Sunday Brew — May 24, 2020

Sunday Brew — May 24, 2020

with HG HELPS
Editor-at-Large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 24, 2020

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NWC silly season now in full swing

We are now fully into the National Water Commission silly season.

It is that time when you could expect to hear the voice of one Charles Buchanan (whatever happened to him?) telling us that it is that time again when less water would flow in our pipes, which would result in the primitive action of catching water, or have water trucked to you.

Now, the same sentiments are being expressed, this time by a humungous Canon, the Andrew one-pop type. The Hermitage Dam is at 68 per cent capacity, he would tell us last week, while rolling out Buchanan's annual echo.

While Canon sounded far better when he was in mainstream media, especially with his television wraps, it is absolutely annoying to hear him saying things about a commodity that is most precious to all —chatting about how people's comfort would be wickedly diluted.

And when you hear and see the same National Water Commission (NWC) put out advertisements targeting those residential and condominium customers who have been breaking their laws by not paying for use of water — offering them a 30 per cent discount of 90 days and over, you have to wonder where the NWC's leadership is going.

Last week I mentioned the most brilliant public servant to have served this country — Kingsley Thomas — as the main man behind the highway project. He was also president of the NWC at one time, but, was frustrated and pushed out of the job by those who, if asked to tell you what one and one equals, would tell you 11.

If Thomas had spent more time at the NWC, Jamaica's water problems would have been solved by now.

But what are we seeing? No clear plans to increase water capacity, and a young man, Pearnel Charles Jr, who articulated a desire to put more water in the system, whether by desalination or otherwise, is being wasted.

Maybe the suffering masses, like those in St Mary where I am from, which gets water only on Thursdays for over a year now, should start taking legal action against the NWC for failing to deliver water to them. Only then would the NWC get smart and put people in charge who know how to supply a need to the people.

Don't chastise Leon Bailey, pay attention to what he said


Democracy is a hell of a thing. Stitched within it is a thing called freedom of speech, some will even say freedom of expression, an example of which was expressed by national professional footballer Leon Bailey, for which he is being hunted for chastisement.

Bailey, the Bayer Leverkusen offensive player, took a long time to get into the national squad, caused by football politics and a lingering dispute between the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and his father figure, the outspoken Craig Butler.

Now, Bailey, easily the best attacking player that Jamaica has now, is facing a tough national future for utterances he made last week, which urged the JFF to pull up its proverbial socks, so that Jamaica may qualify for the next World Cup in 2022.

In an uncharacteristic show, Bailey said that Jamaica can qualify for the World Cup, but the only thing that could deny them was the JFF. This is something that I totally agree with, and I, too believe in the freedom of players to speak their mind if they think that a national team is not going in the right direction. It wasn't a Chris Gayle tirade, which is a completely different ball game.

Bailey also questioned the wisdom of certain team selections by Coach Theodore Whitmore.

Now, the president of JFF, and his incompetent general secretary have climbed on Bailey's back. While Michael Ricketts, the president, has disclosed that Bailey will likely face the disciplinary committee of the JFF; Dalton Wint, the so-called general secretary, is already exacting punishment on the young man, without a disciplinary hearing, which itself will be skewed toward the JFF.

Now is not a time to play around with football. Too many dunce people are running the game and that is why Jamaica cannot progress beyond the achievements of 1998 when the nation qualified for the World Cup in France. The game's leaders have no ideas regarding how the sport can improve. I detect a pound of frustration in Bailey's verbal show, and this is something that the JFF should look at and see how best the situation may be resolved. But, alas, it will not happen. The JFF puppets will want to show who is boss … as if football is played in a boardroom.

Greg Christie will rock the boat


One of the individuals on a shrinking list of squeaky clean professionals — Greg Christie — took office as executive director of Jamaica's anti-corruption agency, the Integrity Commission, last week.

Christie, we must remember, served as Jamaica's Contractor General, and ran his office with precision and professionalism. He was slaughtered by those who did not look rosy at the end of investigations, among them State policymakers.

I met him at a seminar held at the University College of the Cayman Islands a few years ago, where we both presented papers, and became even more convinced that this country would be a far better place if we had more Greg Christies.

Maybe one of his first tasks is to look at the furore surrounding the imminent granting of another lottery licence by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, just to see if there were any breaches in procedures, and maybe, offer an opinion as to whether or not the call by one of the players for an independent study to determine market affordability, was justified.

Greg Christie will ruffle a lot of feathers. Wait for it.

A drink to the late Michael Gordon


Last Tuesday, relatives of late Jamaica Observer photo editor, Michael Gordon, allowed those who loved him to view his body for the final time before it is reduced to ashes, as was his will, at Roman's Funeral Home in St Andrew.

It was uncomfortable for some of us who were close to him to see him lying in a casket, without his camera in one hand, and a cup containing his favourite drink in the other. I could also imagine Michael complaining about the amount of make-up that the undertakers decided to put on his face, perhaps the only time that make-up was being placed on him.

Sad as it was, Michael has left this life with several priceless items for those who knew him and those who didn't, to treasure. It was for that reason that some of us grabbed the opportunity to visit his favourite watering hole at the end of the viewing, to have a drink, or two, maybe three for those who could hold it, in his honour.

The regular spot, inside Cool World Lounge, Bronthorpe Square off Washington Boulevard in St Andrew, saw patrons observing the protocols outlined by the Government, as the nation continues to fight the COVID-19 challenges. It was the first that I had seen so many, what appeared to be all masked-up bandits in a Lone Ranger comic book, enjoying themselves, and in turn drinking to the memory of Michael.

Old acquaintances were rekindled and new ones forged, including a St Elizabeth link which had been there before but never revealed.

Michael Gordon shall never be forgotten.


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