Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 The lights and the shadows of football http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-lights-and-the-shadows-of-football_74954    I have chosen to wander into territory for which I am no expert, but I have to go all the same. Local Opinion Fri, 23 Sep 2016 02:00:00 GMT The CXC impasse and the Anglophone Caribbean http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-CXC-impasse-and-the-Anglophone-Caribbean-_74970 The Penwood Secondary School issue with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) prompted the Minster of Education Senator Ruel Reid to intervene and provides us a teachable moment. We now see how political interference, however high-minded, can sway decisions of a Caricom entity. Might it sway Caricom/CSME itself? Local Opinion Fri, 23 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Angela, Lisa and political maths http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Angela--Lisa-and-political-maths_74724 So the excitement came to an end when the results of the leadership election in the People’s National Party (PNP) were known last Saturday evening. Most commentators expected Dr Karl Blythe to lose his bid for the PNP presidency, but some 800 delegates did not vote at all for a president. Was it because it was a foregone conclusion that Portia Simpson Miller would win? Was it to send a message that it is time Portia steps down? Or was it a little of both? Local Opinion Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT That will not hold in Parliament http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/That-will-not-hold-in-Parliament_73684 The recent muttering of the Opposition and uttering of the Government are beginning to remind me of my high school days, in third form no less, where response to any reasonable spoken question or comment between students, if a suitable rebuttal could not be found to the initial comment, is the response, “That will hold you.” Local Opinion Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Allow Rev Al Miller the space he needs to heal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Allow-Rev-Al-Miller-the-space-he-needs-to-heal_74700 The labyrinthine trial of the Reverend Merrick “Al” Miller has now ended with sentencing imposed last Friday. He has decided not to contest the verdict, and so has decided to live with the sentence handed down. Local Opinion Wed, 21 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Sexuality: Born what?! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Sexuality--Born-what--_74389 Based on nothing better than a hunch, most religious people who are ‘straight’ think that they were born that way, but most of such people have a hard time conceding even the possibility that persons who are gay are born that way. Local Opinion Wed, 21 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT The matter of placing credit where it is due http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-matter-of-placing-credit-where-it-is-due_65819 I am an academic, and for academics the worst sin is to publish other people’s work and claim it as one’s own work. Next to that is the grave misconduct of using people’s work and not giving them credit. Local Opinion Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Time to change JFF leadership, Reggae Boyz roster http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Time-to-change-JFF-leadership--Reggae-Boyz-roster_73176 Jamaican Local Opinion Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Whither the apprenticeship programme? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Whither-the-apprenticeship-programme-_73959 One of the major planks in the much-heralded 10-point Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) plan to move Jamaica forward is the now-all-but-forgotten apprenticeship programme. This programme would aim at improving the skills of our people, which is critical to reducing today’s unemployment. Local Opinion Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Let mercy flow this week http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-mercy-flow-this-week_74417 Governor General Sir Patrick Allen has issued a proclamation that, from this year onwards, the week in which September 24, Mercy Day, falls will be National Mercy Week. Here is an excerpt from the proclamation: Local Opinion Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Saving our ship: A global response to refugees and migrants http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Saving-our-ship--A-global-response-to-refugees-and-migrants_74392 Perhaps no issue on the global agenda is more susceptible to manipulation by grandstanding demagogues than refugees and migrants. ‘Us’ versus ‘them’ is a timeless, if irresponsible, unifier used throughout history to obscure our common humanity by those with dangerously self-serving interests. The difference now is that more people are on the move than ever before. And, in an era when storylines spread with viral speed, we see xenophobia rising and too often erupting into violence. Local Opinion Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT When Portia speaks today she must address the mess in the PNP http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/When-Portia-speaks-today-she-must-address-the-mess-in-the-PNP_74263 To put it bluntly, there is a right royal mess in the People’s National Party (PNP). There are many signals of this waving in the sky, but pretending as if things are all hunky-dory is not the reinforcement that the PNP needs or can afford at this time. Local Opinion Sun, 18 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Leadership and the politics of health http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Leadership-and-the-politics-of-health It should not be too difficult to accept the mundane proposition that the efficient running of any organisation depends on the health of its leaders at any given time. Local Opinion Sun, 18 Sep 2016 04:03:20 GMT Take two aspirins... call me in the morning http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Take-two-aspirins----call-me-in-the-morning_74264 Writing a regular column for the Jamaica Observer gives you the opportunity to reflect on past or present issues and at the same time add a fresh new perspective to what people are thinking about current events. We delve into politics, sports, foreign affairs, domestic issues, personalities, journalism, economics, and everybody’s business but our own. From the safety of our armchairs we conjure up things that should be or should not be; and not necessarily how they should be but how we see them. Local Opinion Sun, 18 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Honouring our legacy, defining our future http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Honouring-our-legacy--defining-our-future_74141 Keynote address at the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference in Barbados on September 15, 2016. Local Opinion Sun, 18 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT The PNP does not get it http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-PNP-does-not-get-it_73963 In Holy Scripture it is written: “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”(1 Kings 19: 11b - 12 NIV) Local Opinion Sun, 18 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT The childless woman, so called “mule” and hate crimes http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-childless-woman--so-called--mule--and-hate-crimes_74247 As I “buss the corner” of the short cut through Standpipe, angry voices hit me. So I slowed to a crawl then, “Guh weh, mule, unnu stir up musta seh I man caan gi yuh pickney…guh weh wid dat, lyad!” The crowd shrank, turned as the car passed embarrassed, but silently affirming. The illiterate, ashamed, yet attend a public, verbal lynching of a childless woman. Local Opinion Fri, 16 Sep 2016 02:00:00 GMT Unforgettable assignment: 9/11 and the towers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Unforgettable-assignment--9-11-and-the-towers_74227 FRIDAY, October 5, 2001, Manhattan, New York — On a chilly late afternoon in fall, our media trio from Local Opinion Fri, 16 Sep 2016 02:00:00 GMT Have our politicians been packaged and auctioned to the highest bidders? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Have-our-politicians-been-packaged-and-auctioned-to-the-highest-bidders-_74062 Although he might not have intended it for public consumption, People’s National Party (PNP) Treasurer Norman Horne has done the people of Jamaica, and even his party, a great service by presenting a report which is not only bold in terms of its implications for how the PNP does business, but for that party’s desire to govern Jamaica in the future. Local Opinion Thu, 15 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT National Family Day: a proposal revisited http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/National-Family-Day--a-proposal-revisited_73966 For more than a decade now I have been calling for a national family day and for the name of the December 26 public holiday to be changed from Boxing Day to Family Day. Local Opinion Thu, 15 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Deported, denied entry...smh http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Deported--denied-entry---smh_73921 It is very unfortunate that the British Government deported a number of Jamaicans, many of whom have been away so long they have all but lost all contact with Jamaica, their country of origin. We should cease seeking political advantage from the misfortune of our fellow citizens who are deported from various countries, but especially those 42 recently deported from the United Kingdom. Local Opinion Wed, 14 Sep 2016 02:00:00 GMT Combating crime: diagnosis & prognosis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Combating-crime--diagnosis---prognosis_68634 “Here in Jamaica, there is just not enough honesty regarding the guns that have been here since the 1970s and 1980s. Furthermore, I am tired of the grand narratives about missing fathers, when in many of the hot spots, the young ‘shottas’ were well coached by their fathers who passed on their trade to them. Many of these fathers were facilitated by paternalistic politicians who never reclaimed the guns they distributed. Truth is, Jamaican politicians did help to undermine the legitimacy of the police.” (Dr Orville Taylor, sociologist) Local Opinion Wed, 14 Sep 2016 02:00:00 GMT Food — the strongest currency strength indicator http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Food---the-strongest-currency-strength-indicator_73115 Currency Local Opinion Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Re-imagining our justice system — Part 3: The legal professionals http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Re-imagining-our-justice-system---Part-3--The-legal-professionals_68233 In Part 1 of this series (published on August 17, 2016) I made the observation that one of Jamaica’s assets is the quality of our judges. I cautioned, however, that despite this there is need for improvement in our justice system. One area that requires radical and urgent improvement is the length of time matters take to be resolved. In Part 2 (published on August 30, 2016) I called for greater accountability of judges and made some recommendations towards this end. In this penultimate instalment I will look at issues related to the conduct of legal professionals, and in the final instalment to the progress of reform initiatives. Local Opinion Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT Portia’s retirement part of the renewal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Portia-s-retirement-part-of-the-renewal_73756 The effectiveness of a political leader is based upon a number of factors: experience, training, physical condition, and mental status. In fact, many senior citizens are more capable of governing effectively than others. However, in light of recent events, both locally and in the US, the question of a mandatory retirement age and mandatory releasing of medical records for the holders of the office of prime minister and Opposition leader (as well as the financial records of candidates vying to become Members of Parliament) must be addressed by this Parliament before the next general election. Local Opinion Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT