Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

Time Come Portia, Time Come.


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If ever a straw broke a camel’s back, that straw fell this afternoon. The Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica released what may go down in Commonwealth history as the most unfortunate statement on behalf of a Head of Government; the office of Mrs. Simpson Miller purported to be “concerned” for the safety of the Prime Minister. Fair enough. The worrying aspect of this development is that there is no security threat, in the standard sense, to the Prime Minister. Instead, the OPM released this dubious statement after members of the media sought a response from an ever evasive Simpson Miller. In her now characteristic attempt to dodge the media, and their relentless pursuit of information, the Prime Minister was apparently struck by a microphone. It is regrettable that the PM was struck, but the real issue is why was she running? The real issue is why hasn’t she consented to sit for an interview having taken office 15 months ago?  When one considers the PM’s abject refusal to face the press, it leads to one devastating conclusion. If a leader cannot face the country unscripted, or by some accounts not even scripted, it brings the competence of the leader into serious question. The Prime Minister has now resorted to the lowest possible denominator, hiding. It is shameful and unacceptable. Since taking office, the PM has repeatedly told the nation that “time come”, time come for removing the Queen as Head of State, time come to take appeals to the Caribbean Court of Justice, time come to put country above party etc. I think the Prime Minister must now reflect on her own inability to lead the government, indeed the country; time come to step aside. Time come Portia, time come.

One of the most frequently leveled  criticisms against the former government was its apparent arrogance and the contempt it displayed towards the Jamaican people. There was a time that the Prime Minister, as Opposition Leader, convinced me that the Bruce Golding led government was indeed too arrogant. I was inclined to agree that the tone and tenor of Ministers like Daryl Vaz was offensive. Imagine my surprise now to find the government led by Mrs. Simpson Miller even more arrogant than its predecessor, imagine my shock and awe at the fact that the Prime Minister herself currently drips with contempt.

Our first point of contact with the arrogance of this government is the Minister with responsibility for Information, Sandrea Falconer. Ms. Falconer frequently treats the media as a collective nuisance and in one instance pretended to have a right not to answer questions legitimately posed to her. Her tone now frequently implies that the country should get over whatever little foul up her Cabinet colleagues have gotten themselves into. Even more unbelievable is her penchant for the comment “No comment”, or some other weak variation of it. Her tone is no different from that of a Daryl Vaz, widely seen as the most arrogant Minister of the former government.

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The problem is that for a lot of Jamaicans, Mrs. Simpson Miller and the PNP represented a change from the “uncaring” JLP. The mantra of “people power” promised a change in style, tone and leadership. It turns out we’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. The most glaring example of this is the Richard Azan debacle. The State Minister displayed poor judgement and it is alleged that he used his seal, as a Justice of the Peace, to sanction the illicit construction of shops on lands he neither owned, nor had permission to use. The Cabinet rallied in support of their fellow comrade, arguing that his conduct was unrelated to his portfolio as a Junior Minister and therefore does not warrant dismissal. This is nonsense. The use of the seal of the Office of Justice of the Peace to sanction an illicit, and possibly out rightly illegal act, is ample grounds for suspension, if not dismissal. Mr. Azan should have been made to stand aside until it could be proven that he is indeed innocent. For someone always quick to call on former Prime Minister Golding to act, Mrs. Simpson Miller seems to suffer from the disease of inaction.

Mrs. Simpson Miller has repeated every single fault she found with the Golding Government. She has not kept her promises, she has allowed the contempt of her Ministers to go unchecked, she has appointed the second largest executive in the history of independent Jamaica, she has trampled on the concept of people power by refusing to face and have dialogue with the people of Jamaica in a meaningful way, she has said she’s working, but in reality all we see is ribbon cutting, baby kissing and groundbreaking, and finally, she has remained deafeningly silent on every major issue facing Jamaica, choosing to hide behind her Ministers. It is a crying shame.

I never wanted this blog to be so decidedly anti PNP, I never intended to be so strongly opposed to the leadership of Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller. In fact, a part of me hoped she would have used the size-able majority she commands in parliament to enact some meaningful change in Jamaican politics, that was not to be. I am left angry, annoyed and resentful at our politics and political system. It is time for the Prime Minister to accept what is already evident to the whole nation, she cannot fulfill the role she has been asked to play. Is time to accept dat Mama, time to seriously put country above party and above self. Time come Portia, time come.

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56 responses

  1. Yes, I find the Prime Minister’s demeanor has become cold and distant. It may be a defense mechanism, but it is really strange and unexpected. She is making no effort to “woo” either the media or the public at large. I agree with you that her Information Minister is a disaster (yes, so was Daryl Vaz, in a different way) – so condescending it leaves you breathless. It is all about protecting the PM from the rest of us. I agree with you on the last paragraph. I had hoped (against my better judgment) for much better. The current situation is “untenable” as they say. In other words, we can’t go on like this.

    April 22, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    • Thanks for your thoughts Emma. I’m just now at my wits end. I cannot understand why the administration believes this strategy of hiding the PM is what’s best at this time when the country is crying out for leadership. I really cannot understand.

      April 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      • I truly don’t get it, either. Especially in these really difficult times – when extraordinary leadership is desperately needed. It is baffling.

        April 22, 2013 at 11:36 pm

  2. jamcore

    All of a sudden we want to have one n one interview with the PM . That was never PJ , Eddie’s , style nor is it Portia’s style. That’s was Golding Style. The whole Jamaica know already that PM is not the most eloquent person when it comes to interview or command of the english language. The media knows this so their motive for running down this interview is to have a funny news byte and riducule her . It has nothing to do with gaining information.The media has no entitlement to a one n one interview with the PM. The PM sends her messages through OPM releases. Archibald Gordon was very disresptful and crossed the line last week when he suggested that its because of Mr Azans last name y he is not being fired. That level of unprofessionalism must not be tolerated by the PAJ. I agree with you that Mr Azan should have step aside and allow the investigation to be completed. Oh BTW the PM did do a one n one interview with cliff hughes last year.

    April 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    • If she doesn’t consent to an one on one interview, fine. She should at least hold a press conference to answer questions on the various issues facing Jamaica. This is standard all across the world. While you say it was not the “style” of her predecessors, they always seemed more accessible than Mrs. Simpson Miller. Her silence is unacceptable.

      April 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      • jamcore

        I’m sure she has had several press conferences.

        April 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      • You’re sure? Evidence? Dates?

        April 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    • Stewdred

      You Sir are an idiot.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      • charlette

        and so are you.

        April 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    • tvez

      Your remarks is at most, absurd. Based on your unorthodox and uninformed remark it is evident that you are one that gives true meaning to the term ‘Tribal politics’. I suggest you get your facts straight before you make such illusive remarks. It is eminent that the PM is in no way equipped to administer the government. This is a Country not a playground so your quote… ” The media knows this so their motive for running down this interview is to have a funny news byte and riducule her” is unacceptable emotions is far from conducive when dealing with serious business. The people should be properly informed. Get your argument right. Thanks.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        April 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    • tyrese blake

      wow wat utter stupidity. so you are hereby suggesting that if the pm was to give an interview all that could be gained from it is funny news bytes and ridiculousness ha ha ha ha . cock mouth kill cock

      April 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

    • Ja.girl

      Pray tell how is the Jamaican public supposed to gain knowledge and information if the Prime Minister is reluctant to speak to the nation? Her inability to speak eloquently should not hinder her from answering to the people. We are a democracy: government for the people, by the people. Therefore the government answers to its citizens at all times and must be held accountable for its actions.

      April 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

      • I agree with you here. I’d rather her speak, riddled with grammatical error, than hide from the country.

        April 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

  3. Reblogged this on Right From Yaad and commented:
    A very, very, very good read

    April 23, 2013 at 4:52 am

  4. Weren’t y’all around in the 18 and a half years prior to 2007? Arrogance:- PJ Patterson brought Mirant (crooks) to Jamaica skyrocketing our light bills with no consultation he also said ‘Fahget IT!! to the CCJ referendum, Trafigura ?? Portia-Simpson-Miller don’t ske me ask the PNP, FINSAC destruction of thousands of business people…and y’all thought the PNP was so caring??

    Serve the Jamaican people right the slaps in their faces now on the type of disgusting display of arrogance and contempt the PNP are dishing out to them.

    At least the JLP GREW the Jamaican economy whenever they were in power.

    April 23, 2013 at 9:01 am

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can’t ever remember PJ Patterson coming across as arrogant. I know he had his many foul ups, but I think he was always able to reassure the Jamaican people without seeming arrogant or condescending.

      April 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

    • Amen Kent!

      April 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    • Odette

      I like your comment Mr. Gammon. I guess Mr. Azan should have taken a leaf out of Paulwell’s book and found himself a scapegoat instead of showing up his licky licky government like that. Then again, family money and family influence does go a long way with a government incapable of producing. I always say, look at the way an MP manages his community and it will give you a snapshot of how the country will be run. I could be wrong but Portia’s constituency includes Maxfield right? I am not a PNP supporter but in the last election I voted JLP for government (as I probably always will) and Mayor Lee for local government. You notice I said Mayor Lee and not PNP. Mayor Lee is the only local political figure who does not have to broadcast his works because Portmore’s progress (and I still kiss my teeth to think I have to pay tax each time I leave my damn house!) speaks for itself. If the Mayor was to run for Prime Minister – regardless of party affiliation (don’t think the Mayor gives a hoot either), I would vote for him in an instant. In the last election the entitled “intelligencia” boycotted the polls and the “masses” came out in their numbers after promises of arriving “JEEP”s and being “taken care of”. Guess the majority of Jamaicans envy the “masses”‘ don man lifestyle and ability to cross the street in front of a trailer and dare it to hit them – such faith the “masses” have in the don’s ability to take care of them and the community tearing the trailer driver to bits before he even hits the brakes. Even the dogs share this arrogance. What to do but give Jehovah praises and thanks that his Grace continues to cover Jamaica and Jamaicans while we continue to find ways to survive. We are after all descendants of the maroons and Isrealites and we will always endure.

      April 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    • Hickey

      arrogant- PJ Patterson.. Get your facts straight … Arrogance is associated with vaz and Seaga and the current PM not PJ

      April 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

  5. Ann John

    It is indeed a crying shame.

    April 23, 2013 at 9:37 am

  6. It was PJ who said “the law is not a shackle”……….is that not a show of arrogance? Fact of the matter is that none of the current crop of politicians on either side of any of the fences truly truly has Jamaica in their heart. NONE!!!

    April 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The reality of the situation is shaping up to indicate that they truly do not care about our country’s development.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

  7. Anthony

    As arrogant he may have seen then, Golding was by far 1 of the best PMs JA has ever seen, PSM is more on the dunce side of all our PMs, analysts worldwide have seen this fact.

    April 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

  8. Tony G.

    I definitely agree with this, however the problem with Sista P is that she is definitely in a much too deep pool, and as she struggles to keep her head above water, she’ll have nothing to say. Really, she cannot say much, because it’s obvious she doesn’t understand much. The problems that Jamaica faces today are not problems that can be readily and sensibly addressed by a PM or anyone who doesn’t really understand the fundamentals on how to solve them. This is the reason why it looks like she’s hiding from the media.

    It has been clear for several months that Sista P, a very dear lay and Jamaican patriot, is way out in the deep ocean, and not in control although she wears the mantle of PNP leader and PM. On the surface she really needs to step down, and let another more suitable individual take over as PM. The big question who is that individual.

    The leaders in both the PNP and JLP seems woefully flawed. So who is to lead. That is the problem. However, in the meantime don’t expect for Sista P to be holding any press confrence soon, as truly, how is she going to explain what she doesn’t understands, but at least we could get some joint press conference with her and other related ministers, or joint national addresses as she did with Minister of Finance, Dr.Phillips recently.

    But, the problem brother is Jamaica has a big leadership problem, whether the leaders are effective communicators or not.

    April 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    • people like to beat around the bush and get all diplomatic and politically correct and all ,,,the truth is being honest, the JLP is the better Government and no one can point a finger on the current JLP leader. I can point all fingers and toes on all the PNP leaders and still need more fingers to point, the JLP did a whole lot better with the country in a severe economic depression, than what the PNP did for the 18 years when all economies were booming previous to the past JLP 3 1/2 years. but it all depends on the people the diehearted and the illiterate!

      April 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

  9. Anthony

    I’m neither JLP nor PNP, PSM stated the time has come for us to remove the queen as the head of state so it lies solely on an incompetent PM? We got independence 1962 and are we truly independent? We rely on other nations especially USA. She stated that “she” will not incline act for reparation for past events which are very much due to us yet the running around with IMF putting us further into debt. When will we pay of such debt? I guess she declined to reparation due to her own pride leaving its people to suffer. Crime will only increase under such circumstances. If we are owed a few millions or billions, the last time I checked owe, owing, owed means it will eventually be paid back. Crime rate as fallen somewhat in certain fields doesn’t mean its going away it only means that the everyday criminals as gotten smarter.Thus leading to a dramatic increase in scammers. Jamaicans are well known for their ability to adapt to every situations. We hear them as stories or as jokes but when we look back we know there are a lot of truth in those tales.

    April 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm

  10. Gary

    This is very informative….however, the vast amount of Jamaicans don’t have internet access, but they have the votes, and A FEW POLITICAL ADS, and some Rallies around the Country before the next election is all that is needed for motivate votes with no understanding of the importance of the next Government. That is the truly heartbreaking fact in Jamaica. I don’t give a F&^K about either polical party. I would vote for a Martian if it would help my beloved Country. Holness does appear to have Jamaica’s interest at heart and the JLP led administration did do a good job during a Global recession….Portia is just oblivious, and that is very dangerous. PLEASE EVERYONE, just think about Jamaica when you form opinions, and not deep seated loyalties you have for whatever reason.
    GOD BLESS JAMAICA!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    • couldn’t say it better mi bredda! the PNP has a lot of illiterate supporters, and they don’t mind because they have the right psychology to use on them, listen the the PNP supporters after PNP won the last Election, all they talk about is a chance to start eating oxtail and stop eat tin Mackerel, so shallow minded it’s not funny!!

      April 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      • Lol, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        April 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm

  11. Bloody well said my fellow Jamaican!

    April 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

  12. Sometimes I wonder if our PM even remembers that she has a government to manage. The percieved arrogant behavior of some members of the JLP does not hold a candle to the near abandonment of the post by PSM and the open carelessness and corruption by members of her administration.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    • Hickey

      Don’t think she knows that…. after all she don’t even watch news. Probable she is waiting on her husband to tell her what her responsibilities are. Cant envision Jamaica heading anywhere with the leaders that currently exist. We need people who are responsive and critical thinkers. Leaders who are willing to put country first…
      Them just full up a empty promises

      April 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

  13. To be completely honest, at this very moment I’d prefer a Bruce Golding government 10 times, of all the things He was and did at least He had a radio program where any normal jamaican could call and talk to Him, and He was definitely not a dodger, I had some form of Hope in the PM at the time of Her appointment, Because Women are normally more caring, but now I see what is behind all this big broad plastic smile and the baby kissing, after all I should’ve known not to trust people who love to Kiss, is the same way Judas betray Christ” I have not yet seen one positive thing done in the interest of the Jamaican people All we are called upon to do is bear the burden of the Governments waste and excessive spending, is the first in History I’ve seen so much tax. Shame and disgrace!!! smh!! Time Come Mama P time come!!

    April 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

  14. Richard Virtue

    Very few Jamaicans are willing to accept right and wrong, many are of the view that if you speak out against one, you are automatically aligned to the other. This is a very objective commentary. The JLP, namely, Vaz and Montaque have displayed arrogance and contempt towards the Jamaican people, but i see no difference in the PNP’S leadership. the time has surely come for Jamaica to move pass party loyalty to national development.

    April 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let’s hope the time will come when we all put the country first.

      April 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    • Hickey

      Richard that’s so true… and until that leader evolve . we will not be able to move out of the deep hole that we currently find ourselves in.

      April 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

  15. Whenever you all ready to take on what needs to be taken on call me… its time…

    April 23, 2013 at 10:18 pm

  16. Gary

    To all my fellow Jamaicans who try to defend Sita P…….your defense is based solely on your political alliances, and with your Country’s future in the balance, you should be ashamed. You are considered a Leader or given te position of Leader for 1 reason, to LEAD!!!! This means you need to reassure your followers that you in control and you will make things better. This is nothing new to anyone reading this, to stop the Indians, you kill the Chief….when things are bad, you look to your Leader for direction and strength.
    When that Dumb ASS African leader said Jamaican men are drunks and lazy, where was she…when the USD continue to rise, where was she….and there are numerous other occasions when the Country needed needed comfort in her strength, but was woefully disappointed.
    THIS IS NOT A JOKE….look to Europe and see the possible consequences, except we are not a country with any real Global impact economically, so DO NOT EXPECT ANY BAIL Outs from anyone.
    This is one of the pitfalls of Democracy, Prime Ministers are not elected based on qualification but popularity…..how many of you would hire Sita P to run the Company you own or work for????? if you are truly honest, the answer is obvious… I am sorry to to be ranting… but yuh PULL MI TONGUE!!!!

    April 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Lol. Much appreciated.

      April 24, 2013 at 11:39 am

  17. Shanique

    The Pm is always accessible and any member of the media that begs to differ is more than welcome to open the discusssion on Thursday April 25 with the Minister of Information. Opinions of the PM are all valid but her safety is her safety. In no other nation is the media or anyone else just openly given an opportunity to get close enough to almost assault the Head of State. In security terms she is at risk, like it or not and for the persons employed to do that alerting you to that risk is the first step to protect her person.

    April 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • First of all, just to correct a slight error you made – the PM is the Head of Govt, she is not Head of State. Now to the substantive issues you raised. If the PM readily consented to sit for press conferences and field questions from the media, as is the custom in nearly all developed and respectable democracies, there would be no need for the media to seek to “openly get close enough” to her. Your argument is a smoke screen which ignores the cause of the problem. The problem is the fact that the PM will not face the media. You claim the PM is always accessible, surely you don’t believe that? Can you point to one instance, in 15 months, where the PM has faced the press and field questions on substantive issues, without being flanked by nearly half the Cabinet? Why can’t we see the PM holding her own and answering questions? Or stopping to give interviews and offer credible answers? Time come to be honest, time come. To thy own self be true.

      April 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    • tyrese blake

      shanique stop chat SHIRT- R. How comes all of a sudden portia simpson miller is afraid of ppl. Wasnt it she that said she not afraid NO GAL, NO MAN, NO BWOY. i live in her constituency and the day of election she ran from the top of the road (spanish town road to greenwich town all age sch.) to the polling station, to cast her ballot. she ran through the midst of all kinda ppl. law abiding citizens and criminals all mixed in one. How comes she was not afraid then? how comes she afraid of journalist and she is a person that live for the limelight? call a spade a spade. she just afraid of the questions that might asked, cause she has no answer as a leader. she admit she dont even watch news so she may be clueless as to what is happening all around.

      April 29, 2013 at 1:48 am

  18. so what’s the plan? that’s the question i asked in 1989 to which i have not received a response. is anyone asking what happens next if the red mud proves to have commercial quantities of rare earth minerals? what would they do with such a windfall? buy more cars?

    April 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    • We are waiting for a growth inducement strategy from the Finance Minister. No word yet.

      April 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

  19. Simone

    Unfortunately, the Prime Minister KNOWS she can afford to be contemptuous and arrogant to the press because she KNOWS the people who voted for her can’t read to read newspapers and don’t watch the news! The people who can and do, the same ones she burdens with taxes … the law abiding ones, DO NOT MATTER TO HER.

    April 25, 2013 at 3:23 am

    • Hickey

      Simone that statement is not fair….persons who voted for the PNP are very educated and i am sure than more than half of them can read and write. But my rational for voting for the PNP is that they are not critical thinkers and most voted as a result of JLP arrogance hence, their were no other alternative. The JLP was the reason why PNP won the last election.

      April 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm

  20. does ANYBODY remember Bruce Goldings weekly show to listen to and address the needs and concerns of the Jamaican ppl….wow … Jamaica really has choosen to take two steps backwards!!

    April 25, 2013 at 8:48 am

    • Yes. I remember. We were told by the Information Minister that the Prime Minister would find “other methods” of communicating with the public. That has not happened. Instead, the Prime Minister is intent on hiding from the Jamaican people.

      April 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

    • Hickey

      Yes i remember those days until Dudus … then he became silent lol

      April 28, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      • tyrese blake

        thats not true. he still had his radio program. guess you were too blinded by color (orange) to realise lol

        April 29, 2013 at 1:34 am

  21. Arlene Graham

    In an era when every other country chose to elect fresh leaders, Jamaica reached back for a relic. We are truly now experiencing back to the future. Sad..

    April 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm

  22. Pingback: Nationwide News Network is useless. | Slouching Towards Kingston

  23. it”s funny how everybody can see arrogance on the JLP side which in some cases are true, but no one can see the Arrogance of the very leader of the PNP, do you remember these phrases?? IF YU THINK YU BAD COME OUTSIDE AND SEH THAT? MI NO FRAID A NO BWOY NO MAN NO GYAL NO WHERE!! or even NO DRAAAAWWW MI TONGUE!! if this is not arrogance it is madness! and these are the people who are leading our country,
    does she expect to gain the respect of international entities and goverments with that kind of behaviour???? how different is this behaviour in the house of parliament different from Vybez Kartel’s explicit dancehall lyrics on the school buses? and better yet the behaviour of the pupils in our schools that express the same kind of attitude to the teachers? after all if Portia can do it and still become the PM who can’t?? but Mi granny always seh empty barrel mek the most noise!!!!!! and that’s all Portia Simpson Miller is a barrel of noise!!

    May 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

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