EDITOR, The Tribune.
The Bahamas is between a rock and a very hard place. A large number of our people are stressed right out to the maximum and many of them do not know where to turn or on who to call on with the stark exception of The Lord Himself.
All is not doom and gloom, but we are on a precarious and slippery slope as a people. We have become so insensitive that the average person is simply not checking for the next one. Crime is not as bad as some might opine but the fear of crime is literally holding the residents of New Providence and Grand Bahama hostage.
Some argue that the alleged criminals are killing off each other.
That might well be the case, as I suspect, but the plague of alleged homicides is sapping precious national resources and the political will power of the Gold Rush Administration. Other incidences of crime, such as petty theft; personal and domestic assaults; home invasions and sexual offences continue unabated.
Our erstwhile politicians, from all across the divide, are dithering; clueless and, to be quite honest, could care less about the victims of crime so long as it is not themselves or loved ones who become a victim themselves.
They have all politicized crime to the extent where successive administrations tend to blame the previous one for its apparent inability to curb crime.
There is no single solution to crime. Criminal thoughts first exist in the mind of the potential perpetrator.
He/she then actually puts them into play with the resultant consequences – the good the bad and, of course, the ugly.
Swift justice is one thing but we need to dust off those reports prepared eons ago by committees headed by Bishop Drexel Gomez (Anglican) and Bishop Simeon Hall (Baptist).
Not only were they well researched and prepared but offered concrete solutions to the causation of crime.
The political directorate of the day, at the relevant times, totally ignored those reports and they were relegated to the dust bins of history. The Androsian Buzzards and the Long Island hogs have now come home to roost and grovel in the mud.
The results are not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Fox Hill Prison is filled to the maximum.
Loose talk about reforms and rehabilitation has been just that: loose talk.
The economy continues to pose a serious and ever present threat to our traditional way of life. Far too many Bahamians are either unemployed or underemployed. National productivity is constantly being challenged due to mental stress; the inability to obtain and hold a job or to succeed in business; political interference and cronyism.
I do not suggest for one moment that I am the fount of any or all knowledge, but the most idiotic amongst us is in agreement that the combined pressures being exerted on individual Bahamians and the nation are fast becoming of volcanic proportions.
Something will have to give or all hell may well break loose from a societal and cultural point.
We have now seen the promulgation and passage of Gaming Bills which now govern the regulation and taxation of the so-called web shop industry.
Some suggest that the Gold Rush Administration did this so as to pay back the operators of the major well known web shops. I am not a possum and it is obvious that there was/is some quid pro quo therein.
Mind you, I am not suggesting anything sinister or corrupt, but we all know the roles which power, influence and money play in our wonderful country.
The opposition forces may complain as much as they like, but because of the gross reluctance of all political parties (at least the viable ones) to usher in campaign finance laws, the unwashed masses will never be privy to who is giving what to whom and for what.
The current immigration soap box being occupied by the Minister of Immigration and Foreign Affairs is pathetic to see and very difficult to rationalise.
Yes, we all agree that we do have an illegal migration problem and that we must address it.
The very public rounding up of fellow human beings, however, is not, in my view, the way to go.
Declare a fixed amnesty period. At the end of that, let us then proceed with the round ups with full respect to human rights and observation of the dignities attached thereto.
The next logical step would be to take on additional personnel and devote more economic and material resources to the Department of Immigration so as to commence, once and for all, the processing of the tens of thousands of applications, of all sorts, pending within that department.
It is dead wrong for us, as a people, to have allowed the accumulation of an excessive and almost impossible load of such applications.
The fact of the matter, however, is that it must be addressed in tandem with the deportation exercise.
The Bahamas is badly in need of one of those fabled Alchemists of old. An Alchemist was a philosopher who, allegedly, was able to turn base metals into pure gold.
This is what we need in our wonderful country today....an Alchemist who is capable, able and willing to turn the fortunes of our nation around. The time for fine oratorical waxing and demur posturing is over.
Who is this Alchemist?
The nation is more than aware that I am a partisan of the Hon Philip ‘Brave’ Davis (PLP-Cat Island), the Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Works.
Brave is that Alchemist whom we so badly need in The Bahamas as we seek to develop a real national plan for development; wipe away the tears from every eye; cloth the naked and bring succour to the depressed.
A change has got to come and, Lord please, let it come soon. To God then, in all things, be the glory.
ORTLAND H BODIE Jr
November 30, 2014.