Sunday Brew — May 17, 2020

News

Sunday Brew — May 17, 2020

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

Sunday, May 17, 2020

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Why hasn't the care package senior thief been arrested?

My attention was drawn to a news release supposedly issued by Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson last Tuesday regarding the robbery of care packages in Enfield, St Mary, last weekend.

The minister stated that staff of her ministry were targeted and “pounced on by several men who demanded they hand over all the goods in their possession”.

The news release did not state that the 'hold-up' men drew guns or knives on the ministry representatives, which was quite odd, as I'm not sure how they could have demanded the handover of anything without weapons of some kind. That's because nothing like that happened.

The police know exactly what happened, and therefore, should issue the real statement. Up to now, I have seen nothing from the Force. But they know that it was a certain main man and his two other accomplices who went up to a ministry rep in the back of the van that had stopped to give packages to some people, and started shouting that they should get some of the packages, as the people in another section of the community that they lived, had received none.

The argument was between the loud-mouthed political activist, who is originally from Fort Stewart, also in the constituency of St Mary South Eastern, who then proceeded to grab packages from the vehicle and marched off. His two other chatterbox friends took up some too and left, while other individuals looked on. That is called theft.

I'm sure that the police know the individual who started the grabbing, so why has he not been arrested, or even a person of interest bulletin put out on him? One thing I can tell you: The background of that political activist would not allow him to be seen in Calabar High School's dominant colour at any event.

Naming structures after politicians

An argument in the House of Representatives last week in which Jamaica Labour Party and People's National Party representatives haggled over who a stretch of road in Westmoreland Central should be named after, opened up old wounds.

The arguments centred on former JLP Member of the House Sir Clifford Campbell, and Roger Clarke, who became Member of Parliament for the constituency until his death in 2014.

Naturally, the Labour Party representatives who spoke on the matter went for Sir Clifford, and the PNP stated why it was better to go for Roger Clarke.

The problem in this country is that our leaders are too inclined to attach names of politicians, active, retired or deceased, to national monuments and structures.

The last scandalous act was for the Government to have named the Ocho Rios to Ferry leg of the North Coast Highway after former Prime Minister Edward Seaga. And it's not that Mr Seaga did not do a lot of good for the development of Jamaica. He really did. But he was so opposed to the construction of the highway that his name should not have been affixed to it.

He admitted that he was the one who asked Prime Minister Holness to name it in his honour, but what was he thinking when he did that? Or was he?

The only person who any of the toll roads should be named after in this country is Kingsley Thomas, that genius of a public servant who conceptualised the highway project from his office at Jamaica House in the 1990s, while others laughed at his wild dream, and put the machinery in motion. He has not been recognised to this day. But, alas, he isn't a politician, so recognition will likely not come his way.

Where is the PNP going with Raymond Pryce?

A report surfaced last week that Raymond Pryce would replace Dr Winston De La Haye as the Opposition People's National Party's candidate in St Catherine East Central for the next general election.

I was hoping that the report would be false, for it would be beyond so many of us, who want to see this country progress, why the PNP would make another 'boo boo' in candidate selection by going for Pryce.

Lest we forget, Pryce was elected Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth North Eastern in the December 2011 General Election. He was replaced as MP long before the end of his term. Why? Well, the reasons are many, but among them was one claim by high-ranking PNP officials in the constituency that he made too many promises that reality would not allow him to keep, and the kind of growth that was expected to be driven by him in the seat, was sadly lacking.

Now, what could have changed? Is he now to be presented as a made-over, office-seeking politician who has great ideas and plans for the people of St Catherine East Central? It seems to me that Pryce is like a rolling stone which is gathering too much moss.

And it goes back to the disorganised leadership of the PNP which insists on putting candidates with either no track record, or appeal and marketability in seats that clearly, they will not win. Just look at what is happening in the constituencies, for example, St Andrew Eastern, St Andrew North Western, St Andrew West Central, and St Catherine East Central and you will see that the PNP is sending a clear message that it has no intention of winning the next general election.

Pryce and the incumbent Alando Terrelonge of the Jamaica Labour Party may have things in common, in terms of their styles and vision. But the PNP is clearly wasting its time in thinking that Pryce, a misfit on CVM Television's morning show, can give the wounded party the kind of fillip that it will need to lift the nation's important political crown.

Another cricket skirmish

Chatter surrounding the dear-to-me game of cricket and team selection has resurfaced.

Now, Leeward Islands opening batsman Kieran Powell has asserted that he has been bypassed by Cricket West Indies selectors in the assembly of the 30-man provisional squad to tour England later this year, COVID-19 permitting.

Powell had been doing well in the regional competition before its abrupt end in March, but overall, his numbers have been far from flattering. For too long though, the selectors have been choosing players who have lost their compasses. One such is Powell's direct competitor, Kraigg Brathwaite, a Bajan who is averaging 33 in Tests and is more boring to watch than former cricketer and finance minister of Jamaica Noel “Crab” Nethersole.

Powell has scored 2,011 runs from 40 matches at an average of 27, but a strike rate of 51. Brathwaite has gone 3,496 runs from 59 outings, at a 33 average and a boring strike rate of 40.

My thing though, is that Brathwaite should be put out to pasture and allow exciting cricketers to enter the Test fray. One such would be Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood, the leading run-getter in the aborted competition, who should be used as an opener, and Trinidadian Nicholas Pooran, in the middle order.

When you strike an average, Blackwood's statistics and those of Brathwaite have similarities, but Blackwood has been far more exciting to watch, which is what a dying Test cricket needs. Blackwood's 1,362 Test runs have come from 28 matches, with a 30 average, and a strike rate of 59. I would rather go with someone who will inject excitement into a match, than go back to the days of Crab Nethersole.


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