Mon | Jun 14, 2021

Stop politicising Independence

Published:Saturday | June 23, 2012 | 12:00 AM


I look on in amazement at the political debacle our Jubilee Independence celebrations has become. After 50 years, as a people we cannot manage to organise and celebrate such an iconic event in an inclusive and politically neutral manner.

On December 13, 2011, I was present at the Jamaica 50 UK media launch, the introductory event that showcased the yearlong programme of Independence activities. I was truly impressed. The work was expertly and professionally done.

I was further impressed with the official song for the event Find The Flag. It struck a chord. The song embodied the essence of what being Jamaican meant, and took us on a musical journey with those who were at the forefront of taking our music to the world. It was truly inspirational and fitting for the event.

However, the mood of the celebrations is taking a downturn. At the Jamaica Diaspora Conference UK on Saturday, June 16, 2012, the official logo was missing; volunteers, however, did an excellent job displaying our national colours.

On Tuesday, June 19, at the lecture 'Monarchy, Republicanism and the Privy Council', I was greeted at the entrance to the hall by the new and revised official logo; the green background had been replaced with white and the theme was now 'Nation on a Mission'.

Later that day I was also informed of the new theme song, On a Mission. Poor quality and foreign beats aside, the song didn't touch the core of Jamaicans. The public outcry emphasised this!

My grouse, however, is the rationale behind these actions, i.e., why fix what doesn't need fixing? Surely, there were other aspects of the celebrations that the minister and her team could put their stamp on.

The actions, thus far, speak of political one-sidedness and disrespect to our people and culture. Politics has no place in national events!

Further ineptness was displayed here in the UK when the prestigious Jamaica Day at the Royal Ascot Racecourse was cancelled. No reason was cited for the cancellation. However, it is widely known that the exorbitant ticket prices ranging from £750-£2,000 saw very few takers. With prices like these, it is unclear which, if any, Jamaicans were the target of this particular event.

Mr Editor, it is heartbreaking to see such an event sullied by politics and ineptitude. When will our people learn that to be truly great, we must stand on the achievements and shoulders of those before us?