An unintended and potentially beneficial consequence of the events of the past week could be to build consensus about the need to be more strategic in our approach to early childhood development (ECD).
The following is an excerpt from a speech delivered at the luncheon of the Insurance Association of Jamaica, Wednesday, May 19, by Joseph M Matalon, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.
Between August 6, 1962, and today, May 23, more than 30,000 Jamaicans have been killed. Most of them in connection with the practice of the dirty politics of the country by the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
It had to come to this. The show of naked criminal power and defiance; the brazen display of territorial control and dominance; the frightening public demonstration of overlordship of the lives of residents; the virtual "I dare you!" message of the criminal underworld.
Yes, there are other things happening in the country.Government and media here have unsheathed their swords again for another battle in a never-ending conflict. As a student of media and communication, I have more than a spectator's interest.
There is both an optimistic and a cynical view of democracy which says that people should have the power to make their own decisions but, just in case they abuse that power, there should be checks and balances against power holders.
Tyranny, it is said, thrives on the silence of good men. In Jamaica, we have no shortage of good men and women. They fill our churches each Saturday and Sunday, they trumpet from the pulpit, they fill our lodge meetings and some are even to be found in Gordon House with the title 'Honourable'. Why then is there an unholy silence from these quarters on this matter of extradition?
The higher they climb, the harder they fall. No other Jamaican politician has so sanctimoniously disparaged opponents as Bruce Golding in his 1995-2000 National Democratic Movement (NDM) dispensation. He accused both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP) of practising old-time dirty politics and being irredeemably steeped in violence and corruption.
The tragic shooting of two dancehall artistes last week has jolted the dancehall fraternity and flung them into the arms of "Jeezas" and "Father God", leading at least some of them finally and publicly to acknowledge their colleagues' part in promoting violence and badmanism.
"People crushed by law have no hopes but from power.f laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those, who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous more or less." Edmund Burke .
"Crime out of control!" blared the headlines when the murder count passed 600 in 1992. And when it topped the previous 'near civil war' 1980 record of 889 in 1996. And when it went over 1,000 in 1997. And when it shot up ...
After I had read the recent statement coming from Minister Karl Samuda concerning the Bradygate issue, so-called, the first memory that came to mind was the story I learnt at Sunday school about Ananias and Sapphira, recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.
"How many more babies are to be shot in their heads; how many children in the inner cities are to have their birthday parties pierced by sniper bullets; how many more mothers and grandmothers must make their daily ritual of casting themselves on the...