That’s news to me: a glimpse of what the world is saying about Jamaica

When you’re away from your home, it’s always interesting to know what the rest of the world sees of interest about your home. So, here I am in London–in winter. I’m not missing the heat of Kingston. Why should I? I chose to come. I get to watch European football in the right time zone, not at breakfast or lunch time–still getting used to that. I now don’t have to miss the news from home, because thanks to wonderful inventions like the Internet, I can still stay in touch with Jamaican news sources. I presume that they are usually the best at capturing what is likely to capture the attention of those at home. So, in my few days away, what did I learn from them? Briefly, and in no particular order, I list three things:

  • PM backs down from his decision to appoint ‘acting’ Chief Justice. (Aka…no one elected ME to lead the country, but seeing as I have that position, let me pretend that it’s more legitimate than it is…)
  • Police officer pepper sprays a journalist trying to cover an aggressive attempt to restrain a member of the public, including a another police officer pulling at what appears to be a child no older than 4 years old. (Aka…Community policing means JCF treating fellow citizens like the offsprings of slaves that we know them to be, and who are you to tell us that we have no right to do so?)
  • Jamaican women’s bobsled team coach walks off the job at the Winter Olympics, before the team has had a chance to competed, and allegedly threatens to take her sled with her. (Aka…If it ain’t broke let’s break it so that someone else can fix it. There’s a pattern here, folks 😦 )

But, what has caught the eyes and ears of reporters in Britain? Guess? The drama of the not-so-cool runnings in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Well, at least I did not learn of the story first from The BBC, though they did a segment this morning on what was being reported in the British newspapers. It’s a good sports story, though, in the ‘I’m taking my ball home, so you can’t play’ variety, even though the issues are far from being that simple. I think the ownership and related liability issues are complex. They also point to aspects of life in countries like Jamaica, where ownership of important assets is often the province of foreigners.

However, whatever people may say or think about Jamaica on the sporting map–and it’s not all about Usain Bolt–the country knows how to generate drama. If I thought even for a moment that this was part of some publicity stunt, I’d say so. It’s hard to think of what real benefits could come from the story. Jamaica isn’t really expected to do well in the event, but with the world awestruck by its athletes’ prowess, it could hope that they could run off coolly with a medal. That would make tears flow more than if a one-legged Samoan had flown down the skeleton track and finished in 1st place even though his was the first run ofhte event.

But, contrary to the adage of former-president Obama, Jamaica does sporting drama. Internal bickering is something in which we could easily and regularly get gold medals. That is not a cynical view! But, pending further developments, let’s say that Valentine’s Day did not produce an outburst of Ich liebe dich from the German coach. Instead, it turned in Trash Wednesday.

From London, I remain your humble servant. 🙂

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

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