Opinion: MP Frans Richardson statement sounds like a broken record

POSTED: 10/22/15 12:47 PM

As Minister of Justice, Dennis Richardson is obviously responsible for everything that falls under his portfolio. The call earlier this week by MP Frans Richardson for his resignation came as no surprise and sounded as hollow as it is.

The MP seems to think that a sudden spate of killings, as we have experienced them during the past weeks, is something the minister should be held responsible for. The minister denies that, and with good reason.

Politicians should call for the resignation of a minister based on vague and general statements. If a minister has to go, there has to be something serious amiss, and the politicians that calls for the resignation should substantiate his claim. MP Richardson has done none of that: he has called for Minister Richardson’s resignation out if spite.

Earlier this year a motion of no confidence against the minister did not even reach the floor of parliament because MP Richardson realized that he would get no support from his big brother in the coalition, the UP.

Now that the MP has switched political allegiance, he grabbed the first opportunity to repeat his call for the minister’s resignation. That sounds indeed, as Minister Richardson described it yesterday, like a broken record.

What’s more, the justice minister pointed out that criminal organizations are killing each other, as a way to explain the spike in deadly shootings. That could very well be true because, honestly, law-abiding citizens seldom get a bullet in their heads.

Gun violence plays in the domain of competing criminal organizations – as we have seen a couple of years ago with the gang war between Omar Jones and the Arrindell brothers. It was all about control of the local drugs market.

Against such crimes, measures on paper do not help. Criminals will do what they do best: commit crimes and eliminate the competition in the way they know best too: with bullets.

This does not mean that we encourage such activities, but we also find it a bit stiff to hold a minister responsible for gang wars over which he has absolutely no control, short of putting a heavily armed policeman behind every lamp post on the island. And do we want to live in such a community?

Asked for their opinion, we’d bet a good bottle of wine that most citizens prefer that criminals kill each other to breaking their neck over a bunch of heavily armed police officers every time they go to a supermarket.

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