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The Al Gilkes column – Wishing the PM well


Al Gilkes

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I TRY to keep as far as possible from politics and politicians whenever I sit down to write this column, but today I am making an exception following the unexpected news this weekend that Prime Minister David Thompson is not well.Sickness, whether it’s a simple case of the common cold or life-threatening, has no political, racial, religious, social or other boundaries. It matters not if you are Bee or Dee, black, white or Chinese, Christian, Muslim or Jew. Nobody is exempt.As a nation we all suffered the experience together of having two of our previous Prime Ministers literally drop down dead in office, and regardless of  which camp we belonged to at the time or on which side of the paling we sat, we all felt the same painful sense of loss with each passing.Neither PM Barrow nor PM Adams had time fora physician to assess their condition and even admit them to the QEH for tests. Fortunately, time is on PM Thompson’s side, and as he uses that time to have his condition diagnosed and treated at home and in New York, let ours be a prayer with one voice for him to survive this fearful episode in his life and that sooner, rather than later, he will back in full stride, leading our nation.I also empathise with him because I once suffered similar excruciating abdominal pains caused by stomach ulcers at such an early age that nobody at the time considered them as a possibility for my affliction. Eventually, a wise old doctor by the name of Goddard dared to go where none before him had gone with a diagnosis that saved my life. . . . . . . . .Today, unless something unexpected happens overnight, I will be among the thousands from all over the world who will be bringing it to Kensington Oval today and enjoying a true clash of the titans, Australia vs England and Australia vs New Zealand, for the two world Twenty20 men’s and women’s titles.Don’t ask me anything about the West Indies men’s team. As far as I am concerned, you stand a better chance of being run over by a bulldozer and escaping without a scratch than having that team bring some joy to your life.It was a one-man team under Brian Lara and it continues to be a one-man team under Chris Gayle. When Lara made a big score, they won or came close to winning. When he didn’t score, they lost. The same thing is happening with Gayle, as seen in their recent victory and defeat in the current tournament.On the other side of the coin, I had hoped that the women would have made it through to the finals despite the fact that they are new to this class of competition and with their lack of experience didn’t have a ghost of a chance against New Zealand. Nevertheless, they made me very proud by making it  to the semi-finals.I am sure that one day soon, that is the team we will all be hailing as West Indies fans.Finally, if I went and got married to two women without getting a divorce from one, I would be at a serious loss over what would make that act, though illegal, so heinous that I could be remanded to prison while other people are granted bail for a variety of crimes including indecent assault and manslaughter.Maybe my good friend, the Market Vendor, can help me with an answer to that one.

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