Anti-bullying legislation needed to stop PM abusive conduct

Anti-bullying legislation needed to stop PM abusive conduct

Photo : Dool Hanomansingh

Rowley’s hands are in blood. He has failed to negotiate with the UNC the passage of the anti-gang bill that went before parliament. Had Rowley a sense of care for the people he would have humbled himself and strike a compromise with the Opposition; but Rowley has chosen to behave like a raging bull.

The statement by the PM after the killings at Trou Macaque, Laventille that “having refused to provide law enforcement with the legislative tools to deal with gang violence, the blood of 15-year-old Joshua Andrews is virtually on the Opposition UNC’s hands” is a display of a lack of commitment to accept responsibility. These remarks by the PM explain why crime continues to go out of control in this country. The PM needs to come to the reality that he is the Prime Minister and it is his duty to take the initiative to stop crime, not the Opposition.

Rowley is arguing that the anti-gang bill will make “gang activity illegal and … an essential tool in addressing the violent scourge of gang activity.” The PM is convinced that without the anti-crime legislation the police will be handicapped to fight crime and keep law and order.  The PM should be reminded of the arrest and prosecution of the Dole Chadee gang. Then, there was no anti-gang legislation. However, the UNC was able to conduct a speedy trial and get a verdict. More so, the execution of those criminals was done within the time frame set by international human rights organizations. May be, the PM should seek the advice of Ramesh Maharaj in this direction and stop making lame excuses for a failing law enforcement culture.

Rowley’s language is not one that attempts to invite the support of the Opposition. It is one of bullying and intimidation. This is what he said of the UNC: “…their actions deliberately … and deceitfully, refused to help the country…” Is this the manner in which one speaks about individuals whose help one needs?

Rowley should learn the meaning of the word “humility.”  With such rude and crude language the UNC is justified in not supporting any gang legislation until its demands are met.  If Kamla were to give in to Rowley’s demand carte blanche she would be making the Opposition a rubber stamp. Kamla has to stand up with her last breath to fight this Hitlerite behaviour. It is time that the nation stands with the Opposition to stop this totalitarian behaviour of the Prime Minister.

 “Law enforcement was literally operating with one hand tied behind its back, thanks to this Kamla Persad-Bissessar Oppositon UNC,” said Rowley. Is Rowley telling the nation that gang legislation alone would help the police to make arrests? It is time for the nation to question the recruitment procedure of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). How transparent is this recruitment process? The spiralling crime rate is karmic as it exposes the political interference in the recruitment and promotion procedures in the TTPS. The TTPS appears not to have a clue of what measures are to be implemented to curb crime.

I have been noting the PM’s accusation of the Opposition as “unpatriotic.” The “hotspots” where crimes are being committed do not vote for the UNC; their political loyalty is with the PNM. Such attacks on the population are an insult to the people who supports the UNC. Rowley needs to be reminded that the Black Power Movement was not the making of supporters of the UNC; that the 1990 attempted coup was not a making of the UNC; that the email-gate scandal in Parliament and the attempted connivance with the Integrity Commission was not the making of the UNC.

Rowley has to change his manner of speaking with the Opposition, the press and the nation at large. The country needs anti-bullying legislation to shut up individuals live the PM who believe that they have the right to bully others. The PM’s tone of speaking has to be checked. It is regrettable that this nation continues to tolerate this abrasive and abusive tone. 

All mothers and fathers whose children are victims of bullying in the schools should rise up to condemn this attitude of the PM. Women, men and children who are victim of bullying and foul language should join hands to bring to an end this social scourge.  Rowley needs to address the inner fears and doubt within him and stop blaming others for his blatant shortcomings and failures.