To those who believe that a strong democracy requires a strong opposition, last Sunday's vibrant People's National Party (PNP) conference was a very edifying sight. There was a large and enthusiastic crowd, it was incident free, and Portia Simpson Miller gave perhaps her best-ever public performance.
Poverty is on the rise in the United States. The census bureau there is reporting that in 2009 the poverty level climbed to its highest level since the 1960s, with one in every seven American living in poverty.
Norman Washington Manley, a founder of the People's National Party, would have insisted that meaningful public consultation be conducted concerning the proposal of the Government to have a limitation placed on the number of terms that a prime minister...
For the past 35 years, the Jamaican economy has been experiencing severe external stress and internal strain on a sustained basis, except for the last half of the decade of the 1980s. The causes were grossly inappropriate fiscal and monetary policies, unexpected increases in the price of oil, dramatic reduction in bauxite and alumina earnings, and reckless political adventures in the 1970s.
On the weekend that it meets for its annual conference, the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) could not have it better. The governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) continues to attract unfavourable media attention, with the latest fallout being the Golding-Brady brawl over the latter's status in the party, and his involvement in the messy Manatt, Phelps and Phillips issue.
Peter Espeut wrote a column published in the Gleaner of Friday, September 10, in which he cried shame on me specifically, and the other 'so-called' independent members of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ), and accused us all for holding back the progress of the country.
An old British political joke goes like this: An old hand invites a newly elected member of parliament to sit with him in the front bench for the opening of Parliament. As the opposing party files in, the newcomer mutters, "Here comes the enemy!" The veteran sharply upbraids him. "Not so, young man! That is Her Majesty's loyal opposition!" And with a quick glance over his shoulder, he remarks "The enemy is behind you."
Would the Armadale tragedy have been prevented if the Protected Disclosures Act (PDA), popularly known as the whistleblower legislation, had already been enacted into law? Would knowing about the protection offered by the law have given the persons who knew about the situation at Armadale and who perhaps had tried to get corrective action taken without success, the confidence to come forward and make matters public?
There was no general strike last week. And today the People's National Party (PNP) closes its 72nd annual national conference which ran over the weekend. The promise of a general strike was driven by despair, and the party conference has hope as a key organising feature.
Anniversaries, by their very nature, necessitate an assessment of the period they mark. In light of that, no one should be surprised, or as some appear, angry that the populace is reflexively assessing the past three years of the Golding administration.
It's assessment time again. Yesterday, September 11, marked the end of the third year of this Government in office. Never has any administration in Jamaica been so assessed, much of the assessment lacking in substance and validity.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding is currently under fire with strident calls for his resignation along with those of several of his ministers. The calls come from religious leaders, political opponents, persons in the media as well as local and overseas letter writers.
Louise 'Miss Lou' Bennett is undisputedly the most universally loved personality this nation has ever produced or likely will ever produce, engendering unabashed feelings of pride and affection in Jamaicans of all ages, colours, classes and creeds.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett's contribution to the 2010-2011 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives was summed up very well when he stated that in tourism "the only certainty is uncertainty".