Tue | Apr 24, 2018

Modern-day soap opera

Published:Monday | February 14, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Can Commissioners Donald Scharschmidt (left), Anthony Irons (centre) and chairman Emil George sort out this mess? - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

I am ashamed to admit it, but I used to watch soap operas. Yes, I used to take in an episode or two of Santa Barbara, Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest long before more modern-day ones like Generations (the American one, not the South African one now showing) and the Bold and the Beautiful (just never got into the Young and the Worthless, I mean Restless).

The thing is, as I've got older I realise that the local news (forget CNN and those morons) has all the soap-opera material I need. We need look no further than the current Manatt-Dudus commission of enquiry. If this isn't tailor-made for the silver screen I don't know what is.

Now I must point out from the beginning that I am not attempting to trivialise the importance of the commission. Separate and apart from the questions of governance and accountability, the same question keeps coming to me: How did our society get to a point in which a Dudus was even created/needed?

Lives lost

Then of course, we must look at the lives lost. The reality is over 70 people died as a result of the incursion that stemmed from the extradition matters now being investigated and debated at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Those lives alone require intervention of some kind, and even though this commission won't provide resuscitation for the departed, it's a start.

At times, the banter between attorneys and witnesses makes me wonder just how seriously people are taking it. But the seriousness of the proceedings aside, you must admit the contradicting statements, the not-so-subtle insults and the throwing around of legal terms do make for a compelling scene. Quite frankly, and I'm not exactly going to bet my trusty four-door Buster on this, heads should roll. Aplenty! Maybe at high tiers of the food chain. But somehow I doubt it. You see, like most soap operas I have viewed over the years, I don't see this one having a positive conclusion. We can't even get certain people to testify, so why should we expect anyone to be fired or, surprise of surprises, resign? The precedent of other commissions (remember the street people one?) that came and went don't make me any more optimistic. Still, I keep my fingers crossed.

What we the law-abiding citizens need to do, is not leave it up to commission chairman Emil George and company. When the 'truth' comes out (I know, you're wondering if it ever will) I suggest WE pressure those who have been pointed out/blamed for this debacle to get out! Easier said than done (all things are), but who could have told you that one man would have caused all this? Exactly!

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com