Let us avoid this dangerous political trap

With few exceptions, small islands are economic failures, as is evident in their inability to maintain sustained economic growth. These small island economies experience periods of economic growth when there are very favourable external circumstances, such as when there is a boom in the price of t ... Read More

Shian Salmon of Hydel High clears the bar in her record-breaking leap of 1.78m in the Girls’ Class Three high jump during the third day of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships 2014 at the National Stadium. (File Photo) The push to produce champions
Jamaica’s famous boys and girls championships, held annually for more than a century, have oft ... Read More

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) greets Sagicor CEO Richard Byles at the Sagicor pension seminar at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, yesterday. (Photo: Lionel Rookwood) Good sense must prevail on pension reforms
Amidst the huffing and puffing of trade unions over public sector pension reform proposals, Prime ... Read More

Kartel The Youth View Awards brouhaha
Irish dramatist Bernard Shaw’s quote that “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to w ... Read More

De-legitimising the Marley Grammys

Wednesday, February 22, 2017    

Ziggy Marley

Every announcement of the Reggae Grammy winner, including this year’s, reopens a festering wound in the body of the Jamaican recording artiste community. The nonsensical moot in a now aging debate holds that once a member of the family of reggae legend Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley is nominated, he will win the award. This is based on the view that the US-based National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which stages the awards, is biased towards the Third World’s fir ... Read More

Sound advice indeed from Mr ‘Bill’ Gates

Tuesday, February 21, 2017    

Bill Gates 

Amidst all the focus on America’s relationship with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, Microsoft co-founder, investor, author, and philanthropist Mr William “Bill” Gates introduced a most pertinent concern at the Munich Security Conference last week. Mr Gates pointed out that wars and disease go hand in hand and are most likely to produce a global pandemic that could kill millions of people. An Agence France Press report from the conference quotes Mr Gates ... Read More

Health should be a major factor in assessing potential leaders

Monday, February 20, 2017    

PHILLIPS ... slogans mean different things to
different people (Shawn A Carr)

Advocates for “renewal” in the People’s National Party were mostly careful to avoid specific reference to the age of Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller and a few of her close allies in the aftermath of the February 2016 parliamentary elections. That didn’t stop some from suggesting that Mrs Simpson Miller was being pushed because of her age. That tricky issue of age also arose as some questioned the suitability of the otherwise eminently qualified Dr Peter Phillips ... Read More

Lobbying against FATCA on Capitol Hill

Sunday, February 19, 2017    

The countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) are facing a major challenge of executing international payments as foreign banks reduce and/or eliminate correspondent banking services to some financial institutions in this region. This situation has been brought about by the passage by the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in 2010, the intention to increase tax revenue from US citizens with foreign bank accounts and investments and reduce money laundering. To ensu ... Read More

Good reasons to smile

Saturday, February 18, 2017    

Members of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz and staff pray ahead of Wednesday’s training session at the Houston Sports Park in Texas. (Photo: Ian Burnett)

Recent days have been pretty good for Jamaican cricket and football. Most readers will probably be aware that the Jamaica Scorpions, led by their unflappable Captain Mr Nikita Miller, stormed into today’s final of the Regional Super50 cricket tournament with an astonishing, record-breaking 292-run win over last season’s champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. And, in football, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz followed up an encouraging recent ... Read More

Exploiting Kingston’s appeal to tourists

Friday, February 17, 2017    

Mayor of Kingston, Senator Delroy Williams.

We are encouraged by news this week of plans to improve Kingston’s appeal to tourists. For while our tourism administrators have long promoted the capital city as a visitor destination, tourists tend to prefer staying on the island’s northern, western and southern coasts in greater numbers. That is understandable, given that the bulk of Jamaica’s tourism plant is sited in those areas, and, quite frankly, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril are more recognisable among foreigners ... Read More

Playing political football with the NHT

Thursday, February 16, 2017    

Have you got your NHT refund yet?(Observer File)

The debate about whether any Government should be dipping into the coffers of the State-run National Housing Trust (NHT) is, foolishly, occurring in a vacuum. From the very beginning, party politics has robbed us of a sober, cerebral discussion on the merits and necessity of pulling money from the Trust to support the national budget at a time when resources are pitifully scarce. But, truth be told, we just love to play political football in this country. So news claiming that the present Gove ... Read More

Government response to rumours too lackadaisical

Wednesday, February 15, 2017    

Security Minister Robert Montague

It is one of the stranger mysteries of life that human beings delight so much in rumour-mongering, and of late the Jamaican rumour mill has been in constant overdrive, fanned by social media which has an insatiable appetite for it. We are obviously never going to be able to eradicate rumour-mongering, which thrives on the sensational and the salacious. Understanding the motivation of those who indulge is for the psychiatrists and mind readers to fathom. But we have the clear impression that the ... Read More

Hands down, SVL takeover of racing a good move

Tuesday, February 14, 2017    

Caymanas Track Limited

Local horse racing can only benefit from the transfer of Caymanas Track Limited’s assets to Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), a company that has proven its ability to successfully operate in the gaming industry which, quite frankly, relies on the discretionary leisure spend of people who enjoy making a flutter. As was reported in the Jamaica Observer’s Complete Racing Guide last Friday, since 1987 at least five previous attempts to privatise the cash-strapped company failed. However, ... Read More

That task of restoring participatory democracy to the PNP

Monday, February 13, 2017    

Dr Peter Phillips (second left) arrives at People’s National Party (PNP) heaquarters with his family and an entourage of supporters to be nominated for president of the party. He was later declared the only nominee and president-designate. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

We note with interest Dr Peter Phillips’s insistence that there was no special deal as prelude to the stepping down of Mrs Portia Simpson Miller as president of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP). And further, that “the party is not the personal property of mine or anybody else”. The PNP has long prided itself as an organisation based on strong internal participatory democracy and discipline, accountable to a constitution established by its founding fathers. ... Read More



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