Jones needs to fully explain his statement
IN THE INTEREST of clarity, Minister of Education Ronald Jones should detail the evidence that led him to conclude certain people in Barbados are creating a groundswell to breed insurrection, and that this situation could lead to one where our security forces would have to “crack some heads” or “shoot some people” to restore order.
Jones needs to do this to allay the fears he could have possibly aroused in some citizens that such a major security threat is looming.
Barbadians know that as a senior Government minister who has acted as Prime Minister on several occasions, Jones would be privy to sensitive information. So by speaking out in the resolute manner he did in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, they can only conclude there is some merit to his statement.
Jones, and the administration he represents, therefore owe it to the public to reveal the facts on this. Not to do so would imply that the Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley, is in some way involved with the activity he speaks of.
Already, that is the general impression.
After Jones made his remarks Mottley responded, describing his comments as a “form of intimidation” which was “unworthy” of Barbadians. She asserted that “you cannot be cracking anybody’s head for any reason whatsoever, and you cannot be seeking to shoot somebody unless somebody has a gun or a knife that is threatening your life, not to restore order”.
Mottley said Jones’ contribution in the pre-lunch debate on the Police Complaints Authority (Validation) Bill also included references to the famous 1937 riots statement “Today is a Funny Night”. There were also “multiple definitions of Mottley crowd” and “restore order”.
“When the Barbados Labour Party says that we will do what we have to do in this country short of bearing arms to be able to represent the voice and feelings of the people of Barbados we say so with all sincerity and we mean it with sincerity,” said Mottley.
She added that clearly Jones knew what Government was planning for Barbadians and “clearly fears that something is going to come that will cause people to become more agitated”.
Leader of the Peoples Empowerment Party David Comissiong also stated that Jones statement was intimidatory.
“It is truly disturbing that Mr Jones’s vision of cracking heads and shooting people was provoked by the perfectly legitimate, peaceful and unremarkable effort that was recently made by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and her parliamentary colleagues to go about Barbados meeting with and talking to the hard-pressed citizens of our nation,” he said.
Comissiong called on all right-thinking Barbadians to treat Jones’ comments with “utter contempt and ridicule”.
Unless Jones, and by extension the Government, wants the public to conclude his statement was simply hyperbole, they need to set the record straight on this matter. They need to explain why they consider Mottley’s efforts to build a “coalition of conscience” as having no respect for democracy.
Not to clarify this could lead Barbadians to conclude that the usual political hype associated with our political environment is so quickly deteriorating that violence could result. And that is not a very comfortable feeling.