Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bob doesn't 'fit the bill', says Ziggy

By Steven Jackson
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Quadruple Grammy award winner, Ziggy Marley does not want his father reggae icon Bob Marley on legal tender, opposing the position of cultural stakeholders.
Ziggy... Bob Marley is already a national hero, whether the government says so or not
"Me no inna that," said Marley in Sunday Observer interview. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar, we no inna that. Hugh Shearer is good, put him on the $5,000 bill. Me alright with that."
The images on Jamaica's legal notes are reserved for heroes and prime ministers - and is amongst the highest honour, but Marley implied it would solidify the reggae icon as a part of 'Babylon' - the system he opposed. He, however, was not against Bob Marley becoming a national hero as it would represent the people's will not the system.
"Bob Marley is already a national hero, whether the government says so or not. We already know he is our hero. So it's up to the government whether they want to get on the people's side," he said.
Internationally, Marley is the musical equivalent of revolutionary icon Che Guevara; locally he is a national hero in waiting. Ziggy Marley told the Observer that politicians will one day elevate him to hero status for political expediency.
"Even when he was around he did so much good things for people. During the One Love concert, which other man could have brought Eddy and Manley on stage in such a turbulent time to say peace in Jamaica. Is only a hero could have done that. We have to respect Bob for more than the music but what he stands for," argued Marley on Marley in reference to his father.
The Bank of Jamaica released souvenir Bob Marley coins in 1995 and 2005 in commemoration of Bob Marley's 50th and 60th birthday. These thick gold plated coins are in denominations of $50 and J$100 and cost US $100 (J$8,900) and US$400 (J$35,600) respectively. But cultural stakeholders on Thursday told the Observer that they wanted Marley on legal tender charging that he best represented the majority. Instead, some see the new khaki-coloured note as a political counteraction to the $1,000 bill which bears the image of Michael Manley, former prime minister and PNP politician. The government plans to unveil the new $5,000 note on tomorrow, following the steady loss in value of the country's highest tender $1,000. Ziggy Marley argued that trade liberalisation has caused the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar - a global policy reducing import tariffs in an attempt to spur competitiveness.
"Is a strategy long established in economic system of the world, where the poor countries have to suffer for the richer countries. Free trade where they say open up your market and they say buy American apples (and so on) so the things we grow a yard are more expensive than the things from foreign. That is just the way they enslave the poor countries just because we need to borrow some money from them."
Hugh Shearer served Jamaica as prime minister from 1967-72. He led Jamaica during its most prosperous period of economic growth since independence - growing at some six per cent a year versus the anaemic one per cent during the last 20 years.

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