It appears my brief, “colourful” career as a columnist is over (sob).

On April 23, in a display of nit-picking of which any boll weevil would be proud, INDEBRAIN (a.k.a. INDECOM) trashed my critique published two days previously. The speed of the retort suggests nerves are jangling and its content suggests skins are thin at INDEBRAIN (“Independent Brain”).

What exactly were INDEBRAIN’s complaints?

1. I wrote its press conference was to announce a probe of senior cops. INDEBRAIN says it was a general update. Seriously? INDEBRAIN, did that “general update” include an announced probe of senior cops?

2. INDEBRAIN says it made no such announcement. It responded to a press query. With what? An announcement! Have I fallen down a rabbit hole?

3. INDEBRAIN wrote “Additionally,….seeking information from the public….is in no way suggestive of insufficient evidence to charge. This is much like the [police] practice to ask the public to come forward with information. An investigation doesn’t end when someone is charged”. Well, it should. This is the good ol’ one-fool-makes-many defence. The police do it so we do it too. Ugh.

4. I’d mentioned the “unwritten tradition” that police aren’t remanded. In response, I got a supercilious lecture on the Bail Act prefixed by “…, Mr Robinson should be aware that justice is about fairness and equal treatment.” Oh, my ears and whiskers. How haughty can one INDEBRAIN get? “Fairness and equal treatment” doesn’t mean identical treatment regardless. If that were so, there’d be no need for judicial discretion. Fairness for one may be endangerment for another.

5. INDEBRAIN pedantically continued “According to Mr Robinson, ‘INDECOM’s public display of glee at their bag of ‘police in a bungle’ helped to hype the press’ spectre of ‘death squads’. Now this is a very serious bit of speculation that should be immediately proven or withdrawn.” Now, this is officially bizarre. INDEBRAIN, you’re aware “speculation” (which it isn’t) can’t be “proven”? Jeez Louise!

6. INDEBRAIN denies saying “death squads” but nobody accused INDEBRAIN of using that phrase. Did INDEBRAIN not see the apostrophe after “press”? Is INDEBRAIN aware columnists’ oppressive word count restriction prevents them from repeating concepts ad nauseam for the slow or dyslexic? As former New York Mayor Ed Koch said “I can explain it for you but I can’t comprehend it for you.”

7. I call eight policemen in two weeks “police in a bungle”. I call INDEBRAIN’s public pride at its achievement “glee”. The press used INDEBRAIN’s “announcement” in its said report of the Press Conference to hype “death squads”.

INDEBRAIN needs to appreciate Lovindeer’s mantra:

Dem wuk for we we no wuk for dem;
a we hire and a we a fire dem.

Take a chill pill, INDEBRAIN. Accept criticism. Respond as you would to your employer not your minion.

There are public officials who respond appropriately to critique but seem damned whether they do or don’t. Right now, Lisa Hanna is being crucified for telling the truth. On April 8, she announced Alpha Boys School’s impending closure. She begged the Sisters of Mercy to reconsider and, on April 17, under media pressure, she disclosed the Sisters’ complaints including predatory sexual activity. What seemed like the entire Catholic Church, including the universally respected Father Richard HoLung (a true saint), attacked her for issuing “insensitive” and “false” statements. But she only passed on what the Sisters told her. Has she inadvertently turned the spotlight on a Roman Catholic failing which the Church would rather remain swept under the carpet?

I can’t address this issue better than Jacqueline Samuels-Brown did in her April 18 Letter of The Day:

..there’s an ugly underbelly which no one, apart from the bold and those who take their responsibilities seriously, will speak of, that is, the abuse, sexual and otherwise, to which vulnerable children…..have been subjected, over the years, while at the facility…

In most…cases, the young men cannot speak for themselves. They…are riddled with a sense of shame and powerlessness. Children often take responsibility for their abuse, and the accompanying guilt muzzles their speech. More than anything else, they don’t wish to be marred with…..the perception that they have engaged in inappropriate sexual relations or belong to the lowest caste of children relegated to state care.
The minister reportedly referred to abuse by boys upon boys, but this is very often learned behaviour and, acting out of… treatment imposed by the adults responsible for them, the victim then becomes the perpetrator.

I concur and have nothing to add.

Peace and Love


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