Sunday Brew — October 18, 2020

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Sunday Brew — October 18, 2020

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

Sunday, October 18, 2020

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Lisa must sanction rude Venesha Phillips

It is still not too late for aspiring president of the People's National Party (PNP) Lisa Hanna to draw a long bench and sit impertinent Venesha Phillips down for a woman-to-woman talk.

It was Phillips who last week labelled the other presidential challenger so far, Mark Golding, as “damaged”, thereby making a mockery of what the candidates said would be a 'clean' campaign.

Now, by using the word 'damaged' to describe Golding, was Phillips, amazingly the councillor for the Papine Division in the Kingston & St Andrew Municipal Corporation, trying to seek company? For if that were the case, then she failed miserably, as she is past damaged…destroyed is more like it.

To see Golding as damaged is to make light of what an outstanding Jamaican has achieved in the many areas of life, of which Phillips can only dream of acquiring one per cent. Even before Mark Golding, there was the absolutely brilliant Sir John Golding, his father, who left England for the United States, stopped in Jamaica, fell in love with the island, and decided that he would stay and help build it. That he did, in a way that cannot be repaid, and for which Jamaica owes him a huge debt of gratitude.

Now this little hurry-come-up councillor, fresh from her outburst at the National Executive Council of the PNP weeks ago, has gone about her business of damaging people who mean this country well, and about which Hanna has kept quiet… that her loyal supporter has gone overboard, again.

The people of St Andrew Eastern spoke emphatically on September 3. Hanna should take note, and if she is serious about getting the job done, she should start cutting ties with the unnecessary baggage that only the National Solid Waste Management Authority is interested in.

Horne did the right thing

Norman Horne is a man I have always admired as being a principled individual.

His decision not to be sworn in as a People's National Party senator, until a successor to party President Dr Peter Phillips is named, further illustrates how those selected to the Senate should think. He might not even be sworn in as a senator, all he is saying is that he would be available to serve as a senator after November 7, and the new man or woman would have to ask him to. That's perfect.

Precedent has been set, what with the court battles won by the Jamaica Labour Party's Dr Chris Tufton and Arthur Williams when Andrew Holness tried to remove them from the Senate through a series of curious pre-signed letters – a real childish move by Holness it turned out to be.

Horne has now told the other seven senators, who make up the PNP's presence in the Upper House, that although they were appointed by Dr Phillips, they should resign, voluntarily, and allow whomever wins the presidential contest to choose his/her slate of senators. It would be only fair. You really don't want to saddle someone with baggage of the past, and with people whom he/she believes would not carry out the task that is required under the new dispensation.

Dr Phillips went ahead and named a group of senators that appears to be not fully armed for the battle that is ahead, what with the JLP having more than a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives.

Too many of those who were there before and were muted in their opportunity to make utterances that would have meaning to the Jamaican people were put back, with much of the same expected. Not good. With limited soldiers and low-powered voices, the journey seems a hellish one.

Quarrie should stay in California

It is always a good thing when sports personalities, who have represented Jamaica in their chosen field of activity, decide to contribute as administrators when they retire.

Many have done so, some successfully, others turned out to be flops. Many times too though, it would have been better if those athletes had stayed away from the scene, as not all have been able to make the transition – I would even say a majority. The case of former national sprinter Donald Quarrie is one such.

We heard last week that Quarrie has decided to run as an “independent” candidate for the post of president of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association when that organisation holds its voting annual general meeting next month. That should be vigorously resisted.

Quarrie is, in a sense, like Lisa Hanna, now vying to become president of the People's National Party. There was beauty in his presentation while he ran for Jamaica during the 1970s and 1980s, but he is far too divisive to run an organisation such as the JAAA. His arrogant style, too, is unlikely to be left at the warm-up area before the real race of managing athletics begins.

I have seen Quarrie in action. His attitude is not going to get things done, and it has nothing to do with coordinating the athletes for the once popular Jamaica International Invitational Meet.

Those qualified to vote at the meeting must do what is necessary to keep Jamaica positively afloat and relevant.

Another question to be asked of the great Olympian, too, is will he run the affairs of the JAAA from his home base in California, or is her willing to chance the hustle and bustle of present day Jamaica? Also, should he decide to remain in California, or spend most of his time there, how will he be able to follow the many development meets here that are the foundation for Jamaica's athletic development?

My few words to Quarrie is for him to remain in the great American state, where, who knows, he might be able to land a role in a movie, the activity for which California is so famous.

Cowardly hold-up of attorney Earl Witter

Unfortunate it was that three 'bleached' young men, one of whom was armed with a gun, held up the retired public defender, and eminent attorney-at-law, W Earl Witter, QC, in East Kingston last Wednesday.

Strange, too, because Witter has for so many years been the defender (public or private) of the poor and downtrodden, and the average man in the inner city would know, or knew of him as one who is fair and honest.

But the message that has emerged from the incident in which one of the cowards shouted to the other to shoot the veteran attorney, after they had taken his motor car and valuables, is that these crooks nowadays do not even care about who is robbed or killed when they hit the road to carry out their dirty business.

The news of the day, though, was that the youth who gave the order for Witter to be shot appeared to have had a hearing problem, and so, we are grateful that the outstanding Jamaican jurist is still with us and able, hopefully, to carry on his philanthropic duties.

When I was held up by two men with guns in broad daylight mere walking distance away from Witter's incident several years ago, I was not turned off by what had happened. The men, though, one of whom I understood had returned from prison weeks before the incident, never lived long to enjoy the money that I had saved up to buy my mother a new television set. They were killed, in separate incidents, over a two-week period after the incident, as they went about stealing from other people and were unsuccessful.

Who knows if something similar will happen in the case that now involves Witter.


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