In his latest media conference, Rowley again failed to present a multidisciplinary approach to deal with the violent crime crisis that has overwhelmed the country.
Instead, he directed irrational blame at the bureaucratic system, which by the way, is the same system that has existed for many years while the country was much safer and better.
He ignored the fact that he has been Prime Minister for almost nine years and in 2015 he promised national safety and security through a “whole of government” approach.
He opted for evasion and hedging instead of replacing the wretched Fitzgerald Hinds as Minister of National Security.
His government also continues to support a Commissioner of Police who has not met the minimum standard of performance in any aspect of her important duties. No responsible leader who witnessed Erla Christopher’s national security JSC appearance would support her remaining in the office of Commissioner of Police.
After spending millions of dollars, instituting various enquiries, hosting a Caricom conference, and terming crime “a public health issue,” he is still presiding over a deteriorating security state.
It is essential to note that the UNC has supported over 35 pieces of legislation in the last 9 years, something that Rowley continues to ignore when trying to craft his false narrative that the UNC does not support the governments’ legislative agenda in parliament.
I am on record inside and outside the parliament saying that the opposition will always support good law, and I stand by that. Where we are today has nothing to do with any lack of support from the UNC, civil society, or the protective services.
This government is unable to operationalize and implement passed legislation due to incompetent personnel at the highest levels in the Ministry of National Security and at the National Security Council.
The saying “A poor carpenter blames his tools” clearly applies to Rowley’s presentation as he continues to blame me, the UNC, the police, the former police commissioner, the citizens, parents and now the bureaucracy.
It is my respectful view that he should refer to his own statement as Opposition Leader in 2012 when he said: “…if the Government can’t deal with it (crime) then the government itself is part of the problem.”
I again invite the Prime Minister to join me at the Leader of the Opposition Anti-Crime Town Hall meetings. It is a non-political platform, where he can present to the population his viewpoints on crime, challenge my viewpoints directly to my face, hear the feedback from citizens in real-time and answer their burning questions.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition