Independence and chinese manufacturing

Made in China: that’s really what we should see stamped over our map. We sold our schools and roads to Chinese manufacturers, and now we’ve sold the symbolism of our independence; Carolyn Cooper checked with the distributors according to her article in yesterday’s Gleaner.

Why cheapen independence? 50years reduced to a half constructed “village” and a soundstage at the national stadium? A song marred in controversy? Warring factions of Government?

Does anyone under age 30 know anything of Jamaica’s rich culture outside of dancehall prancing, scamming and running? What happened to kumina, maypole, dinky mini, caricatures, jonkanoo? A grand gala is simply not enough to celebrate 50years as an independent nation. We should pour our pride as the one of the richest and most diverse islands the Antilles unto every pavement of this country.

It is simply a crying shame that our independence celebration has been warred over, ecomomised and now sold to the lowest bidder.

Happy 50th Jamaica. I shed a tear for you.

On Olympiad patriotism, wagonism and bandoolu

I am at work, or I should be, but secretly, like every other Jamaican I have found myself glued to the television watching the Opening of this, the 30th Olympiad. Like every Jamaican, I will scoff at everybody else’s uniform, criticise the openining (except the “Queen’s” base jump atop James Bond) and scream UsafaYohanShellica, gold, nah lose, neva. I, dear friends, am a wagonist.

I am the proverbial jumper on, the knower of nothing, with the biggest mouth. I knoweth not anyone’s (well except Usain’s) record time or season’s best and I don’t care, for I am a wagonist: the bane of any legitimate sports fan’s existence. I am also Jamaican and killer and tief will stop to boom fist with policeman over sports, especially in celebration of what will be a medal crushing run at the Olympics.

We can’t agree on where the Ananda alert goes, nor on whom is the bigger parliamentary fish or gentleman but we will unite in the name of sport to decimate the opponent and no, we are not graceful winners. To that end, we are patriotic wagonists to a fault.

With all the Olympic hype, who can resist the bandoolu, vending and peddling. After all, a likkle money mus mek. From the officials bumming ride on plane to the mother country to do their duty of spectation to the higgler peddling flags on the streetside, wagonist patriotism is desperate to spend money and we are ready to sell.

If there is anytime Jamaica presents a unified front, the time is now. We simply will go haaaad and dun because we naaah lose

Back to the back of the wagon.

On pervasive apathy and the need for advocacy

If I sound like a broken record, ah so, but I have to, again, make mention of the state of disrepair of our nation’s premier public health care institution. This time, however, Jamaica House doesn’t have to duck: no stones are being hurled your way…this time.

 

I speak of the apathy of the nation’s medical practitioners; and this is not limited to doctors, all of you shall squeal today. I had the “privilege” of engaging a few medical students recently and naturally, the conversation switched to matters of public health. Shocked were they to realise that:

1. The UWI is slated to produce a record 300 doctors per year (if all of them pass)

2. Only approximately 20% of these doctors are “sponsored” (meaning have their fees subsidised by the Government). To that end, 80 per cent of our future doctors will have paid upwards of JMD$ 5,000,000 for their education.

3. The has been no provision (to my knowledge) for additional posts for junior doctors. Correct me if I am wrong Dr. Ferguson.

4. There have been no plans to upgrade any existing hospitals, just to realise Sistah P’s dream of a paediatric hospital in western Jamaica (where exactly she’s to obtain paediatricians, paediatric surgeons and paediatric subspecialists in the immediate future, only she knows).

5. Private practice is saturated

6. The populace is tired of lacklustre and downright deplorable care being meted to them. Doctors and nurses, fear being sued and start beg fren.

In the middle of our discussion as the students became teary eyed and downtrodden at what seemed to be a bleak future, I asked simply “Why would I say all of this?”

To my surprise and chagrin, the reply was “I dunno, so I can cry?”. Well, truth be told, the devil in me really wanted to see a tear, but I painted this dismal picture to highlight the need for ADVOCACY: that need to speak for the rights of self and those we serve. The proverbial flinging up of the frocktail.

In the face of a representational body that is apathetic, students who have no idea of what is in store and a high attrition rate of specialised professionals, why is anyone surprised at the fate of the KPH? If we as medical professionals and JAMAICANS fail to speak up and out for better conditions of public service, who will? If we don’t hold our leaders accountable, why complain when they prance about like monkeys in heat?

Frankly, we have nobody to blame but ourselves, nuh true?

Educate-me-crazy

I had the privilege of attending the eZine Business Summit last evening. It’s worth noting the advances Jamaica has made in the areas of entrepreneurship. As my mother would say, we are a people versed in the art of ‘tan pan crooked and cut straight’. We are an innovative people. We are also an uneducated people.

The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, in his keynote speech, said that nothing that is wrong with Jamaica cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica and I agree. William Mahfood of Wisynco made note of the need to focus on education and forward thinking leadership, and I also agree.

It is a myopic Government that slashes an education budget and starves early childhood education. According work done by Dr James Heckman, which was referenced by Douglas Orane, and quoted in an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, for every $1 spent on early childhood education, we will see a $17 return in later life. (http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120725/news/news6.html). Go figure, as we continue to play financial musical chairs.

It is a myopic Government that fails to instil in its people civic and national pride. It is a myopic Government that fails to secure BRAND Jamaica, where other Caribbean islands make a touristic killing on selling Jamaican patties made in Florida. Instead of spewing vitriol in parliament and seeking to oppose and depose policies that have been proven to be successful (read: the previous Government’s macroeconomic and education policies); instead of cutting ribbons and entering beauty pageants; instead of pandering to the freeness, handout mentality of the archaic (almost communist) 70s, should we not be seeking to build a foundation on which our youth can stand?

As William Mahfood said, if Jamaica were a penny stock company, the first thing he would do is FIRE the board of directors. Mr. Mahfood sir, I would be the first person to commend you on your decision. Myopic leadership had lead to Jamaica’s popped-downness.

Stone flung.

On matters of Ackee, Saltfish and Scamming.

Jamaica has become known as much for this mess of a lottery scam, as its national dish. Having its genesis within the last decade in our second city, the lottery scam has become an unsightly blemish on an already tarnished international reputation.

In May 2012, Karl Walker of the Jamaica Observer wrote an article summarising the lottery scam and its impact. Please see the link below.

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Lotto-scammers-living-large_11448148

With that introduction aside, onto the meat or rather the ackee and saltfish of the matter. When a government official is arrested in association with the notorious lottery scam, what do you do? Well if you’re the president of the PNP, you shut up (more so than usual). The PM’s silence on this matter is deafening. A deputy mayor (Mayor Troupe) and a councillor are arrested and you and your party continue to sidestep the issue. The deputy Mayor takes a leave of absence (while commendable) on taxpayer dollars and what do you do? Play some more dandy shandy with voting populace.

Why not act on your politically fueled, election securing diatribe about a zero tolerance policy for corruption. Is not now the time to act?

Check out this blurb from today’s TVJ news

PM remains mum on arrested party members

And, this article from the Jamaica Observer

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/What-should-happen-when-public-officials-are-accused-of-criminality_12012689

Stone flung. Let’s hear the squeals.

Deplorable Conditions at KPH

Deplorable Conditions at KPH

All are in uproar about the deplorable conditions at KPH since the Jamaica Gleaner wrote and published a searing expose on Sunday 22nd July 2012.

 

This calls to mind many things:

 

1. Like we didn’t already know. Why are we so embarrassed about the exposure of the pink and DIRTY elephant that’s been in the room since whappie kill phillo?

2. Like it wasn’t necessary: Successive governments have turned a blind eye on health care for decades. Now, on the eve of our 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence, is the best time for use to set aside apathy and face the truth.

3. This gives medical professionals the ammunition with which to lobby the government for better and more sanitary working conditions. Poor Fenton, caught with his tail between his legs, may just have to stop waxing philosophical about a new hospital and fix the ones we already have.

4. As an adjunct, please note that the health budget was CUT by this government. So, let’s return to #1 and #2: Like we didn’t know and like this wasn’t necessary.

 

Stone Thrown. Pigs Squeal.

 

 

Who am I?

I am a young Jamaican professional who provides a sardonic take on life and politics on this beautiful isle. I may live in a glass house but I love to throw stones. Let the hog who get lick squeal.