Sunday Brew — July 25, 2021Sunday, July 25, 2021
with HG HELPS
The Wild West on Spanish Town Road
Last Tuesday evening's 'Wild West' incident along Spanish Town Road in Kingston underlines how far we are from living in peace, comfort and style in this country.
Gunmen from nearby Tivoli Gardens, the police stated, got into a confrontation with those from across the road in Denham Town and started firing at each other, necessitating an intervention from police personnel at Denham Town station, which, incidentally, has experienced more attacks from gunmen than any other facility in Jamaica since Independence.
Will there ever be a day in the lifetime of some of us when we can rest comfortably in the day or night knowing that a jackass with a gun will not come in search of the fruits of our labours?
There has been no plan by any political party to really concentrate on reducing crime, because you can't eliminate crime. One reason for that is because some of those same 'shottas' are connected to the parties as enforcers.
So instead of rolling out an elaborate plan for keeping crime under control, we still find in this age, leaders toying with something so serious — the current prime minister in his quest for cheap votes unleashing the prophecy that once his party got elected, people in this country could sleep with their windows and doors open. I would love to get a call from the first individual who tries that and lives to boast about it.
In St James in recent days, where another of the inadequate zone of special operation was introduced, the killings continue like a bad habit.
Jamaica has to get to a stage now whereby any political party that seeks State power must achieve crime control targets or be forced to step aside in the national interest. One such objective would be to reduce murders by 50 per cent in the first year on the job, and by 20 per cent in subsequent years.
If we have that in place, two things could happen: (1) political parties would contemplate going out of business and (2) Jamaicans, should any party be successful with the numbers, live in real paradise for the first time in their lives.
The thing is though, we will never be able to get such a commitment from any party that seeks political office.
PNP's ongoing cartoon show
It is simply amazing that some of the same people who are accusing elements in the Opposition People's National Party of choking unity are themselves the culprits of the act.
The ill-advised resignations last week by vice-presidents Dr K Wykeham McNeill, Damion Crawford, Mikael Phillips, and Phillip Paulwell, the latter who foolishly decided to serve as party chairman, were designed to deliberately continue the destabilisation of the party.
In Paulwell's case, for example, his laughable desire to achieve unity manifested itself weeks after Mark Golding defeated an unready Lisa Hanna for president of the party. Already elected vice-president, Paulwell decided to run for chairman, knowing well that it would make no sense to do that, and all because he wanted to keep a Golding disciple, Angela Brown Burke, out of the reckoning. He succeeded, but the party was hurt even more.
Paulwell is a hard party worker, so taking on two roles did not mean he had to convince others of his energy level. He understands governance procedures and is full of ideas, but he needs now to settle down and start doing the unity jig, not just talk it.
Not all of the VPs pump the necessary effort into the organisation, whether or not they get their man, or woman as party president. Here, Dr McNeill might want to examine his output in recent time and make a conscious decision; and Crawford could look to reducing his rhetoric somewhat.
In the case of Mikael Phillips, I believe that his decision to step down was inspired, or pushed by others who mean the party no good. He had, seemingly, been doing some work, making a lot of noise, but, unfortunately, he got caught up in the wrong company.
The party's decision to try and broker a deal would only serve to institutionalise the view that 'sides' exist within the organisation. It should never have been entertained.
Later, an ill-advised petition by equally ill-advised people sought to stir up another ants nest by calling for a return of Dr Peter Phillips as Opposition leader. Some people really need mental attention.
The party simply needs to do one thing: recognise that a new president was elected in November 2020 and there were no irregularities involved. As the senior officer in the party, the president would, naturally, want to have people around him whom he thinks will be better able to get the job done in a better way. Why then would those who want to sabotage him and the system still want to push up their noses?
Come on PNP, Jamaica needs a vibrant Opposition to remind the Government that it cannot be a free for all. It's time to stop the foolishness.
Why is Richard Plummer still a constable?
The story as told by Jamaica Observer writer Ms Akera Davis about Police Constable Richard Plummer of the St Ann Division in last Wednesday's edition was worth the read.
Here, according to Ms Davis, is a man who had 'struggle' written across his chest, beginning with his childhood growth without a father, and later, among other things, having to care for a child without the support of its mother.
Aside from his personal adventures and challenges though, Constable Plummer, from all accounts, has been doing what the people of this country want to see more members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force get involved in — mentoring and moulding the lives of young and old.
At age 46, Plummer is still a constable, and even as we are told, he has served the force for 10 years, his work should have been observed by his superiors and rewarded with the commensurate promotion and remuneration.
Maybe Constable Plummer is not one of those who kicks down the doors of his superiors every day to argue his case of being a fine example to the constabulary. But he needs not. There is clear evidence that this man is doing something good and different in an institution that is tainted in many ways, and the flashlight ought to be shone on him...right now.
Triplets should get State support
It cannot be simply left to individuals with considerable wealth to aid children in a St Elizabeth family unit, though it would be good if that could be done.
The Jamaica Observer story of bright triplets who excelled in the Primary Exit Profile examination and were placed in two of Jamaica's finest schools, Munro College and Hampton High, was heart-warming.
I had always wanted to father triplets; or at least twins. But it never happened, and I'm not sure if that childhood dream will ever come true, worse now that the engine is not firing at full strength, having been reduced from six cylinders to four; but the reality of others having them brings me joy.
Now, the parents of these triplets have a dilemma. They, like thousands of us Jamaicans, are faced with the kind of challenges that can lead to depression and much more.
In the case of the Barretts in St Elizabeth, they did not know that they would have brought triplets into this life. It just happened. Father Dennis Barrett Sr has issues he did not plan for. Mom Tamara works, but her salary as a community health aide is a national joke.
So here is where the State comes in: The triplets — Dennis Jr, Denrique, and Tamoya — must be given full support to attend school. That cannot be the only gesture though, for the family will have to be given full nutritional backup.
For private concerns, this is a great chance for a book industry company to step forward, and a computer store to do likewise.
My geographical nose in respect of the location of the Barretts points me in the direction of St Elizabeth South Western, a constituency whose policy head is Member of Parliament Floyd Green — a bright, honest and decent young man and Munro graduate, who understands what education is all about. Who knows? This could be one of Green's legacy projects if he decides to take the lead.
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