The man responsible for maintaining law and order in Parliament and keeping legislators in check is calling on the Social Partnership to work on a comprehensive approach to crime and violence.
With the country experiencing a surge in crime, including gun killings, Speaker of the House of Assembly Michael Carrington today said the Social Partners, comprising Government, the labour movement and the private sector, should come together in search of answers to the scourge.
Delivering the Democratic Labour Party’s regular Friday lecture at the party’s headquarters in George Street, St Michael, Carrington argued that crime had the capacity to undermine the social and economic gains made by previous leaders.
Therefore, he said, it ought not be seen as a party political issue, and the social partners should be involved in identifying solutions.
“The Social Partnership has in the past developed successful policy positions on matters such as HIV/AIDS awareness and education, occupational health and safety, and chronic non-communicable diseases. We talk about the Social Partnership at this time dealing with economic matters. But is it too much to ask that the Social Partnership also work on a comprehensive approach to the issue of crime and violence? I do not think it is too much to ask.
“Yes, what is happening with the economy is important, but the same capital, the same labour, the same Government, it seems to me can come together and deal with the problem of crime,” Carrington said in his lecture entitled, After the Right Excellent Errol Barrow, What?
The Member of Parliament for St Michael West also challenged the country’s youth to get involved in politics.
Carrington argued that while the youth claimed that the future belonged to them, they appeared unwilling to be involved in the affairs of state.
Instead, he suggested, many of them preferred activities that were less than wholesome, and made excuses for their passivity.
“I am sorry I have to lump all of them together, because there are some exceptions. The average young persons in my view are out liming, or they at home peering at a screen, on social media, watching a movie or playing games. My simple question to our youth is, is it not time for you to stop finding and making excuses and get seriously involved in the political process? I say that because whenever you talk about the low voter turn out, about how young people do not vote, you hear about how the politicians get in the House of Assembly and talk foolishness. They say it does not make sense listening to politicians. That may be true, but if the future is yours, take it with both hands and run with it. Stop the excuses.”
In the wide-ranging presentation, the Speaker also addressed social issues, suggesting that Barrow had been concerned about how the most vulnerable in the society were treated, and would have wanted today’s leaders to do the same.
“When I speak about the most vulnerable, I am not speaking about those of us who may have had to make a little adjustment here and there to our standard of living temporarily in order to deal with present difficulties. I am speaking about those in a similar position to the working poor, the voiceless and the disadvantaged of the Barrow era. I am speaking basically about those who cannot do any better,” he said.