Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Look at us now

Published:Sunday | February 8, 2015 | 2:00 AM

The portly interloper, Ralph Gonsalves, has chimed in regarding the tenure and leadership of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). His basis for the negative review given to Dave Cameron is based on supposed unpublished information.

I would venture to suspect that the unpublished information is his desire to be seen as being a relevant figure in this concoction called CARICOM. His urging the WICB to not permit a continuation of Dave Cameron's presidency is gaining ground among some sections of the region. All of this is in spite of the WICB task force report that lay culpability at the feet of the WICB, the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), and some players.

Gonsalves comes riding into town on a nag, proclaiming that he has the right to interfere because the WICB owns no cricket grounds. Choose Ralph Gonsalves. Own your grounds and have overrated, undisciplined wannabe prima donnas who make up the team.

There is even the spectre of the Jamaica Cricket Association voting by 10-6 not to support Jamaican Dave Cameron. Barbados will support their own, in Joel Garner, but we have a group who display no nationalist loyalty when there is no evidence that Cameron has transgressed to the extent he should not be supported for re-election. Look wha we cum to!

If Dave Cameron, despite Billy Heaven's best efforts, should be re-elected, in this case, 'parson should not christen him pickney first'. If Heaven believes Garner will support his wish list over the one for Barbados, he may be truly confused.

The year 2015 has had me travelling extensively across the country. The state of the infrastructure is appalling.

The Noel Coward property known as Firefly, outside of Port Maria, is a heritage site. It offers a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea. The old house gives insight into the easy living of old. The grounds are well maintained and lawns manicured.

But the road from the North Coast Highway leading up to the property is a national disgrace. The well-travelled, light-footed goat would have a major challenge. If this is an indication of our regard for national treasures, we are even worse off than previously thought.

The main road from Highgate to Killancholy is bad and gets utterly deplorable the farther you go. The main road from the Westmoreland Bridge to Highgate, and from Highgate leading to Port Maria, is utterly disgraceful. The market in Highgate is just plain filthy.

St Mary is grossly neglected

The parish of St Mary has had a long history of support for the governing People's National Party. St Mary is grossly neglected. The people have the power to inflict punishment on those who would anger them. Vote for your self-interest, people of St Mary.

The road to Bamboo in St Ann is in fairly good condition from Golden Grove to Claremont, but beyond that leaves a lot to be desired, and the surrounding communities have no piped water. Strong farming communities abound in those hills, but the lack of water, both for personal hygiene and irrigation, has never been addressed.

The parishes of St Thomas and Portland are very special cases of neglect. When the infrastructure is neglected, the extent of economic activity will be limited. Up in the Rio Grande Valley, getting the produce to market is a grave challenge. The challenge is increased when the farmers get rain.

How ironic? The rains cause the river to become difficult to cross much less with a load of crops destined for market. The roads are scoured and the threat of imminent breakaways demands fear and trembling for the motorist. I suspect we are about to see a resurgence in the utilisation of donkeys, hampers and 'cotta'. Such a pity!

The health sector creaks along. Do not attempt to have a prescription filled at the Drug Serv outlets without the following consideration. One, the prescription will not be fully satisfied. Two, you will spend long hours of debilitating wait only to be told that they cannot fill the prescription. One is made to feel as if one is a beggar, herded like a wild animal.

The Ministry of Education, in published reports, has developed a policy with regard to the transfer of athletes from less-endowed high schools to an athletic powerhouse high school. There are those who would state that the child should exercise, through their parents, the right to pursue the athletic choice if he/she can become a professional in the sport and earn millions of dollars need to be aware of the very limited opportunities for this to be realised.

Let us compare.

The world's population is approximately seven billion. There are fewer than 200 preferred football teams, each with a squad of 30 and probably only 10 that get paid big dollars. This makes it 2,000 well-paying jobs. The seven billion are found in 209 countries. All seek jobs. Jamaica does not play a high standard of football at this time. Chances of success: slight.

All seven billion need food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and engineering solutions. Hello, engineers, health professionals, agricultural experts, computer scientists, plumbers, carpenters, welders, logistics experts, where are you? Get qualified and stop chasing fool's gold. Look at us now.

n Ronald Mason is an immigration attorney/Supreme Court mediator. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and nationsagenda@gmail.com.