Did He Overstep His Authority?



The Editorial page of the Jamaica Gleaner of late seem to have undergone a transformation.

It is hard to tell who is the person/s  behind the editorial , is it male or female? is it one person or a group of people, do they share the same philosophy or do they operate as independent individuals  opining based on principled gut convictions?

 The aforementioned is difficult to establish because the writer/s have the luxury of anonymity. We would hope that based on that luxury editorial page writer/s would be responsible , objective, fair, respectful, thoughtful, and careful. just recognizing that to whom much is given , much is required.

Such is the power of the pen ,particularly in a society like Jamaica where people put significant stock into the views of certain people over that of others.

It has become noticeable to this blog that of late the Gleaner’s Editorial page has shown a marked change from the more circumspect reasoned approach we had grown accustomed to for decades, to one that seem to want to push alien views on us that surely have no resonance or hold any  sway with the vast majority of the Jamaican populace.  As if that was not bad enough, we have also detected a snarl of elitist condension in the spirit of  the aforementioned Pages.

It is the right of the Gleaner to publish what it chooses on it’s editorial pages .  We would not want to pick a fight with someone who buys ink in a barrel, After all we do speak our minds on these blogs. What the Gleaner must appreciate though, thanks to the power of technology , is that we will push back hard when they choose  to be condesending  and  disrespectful  to  people who sacrifice for our country.

We speak particularly of todays Editorial titled: “The police are not the executive”.

In the editorial the anonymous writer blasted Senior Superintendent of Police Radcliff Lewis for what it characterizes as  Lewis’ attempt at executive decision-making by allowing robot taxi operators to operate after  Licensed taxi operators in Spanish Town decided to strike this week over dissatisfaction with the way they have been regulated and for other perceived grievances.

We have no quarrel with the writer about blasting Lewis for his alleged statements referring to the scabs as quote “reserve soldiers”.





Frankly I do not know on whose authority Lewis was operating, there is no precedent in law or otherwise where the police may take such steps, we agree that if those measures are to be taken those are to be taken by executive action,.

Lewis a  pragmatic cop may have overstepped his bounds dramatically.

Jamaica requires unusual and pragmatic approaches to getting solutions, the Police have always sought to use its powers to help the Jamaican people, unsung. In his effort at problem solving he overstepped his authority, a move that was sure to draw the ire of the usual critics like our friends at the editorial board of the Gleaner, who are always going to be unable to see the forest for the trees.

The question is, as wrong as Lewis’ actions are, had he kept his mouth shut,  would the unlicenced  cab operators have stayed home? what impact did Lewis’ actions have in actually enhancing that action.

We note the writer was very concerned about the safety of riders , whilst at the same time registering relief at the fact that no one was injured in this Lewis Executive grab. We do see how the writer could feel total relief that no one was injured , after all this notion of illegal taxi operation is a totally alien phenomenon in Jamaican culture (sic).

We do not disagree with the letter of the Article, what we disagree with is the spirit . The writer used terms to describe SSP Lewis that  at best are condescending, and at worst blatantly demeaning. Colourful, rough cut,  Our newest ad hoc and unelected lawmaker, scandalous, uncomplicated ,rustic.


Those characterizations are elitists  code words, aimed at  bringing  Lewis, or any other unfortunate soul they are aimed at into knowing their place, SSP Lewis made a mistake in what he is alleged to have done, and for this Ellington must have some serious conversations with him. His gravest error is that of  not understanding the vicious caste system that still persists in Jamaica to this day.

Good intentions on the part of SSP Lewis does not mean  actions  that are legal. His actions lead us to ask if he may not have been promoted above his capabilities.

mike beckles:
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3 thoughts on “Did He Overstep His Authority?

  1. One who sets him / her self up as a societal critic has the duty to step back,objectively review, and give proper weight to the considerations involved.
    Generally an editorial board convenes its editors to decide on the subject matter for the editorial and the papers position on the issue to be dealt with. Thereafter the editorial position is the paper’s official position on the matter.
    What were the ‘alien views’ pushed by the paper that ‘have no resonance’ with the public at large? In my own view the conduct of governance within the proper guidelines will always have resonance with responsible people if not with the writer of the above blog.
    What disrespect did the paper show to ‘those who sacrifice’?. Enough already. I am quite appreciative of a policeman’s role and the danger involved in enforcing the laws of the state. However isn’t it somewhat disingenuous to constantly dwell upon the sacrifice angle when these people voluntarily seek the job and especially in a country where there are few reasonably and consistently paid jobs are happy to do so. Every applicant for such position knows and voluntarily accepts these dangers and continue to do so. Back to the issue;
    No well run country will allow enforcers of the law to, at the same time,make or decide the law. This principle is neither ‘alien’ nor rocket science. I sincerely trust that there exist sufficient citizens above third grade capability that understands this. Further, any newspaper editorial board worth its salt should not only decry but excoriate those who seek to wear the hats of maker and enforcer of the law.
    The writer alludes to ‘unsung’ efforts, supposedly of law enforcers, to subvert the constitutionally based authority of the Executive. No sane person applauds or condones such action! Is the writer suggesting that the search for pragmatic solutions ignore the hallowed constitutional boundaries between the Executive and enforcers of the law? Do we not care where this attitude leads?
    To his credit the writer accepts that SSP Lewis was wrong. The tone of this unjustified screed however, suggests that Lewis is due an apology or close, for his uncomplicated (as in naive), yes rustic (as in primitive), attempt to usurp executive authority.
    Kudos to the Daily Gleaner editorial staff!!

  2. This blog sought to point to two things.
    (1) Acknowledge that Lewis was wrong.
    (2) That the Writer of the Editorial spiel did not have to demean in order to point out Lewis’ transgressions.
    Both objectives have been met. We stand by our views.
    As far as the question of alien views and disrespectful attitude is concerned,Monseigneur would have to spend more time availing himself/herself to those writings to comprehend the point of view.
    Happy reading.

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