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21-12-2011 - Gulf Daily News

Time for the opposition to prove its credibility

The spray paint boys were out again last night. I hope that they were grammatically correct in Arabic, because they weren't much good in English!

Maybe that's what comes from spending too much time away from studies and not realising that a good education will take you a long way, especially if you claim to be poor and downtrodden.

There is not much demand in later life for graffiti artists or the cooking-with-gas and tyre-burning crowd. They are not skills you can readily list on a resume.

Quite the opposite actually; ruptured eardrums, injuries and burns rule you out of a front-of-house job and the police record that will blight the rest of your life when seeking employment doesn't help at all, particularly if it includes theft and wilful damage.

All so mindless, all so wasteful - and for what purpose, I ask you?

On a wall was sprayed: "We wont [sic] freedom."

See what I mean! Drivel on like that and you won't understand the freedoms that you have, and because you don't understand that, you won't appreciate all the benefits you have already!

There is already the freedom to assemble and protest, freedom to speak out, freedom to join a union, freedom of gender equality, freedom to pursue religious beliefs and the freedom to act like an idiot - provided you don't break the law.

Ahhh, that's it! You want the freedom to act like an idiot and not have the law applied to you!

The freedom to drive like a madman on the roads or to vandalise and jump all over other people's freedoms, such as going to work or running a business.

You claim to be oppressed so you can show how very important you are by disrupting the lives of as many people as possible, maiming and injuring those whose job is to protect our community - idiots included.

You want the freedom to cry "victim" when there is no thought to compromise with others who may think differently.

What is needed in Bahrain is trust and belief, across the political and religious divide, and if not that then at least the "benefit of the doubt" that the leadership and government will rapidly implement the key provisions of the Bassiouni report.

That report highlighted widespread disillusionment that many earlier promises of reform were not implemented - and consequently people are less inclined to be wooed by words.

Deeds will be the only currency that counts and there is no more time for obfuscation and delay.

The government is on notice and the Prime Minister has urged action. Words are simply not enough.

But it is also difficult to create meaningful advances in an atmosphere of constant confrontation.

Both the opposition and the mullahs in their mosques, if they hold Bahrain at heart, should denounce the mindless vandalism which is hardly conducive to peaceful discussion and meaningful change.

The opposition clamours to lead, but now they really have the chance to demonstrate leadership.


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