Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jamaica 'Tourist Country' - Do’s, Don’ts and Unrealistic Expectations

By -BarBode
Tourist Country' from a Tourist Point of View

Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I am a 40 year old Dutch (white) woman who is single, no kids and a fairly good job in finance. A few years ago I met a Jamaican man who worked in the same building as me and I fell in love with him, Jamaican food, reggae music, track & field and Appleton rum. The relationship did not last, but my love for everything Jamaican remained and I still make a mean ‘yellow soup' with chicken, cho cho, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, thyme, scallion and more scotch bonnet pepper than you would expect a white girl to be able to handle. The only reason yellow yam is missing is that I can hardly get it in Amsterdam.

Because of my love for everything Jamaican, it is only natural that I like to spend my holidays in Jamaica. I can try to incorporate as much of Jamaica as I can in my own home but I cannot get the sun, the beautiful nature, the people and the atmosphere in my flat in Amsterdam.

The trouble is that when choosing a destination from the Dutch tour operators that offer trips to Jamaica, I can only choose between Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril... 'Tourist Country' and as soon as I set foot in 'Tourist Country' I am Measured, Rated and Judged. I am a tourist so I must have money and I must want ganja. I am a woman travelling alone so I must be there for the 'big bamboo'.

As for the Ganja... Guys, I am from Amsterdam, Holland. City of coffee shops, Country of legalized ganja. I don't smoke it at home, so I am definitely not travelling to Jamaica to smoke it. To each his own, but I'd rather get mellow on Wray and Nephew on ice (yes, I am a rude gyal) than on ganja, so thanks but no thanks.

As for the 'Big Bamboo'... I have not tried every single black, white, yellow or blue guy there is in this world, but I can tell you there is good and bad in any colour as I am sure there is when it comes to women. I am sure there are 'big bamboos' in Amsterdam if I went looking for them. I don't go looking for them at home and I sure as hell did not travel 10.000 km to go looking for them in Negril, Ochi or MoBay.

As for the money... Which because I am a tourist I must have plenty of and every person in 'Tourist Country' wants a piece of.. I work my ass of in Holland and yes, I cannot complain about not being able to pay rent, put food on the table or indeed afford a trip to Jamaica. BUT… About 45 percent of my gross income goes to taxes in Holland. Those taxes go to infrastructure, public transportation, health care, the elderly, unemployed, sick and disabled, child care (for kids I don't have myself) and all other things that our society provides for and takes care of. I never complain, I am just saying I do pay my dues. I too have to make choices in life.. Do I buy this or do I do that... Do I go out or do I stay home and save the money I would spend going out...I too do not have a money tree in my back yard. When I am on holiday in a country in which I know a lot of people are struggling, I will do what I can. I tip, I will buy you a drink whilst I am enjoying listening to you telling me about life in Jamaica, pay a fair fee to someone who is kind enough to take me to places general tour operators won't take me to (or I prefer not to go to with my fellow country men and women) such as bird sanctuaries or YS Falls.

But PLEASE, stop asking me 'where did you get that bikini and can you buy me one'...

PLEASE stop telling me 'I look like a model in that outfit, can I please leave that outfit behind for you so you can look like a model in it'...

PLEASE don't call me white arrogant trash when I tell you 'no' to you having one of my cigarettes, to me buying one of the pictures your kids made, to me buying them patties cause they are hungry.

PLEASE don't curse me when I don't want to pay for your entrance ticket to a Berres Hammond concert, when I don't want to buy yet another 'Jamaica' bracelet and when I just really want to keep on walking instead of listening to you about what a 'beautiful, sexy Angel I am, the likes of which you have never seen before'.

PLEASE understand that it does hurt me to say no.

But PLEASE also understand that in 'Tourist County' I would be in debt by day 1 if I said yes to everyone that asks me for something. Maybe you just don't care... and maybe that is why I should also exile myself from these places. But this is where the tour operators take you to...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Holness Fortress!

By Torsdag ©
 © inmyownwords

A friend recently sent me pictures of Andrew Holness’ house being built in Beverly Hills. Looking at the pictures brought several things to mind; some good, some indifferent, some bad. What it did remind me of, from an architectural standpoint, is an article I read that addresses the trickle-down theory of architecture written by Professor Witold Rybcyzynski. My thoughts prompted me to muse upon this said trickle-down theory of architecture as it pertains to the Jamaican house and what passes nowadays for Jamaican architecture.

The fascination with the architecture of wealth and privilege still reigns supreme in our psyche. Though this is nothing new or specific to Jamaica, the way in which we classify and embody this notion, is. It is developed mainly through voyeurism: what we see on TV, the internet, social media, word of mouth and of course, what we – see. The big house on the hill was always, at least in my brief lifetime, something to aspire to. But what was the first ‘big house on the hill’ that captivated the attention of Jamaicans? Particularly ordinary Jamaicans? That’s an easy one: the plantation house.
Rose Hall Great House c1820-21
From "A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica" - Plate 20
by  English Architect James Hakewill
Great houses were situated on the highest elevation on the plantation. This was done for many reasons, including: It could be seen by all, especially from afar; Backra Massa could observe his holdings from a privileged vantage point. It was also cooler at higher elevations (in the days of no a/c this was a must for physical comfort), and breeze also deterred pests such as mosquitoes, etc. Journeying from the lower levels up to the house itself presented a ‘build up’ of expectations for a visitor that he/she was approaching something grand. The approach had to be commensurate with the grandness of the destination.

This was something to aspire to! This is how the wealthy lived, so if you wanted to portray wealth via an abode, it had to look something like this. If you couldn’t afford the whole hog, then bits and pieces would have to suffice. These bits and pieces were/are reiterated so much over time that, divorced from their original intent, most have lost meaning and are totally disassociated with their original intended purpose.

But that’s OK, it seems, as it is enough to appear rich. This is increasingly so in modern day Jamaica.

“Me have dat too!”

The homes of the wealthy have always influenced ‘ordinary people’ because of what the house and holding represents.

Getting back to Backra Massa’s lines of sight from his Great House portico, at some point in time, the gate and the party walls took precedence as property boundaries. Gates were originally intended to keep grazing animals in, or out. We still see this legacy in Jamaica: cattle grids across gate thresholds are common enough. But fences got higher and higher. Retaining walls also doubled as fences. Necessary to keep earth in its place, particularly when building on a hillside or some such incline, these retaining walls got more and more solid and took on more and more aesthetic qualities. Jamaican cut-stone masonry is a functional work of art.
© inmyownwords

The cut-stone wall surrounding the Holness residence could hold back half of Beverly Hills itself should it decide to give way to landslide. It is fundamentally and purposely well overstructured to the point of being foreboding, which I believe is its intent. In and of itself, it is a beautiful specimen of the workmens’ craft. As a whole, it clearly says KEEP OUT!! Further, it blocks all lines of sight from the human at street level. The well-incorporated guard gate further underscores that KEEP OUT!! sentiment. Rest assured that this fortress-like boundary wall is twinned with a whiz-bang, SOTA burglar/security system. The funny thing, is, it is my opinion that the powerful in Jamaica have no need for such type security system as ‘duppy know who fe friten’.  No one troubles the Big Man’s house/possessions for fear of serious backlash. Big Man in Jamaica have no need for not one linear foot of security wiring.

This massive cut-stone wall also screams: 'Look how much money I have!' Again, another intended purpose.

Cut-stone is tremendously labourious work! The work is done by skilled artisans whose split hands look more like tyre treads than human hands – an occupational hazard. [The same labourers who will be disadvantaged by the flexi-workweek bill now tabled in Parliament…but that’s a different discussion for a different time.] Only in Jamaica is such skilled labour to be got so cheaply. Stone masons don’t rank high on the professions ladder. This type workmanship in the “1st world” costs a king’s ransom.

On the house itself. The little of what peaks over the cut-stone rampart (def: part of a defensive wall; a fortification) shows a mishmash of architectural typology. Double arches in a tower (??) juxtaposed with a trabeated portico with triangular pediment below. I just mashed Roman (arches), Venetian Revival (double arches), Grecian (trabeation and portico), and Renaissance (portico usage in a domestic circumstance) architectural typologies in one sentence. I see all that; a good 1500 years on the architectural timeline, mashed into perhaps 5% of one building peeking over the rampart, from the roadside. Bits and pieces of samples from great architectural eras incongruously mashed together, all contriving to convey the image of a good life. I’m sure the inside is no different. Oh for a walk-through to see the layout. I would love to see the location and size of the servant’s(s') quarters. This too is a holdover from colonial days as a symbol of wealth and privilege. No doubt some servant(s) will be pleased to work in Big Man’s house and will pridefully take affront at any ‘ordinary’ person who dares approach the house begging something.

So let’s get back to what comprises the architecture of privilege in Jamaica:

MASS – It has to be big! Big means more money was spent on it. So what if you only can afford to burn one light and live in one room? Passersby won’t know that. All they see is how you house big... so, you must ‘have it’!

ELEVATION – Particularly if it’s on a hill. Perfect vantage point for everyone to see!

APPROACH – The journey to the house must be spectacular and impressive. Imagine the view of Kingston and Kingston Harbour once you alight from your car and begin your ascent at the base of the Holness portico!
© inmyownwords

FRONT ENTRANCE – I’m assuming a grand, mahogany front door is installed underneath the above mentioned typological mash-up. Who will be privileged to cross the threshold of this door?

SERVANTS QUARTERS – Would be interesting to know if the shower stall(s) are actually tiled vs just left as raw concrete, which is the current standard. Or if there’s even a bathtub.

MONUMENTAL STAIRCASES – That lead to the private area of the house.

ELABORATE KITCHENS AND BATHS – This, incidentally, is no hold over from our colonial past. It’s a US import. Great houses housed kitchens and bathrooms outside. They were considered utilitarian spaces and therefore dirty. When these rooms eventually moved inside, they were annexed as close to outside as possible. Now that America is live-streamed into our living rooms and consciousness, we all want stainless steel appliances, the ubiquitous phalanx of kitchen cabinetry ringing the kitchen’s perimeter and of course granite countertops. Can anyone see Mavis brucking coconut pon the granite countertop for ‘Sar and Miss’ Sunday dinner? How about her scaling fish and letting the scales fly all over the granite and the cherry wood cabinetry and the ceiling? Chopping up oxtail with the cleaver again on said countertop, blood and bits flying everywhere? Cooking is a messy business. Jamaicans still live like this because we have servants to do it for us. Americans don’t. They do well with such showpiece items. Further, granite is mined in the US; it isn’t in Jamaica – all the more reason why it becomes a status symbol here. Expensive and imported.

We all know the master bathroom will have a jetted tub, steam shower and a bidet! Oh yes, and granite countertops as house the washbowl sinks.

MEDIA ROOM – That too is catching on big time as part of the architecture of privilege in Jamaica.

CROWN MOULDING – An architectural feature in older houses, this element is more popular today not because of its relation to our architectural past as crown moulding is a common feature of Georgian and Victorian architecture; but because it’s seen as a must have on American homes. The thing is, Jamaicans (a) do not know the original purpose of moulding (they are elements that are designed to 'hide' points of transition such as where the wall plane meets the ceiling plane) and (b) seem not to know that moulding is comprised of components that make up a whole, so floor moulding when placed at the ceiling does not constitute crown moulding (as seen in the Pineapple Lounge at NMIA, for example). It’s still floor moulding; just that now it’s nailed at the ceiling juncture instead of down by the floor where it belongs. Additionally, there’s actually a right and wrong way to install moulding. There’s a grand looking house in Millsborough for sale for $1.7m USD with all visible crown moulding shown in the pictures installed upside down.

I’m keeping my ear to the ground for all the special media features on this house once it’s completed. You know there will be many.

NAME – Lest we forget. All the grand houses have names. No doubt that huge, darker, bordered area of cut-stone is the backdrop for this dwelling’s name. Large enough for all and sundry to see. What will it be christened?

© inmyownwords

Norman Manley’s home was named Regardless and is also more popularly known/referred to as Drumblair. A metonym derived for the neighbourhood it’s in, Drumblair now embodies not only the house but the era and the policies associate with the man. A modest yet respectable house for the position the (then) Honourable (to be styled Rt Excellent once becoming national hero) and his family held in society.

Alexander Bustamante’s home was named Bellencita. A low slung, mid-century modern home in the hills of Irish Town. A single storey house (perhaps because of Bustamante's knee problems?), it is barely visible from the street. This then Most Honourable (Rt Excellent) also reared small animals and grew fruit trees on his property. It is currently for sale for $1m USD.

Vale Royal. The official home of the Minister of Finance. Associated in recent memory with Edward Seaga, who was the Minister of Finance when he became Most Honourable. He raised his children in this Jamaican Victorian home in the area that is now known as the Golden Triangle. Seaga now lives on Paddington Terrace. Vale Royal was also home to Most Honourable Sir Donald Sangster, who, like Seaga, was also Minister of Finance as well as Prime Minister.  Vale Royal is now only used to host State affairs.

 Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller resides, I hear, in her home in Jack's Hill.

Percival James Patterson’s home on Shortwood Road in Norbrook is called [it’s an African word…I can’t remember]. This Most Honourable has lived in this house for many years.

I have no information on the abodes of Most Honourables Hugh Shearer, Michael Manley and Bruce Golding, but I’m willing to bet they follow the above in similar vein.

We scarce know where our past Most Honourables live, despite Jamaica being a land of everybody minding everybody's business; so HOWCOME and WHY the overly blatant, crass, boorish show of wealth and status in the design and build of this tremendously brief Most Honourable?? He is behaving like a never-see-come-see.  Art imitates life. If architecture is reflective of life in Jamaica today, then sadly, this monstrous chimera of a house is alas, apropos. A new term has emerged that embodies this house: "Buttu Baroque". Coined (so I hear) by the proprietor of Hotel Mockignbird Hill, it says it all. It’s the ‘Matalon Mansion’ of Braeton, etc brought uptown. A precise embodiment of the notion that ‘downtown’ has taken over ‘uptown’ in setting the ethos of modern day Jamaica. Everything is being reduced to the lowest common denominator. Once upon a time it was downtown who followed uptown. Now we see the reverse.  I suppose if  'downtown' can afford Dolce & Gabbana (as evident in pictures of the many street dances), then so too should 'uptown'.  We don't even speak English anymore, because 'downtown' doesn't.  More unfortunate is the fact that in one bold move, we see that the vestiges of our past continue to haunt us; in so many ways. Big Man and small man alike. What is misconstrued as freedom and independence is actually just a new psychological bondage. Pursue money at all costs and flaunt it in as many different ways as you can. If you still don’t have it, the appearance of it will do just as well.

In addition to all of the above, Holness' big house on the hill underscores a missed opportunity to move our architecture in a different, more progressive direction. There is precedence for this as evident in our vernacular styles of Jamaican Georgian (see Devon House) and Jamaican Victorian (see Vale Royal).  Some very impressive modernist architecture came out of the 1960s and early-mid 1970s (see Goblin Hill Villas).  Our architecture needs to yet again evolve into something that embodies a new way of thinking about how we live and continue to positively develop in this new century and not reiterate old servant/master stereotypes and histories; about charting a new course instead of ignorant follow-fashion; about leadership and vision instead of servitude and myopia.

New Backra Massa, new whip hand. Same old whip.

Butu Baroque and Ghettofabulous

The Butufication of Kingston and St. Andrew

Forget Goat Island because it is Kingston and St. Andrew that is in great need of environmental help. Kingston and St. Andrew is beginning to look like a concrete townhouse congested Jungle and I wonder why the Environmental Groups are going crazy over Goat Island, predicting Environmental doom but are completely silent on the destruction of Kingston and St. Andrew at the hands of unscrupulous developers.

Every piece of empty land in and around Kingston and St. Andrew is being converted into some tacky over the top Florida style townhouse complex compound with big tacky slow moving electric gates bigger than Gods own pearly Gates. This to me is a catastrophic environmental disaster because where there was once a nice house in a big lovely green yard or a nice piece of open land, full of trees, birds, various wildlife and a flourishing eco-system, now sits a tacky looking oversize hideous townhouse complex that is almost invading the blasted sidewalk, squeezing every square inch out of the yard and causing an eye sore to all.

Slow Moving Electric Pearly Gates
We need a freeze on these developments until we can put in place a proper urban development plan in relation to projected population growth and the environment. Green space is a vital requirement, Kingston and St. Andrew is supposed to be a green city but removing the natural green space is causing an increase in temperatures with smog conditions that can be seen from miles around. Trees and other plants help cool the environment, making vegetation a simple and effective way to reduce urban heat.Trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration.

The use of trees and vegetation in the urban environment brings benefits beyond mitigating urban heat islands including:
  • Reduced energy use: Trees and vegetation that directly shade buildings decrease demand for air conditioning.
  • Improved air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions: By reducing energy demand, trees and vegetation decrease the production of associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. They also remove air pollutants and store and sequester carbon dioxide.
  • Enhanced stormwater management and water quality: Vegetation reduces runoff and improves water quality by absorbing and filtering rainwater.
  • Reduced pavement maintenance: Tree shade can slow deterioration of street pavement, decreasing the amount of maintenance needed.
  • Improved quality of life: Trees and vegetation provide aesthetic value, habitat for many species, and can reduce noise.
  • Trees remove gaseous air pollution primarily by uptake via leaf stomata, though some gases are removed by the plant surface. Once inside the leaf, gases diffuse into intercellular spaces and may be absorbed by water films to form acids or react with inner leaf surface
It is no wonder that we are feeling hotter and finding it more difficult to breathe. The poor wildlife is converging on what little green space we have left, too small to sustain life and my yard seems to be over run with birds, lizards and various other animals fighting for space simply because their habitats are slowly being taken away from them to build ugly Townhouse compounds, for vision-less low class people.

Living With The Land - Natural Building 

The difference between a state like Florida and Jamaica is that Florida is a very large featureless/ugly swampy dumped up landmass and their Townhouse complexes are spread out over large distances, while in Jamaica we seem to mush these ugly townhouses together, destroying the natural features along the way…  It is also amazing that we can no longer get our fat “Wendy’s eating” asses out of our cars to open the blasted gates claiming security concerns but anyone who knows Jamaica knows that Security like poverty is the mother of all excuses to justify all manner of almshouse, not to mention sitting in your car waiting on very slow moving electric gates to open is a security disaster waiting to happen.

It is also getting lonely, opening and closing the gate to drive in and out of the yard, there was a time when a simple thing like opening ones gate to drive in or out was a social event because your neighbours would also be doing the same thing and this was the perfect opportunity to talk to each other, to say “hi how are you, how life? what is happening?”… This use to be normal get to know the people around you moment but these days the neighbors start pressing the open gate button as soon as they drive on the avenue, as they drive right into their car porch and slip into their houses, now you have no idea who lives around you..

Sustainable Architecture - Construction designed to have minimal negative Impact on the environment and one that promotes a healthy natural environment. The architecture that seeks to maintain and enrich the natural environment.  (Places & Spaces Vol 4. Page 74)

 Andrew Holness's Butu Baroque and Ghettofabulous Compound

Early in the 1600s, an elaborate new style called Baroque lavished buildings with complex shapes, extravagant ornaments, opulent paintings, and bold contrasts.
Baroque: The word baroque means imperfect pearl, from the Portuguese word barroco. The baroque pearl became a favorite centerpiece for the ornate necklaces and ostentatious brooches popular in the 1600s. The trend toward flowery elaboration transcended jewelry into other art-forms, including painting, music, and architecture. Centuries later, when critics put a name to this extravagant time, the word Baroque was used mockingly. I now borrow the phrase I came across online “Butu Baroque”  to describe what is happening in and around Jamaica because it seems we have lost our damn minds.

Bling: Conspicuous Consumption of Low class People

The Rumour Mill Surrounding Holness, Digicel and Claro 
On approving the merger of Digicel and Claro in August 2011, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding insisted that Digicel must continue operating two separate networks. However Bruce Golding left office and Andrew Holness took over as Prime Minister of Jamaica. In the weeks leading up to the December 29 general election and some say after parliament was dissolved, the requirement for the two separate networks was dropped but was not made public until sometime after.

The Butu Mansion and The Butu Building it
Clovis Toons
The situation started a massive rumor that Andrew Holness got paid handsomely from Digicel for reversing the two-network requirement for the proposed Digicel/Claro merger.... however whether true or false, real or imaginary, Jamaicans have a saying that “if a no so it go then something must go so”….

Approaching The Monster Compound
Some time ago Andrew Holness started building the Mother of all Ghetto mansions, a compound to rival all compounds, one that would make the oil rich Sultan of Brunei green with envy and Tony Montana's scarface mansion look like a pigeon coop. Some people are calling it the Digicel Mansion because they are convinced it was paid for as a result of the merger, however I have no proof of that and cannot make that claim. This construction is Ghettofabulous at its very worst, a style that can only be described as Butu Baroque! Which leaves one to wonder just what message is this young leader of the opposition party is trying to send to the Jamaican people and what does this say about this man's personality, who would build something so tacky, over the top and ugly.

When dog have money, him buy cheese!!

Daniel Thwaites is an attorney-at-law .... "Actually, I didn't appreciate the blogs calling it 'ghetto fabulous' and 'buttu baroque'. I thought that was disrespectful."... Well sorry but I think the house itself is disrespectful and insulting to all well thinking Jamaicans with an ounce of class. 
No other Prime Minister or leader of a party would even think of such monstrosity, the Manley's lived in a modest family house in Drumblair and I am sure all the other Prime Ministers choose normal looking houses nothing this tacky and ugly because there is a huge difference between old money and new money in Jamaica. In a Gleaner article titled “Raping virgin territory” Carolyn Cooper said about the Butu Mansion: …..

Just ask the leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, and his wife Juliet who are building what appears to be a fortress in Beverly Hills. They seem to know something that the rest of us don't: Armageddon must be nigh. In the recent rains, an avalanche of stones from their property rolled downhill, propelled by the flood waters spewing from the Long Mountain Country Club into Beverly Hills and the Pines of Karachi

Hon. Andrew Holness must be overcompensating for something that was missing from his childhood and upbringing and I suspect that it must be class, money, good taste and a sense of style, because this is beyond MTV cribs rapper bling.

I came across Warren's Blog a supporter of the JLP and Mr. Holness who when he had discovered the existence of the Ghetto Mansion and not knowing the true owner, wrote a blog post stating:  …. “There has been talk going around about a house which is being built for which the estimated cost is in the region of $300m.

Tongues have been wagging since the information was “dropped” sometime last week.  What is interesting is the media who obviously have more information that I do , have refused thus far to call the name of leader, leading to wide spread speculation that it belongs to the leader of the  ruling PNP administration the Rt Honuorable  poor people champion.

If the information that I have gleaned so far is in fact true, it would confirm the widely held belief we have as it relates to the country leaders.

It also begs the question as to why the assets of our elected leaders are not made public, why are we as a people refusing to hold our elected leaders accountable.”.......

Now he was ready to launch a full scale investigation and accused the media of being bias after speculating that the Ghetto mansion belonged to and I quote: “the leader of the ruling PNP administration the Rt Honuorable poor people champion” but when it was pointed out that the $300 Million Ghetto Mansion in question belonged to his Maximum Leader the Hon. Andrew Michael Holness and not the Maximum Leader for the opposing party (yes the Butu Dutty Black Gal, poor people champion) he went suspiciously silent. It is this partisan double standard that I find disgusting...

The fact is, if the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, aka the Dutty Black Gal as the opposition love to class her, had built this disgusting Ghetto Mansion then I would have written this blog without changing anything except replace the name Andrew Holness with Portia Simpson, because it is the principle of the thing that disgusts me.

The Attack Dog
If it was Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, the JLP and their supporters would have lost their freaking minds and all hell would have broken loose by every member of that party including the Hon. Andrew Holness himself demanding various audits and inquiries. They would have reactivated their attack dog Delano Seiveright and remove the muzzle and leash from that labba mouth, allowing him to do what he does best, deliver everything disgusting and nasty as only he could. Pictures of the Ghetto Mansion would have been in all printed media and circulated on the internet coupled with YouTube videos showing the Ghetto Mansion along with the Hon. Dutty Black Gal in question ... because as  Warren's Blog stated …."If the information that I have gleaned so far is in fact true, it would confirm the widely held belief we have as it relates to the country leaders." However since it relates to the party he supports, nothing is said and nothing demanded.....

I would not be shocked if a Helipad was added for the new PM to bypass the traffic, H is not only for Helipad but also for Holness. 

In response to questions raised by Peter Philips to Holness regarding how he financed his mansion, Holness fired off a couple questions regarding the Philips financial assets.
The Modest house of Peter Philips
Dr. Peter Phillips
1989 - 2016
Minister of Finance and Planning
Minister of National Security
Minister of Transport and Works
Minister of Health
Minister of Special Projects in the Office of the Prime Minister
Senator and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister  
  • Holness: Dr Phillips, as a parliamentarian earning practically the same salary as the Leader of the Opposition, how did you afford the house you presently live in, which is valued at multiple times your salary?
  • Philips: My house was purchased by me and my wife (a practicing attorney-at-law) on the open market on June 21, 1991 for J$1,500,000 with mortgage funding from Victoria Mutual Building Society repayable over 20 years and repaid via monthly payments over that period in accordance with the mortgage terms.
  • Holness: Do you own or have a beneficial interest in a house in Beverly Hills?
    Philips: No.
  • Holness: Will you declare any assets you have overseas?
  • Philips: I have no assets overseas and all my assets (and the assets of my spouse) have been declared annually in accordance with the law since 1989.

Was Mr. Holness trying to recreate famous Acropolis of Greece?
Construction of the Acropolis
To drive past the compound and to look up at the wall is a daunting experience, the height of the wall alone makes you feel insignificant like looking up at the heavens and still not able to see anything thing. You can only observe this Ghetto Mansion from a far because you see nothing when you are up-close but the massive stone wall.

This is like a medieval castle and the only thing that is missing is an external moat. Maybe Mr. Holness will do a Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Annex the lands that surrounds this sick development in the name of personal security because ....ARMAGEDDON MUST BE NIGH!!!!   

Looking up from inside a Big Truck
Initially I was taken aback when I saw it but now I find it extremely funny, it has been a great source of laughter in my house as we reenact several Monty Python like medieval skits around it and now I actually pity the man and question his mental state and personality, which is bad because while I was hoping for innovation and imagination all I am getting now is common, Ghetto-fabulous and Butuism….


The Manley’s Modest House "Regardless" at Drumblair
Outside Andrew Holness parent's home in Ensom City, St Catherine

Please Read: Holness Fortress!

Here is a blast from the past, regarding PJ Patterson's asset declaration, it must be noted that Patterson is much older and a Queen's Counsel Barristers with his own law firm of Rattray, Patterson, Rattray which was founded in 1981 and have been in politics before Holness was born. However the political class only knows how to behave one way, fill their already over flowing pockets with the contents of the public's purse.

PRIME MINISTER P.J. Patterson is considerably richer than he was a decade ago, with a current net worth of just under $30 million. The Prime Minister is expected to declare to Jamaica by the latest today that he has assets amounting to $33 million, plus US$37,000 for a total of $34.83 million. In 1992, he declared assets of $3.5 million.l

Politicians spending big, Gleaner Published: Thursday | October 17, 2013
Only in Jamaica: One politician builds his wife a kitchen valued at $7 million; another and his family take a vacation valued at $10 million; another builds a house for $120 million; and yet another is building one with a projected cost of $250 million.