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MP supports daggering songs ban

Ernest Smith, member of parliament (MP) for South West St Ann, is calling for singers and producers involved in the recording of obscene songs to be prosecuted for breaching the Obscene Publications Act

Smith, who was making his presentation during the debate on the Sexual Offenders Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, called for the commissioner of police and the director of public prosecutions to take steps to arrest and prosecute these persons.

"... Once they hear those songs, even a first-year law student can recognise and see that these songs are in breach. Why is it that over the years, Mr Speaker, these singers and producers have not in fact been prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act?" he asked.

In further cementing his point, the MP blamed the makers of these songs for influencing children to carry weapons. "Some of them have criminal records, why do you think our little children carry knives and guns to school? 'Cause they are being influenced by these songs."

He also blamed the artistes for minors having sex.

"Why do you think a group of statisticians have said that some 90 per cent of our children under the age of 16 are in fact sexually active, yet we have a law against that. It's because of the musicians and their songs."

This latest attack comes days after the Broadcasting Commission's latest directive to radio, television and cable stations to stop playing daggering, sexually explicit songs or 'bleeped' song. This directive has influenced a widespread debate with members of the public openly sharing their views on several talk shows and in newspaper articles.

Smith, who said some musicians' behaviour cause people like Bob Marley to turn in his grave, also shared his opinion during his presentation. He said: "In so far as the Broadcasting Commission is concerned, Mr Speaker, I notice that recently they put a ban on a certain song. I only ask one question when it comes to that: What have they been doing all these years? Sleeping?"

Since the restriction was implemented earlier this week, radio disc jocks are said to be playing less Jamaican music and they are having a hard time finding enough clean music to fill the slots.

(See related story on Page in entertainment section).


February 12, 2009

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