By: Dr. Charles Warner
It is important to compare the response of the present prime minister and government to crime, with that of the former prime minister and his government. If ever there is a discussion relating to crime and the government’s response, the words of Dr. Douglas cannot be forgotten. It was in parliament that Dr. Douglas told the people “I take no responsibility for crime”.
Dr. Harris and Unity are doing the exact opposite, ie taking responsibility, taking the right actions. One caveat; human nature will continue to be as it has been since man set foot on the planet. Even so human habits can be curbed or restricted.
An aspect of this whole issue involves the cost to the State. Like the fight against corruption, the fight against crime carries a heavy cost. The situation was not nipped in the bud by Douglasism so the cost to fight crime now falls on the present administration.
Our country has been put in a serious problem due to the neglect and incompetence of Douglasism. At this stage there is a need to build a high school and offer services at the JNF hospital. Unfortunately for St. Kitts and Nevis, it has to be investing in a new prison. If the former government had accepted its responsibility for crime this competing need could have been avoided. But it is a feature of the devil’s circle because based on its response to the health issues at the Basseterre High School, the Douglas government took no responsibility for health.
Up to today when the incidences of sick cases at the Basseterre High School temporary facilities is low compared to what took place at the old Basseterre High School, the Douglasites are still saying that there is nothing wrong at the Basseterre High School.
Apart from the new prison, the present budgeting allowances to fight crime are the highest ever known. Clearly, money that could have gone to many other sources and national causes. Heavy expenditure on forensic e.g. a consultant and an expensive microscope. All of which were around and asked for by many people in the era of Douglasism.
The Republic of China on Taiwan has always been our best friend, giving in many ways. The new government has been able to get a number of vehicles. Also it has engaged our real brothers and sisters of Taiwan in the implementation of CC coverage. All of which was not done under Douglasism. The main interest was about getting the Taiwanese to rent his building at Adam’s Hill. The focus was clearly elsewhere, displaced or misplaced.
Even with the reality of human nature, it is clear that the present government is making the right efforts. It will not be forgotten. When the issue of gangs was first raised, Douglasism and its agents in the police force told the general public that there were no gangs. Moreso, they claimed that the then Opposition was making mischief, involved in generating fear. Today gangs are wreaking havoc in the Federation. Cases of kidnapping and extortion have shown their ugly heads. All because the leader, Dr. Douglas and his peons were not taking responsibility.
The Unity government is taking a multipronged approach to fighting crime. The week of June 12, 2017 will see a sitting of the House. Stiff legislation will be put to the House. All will be looking and listening as it relates to the present Opposition. Will they throw their support behind the bills. Just recently the Opposition was making a case for the decriminalisation of ganga. The public will see where their priorities lie.
The penalty for carrying an illegal weapon will be doubled, going from 10 years to 20 years. Matters pertaining to persons on bail and getting engaged in crime will be dealt with. The idea of using the bracelet is a good one. Those with the intent of doing wrong and who have done wrong must not have their way in society.
Douglasites have been known to throw their support behind wrongdoers. The ears are out to have the reaction of persons like Marcella, Asim, Konris etc.
It is all about the legacy of Douglasism. While in office he refused to accept the responsibility of Minister of National Security. Crime went rampant and is now a rollover from Douglasism. The deaths, theft, trauma etc. now have the added expense of implementing methods to bring the problem under control. Apart from the deaths the State is now facing the debt of finding the resources to stabilize the Country.
In other words crime is now taking a financial toll on already scarce resources. Despite efforts by the present government, crime is out of control. Denzil Douglas did not bend the tree when it was a mere seedling. Today, he speaks as if he behaved in a responsible manner when he was Minister of National Security.
As recently as this week there was a fatal shooting in his home town of St. Paul’s. It was happening in his time yet he remained insensitive to the pain of the parents in St. Paul’s. Known to say “I feel your pain”, he did not feel the pain of the grieving parents in St. Paul’s.
The present government is encouraged to keep up its efforts against crime. We see the prime minister leading a delegation to Taiwan and we know the fight against crime will be top on the Agenda. When Dr. Douglas was traipsing to Dubai he cared not about the crime problem. The reality is that along with the Nation’s grief, the public purse will have to bear the cost against crime. These funds should have been put to other uses. It’s all the legacy of Douglasism!