If Dr. Bernard J. Nottage and his colleagues in the new Christie level administration want to succeed in the days, weeks, months and years ahead, they should be minded to remember that they must break with business as usual.
Instead of calling for yet-again-another Town Meeting, Dr. Nottage might really wish to make it his business to challenge
The College of The Bahamas [especially its social scientists and teacher education specialists] to come on over and help.
Indeed, there is a powerful case to be made that the Christie administration can – as part of its Urban Renewal Initiative – see to it that special attention should be given to so mentoring at-risk youth that – within a set period of time they can become better adjusted, hard-working and decent, law-abiding citizens.
This is a job that can and should be conceived, generated and led [in part at least] by selected COB faculty and other support staff.
Such a focus would serve to get us all off dead center; that mean space where the talk is all about pain, shame, abuse and punishment.
We make this point to underscore some of what will go down when or if Dr. Nottage and his team descend upon the town hall on Joe Farrington Road.
This would be a massive waste of both time and money.
Simply put, the current administration would be well-advised to search within the public administration and in civil society for some of the cadres that might yet make the difference that matters as we all – each and every Bahamian nation-builder – do what we can with the resources we have been given and gifted.
We make this reference to failure foreshadowed even as we note that today’s Bahamas is a place that is suffused in crime whether it comes dressed and dripping in blood at the street-corner level or for that matter when it portrays itself as embodying the epitome of all that it means to be a successful gangster working out of this or that luxurious suite.
Today’s Bahamas is a place where there is also an ocean of fear – growing space where no day passes when there is not some display or the other of barbarism run amok.
There are today tens of thousands of Bahamians who do sincerely believe that capital punishment is the one size fits all that would do the trick that – once put into effect – will eliminate most crime.
We will have none of this; nor will we have any more of that nonsense that routinely demands the conjuring up of this or that Committee charged with trying to find the root-sources of the crime problem we have collectively generated.
We take it as being axiomatic that successive regimes have – each in their own way – either by omission or commission – sowed the seeds that have led to this terrifying place.
Dr. Nottage has apparently forgotten that, there was once a time when he had both the privilege and power to call for papers and persons; this as a consequence of being made head of a House Select Committee on Crime.
As we now recall, some years ago: The House of Assembly Select Committee on Crime outlined its strategies and goals in examining crime in the country.
The committee was headed by Dr. Nottage, MP for Bain and Grants Town.
Dr. Nottage is today this nation’s Minister of National Security.
As Dr. Nottage also insisted: “… One of the very important tasks we have set for ourselves is to conduct a review of the reports of the various commissions and committees which have been appointed by successive governments of The Bahamas over the years as they have grappled with this problem.
“…The committee was also mandated to investigate to what extent social conditions have impacted levels of crime, to evaluate the impact if any that the conclusions and recommendations of commissions and committees appointed by governments have had on crime, and to make recommendations with respect to solutions…”
Years later: 1. The Free National Movement has been ousted; 2. The Progressive Liberal Party is large and in charge; and 3. Dr. Bernard J. Nottage is Minister of National Security.
The time for Town Meetings and other special talk-shop exercises is clearly over.
This Christie administration must be up and doing with the people’s business.
And for sure, it must be seen to be so doing in these dread times.