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See Something? Say Something. Do Something!

The “If You See Something Say Something” campaign was a massive public awareness initiative geared at drawing attention to potential threats against collective security. It was deemed a necessary tool to empower citizens to become an integral part of the campaign against acts of terrorism in and around New York City.

Area airports, state and federal buildings, landmarks, subway stations and other highly frequented areas were deemed potential terrorist targets and as such, heightened public awareness initiatives took center stage, in part to address the new fears of the threat of terrorism.

The call to action resonates with New Yorkers. Should their safety be threatened, if they see “something” more and more citizens are willing to stand up and “do something.”

Most citizens of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis are prepared to condemn wrong at ALL costs. However, for the right price and despite the consequences, there are some who will see something wrong yet say or do NOTHING!

Many of our leaders who have been given the responsibilities to be the torchbearers of goodwill for our citizens have fallen woefully short. Their failure has helped to create an “anything goes” society void of respect for the laws of our independent nation. 

Random and violent crime has once again numbed the general populace but it is the deafening silence of the powers that be that rings through. No clear policy to make communities safer and no initiative to make criminals uncomfortable with their reckless choices. While law enforcement personnel seem stretched to its limits, morale in the police force has sunken to unpleasant lows. Many players at the helm of leadership seem not to get how easily the relationship between the police force and the public can be eroded when political interference finds its way in the complex world of crime fighting.

Meanwhile, an entire generation of Kittitians and Nevisians is being taught that it’s okay to disregard the laws of the land and to take justice into their own hands.

The increase in homicides should be unsettling for our leaders. Irrespective of whether they are in or out of office, politicians ought not rest easy and exist in “business as usual mode” when 23 lives have been snuffed out and very few are held accountable or brought to justice. Alas, it seems egos have gotten so swollen that our leaders are too mighty to come together at a most crucial time in our history to devise a national agenda on crime.

The unnecessarily prolonged Basseterre High School saga that was fueled in part by those aware of the damning findings of the International Labour Organization (ILO), warrants a full investigation. It appears more time and energy was spent on withholding the findings of the ILO, all the while condemning others eager for a feasible solution.

Students and teachers, despite numerous unfounded attacks on their characters, continued to insist something was amiss at the school.  Damage control for the powers that be was to downplay the severity of the problem to the detriment of students, teachers and staff. Playing politics with the lives of our people is as dastardly as the trigger-happy gunmen whose actions we so openly condemn.

Imagine short-sighted policy makers calling upon our citizens to be calm and accept that nothing is wrong with losing visa free travel privileges to Canada.

Nothing is wrong if passports issued after July 2012 until sometime in 2014 were in fact void of the place of birth and must now be recalled at a cost, likely to be borne by the passport holder.

Nothing is wrong if the question was raised multiple times to top ranking government officials who time and again have proffered baseless explanations for the omission of the place of birth.

Nothing is wrong if citizens must now incur additional costs and inconvenience to complete the visa application process now requested by Canada. After all, approximately  147 countries have to get Canadian visas too so no need for a big  “hullabaloo”. It’s only Canada some say! What’s the big deal say others? Is grudge Canada grudge!

UNBELIEVABLE!

This happens to be the same Canada that warned in November of 2013 that our passports were finding their way into the hands of “illicit actors;” the same Canada which essentially encouraged us to revisit our (CBI) Citizen By Investment program screening policy; the very same Canada that took issue with an Iranian national bearing a St. Kitts-Nevis diplomatic passport!

The lack of sensitivity and high handedness that continues to come from Church Street is nothing short of disappointing. Having campaigned heavily on its NO NEW tax agenda in 2010, many trusted that despite difficult times, they would not incur new or burdensome taxes.  Much to citizens’ dismay, not even a year after voting for an, “It’s Working Government” the once far reaching E.C. dollar was sharply impacted by 17% VAT.  It affected everything; small and large purchases, food and everyday merchandise, entertainment, education and even funerals.

Since the unwelcome introduction of VAT, citizens of ALL political persuasions have cried out and begged for relief.  2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 past by with citizens bearing the 17% strain of VAT.

NO RELIEF!

Now, at the 11th hour comes a government that purports to care about the people and is willingly revisiting its VAT policy. The thinking citizen understands this policy is merely one of government’s last ditch efforts to secure a favorable outcome at the polls.

In the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, social activists and civic interest groups have become relevant in the cause for good. Many have advocated that those who sit in positions of authority, no matter which side of the political divide they are on, serve as the consciences of our leaders.  Too many of our leaders have lost all sense of integrity and love for country as they hawk over material acquisitions.

The Honorable Sam Condor and Dr. The Honorable Timothy Harris, stood up against their colleagues and said something, hopeful the wrongs they identified would be corrected from within the party to which they have been so closely aligned all their political lives. Instead of collecting their pensions, bowing out of politics and leaving citizens to fight for themselves, today they are leading the fight to restore democracy.

After two years, Team Unity’s advocacy for the cause of good over evil, injustice over fairness, right over wrong resonates with thousands of citizens at home and abroad.

In the campaign against an imploding government, condemning wrong does not just bring the curtains down on that sitting government but more importantly, it sets a precedence by which future governments are expected to govern. History has proven that when we stand up as a people and “do something” about society’s ills, we become the true progenitors of our nation’s fate, not the politicians themselves.

 




 

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