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Sunday Brew – June 6, 2021


Quitting JLP not enough, Georgie boy!

DID anyone expect that George Wright would not have resigned as a member of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party?

Well, maybe brother Georgie is taking it a step a day, and he will do the right thing by the time his luxury vacation leave from the House of Representatives expires later this month. Or will he? But what else can brother Georgie do, now that the JLP has washed its hands of the cornered Member of Parliament from Westmoreland Central?

The question, above all others, that ought to be asked though is why has brother Georgie quit the JLP? What did he do? Could his move to leave green territory have anything to do with his alleged role in a karate-style scene that was shot at a certain location in western Jamaica for a possible push on Broadway? The fact is that the JLP told Georgie that he must resign, or else…

The first-time MP must now understand what it is like to be thrust into the lion’s den of politics. It is that time when privacy is at a premium and the things that you do that are not sanctioned, generally, by most, could haunt you.

Politicians, brother Georgie will by now recognise, are most times marked harder than others, although it should not be so. But in his case, he contributed to the pressure that was heaped on him because, to this day, he has still not admitted, denied, or even commented on the star role which that viral video has forced upon him.

It’s as if brother Georgie took us all for fools. All he had to do, really, was come public and say that he was the one involved in the martial arts explosion, and with due respect to Bruce Lee, he got it all wrong.

But his silence can still be heard as far away as Disneyland, and even the children are laughing.

There is a long journey ahead, and being an ‘Independent’ in the House of Representatives will just not cut it. In any case, he will still support JLP-pushed Bills and motions, and although the green tie that he usually wears will now be switched to another colour (wonder if he wants to try purple), he should always walk with painkillers should he attempt to start the potentially suicidal journey of reconnecting with Jamaica’s Parliament.

Georgie boy, it hard, really tough – but there are lessons in life for us all. When all of them have been learned, Georgie just cannot continue to be a legislator. Movie done!

Seaga was also a history teacher

TIME slipped by so fast last week that the anniversary of the birth of Edward Phillip George Seaga passed silently.

Seaga, the former Jamaica prime minister, would have been 91 on May 28.

My contact with Seaga began in a strange way. I had been assigned to cover nomination day activities at Kingston College, my alma mater, for the 1993 General Election and somehow, both candidates for Kingston Central arrived at the venue almost simultaneously.

Skirmishes started, and so too gunshots. I hit the deck under a tree close to the chemistry lab but decided to take a peek while the commotion deepened. I figured that every jack man would have scattered and run to seek shelter but standing there, and walking about as if nothing had happened, and with no semblance of fear whatsoever, was one Edward Seaga. The gunshots and the excitement did not throw him off one bit. I asked myself, “What manner of man is this?”

We had met before at an exposition put on by private sector companies at National Arena in 1986. I, a ‘green’ (should I rephrase that?) reporter at the Gleaner, hungry for a bit of news from the prime minister, convinced myself that it must happen. I knew that he played sports at Wolmer’s Boys’ – seven I am told, including shooting, and five at Harvard University – and with the Jamaica national football team doing reasonably well and soon to tour, I thought I should ask him about football. Timidly, I walked up to him: “Mr Seaga, would you like to comment on the national football team’s chances for the overseas assignments?” I asked him.

“No sir, not talking about any football today.”

The tone alone told me not to persist.

But the frost turned to warmth in later years. By the time he retired before the 2007 General Election, we were quite tight. On the evening of that same election, I was assigned by CVM Television to spend the evening (and night) with him and interview him after the result had been known. That was one of the most educational experiences of my life. From showing me the chair that US President Ronald Reagan gave him soon after he had won the 1980 General Election, to outlining his strategy and approach to elections, everything came out in his study in a session that lasted from 5:15 pm to 2:10 the following morning.

And as we waited for Bruce Golding, who had led the JLP to victory, to speak, Seaga uttered: I don’t like that about Bruce, he is always late.”

After Golding delivered what must rank as one of the finest victory speeches of all times, Seaga leaned back in the sofa and uttered: “That was a fine speech, very well done.” All was forgiven then, it seemed.

Happy belated birthday, Eddie Seaga.

Shelly does not have to talk

WHEN talk arises about which Jamaican woman sprinter is the best of all time, partisan people seem to always put Merlene Ottey’s name forward, some even refusing to think that there is one Shelly-Ann Fraser, now Pryce, out there.

Strangely, I still cannot understand why Ottey is even listed as ‘great’. That word though, belongs to none other than Fraser-Pryce. If there was any doubt before, yesterday’s performance in the Olympic Destiny Series at National Stadium should shut all detractors up. She does not have to say anything more than “10.63”.

What I like most about this woman is her humility and her capacity to insistence in reminding others of where she came from, unlike others who have competed in the Jamaica national colours, among them Ottey and Veronica Campbell Brown.

Let them talk, let them run off their mouths. Jamaica has never had a greater woman sprinter than Fraser-Pryce.

 

Jamaican men can address China’s children policy

 

SO China has finally decided to right that devastating wrong of limiting each family to one child during the 1980s. Of course, that policy was relaxed further in 2016 to two children per couple but now, it has been stepped up to three.

Suddenly, China has started to feel the effects of what should not have happened in the first place. Many Chinese couples who, for example, wanted a boy, decided to go the route of abortion when it was determined that a girl was on the way.

I’m not sure if Chinese authorities will be able to sow the seeds of speedy reproduction in coming years, but maybe officials there should consider importing some Jamaican men who would no doubt relish the thought of having offspring of slightly different shades, and feel comfortable in eating many of the sumptuous meals that the great land has to offer – including one of my favourites, Chinese boiled chicken.

Sure, the products of that reproductive process may not be pure-bred Chinese, but Chinese nonetheless, once the babies are born there. Many Jamaican men are anxiously waiting in the wings to pounce at the opportunity. To them, it will not be a steep hill to climb, and I know that they will not have cold feet and go soft on the invitation if it were to be extended.

I guarantee that if China were to import 1,000 two-legged sires and have them in that Asian country for three years, there would be a significant jump in the population that could see authorities having to reconsider the three children policy in short order.

In the end, it would be a fitting boost for racial integration.



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