What Messrs Fitz Jackson and Andrew Holness have in common


What Messrs Fitz Jackson and Andrew Holness have in common

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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We don't know if Opposition spokesman on national security Mr Fitz Jackson is doing what Opposition people do — try to embarrass the Government — but he has accused the Andrew Holness-led Administration of instructing the police to reduce the frequency with which they publish the murder figures.

Mr Jackson, who is also chairman of the People's National Party (PNP), did not bother to provide proof of the allegation he made at last Sunday night's presentation of Dr Winston De La Haye as the party's candidate for the St Catherine East Central constituency.

But he has told us that the instruction went out about a month ago, and he offered the suggestion that this was done “because they don't want you to be aware of the level of danger that you live in every day”.

As a general election is imminent, and in the face of a lack of that proof, we do not know how seriously to take Mr Jackson. What we take seriously, however, is his assertion that:

“That is the level of hypocrisy that exists in this Government. That is the reason why the People's National Party (PNP) is doing all that we can to make sure that we form the next Government.”

The conclusion one can draw is that a PNP Government would not reduce the frequency with which the murder figures are published. Oh, what comfort that would bring to this blood-soaked land and our traumatised populace!

But we are being facetious, because what Mr Jackson really wants is for us to think that if his party won the next election the crime problem would be solved, and perhaps then publishing the crime figures would not be an issue.

The real hypocrisy is that the PNP chairman is doing just what Mr Holness did on the campaign trail in 2015 when he declared:

“If you keep the PNP in power, the truth is that you could lose your life. If you keep the PNP in power and the crime rate continues to rise, the truth is that the next murder victim could be you.

“So if you want to survive and live in your country and feel safe, and if you want your family to feel safe, and if you want to feel like you can send your pickney on the road and nothing nuh happen to them, then join us in kicking out the PNP Government.”

The singular lesson we must learn as a country from all this is that no one party or Government can solve our crime problem, and it is full time we chase away those politicians who think they can fool us with fancy promises.

The best solution for significantly bringing down our stubborn murder rate is for the two major parties to pool their resources and unite the country in a determined fight against the gunmen and blood-thirsty murderers.

So far, our politicians have failed miserably to find the balls to work together to fight crime. Regrettably, it appears that this crop of politicians will never be able to agree to take crime out of the partisan political arena — that is, until our people force them to.

Jamaicans in every constituency need to ask every candidate from all parties to commit to a unified campaign against crime before they can get their votes.

We all have a vested interest in a safer country. For crime, indeed, is no respecter of persons.

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