Columns

Gordon Robinson, keep your grubby hands off James Forbes!

BY OLIVIER GORDON

Wednesday, September 03, 2014    

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THE Old Ball & Chain must be writhing in her sexless old age and wondering what nasty disease could have afflicted the fevered mind of her rambling hubby. Basking in his conceit and self-deception that he 'dust out' Cliff Hughes (the jury is still out on that), Gordon Robinson has turned his attention to James Forbes, the much-loved former senior superintendent of police.

The unmistakeable scent of female-like jealousy in his article 'Silence also speaks' in The Gleaner of September 2, 2014 makes it difficult to conclude anything other than Robinson would love to be in Forbes' new position as corporate security consultant for Sandals Resorts International.

I will not repeat the mistake that Robinson, a lawyer no less, makes by commenting on Forbes' appeal of a corruption conviction which is before the court. That he so willingly and carelessly flouts the law that he is duty-bound to uphold suggests that Robinson is moved by more than just jealousy and may be singing — some would say croaking — for his Gleaner supper. Did someone say he who pays the piper calls the tune? Otherwise, how can The Gleaner allow its opinion columns to be so abused?

While Robinson accuses Forbes of having "abandoned all ambitions of resuming his police career even before the appeal court pronounces", he finds no problem in describing the former policeman as a "convicted criminal" and with a "criminal record", even while that conviction is in dispute and that very appeal court has not yet pronounced. By the way, isn't that defamatory and a contempt of court?

Moreover, in questioning Forbes' decision to accept the position with Sandals while the appeal has not yet been concluded, Robinson virtually implies that, for however long it takes — and we know it can take years to conclude — Forbes must put his life on hold, apparently for no other reason than to to satisfy the columnist's jealousy.

A little reading of the JCF Force Orders would assist Robinson, assuming that that is even possible at his current stage of mental impotence to see that Forbes acted within the bounds of the rules to accept a position which is in keeping with his qualification, experience, talent and, more importantly, in the interest of his family.

Unlike the public service, Sandals, thankfully, is not constrained by any force other than its own, whether it be politician, businessman, columnist, or lawyer, in hiring talented Jamaicans to provide needed service. Neither does it need to seek the approval of anyone, least of all an embittered green-eyed monster parading as a columnist. Despite its well-earned independence, Sandals has set the bar for transparency in its operations and has nothing to hide.

But Robinson is not even skilfull. He clearly has a beef with Sandals, and doesn't say it, but can't mask it either. Why else would he stretch the imagination from his diatribe about James Forbes to suggest a plot between the Police High Command and Sandals, and then go further to ask "Is Sandals in any dispute with the Brits?" — unless he is referring to an ex-employee of Sandals who may be under investigation by the British and United States authorities. He may wish to pursue that. But what has that got to do with James Forbes?

Forbes' brilliant career as a policeman serving his country is marred by a single incident over which the principal actors have been declared innocent by the court, and for which he now awaits the decision of the appeal court. Must we use that to define him and condemn him to a life of poverty because of the grudgefulness of one attorney? I think not. My best advice to Gordon Robinson is: Keep your grubby hands (mind) off James Forbes!

PS: This is not Cliff Hughes whose image you slaughtered while suggesting that something was intrinsically wrong with him working for another Gleaner entity — Power 106-FM. Does that not pose a moral or even ethical dilemma for you?

riffraph54@gmail.com

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