Sunday Brew — March 31, 2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019

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Oh what a glorious day for West Indies cricket

Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last!

It was time! I wonder if Mr Whycliffe Cameron wanted to remain president of Cricket West Indies for life.

What happened at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew last Sunday was a demonstration that people were satisfied that West Indies cricket was not heading in the right direction. Results on the field of play could not justify the extension of Cameron's party and something had to be done to save cricket in the region.

In all my years on earth, I have never seen anyone with a larger ego than Cameron; and neither have I seen anyone as arrogant… not even Donald Trump. That style could never work in West Indies cricket forever.

Ricky Skerritt, the new head of Cricket West Indies must be warned that improvements on the field of play and a decent standard of living for those who make the game great – the players – are the two main goals that are expected of his administration. Or else…..

But let me go back to Mr Cameron for a while. In his comments after the meeting, he blamed the loss in part on the suggestion that he had differences with members of the Jamaica fraternity, including Billy Heaven, the president, Dr Donovan Bennett and Dr Akshai Mansingh who were at one time part of the CWI medical committee, among others. Why then would he think that his 'enemies' would support him with votes? He hated people for no reason ... especially those who did not share his views.

Jamaica did well. Although I thought that Heaven should not have continued as JCA president, his men showed that insularity should be buried forever. The delegates from the Windward Islands deserve commendation too, for going against their administration and voting for what was absolutely necessary, stepping with the delegates from Trinidad & Tobago and the Leeward Islands as well.

Let's try and repair the damage that West Indies cricket has suffered over the last decade.

Crawford still the favourite for Portland Eastern

So here we go in the final stretch of the race for Portland Eastern.

By and large, the campaigning has been fierce, and furious although there are a few things that could have been avoided: the colour classification of Ann-Marie Vaz; the no-show for the signing of the political code of conduct by Mrs Vaz; and the public display of Mrs Vaz and her husband, Daryl masquerading on a motor bike in Port Antonio on Nomination Day, both without helmets. The latter behaviour should never have been contemplated, in light of the many crashes and resulting deaths that we have had involving people on motorbikes who refuse to wear helmets and protect themselves.

Many have renamed the seat as a 'battleground' one, a word which suggests closeness, but I will remain the eternal cynic and maintain that Damion Crawford will win and do so comfortably, largely based on the number of votes that Mrs Vaz would have to overcome from the last election, and because of the fact that Crawford is immensely popular, 'she-goat' promise or not.

Mrs Vaz may have the potential to be a good representative, but we may not see her sitting in Parliament just now. Anything can happen, and if she proves me wrong, then I would hand her the accolades that she would have deserved, for to achieve such a feat would be equivalent to her driving a car without wheels – a miracle indeed.

The polls are out, and all have given the seat to Mrs Vaz. If that were to happen, it would be another sign that the PNP needs some Castor Oil.

Needed: A minister of taxis and minibuses

So nothing has changed in recent weeks regarding the behaviour of rouge taxi and minibus drivers. And when you need a policeman to spot infractions on the road, none is in sight.

What exactly is going on? The conduct of the usual road hogs has got worse, yet our law enforcers seem to be sleeping longer hours, hence the 'dutty' mentality of these people who feel that they should endanger everyone's lives, every day of the week.

With Prime Minister Andrew Holness taking responsibility for 113 things that would fall under his ministers, maybe he could ease our stress somewhat by appointing a minister of taxis and minibuses so that we can at least see that something is being taken seriously.

That minister would ensure that discipline on the road is enforced and maintained. In essence, some of the duties that would normally fall under the ministries of transport and works, and national security would go over to the Ministry of Taxis and Minibuses. Believe me, the situation demands that kind of attention.

How many of you have ever driven down Constant Spring Road and see taxis parked in the left lane, sometimes in the lane next to it too, in front of the Jamaica National building and facing the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre? It's shocking. Where are the police when these things are happenning?

One of the duties of the Minister of Taxis and Minibuses would be to have the power to throw offenders in jail and seize their vehicles, because the Transport Authority is also fast asleep.

A state of emergency is not the only answer

Why do some of us believe that only under a state of emergency can crime be controlled or limited in Jamaica?

The stories have been coming in fast and furious about how crime has risen since the state of emergency has been discontinued in some of Jamaica's notorious crime spots. Those calls have, by extension, shouted out for a return of the state of emergency, especially in the tourist capital city of Montego Bay.

We are dodging the issues. We have a police force that is supposed to protect and serve and by extension a defence force that can be better utilised if our security leaders decide to be more strategic.

We should not have to depend on a state of emergency to get our house in order. A state of emergency should always be a last resort - not something that we should gloat about as the be-all and end-all of our problems.

A clynical approach to fighting crime, particularly the introduction of more cameras, must be the way forward.

Of course there are some criminals out there who remain untouchables. How long will they continue to reign?


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