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Sunday Brew — May 19, 2019

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

Sunday, May 19, 2019

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Dr Horace Chang had another rough brush with the reality of the road last week.

Apparently a taxi ran the red light at the busy Shortwood/Grant's Pen roads intersection which caused the minister's vehicle to flip and injure his team. The other vehicle involved was also damaged.

Now, my sympathy goes out to Dr Chang and his security personnel. I have a lot of time for Dr Chang, a man whom I have known for several years. But will he, the man with policy responsibility for public safety, take more seriously the pain that the travelling public suffers daily?

It is the same national security ministry that has to introduce the legislation and the muscle to stop some of these lethal weapons of road destruction from killing, maiming and utterly frustrating thousands of disciplined road users.

If Sylvester Stallone-type action is not taken now, Jamaica, in two years' time, will be the most chaotic place on earth. The attention given to ridding the country of murders must be turned to the people who set traps on the roads each day — the minibus and taxi drivers.

I'm happy that Dr Chang and his security personnel came out of the mishap okay. But Doc, do something for the suffering masses nuh!

Let these road hooligans feel the full force of the law. Do not be afraid to throw them in jail every time they are caught 'bad driving' someone. That way, I'm sure, Jamaica's traffic problems will be brought under control.

Dr Chang and his team were fortunate. When I was growing up in the country and something like that happened, you would try to find the nearest Catholic priest to sprinkle urine where it was relevant. Dr Chang's mishap occurred in Kingston. Catholic priests are in short supply in the capital, I'm told. But Dr Chang has to resort to something. He should get a special bath if the Catholic thing doesn't work out. Afterall, this is his second accident in recent months.

Would the PM appoint a cop to head the army?

WILL there ever come the day when a policeman/ officer is chosen to head the Jamaican army?

That question is relevant in the context of Jamaica's crime situation and the tendency for our political leaders to panic and appoint soldiers as head of the constabulary.

I've said before that it is unfair for police officers to come through the ranks and appear poised to become commissioner, only for the Government of the day to appoint a member of the Jamaica Defence Force, retired or not, to lead police personnel. It's not right.

And from what we are seeing, there can be no justification for it, not when crime is still way out of control, despite what the statistical spin doctors tell us.

So maybe we will soon see top police officers being placed in the arrival lounge as they get set to postpone the appointment of the next major general or brigadier general.

How can we as a nation justify the appointment of an army man who brings to the table clearly no different strategy than what obtained under police management?

I'm sure that Major General Antony Anderson is a decent man and commands the respect of some of those under his rule. But crime is still like an event at the Olympic Games — running like hell to, in this case, an undetermined destination.

I, like millions of Jamaicans here and elsewhere, have heard the big talk and the bright plans. It's now time for action. Jamaica is under siege and states of emergency that so many are relying on will just not cut it.

Come on Ms Tomlinson, do better in future

THE utterances by President of the People's National Party Youth Organisation, Krystal Tomlinson, which effectively compared Prime Minister Andrew Holness to ruthless German Chancellor and Fuhrer Adolf Hitler were more than unfortunate.

Anybody who would make such a comparison does not know or understand world history. Hitler was a right -wing dictator who almost destroyed the globe.

His annihilation of over 19 million Jews, among that number, six million in concentration camps and gas chambers during the Second World War (1939-1945), was among the abominable acts committed by the Nazi butcher that Germans and other nationalities are hoping to forget.

Holness is not yet at a stage where he can be called one of the best prime ministers that Jamaica has seen. Far from it!

But he is no Hitler, and I do not think that the people of Jamaica would ever allow him to show any semblance of that tyrant whose foetus would have been better off being aborted soon after his mother conceived.

Free speech is always good, refreshing and welcome. Verbal rubbish has a place only in the halls of idiocy. Over 48 million people died in the Second World War, and the number would have been greater had the Allied Forces not moved into Berlin and captured the historic German city, which forced Hitler, the coward, to commit suicide and rid the world of a dangerous poison.

Ms Tomlinson has been up front and honest in pushing a line within the PNP which, among other things, called for general reforms and the ultimate removal of non-performing personnel who, in the YO's estimation, continue to drag the party down and unleash upon it an indefinite sentence in the cells of Opposition. She should stick to that mission.

The fact that Holness messed up with the National Identification System Bill, due largely to an inefficient and out-of-her-league attorney general, does not make him a ruthless fellow.

Were the West Indies selectors too hasty?

FROM all appearances, the new West Indies selectors may have been a bit hasty in disclosing that the squad chosen for the World Cup in England and Wales starting at month end was the 'final' one.

Indeed, when director of cricket Jimmy Adams told the media last month that the 15 players were the ones that the administrators were looking to take to the World Cup, he should have proceeded cautiously.

As things are, the deadline for submitting the final squad is on May 22, following the April 23 date for submitting the preliminary squad.

The selectors should take another look at the composition of the squad before signing off. The performance of wicketkeeper/ batsman Shai Hope in the just ended tri-nation series in Ireland, which also featured the home team and Bangladesh, has been remarkable.

He scored two centuries, two half-centuries (87 and 74) and missed out on a half-century (44) in four matches played last week.

But the same cannot be said of stylish batsman Darren Bravo, who has struggled to get runs and whose presence must be questioned, as it is obvious that his confidence has been shattered.

The bowling, too, has been mediocre, although fast bowlers Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, captain Jason Holder, and Sheldon Cotterell have had respectable spells.


What's been inspiring is the performance of some of those who were not chosen in the original squad — opener John Campbell who got injured after scoring a maiden hundred (179) against Ireland, and Roston Chase who has shown his dependability with the bat and whose offspinners are more effective than Ryan Nurse's.

Why Chase was not picked initially is beyond me. Holder is displaying his ability with the bat, so by the time his deputy Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, and Evin Lewis join up, things should look more positive


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