innocent children can be shot at in a panyard and the killer or killers
remain at large, that speaks to me of crisis, for all of us. So too, do
what may well be described as bomb tests around our capital city, again
with perpetrators on the loose, the slaying of seven people over the
weekend, as well as kidnappings, even of the poor...
gaze of the people of this nation and of others is fixed upon those who
have been placed in the broad ambit of positions of leadership, beginning
with this Parliament.” —His Excellency Prof George Maxwell Richards,
President of Trinidad and Tobago at Ceremonial Opening of Parliament.
that on the very day our Prime Minister announced the arrival of the FBI
and Scotland Yard to help us combat crime in his $34 billion Budget, a
senior police chief in London Andrew Haymen, tells the Guardian (UK) that
London faces the threat of more terrorist attacks despite increased
security and recruitment since their deadly July bombings which claimed 52
have to be vigilant,” Haymen said, “but you can't predict where or how
or when they will try.”
they can’t predict there, why can they predict here?
too, that Bush’s FBI agents were found less than up-to-the-mark in the
bombings leading up to September 11.
every corner of our country has been targeted with bomb threats, and
evacuating schools, banks and malls has become an everyday thing.
FBI and Scotland Yard going to help us when they can’t help themselves?
who is Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds
kidding by saying this government has not lost faith in the Police
Service? Numerous reports have indicated that our police are associated
with every crime, from major drug operations and kidnappings to unlawful
possession and sale of firearms.
Budget has pumped almost three billion dollars into the Police Service. In
the absence of police reform, it’s just throwing good money after bad.
man to weed out the bad apples would have been former New York Police
Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who whittled down an alarmingly high rate of
murders in New York City to almost nothing by calling for accountability
in every district, firing and demoting incompetent officers, promoting the
best and using Comp Stat to trace criminal patterns.
Budget has done nothing to stem the tide of thousands of home-bred
criminals that our system churns out daily. Prime Minister Patrick Manning
and his wife, Education Minister Hazel Manning must know that criminals
are created by a deadly combination of illiteracy, poverty and a “gimme
gimme or I’ll rob you” entitlement that is bred in our state
dependency syndrome programmes Cepep and URP.
mention is there in the budget of containing runaway functional literacy,
which stands at 500,000 and is climbing yearly? What happens to the
thousands of teenagers who emerge unable to read and write, with no passes
from our education system? What happens to the unskilled, unemployed,
illiterate, adult poor who number over 400,000.
join URP, of course. Where they are not taught to read and write, not
taught essential skills that will allow them to become employed (the
masons, carpenters, electricians, mechanics are being imported, we
understand, from Jamaica). From nothing comes nothing. Nobody is nurturing
our masses of illiterate and poor, nobody is giving them a sense of
achievement, or hope. These people are sucked into our vacuous state
FBI, Scotland Yard can fly in here but to no avail.
will leave, achieving nothing, telling one another on the flight out that
Britain and the US are first world countries precisely because they have
functioning education systems, which unlike ours don’t churn out
criminals faster than you can catch them.
Richards spoke like a statesman when he said “there are no special
targets here. The target is the nation of Trinidad and Tobago, but I want
to serve notice that we are not ‘up for grabs,’ as the saying goes.”
pray that President Richards is right, but given the evidence, I fear