Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Replace old losers with youth

Published:Tuesday | November 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM

AJ has gone way too far


If Jamaica were any other country, A.J. Nicholson would no longer be a minister of


Rape is such a horrible and despicable crime. It is very offensive for any lawmaker to joke about it. Even though it long became clear that Senator Nicholson no longer held the tact necessary to continue with his government portfolio,

this time he has really outdone himself.

Mr Nicholson's flippant comment about "flexi-rape" warrants his immediate removal as minister. Such 'jokes' have no place in modern Jamaican

politics and no Jamaican should tolerate such abuse against our women.

I have come to the realisation that civil society and other interest groups have set the bar

relatively low for Prime Minister Simpson Miller, so I will not call on her for anything. I would suggest that the minister resign in the best interest of the country and its image globally.

Sexual assault and rape have been serious issues for Jamaica over the years. In 2012, then Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington had to transfer officers to CISOCA to help stem a noteworthy increase in rape. And Minister Nicholson has the gall to turn a cold shoulder to

critics? Distasteful!



St Andrew

Flexi-rape silence shows up weak women


Jamaicans have the

tendency to 'tek bad things mek joke', but I find government minister A J. Nicholson's "flexi-rape" comment most disrespectful.

The fact that women could be required to work late at night does lend itself to the possibility of rape and abduction. However, Mr Nicholson's lack of respect for women should be of no surprise, for this is how men are socialised in our cultural context.

If the concern was about men, would Mr Nicholson have said the same thing? When government leaders, especially males, make those comments, how do we expect the men of society to view women?

Following Mr Nicholson's comment, his colleagues enjoyed a good laugh over his joke, but did they think about their mothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters? I am even surprised that Mr Nicholson was forced to withdraw his comment, and during that time, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte was silent.

Where is the prime minister on this? Where is the minister responsible for gender issues? Where are the advocate groups? Women, your silence shows that you are weak!



Clark's Town, Trelawny

Inequality entrenched


Charles Dickens' novel

A Tale of Two Cities depicted the plight and suffering of the pitiful French masses living under the crushing rule of the French autocracy which culminated in the French Revolution and the death of the monarchy.

Since Independence, our history has been a tale of two Jamaicas: one rich, one poor, one educated and one semi-literate, one with opportunities for the few and one with hopelessness for the many.

No other borderline Third World country with poverty affecting 30 per cent of the population can boast of the multimillion-dollar mansions dotting our elegant hills and exclusive coastline occupied by the elite few where imported whiskey and champagne are the beverages of choice and BMWs and top-of-the line SUVs are required means of transportation.

While this small, indifferent minority live in cocooned splendour far above and away from the din of the rabble, poverty stalks too many of our citizens living in squalor where education of our children is confined to schools with inferior facilities and teachers who must endure the antisocial behaviour of the young victims of poverty and parental neglect.

Likewise, we have a justice system controlled by those reluctant to bring white-collar criminals and their political cronies to justice but readily unleash the power of the police and courts on the mentally ill who steal a few mangoes and the unlucky 'sufferer' who gets caught with a few ounces of ganja.

History teaches us that the downtrodden will not endure injustice indefinitely. There can be no peace without equal rights and justice, as Peter Tosh once declared.



Kingston 8

PM needs to take charge


After a very egregious performance by Dr Fenton Ferguson and his ministry in handling the chikungunya outbreak, the prime minister indicated that Dr Ferguson had done nothing wrong. This, after it is a known fact that they had in excess of two years to prepare for this disease following a meeting in May 2012 here in Jamaica by the Pan American Health Organization to address chikungunya in the Caribbean.

The Government continues to be an embarrassment, consistently failing the people's test. The ministries and its ministers operate with impunity as they waste taxpayers' money and perform miserably at the simplest of tasks, while the prime minister is totally oblivious to what leadership and governance are about.

She is a mere figurehead, running around cutting ribbons and breaking ground for new projects, while the country continues to slump and the citizens lose confidence in her stewardship.

It is full time for the prime minister to get assertive, to grab hold of the slipping reins, regain control of the horse and steer it down the path of accountability, using the whip where necessary.




Replace old losers with youth


In view of the embarrassing failures of the Simpson Miller administration, I suggest that she immediately shuffle her ministrels - sorry, ministers. The foreign affairs minister needs to go. I am shocked at Sandrea Falconer's inability as a communicator, since her substantive role before

politics was in that field.

Look at the bright, young

talent in the party. I'm thinking of Dr Dayton Campbell. The young doctor is not only an accomplished doctor, but a lawyer, too. .

Campbell has arranged with his colleagues to conduct free medical checks on shut-ins in his constituency, set up mobile clinics, established homework programmes, and encouraged entrepreneurship among those not academically inclined.

He is an independent thinker. If Portia Simpson Miller is indeed a lover of youth, why isn't she trying them in the face of the old losers she now has in place.


Irish Town, St Andrew