It is early days in the New Year and already there are things that alarm or amuse; sometimes they bring both. Some are current, and others a little less recent.
Word is floating around that a certain world leader is diagnosed, at a distance, as having mental problems. It becomes more distinct when the rational observe carefully. Also irrefutable is that a local leader or two would easily qualify as being similarly psychologically unbalanced. This position was taken before. In both instances, the suave equanimity usually exhibited by the secure is nowhere to be noticed; there is danger.
Then there are those situations where the Guyana Police Force is not about the mere releasing of crime roundup news; it is the news with one troubling (sometimes hilarious) development after another. Think about this: 30 cases of fine imported malt liquor translate to the mother of all parties, one for the ages. The suspension of noise and curfew standards to accommodate that sport would be a nice complementary gesture. There is no need to fire anyone.
Whether innocent or involved, this confirms the fears of domestic multitudes that the GPF has more than identity or image problems; it has a vast character void, which exists at almost all levels. This brings no comfort. Further, with some 31 officers detached from the force in 2017, the police blotter is growing so fast, that it is going to need a newspaper of its own to cover the depredations. At the risk of some violation, I would name it the Police Financial Times.
Next, there is this increasing anxiety coming from the stormy world of traffic mayhem. Something new is joining hit-and-run accidents as part of the road upheavals. It is where drivers involved in an accident (usually a minibus, usually speeding) that badly injures or kills someone immediately disappear from the scene. Given the human acceleration displayed by absentee drivers, I am surprised that the Jamaicans still corner the track and field world. Also, driverless vehicles came to Guyana before electric ones.
Now listen to this one. Someone shared that a senior police officer stated publicly that the police (traffic) has done everything possible to manage the road turmoil, and the rest is up to citizens. If accurate, I beg to disagree with what equates to throwing up hands in official surrender. While I agree that each citizen has a responsibility role, far too often police ranks do not do enough. In fact, they do nothing; unthinking, unmoving, speed bumps do more. The human bumps on the roadways do nothing while 1) observing reckless dangerous driving – they stand undisturbed; 2) watching passing motorcyclists without helmets – they behave as if it is not their business; and 3) rushing up and down in official vehicles at some rate – with routine disorder and violations studiously ignored. The ranks are disconnected and distant in the face of many daily barbarisms right before their eyes. If only 50% of them do their jobs, I believe that there would be measurable improvements in road life. Somebody challenge me, prove me wrong.
As I look around, it becomes more and more obvious that racial politics has outraced this nation’s capability to manage it, even address it honestly. The sum of the political parts is bigger than the national whole. The flight of ideas has crash landed, and the self-cannibalizing spreads. Some insist on winning arguments and positions; they possess little relevance or lustre these days; a great jadedness has taken hold through the repetition of the tiring, the accepted, and the mundane. The two polarizations have not worked, will not work; only the wisdom of a progressive centre introducing the new and experimenting with the unprecedented has potential to carry some place out of the swamp. Instead of focusing on how to win an election, leaders and parties have to demonstrate commitments on how to make a country. I believe that any problem, no matter how intractable, can be overcome through reaching for common ground in unswerving good faith. Good faith is the key; it is needed here and not the total war practised. What a waste! I predict more megalomania.
Last, I come to that pain in the stomach named West Indies cricket, if it can still be so called. That group chased me away years ago from either reading or watching. I stick mainly to American fare. Yet, I could not help but notice Steve Smith sticking around for eight hours to hold his team together; and Cook carrying his bat for nearly two full days in the Ashes series Down Under. That is true grit, and about playing for those intangibles, like pride and dignity. It is what past regional masters played for, calypso swashbuckling cricket and all. The self-respect of pride and dignity would serve this nation well, too.