All I want for Chris’mas is…

December 21, 2008

A public apology from Bruce Golding for how he and his government have been a spectacular failure and embarassment to Jamaicans in 2008. They have demonstrated poor leadership on pretty much every issue, and are clearly more than able and willing to participate in the thuggish kleptocracy birthed by the said JLP in 1980 and finessed by the PNP for almost two decades.

Now imagine, up to this week, instead of initiating a useful discussion/debate regarding the legislation to protect children from sexual violence which he actually promised to do weeks ago, he is is still wasting our time and our children’s lives by courting votes in the Senate on the death penalty. Could this man be any more disconnected from our reality?

The latest fuckery: He offers a “stimulus package” that does absolutely nothing to address the core needs of the economy, and everything for the people for whom he really works: big business, from hoteliers to manufacturers. This, in a time when more people buying 1/2 a tin of bully-beef and 1 cup of rice than ever, imported chicken is about to kill the local industry, we are being taxed to the heavens at the same time di politician dem a spen’ wi money pon pyere foolishness, an govament affi deh pay out damages fi problems whe’h di corrupt killa policeman dem have caused and continue to cause. (Yes, we THINK we get a break on the barrel tax, but that is money that SHOULD be paid to the state. Being the ‘ginals that we can be, what might have been a container-full will be now several barrels-full, all tax-free.) I don’t suppose anyone bothered to tell him that when the economy is in the toilet as ours is, maybe he should spend more money on infrastructure and less on providing overdrafts for his friends or for glitzy ads in NYC cabs to get Americans to come to Jamaica cheap-cheap when dem credit cyard already max out? Watching him alight from the helicopter when he went to visit the scene of the Portland accident today, and when he gave that crying woman a most patronizing kiss on the top of her head, I was immediately reminded of George Bush. The same arrogance, nonchalance, cluelessness. BG also deserves a few shoes – if not rock stones – thrown at him.

The icing on the fruitcake would be the immediate resignation of Karl Samuda, Frank Weeple, Dorothy Lightbourne, Mike Henry, Donald Farquharson, the entire leadership of the JUTC, to name a few.

The hard sauce might be immediate jail for David Smith, Carlos Hill, and every odder corporate crook who fa’ name mi cyaa memba right now cause is so many o dem!

May the New Year 2009 bring more of what we need:
* more aggressive reporting and better investigative journalism, especially from non-mainstream media
* Tessane Chin
* CTV (Nambo Robinson who jus-jus cuss rass pon TV!)
* Red Rubber Band
* Live Up (iliveup.com)
* Bloggists who are willing to speak/write and act up for justice
* youth-driven initiatives
* more people willing to step into the shoes of folks like Hartley Neita and Buddy Pouyat who have spent the last decade or so consciously building a diverse community of Jamaicans invested in acquiring, sharing and preserving knowledge that is also transformative.
* people willing to stand up and speak out, and refuse to participate in this self-imposed silence and sufferance!

And less of what we don’t (in no particular order):
* Lawyers for Christian Fellowship
* Coalition for Defence of Life
* horribly written columns and tasteless newspaper headlines
* inarticulate and bombastic public officials
* yet another moral crusade
* poorly organized events that are gladly televised
* that annoying lotto announcer on CVM
* Digicel-sponsored antics all ova di dyam place
* Lada bags and plastic bottles
* Daily weather reports that say absolutely nothing new or relevant (hello! we live in a tropical climate; only hurricane season matters!)
* Barbara Gloudon, Rex Nettleford and David Boxer as they step away from the institutions which they are currently strangling to death, in order to allow an infusion of creativity, talent and energy from new leadership.
* silence an’ tekking di beatins an bad treatment like we deserve it.

Here’s hoping we do a whole lot better, even with a whole lot less, next year!

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8 Responses to “All I want for Chris’mas is…”

  1. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID Says:

    Interesting Christmas and New Year’s List.There are many suggestions on both lists that are strongly endorsed and supported by me.Hopefully, some of these suggestions will come to fruition or materialize in 2009.It will be interesting to see what transpires over or during the course of the year regarding some of these suggestions. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!


  2. […] blogger Long Bench wants for Christmas is “a public apology from Bruce Golding for how he and his government […]

  3. YardEdge Says:

    Unfortunately I have to agree with a lot of these items on these lists. As a hopeful supporter, I’m also disappointed although I do think they are trying and it’s been a tough year…but I suppose they are all tough years…

    Again, it’s up to us to solve our own problems…again we learn that the gov’t isn’t going to do it for us.

  4. Stunner Says:

    That’s some list! It seems Jamaica is damned to suffer from one selfish, wasteful, incompetent government after the other. But this country cannot change for the better without a whole mental change of the people, no government can make t better.

  5. Jackie Says:

    The scandal bag and plastic bottle dem too much fi true. In 09 half a wi fi take home our grocery and grung provisons in reusable bags. And you fi still draw long bench bout the real things them and give laugh fi peas soup said way.

  6. duttybwoy Says:

    Really enjoyed reading this Longbench. Jamaica has a LEADERSHIP deficit. We need a transformational leader who is not afraid to step on a few corns and upset the constituency if needs be. I am a little disappointed at the way this government has turn out. As Stunner said it seems we are damned from either side of the political spectrum for less than favorable governance. I am totally convinced now that government can not “fix” Jamaica. It must be done by the people themselves. The people have to lead the leaders. There is a saying that we should be the change we want to see in the world and it is so true.

    We need to say what our expectations are now, not during election time. The media, the people need to follow up on things, not just forget about it and let it pass. If the government can not fight crime what is a Major newspaper or television station in Jamaica doing apart from reporting the gruesome details. Are we apart of the neighborhood watch program in our communities or do we see it as a big waste of time. So the road have not been fix for 15 years but you don’t know who the MP is where his or her office is located, did you write them a letter, make a call or just block the roads.

    We don’t always have to fight fire with fire. There are many ways to cause change.

    Apology?..LOL, our politicians will not even take responsibility for screwing up much less apologize. Their business it is more about being right than doing the right thing. It is seen as being weak. I personally think it is strong to apologize and meaning it. What better way to move on.

    The Portland trip might look like just a photo opt to look empathic rather than genuine interest. I think our prime minister is not as emotionally expressive so he might come off as distant or as they say governing from a bubble. From my own observation and experience in life even if someone might seem disconnected it is sometimes a major part of the character, it may not necessarily mean they don’t care. This he can work on especially for leading and moralizing a whole nation to become enthusiastic about his ideas, I think that he can work on.

    As for the stimulus package, I have not seen any of it yet. A nice break in the income tax is welcome. The govenment could decrease it by 1% every year if they are afaid of losing income. Might not seems like much but in 5 yeats that 5 %. They are going to get that money back anyway through consumption tax or even savings and investment taxes. At least people can use thier additional money in the economy themselves and stimulate it that way. Government is not always wisest in spending our money for us especially in a corrupt wasteful Jamaica. I think most of the breaks “stimulus” went to the “big man”. I interpret this as trickle down economics. I am glad big business got breaks they deserve it, the middle and lower middle class need to be stimulated too. I am not sure if Jamaica’s economy is as consumer driven like the US economy but I can tell you that if people are buying half of a tin of corn beef then manufactures, everyone will feel the tighten of consumers belt. Economics is a big complicated thing, try to fix one part another part blows up, what was working becomes a problem etc. When I look at Jamaica I see so much opportunity.

    Your list was very interesting to read.Digicel maybe a little over exposed bombarding us with their message. I think Digicel is a decent corporate citizen overall. They are like a big philanthropic organization in a way, yes they make a tonne from selling cards, phones etc, but I don’t see many other companies in Jamaica putting their names on things that evokes so much positives. The talent shows, sports. Digicel has put up shop in some countries most big corporations would never even touch in Africa and some parts of South America.

    Have a Dapper 2009.

  7. Javed Jaghai Says:

    Wa mek yaa lik out gainst di Lato man so? ki ki ki

    He can be annoying. 😀

    Jamaica needs more people like you Long Bench- people who think critically, are insightful, and who are willing to support an unpopular, but well thought out position.

    If only those who greatly desired change would rise up and “fight” for it. With this blog, the fight has begun.

    • longbench Says:

      Javed – I take inspiration from Ngugi wa Thiongo’s “The Barrel of a Pen”, and a question that has been posed in so many different ways: if not me, then who? I do what I can from where I am until such time when I can do something else. What matters is that we don’t stop talking about what we want to see; not just complaining about what’s wrong, but visioning something better.


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