also see parts 1 and 2
Since my last sojourn summary as to the fortunes of the PNP and or JLP if they are chosen by the people in the now silly season leading up to the elections due by December 2016 we saw Raymond Pryce getting the boot while Redman and his supporters were seeing all orange with a win of 329 versus Pryce’s 127 votes and some homo-negative profiling reportedly of Mr Pryce happening with some denial from the Redman camp. Lisa Hanna still have the hits in her South East St Ann constituency as challenged by Lydia Richards; Lloyd B Smith under pain of exposure of very “earth shattering” information regarding his selection exercise and then getting the party to grant him a second run providing he kept his mouth shut only to bow out barring the threatening revelation (lotto scamming money buying influence) to force the PNP secretariat’s hand.
Persons seem to be jostling for the post Simpson Miller era and Lisa Hanna still has some love resonating from her Miss World title 22 years ago in 1993. She is likable and easy on the eye and has currency in politics hence Dr Dayton Campbell’s tirade against her pigeon-holing her ‘beauty’ and not brains. South East St Ann is a crucible in its own right I think in a safe seat. Will they settle in time for the polls or allow the JLP a quiet take over?
Lydia Richards also left herself out of the race in principle crying foul as the list she said was flawed while Lisa had no issue with Hanna winning with 468 votes while Richards only got 10 with very little open show of support as they stayed away but the death of young student Akela from the Prickly Pole Primary school only added more fuel to the whole scenario with outsiders looking in but barely affecting Hanna’s supporters. There are 1068 delegates eligible to vote. It screams volumes as her mandate has an asterix beside it Hanna claims she is humbled by the experience. Julian Robinson state minister of technology or STEM said the list was accurate and scoured. Miss Richards said in a serious letter to General Secretary Paul Burke essentially hinting it was stacked in a sense the list I mean, listing 10 issues including documents allegedly had forged signatures, with open hostility to persons who took a stand on corruption and who had been removed from the list and she has been treated with scant regard and that Miss Hanna is under investigation by the contractor general and may affect her place in the seat as MP. She also claimed several dead persons were not removed from the list even though she did not say whether she vetted the list prior to the race as is warranted. Comrades do not normally vote for JLP but stay away from the process; will that affect Miss Hanna on Election Day given less than 50% turnout (46%) in a safe seat race? Internal contests usually have far more turnout than that. Where were the other 54% of the delegates and why didn’t they turn up? South East St Ann is far from resolved in my view. A letter has since surfaced to the PNP secretariat that one Alfred Holiet was listed as a delegate and chair of a group in his travel company’s name ‘Full Moon’ yet as the man declared that he is not directly involved in politics he said his signature was forged; he has asked the affiliates to remove his name or legal action will be taken. That is just one of the many accusations questioning the cleanliness of the delegates list. Lest we forget and mentioned above Lloyd B Smith told us of alleged ‘skulduggery’ in his yes or no run off and the other numerous times we hear of battles over list.
The firing by the ministry of education or minister I should say of the chairman of the school board with the longstanding practice of politically aligned persons hired as such who said while she did not support the use or presence of children at that ill-fated demonstration/bus convoy at the school gate for that matter has since sought legal representation to challenge her dismissal. Attorney General Atkinson gets a tongue lashing on radio and threats of revenge voting for if he is sent back to them as a runner for MP with comrades literally saying they will vote JLP; a threat one would not have heard from persons in years gone by as it was usually the other way around.
Younger aspirants cry ageism while older members rebuke them claiming egotism and the airing of dirty linen in public with a major side swipe by none other than the eminent Reverend Garnet Roper chairman of the bus company and perceived PNP feeding tree the JUTC blasting the government for what he termed disgusting squabbles for scarce benefits and spoils a term made popular by his form talk show nemesis the late Wilmot Perkins, The PNP could do no wrong in Rev Roper’s eyes so is it that his comments are to be taken seriously or he is riding the wave of popular sentiments? Damion Crawford, Buchanan and a certain lawyer in St Thomas have had mixed fortunes with the latter dethroning the incumbent while Crawford’s utterances and attitudes forced a stalwart to resign in none other than Oliver Klue as referenced in part three of this series. Will those votes come in on election day for Crawford or Buchanan if they win the right to represent the constituents is left to be seen and now that a JLP’s Christopher Tufton west central St Catherine who was seen as a bright spark for politics overall and his maturity in the senate is sent packing even after all the troubles with him in his own party, what will be the quality in both houses for debate. Tufton lost by some 15 votes and he did not ask for a recount in the Elizabeth race and gave up his position as deputy leader in the JLP, he is the third most popular JLP person behind Holness and Shaw, instead of leveraging his popularity and supposed likability instead he choose a marginal seat and has been seen as having poor political judgement of which he is now paying the price. He is also seen as Prime Minister Material, former agriculture minister yet beaten by a counselor; it looks awful and he carries a tag of being a loser. In politics when one has that tag it is very difficult to shake; will he go off into the wilderness?
Donors and funders for the JLP still like Tufton as said on the grapevine but will this affect the JLP campaign and funders are seen now as reluctant to write a cheque for the JLP and it may be perceived that the leadership does not want Tufton which since been denied by Andrew Holness backing him openly so much so it resulted in a clash with Andrew Wheatly from the neighbouring constituency. Can Tufton be parachuted in or does he have the stomach to continue after this rebuff by the locals on the ground?
Even if a buggery debate should come and the senate or parliament barring justice minister Mark ‘won’t cross the church on buggery’ Golding ends up with the folks above missing it may be all for naught as the maturity and the high quality review required is just not there in my eyes with the remaining persons especially an old foot such as the crass former justice minister now foreign affairs minister A. J Nicholson over whose signature in 2006 said the PNP was not into gay marriage via that stupid press release. Then his comments in 2014 warning that we should tread carefully on buggery obviously fearing political misfortune or backlash if seen to be supporting homosexuality overall. There can be no talk of any conscience vote this time around as that too may rile up already tense supporters in the diehard categories, bread and butter issues come first. We are not even sure if the sacrosanct cabinet has discussed the matter since the last time in any serious way although there have been closed sessions with ministers with foreign activists as well getting involved, will these meetings have a penetrative effect to legal reform given the fear f being sent into the wilderness by the electorate if the PNP is seen as supporting homosexuals?
Also bear in mind the tacit promise of a referendum on buggery as demanded by the religious right of the JLP. Party leader Andrew Holness has been walking through the raindrops on that issue. also see Jamaican Opposition Leader says he would allow homosexuals in his cabinet ...
No Buggery Law Removal says Justice Minister, Gay Marriage parachuted in yet again
as for the moral panic from Miss Shirley Richards a member of the LCC:
"Our concern," said Richards, "is that these words, as innocuously sounding as they are, can be interpreted to allow for adult consensual homosexual conduct in private," said Richards. She added that once homosexual acts are decriminalized, there would be no basis to bar to gay marriage. Mrs. Richards added that the concept of privacy also deals with abortion rights.
"If the government wants to decriminalize either homosexuality or abortion then it must do so squarely. Don't tell us that this will never happen under your watch and then allow for a few choice words in the charter which you know are capable of having this meaning," said Mrs. Richards.
Other articles of interest:
Rev. Michael Kelly Jesuit Priest takes on controversial issues
Blair warns politicians - Hits at campaigns, abortion, gay marriage
Other search results (may appear different depending on your location and browser used)
She said on October 20th 2009 - "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity ………. yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ……….."
Obviously this gay marriage opposing argument was used to bolster the morality stance taken by the panicking Christian right who think that gays rights activists and gays themselves will somehow homosexualise the country. What nonsense? one is either gay, str8 bisexual and all other variants in between and if one so chooses one will act on the sexual urges or not where one feels to. Don't forget AsexualS as well who have no interest in sex but more on emotional connections.
Murdered gay party promoter, activist and vice president of the PNP’s western region who was alleged to be involved in lotto scamming aka Bebe has not gone unnoticed and has factored in many a discourse both on social media and traditional media and there is a perception that the party is wrapped up in bed with questionable folks both within and outside, then there are the questions of stewardship, accountability, the powerful being untouchable even when accused of shady deals etc; all being used by some to suggest the PNP must not be sent back into office.
Strangely the well dressed, well spoken and even relatively good performing MP on the national stage is not a guarantee of survival at the local level when it is the local level that has to ratify one prior to the ascension to the house by winning the seat as the representative as Sharon Hay Webster, Christopher Tufton of the JLP learned over the weekend at their run-offs which raises more doubts, questions and concerns from several quarters. Both lost badly in their races which started a debate on certain social media groups on rural MPs in particular are learning this the hard way as community folks are used to a more sociable MP with house visits for almost everything from dinners (sometimes uninvited) to wakes or nine nights observances when there is a passing of a district stalwart etc. Former MP and light bulb scandal survivor Kern “I am back” Spencer made mention of that feature of personalized representation in the same constituency where Mr Pryce was sent to replace him. The main question in all this uncertainty is who will take home the bacon on Election Day? and as persons wait with bated breath for the announcement which was not forthcoming at the PNP conference last Sunday at the National Arena as Mrs Simpson Miller seem to be more interested in dealing with her party base given all the in-fighting and squabbles but her hands off approach in tightening the reign on power and management of the party is being blamed for such and compared to her similar style nationally as Prime Minister by hardly granting interviews may go down as a marker against her; her opposition counterpart Andrew Holness despite media pigeon-holing especially from the Jamaica Observer is articulate, still young by political standards, uses social media well and has been speaking and sounding like a leader especially during the last three poverty to prosperity town hall meetings with much praise both at the venues and on social media but that internet war as launched by those under him in buying the portiasimpsonmiller domain name has not gone down well with some as clicking the link leads or re-directs persons to the JLP website.
The issues seems lost in the whole melee although the detailing of achievements by the JLP from their last time at the crease in the aforementioned poverty to prosperity townhall sessions for all intents and purposes they should have done in the 2011 campaign they seem to have learned from their arrogant mistake then. The PNP on the other hand is banking on the IMF tests passages; nine thus far and a staying the course mantra with very little else to add save except for more promises as outlined at the conference last week which did not resonate with the undecided it seems given the reactions via call in shows and articles online or in print. Jobs, Jobs, jobs as belted from the platform by Mrs Simpson Miller did not even get an applause at the conference which makes one wonder about the crowd at the conference itself and whether they were bused in under some bribe to fill spaces but the die-hards are not so on board. Then came the announcement with some fanfare by Peter Phillips Finance Minister of a call in show segment on Power106FM commencing this week where many see this as a side step:
1. to address the virtual silence or inability to engage the media and public by the Prime Minister and her hands off approach, lest we forget in Bruce Golding’s tenure he hosted a call in show on Thursdays drawing on his days as a talkshow host prior on HOT 102FM after departing the party he founded the National Democratic Movement, NDM then ascending to the PM after his return to the Jamaica Labour Party, JLP.
2. To use the show as part of a subtle campaign strategy as the public for the most part is not buying the hold strain yet passing IMF tests messaging
3. To try to allay fears of more taxes in the next budget after the public utterances from the IMF Jamaica representative that more needs to be done to met certain goals which may include job cuts in the public sector despite slight salary and benefits increase form some while nurses, police and warders and still up in arms alongside postal workers who feel they will be kicked to the curb as their snail mail services become obsolete without any real proactive thinking as elsewhere to transform such postal services to cafe, internet and express delivery type entities so as to make them viable and relevant in today’s world.
4. A diversion from the health sector so called audit when what is really was; was an internal review with damning results of equipment shortages, the issue of new mothers having gauzes sown up in them, reuse of old un-sterilized instruments and so on has sought to give the Health Minister and by extension the PNP a black eye and question marks hang over Dr Fenton Ferguson’s head as he is seen as the worse health minister and a non performer in the overall cadre of the cabinet with poor results; the retort minister chick-V has been stuck on him since his poor handling of the impact of the Chikungunya virus outbreak even after being warned.
5. A diversion from the unprecedented public in fighting for power in the PNP as pundits surmise Mrs Simpson Miller may not run again for another term and Mr Phillips who ran for the party leadership position against Mrs Simpson Miller back in the day is repackaging his image to ascend to the top though seemingly still not yet healed from that internal race and the awful things said by both candidates then and their supporters to include powerful ministers and back benchers.
Yesterday’s public meeting at Half Way Tree by the anti gay groups Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship LCF and the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS with Jamaica CAUSE raised the spectre of buggery again in the mix during the campaign, one waits to see if it will resonate nationally or as an item in the lead up or even an item for consideration for voters overall, die hards or undecided or disillusioned. Hardly any mention has been made of the buggery law reform push by advocates or the pressure from overseas as party squabbles except from JCHS et al as they essentially issued another one of their threat to government to suggest they won’t vote for them to return but I wonder if they are a powerful voting block as they never seemed to have factored in any of the studies by pollsters and political analysts. Their campaigns like last time is encouraging so called concerned persons on sexual rights to go out and vote predicated on the feared gay marriage imposition when sadly such groups even with some fair amount of being told by lawyers and journalists that our marriage act cannot be simply amended by a two thirds majority in the house or any amendment to the act without having to adjust the constitution as it is deeply entrenched in the constitution with strong protection they still persist with fear mongering and selectivity on issues while other more dangerous and egregious societal ills go for the most part unnoticed.
Betty Ann Blaine claims that there is a re-socialization of children with her usual alarmist crap and said parents must check books that they bring home but she conveniently left out the mainstream dancehall songs urging early sex oh but I forgot it is heterosexual sex not anal gay sex. She also went on via a telephone interview that atheism is now on the agenda and there are moves afoot to criminalize Christians, sigh sad that the whole issue is missed with still false dichotomies in my view as our struggle is not about whether or not god exists but the battle of the mind changing homo-negative feelings pinged to the buggery law and misnomers about what gay life is about. Some time ago in an audio entry I warned about this clouding of the issues and flawed focus but who listens or pays attention to what is really required.
They the paranoid anti gay voices seem to only have strength for homosexuals but are dumb on everything else; case in point the blood-letting in Hanover last week with some average three persons being murdered a day in a parish that never was on the radar so much for such atrocities. They have tried to repackage their message by claiming the meeting was on family life but we all know full well it was about the buggery law and feared gay marriage. There seems to be some snickering in a certain part of media and the public as when one listens to talk show hosts such as Joan Williams on Power 106Fm on Fridays sitting in for Cliff Hughes she comments cynically that it is not gays who are causing crime and other atrocities and that groups such as JCHS, LCF et al have misplaced priorities and agendas that are poorly informed. Strangely this is the same woman who also says (not sure if she has changed her mind) that gay murders are essentially lovers’ quarrels and not homophobic in causation with her now infamous 90% of such murders comment from the show.
I do not believe and some analysts have backed me up with their opinion that the buggery review or anything to do with homosexuality will factor in this election as bread and butter issues abound but a day in politics is a long one and as said before let us see if the protest/march in Half Way Tree will change the colour of the waters or will be ignored or over looked.
Finally for now with the representation of the people’s act calls for the discontinuing of campaigning 24 hours prior to the election date leader of government business and technology minister Phillip Paulwell says there is no need to amend the law to cover new media such Facebook; he may be right in one sense as it is hard to monitor such spaces but rules are rules or the law is the law; I can’t help but think such campaigns will go up right until the last minute as what happened last time around but not in large numbers.
Where oh where is the long held in limbo campaign finance bill and if it is to be debated in October will it be passed in time for this election cycle to avoid tainted money creeping in?
Until next time
Peace & tolerance
Exporting Gay Hate from Jamaica? .....Al Miller speaks
Betty Ann Blaine Deliberately Conflates Same Gender Attraction & Child Abuse at Christian Anti Gay Mass Rally & in Public Advocacy
Reverend Al Miller continues his antigay advocacy while his integrity is severely damaged
More Overreaction to the Jamaicans for Justice Sex Education Course & Media Senationalism
Betty Ann Blaine on Poverty, children and the Buggery Law .... and that awful confusion of homosexuality with paedophilia 2012
Hardened Positions by Religious Fanatics & Their LGBT Detractors Will Only Leave More Blood on the Floor
Anti Gay Voice & 'Child Rights' Advocate Betty-Ann Blaine Taken to Task on Public Advocacy
Why did CVCC & JFJ not Fund a Project/Home for Homeless LGBT Youth in New Kingston instead of the Children’s Home Fiasco that now obtains?
Justice Minister reiterates his personal position on the Buggery Law, Anal Intercourse, Consent & Privacy, government position
J-FLAG now advocating for decriminalisation of same-sex acts
Pastors Push Enumeration As Hedge Against Buggery Repeal (Gleaner July 1 2014) obviously the JFLAG change in the call to decriminalization has gone unheard deliberately or unnoticed. So much for pro-activity from our goodly advocates
The False Dichotomy of the religious right on the LGBT advocacy Godlessness
Espeut, West says “Homophobia” was invented to abuse Christians as hate speech
Betty Ann Blaine & foreign religious zealots continue their paranoia & misrepresentations of male homosexuality
Church claims future victimization if buggery is decriminalized in Jamaica
Spilling homosexual blood .... Observer Headline 29.11.09
Lesbians Do Have Morals 2009
More gay marriage paranoia & hijacking of the homosexual debate by fanatics 2014
Professor's Bain's Testimony Threatened Foreign Funding (Gleaner letter)
Lessons to learn from The Professor Bain Matter?
Anti Gay Voice & 'Child Rights' Advocate Betty-Ann Blaine Taken to Task on Public Advocacy
Ian Boyne: Bain exercised terribly poor strategic judgement
The Deliberate Misuse of the “Sexual Grooming” Term by Antigay Fanatics to Promote Their Hysteria
Anti gay religious voices where are they? .... Pastor charged with sexual assault
There goes gay marriage paranoia again
Healthy Coalition nonsense
'UWI had no choice but to dismiss Prof Bain' says Professor Rosemarie Bell Antoine (OAS Rapporteur)
Pro-Bain Protesters To Meet With UWI Today
Buggery the only thing that makes church butts sore?
Betty Ann Blaine on Poverty, children and the Buggery Law .... and that awful confusion of homosexuality with paedophilia
Blaine will be her own victim (Observer Letter 11.08.10)
Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society continues its “HIV is a gay disease” campaign with more deception added
What goes on in the minds of the overly religious?
BETTY ANN BLAINE’S ARRANT NONSENSE REQUEST OF PETER KING TAPES
THAT WON’T STOP AIDS, BETTY ANN SAYS GAY LAWYER
BUY NO RINGS, YOU WON’T WED; RELIGIOUS FEAR-MONGERING ON GAY MARRIAGE & THE BUGGERY LAW CONTINUES