Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association

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"Licks! A quick-fix measure meant to bamboozle!"

Veronica Collens • 29 April 2005 • 419 words
Published in Guardian "Big Issue" and in Newsday

“Who can’t hear will feel.” “They must get strokes.” According to media reports these are the words of our Prime Minister.

Now, what are we talking about here? Where’s the rational thinking?

Is beating people the answer? And the people we brand criminals are people, aren’t they? They do live here on this planet with non-criminal people don’t they? And are they not where they are i.e. on the wrong side of the fence, burglar proofing and razor wire, because they have already taken plenty licks one way or another? And very often it’s another. Poor sods. Can we not spare the rod and take the time to ask them how they ‘licked up’ to be criminals before dealing out more licks? Don’t we need some different strokes? Is anyone listening?

Does he really think that telling criminals to get with his rehabilitation programme or else i.e. “take the carrot or get the stick” is going to change anything around here. And who’s going to run these carrots? The same inadequate instructors who have dropped out from teaching in our secondary schools because they were afraid of the violence but would now have prison guard protection? We’ll probably have to import a few ‘experts’ - it’s better from away!

He says he has plans to reintroduce corporal punishment (did it ever disappear?) and young fellas in particular watch out - “in prison you have it too easy with three square meals a day and no death penalty.” Actually they would probably prefer to take the stick rather than spend time in one of our filthy prisons. That way they can get back to business as usual. Is anyone listening?

All of these proposed measures are just a ‘quick fix’ to bamboozle the old, infirm and scared-out of-their-wits-people who stand around in car parks with their hands clasped in prayer like they had an audience with Benedict XVI. If they were not so distressed they would realise that they are watching politicians scape-goating their way out of the problem that their small mindedness and high handedness had caused in the first place.

A ‘quick fix’ is also the rule of thumb for those who have a ‘Get Rich Now’ (GRN) attitude. My home has been burgled on several occasions. Each time I have been impressed by the intelligence and timing displayed by the GRN’s. These people are masterminds. They don’t waste their time bamboozling - they just get on with the job.

Is anyone listening?

Who can’t hear will feel.

See: TT Humanist : Views : PunishmentTT Humanist : Views : Parenting

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