In the first place, a proclamation which has not been ‘proclaimed’ is not a proclamation at all. It may even be null and void. It leads one to wonder if these are not the very same people who went all the way to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty’s Privy Council to argue that Sir Edmund Lawrence’s Proclamation in the Electoral Boundaries re-alignment case had not taken effect because it had not been gazette. Note well, it had been ‘proclaimed’, so they could not very well try to walk that route, so they went the other was.
The Judicial Committee ruled in their favour, even though people at home and abroad were in possession of actual copies of the Special Gazette, and there were also copies on the Internet. We are not attempting to blame the Committee for their findings, but the matter certainly raises questions about the savvy and competence of some of the lawyers who represented the Labour/NRP government on that occasion.
Another matter has to do with the fact that those in government appear to have deliberately kept it concealed from the public for more than seven (7) weeks. Why? Were they unsure of themselves? Were they trying to hide something? In our opinion both of the foregoing reasons are applicable, but we are also of the view that it isvery much the case that they are truly afraid of you the people, as well they shouldbe.
Vesting police powers in members of the Defence Force is always an extreme measure, usually applied only during such periods as when a state of emergency has been declared, and that is usually brought into play only during periods when civil unrest, rioting or other forms of uprising have led to situations which have escalated beyond the competencies of the civil police functioning in their normal role and manner.
The whole matter has a most unhealthy characterto it.
Another aspect of the affair has to do with the messages which it communicates to our people, both at home and abroad. It says, for one thing, that the government has absolutely NO confidence whatsoever in the police force, but, in many ways, it is the police who have brought this upon themselves.
Beginning in 1965 and 1966, they allowed themselves to become politicised, and that has steadily weakened the force over the years. Matters became worse after PAM got into power in February of 1980. Solid and true policemen were victimised because they were supporters of Labour. The recruiting process was violated. All types and all kinds were suddenly showing up for enlistment,each delivering the message that ‘so and so’ (a politician or even a certain political supporter) had sent them ‘for a wuk’.