1. Enjoy the job.
It was always seemed to me that Mutty enjoyed being a talk show host. He loved debate and dialogue, and seemed to really perk up when someone called in and started out with a negative comment. “Mr. Perkins, you know you bias,” some caller might say. “Oh?” Mutty would respond, ready for the fray. “Why do you say that?” And the discussion would begin. He never seemed tired of the callers, never seemed as if he was phoning it in, and never, ever sounded as if he couldn’t bother or was out of touch with what was going on.
2. Read Read Read
I never failed to be impressed with the breadth and depth of Mutty’s knowledge. From constitutional rights to law to politics to history – he was undeniably and comprehensively well read. And it showed through conversation, not through any attempt to shout to the world “See! I read!”
3. The Power of the Monologue
For years, we tuned in every day at 10.00 am to hear what Mutty was going to say in his monologue. Whether the death of Michael Manley, a PNP victory or a JLP win, we listened eagerly to hear his views, and match them against our own.
4. The importance of human rights and constitutional rights
One of Mutty’s biggest contributions to Jamaica was raising our awareness of human rights issues. Long before there was Jamaicans for Justice, there was Mutty. In a country of short term memories, he made sure we never forgot the atrocities that led to the death of Agana Barrett. He never stopped commenting on the weaknesses in our constitution in relation to the protection of basic human rights, continued to highlight the vulnerability of the poor and in essence, gave an articulate, informed and passionate voice to those who had no voice.
5. There are no sacred cows
There is no more valuable lesson for a journalist. From Prime Ministers to captains of industry, from trade unionists to lawyers, Mutty took on anyone. It’s worthy of note, however, that it takes confidence to do this, confidence born of sharp intellect, a broad and deep knowledge base, incisive analytical skills and the ability to think on your feet. All of those, Mutty had in spades. And for those and many other things, we will miss him.