initiatives exist which are fit for the purpose; the recently-established Zero Hunger Trust Fund is performing excellently and offers more than a ray of hope for its beneficiaries.

I urge all persons, young, old, and middle-aged, men and women, who face onerous challenges in their lives and living to seek the support and assistance from one or more of the relevant government’s agencies and programmes.  Seek and you will find; knock and opportunities are available.

 Still, remember always that you must make the maximum individual effort in order to better your life and living.  Young persons, in particular, are being urged to take full advantage of the bountiful, lawful opportunities available.

Fellow Vincentians, on Independence Day 2018, I urge all of us to reflect carefully on, and learn from, all the factors and circumstances which have ensured our continued progress despite serious challenges, mainly externally-sourced, but also home-grown.

This blessed place called St. Vincent and the Grenadines is our home; this place belongs to us; we own it; it is up to us to make it better, to make it the best it can be.  People and governments from other lands may help us but no one owes us a living.

To be sure, there are global challenges which all of Earth’s peoples must work together to address and overcome wholly or partially.  But at the end of the day, we Vincentians have the primary obligation to take care of our own affairs.

We have been doing so fairly well, but each of us must do better today than yesterday, to do the best we can.  There are abundant possibilities and strengths in our condition despite weaknesses and limitations.

I reiterate what I said in my last year’s address: “Be optimistic, not pessimistic; be positive in our attitude, not negative; be upbeat, not borne down by lamentations; think and act creatively, push the outer limits of our possibilities; do not allow limitations to encumber you.

Beware of false prophets and the apostles of gloom and doom; avoid those, in whatever political garb they come, who pull down St. Vincent and the Grenadines and who never see anything good, only bad.

Beware of those who wish the worse for us, those who would see our country burn, metaphorically, only for them to be kings and queens of the resulting ashes.

 Such persons are always in a condition of permanent dissatisfaction and who have nothing in them but a self-absorbed personal agenda which is unlikely ever to be satisfied.  Listen not to those types; stay true to your positive self!”

2 Comments

  1. Wow! a lot of hogwash and propaganda. It sounds like the government has nothing to do with the increase in crime. Instead it is the family and the church that is at fault. It certainly is the individual that does the crime. To say otherwise is sheer stupidity, but what sort of conditions has caused the individual to turn to crime? Who is responsible to identify the problems? The church? Certainly not the government. How much do the people trust the police? I have noticed that depending on the crime, the people are more often on the side of the criminal rather than the police. Why is this. It can’t be because some of the police believe that before the trial it is their responsibility to administer beatings to those in custody. Poverty has nothing to do with crime in Saint Vincent. Instead we can blame those historians and writers of literature that have indicated to us for hundreds of years that characters like Robin Hood or Ali Baba were just greedy and loved to perpetrate violent acts against the innocent.

    Yeah, the government is doing a wonderful job since they announced they are going to be tough on crime and in particular the causes of crime. How well is that working out for us?
    If our PM were a real Doctor (medical) he would notice that the medicine he is administering to the patient is not bringing about a cure. Instead the patient is getting sicker. Maybe it is time to administer a different medicine.
    What is the definition of insanity? After finding out that something does not work, you keep on doing the same thing over and over again believing that at some time it will work.
    What kind of a world do we live in to keep electing a master of persuasion rather than a problem solver? We need someone that can take responsibility rather than blaming others? Maybe in the process a future leader can unite the country rather than dividing it? Provide opportunity for the people rather than bragging credentials for his family.
    Who cares about the crime and potholes, we may be on the security Council in two years!

  2. One must first ask the writer of the above article what is “low-end but dangerous gun violence” since we are given no definition there. Violence is violence and none here wishes it. We do however expect Government, who have monopolised the right to violence through the Police, to keep control of violence in the society.

    And yes “individuals” commit crimes here but what has ever happened to that much vaunted “tough on crimes and tough on the causes of crimes”? Has that much vaunted action taken place here in SVG?

    There is indeed a personal “responsibility” for the committing of crimes, and it most certainly rest with the individuals who commit the crime, but what of our protection against those dangerous individuals who commits the crimes? That surely rest with our Government! Again one must ask just what on earth has happened to that much vaunted and now hollow phrase “tough on crimes and tough on the causes of crimes”.

    “There is” never, no’ never and “absolutely” no’ never any legal “reason for any person in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be violent toward another or to rob anyone.” And we can all agree to that but the facts remains, that many individuals here do act illegally and therefore it is the responsibility of our Government to keep us safe from such persons.

    To say that “There is absolutely no reason for any person in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be violent toward another or to rob anyone.” does not address the problem we have of this ever increasing lawlessness, fear and violence here.

    Further to add that “There are enough opportunities and support systems for anyone who considers himself or herself disadvantaged.” Is plainly not true. The declining prospects for young people here ever since 2001 has been utterly dreadful, though the government refuses to acknowledge it.

    Indeed, one can never justify the misdeeds of those who choose to be criminals but may we ask, just how many here who find themselves before the court for burglary have a job, or even the prospect of ever finding gainful employment in SVG?

    Understanding the relationship between being without work or living in poverty and crime has been the focus of a century of research. See Poverty and Crime by Patrick Sharkey, Max Besbris, and Michael Friedso.

    http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199914050.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199914050-e-28

    In a November 27, 2015 article reporting on a Scottish experience and titled:
    “An uncomfortable truth-the strong link between poverty and crime” Edinburgh University the link was made clear.
    http://www.transformjustice.org.uk/an-uncomfortable-truth-the-strong-link-between-poverty-and-crime/

    The same states that “poverty is a strong driver of violent offending amongst young people” therefore to deny this reality for us here in SVG, would be plainly foolish.

    Professors Lesley McAra and Susan McVie of Edinburgh University in this Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime, writes “No-one is saying that poor people commit more crime, or even that poverty causes crime. But the best study we have on the background of children who commit crime, shows a very strong correlation between poverty and violent crime”.

    Hence to write “Sensible people do not buy into this so-called “disadvantaged thesis” as the cause of crimes.” Is just to behave like an ostrich and to stick one’s head in the sand and to pretend that our problem with poverty does not exist.

    We as a people just like all other peoples do have a problem with ungodliness. We are not unique in any way! Ungodliness is a human problem thus greed and violence comes with our ungodliness and that is why God instituted Governments for the proper regulating of society. See our Bible at Romans chapter 1. Our Government therefore, is thus failing in their god given responsibility both to us and to God in their allowing so much fear and violence to take control of our nation.

    To tell us beware, is just not good enough, as we only wish for a peaceably society and to go about our daily business peaceably, without fear of violence, muggings and burglary and to create prosperity for ourselves, families and the nation.

    You write “It continues to be the policy of this government to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime” a phrase once stolen from a former Prime Minister of the UK, one Anthony Blair but our government commitment and performance leaves much to be desired. A hollow phrase in effect!

    No one is tilting “at the proverbial windmills” nor are they making “absurd excuses for the violent criminal,” they are just calling upon the government to account for our failed economy and the ever increasing level of fear and gross crimes, in this our very small nation. Is that too much to ask?

    To write that “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is overwhelmingly a peaceful and secure part of God’s earth” begs the question, what with almost one murder in every passing week, daily and nightly burglaries, rapes and the fear of venturing out of doors after dark, does not make for being an overwhelmingly peaceful and secure part of God’s earth.

    In writing “Our government continues to protect, uplift, and afford opportunities for personal development to those who find themselves in a disadvantaged condition” does not in any way address the fundamentals of lack of work because of a stalled economy, nor ridding our society of its violent lawless criminals.

    What is needed is an environment where new businesses can strive and not a Venezuelan / Cuban old styled Soviet system that dissuades enterprise. One that over tax the few businesses that exist and likewise all individuals. We have seen what such a system did to the Soviets, the Cubans and the Venezuelans.

    Such a system is geared only for government handouts and our ruination! Just ask the Venezuelan of whom millions have already voted in the last 4 years with their feet, legging it to the nearest border they could find, according to the U.N.

    However, as we go down the road to our own self-made disaster with ever increasing violent crimes and this ever increasing joblessness, wise counsel is “we na tun back”!

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/colombia-opens-tent-camp-venezuelan-migrants-refugees-181115161041476.html

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