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Soldiers is police an’ de press is free. Time tuh wake up.

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April 6, 2013 by Fensic

Dis soldiers-is-police debate, ah tellin’ you. Now ah know why dem politicians have parliamentary privileges. If dey could get arrested, de charge would have tuh be fuh ah level of dotishness dat even I cyar reach. And is both sides. Ah hear de AG suggest dat in countries like Jamaica, soldiers have powers of arrest. Only one person take him tuh task fuh dat, Senator Faris Al Rawi. Ah done say ah like he. He suave an’ dapper.

Ah hear an’ read where PNMite Marlene McDonald in she opposition tuh de bill say dat, Anythin’ that flows from this will be illegal’. Dat from ah member ah de party dat give T&T de Special Anti Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago. According tuh former chairman of the Police Service Commission, Kenneth Lalla SC, it eh have, ‘no law which constitutes the Special Anti-Crime Unit’. He say dat in 2009.

When de AG mention dat soldiers patrollin’ wid police since 1970, ah remember right away. Ah remember de article in de papers where some police was on patrol an’ somebody bounce some bullets after dem. Man panic.

Yuh have tuh remember de times too doh. Was 1970 or ‘71 an’ tings was only now startin’ tuh happen, T&T was losin’ its innocence.

Ah group ah soldiers was nearby an’ hear de panic an’ rescue de panickers. Man end up in hospital wid twisted ankle an’ broken dis an’ dat oui. No gunshot wounds from what ah could remember readin’.

Today, ah understand de position de govahment in. It eh have nuttin, no ideas on what tuh do about murders. It peltin’ tings on de wall tuh see what go stick. Wid all de tork over de years about not enough police, up tuh now dey cyar ramp up tuh hire more.

When Gibbs an’ Ewatski was here, dey say dey had tuh look into how manpower gettin’ used before dey buy into de idea dat it eh had enough police. De larse ting I hear was Ewatski sayin’ eef it had police doin’ clerical wuk, dey should be replaced by civilians. As soon as he say dat, some police group fire back an’ say he disrespectin’ dem when he say dat. Certain tings does hut mih head when ah try tuh inderstand dem an’ dat right dey had mih head huttin’.

Yes, Kamla an’ dem in ah corner. De only ting dey know does have ah impact on murders is dem joint patrols. Dat has been de go-to crime fightin’ strategy since 1970. Me eh suggestin’ doh have joint patrols, but as yuh main crime-fightin’ tool?

How dat impactin’ de murder solve rate? Dat lowerin’ de annual murders toll? Dat pushin’ murder cases through the courts faster? Dat improvin’ de quality of murder cases de state does take tuh court? Dat tellin’ dem murderers dey chances ah gettin’ caught, tried an’ convicted are high?

Since ah senior govahment official joke about how murders an’ serious crime went dong during de blackout, maybe it go have ah new crime fightin’ strategy just now. Ah suggest he move farse before somebody else make he next moves fuh he.

Now me an’ de press. Not de media as ah whole, although I sure all parts sufferin’ from de same sickness. Just de press.

So T&T have press freedom?

One ah de tings ah realize is dat people go believe what dey inclined tuh believe an’ de facts immaterial tuh dat. While ah know all dat, ah does still find mihself wanting tuh say, look at de facts!’. When people minds made up, dat is de worse ting yuh could tell dem.

How dat related tuh de T&T press an’ it supposed freedom? Well everyting connected tuh everyting else an’ de press is usually how most people does get dey information. Ok. So let mih ask dat question ah next way. How dat change de price ah coffee? Good question. Diversion from de real issues is mih answer. It eh have tuh be fuh ah devious reason, just ah red herring.

When Kamla call elements ah de press ‘rogue’, me eh sayin’ she tryin’ tuh change de focus. She might really tink de press out tuh get she govahment. Ideally de press should be holdin’ de govahment feet tuh de fire so when it do shit, it in de papers de next day. Buh dat eh how de local press does operate.

The Media Association of Trinidad & Tobago, MATT, does like tuh believe it in ting buh who really tink de press in T&T is ah responsible body? Not me.

Yes, larse year was ah tough year fuh all ah dem. From de idea ah Jack wantin’ tuh buy de Bomb an’ Express, tuh Senator Hinds callin’ de press vultures, tuh Jack callin’ dem “intrusive” an’ darin’ reporters to probe de bank accounts ah certain people.

2012 was when MATT chairman, Selby Wilson was askin’ media houses to be more responsible. In September, it condemned, ‘the ongoing smear campaigns currently targeting investigative journalists.’

It went orn tuh say, ‘if this trend is not rapidly checked, the association fears a trend of organised personal attacks against journalists will eventually damage the  ability of the media to report fearlessly, undermine the functioning of the media—which is fundamental to all democracies—and ultimately weaken the rights of all citizens’.

Tell me dem people eh full of deyself. Yuh wid tink dey torking about ah set ah people who true tuh dey primary job of informin’ an’ den investigatin’.

Just de udder day, when de news break about de senior govahment official, what did members of dis body do? Ah callin’ dem ‘investigative reporters’ just tuh make mih point. Although it was ah SEALED INDICTMENT, dey rush orf tuh Florida tuh interview de son ah dis senior govahment official. Dey must ah been tinking, ‘sealed indictment we baxide. All ah we is Trinis an’ Trinis does always tell what dey know just so dat everybody else know dey did know something nobody else eh know’. Well guess what? Dat only applies in Triniland.

SEALED INDICTMENT have ah meanin’ in udder places. De son de investigative reporters rush orf tuh interview did know dat so he eh say nuttin tuh get heself in any more trouble. Instead he pull up he pants leg tuh show he eh had no ankle bracelet orn. Dat was ah next instance where mih head start tuh hut when ah try an’ follow de logic, buh dat was good enough fun de press tuh take an’ run wid fuh ah few days. Silly me tinking yuh have tuh have gorn further in de US judicial system before yuh might get ah ankle bracelet.

Investigative reporters where allyuh? How come allyuh wasn’t interested in what I tort de ‘real story’? Where did de sons of ah man under de microscopes of two US govahment agencies, one ah dem reported tuh be de IRS, get de money tuh buy dem digs dey livin’ in? I hear paid in cash too.

De IRS is dem folks who does do tings like take all de money in yuh bank account an’ yuh eh know or, instruct yuh borse tuh send yuh pay check tuh dem. On purpose or by ‘accident’, doh owe dem money an’ make dem get tired waitin’. Ask Wesley Snipes what does happen when dey get too tired waitin’. He just get out ah jail. No more Jungle Fever fuh he.

Anyway I eh go worry now. When dat SEALED INDICTMENT get unsealed is when ah tink all questions go get answered.

So, de press in T&T free? It ‘free’ as long at it know it place an’ ah tink it does rush tuh find dat place at de blink of ah eye an’ doh entertain anyting dat even remotely controversial.

Is not just de PP dat lettin’ it ‘be free’ while snippin’ at its heels. Remember Manning an’ what he do in 2008 when dat radio station upset him?

As long as it eh doin’ nuttin de govahment ah de day doh like. Doh forget June 2011 when Kamla’s national security adviser, Gary Griffith, “indicated there should be a new policy to limit media workers’ access to the Prime Minister on the grounds they may be posing a security threat during interviews”. Luckily dat idea dead before it born good.

Chamalee Ramnarine from Naps in ah letter tuh de Guardian in 2011 had she ideas. ”If media did what it was intended for, it will be a great force in building the nation but, at present, media has become a money-making sector. Instead of giving important information an’ educational programmes, all there is on television, is sensational depictions of new stories; their only goal is to get television rating points. Every issue is publicised for a few days, on most channels around the same time, but when the drama is over, no channel follows up the case to let the public know what is going on. They conceal this by using other heated issues. In a democratic community, people should know all their options but the media, which usually provides this, is corrupt. Television channels and newspapers act as the mouthpieces of several parties and spread the parties’ ideologies instead of delivering accurate news. The public has to judge on their own by looking at different channels or newspapers for the same news, and then form their opinion.”

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