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Chickens coming home – Wild Coot

Harry Russell

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International arbitration may be defined as the substitution of many burning questions for a smoldering one. – The Devil DictionaryFUGU (blowfish), not my cup of tea! Barbados could well become an ignoble, poor-rakey state, insecure in its sovereignty just like the United States, China, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis and a host of others. It is full of contradictions. It is considering laws to make perpetrators of crime compensate their victim pecuniarily, but the relatives of people murdered in cold blood are supposed to be rewarded by the incarceration of the culprit. Our tourism could be in jeopardy, but a British couple can mark their 50th trip here although once victims of a cutlass attack.Time after time, election after election, our leaders are carried forward on the basis of promises, including the revival of capital punishment against the wicked lawlessness of a few. When they eventually accede to office, the promise of a hangman disappears. Today, as our society becomes more and more lawless, as people get killed for a cellular phone, we are promoting less and less punishment for more and more heinous transgressions – all in the name of human rights. It appears that human rights only apply to the perpetrators.I suppose that it is easy to play host when your house is not on fire. Perhaps it shows what a sophisticated country we are! In any case, do we need to join an organisation to proclaim that we have human rights?The people give a government a mandate to carry out its wishes. The elected, being a more intelligent bunch than the people, then make their own decisions after they are elected. Is this as it should be? And the faint-hearted acquiesce to international prescriptions. Tout au contraire to the vox populi. My experiences in Jamaica stretch from the late 1950s to the late 1970s. Look at what Jamaica has become! Politicians are now hoisted on their own petard. The chickens have come home to roost. Whereas the link between the criminals and the politicians had a tenuous start in the 1950s, today it is causing grief even at the prime ministerial level. The situation in Jamaica has its genesis in the early 1960s when it is reputed that politicians handed out guns to their henchmen in order to promote their cause. By the late 1970s it was out of hand and the gangs and garrisons took shape. Jamaica has virtually abolished hanging, compliments of Pratt and Morgan. It now has a murder rate of over 1 600 per year. The confrontation between the security forces and the loyalists to Christopher Coke is only a manifestation of the times, and Barbados is not immune to this type of behaviour.I am not concerned whether or not hanging makes a difference, although I feel that it does; but the punishment must fit the crime. If you steal a pack of cigarettes, you get six months in prison; if you rob a bank, you get ten years (Check Genesis 9:6.) Here in Barbados we must nip the appearance of gangs in the bud, because Jamaica had a similar start. Elected officials should be cognisant of their mandate. If they have a weak heart, do not run for office. We should think carefully before we subvert our Constitution to the vagaries of “modern-day thinkers” whose countries cannot show the benefits of their thinking. Let us leave the mandatory death sentencing where it is. The tourists will certainly come whether we are a “Turd” World country or not. They came before and they will come again. “But Harry,” says a friend to whom I send my articles for approval, “people in Jamaica are suffering intense poverty, and Dudus, not the politician, is their president.”Do we have presidents in Barbados, yet?