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

Latest

TVJ Takes Jamaica’s “Voice” and Choice Away


Image

News broke late last evening that “Jamaica’s number one choice”, TVJ, had partnered with telecoms giant Digicel to acquire the broadcasting rights to the popular NBC talent reality show, “The Voice”. This move no doubt motivated by the debut of the popular Jamaican songstress Tessanne Chin on the show.  That is all well and good, except when one considers the fact that the show would be delayed by a whole two hours. Predictably, Jamaicans reacted with intense anger, taking to social media to blast both companies. In a desperate attempt to fix their blunder, TVJ has decided to air the show live on an obscure channel, known as RETV, obviously this is less than satisfactory. I have to lend my voice to this issue, albeit not a singing voice.

Continue Reading Here

Advertisements

Portia’s Contempt: The Richard Azan Scandal


photo

After months of waiting, the country has the verdict of the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) on the Spaulding market scandal. The newly minted Dirk Harrison has concluded that Junior Minister Richard Azan acted in what is tantamount to a “politically corrupt” manner, in relation to the construction of shops on parish council lands. The Contractor General has since recommended the Minister to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to determine if his actions warrants criminal prosecution for conspiracy to commit fraud. The tabling of the report in the House of Representatives has thrown the government in a tailspin, with many sectors of the society calling for the resignation or dismissal of the minister. However, the Information Minister, clothed in her usual arrogance, has advised the country that no action will be taken against the minister until he has had a chance to consult with his attorney and his colleagues. Why would a man accused, by a Commission of Parliament, of political corruption be granted any time to consult anyone? To what end?

You will recall that some time ago I advised the Prime Minister that the time had come for her to step aside and allow for new and credible leadership of the country. Her inaction is again the subject of great concern and distress to me, only this time the inaction threatens the very legitimacy of the Government of Jamaica.

Continue Reading Here

The Question of Age and Jamaican Politics


Image

From as far back as I can remember, there has been a discussion regarding age and political representation. Many people opined that Jamaica’s political leaders were too old, and it was time for fresh blood to be pumped into the political system. This line of thinking was strengthened when the great liberal democracies of the United States and Great Britain elected forty year olds, in the persons of Barack Obama and David Cameron, to lead their countries. In an ode to youth, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding effectively prejudiced the race to replace him by calling for a new generation of leadership; realizing they had lost both the battle and the war, the old men of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) dropped their weapons, and lined up behind the youngest of the lot. Thus Andrew Holness was given a clear path to the leadership of the JLP and to Jamaica House. We are now two years on, and his position is under threat of a challenge; those of us who can see pass the here and now are realizing that the challenger, Mr. Audley Shaw, aged 61, represents a very risky gamble for the JLP. Mr. Shaw’s pending challenge brings the issue of youth and leadership to the fore, and if not treated carefully, it will have disastrous consequences.

Continue Reading Here

The JLP’s Great Matter


Image

If recent media reports are to be taken seriously, the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party is headed towards an explosive leadership challenge in November, when the party is expected to convene for its annual general conference. It is all but confirmed that the Opposition Spokesman on Finance, and the self-styled “Man-A-Yard”, Audley Shaw will challenge the relatively new party leader, Andrew Holness for his job. Considering the divisive and turbulent internal political history of the Labour Party, many people are expecting a bitter and damaging process to unfold. While I am of the view that a challenge is necessary, if only to ‘legitimize’ Holness who was anointed, rather than elected, leader; I am uncomfortable with the utterances which imply that Holness is a poor leader, and therefore must be deposed by a challenge.

Continue Reading Here

The Conjuring Fails. Hard.


Image

It’s perhaps the most anticipated horror movie of year, certainly of the summer; but for all the cleverly edited trailers, the fantastic make up jobs, and the promise of being based on a true story, The Conjuring is nothing more than child’s play and even that description is an insult to the memory of Chucky. No serious fan of the horror genre can take this movie seriously.

Continue Reading Here

JA Blog Day 2013: Police and Security Force Abuses


Image

“On Monday, May 24, 2010, Mr. Errol Spence was at home in Tivoli Gardens along with his mother and other family members. A number of other residents (totalling seventeen persons) were inside their home when members of the security forces entered. When asked, the deceased gave his age as twenty-two (22) and his occupation as barber. His mother says that she assured the police that he was her son and that he lived at the said residence. The police requested and were shown photos of him “from baby stage”. His hands were swabbed after which he was told — “We si yu a run up and down from morning and man mus’ dead fi man live”. Mr. Spence’s sister was asked how many brothers she had and she said two, a policeman is alleged to have replied “yu a go have one lef’” The deceased was then ordered over to “the kitchen wall to sit down”. A policeman then “fired four shots in his upper body and head killing him on the spot”. When family members and neighbours cried out in shock and horror, the policeman is reported to have said – “Wey uno a mek noise in ya fa . . . stop uno noise or else a kill all a uno in ya”. The young man’s body was then “hauled away” from the house.” – Interim Report on The Tivoli Incursion 

Continue Reading Here

Playing Politics With Jamaica’s Future


Editor’s Note : The views expressed below are not my own. Javed Jaghai returns to Veritas with his take on Jamaica’s current political realities. Read. Reflect. Comment.

Image

Jamaican politicians may be terrible leaders, but they are masters of political strategy. They understand our culture very well. They know how to appease us, they know how to mistreat us (and get away with it), and they know that we are familiar enough with each other to privilege loyalty and character over intellect and effectiveness.

Our past and present politicians must be held responsible for the state of Jamaica today. By the time the stalwarts who have served since my birth die, their obituaries will tell of how long they served and how dedicated they were to public service but will say nothing of how poorly they governed.

Jamaica is a very small island with a correspondingly small population. The interconnected webs of social and familial ties breeds familiarity, which, I believe, violates and degrades traditional means of guaranteeing accountability. We trust our elected representatives and we continue ‘fi gi dem a bly’ even though their record of accomplishment speaks volumes to their incompetency. When they consistently perform less than satisfactorily and especially when they fuck up, we excuse their ineptitude with superficial considerations like their so-called ‘good moral character’ and ‘commitment to the community’.

Continue Reading Here