Missing babies and Brexit pains


Friday, January 18, 2019

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The last few weeks in Jamaica the reports of babies being taken have been among the talking points on the road. Questions are being asked as to why someone would steal a baby, and whether there are other motives behind these incidents. Opinions range from whether there is a child-trafficking racket going on and babies are being stolen and sold to the highest bidder, and others think these happenings are just the misguided actions of women who are emotionally unstable. Whatever the reason, the pain and anguish of the families who had their babies stolen is real.

The case in Montego Bay was thankfully resolved swiftly, and that child is back in the care of her parents. The police have expressed thanks to the public who helped in identifying the woman who took the child. Unfortunately, the newborn baby boy taken from Victoria Jubilee Hospital last week is still missing and his family continues to hope and pray that they will soon be reunited.

It has been interesting to see the reaction of the fathers of the two children. We have a common perception of men being rough and tough and not as emotionally affected when difficulties arise. The two men in question have been seen in the media showing that they have been deeply affected — men have feelings too!

We have all observed the outpouring of affection and showering of gifts that occur every Mothers' Day, while Fathers' Day is just another Sunday in June. It seems to me that, in observing families going about their daily lives, more fathers are taking active parts in the family. You can see them with the diaper bags going to the clinic, doing the pick-ups and drop-offs to school, and taking on the grocery shopping. Some would say there is no need to congratulate men for doing what a mother does every day. Then again, if we can have our family structure working properly we will have children who will grow into happy, healthy adults capable of playing their part in making a better Jamaica.

Bungling Brexit

The world has been absorbed in the twists and turns of UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the Brexit drama. British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected the Brexit divorce deal presented by May earlier this week. It has been tradition, that after such a loss, the defeated leader would step aside. May said she would stay put. She then faced a no-confidence vote in the UK Parliament on Wednesday. She survived that encounter, but from all news reports there is little confidence that Brexit will be anything but a bumpy ride.

The British prime minister has found herself wedged between an un-budging European Union, which has stated that it has already settled on the exit deal, while her fellow countrymen dig in their heels and are demanding that a better arrangement be reached.

In talking with some friends the other evening, one expressed no sympathy for May and her predicament. “She was in charge when the whole Windrush thing came up… so she must tek her blows now.” Theresa May was serving as home secretary when hundreds of Caribbean and other Commonwealth nationals found themselves out in the cold and without legal status in the UK. The Windrush saga still lingers on, even as promises have been made to make restitution to those who were affected by the changes to the immigration laws.

As to how we should view the Brexit drama, we are being warned to not expect any great change to the trade dealings between the UK and Jamaica. The UK High Commissioner to Jamaica had previously stated that Brexit could well be an opportunity for Jamaica to strengthen trade ties between the two nations. Not everyone seems to think the same. British Broadcasting Corporation ( BBC) journalist Jonny Dymond, who was here on the island recently, expressed doubt that Brexit could be a boon to Jamaica.

In a divorce, friends often find they have an awkward choice in remaining in a relationship with the arguing couple. It will be interesting to see how our Government will handle the upcoming split. We have received much assistance from the European Union in the past. Diplomacy and international co-operation is trickier now than ever before. Old friends are falling out with each other and new friendships are being shaped. It is indeed an interesting time in the world today. Old time wisdom says: “What drop from head land pon shoulder.” Someone will benefit from the changes that are coming. I wonder whose shoulders are going get lucky?

Barbara Gloudon is a journalist, playwright and commentator. Send comments to the Observer or gloudonb@gmail.com.

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