Friday, February 23, 2018

An act of terrorism against us all

Security is a fundamental public good and is one of the primary justifications for the existence of a Government in a modern society.

As a country we have spent over $37 billion on National Security between 2006 to the present. Yet murders classified as hits have increased and become more sophisticated. This last hit was designed to create shock and awe: the message was delivered with bravado from the person(s) who hired the gunmen. The challenge is not finding the gunmen, as important as that maybe, it is finding the well-resourced person, with such a mind, who disdains us all.

We, as a small society, have suffered our 9/11. It is an act of terrorism against us all.

Crying and the accolades are good and necessary but we would be crying for ourselves if we fail to act. This is not one more murder: this is the silencing of an exemplar, an independent, influential thought leader.

Such crimes affect how we think and live. We are vulnerable since we do not know how we may offend the person(s) offended and we know they know our every move. Will our investigative journalists continue or fold? White-collar crime gets a free rein as those who are able seek to maximise their take before the curtains fall. Crime has a cost, beyond the lost life, which we each pay every day.

The brazenness will spawn more crime on the streets. The security industry will blossom further and we all pay for it in the increased prices of goods and services. Fear will colour our attitudes and distort the way we relate to others. Stereotypes will be created and society divided as we point fingers. Our young and bright talent will opt for elsewhere and the urban poor are left defenseless, bearing a disproportionate burden.

The question we ought to be asking ourselves is: how might we, as a society, conduct ourselves so that our quality of life may be improved? How might we arrange our affairs so we are able to use all our people and resources to create a self-sustaining competitive nation? We do not need more laws, bigger guns; we need creative thought and will.

Our corporate sector has to do more to tackle the long-term social ills. They have the management skills and resources to change our social direction. They ought to take the lead in forging a new improvement in our social institutions.

We know what should be done: improved means of handling youth crime, professional management of our Police Service, a concerted effort in community policing, faster criminal justice system. Together we have to insist on these things.

The nature of our national discourse has to change. We cannot build a nation divided and distrustful of each other. Corruption cannot happen because our friends are involved. Strong communities are needed...that is something we all can contribute to.

Noble Philip

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