Our Readers' Opinions
February 13, 2009
Of re-election, the Police and Argyle International millstone


Dear Honorable Sir;

For weeks now I have been struggling to find the courage to do this. It is sad, really, that in a nation whose Constitution guarantees freedom of expression I must hide behind Timi D in order to express myself freely (Timi is a little mouse in whom I found the crumb of courage to start writing). That is why I am fearful that you have ways and means of discovering who I am, after which you would call me and try to intimidate me like you did a few years ago, but you know what? I believe I am safely insulated by the multitude you must have done that to over the years.{{more}} However, I may be inflating my own importance here because you have devolved to the point where you believe yourself to be untouchable, a god even, and thus couldn’t care what people like me think. Remember what you recently said to teachers? Yes, the same teachers whose militancy was pivotal in your becoming PM.

Sir, the other day at the ULP’s convention, you proclaimed that you were going to make whatever changes are necessary to your ‘batting line-up’ in order to ensure that the party is returned to power next elections. Now that is just typical of someone who has let power control his entire being. I have since waited for the outpouring of outrage from the media, the Church, members of the judiciary, the Trade Unions and all those with a voice, but alas, there be only a sickening silence. (It look like all o’ dem fraid yo!) Is that all that matters? Winning? In fact the only real winner there is you, right? Because you get to be PM again and that may not necessarily be a good thing for SVG, not as long as power has the unholy potential to corrupt!

Speaking of power; why do the police have the power to ride rough-shod over us? The slaps, the beatings, the brutalizing of teenagers ‘til they are unconscious and require hospitalization, the unlawful detentions and all the other excesses the police indulge in that you sit idly by and condone. You might as well call a press conference after every dark episode and publicly congratulate them. Sir, try to remember that we are not your subjects but rather YOU ARE OUR SERVANT, as are the police!

Take as an example the Rapid Response Unit. This name suggests a unit on high alert, ready to mobilize at short notice to a potential crisis situation, not a bunch of Rogues in Black roaming the Country, terrorizing Vincentians. The stories I keep hearing are too numerous to not warrant a reaction from you. The cry of the victimized rises unto thee, but thou heedest not. Hast thou ears of stone?

In my limited interaction with the police, I have concluded that the mongoose-gang mentality of too many of our police officers will not easily go away, as it is inherent in their training. Right from the start they are taught that it is ‘us against them’, ‘get them before they get you’. The police need not operate as if we are in a constant state of war! Have you noticed how John Public is disdainfully referred to by some officers as ‘civilians’?

Honorable Sir, I can envisage two possible resultant scenarios: the police, realizing that they can do as they wish and get away with it because you have given them the power, turn said power against you. At that time it would be too late for you to realize how dangerous your silence is. Or, you can picture the even more macabre state of affairs if the criminal minds amongst us, calculating the odds of there being more illegal weapons on the streets than in the possession of the police, decide to retaliate: the country descends into chaos.

Sir, you are for all intents and purposes the Top Cop in this country. You, therefore, cannot sit idly by while the police violate Vincentians. You must take responsibility for their excesses. Start by firing the Commissioner. That should send a spine-chilling message down the ranks and hopefully effect a change of attitude as well as the public’s perception.

By the way, a Boeing 737 landed in Canouan Saturday, February 7th. It came all the way from Dallas, Texas. I hear it could carry 130 passengers. Now if such a plane could already land in Canouan, why do we need to waste a billion dollars in Argyle? Please, Sir, I beseech thee, let not thine ego be the cause of our great grand children’s enslavement.

Timi d