In defence of Minister Young

THE EDITOR: In his genuine and sincere search for solutions to this country’s complex spiralling crime problem, National Security Minister Stuart Young has displayed courage and confidence in making claims about “certain persons” pushing the crime wave.

This is one view which deserves consideration amidst the swirl of reactions from the Opposition and other quarters on this particular issue and on the worrisome crime situation in general.

Therefore, the man who UNC Senator Saddam Hosein chooses to describe as “a danger to democracy” (Express, Jan 18) may instead be looked at as a risk-taking champion of trust in his people because of the way he has taken them into his confidence by his claims of a conspiracy to destabilise the country through crime.

In stating that the responsibility for crime was “bolted to Young’s chest and that could not be escaped,” Hosein and the UNC also ducked the vital issue of all parties needing to take collective responsibility for a national crisis born out a variety of causes.

UNC Senator Anita Haynes’ rush to describe Young as “dangerous” (Express, Jan 18) failed to acknowledge and appreciate how far out the minister – a very experienced lawyer – was willing to stick his neck and his career by going to the edge in seeking to get the people involved and empowered in this very challenging situation.

By this action, the minister seems to be calling for all hands on deck while encouraging us to confidently join him in singing Black Stalin’s song, We Can Make It If We Try.

This approach could well eventually result in the emergence of an empowered, confident people who are enrolled in the mission of working for the greater good and the creation of a wholesome future for all.

In this regard, let’s remember that many commentators have argued that the problem of violent crime and murders – especially among a small number of our misled young people – is at root greatly generated out of our own collective slackness as a people in keeping our parental eyes on the ball with our most vulnerable, at-risk children.

So while we acknowledge the obvious high energy, strong diligence and dedication with which the minister seeks to maximise the effectiveness of the police and other agencies under his charge within the parameters of legal responsibility, it would be patently unfair to place total blame on the ministry for the crime situation.

In this context, therefore, could it be that we are asking too much of Young by also holding him responsible for the parenting and upbringing of our children, who we passively watched go astray and who have come back to haunt us?

Even the Opposition UNC acknowledged this through deputy political leader Jearlean John unintentionally underscoring the point when she was quoted in a party statement (Express, Jan 17) as saying: “…we need to stop the blame game and fix the issues affecting the people. It’s not old people that are dying, it’s the young people that are killing themselves. They killing each other.”

Yet, at a time when we should be all putting our heads and hearts together in the search for solutions, the respected political analyst and economist Dr Indera Sagewan says: “What we want to hear from a minister of national security at this point in time is words that give us a sense of comfort and that he has things under control.”

Again, this could well be a case of not sharing in the responsibility for the situation and which undermines those who are holding the place together in difficult circumstances.

Meanwhile, UNC Naparima MP Rodney Charles, Senator Hosein, Senator Carter and the party have been using the crime and murder crisis to try and score cheap political points by calling for the resignation of the National Security Minister.

As I see it, such moves should be used by the indefatigable minister, who is bravely facing the firing line with his troops, as an incentive to pursue his course with full faith that the people will be behind him, as long as he works to keep them on board and as long as he displays the sincerity of purpose and love for country that have marked his tenure in public office.


St James


"In defence of Minister Young"

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