Mek Sista P tek her time!

Two spelling systems are used for the Jamaican language below. The first, which I call ‘chaka-chaka’, is based on English spelling. The second, ‘prapa-prapa’, is the specialist system designed by the Jamaican linguist Frederic Cassidy. It has been updated by the Jamaican Language Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona. After the two Jamaican versions, there’s an English translation.


Wat a way certain people a run down Sista P fi call election! A wa mek? Ascorden to Constitution, election no ha fi call so till way down a April. 2017! Di way me seet, since Sista P never call election last year, she might as well tek her time decide her mind.

5237368-cunning-smiling-red-devilDem a throw word pon Sista P seh she no know weh she a do. She dis a wait-wait an dem no know a wa she a wait fa. She mek dem know seh she a wait pon God. An a it mek dem a tek her mek poppyshow. If plenty a dem odder politician did wait pon God fi tell dem weh fi do, tings mighta plenty better fi wi. It look like a devil a tell some a dem weh fi do.

Suppose Sista P have big plan weh she naa tell nobody? Member seh a February 26, 2006 she beat out Peter Phillips fi turn leader a di PNP. Mi wonder if Sista P a consider fi step down after 10 year. If she do dat, PNP ha fi pick a new leader fi carry di party go eena election. An dat a go tek lickle time.

Sista P no gi mi no message fi gi unu. An God no reveal nutten to mi. Mi a no no prophet. Mi dis a wonder. An all me know, Sista P no ha fi fret bout fi her legacy. It safe. Di first woman fi turn prime minister eena Jamaica! Dat kuda never easy. An all who like gwaan like seh Sista P a eedyat, mek mi aks dem a who a di eedyat dem weh mek her turn prime minister?


Den mi can just see di runjostling fi tek over from Sista P. Di best candidate me tink, a di said same Peter Phillips weh Sista P did dust out fi turn party leader. Im have sense an im work hard. An it no easy fi deal wid IMF an ha fi a carry pure bad news come gi wi. Well lickle good news to. But not to dat. Fi wi dollar pop down. An it look like seh it naa go ketch up itself fi now.

If Sista P gi up di prime minister work, she have nuff tings weh she can do. Di first ting mi wuda like see her do a fi write one book bout her life. No ongle wa deh pon Wikipedia. Bill an receipt. She can get one duppy writer fi help her write di book. An she no ha fi shame fi get help. Nuff cebrelity wid book, a duppy write di book.

PortiaA20160127RBAn wen di book come out, Sista P can go lecture all bout. A yard an abroad. Michael Manley dweet. P.J. Patterson same way. Eddie Seaga. Wen politician lef office, dem no ha fi siddung a dem yard naa do nutten. Sista P have fi her Portia Simpson Miller Foundation weh set up eena 2010. She can gwaan divel it up.

Sista P no fi mek none a di man dem shub her out a office. Dem too renk. A chruu she a woman mek dem a tek liberty wid her. Look how much old man deh eena Parliament! Anybody a tell dem fi go a dem yard? An Sista P stronger an dem. Mek dem wait! God wi tell Sista P when a di right time fi fly di gate. Time longer than rope.


Wat a wie sortn piipl a ron dong Sista P fi kaal ilekshan! A wa mek? Azkaadn tu kanstityuushan, ilekshan no a fi kaal so til wie dong a Iepril. 2017! Di wie mii siit, sins Sista P neva kaal ilekshan laas ier, shi mait az wel tek ar taim disaid ar main.

Dem a chruo wod pan Sista P se shi no nuo we shi a du. Shi dis a wiet-wiet an dem no nuo a wa shi a wiet fa. Shi mek dem nuo se shi a wiet pan Gad. An a it mek dem a tek ar mek papishuo. If plenti a dem ada palitishan dem did wiet pan Gad fi tel dem we fi du, tingz maita plenti beta fi wi. It luk laik a debl a tel som a dem we fi du.


Supuoz Sista P av big plan we shi naa tel nobadi? Memba se a Febieri 26, 2006 shi biit out Peter Phillips fi ton liida a di PNP. Mi wanda if Sista P a kansida fi step dong aafta 10 ier. If shi du dat, PNP a fi pik a nyuu liida fi kyari di paati go iina ilekshan. An dat a go tek likl taim.

Sista P no gi mi no mechiz fi gi unu. An Gad no riviil notn tu mi. Mi a no no prafit. Mi dis a wanda. An aal mii nuo, Sista P no a fi fret bout fi ar legisi. It sief. Di fos uman fi ton praim minista iina Jamieka! Dat kuda neva iizi. An aal uu laik gwaan laik se Sista P a iidyat, mek mi aks dem a uu a di iidyat dem we mek ar ton praim minista?


Den mi kyahn jos si di ronjaslin fi tek uova fram Sista P. Di bes kyandidet mi tingk, a di sed siem Peter Phillips we Sista P did dos out fi ton paati liida. Im av sens an im wok aad. An it no iizi fi diil wid IMF an a fi a kyari pyuur bad nyuuz kom gi wi. Wel likl gud nyuuz tu. Bot nat tu dat. Fi wi dala pap dong. An it luk laik se it naa go kech op itself fi nou.

ghostwriterIf Sista P gi op di praim minista wok, shi av nof ting we shi kyahn du. Di fos ting mi wuda laik si ar du a fi rait wan buk bout ar laif. No ongl wa de pan Wikipedia. Bil an risiit. Shi kyahn get wan dopi raita fi elp ar rait di buk. An shi no a fi shiem fi get elp. Nof sibreliti wid buk, a dopi rait di buk.

An wen di buk kom out, Sista P kyahn go lekcha aal bout. A yaad an abraad. Michael Manley dwiit. PJ Patterson siem wie. Eddie Seaga. Wen palitshan lef afis, dem no a fi sidong a dem yaad naa du notn. Sista P av fi ar Portia Simpson Miller Foundation we set op iina 2010. Shi kyahn gwaan divel it op.

Sista P no fi mek non a di man dem shub ar out a afis. Dem tuu renk. A chruu shi a uman mek dem a tek libati wid ar. Luk omoch uol man de iina Paaliment! Enibadi a tel dem fi go a dem yaad? An Sista P chranga an dem. Mek dem wiet! Gad wi tel Sista P wen a di rait taim fi flai di giet. Taim langa dan ruop.



Just look at how certain people are trying to force Sister P to call elections! Why? According to the Constitution, elections don’t have to be called until way down in April. 2017! The way I see it, since Sister P didn’t announce the date last year, she might as well take her time to make a decision.

They are undermining Sister P, claiming that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She’s just waiting, waiting and they don’t know what she’s waiting on. She let them know she’s waiting on God. And now they’re taking her for a joke. If a lot of those other politicians would wait on God to tell them what to do, things might be much better for us. It looks as if it’s the devil that’s telling some of them what to do.

editorsforumj20130620rmWhat if Sister P has big plans she’s not telling anybody? Remember that is was on February 26, 2006 that she beat Peter Phillips to become leader of the PNP. I’m wonder if Sister P is considering stepping down after 10 years. If she does, the PNP would have to pick a new leader to take the party into elections. And that’s going to take time.

Sister P hasn’t given me any message to deliver. And God hasn’t revealed anything to me.  I’m not a prophet. I’m just wondering. What I do know is that Sister P doesn’t have to be concerned about her legacy. It’s safe. The first woman to become prime minister of Jamaica! That could never have been easy. And as for all those who like to insist that Sister P is an idiot, let me ask them who are the idiots who made her prime minister?


Then I can just see the infighting to decide who is going to replace Sista P.  I think the best candidate is the same Peter Phillips Sister P defeated to become party leader. He’s sensible and hard-working. And it’s not easy to deal with IMF and have to bring us only bad news.  Well, a little good news too. But not so much. Our dollar has collapsed. And it doesn’t seem as if it’s going to recover any time soon.

If Sister P gives up the job as prime minister, there are lots of other things she can do. I think her first project should be writing her autobiography.  Not just what’s on Wikipedia.  But the whole bill and receipt. She can employ a ghost writer.  And she doesn’t have to be ashamed of getting help. The books of many celebrities are written by ghosts.

TIME+100+Gala+TIME+100+Most+Influential+People+qwSYDPRKYtZlAnd when the book is published, Sister P can do lecture tours all over. At home and abroad. Michael Manley did it. P.J. Patterson as well. And Eddie Seaga. When politicians leave office, they don’t have to sit idly at home.  Sister P has her Portia Simpson Miller Foundation that was set up in 2010. She can continue to develop it.

Sister P shouldn’t make any of those men force her out of office. They are too rude.  It’s because she’s a woman, that’s why they are are taking liberties with her. There are so many old men in Parliament! Is anybody telling them to go home? And Sister P is fitter than them. Let them wait! God will tell Sister P when it’s the right time to make the call. All things in their time!




Dem fi lef Andrew house alone

Two spelling systems are used for the Jamaican language below. The first, which I call ‘chaka-chaka’, is based on English spelling. The second, ‘prapa-prapa’, is the specialist system designed by the Jamaican linguist Frederic Cassidy. It has been updated by the Jamaican Language Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona. After the two Jamaican versions, there’s an English translation.


andrewholnessA20150730GTMi shame fi di PNP. Wa mek dem a tek set pon Andrew house? Ascorden to di headline a one Gleaner story weh publish last Monday, ‘Andrew’s mansion talking point on PNP platform’. Mi never know dem wuda stoop to dat. Better dem talk bout weh dem do fi Jamaica people fi di last four year! Tings well bad wid dem if dem ha fi a talk bout Andrew house.


Hear wa Peter Phillips im seh last week Sunday eena Portmore bout di PNP leader Portia Simpson Miller: “No one in a fi har party can ask her nuh question how she build nuh house with wall that cost billions and billions and billions of dollars. We have a leader we can trust. We have a leader Jamaica can trust.”

By di way, unu see seh a nuff, nuff Patwa Peter Phillips a chat deh so. Wa mek im no chat laka dat eena Parliament? Fi wi Jamaica language no good enough fi official business? It ongle good fi cuss off political opponent an look vote? A time wi start fi tek wi language serious an gi it proper respect.


Anyhow, back to di house wall. It no cost no ‘billions and billions and billions of dollars’. Dat a lie an story. Peter Phillips well an know seh dat a pure foolishness. A wine im a wine up di crowd. An im mout slip. Wall cyaahn cost so much. No matter how fi wi dollar devalue. Better im did seh million an million an million a dollar.

No get mi wrong. A nuff cut-stone wall all round di house. Di front wall taller than di house. An di house no small. Mi wonder if di architect never draw no picture fi show Andrew an Juliet how di big wall wuda look front a di house an all bout di yard. Mi tink dem mek mistake. But a fi dem business. Still for all, it no right fi Peter Phillips a tell lie pon dem.

peter_phillips_0Next ting. Peter seh wi can trust Sista P. Pon di odder hand, im mek it sound like seh wi cyaahn trust Andrew. Becau it look like seh people inna fi im owna party a aks im question bout how im build house wid wall that cost “billions and billions and billions of dollars”. Serious ting.

It come een like seh Andrew an Juliet cyaahn answer no question bout weh di money come from fi build di plenty-billion house wall. An Peter no even mention di cost a di house. A so-so wall im a talk bout. If im put on di house price pon top a di wall, a nuff more billion. An nuff more question.


Then a who tell Peter Phillips seh wi can trust Sister P becau she no build no house wid no big wall? Perhaps wi no trust her fi odder reason. All like how she tek Dr Ferguson outa health ministry an gi im one next big job. Dat no mek wi feel confident fi trust Sista P judgement.

If Dr Ferguson cyaahn manage health ministry, a how im a go deal wid Labour an Social Security? Dat no mek no sense. Sista P shoulda send im go sit down pon back bench. But no! She build high wall round Dr Ferguson fi protect im. An it mighta cost her thousand an thousand an thousand of vote.


Mi shiem fi di PNP. Wa mek dem a tek set pan Andrew ous? Azkaadn tu di edlain a wan Gleaner stuori we poblish laas Monde, ‘Andrew’s mansion talking point on PNP platform’. Mi neva nuo dem uda stuuup tu dat. Beta dem taak bout we dem du fi Jamieka piipl fi di laas fuor ier! Tingz wel bad wid dem if dem a fi a taak bout Andrew ous.


Ier wa Peter Phillips im se laas wiik Sonde iina Portmore bout di PNP liida Portia Simpson Miller: “No one in a fi har party can ask her nuh question how she build nuh house with wall that cost billions and billions and billions of dollars. We have a leader we can trust. We have a leader Jamaica can trust.”

Bai di wie, unu si se a nof, nof Patwa Peter Phillips a chat de so. Wa mek im no chat laka dat iina Paaliment? Fi wi Jamieka langgwij no gud inof fi ofishal bizniz? It ongl gud fi kos aaf politikal opuonent an luk vuot? A taim wi staat fi tek wi langgwij siiryos an gi it prapa rispek.


Eniou, bak tu di ous waal. It no kaas no “billions and billions and billions of dollars”. Dat a lai an stuori. Peter Phillips wel an nuo se dat a pyuur fuulishnis. A wain im a wain op di kroud. An im mout slip. Waal kyaahn kaas so moch. No mata ou fi wi dala divalyu. Beta im did se milyan an milyan an milyan a dala.

No get mi rang. A nof kot-stuon waal aal roun di ous. Di front waal taala dan di ous. An di ous no smaal. Mi wanda if di aakitek neva jraa no pikcha fi shuo Andrew an Juliet ou di big waal wuda luk front a di ous an aal bout di yaad. Mi tingk dem mek mistiek. Bot a fi dem bizniz. Stil far aal, it no rait fi Peter Phillips a tel lai pan dem.

julietholness20111114cNeks ting. Peter se wi kyan chros Sista P. Pan di ada an, im mek it soun laik se wi kyaahn chros Andrew. Bikaa it luk laik se piipl iina fi im uona paati a aks im kweschan bout ou im bil ous wid waal dat kaas “billions and billions and billions of dollars”. Siiryos ting.

It kom iin laik se Andrew an Juliet kyaahn ansa no kweschan bout we di moni kom fram fi bil di plenti-bilyan ous waal. An Peter no iiivn menshan di kaas a di ous. A suo-so waal im a taak bout. If im put aan di ous prais pan tap a di waal, a nof muor bilyan. An nof muor kweschan.


Den a uu tel Peter Phillips se wi kyan chros Sista P bikaa shi no bil no ous wid no big waal? Paraps wi no chros ar fi ada riizn. Aal laik ou shi tek Dr Ferguson outa health ministry an gi im wan neks big jab. Dat no mek wi fiil kanfident fi chros Sista P jojment.

If Dr Ferguson kyaahn manij health ministry, a ou im a go diil wid Labour an Social Security? Dat no mek no sens. Sista P shuda sen im go sidong pan bak bench. Bot nuo! Shi bil ai waal roun Dr Ferguson fi protek im. An it maita kaas ar touzn an touzn an touzn a vuot.



I’m ashamed of the PNP. Why are are they paying so much attention to Andrew’s house? According to the headline of a Gleaner story published last Monday, ‘Andrew’s mansion talking point on PNP platform’. I didn’t think they would stoop to that. Better they talk about what they’ve done for the Jamaican people over the last four years! They must be very desperate if they have to be focusing on Andrew’s house.

Here’s what Peter Phillips said last Sunday in Portmore about PNP leader Portia Simpson Miller: “No one in a fi har party can ask her nuh question how she build nuh house with wall that cost billions and billions and billions of dollars. [No one in her party can ask her any questions about how she’s building a house with fence walls that cost billions and billions and billions of dollars.]  We have a leader we can trust. We have a leader Jamaica can trust.”

imagescaribhelloBy the way, you see that’s a lot of Patwa Peter Phillips is using there. Why doesn’t he speak that language in Parliament? Our  Jamaican language isn’t good enough for official business? It’s only good for cursing political opponents and getting votes? It’s time we start taking our language seriously and give it proper respect.


Anyhow, back to those walls. They certainly don’t cost ‘billions and billions and billions of dollars’. That’s pure fabrication. Peter Phillips very well knows that’s nonsense. He was just whipping up the crowd. And his mouth slipped. No wall could cost so much. No matter how  much our dollar has been devalued. Better he’d said millions and millions and millions of dollars.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of cut-stone wall all around the house. The front fence wall is taller than the house. And the house is not small. I wonder if the architect didn’t do any drawings to show Andrew and Juliet how that huge wall would look in front of the house and all around the property. I think they made a mistake. But that’s their business. All the same, it’s not right for Peter Phillips to misrepresent the cost.

Another thing. Peter says we can trust Sister P. On the other hand, he implies that  we can’t trust Andrew. Because it seems as if members of his own party have been questioning him about how he’s managed to build a house with fence walls that cost “billions and billions and billions of dollars”. That’s a very serious charge.

It’s as if  Andrew and Juliet can’t answer that question about the source of the funding for the multiple-billion fence wall. And Peter didn’t even mention the cost of the house. It’s only the walls he highlighted. If he adds the cost of the house to the estimate of the fence walls, that would be lots more billions. And lots more questions.


images-1Then why is Peter Phillips so sure we can trust Sister P because she hasn’t built a house with huge fence walls? Perhaps we don’t trust her for other reasons. Look at how she’s taken Dr Ferguson out of the ministry of health and given him another big job. That doesn’t inspire any confidence whatsoever in Sister P’s judgement.

If Dr Ferguson can’t manage the health ministry, how is he going to deal with Labour and Social Security? That move makes no sense at all. Sister P should have sent him to go sit on the back bench. But no! She’s built a high wall around Dr Ferguson to protect him. And it might cost her thousands and thousands and thousands of votes.

From Stony Gut To Big Gut


Michael ‘Freestylee’ Thompson poster

August 12 was the 150th anniversary of Paul Bogle’s long march from Stony Gut to Spanish Town. Forty-five miles! Bogle led a delegation to King’s House, located then in the Old Capital. He wanted to meet with Governor Eyre to make his case on behalf of the suffering people of St Thomas. It was a mere 31 years after the declaration of Emancipation. And the legacy of enslavement was bitter.

Black people were free in theory. But, in fact, we were still imprisoned in the old, exploitative colonial system. Whites firmly held on to power, manipulating politics to suit themselves. Blacks could vote; but only if we could afford to pay the criminally high poll tax. In the 1864 elections, not even 2,000 of the 436,000 black people could afford to vote!

Nature also conspired against poor people. Cholera and smallpox ravaged Jamaica. In 1865, the effects of a two-year drought made matters worse. Work became scarce as several plantations went bankrupt. Economic prospects for black people were grim. There were rumours that we were going to be enslaved again.

I suppose Paul Bogle wished to discuss all of this with the governor. But Eyre refused to see him. He was a man with a very hard heart and too much power. Eyre’s father was a clergyman, which just goes to show that a religious upbringing is no guarantee of basic decency.

Eyre became governor of Jamaica in 1862 and seems to have had nothing but contempt for the ‘natives’. George William Gordon, a brown Jamaican who defended the rights of the black majority, enraged Eyre with his outspoken condemnation of the governor’s racist policies.


Before Bogle tried to meet with Eyre, a group of concerned citizens from St Ann had sent a letter to Queen Victoria, routed through the governor. They wanted to rent Crown lands at an affordable cost. Missis Queen sent a malicious response. Eyre gleefully made 50,000 copies, which he distributed far and wide. It was even read in church.

evil_smiley_face_round_stickers-ra5e82c3af3944768995f28c88eb804a7_v9waf_8byvr_324Here’s an excerpt: “… The prosperity of the Labouring Classes, as well as of all other classes, depends, in Jamaica, and in other Countries, upon their working for Wages, not uncertainly, or capriciously, but steadily and continuously, at the times when their labour is wanted, and for so long as it is wanted; and if they would use this industry, and thereby render the Plantations productive, they would enable the Planters to pay them higher Wages for the same hours of work than are received by the best Field Labourers in this country; and as the cost of the necessaries of life is much less in Jamaica than it is here, they would be enabled, by adding prudence to industry to lay by an ample provision for seasons of drought and dearth; and they may be assured, that it is from their own industry and prudence, in availing themselves of the means of prospering that are before them, and not from any such schemes as have been suggested to them, that they must look for an improvement in their condition; and that her Majesty will regard with interest and satisfaction their advancement through their own merits and efforts.”

In other words: Unu fi work out unu soul case fi next to nutten; an gwaan tek di lickle monkey money weh di planter dem a pay; so di planter dem can mek plenty money an gi unu back lickle bit. An unu fi band unu belly an save some a di lickle money fi when trouble tek unu; because tings inna Jamaica no cost so much like inna England; an stop bodder-bodder mi bout gi unu Crown land fi rent. An mi wi well glad fi see how unu a go mek it pon unu own.


Fast-forward to the 21st century and this sounds a lot like what Mme Christine Lagarde might say to Minister Peter Phillips if im was to lost im pass go aks her fi gi wi a ease up wid di whole heap a money wi owe IMF. Austerity is the name of the game.


Sir Patrick greets St. Thomas delegation. From left are Professor Neville Ying, Dorette Abrahams, Norma Brown-Bell, Loriann Peart-Roberts, and Mayor of Morant Bay Ludlow Mathison.

Paul Bogle died for the cause of black empowerment. So did George William Gordon. How many of our politicians today, whether PNP or JLP, would put their lives on the line for their constituency? How many would walk 45 miles to make a case on our behalf? How many of them could walk 45 miles? Or even 4.5 miles?

Quite a few of our politicians are so fat they just couldn’t make it. They are living high on the hog. Throw mi corn, mi no call no fowl. I think we should establish gut guidelines for politicians. Beyond a certain size, they would just lose the work. By the way, the gut in Stony Gut is not the same as big gut. The first is a narrow passage; the second is a huge channel.

On the anniversary of Bogle’s march, our present governor general, Sir Patrick Allen, met with a delegation from St Thomas. He couldn’t make up for Eyre’s wickedness in both failing to listen to Bogle’s appeal and brutally suppressing the Morant Bay Rebellion. But Sir Patrick did admit that the parish has long been neglected. Even now! And that took guts.

Chávez Duppy Dream Sista P

Frederic Cassidy

Frederic Cassidy

There are two spelling systems used for the Jamaican language below.  The first, which I call ‘prapa-prapa’, is the specialist phonetic system designed by the linguist Frederic Cassidy.  It has been slightly amended by the Jamaican Language Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The second, ‘chaka-chaka’, is based on English spelling.  After the two Jamaican versions, there’s an English translation.

Prapa-Prapa Spelin

imagesChávez dopi bierli riich evn an im disaid fi lef kom luk fi Sista P.  Im a no wan a dem man we lov logzyuri.  Im naa go waahn liv no ai laif op a evn, a waak pan ruod mek outa guol, an a sing an daans an plie aap, an a jrink milk an oni, an im wel nuo se nof piipl pan ort naa notn fi hiit an jrink. An no bada taak bout patuol!  Aal inna Jamieka.  No, sa! Chávez a wan a di wan-an-fyuu palitishan wid kanshens.  A it mek im dopi disaid fi flai doun kom taak tu Sista P.  Ier we im tel ar se.

Portia Simpson Miller

Portia Simpson Miller

Querida Portia, mi glad fi si yu kom a mi fineral.  Rispek dyuu!  Bai di wie, yu fi taak tu di Prezident a yu Senet.  Im no redi.  Mi no laik ou im dis di Jostis Minista.  Bot dat a wan neks tuori.  Yu don nuo mi lov Jamieka.  Luk ou mi gi unu wan gud-gud diil pan di ail.  So yu wuda a fi kom a mi fineral fi sen mi aaf inna stail.  Bot so moch a unu?  Wa mek yu antaraaj so big an braad, Sista P? Yu a gwaan laik se yu a wan a dem bran niem DJ.  A we unu get di moni fi di uol a unu kom magl a mi fineral?  Mi ongl uop a no Ouzn Chos.

Life and Debt

Peter Phillips

Peter Phillips

Beg yu tel Peter Phillips fi tek im an outa puor piipl pakit! Ouzn Chos moni a fi bil ous fi puor piipl.  A no fi bil op bojit.  If di bojit pap doun, Peter a fi go fain wan neks wie fi kach it op.  Mi a waan unu.  Wa staat bad a maanin kyaahn kom gud a iivnin.  Fram unu staat nyam out Ouzn Chos moni, tingz a go go fram bad tu wos tu wosara.  Wa a go apm wen it don?

Mi nuo se IMF a kwiiz unu nek.  Bot a fi unu faalt.  Wa mek unu gaan go rap op bak wid dem? Luk ou lang Michael Manley shuo wi se wi ha fi lef dem out!  Sista P, yu neva wach Stephanie Black flim, Life and Debt?  Lisn mi!  Wen yu ier wat Michael Manley se inna dat de flim, yu wuda nuo se Jamieka supuoz fi waak faar fram IMF.

Yu nuo di big prablem wid Jamieka?  Unu ches tuu ai; an unu yai tuu big.  Unu a gwaan laik se unu a wash doun wid ail laka Venezuela an Trinidad an Tobago.  An iivn den.  Wa mek so moch farin fuud inna suupamaakit?  Wa rang wid Jamieka fuud?

math symbols_2Unu mout gluobal; an unu moni luokal.  An it kyaahn wok, Sista P. Unu a fi wiil an kom agen.  Mi naa se unu fi gu bak tu di aad life inna di sevntiz. Bot unu mos kyahn fain a wie fi liv pan di likl moni unu a mek.  Yu don nuo, mi an di American dem no plaahn no gungo a lain.  Bot mi a fi agrii wid Bill Clinton: “It’s arithmetic”.  A no suo-so palitiks.

Chaka-Chaka Spelling

Chávez duppy barely reach heaven an im decide fi lef come look fi Sista P.  Im a no one a dem man weh love luxury.  Im naa go waan live no high life up a heaven, a walk pon road mek outa gold, an a sing an dance an play harp, an a drink milk an honey, an im well know seh nuff people pon earth naa notn fi eat an drink. An no bodder talk bout pothole!  All inna Jamaica.  No, sah! Chávez a one a di one-an-few politician wid conscience.  A it mek im duppy decide fi fly down come talk to Sista P.  Hear weh im tell har seh.

Rev Stanley Redwood,President, Jamaican Senate

Rev Stanley Redwood,
President, Jamaican Senate

Querida Portia, mi glad fi see yu come a mi finaral.  Rispek due!  By di way, yu fi talk to di President a yu Senate.  Im no ready.  Mi no like how im diss di Justice Minister.  But dat a one next story.  Yu done know mi love Jamaica.  Look how mi gi unu one good-good deal pon di oil.  So yu woulda ha fi come a mi fineral fi send mi off inna style.  But so much a unu?  Weh mek yu entourage so big an broad, Sista P? Yu a gwaan like seh yu a one a dem brand name DJ.  A weh unu get di money fi di whole a unu come moggle a mi finaral?  Mi ongle hope a no Housing Trust.

Life and Debt

images-5Beg yu tell Peter Phillips fi tek im hand outa poor people pocket!  Housing Trust money a fi build house fi poor people.  A no fi build up budget.  If di budget pop down, Peter ha fi go find one next way fi cotch it up.  Mi a warn unu.  Wa start bad a mornin kyaan come good a evening.  From unu start nyam out Housing Trust money, tings a go go from bad to worse to worserer. Wa a go happen wen it done?

Stephanie Black

Stephanie Black

Mi know seh IMF a squeeze unu neck.  But a fi unu fault.  Weh mek unu gone go wrap up back wid dem? Look how long Michael Manley show wi seh wi ha fi lef dem out!  Sista P, yu never watch Stephanie Black flim, Life and Debt?  Listen mi!  When yu hear wat Michael Manley seh inna dat deh flim, yu woulda know seh Jamaica suppose fi walk far from IMF.

Yu know di big problem wid Jamaica?  Unu chest too high; an unu yai too big.  Unu a gwaan like seh unu a wash down wid oil laka Venezuela an Trindad an Tobago.  An even den.  Wa mek so much farin food inna supermarket?  Wa wrong wid Jamaica food?

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Unu mouth global; an unu money local.  An it kyaahn work, Sista P. Unu ha fi wheel an come again.  Mi naa seh unu fi go back to di hard life inna di seventies. But unu must kyah find a way fi live pon di lickle money unu a mek.  Yu done know, me an di American dem no plant no gungo a line.  But mi ha fi agree wid Bill Clinton: “It’s arithmetic”.  A no so-so politics.

Chávez’s Ghost Visits Sister P

images-7Chávez had only just got to heaven when he decided to leave and visit Sister P.  He’s not one of those men who love luxury.  He wouldn’t want to live on easy street, walking on gold, singing and dancing and playing the harp and drinking milk and honey, knowing full well that there are so many starving people on earth.  And don’t even talk about potholes!  Especially in Jamaica.  Not at all! Chávez is one of the small number of politicians with a conscience.  So that’s why he decided to come back to earth to talk to Sister P.  This is what he told her.

images-8Querida Portia, I was so glad to see you at my funeral. Rispek due!  By the way, you should have a word with the President of your Senate.  He’s not on top of things.  I didn’t like the way he dissed the Justice Minister.  But that’s another story.  You know I really love Jamaica.  That’s why I gave you such a good deal on the oil.  So you would have had to come to my funeral to send me off in style.  But so many of you?  Why was your entourage so huge, Sister P? You’re behaving as if you’re one of those brand name DJs.  Where did you get the money for so many of you to come and profile at my funeral?  I only hope it wasn’t from the Housing Trust.

Life and Debt

wrong-trackPlease tell Peter Phillips to take his hand out of poor people’s pocket!  Housing Trust funds are to be used to build houses for poor people. Not to build up the budget.  If the budget isn’t viable, Peter will have to find another way to prop it up.  I’m warning you:  if you go down the wrong track, it’s hard to get back on course.  Once you start plundering the resources of the Housing Trust, things will go from bad to worse. What will happen when it’s all eaten up?

I know that the IMF has you by the throat.  But it’s your fault.  Why have you gotten mixed up with them again? So long ago Michael Manley showed us that we should avoid them!  Sister P, didn’t you watch Stephanie Black’s film, Life and Debt?  I tell you.  When you listen to what Michael Manley said in that film, you would know that Jamaica should have nothing to do with the IMF.

You know what’s Jamaica’s big problem?  You all are much too vain and greedy.  You’re behaving as if you have huge oil reserves like Venezuela and Trindad and Tobago.  And even so.  Why is there so much imported food in your supermarkets?  What’s wrong with Jamaican food?

3d-silver-math-symbolsYour taste is global; and your currency is local.  And that can’t work, Sister P. You have to go back to the drawing board.  I’m not saying you should return to the hard times of the seventies. But you must be able to find a way to live within your means, however meagre.  You very well know that the Americans and I don’t see eye to eye.  But I have to agree with Bill Clinton: “It’s arithmetic”.  It’s not just politics.

Andrew’s Fairy-Tale Election

Andrew Holness must be living in a fairy tale. He most certainly has a fairy godmother looking after him. I don’t think Andrew expected to be prime minister at the relatively tender age of 39. He must be pinching himself every day, wondering if it’s for real. All of the competitors for the top job selflessly stepped aside and he became the unanimous choice for leader of the Jamaica Labour Party. So, abracadabra! Andrew Holness was magically transformed into prime minister.

Not satisfied with just the seal of approval from his party, Holness has been anxious to get his own mandate from the Jamaican people. So he has fast-forwarded the general election. After two false starts, the date was finally revealed last week.

And it was all quite anticlimactic. Everybody had done the maths and realised that the earliest the election could have been held was December 28.  I suspect that when Holness announced that he was going to ‘call it’ before the end of the year, he hadn’t calculated that the best date would turn out to be December 29. In the exuberance of youth, he spoke without counting the cost. I wonder if he consulted any of the older, and presumably wiser, heads in his party to see what they thought would be the ideal date for the election.

Perhaps, those not-so-youthful contenders who were passed over for the job of party leader have decided to leave ‘di yute’ to his own devices: ‘Im want prime minister work; mek it breed him’. There are so many proverbs that speak to our prime minister’s apparent predicament: ‘New broom sweep clean; old broom know di corner. Cock mout kill cock. Wa sweet a mout, hot a belly. Craven choke puppy dog’.

I’m also wondering if Andrew’s fairy godmother warned him that at midnight on December 31, he’s going to be changed, in the twinkling of an eye, from a fresh prince to an old bullfrog. And no princess is going to want to kiss him and turn him back into a prince. That’s the best explanation I can give for our prime minister’s hasty decision to spring an election on us in the last week of December.

Politics and superstition don’t mix

Andrew Holness’ unshakeable conviction that it has to be this year is just as irrational as Portia Simpson Miller’s stubborn faith that the number 7 is what should have been used to determine the date of the 2007 election. In both instances, it is superstition, not reason, that is the basis of the calculation.

Portia and Peter

Sister P learned her lesson the hard way. She lost the election by dilly-dallying and flirting with the number 7, which figures prominently in many of the world’s major religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. But politics, religion and superstition don’t mix. Sister P too-trustingly believed the predictions of a false prophet. She would have been much better off with a good obeahman. I suppose these days she needs neither. After all, she now has Peter Phillips on her side.

So why did Holness insist, in the first place, that he had to try to get his mandate before the end of the year? What difference would two weeks or a month have made? I suppose it’s the same reason we make New Year’s resolutions. We believe in the magic of a new beginning, however illusory. A new year is an opportunity to reform. We’re going to stop smoking, start dieting, stop getting into debt, start saving, stop stealing, etc.

Most New Year’s resolutions don’t last past the end of January. It’s the same old person doing the same old things. One day, from December 31 to January 1, really doesn’t make a difference. But our prime minister is naïve enough to believe in the temporary magic of the New Year. The Dudus, Manatt, JDIP, NWA and Trafigura scandals will all be miraculously erased from our collective memory. And Holness will get a clean slate on which to write his own legacy.

‘Im young; im wi learn’

Even if the prime minister could have admitted to himself that he’d miscalculated in setting the date of the election, he really couldn’t back down in public: ‘Big man no tek back chat.’ Despite the outcry against a general election in the week between Christmas and the New Year, the prime minister couldn’t find the courage to eat his words.

In his rush to try to get his mandate, Andrew Holness is trampling on Jamaican culture. Traditionally, the end-of-year holiday season is a sacred period of relaxation and merriment. It is not a time for politics. The historians Brian Moore and Michele Johnson confirm this in their chapter of the book Jamaica in Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture:

‘During slavery, celebrations began on Christmas Eve. All work ceased and the slaves set about gathering foodstuffs from their provision grounds and the markets. Planters also distributed food items such as meat, hams and wines to their slaves. Slave dances were held all night on 24 December, and early on Christmas morning bands of slaves would regale their masters with music and dance. Planters responded with gifts of clothing and money, and even opened their homes to entertain the slaves with food and drink. These festivities continued all day and night as well as the day after Christmas.’

And also long after slavery. Moore and Johnson report that, “For all practical purposes, the Christmas season in Jamaica in the later 19th and early 20th centuries could be considered to have extended roughly from mid-December to about the end of the first week of January.”

If our PM/minister of education knew his history, he would never have dared to ‘mash up’ the holidays with politics. But ‘im young; im wi learn.’

Wa mek dem a wies moni, Mis?

Aks eni praimeri skuul pikni ina Jamieka – bwoi ar gorl – fi ansa di kweschan dem pon di egzam piepa wa di Praim Minista set fi di komishana dem.  Di fos ting di pikni uda se a dis: “Dem doan nuo di ansa dem, Mis?  Ii, Mis?  Wa mek dem a wies moni fi aks dem de kweschan?  Dem no kuda tek di moni fiks op som a di skuul dem? Mis, mek mii tel dem!

Yu si, Dudus, Mis.  Im a wan big, big dan ina di Praim Minista kanstichuensi.  Yes, Mis.  Big, big, big!  An im av nof moni.  Mi no nuo we im get di moni fram, Mis.  Bot iz nof, nof, nof, nof moni.  An, Mis, im gi out plenti moni tu di piipl dem ina di kanstichuensi.  Muor dan di Praim Minista.  Yes, Mis, wan a mi fren mada get huol hiip a moni fran im.

Obama sen fi Dudus

.Tingz a gwaan gud yu nuo, Mis.  So til wan die, Obama sen mechiz tu govament se im waan Dudus kom a Merika fi taak tu im.   Im waan nuo we Dudus get di huol hiip a moni.  If a sel im a sel jogs an gon. An fi wi govament gi Dudus di mechiz.

Dudus ina Merika

Mis, Dudus se im naa go.  Obama tuu faas!  We im waan nuo im bizniz fa?  Dudus taak tu im MP.  Yes, Mis.  Entaim yu ina chrobl, Mis, yu ha fi go taak tu yu MP.  Yu MP mos an boun fi elp yu. Yu vuot fi im.  An im ha fi luk aafta yu.  Ar yu naa vuot fi im agen.  An yu naa gi im no moni fi ron ilekshan.  Wa yu se, Mis?  Yes, Mis, somtaim di MP iz a uman.  Laik Sista P.

Dudus taak tu im MP.  Dat a Bruce Golding, Mis, di Praim Minista. An Bruce an dem oda wan ina di Jamieka Lieba Paati mek up dem main se dem naa sen Dudus go gi Obama.  Dem get wan big-taim laaya, Misa Brady, fi taak to som ada big-taim laaya ina Merika – dem niem Manatt, Phelps an Phillips – fi fain out ou dem fi priti it op an tel Obama, gwe!

Peter Phillips bos di stuori

An, Mis, a so it a gwaan.  Peter Phillips im, dem se im a CIA, Mis, a im bos di stuori bout Manatt ina paaliment.  Yes, Mis.  An di Praim Minista se notn no go so.  Peter Phillips neva res so til di Praim Minista ha fi admit se a im did tel Misa Brady fi taak tu Manatt. Bot, Mis, im se im did tel im fi tel Manatt se a di JLP dem a wok fa, no di govament.

Peter Phillips

Huol hiip a piipl staat baal out se di Praim Minista tuu lai.  Im fi rizain.  Im go pan TV an im baal di livin ai waata an se im sari.  An som a di piipl dem sari fi im, Mis, an gi im a chaans.  An im neva rizain.  Im wiil an kom agen.

Likl, likl oda tingz staat kom out we mek it luk laik se di Praim Minista neva tel di huol a di chruut wen im did a baal pan TV.  A no di Praim Minista wan, Mis.  Plenti a di hai ops ina govament, dem miks op ina di miks-op an blenda.  It luk bad ii, Mis!

Bruce Golding a kansida

So a it mek di Praim Minista set up fi im ‘Commission of Enquiry.’    Mis, di komishana dem kyan fuors di Praim Minista fi taak di chruut?  Wa mek im no jos taak di chruut an don?”