By Richard Johnson—–
FAE Ellington yesterday blasted legislators for politicising the National Festival activities, describing their comments as stupid and saying that their behaviour was demoralising the staff of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).
Her comments come in wake of a heated argument in the House of Representatives last week regarding the theme and design of the CD cover for the National Gospel Song Competition.
Fae Ellington (centre), acting chairman of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), gestures while addressing yesterday’s Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange. Flanking her are JCDC executives Marjorie Leyden-Vernon, director of field services; and Delroy Gordon, acting executive director. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
“It is a non-issue,” Ellington, the JCDC acting chairman, declared at the weekly Observer Monday Exchange. “It is embarrassing and demonstrates a level of ignorance and disgraceful behaviour from the representatives from both sides of the House.”
Last week in the House, an Opposition parliamentarian pointed to the photo of a trumpet, a symbol associated with the ruling People’s National Party, on the cover of the CD, suggesting that it was an attempt by the Government to politicise the festival celebrations.
But yesterday, Ellington explained that the concept had to be seen within the biblical context of the contest. “You cannot speak about jubilee for a gospel contest and not understand the Biblical context,” she noted before quoting from Leviticus 25: 9-10, which says: “Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
“And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
Ellington said further, “the concept was signed off on November 23, 2011”, a month before the current Government won the general elections. “And on top of that, the background is green,” she quipped. Green is the colour used by the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party.
“I will not tolerate this foolishness and let this movement and this period go down in stupidity and ignorance. It is time to stop allowing our two political tribes to pull us down into a hole of darkness from which we don’t seem to be able to pull ourselves,” Ellington said.
She encouraged Jamaicans to come out in their numbers, wearing the national colours of black, green and gold, and enjoy the activities planned to observe and celebrate Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence.
She also called for a resurgence in the level of national pride which was felt by Jamaicans 50 years ago when Independence was first attained.