by Vernon Khelawan
The recent incident at the Beetham was certainly a wake-up call for many. Protests are normal, but when advantage is taken of the situation to rob and throw stones and other missiles at innocent people stuck in traffic, it becomes a totally different story. That is BAD.
But what is worse, though the media seemed not to make too much fuss about it, is the matter involving the ‘eviction’ of lawful tenants from the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) Clifton Towers just around the corner from the Beetham. At about the same time were the blockades on the Priority Bus Route (PBR) and the Beetham Highway.
It is claimed that thugs were responsible for the ‘evictions’ resulting in the lawful occupiers seeking alternative accommodation because of regular violent threats.
All this shows is the vulnerability of ordinary people going about their normal business while both the Minister of National Security and the Prime Minister, as Head of the National Security Council, cannot seem to guarantee the safety of citizens in such circumstances.
Minister Edmund Dillon is far from convincing whenever he speaks, while PM Dr Keith Rowley seems to take a hands-off approach to anything to do with crime, although this time around he warned the offenders in a fire and brimstone address that their behaviour will not be tolerated. I’m not sure this is the kind of leadership we need today.
These situations did not crop up overnight. It has been decades in coming. When the ‘haves’ laud their riches over the poor and destitute, situations like these are bound to happen. There has been, over the years, a gradual whittling away of what used to be a broad band of the middle-class. Soon there might be no middle class – only the rich and the poor.
All we are doing now is reaping the whirlwind we sowed decades ago by creating a backward education system; a ‘gimme-gimme’ syndrome; the many ‘make-work’ programmes which taught people to work for only four hours and get paid for eight; public servants not serving the public; and the rapid growth of all kinds of corruption in almost every government office or institution.
This means we are developing a society almost devoid of morals, short of decency and respect; lacking in love; as a matter of fact a society where anything goes; the home invasions that occur every day; the holdups and carjackings, are all testimony to the fact that we have become a lawless society, where there is absolutely no fear of the police officer and many times even the laws of the land.
So, what can be done at this juncture to stop this rotting society? The decay is endemic therefore we have to start by recognising where we went wrong, arrest the free fall to anarchy, and start over.
We must bring God back into our schools and daily lives; improve our morals and decency; learn to respect everyone regardless of their standing in life; pray for our deliverance, and we will see a new dawning.