Sun | Aug 20, 2017

JaRistotle’s Jottings | David and Goliath

Published:Thursday | July 6, 2017 | 7:08 AM

Another week has passed, many more have died, and the debate goes on while we continue to be slaughtered. It seems the crime monster Goliath continues to grow whilst David and his people, Jamaica at large, cannot find the right stone to put in the sling.

There has been endless discussion about possible solutions to 'nyammin Goliath's food', most of which have been spot on with respect to dealing with the social issues, amending the laws, equipping the police and encouraging support for the rule of law. However, 80 per cent of the solutions to most problems require 20 per cent off the overall effort. The last 20 per cent of the solution, bringing us closer to success, requires the all-important 80 per cent of the effort: that is where we seem to be lacking in dealing with Goliath's case.

 

LEARNING FROM OTHERS

 

Jamaica is not the first country to be plagued by high levels of crime and violence. Think of Colombia and their past nemesis, Pablo Escobar. Escobar was isolated from his money; people who offered political, logistics and legal support were relentlessly targeted and eliminated. End result: Colombia's Goliath met his David. Phillipino President Rodrigo Duterte's merciless crusade against criminals in his country has every Goliath looking over their shoulders, wondering if they are next on the official hit list.

Do we have the will to adopt such strong-handed measures?

 

WARPED PRIORITIES AND LOYALTIES

 

Politicians have long cherished the influence that ruthless gangsters hold over communities. Get them on your side, and votes are guaranteed. Better still, get them into the party. Bruce Golding publicly admitted that he was associated with gunmen. Kenley 'Bebe' Stephenson, reputed lotto scammer and leader of the notorious 'Bebe Crew' was the vice chairman of the People's National Party's (PNP) West Central St James constituency. James Robertson's association with Kaval 'Treasure' Campbell and Rameish Simpson, who have been in regular brushes with the law for conspiracy to murder and similar offences, speaks volumes. There are countless other such associations that have not come to light. Frightening.

 

LOCAL CRUSADE

 

Jamaican politicians don't get into office on good faith and friendship with Goliath. They need money, most of which comes through contributions from our business sector. But wait, nuh di same business people ah bawl seh crime a cut dem productivity? So what gives? These two-faced double-talkers contribute to both major parties and even front bail money for the thugs; payback equals appointments, contracts and exclusive licenses. Stop the hypocrisy. Stop pumping money into evil coffers.

Then there are the lawyers - ever ready to defend Goliath. Where Goliath get the money fi pay dem, or is free wuk dem a do? Check the money people... blood money!

As for dirty cops, terminate their services, with or without cause. Problem is, we may not have much of a police force left after that.

Isolate Goliath. Mek the world know what this faceless monster looks like. Mek wi see when him a hob-nob with politician, police or businessman. Show mi yuh friend and mi will tell yuh who yuh are!

We should have a People's Charter that requires all persons seeking to run for public office to publicly disassociate themselves from the evil ones, and to pledge that they will refrain from such associations or immediately resign from public office. Until they so do, they should not have access to public funds, and should not be the recipients of private contributions.

The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and its affiliates should impose, as a condition of membership, public declarations of non- support for wayward politicians who do not adhere to the People's Charter. Corruption runs deep, and this will take courage to implement.

People, the power of the consumer is awesome. We should be prepared to boycott the goods and services of these business entities if they do not come onboard. That's how we become masters of our own destiny.

We should also bear in mind the power of the press. Are they prepared to boycott coverage of politicians and business leaders who refuse to become part of the isolation strategy?

The more we isolate Goliath, the more pressure we put on our political and business leaders to walk the talk, the more we will mould that all-important stone for David's sling so that we can 'nyam Goliath's food".

All aboard?