CaribZone Commentary: Aubrey Campbell –Wednesday, April 20th

Good day folks and thanks for being a part of the conversation.  On the unsolicited advice of my good friend, Joan Pinnock, Esq., to butt out of what does not concern me and find things to talk/write about in South Florida, I called the office of her colleague, Attorney Wayne Golding – and I have to tread very carefully here, because this legal tandem is capable of raising the dead – up in Orlando, for information on the Diaspora Conference being planned for this summer.

The person at the other end of the line, and assuming she is a partner or administrative assistant, said he was not available and that I should call back. I was polite enough to let her know the reason for my calling, so that just in case I develop ‘convenient romnesia’, at least the esteemed attorney would call me back.

Well, I am still waiting for a call from Wayne, so that I can give the South East Diaspora Conference, set for late June, some ink, FOC!

And so, having nothing else to write about, I am back with the Northeast, and to be precise like my GPS would, my destination is 767 Third Avenue, on the east side of Midtown Manhattan, the second and third floors!

Simply put, if you live in the NE USA, and for the purpose of this conversation, anywhere from Virginia to Maine and you do not know this address, then that is precisely what’s wrong with this Diaspora Movement. The ailment just diagnosed, Diaspora disconnect, a new strain of Chik V, but praise the Lord, curable in short order!

And I will assume that’s why the lone ranger minister with her secret service looks (Agent KJS), is in town to ‘spy’ on this most coveted ‘constituency’ in the hope that she can add to the razor-thin majority that’s now in full effect on Duke Street, in killsome city, Kingston.

As proper protocol would have it, and on behalf of the ‘zone’ where we ‘conversate’ things Diaspora, I would like to welcome the honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, to NYC.

I spent the last 48 hours or so being the fly on the wall, buzzing around for information on ‘foreign affairs’ as May Day (May 1), draws closer. And just for information, Wiz Kid PM Andrew Holness has summoned Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Consuls General, home on May Day.

Pack your bags and come!

To borrow a phrase from ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (DWTS), or Ryan Seacrest – American Idol..Miami and Toronto are….SAFE! Not so for Washington, D.C., London, China, Japan and New York!

I have no doubt that the good looking senator will provide some clarity in the coming hours and days regarding who will be assigned these ‘plum’ positions, ‘the spoils of war’, as one of my colleagues called it over a hearty laugh!

Former Senator Arthur Williams – he needs no introduction – is headed across the pond to Big Ben city and the lady who knows how to manage other people’s money (OPM), not unlike the IMF, will be given a second tour of duty in the nation’s capital. Yes, Her Excellency Audrey Marks is going back to Washington, DC, and sooner than some would like, as they ponder the luck or lack thereof, of His Excellency, Ralph Thomas, just six months into his appointment and with a young family in tow!

That is politics, for you…Hello!

If the new thrust of the Andrew Holness Administration is to find a way to have the overseas constituency represented at some level of government, then the constituency office in Manhattan, will be the biggest prize of them all, bigger than it already is.

New York City continues to be the epicenter of the 64th constituency ! Herman LaMont was on the verge of retiring after a stellar tenure as a career diplomat when he was handed the keys to the city. And to be nice to the man, he was nice, but ‘Destination 767’ demands a bit more. Ask those who knew the late Kay Baxter or more recently, Ambassador ‘BK’.

But the biggest irony has to be the closet dwelling laborites in/of New York City. Up ‘til now, no candles nuh lite, no sankey nah sing! Is it education, modesty..what? You know what, it’s JAMAICA time. That’s what it is!

Putting a short list of potential candidates for the CG job in NYC has not been fun. Unless someone is sent from ‘yard’, the pickings are really slim!

Agronomist turned newspaper publisher Patrick Maitland knows his way around the building – Destination 767 – but that’s it for him. Andrew will not make the same mistake that Bruce made (Read my lips, silly).

.Alsion Roach who knows her way around mid town Manhattan and Wall Street, is reportedly high on the list, if only because she is a known fundraiser for the party and has advised on financial matters. My understanding is that she has since asked not to be considered.

Up to now, no mention of the popular broadcaster/attorney Jeff Barnes on this go around, but if the beautiful senator must be taken at her word, this early, there would be no shortage of candidates with a genuine bi-partisan label. Hearing one speak and knowing how one votes, may not necessarily be one and the same thing.

Are you with me, so far?

Immigration/community activist, now ‘moving forward’ as a broadcasting, Irwin Clare, Sr., comes to mind, so too does Dennis Warren, Esq. They know how to serve both sides but others may and will differ with this assessment.

That brings me to the ideal candidate for the post of Consul General of Jamaica to New York, Earl Jarrett, the current chairman of Jamaica National, the ideal Diaspora Man, yea mon! I doubt it though, because JN money ‘strong’ and the company is on the verge of going commercial, bigger than ‘green’ and/or ‘orange’ at the moment! A secondment is not an option at this time, I suppose!

So, where does that leaves us? At the mercy of Agent KJS and the partisan, political bias of the new administration. And, to be honest and truthful, no fault of theirs.  That’s Jamaica’s politics. Today for you, tomorrow for me!

That’s why people, young, fresh and ‘green’…oops, pun intended – with different ideas, were hastily jettisoned at sea!

Dare I say, it’s a different day and Kamina and Andrew can be the difference makers, here, even with the slimmest of majority. After all, the conference on June 10, aims to unite the Jamaican Diaspora for growth and prosperity!

Bon Voyage, folks. You gave it your best shot. Off into the sunset you must ride.

And that’s today’s conversation. You have the last word. Share your thoughts.



  1. My vote goes with Earl Jarrett. He definitely showed his compassion a couple of weeks ago when we happened to be at the same parking garage having attended a function at Finn Partners.

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