Haemorrhoid on being saddle sore
Gene Autry, the Beast, and I had given up raising a fourth for dominoes when we heard, away in the distance, "If a macca, mek it jook yu!"
The Dunce! We greeted him with mixed feelings because his arrival interrupted Haemorrhoid's response (using one of his famous shaggy-dog tales) to our desperate request for him to make four. For those coming in late, Ernest H. Flower ('Haemorrhoid') was a lazy articled clerk whose nickname combined his middle initial with his frequent complaints about "piles and piles of files" on his desk. He was clueless about dominoes but a welcome kibitzer who paid for admission with his extraordinary talent as a raconteur.
So we put the Dunce on hold while Haemorrhoid told us a Lone Ranger tale.
"The Lone Ranger and Tonto were riding the range, heading north. Suddenly, their path was blocked by a large band of warlike Commanches. Lone Ranger said, 'Tonto, we'd better head south.'
'Yes, Kemo Sabay.'
They escaped the chasing Commanche only to meet a wall of fierce Sioux. Lone Ranger thought swiftly, 'Better head east, Tonto.'
'Yes, Kemo Sabay'
As (bad) luck would have it, just as they eluded the Sioux, a large gathering of Apaches blocked their eastern path. Undaunted, Lone Ranger ordered, 'Westward ho, Tonto!'
'Yes, Kemo Sabay.'
There was no escape. Soon, they faced amassed, war-painted Cherokee Indians. 'Well, Tonto,' mused Lone Ranger, saddle sore from all the twisting and turning, 'looks like we're doomed!'
Tonto squinted at him, head cocked: 'WE, white man?'"
No, this isn't about Tony Hylton and his Krauk and Anchor fiasco, although he was a comical sight in Parliament being chastised by one opposition MP after another as his colleagues appeared to edge as far away from him as possible. That's too easy.
This is about Peter Bunting, hung out to dry by Jamaica after being handed its national-security basket (with water restrictions) and asked to irrigate our safety concerns. Because I believe national security is a national priority, I won't join the burgeoning multitude castigating Jamaica's Lone Ranger for runaway murder rates. I did criticise Booklist Boyne earlier for calling Bunting "game-changer" - so agonisingly unjustified, it deserved exposure. Now I notice Booklist, on the back foot, desperately grasping at straws of substantiation by predicting Bunting's policies will have long-term success. But, when he bestowed the honour, he specifically rationalised it using short-term results.
"It's not just that the statistics make the unassailable point Peter Bunting was an outstanding minister of government in 2014. That approximately 200 fewer precious and priceless lives were spared under his watch ... last year, and all major crimes are down 17 per cent, would be justification enough." ('Peter Bunting: game-changer of 2014', January 4, 2015).
Booklist credited "holistic approach"; "avant-garde strategies", and Bunting's "very strong relationship with churches", among other platitudinous generalities, before concluding, "The task is to launch a strategy that engages the energies, passion and commitment of all. That's exactly what he has been doing."
Oops! I'm noticing different sorts of "passion and commitment" among "all" today. Maybe the strategies aren't working so well seven months later. Maybe they never worked. What's obvious is Booklist, flip-flopping all over the place, suddenly calling for patience. On July 26 ('Criminals must be afraid'), he wrote: "His long-term strategies are good and will eventually bear fruit." He reverted to his former, oft-repeated call for us to lose some liberty because police can't reduce murders.
Booklist, of whom should criminals be afraid? God? Police? Bad news, Booklist: Neither makes murderers turn a hair. Fear is the strategy of the weak-minded and dogmatic. "Long term", it has NEVER worked anywhere. Ask Stalin, Hitler or Saddam.
I won't criticise Bunting for increased murders. I give him and Commissioner Williams 10 out of 10 for effort. The simple truth is, in the current reality, nobody could do better. What I'll criticise him for are his public pronouncements that give the impression murders can be reduced with curfews, more patrols and new motorcycles. C'mon, man! Been there, done that.
Peter Bunting must be frank with us. While we must produce an IMF-imposed 7.5% primary surplus, murders won't consistently decrease. We need fiscal space to pay for better-trained officers ALL able to access benefits of modern intelligence-gathering tools and analysis AND social improvements, especially in education.
Pending this, we're running around in ever-decreasingly insecure circles until, inevitably, we'll disappear, saddle sores and all, up our own rear ends.
Peace and love.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to email@example.com.