You might wonder what on earth happened to our glorious TENTH, where it has gone, why the recently imported Carnival and early morning dive into the mud have crushed the celebration just about as completely as the Ruta Maya has replaced the Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta.
I don’t wonder why the TENTH fell apart, because I know the whole inglorious story, including the one about the worst TENTH celebrations ever. No, that worst TENTH wasn’t that long ago time when we declared two queens and two parades.
The worst TENTH celebration ever had to be the bi-centennial when the UDP came up with the bright idea to send all the way to Scotland for bagpipes and a Wallace, to lead the parade through the streets.
If I had to guess, I would point to Manuel Esquivel’s wife as the one who had the bright idea for the bi-centennial special. If I’m not mistaken, Lady Kathy Esquivel is of pure British Isles stock, and she is a creative sort, so the two plus two is that she was on her verandah one night, lying in her hammock and looking up at the stars, when the inspiration hit her about a TENTH to remember, which ended up as one we all want to forget.
Hey, no raining about the bagpipes; they make sweet music.
I could start naming the philistines that ruined the TENTH, but the list is long, and some things are best not gone over if we want to stay away from heartbreak. What the heck, people must face the truth no matter how much it hurts: It was Price, Shoman, Bradley, and Luna who did to the TENTH what the Guatemalans couldn’t do. Oh, if I knew music and I could sing I’d put their names in a song so that their treachery would never be forgotten.
Father-of-the-Nation Price, reports say, said the Battle was divisive, that it caused difficulties between the Mestizos of the North and the Kriols of Belize City and the Belize River Valley. What a distortion of history! All along the difficulty was in Guatemala.
Comrade Shoman, he knew that Price was spreading the myth story, and that this was a perfect path to the great man’s heart. Fascinatingly, Shoman the communist has enjoyed the best of the capitalist world. All reports are that he is at The Hague, living large on name-brand wine and too-rich-for-poor-people-palate caviar.
Ah, Mr. Bradley, reports are that he was one of us, true NIP stock, but like Bill Lindo he wanted the fame of playing revolutionary, so he shifted over to the PUP, and the price of his party card was to sully the glory.
And Brother Luna, I’ll just say I don’t know what kind of indoctrination he underwent over there in Mexico, but since his return to our shores he has been relentless in his attacks on the Baymen. Those four, if ever you wonder, they are the ones who ruined the TENTH.
Ah, one day the TENTH will be restored to its place of honor, and hip, hip, hooray, we will deliver a bad whipping with pokono boy sticks to the backs of the three remaining philistines who deny the glory.
Profligates Fonda and Braxton
It is so disappointing to hear these old Hollywood/MusicWorld creations, ancient Jane Fonda and aging Toni Braxton, wishing out loud that (and thinking they would have been happier if) they had slept around more when they were in their prime. What a reverse of the ideal of walking the straight and narrow! These things that these people think, why do they feel good about themselves to say these things out loud? Hn, it is said that age brings wisdom, but that pair, it looks like the senility lice got them.
Jamaica third parties and independents don’t do too well
Jamaica held its general elections on September 3, and while the big news for some is that the party incumbent won in a landslide, my focus was on the performance of the third parties and the independents.
I looked at the numbers, and when I saw how many votes the independents got, I turned the page upside down, like Humpty Dumpty did, because I couldn’t believe that I was seeing right. The Jamaicans are supposed to be more sophisticated, older at this voting thing than we are, so I expected to see more support for the candidates who didn’t belong to the two major parties. Bah, they do even worse than third parties and independents have been doing in Belize over the years.
One Wikipedia page on Jamaica’s political system lists seven political parties in Jamaica, and the two main ones are the People’s National Party (PNP), described as social-democratic, pro-republican, and the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), described as center-right, conservative. Only the two major parties contested the 2020 general elections, along with 13 independents. The Wikipedia page says that one platform of the losing PNP, which was blown out, was to have a referendum, with the aim of removing Queen E as their Head of State.
The independents performed woefully. The preliminary results of the 2020 general election show the winning JLP got 407,753 votes, the runner-up PNP got 305,864 votes, and the 13 independents combined got 1,461 votes.
The third parties and independents contested the 2016 general election in Jamaica, and the results were not encouraging for parties that aren’t really invited to the show. In that 2016 election the JLP got 437,178 votes, the PNP got 433,629 votes, INDA got 212, INDB got 1,021, MGPPP got 260, NDM got 223, and PPP got 91.
Amandala columnist, Janus, some years ago advised the third parties/independents in Belize to form a “third force” to lobby/pressure for the changes that they want to see in our country. The third parties in our country have some good and great talent, and good and great ideas, and the one that to my mind was the best organized, the VIP, produced the best manifesto any political party has put on the table, but it all came to naught at the polls because the first-past-the-post system is for two parties only.
If I had gone abroad to school to pick up a few letters behind my name, I would have been in the middle of the political fray, and it wouldn’t have been for any party that doesn’t stand a chance at the feast.
I read this story “Why third parties have flopped”, written in 2016 by Jediael Carter and published in the Jamaica Observer, and here are some of the thoughts that were shared.
The president of the National Democratic Movement (NDM), Peter Townsend, told Carter that the political structure in Jamaica makes for “an unequal battlefield for political aspirants in the country.” Townsend also said, “I think there is just a reality to keep the country as a two-party system … the Electoral Commission … we are not in it. The debates commission … again we are not in it. And then both of them are in Parliament, and so when the reports are carried on the news of things said in parliament, they are automatically covered by the news.”
Townsend might have been referring to the first-past-the-post electoral system when he spoke of the unequal “political structure.”
Former Jamaica PM, Edward Seaga, told Carter that the failure of the third parties is that they don’t have a base. Seaga, now deceased, said: “The first thing you need to have in a party is a base — that is, a number of supporters who will follow you, and that will increase. But third parties come along, they have no base, they have some interest groups behind them, but the interest groups are just not enough to form a base, and nobody is going to desert parties that have a base for a third party, so they don’t grow.”