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4/25/1970 - Jamaica II A Political Overview by Frank J. McDonald

NOT FOR PUBLICATION INSTITUTE OF CURRENT WORLD AFFAIRS Kingston Jamaica April FJM Jamaica II A political overview Mr Richard Nolte Executive Director Institute Current World Affairs Fifth Avenue New York N Y 10017 Dear Mr Nolte Traditionally Jamaica recognized touchstone West Indian British Caribbean politics Sister states throughout region followed Jamaica historic slave rebellions centuries The popular uprising Morant Bay labour strikes begun Frome created reverberations throughout Caribbean Indeed there great significance Jamaica first British Caribbean Territory independence Only recently Jamaica paramount place challenged Trinidad ardent regionalists radical activists setting direction political patterns future Further historical presence politics region naturally enforced Jamaica relative economic wealth population compared Eastern Caribbean As result Jamaican politics first characterised ingrained sense arrogant nationalism nationalism which accounts island political insularity reluctance fashion binding Caribbean This Jamaican nationalism critically recognized though grudgingly accepted other Caribbean states And better tribute nationalism effect other Caribbean states Dr Eric Williams remark learning Jamaica withdrawal their aborted Federation Ten minus equals Another historical factors perhaps pertinent contemporary Jamaican politics The first traditional importance small middle class protest groups composed teachers lawyers other professionals As early groups exemplified Jamaica Union Teachers founded Jamaica Progressive League founded waging eXtremely effective campaigns against British FJM The significance JUT League represented nationalist movement Jamaican middle class organisations individuals subsequently formed basis major political parties People National Party operating contemporary Jamaica Thus genesis PNP being JUT League vital understanding original characteristics emphasis idealogy compared Jamaica other political party Jamaica Labour Party organization stressing range planning leadership drawn mainly middle class In addition however while origin PNP JUT League character Party rooted nature dominated nearly years Nor W Manley Norman Washington Manley July He spemt early years Granaboa Vale attended school nearby became athlete excellent scholar finally Rhodes Scholarship Jesus College Oxford At Oxfords Manley acquired First Class Honours Returning Jamaica young graduate admitted spent sixteen years acquiring reputation capable barristers country It until however Norman Manley became active Jamaica politics As Grantley Adams Barbados Manley activism originated strikes which immobilized Jamaica Caribbean That watershed Caribbean history which arose would leaders nationalist movements Jamaica Guyana In Jamaica Manley Frank Ken Hill Richard Hart others organized militantly nationalistic People National Party Party which ideologically committed socialism which worked mechanics economic change those terms Concomitant policy PNP leadership recognized their middle class narrow appeal Jamaican voters As result labour which originated Trade Union Council later named National Workers Union appended Party structure With research groups appointed planning committees policy propaganda generated PNP And NWU continued bargaining rights attract funds PNP became first example modernized ideological movement West Indian politics Significantly apart alliance formation labour organization PNP example inspired Eric Williams organizational programme People National Movement Trinidad Above Norman Manley Edna Below The Burial Norman Washing Manley Michael wreath Grave Prime Minister Hugh Shearer looks extreme right FJM Nevertheless activism until Party purged ranks leftest elements Hill brothers Richard Hart contested losing elections PNP finally victorious polls In national elections again Manley PNP scored electoral triumphs charge Government In however Parliamentary Opposition called referendum issue Jamaica participation West Indies Federation Manley avowed regionalist consented rejected votes In quick cession PNP general elections transferred Government JLP watched Independence August When Country became fully autonomous Norman Manley prinicpal architect Jamaican nationalism forced place Leader Loyal Opposition Since where PNP remained The second historical tradition essential development Jamaican politics trade union Beginning organisation played signifi mobilizing political support favour No other figure could better illustrate effort Alexander Bustamante founder Bustamante Industrial Trade Union subsequently Jamaica Labour Party Born Irish planter Jamaican mother Bustamante education Jamaica years wandered around world until In managed member Cuban Police Force tramway inspector Panama dietician New York hospital He lived Puerto Rico Canada Spain In Spain changed Clark father Bustamante Bustamante first attracted public attentio writing letters Press attacking economic conditions expanding activity letter writing began address public gatherings Kingston streets It events however which established Bustamante island charismatic labour union leader Low wages unemployment sugar production slumping bananas Leafspot disease large migration country Kingston background strikes riots Bustamante began addressing workers They responded protest marches In May people listening Bustamante refused ordered police The Inspector Police ordered crowd Bustamante opening shirt stepped front crowd asking police shoot instead people The police crowd moved Above Bustamante leading Labour Day march Below Bustamante addressing crowd during strikes which brought power right As Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante escorts Princess Margaret raising ceremony marking Jamaican Independence Finally arrested released because efforts cousin Norman Manley arrested again tried jailed seventeen months Nevertheless Busta organiza tional skills massive labour union release prison proceeded organize political party order contest elections Not surprisingly Bustamante party Jamaica Labour Party total seats seized control Government The JLP Busta Chief Minister power until defeated Manley PNP elections But years later Busta returned Prime Minister victorious JLP Soon after triumph Bustamante knighted Queen retired active politics leaving party colleagues continue running Government JLP Today Bustamante still President JLP labour Bustamante Industrial Trades Union party still rules In contrast PNP NWU alliance JLP BITU organization creation single individual Alexander Bustamante The became extension personality planning organization policy making personified union leader For example opposition PNP Busta people JLP defender their little animals He explained small owners country wanted retain ownership their little plots JLP would returned power Thus precisely ability relate instincts people understand their conservatism exploit middle class ideological orientation PNP which Busta successful Actually however control Government neither party differed other general approach Jamaica economic social problems They roughly As Manley socialism began language posture ideological suggested represented Instead PNP would better described liberal party patterned British Labour Party As Gordon Lewis West Indian political writer rightly argued things Jamaica comic which PNP black proletarian assaulted JLP black proletarian Jamaican politics still essentially Dickensian encounter between Tweedledum Tweedledee One understand however Caribbean viewed Jamaica confronted leaders Manley Bustamante mould The bigger their party organizations their absence Norman Manley Bustamante retire politics Jamaican politics taken different texture Neverthe though there leaders approaches politics still essentially contest between personalities contestants continue crucial factor determining which parties With Alexander Bustamante retirement leadership JLP labour BITU officially passed Hugh Lawson Shearer Prime Minister Unofficially however Government collective leader exercised Shearer others Minister Trade Industry Robert Lightbourne Minister Finance Planning Edward Seaga Together these three represent powerful figures JLP organization At Shearer youngest Prime Minister Caribbean He attended school Jamaica moved BITU journalist Union weekly The Jamaica Worker It natural Shearer Trade Union organizing finally contest behalf JLP In general elections Shearer JLP West Kingston constituency which Bustamante previously represented vacated elsewhere Then Busta promoted Shearer position Vice President BITU second himself Life President General When Bustamante decided retire asked Shearer South Clarendon constituency April Ii Shearer became third Prime Minister Jamaica Shearer strength BITU Union Bustamante cousin thinks highly He ability negotiator spokesman attributes demonstrated times labour leader Head Jamaica Mission United Nations The Prime Minister subtle however For example attitude toward build crime Jamaica reflected instructions police renowned their reluctance Judge before passing sentence themselves Do recite Beatitudes dealing criminals The Minister Trade Industry Robert Lightbourne generally responsible Government policy garding Bauxite manufacturing industries This central position which Lightbourne brings great sophistication ability He however convinced Jamaica Industrial Development Corporation source Incentive Legislation pressures building crowded streets Kingston poorer villages throughout hills Jamaica Lightbourne popular throughout Caribbean known regionalist colleagues Prime Minister Minister Finance This course against grain JLP policy reflects roader vision Jamaican politicians FJM However shrewdest powerful JLP unique politicians Caribbean today Minister Finance Planning Edward Seaga Now early forties Seaga Jamaican Syrian attended school Jamaica Harvard where intended study physics later switched B A sociology Returning Jamaica deciding continue studies Seaga M A sociology University West Indies There studied under highly regarded West Indian sociologist M G Smith Seaga thesis study revival cults Jamaica Although white Syrian Seaga decided research poorest section black urban Jamaica West Kingston Living there began understand calls inner Jamaica Jamaica which communicate Western terms Western models The insights Seaga developed studies later serve politically began greater interest social questions effecting people West Kingston While West Kingston Seaga broke political affiliation maintained PNP which characterized brown party instead offered services Alexander Bustamante during crucial Referendum Federation This political organizing rewarded opportunity JLP West Kingston subsequent elections Surprisingly Seaga perhaps because faced PNP candidate But PNP decided after Seaga They called brilliant black barrister Dudley Thompson contest West Kingston Party Thompson donned African Burning Spear hopes cultivating black running black constituency against white Syrian Nevertheless Seaga continued uietly efficiently organize constituency He every household constituency mapped block block He And history Jamaican politics West Kingston people voted return twice something Hugh Shearer contrive Shearer second attempted incumbent Today Edward Seaga firmly entrenched politician Jamaica He computerized every member constituency nickname occupation party affiliation West Kingston foolish enough PNP supporter whether JLP Every Friday night beginning clock Seaga constituency anyone wants private needs private disciplining heard Throughout selected branch report developments Since their representative Seaga vided West Ki ngston people comprehensive community center Caribbean The center called Tivoli Gardens includes health clinic recreation facilities meeting rooms library It interesting money provided project collected through subscriptions donated local merchants Kingston Corporations There however records lists names responded subscriptions other Edward Seaga private files Some Mr Seaga ruthless They credit correctly being thugs moment notice The PNP these thugs Seaga guinea Others crisis emerge powerful country would Seaga These people refer Napoleon believe potential become island first dictator On other effective radical University suggested Seaga capability become Caribbean effective Social Democrat In reply Seaga claims would prefer remain Minister Finance rewarding simply representational Besides support Seaga West Kingston solid known rural Jamaica situation which suits JLP colleagues Seaga power stems understanding Jamaican ethos knowledge ability machinery Civil Service inspires capable people cause uncorrupted unlike other JLP politicians feared shrewd first truly modern politician emerge JLP As result Seaga knowledge sociology demography computers welfare polls barrel muscle needed acquire utilize power Seaga selfish techniques however And point demonstrate computer system JLP colleagues This added dimension which Seaga presence JLP Party More simply modernizing agent Party which before along badly needed modernization Bustamante greatest strength ability attract support greatest inability formulate plans delineate authority In Busta distrusted plans planning organization Thus JLP Busta absence could created havoc Party FJM Seaga computerization planning effectiveness Party organization Ministry Finance ensured staying power JLP This essentially white Syrian powerful black populist Party Physically Seaga imposing Nor charismatic speaks before audience But public private comes across efficient lling listen learn When arguing position Seaga points directly without flair For example discussing critical question views change The social science chaps University West Indies imbedded their textbooks source material As field I think those should field The textbooks suffer theory which really based West Indian communities But change about Wiping slate clean progress The alternative reshape society In country political traditions political experience which begins doses change It would pendulum effect change change other forth Finally steps forward after having great effort As I interested ideology An ideology frame thought I interested dynamics action direction I would rather quiet evolution dramatic revolution Jamaica Seaga approach change clearly outlined Ministry Budget In evolutionary changes which caused business community Kingston The controversial these measures company profits The force business investing paying dividends creating continuing Seaga calls Jamaicanisation programmes Seaga couterpart Trinidad A N R Robinson tried thing found opposition business sector Later Robinson shifted Finance Ministry External Affairs FJM Trinidad Dr Politics PNM Apparently however Seaga through fared better Trinidadian colleague In summing episo Seaga rightly noted Jamaica structure company overly burdensome besides should recall Tower Babel collapsed because narrow Seaga contrast Lightbourne recognized Jamaican nationalist This thing Jamaicans Seaga based considers realistic approach individual problems Caribbean states There little chance I political integration Caribbean I island federation which worked A regional center which majority population never hurdles What people number priority political Originally BITU JLP alliance composed rural peasants urban unemployed workers agricultural sector economy But NWU PNP forces moved consolidate skilled industrial workers particularly auxite industry Bustamamte labour threatened moved counter tinuous pressure As first sought financial assistance Kingston business wealthy merchants assuring JLP threat leftist PNP In regard successful Financiers Ashenheim DeCostas backed Bustamante assured themselves control party As result JLP became political phenomenon populist business Party Busta second course against NWU attempt secure bargaining rights industrial sectors Bargaining rights blood labour union Without union claim represent single worker But bargaining rights difficult obtain difficult It though labour leader continual election before workers convincing labour represented given union Often reduced power force personality On occasions violence result In instance Bustamante successors unsuccessful For years NWU maintained crucial bauxite industry maintaining thereby union PNP The principal reason BITU failure Michael Manley Outside Hugh Shearer Robert Lightbourne Edward Seaga there other politician Jamaica could truly powerful right That would Michael Manley second Norman Manley Island Supervisor NWU Head PNP Leader Opposition Parliament FJM Michael Manley Joshua followers physically impressive Open direct enthusiastic charismatic likable politicians could West Indies He single important reason NWU PNP structure togethe until today Early father guiding affairs Party structure Michael began working trade union organizer He showed incredible ability through fault recognized qualified assume leadership NWU From position ensured labour support PNP maintained spite efforts BITU Perhaps explicit example significant confrontation NWU BITU ALPART ALPART largest alumina plant built outside United States It surrounded acres Jamaica Here NWU secured bargaining rights plant construction It however BITU leadership decided NWU Beginning April BITU served notice making formal claim bargaining rights production By June having failed workers attempt shoot Manley In NWU supporters wounded Then March appeared construction strike called BITU If plant remained strike sustained BITU could claim control workers The engineered stoppage later became BITU spokesman young Pearnel Charles Charles close associate Edward Seaga special West Kingston constituency At first BITU intention worker reaction BITU No thought given sustaining stoppage But after first appeared maybe workers NWU might intimidated enough allow stoppage continue No appeared workers Meanwhile Michael Manley facing series personal crises which would found emotionally paralysing His father retire politics Michael testing leadership PNP His father later On allow BITU strategy NWU ALPART would beginning PNP Michael Manley The drive Kingston Mandeville where ALPART located hours Early morning second Manley Charles Kingston ALPART Both realised personal confrontation morning stake For Manley however pressure greater As ranking NWU official Pearnel utterly unscrupulous charisma means hurry What better finest union leaders country For Pearnel Charles learning experience For Manley career stake I would nothing number I Manley later The ALPART large space On morning Charles microphone Manley erected Charles there first speak Manley arrived Moving stand Manley paused spoke minutes before silent workers Then later described Manley abandoned meant twenty minute speech ordered Those going follow A trickle surge followed Manley through opening plant Following ALPART confrontation Manley elected Presidency PNP As result added difficulties refurbishing Party structure while making flanks union start crumble Either consuming eventually there little doubt Manley appoint successor himself Island Su pervisor NWU Meanwhile problems Party occupy energies The major problem image Manley feels PNP identified ideological rather functional organization Consequently PNP leadership attempting reshape image stressing reform existing institutions playing controversial issues reform rationalization sugar industry A emphasis placed drawing public policy making In other words PNP trouble Nevertheless Joshua important factor PNP going To Manley standing front steps wooden shops country Jamaica listen speak before night rally village lanterns understand power people He metaphors slips poetry biblical passages punctuates night phrases peopl speak understand The crowd breaks laughter shouts Joshua Somehow Manley whisper sounds though never before In essence Michael Manley ideologue He people speaking villages night tired after having toured countryside His Party needs ideas blood younger people And Manley recognizes But younger thinkers University West Indies happy about servative tendencies PNP reject Thus Manley people Jamaica respond person duller interesting figures JLP dissipate Government appeal In general happening Jamaican politics blending policies styles methods organisation As Seaga pulls JLP modern world Manley personalize PNP The showing The young neithe great relish though often hears maybe there chance change JLP there danger dictatorship corruption there hidden radicalism below surface Others abandoned party structures recognize power labour movement So instances talented young gravitating unions where might seize fulcrum power It debatable point however whether unions opposed political parties fulcrum power other around Whatever certain inexorably linked leadership leadership other If anyone suffers marriage however Jamaican workers The problem obvious The Prime Minister Government President BITU cannot undivided attention policy decisions behalf Union The Prime Minister I claim I working class people country And particularly because I I confident accept understand exercise authority vested Prime Minister Jamaica I decisions these decisions interest nation however these decisions unpopular I entire working class other sections community understand times Prime Minister I cannot never butter please clique section country detriment This course problem political unionism Once union leadership assumes political power leadership comes under sorts different pressures counter labour interests This particularly capitalist economy where management lobbying formidable In respect Jamaica prime example There indications growing concern about problem ranks large unions It confined however mainly younger In NWU younger officials expressed cautious estimate Trade Union Movement strong should there ranks voice worker strong enough councils PNP In BITU there concern about problem political unionism interest younger elements replace older modern administrative practices In clear brighter entering Trade Union Movement doing intention using unions quick avenues electoral politics In however movement developed which calls separation trade unionism politics In Jamaica called Splinter Movement Surprisingly sympathy amongst Jamaican workers particularly maritime transport banana industries Not surprisingly quietly popular management The leader Movement raucous articulate working Milton Scully Scott My dream organize total working class movement based working class interests In Jamaica there policy educational office country health schemes services Each NWU BITU collect least million And these pockets politicians Scott Jamaican graduate London School Economics former NWU organizer After months Union Scott I found NWU trade union He began organizing From September January Scott gathered support roughly workers there unionized workers Jamaica Jamaica Maritime Union Then January Scott attempted break BITU hotel workers employed North Coast tourist industries In unsuccessful Yet later gather significant support workers loading bananas This action caused Govern close three ports employed banana ments FJM Scott alone however against organised powerfully entrenched trade unions There validity there tough opposition For thirty years there progressive labour legislation The worker property And workers discovered union leadership become politicians labour becomes secondary Scott about radical voice breaking traditional unarticulated conservatism NWU BITU This erhaps could basis appeal workers realize consistently political parties labour rights deference foreign local capital In developing country conditions labour union which dedicated enterprise worker For attract capital country offer labour The working class wages social rights sidered secondary cater investors Perhaps implied threat capitalism labour union leader reason American Labour willing supply funds friendship other assistance NWU BITU course decade For there evidence United Steel Workers Union America either directly through Geneva based International Metalworkers Federation channeling scholarships training programmes building funds money strike support NWU There evidence New York Local III U S Electrical Workers Union supplied funds BITU The relation ships assistance exist evident reasons under lying American Labour involvement Jamaica clear The forms U S Labour involvement Jamaica varied The United Steel Workers example salaries NWU officials provided travel grants training programmes The Steel Workers vided which helped cover constructing NWU headquarters opening And critically June during NWU initiated strike ALPART approximately provided strikers through International Metalworkers Federation The BITU received benefits U S relationships The building which houses BITU headquarters through generosity American Electrical Workers Then there presence Amer Institute Free Labour Development AIFLD which provided travel grants scholarships numerous individuals Jamaican labour movement AIFLD funds local Labour Institute University West Indies Mona AIFLD acknowledged U S State Department The motive behind however evident As NWU official replied questioned about funding ALPART strike It chess So analysing there multiplicity strategies First could sense brotherhood union movements should stick together against management other unaffiliated unions Second there theory wages Caribbean management eager plants outside United States Thus there chance fuller employment United States Third there satellite theory which presupposes American control local unions This would rovide U S political leverage country dominated political unionism Fourth there primitive satellite theory which suggests there immediate political objective gained instance U S preference NWU PNP opposed BITU JLP There could basis terms U S sympathies Jamaica Fifth there desire local workers contented enough radical unionists Scott variety headway This serves interests American Steel Workers since depend aluminium industry provide United States If materials bauxite American Aluminium industry would forced while finding other sources In reason U S labour expenditures Caribbean could these Whatever Americans spending money indicates there returns which serving their interest One wonders Jamaican interests being served Many sections Jamaican society think On other Consequently seems question matter confrontation interests takes place For there rural urban unskilled unemployed University intellectuals On right there large owners financial interests management Kingston foreign capital dominated bauxite And middle straddling camps there political parties their unions Consequently having examined organizations attitude policies right center FJM specific description factors contributing confrontation necessary These subject matter FJM Yours Frank McDonald Photographs courtesy Jamaica Information Service Received New York April