A ray of hope shone through the population as a police commissioner was at last appointed after acting positions spanning too many years. Gary Griffith was installed as Commissioner of Police with majority support from the nation, but with a few conscientious objectors whose words need to be heeded. Accompanying this was the announcement that Stuart Young is the new Minister of National Security, another position on which all eyes fell. The dynamic duo is set to make the country right when it comes to violent and white-collar crime. Wisely, Griffith has said he cannot do it alone and needs the help of all stakeholders, especially the Police Service. The community must also become more proactive.
In today’s gospel, the followers of Jesus find his language “intolerable”.We too as citizens of this land, which marks its 56thanniversary of independence, find the language of the ‘big fish’ intolerable. Successive prime ministers, acting commissioners, ministers of national security have used these words to no avail. We have been insulted for far too long. In a small country like ours the so called ‘big fish’ are too highly connected and it is a near impossible task to bring them to justice. The nexus is too tight—business, police, lawyers, clergy, politicians—and collusion to avoid the heavy arm of the law too successful. Gary Griffith must take his own advice: “Less talk, more action”.
We think it more productive for the Commissioner to cripple the operations of the middle men. With police officers who have had specialist training from North America and Europe and billions spent on national security over the past decades, we surely have the wherewithal to deal a lethal blow to the criminal infrastructure. What is lacking is will. The disciples who did not want to abandon Jesus said: “To whom shall we go?”.This is the cry of the nation to Griffith and Young. The disciples had the faith and will to move beyond the intolerable language. We turn to these two officers of the state, in conjunction with the protective services, to rid us of this vacuous language of ‘big fish’ and help set the crime problem right.
The 56thanniversary of nationhood also saw a small but promising event take place. Roughly two weeks ago, the Inter-Religious Organization (IRO) had a small prayer dinner at the Radisson Hotel. It was an attempt at self-examination and revisioning, as stated by its president, Canon Knolly Clarke, in the feature address. No political figures were invited as the intention was to emphasise it as a spiritual event. Many citizens have expressed the opinion that the religious leaders are the ones to turn the country around. They must be more spiritual, more prophetic, and speak truth to power. Rightly so, the citizens of the land have been sorely disappointed by tensions within the IRO and the “intolerable language” emerging in the press about goings-on there. We hope this event signals a turning point in the life of the IRO and the country.
If these two forces can work together for the common good, more than a dent can be made in crime. We will be contributing, as the IRO theme said, to Moving the Nation Forward.