Sunday Brew — December 8, 2019


Sunday Brew — December 8, 2019


Sunday, December 08, 2019

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Will Vybz Kartel benefit from the appeal?

The much anticipated appeal of the murder conviction of Adidja Palmer, better known as Vybz Kartel will be made public soon, we are told.

Kartel, you will remember, was convicted, along with others, of murder five years ago. His lawyers appealed the decision by a jury and from all indications, there were some critical errors made during the trial, which could impact the final outcome.

Legal minds that I have spoken to are adamant that Kartel will either be freed on appeal, or a mis-trial will be declared and a new trial ordered. Some of them believe that the trial judge erred, fundamentally, at times during the proceedings.

I am not a fan of Kartel's music, and equally not a fan of the man whom I have never met. Serious allegations were made against him which resulted in his sentencing and subsequent incarceration. But lawyers have a job to do, and if there were flaws in the system, they would, naturally, take advantage of them.

Appeals are decided strictly on the law and whether or not procedures were followed. The Court of Appeal, led by its able President, Mr Justice Dennis Morrison, will take the best decision based on the law.

I have always been fond of the conduct of the Court of Appeal, which has had some outstanding presidents, one of whom is Mr Justice Seymour Panton, Justice Morrison's predecessor, who in my estimation represents the true meaning of the word integrity.

Let us see what kind of Vybe will reach Kartel in coming days.

Reflecting on the power of Michael Manley

Last Wednesday evening, veteran journalist Earl Moxam produced another fine piece by reminding the audience through Television Jamaica's Prime Time News, about the connection between former Prime Minister Michael Manley, and lawbreaker, 'Burry Boy'.

Reference was made to Burry Boy as an 'enforcer' who was close to the People's National Party's East Kingston structure. But Burry Boy was no enforcer, as we are asked to understand by the meaning of the word. He was merely a common crook, who got involved with a political party that at the time was a friend of the middle class and the proletariat.

Manley and several members of his Cabinet attended the funeral of the crook in 1975 and faced much backlash from the public, with Manley, in later years, forced to admit that it was a monumental error in judgement to have turned up.

Manley was a sample though. He had the ability of convincing those who wanted to eat, not to do so. Most of us who attended Kingston College in the mid to late 1970s were transfixed by Manley's rhetoric. At one time he was Member of Parliament for the area and whenever he turned up at KC it was a moment of magic. By uttering just a few words, he forced boys who were leaning elsewhere, politically, to buy into his doctrine. Patrick Dallas, now Dr Dallas, and Clive Mullings, were two of those.

I'm not sure if Dr Dallas wears green or orange nowadays, but Mullo, a former deputy head boy, now a lawyer and talk show host shook off the Manley stigma and ventured into greener territory long before Manley's demise. There are others though, who will tell you that Manley's message lingers, and remain relevant, often used by the government of the day, unlike Manley's own party, whose political ideology evaporated upon the retirement of PJ Patterson as prime minister and party president.

Manley, who died March 6, 1997, would have been 95 on Tuesday, December 10, had he lived.

He was the kind of man who you could not be upset with, even if he did you the worst thing. Philosophically, Manley had no equal. But like those who knew him always said, he came at the wrong time.

Kicking Desmond Haynes in the butt … again

The shameful act by Cricket West Indies to again kick legendary batsman Desmond Haynes in the butt, marks another chapter in the saga of how we treat our heroes of the game.

Haynes, one of the pillars of the West Indies' dominance of world cricket during the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, was snubbed for the job of West Indies team coach, Cricket West Indies opting to go for Phil Simmons instead.

But now, regional cricket's governing organisation has done the unthinkable – going for little known under-achiever Monty Desai, whose claim to fame, we are told, was he serving as Afghanistan's batting coach during the World Cup qualifiers last year; as well as batting coach of the United Arab Emirates. Anyone ever heard of those teams?

So, as things stand, there are no inspirational names on the main coaching staff to mingle with the young players. Simmons was a mediocre cricketer, bowling coach Roddy Estwick could not go beyond the Barbados national team, fielding coach Rayon Griffith was no Roger Harper or Gus Logie, and now it's Monty who?

Come on Cricket West Indies! If Haynes was even employed as a storyteller he would have a greater impact than all of those 'technical' persons combined. As of now, there is no one on the regional cricket team's coaching staff who can impart the West Indies philosophy on the players.

That's so sad.

Bishop Welsh needs to pray for taxi drivers

Dutty driving is a perennial thing for Jamaica's taxi drivers, but it seems that they have stepped up a notch with their vulgar display since the latter part of November.

Motorists just have to be extra careful on the road these days, as those symbols of death and destruction have been rushing the Christmas dollar faster than anything I have seen.

Mind you, the police have improved their efforts at keeping those lethal weapons of major destruction in check, but there is still a lot to be done. Maybe the traffic police should set up special sessions with Bishop Gary Welsh, to go on the road with prayers Monday through Saturday between the hours of 5:00 am and 8:00 pm. It would mean that Bishop Welsh would work some extra hours, but it shouldn't be a problem for the Jamaica Constabulary to pay the little overtime. He would deserve it.

At least, Bishop Welsh would find something tangible to do within the force, and who knows, maybe several of the taxi drivers will become Christian converts, and thereby behave themselves on the road.

So let's move with this one, Commissioner Anderson. Bishop Welsh's earlier gamble with the traffic division did not work out. Maybe this approach will. And afterall, the public needs to know what Bishop Welsh is doing these days. There is no excitement in him being so quiet. Crime is not under control, but at the same time we don't need a boring police force.

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