Mr. George Worme
RE: ANSWERING GEORGE WORME’S QUESTION AND REQUEST FOR HIM TO ANSWER THE QUESTION WHETHER HE WAS CONVICTED FOR STEALING
My name is Joseph Ewart Layne. I am responding to your editorial note to my letter which appeared in the 29th November 2018 edition of your newspaper.
Yes, I was disciplined by the NJM in 1980 in relation to a breakdown of discipline in certain military units under my command.
No, the disciplining was not specifically related to an incident with Winston Simon.
The complaint against me was for nonfeasance – failure to exercise proper leadership. There was no suggestion that I had personally carried out any illegal act. The sanction was removal from my position of command and other positions of responsibility. I was 22 years old at the time.
Having now answered your question, Mr. Worme, would you please answer my question as to whether you were criminally convicted within the last 3 years for stealing? I ask this not to be abusive. I ask because I think that the answer to my question is material and fair: given your powerful position as editor of one of the leading local newspapers; given that you represent yourself to your readers as a champion for truth and transparency and a mighty fighter against corruption; and given that in essence, when you sell your newspaper, you are selling your credibility and that of New Today.
If the answer to my question is no, that you have never been convicted for a criminal offence involving dishonesty, then your credibility remains unassailable. But if the answer is yes, the public needs to know: so that they can determine when treating with the contents of your newspaper whether they are reading genuine news or, probably, fake news.
More specifically, Mr. Worme, would you truthfully comment on a report carried in the Jamaica Observer dated 18th April 2012 (and on CMC of the same date) which stated that, “54-year-old journalist [George Worme, Editor of the New Today] was caught with four buckets of sand in a vehicle on the Fort Jeudy Beach, by officers attached to South St. George Police Station during a patrol at about 1.00 a.m. [one hour after midnight]”?
Were you charged in relation to that incident? If you were charged, was the charge dismissed or were you convicted? If you were convicted, how come that information was never reported in your newspaper? Don’t you think that it is newsworthy that the editor and boss of the leading local newspaper – the high priest and champion of honesty – was charged, tried and convicted for stealing? Or is it that you were not convicted?
If, however, you were convicted, and I leave it to you to confirm or deny, then all I can say is that, if you are out that ungodly hour thiefing sand, God knows what else you get up to! Ole people say that anything someone is doing after the age of 30 is probably in their DNA. And as you well know, when you deconstruct the act of thiefing, its elementary parts are dishonesty, deception and untrustworthiness.
That is why your readers need the answer to my question. They need to know whether what they read in your paper is coming from an honest, credible and trustworthy source or from one deeply contaminated by the dishonesty of a thief who operates in the still of the night.
And by the way, Mr. Worme, regarding your statement that your hands are clean, how can they be clean with all that sand on them?
Finally, Mr. Worme, I leave you with a request and a piece of wisdom which hopefully you would contemplate and it would lead to some humility in you. My request: If you are a true democrat as you claim you are, in the same way you are carrying the malicious articles against me on your website, please post my response from last week and this letter on the same website.
The wisdom: You must know the biblical story in the Gospel of John about Jesus and the adulterous woman, where He said onto her, “Go, and sin no more”! To the best of my ability (and far from perfectly), since 1991 I have sought, every day of my life, to be guided by that command. That is why under extremely difficult conditions I laboured to prepare myself to contribute in a meaningful way to Grenada and the world.
In that journey, I experienced the grace of meeting some great human beings some of whom, at a superficial level, had all reason to seek revenge against me and my comrades; yet they extended the hand of peace and showered us with love. The experience of such grace not only taught me humility and matured me; it has instilled in me even greater determination to do as much good as I can in this world, until my Maker recalls me.
And no amount of malice spewed in the pages of your paper against me can deter me from that course. But the Gospel of John also covers the episode immediately prior to Jesus commanding the woman to go and sin no more. To her denouncers, who were clamouring for her to be stoned to death, He extended the challenged: “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. Mr. Worme, I urge you to examine the profoundness of that challenge in all its dimensions. May God bless you!
I rest my case.
Joseph Ewart Layne
Editor’s Note: All I will say to Mr Ewart Layne at this time is that I much prefer to have sand on my hands than so much blood of my own countrymen.