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Gordon Robinson: Local Domino Awards 2015

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Remember, these awards are meant to be humourous, so don't bother sending pompous emails or threatening letters. Instead, try laughing at yourself as heartily as you laugh at others.

- 2015 Dunce Award: ANTHONY HYLTON wins for his devil-may-care approach to foreign direct investment in the infamous 'Crown-and-Anchor-Affair' when, channelling Jerry Butler, he conjured up a US$5 billion deal in his mind. As for his repeated use of the paradoxical phrase "non-binding MOU", the Dunce says it best, "If a macca, mek it jook yu!"

- 2015 Dunce Move of the Year Award: DWAYNE VAZ swooped late to snatch the trophy from a full field of capable aspirants with his dull-witted, violence-inciting karaoke performance on a political platform. Delroy Chuck had previously looked all over the winner with his support of secret gifts for MPs but ran out of steam and couldn't withstand the Dweeb's late charge.

Don't worry, Dwunce, I haven't forgotten about you.

Now some Journalism Awards:

- Journalism Dunce Move of the Year Award: When journalists, who should be reporting news, become news, "sump'n inna sump'n". So, this year, a joint award goes to NATIONWIDE NEWS NETWORK LIMITED ('NNN') and its dapper CEO CLIFTON HUGHES.

Having egregiously libelled former PM, P.J. Patterson, their insurers retained Patrick Foster QC to advise on the consequential lawsuit. Learned QC advised the dumbnambic duo to settle but, emboldened by righteous certainty, they fired insurers' lawyer, retained their own, and insisted on fighting to the bitter end. Bitter it was as damages, costs, and interest exceeded J$20 million. Not unnaturally, insurers refused total indemnity. Undaunted, NNN sued its insurers. In dismissing NNN's claim, the learned trial judge wrote about credibility:

"There were two witnesses ... Mr Cliff Hughes on behalf of the Claimant and Mrs Rarane Langley on behalf of the defendant. Having observed the witnesses, the Court accepts Mrs Langley as a forthright witness. Mr Hughes, on the other hand, seemed to tailor his answers and so appeared to be less forthright. To the extent that they differ, Mrs Langley is to be preferred to Mr Hughes."

Oh, dear! While sleeping, I peeped at Pastor Phinn's crystal ball and saw NNN imploding in 2016. But Clifton survives, winning powerful jobs, including beating Idris Elba (too "urban") to replace Daniel Craig and become the first black James Bond. As the movie opens, Bond, properly trussed like a Christmas turkey, is interrogated by evil Russian villain.

VILLIAN: Mr Bond, tell truth NOW or I give you to my hachetman, Viktor Kutcherkokoff!

BOND: If a macca, mek it jook yu ...

- Dunce Award for Journalism: Official racebook TRACK AND POOLS banned Donovan 'Minister of Information' Wilson's CTL critiques allegedly based on a new policy permitting only product advertisements. Now, a series of sickeningly sweet accolades from Clive 'Freezing Rain' Evans fawning over CTL (my favourite: a double-page spread which also praised Derrick Smith for paying his "dews"); a series of congratulatory adverts from CTL Deputy Chairman Andrew Azar; and a full-page reproduction of a Vin Edwards speech all slipped by the "policy".

C'mon, TRACK AND POOLS, remember 'Press freedom'? If a macca mek it jook yu ...

The serious awards:

- Rising Star Journalist of the Year: TAMEKA GORDON seems to have a command of the language and her business reports appear well researched. She's one to watch.

- Journalist of the Year: This year, GEORGE SYLVESTER DAVIS came of age and showed his full range. Newsman extraordinaire, he also excelled at co-hosting an early morning radio show, as a columnist, a feature presenter of an in-depth look at the Tower Street prison, and a newsroom director. As if that wasn't enough, his superb talent as a sports reporter and commentator also came to the fore in 2015.

Excellence in every facet of work, versatility, and focus on substance over hype has cemented his position ahead of the rest.

- GENE AUTRY AWARD: PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR:

DR ALFRED DAWES spoke openly and plainly about public health care's imminent breakdown due to lack of basic equipment and doctors' substandard working conditions. Suddenly, his career advancement was blocked. He eventually resigned his public-sector post and sought employment abroad. He didn't leave without another dose of straight talking. His courageous stand forced Government to acknowledge the problem it tried to hide from citizens for months.

It's been said it's easy for Dawes to fulminate on his way to a cushy overseas job. Perhaps. But hundreds seek overseas jobs. Only, he also spoke.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Peace and Love.

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