Lindy Delapenha – Jamaica’s Finest Sporting Personality

img_1960Jamaica’s Lindy Delapenha -post WW2 British Air Forces veteran, sporting giant and media pioneer – passed away last week. He was 89.

To me Lindy was Jamaica’s greatest all round sporting personality. Some may say Usain Bolt, but when you add up Lindy’s achievements across numerous sports plus his accomplishments and influence as a broadcaster, he is a hard act to match.

As a young man Lindy excelled at many different sports including athletics, gymnastics, cricket, diving, football, boxing, golf. In the end Lindy chose to play professional football and became a pioneer for black players in England.

Lindy won the England’s top league title with Portsmouth FC in 1949. Injuries had limited his playing time there before he transferred in 1950 to Middlesbrough football club in the north east where he became a legend.

Returning to Jamaica in the 1960s Lindy became head of sports for the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) when he also developed the media careers of Allie McNab, Patrick Anderson, Tino Geddes and Hugh Crosskill jr.

Lindy brought to our screens English football, US sports, the football World Cup, Commonwealth Games, West Indies cricket and The Olympics. He thus influenced many Jamaicans from any early age to support English football clubs. No doubt young Jamaicans were inspired to take up sprinting after seeing on tv the likes of Donald Quarrie and Merelene Ottey perform at the Olympics.

Lindy was such an engaging story teller. To young viewers like me I was fascinated by his tales of living in England. Lindy would discuss his army activities after World War 2 concluded, facing racism in England, playing multiple sports and the overall culture from a black perspective of 1940s/50s Britain.

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As a kid growing up in Jamaica during the 1970s/80s I learnt some much about world football just from listening to Lindy’s stories.

Lindy was the first person I heard mention the great Hungarian side of the 1950s. At the time I didn’t even know Hungary was good at football.

Lindy would talk glowingly of that team  and run off their names Ferenc Puskás, Sándor KoscisZoltán CziborNándor Hidegkuti etc in numerous interviews.

I thought Lindy was talking rubbish. That was until when living in England I saw archive footage of how that Hungarian team destroyed England (then the “best team in the world”) twice during the 1950s. Even today English football has never forgotten that humiliation from Hungary.

In the 1990s English football fans at work or during pub talk were surprised by my knowledge of that Hungarian team. What they didn’t know was that all I was doing was simply quoting Lindy. So when I started running off the Hungarian team’s names by heart that gave me so much street cred.

Whenever I came across older Middlesbrough supporters at London football matches I would ask if they saw Lindy play live. Those that saw Lindy play would speak of his speed and powerful shots on goal. Some would say Lindy was the best player they saw at the club.

In fact Lindy was so fast that Great Britain sought out Lindy to represent them at London’s 1948 Olympics in the 100m. But as Lindy was a professional sportsman he was not allowed to participate in amateur events like The Olympics.

I admired the fact Lindy just never stopped working in media even in his 80s. He previewed English Premier League matches and Jamaican horse racing on his weekly radio show.

When asked who was the best player he had ever seen Lindy would say England’s Sir Stanley Matthews.  Today Matthews is regarded by football experts as one of the top 5 English players of all time. Matthews and Lindy played in the same era at the same position – outside right. Ironically one of Lindy’s colleagues at Middlesbrough said if Lindy was white no one would have of heard of Matthews.

One wonders what would have happened to his career had Lindy not rejected a move to Manchester United.

Linda Delapenha is an extraordinary Jamaican whose influence is still in evidence today.

A sign of how Lindy was still appreciated in England was shown over the weekend by two of his former clubs – Portsmouth and Mansfield Town – who paid their own tribute to him prior to the start of their matches.

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Portsmouth (blue) and Exeter players remembering Lindy Delapenha

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Mansfield Town (right) & Leyton Orient pay their respects to Lindy

 

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Lindy-Delapenha-is-dead

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/News/Lindy-Delapenha–Jamaica-s-greatest-footballer-is-a-man-ahead-of-his-time_87920

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/lindy-delapenha-sporting-hero-jamaica-12516911

Posted in black history, Caribbean, cricket, england, football, jamaica, jamaican, media, soccer, united kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Pioneers of Jamaican Music Speak to Brown Sugar

 

img_1952Radio programmes in Jamaica continues to be one of the key strengths in local media here.

Whether it’s in the area of current affairs, sports, health, politics, law or music the quality of such radio shows is impressive.

One such programme is  Night Cap “The Stories Behind the Music” on Thursdays on RJR from 8pm – midnight.

Hosted by Heather Grant aka Brown Sugar,  Night Cap – “The Stories Behind the Music” features one-on-one interviews (sometimes 2 guests) with Jamaican singers, musicians, producers who were integral to the development of Jamaican music (ska, rock steady, reggae) from the 1960s onwards.

Yes, the guests are given the whole 4 hours to tell their stories, mixed with the songs they were involved in creating. For the final 2 hours of the show Brown Sugar take calls from the public which have included former class mates and future guests to the show.

Guest to the show have included

  • Singers:  Errol Dunkley, Horace Andy, Max Romeo, Dennis Walks, Derrick Morgan, Tony Gregory, Boris Gardiner, Hugh Brown, Dennis Alcapone, Orville “Bagga” Case, Karen Smith, Pam Hall, Tommy Cowan, Carlene Davies, Derrick Morgan, George Nooks plus Earl Morgan & Leroy Sibbles both of the Heptones
  • Producers: Bunny Lee, Niney, King Jammy
  • Musicians: Sly Dunbar, Joe Isaacs, Lloyd Parks, Robbie Lyn

The stories told are funny, spiritual and at times moving. The guests described the hardships, the good days, funny moments on tour and how the music gave them a sustained purpose in life even today.

From the interviews you hear anecdotes that may not be found written in any books. (Apart from Bob Marley we know there are very few biographies of other Jamaican musical figures).

Anecdotes from the interviews so far included:

  • How Max Romeo initially hated the recording of his controversial U.K. hit “Wet Dream”, until his producer Lee Perry told him to “go sleep” and wait for the public’s reaction.
  • A 15 year old Sly Dunbar played on the U.K. chart topping “Double Barrel” by Dave and Ansell Collins.
  • The pride Lloyd Parks feels even today in having played on some of Dennis Brown’s greatest songs such “Love Has Found It’s Way”.
  • Horace Andy wrote the first lines to Dennis Brown’s “Created By  The Father” and handed it to D Brown as a gift to complete and record.
  • Horace Andy nickname is Sleepy because since childhood he is prone to dosing off easily – even at one of his own gigs when in the front row.
  • Errol Dunkley wrote and sang his first song in 1962 aged 11 produced by the late Prince Buster.
  • Leroy Sibbles (of the Heptones) signed Errol Dunkley to Studio One records.
  • How significant Leroy Sibbles was to Jamaican music.  Sibbles regrets that his impact as a singer, songwriter, producer, musician, arranger and A&R man was never fully documented at the time.
  • Sonia Pottinger was well respected as she was one of the few record producers to pay the singers/musicians on time.
  • The strong influence of the Chinese community in the music business during the 1960s/70s.

One of my funnier moments listening to the show was when Sibbles was told by Brown Sugar that his former Heptones band-mate Earl Morgan will be the guest the following week. Sibbles turned to Brown Sugar and said “Tell him to talk the truth“.

One common theme shared by some of the guests is the  affection and admiration they had for their friend the late Dennis Brown.

Another common thread from the show is how a small area of Kingston (covering Trench Town, Jones Town, Waterhouse) was where many of these musical pioneers spent their childhood and developed their craft.

By the end of each program you can sense how grateful and humble the guests feel being interviewed at such lengths for Jamaicans to hear. As most feel their input in to Jamaican music has been largely ignored and unappreciated in local circles.

I do hope the makers of this brilliant programme promote and share the interviews with other media houses & reggae historians globally.  Especially in Europe and Japan where these musicians are revered like music royalty.

RJR could approach airlines that travel to the Caribbean to suggest including these interviews as part of any in-flight entertainment.

A programme well worth a listen.

http://www.rjr94fm.com/schedule

Posted in jamaica, jamaican, music, radio, reggae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bunting Bluffs His Leadership Bid?

Peter Bunting has decided not to challenge Peter Phillips to succeed Portia Simpson-Miller as leader of Jamaica’s People’s National Party (PNP).

In his statement Bunting also felt Phillips is the right person to lead the current party of opposition. So far no contender has come forward to challenge Phillips.

Buntings decision is strange given he has been hinting all along his ambition to lead the PNP once Simpson-Miller steps down.

Are the other PNP MPs afraid to run against Phillips? One horse race is never good for any democratic organisation. Especially when choosing a new leader.

Phillips has been credited with steadying the economy when he was Finance Minister (2012-2016). But economic growth under his management was minimal and never reached 2%.

Being classed a steady finance minister is no guarantee route to being an effective political party leader and the next PM. Managing government finances and leading a country requires different attributes.

An effective finance minister has to act like a gloomy big bully to force govt ministers/departments to cut spending annually in the name of efficiency. While a party leader is required to inspire and promise the electorate a feel good environment.

PNP members who emphatically endorse Phillips seem to forget he was campaign director for the recent general elections that the PNP government lost in February 2016.

Phillips has been a seasoned Cabinet member and has held a number of senior positions including the daunting National Security.

Ken Clarke

The current PNP leadership ‘race’ reminds me of the then opposition U.K. Conservative Party leadership battle in 2005, when Ken Clarke was the clear favorite.

Similar to Phillips, Clarke was a seasoned Cabinet minister at government departments such as Education, Health, Home Office, Treasury etc.

All assumed Clarke (or even David Davis) would win the leadership easily until a little known 39 year old MP – David Cameron – showed up and won.

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown – another former British Chancellor of the Exchequer – succeeded Tony Blair as Labour Party leader and Prime Minister in 2007.

Labour Party members and MPs felt Brown “deserved” his new appointments. Brown faced no serious challenge to be Labour leader. A move that has proved costly for Labour even today.

Brown just could not connect with the average voter. The abrasive style he ran the Treasury was never going to work as PM. Brown lost the 2010 general elections to David Cameron.

Edward Seaga

Edward Seaga was leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) for over 30 years. Seaga is regarded by many as the finest Jamaican finance minister in its 54 year history. But as JLP leader Seaga won just one contested general election against the PNP and lost five.

Andrew Holness

5 years ago Andrew Holness was handed the JLP leadership (& PM role) without an internal election and in less than 3 months lost the general elections to the PNP.

In 2013,  JLP’s finance spokesman Audley Shaw then challenged Holness for the leadership which the former loss. Even though that leadership race was a bruising affair (half the MPs wanted Andrew out), it forced Holness to toughen up as a leader. That tough race must have boosted Holness’ chances & confidence ahead of February’s general elections. Shaw is now Finance Minister again.

So Bunting’s early bail out of the leadership race is disappointing. He had a fighting chance. [Phillips had previously ran twice for the leadership of the PNP and lost on both occasions.]

Peter Phillips may indeed be the right person to lead the PNP. But coronation of new party political leaders without any genuine challengers is never healthy politics.

I hope there is a leadership battle for the PNP’s top job. Party members should know the key issues and priorities of the contenders before he/she is elected.

  • What are their plans for violent crime, education, youth etc?
  • What will be different about their leadership compared to the previous leaders?

2016 has shown that the normal rules on politics has changed  right across the globe.

Posted in British Labour Party, jamaica, jamaican | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Influenced US Elections? Bad Karma for Washington

The Democratic Party’s election loss is not healing any within its camp.

Now outgoing President Obama has ordered a review to see if/how Russia infiltrated (hacked) their way into influencing the recent US elections.

If there is one country that knows how to disrupt other nations general elections it is Uncle Sam.

  • Their involvement influenced the killing of Chile’s President Salvador Allende in the 1970s and the rise of the dictator General Pinochet.
  • Not forgetting the CIA actions to destabilise democratic elected Latin American governments such as Jamaica and Guatemala.
  • Haitian elections continues to be a punching bag for US administrations up to today. 
  • We can also add the CIA involvement across Africa where  leaders like Patrice Lumumba were killed with the support  of the US government.
  • During the last decade  elections in Eastern European countries such as the Ukraine and Georgia had interference from the US administration.

No surprise if the Russians had hacked email accounts of DNC officials. China must have done so too given their recent history  in the hacking of US companies & other groups. Other countries are bound to have hacked the DNC servers and Hillary Clinton’s private email account.

But in the intelligence community Western allies will be tapping or hacking each other’s system’s with similar tactics. Golden Rule: Just don’t get caught!

  • Germany’s Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped by the US through the  National Security Agency (NSA) for years.
  • Israeli intelligence tapped the phone of US Secretary of State John Kerry.
  • In the U.K. security services (such as GCHQ) listens to everybody, friend or foe.

You get the feeling the review announced by Obama has already been written and will be used to taint the early stages of the Trump administration. That politics for you.

I still find it hard to understand how US govts – who act so concerned over cyber security  – allowed  their top diplomats (Hillary Clinton & Colin Powell) to use private email accounts for govt business.

If a U.K. foreign affairs minister did something similar – even 15 years ago – they would be fired.

Ironic that Obama ordered this review in the same week he told CNN that he and US intelligence agencies were surprised by the rise of ISIS across Iraq and Syria. That conclusion by Obama is so hard to believe but if true is really scary.

[“This administration has no interest in crushing in ISIS according to our information and our data. We approached the State Department  about ISIS before ISIS was in the headlines and we were ignored.” – to Dr. Sherkoh Abbas, chairman of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria]

The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere

Former Icelandic minister claims US sent ‘planeload of FBI agents to frame Julian Assange’ during mission to the country in 2011

 

Posted in hillary clinton, middle east, obama, politics, Putin, Republican Party, russia, US Elections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Magazine Person of 2016. My Picks of Winners & Losers

Time Magazine shortlist for person of 2016 were as follows

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Simone Biles
  3. Hillary Clinton
  4. Beyonce
  5. CRISPR Scientists
  6. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
  7. Nigel Farage
  8. The Flint Whistleblowers
  9. Narendra Modi
  10. Vladimir Putin
  11. Mark Zuckerberg

Winner: Donald Trump

My own list would include Trump, Farage but also

  1. Andrew Holness – Caused a huge shock at the polls. Reinvented his leadership in time to win Jamaica’s general elections and regained the PM gig.
  2. Elaine Thompson – Despite the achievements of Usain Bolt, women’s track sprinting is far more competitive. Thompson’s sprint double win in Rio was some performance.
  3. Wikileaks team – Provided a real insight into US campaign politics and parts of the media.
  4. Mohammad Javad Zarif – Iran’s foreign minister has managed wins deals (+millions in cash) from the US and EU.
  5. President John Magufuli (Tanzania) Known as the “bulldozer” has caused a revolution in the governance of his nation.
  6. Claudio Ranieri – Managed Leicester City to win the English Premier League. A major miracle.
  7. Kellyanne Conway – Trumps campaign manager. First woman to be campaign manager of a winning Presidential team.
  8. Tulsi Gabbard– Democrat congresswoman stood up to her party when she saw they were manipulating the primaries against Bernie Sanders. Rising star. Should Bernie back her for 2020?
  9. Sadiq Khan -A Muslim elected London’s Mayor was a huge statement.
  10. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on the release of the Panama Paper that exposed tax haven actions by the wealthy and well connected.

Winner: Claudio Ranieri – Leicester was 5000/1 to win.

Biggest Falls from Grace in 2016

  1. David Cameron – BREXIT’s first casualty.
  2. President Dilma Roussef –  Kicked out by her colleagues in the year when Brazil hosted the Olympics.
  3. Hillary Clinton – Lost what should have been an easy route to the White House. Books are being written.
  4. Governor Chris Christie – An early favourite to be Trump’s running mate. Bridgegate scandal has diminished his standing within the Trump camp.
  5. Lisa Hanna, MP – Once one of the more popular figures in Jamaica’s People’s National Party. In 2016 she became one of the most vilified by many of her own party colleagues. Her party leadership aspirations now looks impossible. For now.

Biggest Disappointments

  1. Jeremy Corbyn (British Labour Party) – Needs to transform his leadership into a more aspirational, dynamic and tougher style. Should leave the protests and angernomics to others. 2017 is a big year for Corbyn.
  2. England at the European Football Championships and getting knocked out by Iceland.
  3. The deaths of so many who influenced my cultural & social interests  e.g. Billy Paul, Caroline Aherne, Prince, Bob Cranshaw, Robert Vaughan, Glenn Frey, Carlos Alberto, Johann Cruyff, Muhammad Ali, Prince Buster, Bobby Hutcherson, Gwen Ifill, Rod Temperton, Bill Nunn, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake. Thanks for shaping some of my passions.

 

There might have been things I missed But don’t be unkind” – From the Beginning by Emerson, Lake & Palmer,  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American Politics, athletics, black history, BREXIT, British Labour Party, british politics, Current affairs, david cameron, Democratic Party, donald trump, england, EPL, Film, hillary clinton, jamaica, jeremy corbyn, media, NEWS, politics, theresa May, track and field, UK, united kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Elections: Winners & Losers

In a mainly 2 horse race it is hardly surprising that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. Especially given the other unusual events that’s happened in 2016 such as BREXIT and the Chicago Cubs.

To me here are some of the winners and losers from this US election marathon.

Winners

Kelly Anne Conway

Took over in the final months as Trump’s campaign manager and reined in his crazy utterances – mostly. She even took on The View and held her own.

Donald Trump

Blew up the rule book on effective communications on political campaigning. Mastered twitter to make his own headlines. Is this the start of a Trump dynasty in the White House?

Wikileaks

Gave an insight into the real Democratic Party campaign machine and Obama’s inner circle. Made unpleasant reading for some Bernie supporters.

Fox New

Coverage was the most balanced (can’t believe I am saying this) of all the major news outlets – except Sean Hannity and Eric Bolling. Ironically back in the spring Andrea Tantaros was sidelined by her employers at Fox because of her staunch support for Trump.

John Bolton

I fear Bolton more than I do of Trump. If he becomes a top foreign affairs adviser to Trump then be very afraid. The UN and EU could be in for some challenging times.

Israel

The idea of a 2 state solution with the Palestinians looks dead.

Mike Pence

If Trump bungles his presidency then vice president-elect Pence could be commander-in-chief. Conservatives in the US & UK are never scared to unceremoniously dump their own leaders.

US Comedians on TV

They all hate Trump but their TV shows are likely to receive a spike in audience figures which must lead to bumper salaries. Will Jon Stewart come out of retirement?

Neera Tanden

A Hillary insider whose frankness in her emails was spot on over the private server, David “batshit” Brock etc. The kind of straight talking email friend we all need!

The DNC needs to listen her blunt analysis and views going forward.

Michelle Obama

The class act of the DNC campaign.

Losers

Hillary Clinton

Hampered over trust and judgement issues especially relating to the private server & Clinton Foundation.

Hillary should have chosen Bernie as the VP given how he defeated her in 22 states during the primaries. Some of those same states that she then lost out to Trump.

DNC -Democratic National Committee

The leadership of DNC under Debbie Wassermann-Schultz and Donna Brazile was unprofessional and too devious at times. Both did their best to support Hillary during the primaries and block the chances of any other strong Democratic candidates.

Some Democrats wished they had the Republican chair Reince Priebus (another big winner) in charge of their party.

CNN, BBC, ABC, MSNBC, Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, CNBC

The media’s anti Trump stance in the final months backfired big time. Given that they enhanced his reputation for the past 2 decades.

NBC kept him on The Apprentice long after the birther slander against Obama. CBS chairman Les Moonves remarked in February on Trump’s campaign. “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,”

Oops!!! – by September it was too late for the mainstream media to stop the Trump machine.

Big fan of Rachel Maddow but some of her programmes against the Republicans were just as outlandish as Hannity’s take on Democrats.

CNN lost all credibility with their coverage.

Media folks such as Donna Brazile, Roland Martin and John Harwood were caught out using their privilege positions to covertly push Hillary’s agenda.

Barack Obama

Trump as Obama’s successor must feel like the ultimate humiliation of his presidency.

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden

Both must look in the mirror and say ‘Donald Trump is President, I could have beaten him but those bloody Hillaristas….?’

Was Joe got at by his own party in order not to challenge Hillary?

Elizabeth Warren

Despite having similar views to Bernie her failure to back him in the primaries upset the DNC left. Warren’s eventual support for Hillary following her nomination sounded so fake, given her years of disdain for Mrs Clinton.

Other News Items 

With the non stop coverage of the election campaign other important news items were simply ignored or reduced to brief bulletins. Look how quickly the news on Haiti’s hurricane disaster vanished from our screens.

The UK’s Channel 4 News (1 hour) last Wednesday gave 55 minutes to the US elections. They barely made time to mention that – also on Wednesday – 7 passengers died in Croydon, London following a tram derailment.

Gary Johnson

” Aleppo ? What is Aleppo?”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in BBC, BREXIT, britain, british politics, Current affairs, Democratic Party, dnc, donald trump, GOP, hillary clinton, israel, labour party, london, media, middle east, NEWS, obama, Republican Party, UK NEWS, uk politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Matthew’s Haiti vs 1 Horse – No Contest

Today much has been reported of the Ruler of Dubai – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum – providing up to £300,000 worth of aid to the people of Haiti following Hurricane Matthew.

A few days earlier Sheikh Mohammed spent £2.73 million on a foal at an auction in England.

(Sometimes) 4 legs good 2 legs bad – Animal Farm

 

 

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