Sunday, November 30, 2008

A modest proposal

Heartiest congratulations to national security minister Martin Joseph on achieving this historic milestone: 500 murders in Trinidad and Tobago this year, as of yesterday. Wow. That's well over a hundred more than we managed in 2007. But wait--there's still a whole month to go before the end of 2008, and the police always like to tell you December is a high homicide month. With a little bit of extra effort, if we all chip in, maybe we can make it to--dare I say it--600!

To really grasp the magnitude of the achievement, you have to look at the murder statistics for the past few years. In 2000 we only managed 120. Less than one per day. We did better in 2001: 151. At the end of that year, the PNM won the general election--er, actually, they didn't, they tied with the UNC, but that's a minor detail. The important thing is that they moved into government. In 2002, the first full year under this PNM administration, we saw just a small increase in murders, to 172. We also had another election, the PNM was voted in with an actual majority, and the result: 269 murders in 2003!

The prime minister thought we could do better. He decided it was a matter of giving the national security job to the right man. So in November 2003 he appointed Minister Joseph to the post. He got off to a slow start--261 murders in 2004. Why, that was even less than the year before. But he was new to the job, let's give him that--after all, in 2005 he got the rate all the way up to 386, a new record--more than one per day! 2006 was another rocky year--the rate fell again, to just 368 murders. Senator Joseph must have vowed to never again be so embarrassed. He worked extra hard in 2007--and set a new record, 391 murders. In just one year!

The country entered 2008 with high expectations--which have been far exceeded already, beyond our wildest dreams. 500! In just eleven months! And that was yesterday! By now, as I type this, we've probably reached 501 or 502. I feel--and I'm sure all decent citizens will agree with me--that the country ought to do something special to congratulate Minister Joseph, give him some special kind of gift. And we mustn't forget he didn't achieve this all by himself. It takes special skill to oversee such a thrilling rise in a country's murder rate in such a short time, and also a lot of luck--but it surely also required the advice and support and cooperation of the prime minister and the rest of Cabinet, of the Opposition, of the police and the judiciary and the business sector--of all of us, really, especially the loyal citizens who had the foresight to vote the PNM back into government a year ago. We should all be patting ourselves on the back.

But I still think we should do something special for Minister Joseph. Organise some kind of event to show our appreciation. Maybe a huge parade? Shut down the country so everyone can participate, then descend, all of us grateful and loyal citizens, tens of thousands of us, on the next Cabinet meeting--wearing red, screaming bloody murder, and waving our flaming torches and our pitchforks.


FSJL said...

Clearly, the minister needs to be sent as high commissioner to Jamaica to observe how it's done by the experts, so he can get the murder rate up to world-class levels.

Anonymous said...

Just call it a death march. You will talk show radio host calling it "white people obeah" thing that no one should support.

Anonymous said...

Time for you guys to start a trinidadbodycount website like previously existed in rio
It is no longer running. But there is still one for Iraq.