That no-confidence vote
When a people appear to lose confidence in those who are supposed to lead, they either become apathetic or they seek support from external sources. Sometimes their efforts embarrass those who take their work seriously because that person feels that he or she is being lumped in the ranks of the distrusted.
For some time now people have not been talking to the police because to a man they say that they have no confidence in the police. And they cite numerous reasons, chief among them being the lack of confidentiality. To this day people still say that they have been exposed to threats from the very people whom they reported.
The people say that even before they returned home the people against whom they filed the report would call them threatening and informing them of what they actually told the police. One young woman who was robbed on her way home and who reported the matter to the police, then proceeded to identify one of her attackers had her home shot up.
What she found strange was the police inaction. There was no arrest although there was a suspect and in the end she was forced to decline to testify. Her attacker walked.
Former head of Citizens Bank, Alan Parris, once said that he would be afraid to report any suspicious bank transactions because if he should make such a report in the morning, by noon when he is driving home he would be dead.
There have been demonstrations of a lack of confidence in other areas. A woman died under conditions that left many unanswered questions. The post mortem was conducted but the relatives were not satisfied so they summoned a foreign pathologist. Needless to say, the local pathologist was unhappy.
The same thing happened on West Demerara when the relatives of a dead girl brought in a foreign pathologist and forced an exhumation. A man dies in the Georgetown Public Hospital while in police custody. There is an autopsy and the relatives asked that there be an independent pathologist.
In this part of the world people also express discontent or a lack of confidence in aspects of the administration. For its part the government says that it has heeded the reports by the people when it comes to the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and has replaced them with Interim Management Committees.
The government has repeatedly said that it has no confidence in the city council. This has been the case for years. On one occasion it actually replaced the entire council with and interim management committee.
At the national level the government removes office workers, people in leadership positions, including Ministers and even people in places over which the government has influence when there is a lack of confidence in those persons.
And there have been many instances of the government taking action. It has made no bones that it would not hesitate to dispose of those in whom it has lost confidence. It lost confidence in former Assistant Commissioner Paul Slowe when the latter decided to refuse a request that was presented as an order from Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj.
Slowe was never promoted. In fact, efforts were made to have him removed from the force. These efforts were thwarted by a legal challenge filed by Slowe.
The shoe is now on the other foot. The parliamentary opposition is seeking to express a vote of no confidence in the Home Affairs Minister. All of a sudden this has become anathema. There are many things that are said to be out of place and irregular.
But this is human nature. We do things to others but when the reverse is the case we resent it. This was the case when the ruling People’s progressive Party observed the anniversary of the people it called the ballot box martyrs but frown upon those who were shot and killed although they did much less than those ballot box martyrs. The latter did not seek to attack anyone nor did they prevent the law enforcement officers from going about their legitimate business.