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 Peter Bunting is no political dunce http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Peter-Bunting-is-no-political-dunce_67980 Peter Bunting delivered a political masterstroke last week by announcing that he would not challenge the incumbent president of the People’s National Party (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller, but instead would allow her to determine a timetable for her exit. By electing to follow the pathway of the “politics of delay”, Peter Bunting has wittingly or unwittingly moved to infuse significant organisational stability and equilibrium into the PNP. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT HAJ state of affairs years in the making http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/HAJ-state-of-affairs-years-in-the-making_67110 I am responding to articles and comments reported in the media as coming from the chairman of the Housing Agency of Jamaica Limited (HAJ) and the minister without portfolio with responsibility for water, land and housing in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation regarding losses of approximately $3 billion at the HAJ within the past three years and on “questionable decisions”. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT PHOTO: No political dunce http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/No-political-dunce_68098 On The Agenda this week is the changed winds of the People’s National Party leadership race. Christopher Burns tackles the many opinions on Peter Bunting’s aborted challenge — that never even got started. Burns says the decision was a masterstroke, as Bunting needs to spend more time shoring up delegate support. Bunting must ensure the delegates do not feel he has pushed out their “Mama P”, as she still wields tremendous influence. A stellar political play, says Burns, buttressed in the politics of delay. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT A company that is too good to be closed http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-company-that-is-too-good-to-be-closed_68078 St Elizabeth is now under starter’s orders for the reopening of Alpart. Excitement in the valley as communities begin to gear up for possible jobs, and the provision of goods and services, to restore Alpart as the industrial and commercial centre for the south-central region. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Preserving the patrimony, indeed: The role of the Ministry of Tourism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Preserving-the-patrimony--indeed--The-role-of-the-Ministry-of-Tourism_67716 I note with keen interest a column in The Agenda magazine of the Jamaica Observer by Howard Gregory, lord bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, on Sunday, July 10, 2016. The piece, entitled ‘Preserving the patrimony’, explored some of the psycho-social and economic challenges confronting residents of resort towns that are believed to be stemming from the expansion of the all-inclusive tourism product within their communities. Specifically, the article addressed the increased feelings of dispossession among many residents from their lands and beaches and their intense feeling of isolation from the economic benefits of tourism development in their areas. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Haiti: Time is running out http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Haiti--Time-is-running-out_67988 Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organisation of American states (OAS), has told political stakeholders in Haiti, including the interim Government and parliamentarians, that it is imperative that they fully assume their responsibilities towards the nation. The secretary general’s summons to the politicians comes after weeks of parliamentary filibustering and a failure either to extend the tenure of the interim president, Jocelerme Privert, or elect someone in his place. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Zika, pregnancy and the Ministry of Health’s response http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Zika--pregnancy-and-the-Ministry-of-Health-s-response_68080 Jamaica and the world are faced with the potential outcome of neurological complications, including microcephaly, in children of women infected with the Zika virus. Microcephaly is a condition where babies are born with small heads and associated cognitive impairment. Pregnant women are at the same risk of exposure to the Zika virus as the general population. One in every five infected persons will show symptoms of the illness. Local News Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Crime — Doing something isn’t doing the right thing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Crime---Doing-something-isn-t-doing-the-right-thing_67718 It hurts. Looking at the beautiful St James, the innocent Nevalesia Campbell and the rising numbers at each gun killings hurts. Looking at Jamaica hurts. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT When Rowley came to JA http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/When-Rowley-came-to-JA_67930 You have to hand it to us. When Trini Prime Minister Keith Rowley made his visit to Kingston Town over the recent week and “Rowleyed” himself into peace-making to avoid a trade war, we received him well. When it comes to “sweet mout”, we can’t be beaten. So although it was just the other day that we had leaders of commerce and industry letting Trinidad and Tobago know where to ‘get off’ in the matter of trade and immigration between our nations — especially the fact that in the area of trade and commerce T&T comes out much better than we do — we put on a good show. Local Opinion Fri, 22 Jul 2016 02:00:00 GMT Requiem on the Flat Bridge tragedy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Requiem-on-the-Flat-Bridge-tragedy_67932 And it came to pass that in the early morning of Saturday, July 17, the waters of the Rio Cobre claimed six lives — but blame Flat Bridge. Tears, wailing but the river which saw-off Taino, Spanish, English, African now rolls over Jamaicans. We grieve for the families, as this is hard, but men of faith are assured. Local Opinion Fri, 22 Jul 2016 02:00:00 GMT Six needed efforts that require a united approach http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Six-needed-efforts-that-require-a-united-approach_67712 In less than a month, Jamaica will celebrate 54 years of political independence. But in 54 years we have not as a nation really addressed our collective Jamaican mindset to free us from crime and violence and to allow all Jamaicans to be fully empowered through employment. Local Opinion Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Portia is setting up to be the JLP’s ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Portia-is-setting-up-to-be-the-JLP-s--Rock-of-Gibraltar-_67825 It may come as a surprise to many that the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) one-seat majority in the Jamaican Parliament would actually cause them to function as if their majority were 10 times that number, but that state of affairs currently holds because of the comedy that has currently become the People’s National Party’s (PNP) operating routine. This is because for every day that Portia Simpson Miller remains ensconced as the leader of the PNP it provides the glue that serves to strengthen the JLP’s hold on the political reins of the country. Local Opinion Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The anatomy of racism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-anatomy-of-racism_67014 Alas! I think I have discovered the cause of original sin. The filthy chancre which disturbs the universe, the very soul and bones of men. Pure original sin. The disease above all diseases. The sickness immortal. The pathology so deep! Local Opinion Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The IMF austerity programme must continue http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-IMF-austerity-programme-must-continue_67660 The Government, through its Minister of Finance Audley Shaw, has announced its intention to maintain a less strict International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement when the present programme ends in March 2017. Speaking at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and Jamaica Money Market Brokers-led forum, Shaw indicated that this successor programme “will be instrumental in building on the achievements already made and tackling the challenge of achieving sustainable economic growth with fiscal consolidation and debt reduction.” Local Opinion Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Shameless Ramdin deserves to be dropped http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Shameless-Ramdin-deserves-to-be-dropped_66877 Denesh Ramdin in a recent Twitter riposte — vintage of the Clint Eastwood movie, Magnum Force — declared it was a “rainy day” after he was told by recently appointed West Indian Chairman of Selectors Courtney Browne that he would not be selected for the upcoming series against India. Thereafter, Ramdin continued to fire tweets as he listed his recent career achievements and juxtaposed them to the chairman’s career. Local Opinion Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT ‘All lives matter’ a poor response to racial tensions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-All-lives-matter--a-poor-response-to-racial-tensions_67559 All lives matter, on its own, is a benign statement of the obvious, particularly for social justice advocates whose core philosophy is built on the very same principle. As a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, however, it is a display of either ignorance or aggression, since it is a rejection of the group’s right to protest actions of the police that they perceive to be unjust, an attempt to invalidate a documented history of black oppression and a tacit statement that the protesters are unworthy of the respect afforded other groups, for which they are clamouring. Local Opinion Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The politics of doping — Clean-up or vendetta? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-politics-of-doping---Clean-up-or-vendetta-_66332 Doping, or using drugs to enhance one’s performance, is as old as the Olympics itself, with records showing us ‘primitive’ attempts at doping during the original Olympics in ancient Greece. Modern doping has always been around, too, with one English team pre-WWII going so far as to provide its players with amphetamines before two crunch ties (see the FlashBak article titled, ‘The history of football doping’), they stopped after the players strongly complained about the side effects. Local Opinion Mon, 18 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Making life better for the ageing and the young http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Making-life-better-for-the-ageing-and-the-young_67472 As we see the over-60-year cohort of the Jamaica population growing more quickly than the under-5 for the first time in our recorded history, thoughts are turning to healthy ageing. The seniors organisation, Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP), had an enlightening meeting with our central Jamaica members recently at the Mandeville Hotel, where we were addressed by award-winning family practitioner Dr Owen James. Local Opinion Mon, 18 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The dilemmas in the PNP http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-dilemmas-in-the-PNP_67440 The People’s National Party’s (PNP) current state of affairs is in ‘miss-sorts’ for several reasons. Ever since losing February’s general election, all hell has broken loose, with fingers being pointed, stones thrown, and battle lines drawn. Local Opinion Mon, 18 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Help them never to feel like a ‘nobody’s child’ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Help-them-never-to-feel-like-a--nobody-s-child-_67260 Although the circumstances surrounding the brutal killing of three-year-old Nevalesia Campbell in Orange Hill, St Ann, earlier last week remain sketchy, the killing of yet another child underscores an important truth about parenting, but about bad parenting in particular. Local Opinion Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Drunk on power or just drunk... full stop? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Drunk-on-power-or-just-drunk----full-stop-_66960 It appears that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government is bent on controversial approaches, and it would seem that its tag team of Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid and Member of Parliament and Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte have been dealt the respective roles of alternating the responsibility of keeping the excitement going. Local Opinion Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Norman Manley’s concept of socialism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Norman-Manley-s-concept-of-socialism_66842 Adapted from an article written in 2005. Local Opinion Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The question of Caricom http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-question-of-Caricom_66629 Caricom, the Caribbean Community, has been placed under the microscope. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has established a large committee, representing various interests, to consider questions relating to Jamaica’s participation in the regional economic grouping. This will require a careful examination of the Caricom Single Market and Economy, as contemplated by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Local Opinion Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Brexit — a fantastic opportunity for Britain to forge new relationship with Commonwealth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Brexit---a-fantastic-opportunity-for-Britain-to-forge-new-relationship-with-Commonwealth-_67217 I would be exaggerating if I said that I expected the “Leave” campaign to win the referendum. In the final few days leading up to the result, the polls were unanimously telling us that the “Remain” campaign had done enough to win. Local Opinion Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The road to the Olympics is never easy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-road-to-the-Olympics-is-never-easy_67265 As Jamaica prepares to send off what must be the greatest aggregation of athletes ever to represent our country at the Olympics, we look forward to days of glory ahead as our team gives of its best in Rio to make our country proud. Local Opinion Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT