What I Learnt during the Pandemic – week ending 30/5/20

In Jamaica I Learnt

  1. The decision by the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) not to chose an acting leader during Peter Phillips recovery from cancer treatment has back-fired spectacularly and reopened deep divisions amongst the PNP’s elected representatives.
  2. Opposition spokesman on finance, Mark Golding (PNP) has had an effective  fortnight. He challenged the legal framework of the government’s spending plans in light of the pandemic. Embarrassing for the government, the Attorney General’s Office and the lawyers at the Ministry of Finance.
  3. The insta clash between dancehall giants Beenie Man and Bounty Killer drew tremendous plaudits and a lot of high profile Jamaican wagonists. As both artiste’s songs hardly get airplay on Jamaican radio – with the exception of IRIE FM – due to state/advertiser pressures and to appease the powerful anti-dancehall lobby.
  4. The investigation by parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into the soap opera that is the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) scandal continued.
    • We learnt that money was channeled to questionable characters (incl. a life guard?) in the name of school meals contracts.
    • We also learnt that Evon Gardner (Treasurer, CMU) who appeared at the previous PAC hearing has resigned. When the CMU scandal first broke in the March/April  2019 Gardner took garden leave.
    • Elaine Hayden, Project Manager at the CMU, admitted to the PAC that certain procurement practices were poorly executed and plain wrong; said she was following orders. You felt for Hayden as she answered questions that should have been aimed at more senior public officials such as the previous permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education.
  5. Cricket West Indies to be sued by its former CEO Dave Cameron.
  6. The parish of St. Ann & the Jamaica Labour Party lost two political stalwarts –
    • Neville Gallimore (81) former MP/government minister
    • Shahine Robinson (66) current MP/government minister, who was a champion for the elevation of Marcus Garvey’s legacy in the great man’s parish.
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Irie Shahine

Globally I Learnt

  1. Going by his performance at the meeting with select committee chairs, Boris Johnson continues to prove he is just a cheerleader and not someone on top of the key priorities of the country he was elected to govern. Hence why his adviser Dominic Cummings did not resign this week as de facto prime minister.
  2. People residing in care homes have accounted for more than half of COVID-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland.
  3. Tory minister Robert Jenrick showed ‘apparent bias’ in approving Tory party donor’s (publisher Richard Desmond) housing development in East London. Decision was made just one day before new rules would have added millions to cost of project,
  4. There is a cricket tournament happening in St Vincent & the Grenadines. Namely the Vincy Premier League (VPL). Ten-over matches with a small pocket of spectators and with teams such as Salt Pond Breakers and Grenadines Divers. During the pandemic St Vincent & the Grenadines (population 110,200) did not go into lockdown. 24 positives and no fatalities. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said he was not a fan of draconian “Chinese” type measures.
  5. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo – described by liberal-leaning US political commentators as “America’s Governor” during the pandemic – is accused of signing legislation that gave immunity to hospital and nursing home executives from lawsuits in relation to the coronavirus. Cuomo is said to have received political donations of more than $2 million from lobbyist groups with links to hospitals & nursing homes.
  6. Canada – 80% of COVID-19 fatalities took place in long term care homes.
  7. Also in Canada an investigation into long term care home facilities in Ontario was initiated by the Canadian Armed Forces. The report found:
    • Repeated use of medical equipment between COVID-19 patients and others who had not tested positive, without it being disinfected.
    • New staff were not trained or oriented. Staff were burned out.
    • Residents were not bathed for weeks.
    • The housing of COVID-19 patients with residents who had not tested positive.
    • Residents calling for help with no response for up to two hours.
  8. The headline in one of New Zealand’s newspapers read  “Todd Muller’s first week not a complete disaster” tells you how dreadful it was for the new Leader of the Opposition.
  9. US pressured Israel to award a $1.5 billion desalination plant contract to a local company ahead of competitive bids from China.
  10. Tanzanian govt summoned the top official at the US embassy to object to an advisory that warned of “exponential growth” of COVID-19 cases. 
  11. Italian based vineyard owners are flying in Romanian pickers by private jet to save their harvest.
  12. Taiwan’s highest court ruled adultery is no longer a crime.
  13. Trump-the-withdrawer pulls the US out of the World Health Organiation.
  14. Black America has had an eye-opening fortnight and a reminder of how important pocket cameras have become in exposing the truth.
    1. the race baiting incident in Central Park.
    2. George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis. The lengthy delay in not immediately charging the policemen showed a serious lack of foresight by prosecutors in Minnesota. That delay was bound to lead to the riots we are seeing across the US.
  15. We’ve seen stories of state law enforcers
    • fatally shot Iyad Halak, 32, an unarmed autistic Palestinian (Israel)
    • publicly choke the life out of George Floyd, 46 (US)
    • fatally shot Susan Bogle, 44, a disabled woman, while in her bed (Jamaica).
  16. We lost jazz drumming legend Jimmy Cobb aged 91. Played on Miles Davis’ seminal album Kind of Blue which changed jazz from the late 1950s onward. Cobb was also part of one of the finest rhythm sections – with bassist Paul Chambers (died 1967)) & pianist Wynton Kelly (died 1971) – in all music.

 

 

 

 

About africanherbsman1967

I edit résumés (incl UK, Canada, Nigeria, New Zealand, Jamaica), review reports. coach and mentor from time to time. Love my farming. I love taking photos. Love speech radio globally but am a music buff with broad spectrum in taste. Graham Greeneish approach to life for 3 decades. "The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind" - William Blake
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