THE EDITOR, Sir:
Without empirical evidence, I am going to boldly posit that every columnist in Jamaica has a political bias. Some are more overt in their support, some covert, while hiding behind the misnomer 'fair and balanced'.
However, I can find none so biased as Jamaica Gleaner columnist George Davis, who, in The Gleaner dated December 12, 2013, launched an intemperate personal broadside against National Security Minister Peter Bunting.
The offensive diatribe of that journalist is part and parcel of a vicious conspiratorial political hatchet job under way against the minister.
If the young man had done the requisite research on the proposed anti-gang legislation, he would have discovered that Bunting has not been dragging his feet, but he has actually accelerated the pace in bringing the legislation, which is now under parliamentary consideration. Had he taken the time, he would have come across the following January 3, 2011 JIS release: In his New Year's message, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said Cabinet has already issued drafting instructions for tough anti-gang legislation which will be enacted for 2011.
I quote, "The majority of violent crimes are linked to the activities of organised criminal gangs, for which special targeted measures are required. Just as countries throughout the world found it necessary after 9/11 to institute special measures to deal with international terrorists, we, too, need special measures to deal with organised criminal gangs whose viciousness is just as costly in human lives."
Will Mr Davis please tell the nation what has come from those expressed lofty goals?
Further, on July 20, 2010, Golding spoke of a strategy which would include: new measures to protect witnesses; fast-tracking of trial cases involving serious crime and high-profile offenders; additional equipment for the security forces, with the help of the private sector, within the shortest possible time; the six anti-crime bills passed by Parliament, to become effective immediately after the governor general's assent; greater use of the Proceeds of Crime Act, including provisions for civil forfeiture to disable crime bosses; and development of a coordinated programme of social intervention for persons in fragile communities, especially young men. Again, that was all talk; naught came of it until Bunting stepped in.
JLP's ANAEMIC ANTI-CRIME BILLS
Let me ask Mr Davis: Why did it take the Jamaica Labour PArty (JLP) three-plus years to push through six pieces of what can at best be called half-baked, anaemic anti-crime bills? The new anti-gang legislation, with more teeth, is almost ready for the governor general's signature, thanks to Bunting.
Police data will show that, in 2012, murders fell to their lowest since 2003. That is an achievement which eluded the JLP. Not even the shock and awe of the 2010 Tivoli operation yielded such results. That came under Bunting's watch.
Yes, despite the Gestapo tactics of 2010, crime continues to flourish. Maybe it's time Mr Davis awakens to that reality and embrace the Unite for Change movement launched by the minister last Thursday, rather than take misguided potshots at a man who is striving to make Jamaica a better place, rather than run away to North America.