The Tribune Editorial [Thursday 19th Nov. 2009] launches an attack on the students at COB and lambastes the PLP calling its propaganda as a “BIG LIE”. Bahamas Press publishes the editorial in full today to allow readers the opportunity to see how the BIAS WUTLESS MEDIA of the FNM now launches an attack on young people along with its usual antics against the PLP.
Published On:Wednesday, November 18, 2009
AFTER HEARING the many complaints from College of the Bahamas students about the lack of campus security, it was indeed a surprise that so few attended when their union arranged a meeting for them to meet with college security.
Following a string of robberies on campus, which students blamed on lax security, COB students’ union hosted an on campus safety forum, inviting all students to attend and report their complaints to the persons responsible for their safety.
Security director Wellington Francis and campus investigator Ricardo Miller were among those waiting to answer students’ claims that campus security had not worked hard enough to make them aware of the crimes being committed on campus. According to the students, the lack of communication has put them at great risk.
The security officials replied that they report all criminal activity on campus to the Office of Communications, which has the authority to inform students. It was then a student’s responsibility to check their notice boards and keep abreast of college activities, which include crimes.
The most surprising thing to come out of the meeting was that so few students attended — surprising in view of their loud complaints — and the fact that many students admitted to rarely checking the college’s bulletin boards, the online forums set up by the college, or their student e-mails.
If in fact they are not informed they have only themselves to blame. It is the College’s responsibility to provide security and make certain that the campus is as safe as possible, but there comes a point when students have to be equally responsible for their own safety. And that is by being informed. And the only way to be informed is to participate fully in the life of the college, know what’s happening on campus and daily check all areas of information that the College provides.
How can they become responsible citizens, if they do not know how to be responsible students? This is an important lesson to learn and where better to learn it than on COB’s campus.
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The Big Lie
In a letter to the Editor, yet to be published, the writer wonders “if a government that focuses excessively on answering its critics is not a government that has allowed those critics to get into its head.”
He, of course, was referring to the political sniping back-and-forth between the PLP’s newly appointed chairman and Government.
We are of two minds on this score. Hitler believed in the big lie, which his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels later turned into the dripping water theory. Goebbels maintained that if the water (the big lie) dripped often enough it would certainly make a deep impression on the stone onto which it was dripping. In other words if the lie were repeated often enough — and no one refuted it — because of its enormity people would believe it.
Many years ago when The Tribune and its owners were the PLP’s chief targets, outlandish and deliberate lies were told. We took the arrogant attitude that we should consider the source from whence they came and ignore them — in other words they, and the persons spreading them, were beneath the dignity of reply. However, over the years because we ignored the lies, we were often shocked to hear them repeated as gospel truth by a younger generation.
Were we wrong in not nipping the rumour off at its source and thus running the risk of wallowing in the same gutter as our detractors? Even after so many years, and so many lies later, we have not made up our mind on the matter.
The FNM is now faced with the same question. The issue being taken up by Mr Bradley Roberts, PLP chairman, seems equally petty in view of the major challenges facing our nation.
Mr Roberts — as does the leadership of the PLP — wants to blame crime on the FNM’s remodelling of their Urban Renewal programme, which was launched by then prime minister Perry Christie in his Farm Road constituency during his administration. They claim that the FNM’s version of Urban Renewal is not as effective in reducing crime as was the PLP’s.
However, police statistics do not support these claims. For example, the PLP were in power from 2002 to 2007. In 2001 (FNM) there were 43 murders. In 2002 (PLP) there were 52 murders; 2003 – 50; 2004 – 44; 2005 – 52 and 2006 – 61.
Armed robberies in 2001 (FNM) were 532. In the year 2002 (PLP) they were 765; 2003- 763; 2004 – 663; 2005 – 782; 2006 – 548.
The only dip shown were in rape cases. In 2001 (FNM) there were 111 rape cases; 2002 (PLP) – 140; 2003 – 114; 2004 – 89; 2005- 82 and 2006 — 72.
On the other hand housebreaking climbed steadily. In 2001(FNM) housebreaking figures were 1,803; 2002 (PLP) – 2137; 2003- 2581; 2004 – 2019; 2005 – 2255 and 2006 – 2628.
The crime figures are nothing to be proud of under either administration. However, they do not support Mr Robert’s and the PLP’s claim that the Urban Renewal Programme was the great force that reduced crime during the PLP years.
All parties would be wise — if in fact they are interested in the welfare of the Bahamian people — to stop finger pointing and get on with the job of finding solutions for this country’s many problems.