Broader PNP should listen to its Youth Organisation

Sunday Brew

with H G Help
Editor-at-Large

Sunday, April 21, 2019

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The bold Youth Organisation of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) should, as a right, not only be heard by its mother organisation but must also get 'justice' arising from its recent set of recommendations.

That is, of course, if the PNP wants to keep the Government on its toes, or better yet, to regain State power any time soon.

There have been some positives from the current Administration led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. There have been negatives too, and it is, among other things, those negatives that the PNP ought to be bringing to the public's attention and telling us how it would do things, had it been in power, or would do if it returns to office.

The Sunday Brew is on record as suggesting so many of those points articulated by the PNPYO. But, I suppose, coming from someone who may be considered the enemy by some in the party whose corns are burning them, those points would not be taken seriously.

The matter of having a firm and effective general secretary, for example, is one such that was emphasised by the YO. I wonder now if that will be viewed as something personal against the current general secretary as he has viewed the Sunday Brew's suggestions.

Several others, among them the matter of still using people who are outdated and virtually irrelevant to the changing times to run campaigns, and adding some 'life' to the secretariat should also be seriously looked at by a party that can be as stubborn as a hundred mules.

I'm not aware that party chairman Fitz Jackson would want to shut out dissenting views from the YO, because that's not the man I know; nor have I ever detected that sort of behaviour by deputy chairman Horace Dalley, but then, the YO has raised that as a matter of concern, and it may need to be addressed.

Dr Peter Phillips, the PNP president, is a competent man. But he is on shaky ground. He needs to demonstrate, as a true leader, that he has what it takes to first, lead the way in answering the shouts of the YO, and seeing that the relevant issues are corrected. If not, it's not only his supper that dog will nyam, but the meals of others who seek to run this country again.

If ACP Calvin Allen can't do it, he must be replaced

It may be irritating, but necessary for me to focus almost every week on the behaviour of drivers of public passenger vehicles on Jamaica's roads.

The crusade must continue because there seems to be little or no effort on the part of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to ease the burden on the disciplined motoring public, try and save lives, and ultimately reduce the premiums charged by insurance companies.

In the same way that the Ministry of National Security says that it is committed to fighting crime, it must also demonstrate a willingness to protect those who have to use the roads every day, from the monsters called taxi and minibus drivers.

We hear a lot of flowery talk by the police officer with responsibility for traffic matters — Assistant Commissioner Calvin Allen — but there is not much action. I'd rather if ACP Allen cuts down on the talking… he appears to like being on radio, on television and in the newspapers, but it takes more than that to tackle the problem that we face.

We see and hear lots of effort being put in place to face certain criminal activities head on … among them murders, robberies, etc. But why can't we see a similar effort being injected to tackle road indiscipline?

Come on, Commissioner Anderson, let us crack this whip. It must not be allowed to continue indefinitely. I'm not asking the police force to find another Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, whose presence on the roads when he was in charge of traffic drove fear, but more importantly, respect into the bodies of the dreaded public passenger vehicle drivers.

But it's time for action, and if ACP Allen cannot get the job done, then it is time to put someone else in charge of the traffic division. I know that ACP Allen means well. He is a decent man and has served the constabulary with distinction. But we need solutions on the roads. Right now!

Have the people of Sterling Castle Heights gone mad?

What a wicked and brutal attack on Shantae Skyers, aged eight, who was killed in Sterling Castle Heights, St Andrew West Rural last week.

It must hurt everyone's heart, except for the killer, when someone dies, but especially a soul so young who has been denied the opportunity to enjoy the best of what life has to offer.

Why do we kill so many of our children? What would lead men and women to do things like that? There have been hundreds of children killed since Jamaica announced itself as a nation that could be taken seriously on the world stage.

Arising from Shantae's murder, the community took the law into its own hands and executed a man, Miguel Williams, whom they claim was responsible for the child's death. That, too ,was merely compounding the problem.

To add insult to injury, the official word is that the man who was mauled by the angry mob last Wednesday was mentally unstable. How then could sensible people kill a man who was said to be bordering on insane? How?

Come on, people! The death of the eight-year-old was terrible, but for residents to have presented themselves as representatives of a community court and passed the death sentence was totally unwise. Are we going back to the days when a community misses a goat or cow and the first man who is spotted coming out of an area is attacked and slaughtered? We cannot afford to. Let's do better than that.

Jamaica's dismal cricket show again

Well, well, well, another Jamaica team playing in the regional cricket championship has been going through a rough patch. This time it is the Jamaica Under 15 side, which at the time of writing this article had lost three matches in a row in the regional championship.

What has happened to Jamaica's cricket? Why has Jamaica not won any regional titles, be they at the senior or junior level for men and women, in so many years?

The simple reason comes down to administration.

Our structures have broken down and people who are not capable are leading the administration of cricket under the roof of the Jamaica Cricket Association.

I had warned before about the stagnant leadership under President Billy Heaven. Nothing has changed.

I suppose that the only good thing coming out of the recent West Indies elections is that Ricky Skerritt has taken over as Cricket West Indies president and has got off to a blazing start. Jamaica supported Skerritt in his quest to become president, which was a good move on the part of the local organisation led by Heaven, a competent man in accounts and related fields, but whose stewardship has not brought Jamaica the kind of cricket results that the nation can be proud of.

The local game needs attention and it will not improve if the same administrators continue to bowl from the same end. Let's see how the ball is played from now on.


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