We noted with interest a letter written to this newspaper on
Wednesday by Mario Rankin, regarding his view ‘from the outside’.
Mr. Rankin stated in the letter – among other things – “that
people who grow up in diminished circumstances will always hear an inner voice
of fear from poverty”.
Charles Dickens put it this way in A Christmas Carol: “This
is the even-handed dealing of the world. There is nothing on which it is so
hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such
severity as the pursuit of wealth.”
Mr. Rankin’s comments were made in relation to Caribbean
leaders, who come from the underprivileged class, falling from grace. “This is
not a call to merriment, but a dirge for the loss of dignity,” he writes.
There should be no celebrations or jubilations over the fact
that former Premier McKeeva Bush was forced from office following his arrest.
Such a sequence of events harms the country and degrades the
office which Mr. Bush occupied for three-and-a-half years.
However, we disagree with the section of the letter that
reads: “Nearly every Caribbean leader has had his defects exposed whether
pleasures of the flesh, the narcotic of power or simple cronyism.”
So what is the message?
That any perceived or alleged misdeeds by Mr. Bush or any
other leader in the Caribbean should be overlooked or downplayed because
everyone else is doing it?
It certainly is not the responsibility of this newspaper to
sit in judgment on Mr. Bush or anyone arrested on suspicion of criminal
Yet that judgment must be made by those qualified to do so,
and any criminal actions must have consequences upon conviction by a judge or
jury of one’s peers.
Poverty or previous poor circumstances cannot be allowed as
an excuse for criminal activity in any situation. Personal responsibility must
be maintained by all members of society, otherwise, chaos ensues.