Sports in Jamaica takes centre stage as the summer approaches. The local football competition closed last Monday night with the finals of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at our National Stadium. There was a fairly large number of fans present for the showdown between the two best and most consistent teams in the competition.
The third place play-off earlier was a triumph for youth as Cavalier beat the much vaunted and financed Mount Pleasant to take what can be described as the bronze medal. With a policy that stubbornly insists on “youth”, the triumph of Cavalier is indeed heartening. But within the hour, all the goodwill for local football took a serious blow as the finals descended into the sort of action usually seen at a prize fight. I saw enough short jabs and uppercuts that reminded me of Lomachenko versus the ”Axeman”. The “Axeman” has not been the same since that fight. I wonder if football will be the same after that fight on Monday night.
Life in our fair isle has reached a new low. Not because of a fight during a “showcase” final, (these things seem to happen nowadays), but because there seems to be nothing sacred anymore. We are besieged by murderers who, with impunity, perpetrate their crimes in full view of anyone (including the police) safe in the knowledge that the people who are given the awesome task of protecting and reassuring us seem to have abandoned us.
Criminals and taxi drivers run amok, the police are now implicated in the most heinous of crimes and amazingly, those “officers” who are in charge of the rank and file of the force come on national radio and effectively say “oops” when facing serious questions of “how come”?
How did we get here? “Elementary, my dear Watson” to quote my favourite detective. We have rewarded and turned a blind eye to the warning signs that have been staring us in the face for years. We seem to have forgotten that children live what they learn. We have mollycoddled and excused poor behaviour in children, who grow up to be the citizens of our island. Dr. Lascelve Graham and his crew have for years tried every way to warn us of the idiocy of rewarding excellence in sports to the detriment of the real reason for life in school: preparing our young for life as adults.
We see unsolved murders or cases where an arrest is quickly made, followed by a sigh of relief from a weary populace, only to hear, days later, that the arrested one has been released for lack of evidence.
An innocent (usually poor) individual was incarcerated to take the heat off an ineffective force! Taxi drivers in nearly every capital town write their own rode code and smilingly adhere to those “rules” which means death and mayhem for the rest of us. The police? We are told that some of them own the taxis.
All is not lost however. We can be rescued. All that is necessary is for there to be a leader. One who cares! As simple as that. A commissioner of police who cares, and steps up to the plate and DOES something. Stop the talking! Identifying a corrupt police officer is not difficult. As the Terrible Tout always reminds us on these pages: ‘’Follow the money”. Mr. Prime Minister, appoint a Minister of Education with the testicular fortitude to do something. We cannot continue like this!
The record number of visitors to Jamaica will soon be meaningless as there will be no locals to show them around. We will all be dead — terminated by architects of mayhem who will eventually turn on their present protectors.