ENOUGH IS (NEVER) ENOUGH

Enough is Enough” screamed the Gleaner headline.  Portia Simpson-Miller is quoted: “….the time has come when all of us must join together to say enough is enough.

Fighting crime isn’t just the responsibility of the security forces or the Government, it’s about all of us working together,”

She was incensed at attacks on women and children: “This is not a part of the Jamaican culture, this is something…alien….

She appealed to citizens: “We all need to do something, we cannot just sit back and say the police, the police…

No, Portia wasn’t at the Oliver Road March for peace.  With apologies to Scots everywhere,

                             “My P.M. lies over the ocean.
My P.M. lies over the sea.
My P.M. lies over the ocean.
O bring back my P.M. to me.

This wasn’t Prime Minister Portia being quoted.  This was Opposition Leader Portia, making a speech inside the comfy confines of the Kingston Rotary Club on October 31, 2008, sounding like citizens have more responsibility for crime prevention than Government.

Enough is Enough” screamed the Gleaner headline.  It was “An unusually animated Peter Bunting, general secretary of the PNP…..” calling for mass protests.  No, not on Oliver Road.  Bunting was at a special PNP National Executive Council meeting at UWI, on December 20, 2009, railing against a $21 billion tax package imposed by the then Government.

Bunting said “Those of you….feeling militant must be prepared to mobilise”. Remember, then Portia wasn’t Prime Minister.  Bunting wasn’t Minister.  But, after this spirited talk, Jamaica wanted him back (to the tune of Bill Bailey):

                             “Won’t you come home Pete Bunting?
Won’t you come home?
I’m home the whole night long.
I’ll do the cookin’ honey.
I’ll pay the tax.
I know I’ve done you wrong
.”

A good thing we voted them back because the PNP promptly added another $19.3 billion to the $21 billion against which Bunting wanted massive protests.     

Enough is Enough” screamed the Gleaner headline.  This time, it was a member of popular group Voicemail, claimed by Jamaica’s permanent crime wave.  The music industry wept; D’Angel called for an “immediate end to violent lyrics” (ROFL); Mr Vegas prayed for God’s guidance.  This was May 11, 2010. Portia/Peter Bunting had long been driven out of Government and sent across the floor.

Still the message sounded the same.  It’s not government’s fault.  It’s violent lyrics’.  Why, oh why, did we vote JLP in 2007?  BRING BACK THE PNP and Peter Bunting!!

                             “Remember that rainy eve I drove you out
with nothin but a fine tooth comb?
Yes I know that I’m to blame.
Ain’t that a shame?
Pete Bunting won’t you please come home.

Enough is Enough” screamed the Gleaner headline after 62-year-old retired postmistress Nathlee Hamilton was murdered at her Beecher Town home on November 19, 2013.  Thank you, Jesus, PNP/Portia/Peter Bunting were all back!  This time PNP Councillor for Nathlee’s Division, Ian Bell, made the rallying cry as he proposed the death penalty (which is the law in Jamaica) as the solution.  Bell shrilled “….they should be killed whether by needle or by chair, …we must not feed them.

Wait a minute.  Where was the P.M.? National Security Minister?  Police Commissioner?  M.I.A?  But, crime isn’t Government’s responsibility. Gotta network with China’s President. 

                             “Bring back, bring back,                                                          O bring back my P.M. to me, to me:
Bring back, bring back,                                                        O bring back my P.M. to me.

Enough is Enough” screamed the Gleaner headline.  This time, ongoing gang warfare terrorizing Nannyville’s senior citizens, inspired the Nannyville Youth Uprising Action Club to fete seniors as a protest against crime. According to the Gleaner (December 31, 2013) “…violent flare-ups…forced residents to be wary of crossing invisible but deadly border lines which split the small community into areas dubbed ‘Angola’, ‘Texas’ and ‘Shanti’.

No Prime Minister; Security Minister or Police Commissioner to be found even with a search warrant.  No problem, mon.  Must honour our African ancestors. 

                             “O blow ye winds over the ocean,
O blow ye winds over the sea.
O blow ye winds over the ocean,
and bring back my P.M. to me.

Finally, no surprise: last Sunday Gleaner screamed Enough Is Enough.  Previously, citizens could only guess, infer or opine Government had abdicated its responsibility for crime reduction.  This time, the abdication was all but officially announced. National Security Minister Bunting; MP/Energy Minister Paulwell and Police Commissioner Ellington converged on the scene of a 17 month old baby’s brutal murder.  At last, I thought, these mighty minds have come up with new, effective policies to stop these macabre murders.  Funds will be committed.  No stone will be left unturned.

My hands shook with anticipation as I read.  But they’d no plan.  No policy.  The firm of Bunting, Paulwell and Ellington had nothing. Bunting:

Before we came here, the [M.P.], the commissioner…and I visited the communities where the infant was murdered…..To imagine…there’d be an attempted reprisal on a two-month-old shows that something is seriously wrong with us as a people…

OMG!  It’s us as a people.  Oh, woe is me, I wuz wrong to blame government for under-equipping and under-training the police.  It’s WE (as a people) who must improve.  But, wait, surely my Minister knows how that’s done?  He understands the problem.  He is not afraid.

If I’m to paraphrase the Bible, I have to ask, do we wrestle against flesh and blood or against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places?

OMG!! We’re doomed.  This isn’t wrongdoing by few brazen louts made to feel like big men by carrying guns.  This isn’t terrorism by known criminals soon to face justice.  No, we’re up against Principalities and Powers.  Nations. Worse, we’re up against the supernatural.  Demons of darkness armed with black magic.  This isn’t just a few common cowards perpetrating evil against defenceless women and babies under cover of darkness.  No, those are easily captured.  What we have are “rulers of darkness….and spiritual wickedness in high places.

It’s official.  Government knows not what to do.  It won’t transfer money from Ministers’ overseas travel to improving police crime fighting capability.  It won’t reduce the cabinet so funds are available to purchase technology, training and surveillance cameras for places like Oliver Road.  No sir.  We going Brazil!  It’s World Cup year!

                             “My P.M. leaned over the gas tank,
the height of its contents to see.
I lit a small match to assist her.
O bring back my P.M. to me.

MY Bonnie Lies over the Ocean is a traditional Scottish folk song of unknown origin probably written about Bonnie Prince Charlie after his 1746 defeat and exile.  The melody wasn’t written until 1881 when, under a pseudonym, Charles Pratt put the lyrics to music

(Won’t You Come Home) Bill Bailey was written at the turn of the 20th century by Hughie Cannon and first recorded in 1902 by Arthur Collins.  One of my proudest vinyl possessions is a rare version of the song on 45 rpm by Jimmy (“The Schnozzle”) Durante.

Jamaica can’t afford $20 million dollars for a trip to China.  We already communicate regularly with China.  The police need computers.  Over $100 million in two years is ridiculous and I’m glad to see something can make Young Andrew lose his temper.  He was right to be passionate, on our behalf, about this profligate spending when police need equipment to prevent murders of 17 month old babies and citizens’ beheading. Years of talk; result: nada. Time for Jamaica to lose its collective temper.  Mavado tells it like it is:

                             “So all dem ah talk, man a steppa.
Ketchup dem a play man a pepper.
Wen di starbwoy walk, man a steppa.
Ketchup dem a play man a pepper.
” 

We can’t afford profiling.  Don’t tell me foolishness about protocol.  Ask Uruguay’s President, Jose Mujica, famous for his cantankerous personality, simple lifestyle and rumpled shirt (no jacket or tie).

As president, he still lives on a small, ramshackle flower farm with his wife; gives away nine-tenths of his salary; doesn’t have a bank account; and drives a 40 year old VW Beetle.

To be free you [must] have time………to cultivate the three, four, five unquestionable, fundamental things….important in life,” he recently said. “All the rest is noise and fuss.”

Get it Portia?  Security; Health; Education and Transport are Jamaica’s four “unquestionable fundamental things”.  The rest: “noise and fuss”.  Tell the “Heads” you seem anxious to impress we can’t afford it. Enough is enough.

Peace and Love

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