Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pass De Blame On The Left Hand Side!

Following 3 shootings that have rocked Bermuda and should have shaken the Government, the Police and the Populace into full awareness of the sheer size of the problem that Bermuda faces we hear from a member of parliament, yet again, that it's the Governors fault.

In the House on Friday Mr. Butler (Former Culture Minister) made the statement:
"If our problems (with crime) continue to get worse we need to ask for a recall. If that is the Governor's main responsibility and he is unable to meet that requirement we need to get recourse. Our safety depends on it."

And later elaborated by saying:

"This is the second time I have made (this statement) and Bermudians have to look at accountability if in fact (the Governor) continues to refuse the Government's request to bring in a New York group to help."

"Things have gotten worse and the Police are trying their best, but need more expert support as recommended by the Government. But he continues to reject it. Hence my request for a recall of the Governor because he has failed to get on top of the problem as the person responsible for the police."

"We all like our Governor but with specific regard to his job, he is not providing the type of safety we need."

Just before we delve a little into the specifics of what he said I'd like to highlight the rather wonderful irony of the final section of his statement. More specifically the words "We all like our Governor" because I think it's been quite obvious to the majority of the populace that the PLP has (at least in recent times) always had a rather anti-Governor leaning. Probably due to their stance on independence which naturally makes them anti-colonial authority but, the reasoning behind it is irrelevant at this point. What matters is that the blame game needs to stop and something needs to be done.

Beginning his statement in the house Mr. Butler seemed to place the blame for crime solely on the shoulders of our Governor. A ludicrous assertion at best, down right crazy at worst. The police, first and foremost, are responsible for catching criminals once they've committed the crime. They can't do that when Bermudian society operates with some strange aversion to talking to the police about incidents. Do we blame the Governor for that state of mind? No! Nor do we blame the Government. It is a societal problem and one that the Government and Governor need to work together on fixing, the Government taking any opportunity it can to fire a shot at the Governor gets us nowhere. We need the two to sit down at a table and discuss what is wrong and how to fix it. We recently heard that the Government has refused the Governor's offer to have such a sit down regularly and I would hope, for all of our sakes, that they change their minds on this issue rather than placing blame and achieving nothing.

The second part of his statement refers New York based consultants that the Government wishes the Police force to bring in and utilize. The Governor retorted with this statement:

"The Bermuda Police Service already draws on the experience of overseas jurisdictions and has obtained much help from them. More is being lined up."

Its easy to say we need a consultant and then consider your hands washed of the whole affair but, it's not going to work that way. Like the author of the report on the plight of Bermudian young black males said, at a certain point you have to stop commissioning reports and start doing something. I doubt a report will tell us anything we don't know already. Crime is being fueled by gangs, gangs are being fueled by drugs, drugs are being fueled by the socio-economic situation some people find themselves and then that can in many ways be linked to education. So lets fix education, lets combat gangs and lets have a look at the way our Judicial system works so we can actually convict the guilty people once they're caught.

It is time for the Government to accept that we have what we have and so we must work with it. Regardless of their beliefs on independence the Governor is here and a working relationship is more than necessary. The Throne Speech this year was filled with promise and we can only hope that we will see the necessary changes need to be made.

Enough with the blame game.

Wishful Thinking

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