Sunday Brew — June 16, 2019

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

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Dr Chang ... you got it wrong

Any reasonable person who watched the video of the confrontation that involved retired Deputy Superintendent of Police Altermoth “Paro” Campbell would readily agree that the brash, rude and out of order constable was way out of line… except for Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang.

Can you imagine, the man who is in charge of public safety in this country coming out against a retired senior police officer who suffered the indignity, discomfort and effrontery from that waste of time constable who appeared to be too big for his trousers?

Instead of even looking at the situation and suggesting that an investigation was ongoing (and so we were told) and he would comment after, Dr Chang, a man whom I greatly admire, came out firing his verbal shots from the side of the constable, suggesting, to me at any rate, that maybe he had a disagreement or dispute with Campbell before and we were seeing the end result of that.

I felt so disappointed for Dr Chang. The incident was a wicked act against a law- abiding citizen of this country. It could have happened to any Jamaican. It was an act by a fool-fool fellow whom the hierarchy of the police force should put across its collective lap and hand him a few slaps to straighten him out.

I would never promise anyone that I would have shown the kind of restraint that Campbell demonstrated. Maybe I would have been shot, as I would never allow a symbol of the State to handle me in that manner without putting up some form of sober resistance.

The police represent law and order in this country (supposedly). They do not own it.

Why wasn't the treatment meted out to Campbell not reserved for the rogue taxi hooligans across Jamaica who the police should be paying more attention to.

It is good that Campbell has retained the services of a law firm to file a claim against the attorney general, as the police fellow was acting as a servant of the State (or Crown), and I hope that the good judges that we have in the Supreme Court, led by the more than able Chief justice, will not only award Campbell the general and special damages that he seeks, but will also send a message to police personnel that civility has a place in this society as well.

Marley's treatment – sloppy act by the JFF

(Cedella Marley)

Can you imagine? Cedella, the brave member of the Marley clan who single-handedly paved the way for the National Women's team, or Reggae Girlz to qualify for the Women's World Cup in France was not accredited by the Jamaica Football Federation. How sad!

Ms Marley took it onto herself to back the women and their programmes when just about everybody, including the JFF shied away from lending the kind of assistance that was needed.

It was by the grace of God, the unparalleled support of Ms Marley — the team's Ambassador, and the clinical coaching techniques of Hue Menzies and Lorne Donaldson that took Jamaica to the Promised Land.

But suddenly, as Jamaica qualified, people started to emerge from every wall there was. The JFF office was so empty that if you were to visit there, even the regular mosquitoes seemed to have flown away to France.

I see JFF people who turned up their noses if they were asked to support a women's football match, now pushing up their chests in France as members of Jamaica's delegation. Wow!

JFF President Michael Ricketts has correctly apologised to Marley, who maintains that the JFF received her accreditation but held onto it, but it kind of hurts to know that there are so many time wasters in France posing like double six, among them the chatty-chatty, bankrupt of ideas Mayor of Lucea Sheridan Samuels as head of delegation, when such spaces could have been used up by many of those who contributed to women's football in a tangible way over the years.

Everton Tomlinson, another football dinosaur who has headed the Westmoreland Football Association and the Western Confederation since Columbus stopped to have a pint of 'Arawak Beer' in Discovery Bay, has also gone up as deputy head of delegation. For what? Loyalty to Ricketts?

It's a hard road indeed.

Will I really live to age 92?

My recent visit to the Korea Republic, sponsored by the Korea Foundation, was an exercise in knowledge that I had hitherto only imagined.

South Korea, as it is better known, must rank among the most developed nations in the world. The country's infrastructure is breathtaking, particularly the architectural designs in Seoul, the capital which hosted the 1988 Olympic Games. the people are among the most friendly of the over 50 countries that I have visited, and the ease at which things flow is highly commendable on the part of those running the terrain.

There are all kinds in South Korea. It is not as cosmopolitan as the United States, but the usual suspects are there: you will find Russians, Chinese, Japanese, who once controlled the land when North and South were joined, and even working Jamaicans.

But you could never leave out the Indians, and it was a rather strange 'buck up' with a turbaned Indian native originally from the Punjab region that left me wondering if I should feel good or bad about myself.

On one of those days when finding one's way back to the hotel was off-track, here comes the Indian, looking straight at me and seemingly sensing that something was amiss.

“Hey sir, you seem lost. are you looking for somewhere in particular'?

“Yes, I want to know how I get across the road to the Lotte Hotel,” was my answer. The hotel was in sight, but you can't just walk across any road to get there.

He showed me where to walk — an entrance to the subway. But that was only the beginning. Soon, about three pieces of ritual were out, and the predictions started: “You have a bright future. You have been going through a tough few months, but by July and August things will be better,” was the first prediction.

“Let me see your left palm… You will live until you are 92,” he said stroking it and pointing to a book of Indian facial images looking more like assassins. “Your life will change for the better. now I ask you to make the contribution that will alter your life. Can I have US$100?”

I knew it was coming. The asking price kept going down to US$50 and, out of frustration, I gave him US$2 and darted away.

By time I got to the hotel, another, much taller Indian national walks up. “Hello Sir, you have a bright future…”

That was it. Time to rest.

Where is that elaborate crime plan?

We must all be concerned about the rise in crime and criminal activities that we have been witnessing in recent weeks.

The triple killing along Harvey Road in the Waltham Gardens area last Wednesday morning is only a reflection of what has been occurring.

Now, people will want to say that the state of emergency ought to be extended to the areas in which crime has blown up in recent times. Again, states of emergency, for my money, are desperate, last-gasp, stop-gap methods that do not belong in the society.

They are only feel-good exercises that cannot last. What is needed is a comprehensive crime plan that will make Jamaicans feel safe to go about their lawful business. That is sadly lacking, in fact that has never been implemented by any of the political administrations that have ruled Jamaica since 1962.

That ought to be the focus now.


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