Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Letter of the Day | PNP wants ZOSO initiative to fail

Published:Wednesday | September 13, 2017 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The People's National Party (PNP) and its spokespersons are banking on the failure of the zones of special operations (ZOSOs). From the outset, they have been antagonistic and highly critical of the strategy, using every opportunity that presents itself to bad-mouth it.

Several times over the past few days, we have heard coming from the PNP, an argument that the ZOSO alone cannot solve crime. It is an empty argument that should be rebuffed. What single strategy anywhere in the world has been the answer to crime? Does the PNP know?

From how the information was presented and the reasoning in the public domain, it is a foolish person who would form the opinion that anyone within the forces of Government was trying to pitch ZOSOs as the silver bullet to crime.

No one ever did! Instead, we heard that it is a new way, a new response to defeating criminals who have had a stranglehold by criminals. It is too early to assess its success or failure.

When the first zone was declared, the PNP went as far as to set up a hotline to undermine the legitimate channels of communication, under the guise of wanting to protect the rights of citizens. The PNP, in its defence to harsh criticisms and being rightly called out for its treasonous antics, said it released the hotline first.

Now, as a people, as a country, we need to ask ourselves if, at this time, we can tolerate this behaviour by the opposition party.

PNP President Peter Phillips has no credibility when it comes to the issue of crime and violence. First of all, he was a minister of national security and it was under his watch that Jamaica gained notoriety for being the crime capital of the world. Under the watch of Peter Phillips, Jamaica had the highest murder rate of more than 1,600 murders in one year. It wasn't long ago.

Phillips says the issue of crime should not be politicised. Stupid! Crime is a political issue, and a political issue stands to be politicised. There is no way of getting around that. That's an empty call. But even if that were not so, the way he has behaved as leader of the Opposition goes to the heart of his pronouncements.

History will not be kind to the likes of Peter Phillips and Peter Bunting, who have been trying to tear down a strategy that has only been in operation for a mere two weeks.

No one is asking the Opposition to sit back and do or say nothing. However, there is a line crossed when a political party and its supporters are feverishly wishing for the failure of a fight-against-crime strategy, willing to sacrifice the lives of even some of the supporters to rally against a Government.

When we have reached that stage as a country, you know it's bad!

NATHAN NEWMAN

nathannewmanuk@gmail.com