Evidently reverting to his military past, President Brigadier (rtd) David Granger conducted a “reconnaissance” of GuySuCo headquarters. (According to the official release from his office.) In the “recon” (to use the term popularised by his Prime Minister Nagamootoo) the President was accompanied by his old aide de camp Lt Colonel (rtd) Joseph Harmon – now designated as “Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency”. One thing your Eyewitness likes with these military types is their love of long-winded names – which then have to be reduced to their acronyms. Joseph Harmon is thus, “MOSITMOTP”, thank you.
Anyhow, the recon was on GuySuCo’s headquarters at Ogle, which – it was revealed – is being considered for conversion into the “Public Service Staff College” to conduct APNU/AFC’s promised training for public servants. Now the question that immediately popped into this Eyewitness’ head is why didn’t the administration have this College be part of UG – which could certainly use the funding and broadening of its programme?
The administrative structure’s already in place and all that’ll be needed is specialised staff to teach the specified subjects – International Relations (Foreign Service), Defence, Public Administration and Information Technology. As a matter of fact, UG already has courses on three of the four subjects – Defence being handled by in-house staff coursed by the GDF.
While the president spoke about a “diploma” course that would save the Public Service from the blushes of “people walking off the street into jobs” – having them at UG would also bring into focus, the vexed topic of funding this venture. We could model ourselves after Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government – with their graduate programmes on our horizon.
Having a separate “Public Service Staff College” churning out “diploma” graduates, presents the danger of creating a glorified secretarial school since it’s expected the entrance requirements will be even lower that the new one just announced by UG: 5 subjects taken at any number of sittings, or a graduate of Critchlow. Not much difference from “walking off the street”, if the truth be told.
But another question that popped up was whether this “recon” to hive off the HQ of GuySuCo is a signal that President Granger’s reverted to his original position that the entire sugar industry has to be shuttered? And that perchance Wales was just a signal of what’s to come?
It’s not that GuySuCo wasn’t just running a boondoggle at Ogle (30 per cent of all labour costs to those masters of the universe!!!).
But couldn’t the HQ be “reconned” for training managers and staff of whatever entity GuySuCo’s gonna be morphed into?
One interesting development from the Rodney CoI Report is the false equivalence made by some commentators on state violence committed by the Burnhamite regime in the seventies and what went down during the wave of violence unleashed by the PNC after the 1997 elections. This is unfortunate since it sends the wrong signal as to what’s needed to return this country on an even keel.
It was conclusively shown by the CoI – by quoting from a book written by none other than President Granger himself – that the GDF had been subverted and de-professionalised by Burnham. All of the military organs comprising the Disciplined Forces – the GDF, the Police, People’s Militia, the National Service and several outside like the YSM and the WRSM – all did the bidding of “The Kabaka”. Openly – and without comment.
As President Granger wrote, even the Chief of Staff of the Disciplined Forces had to show up at PNC Congresses in full military regalia, to swear personal fealty to Burnham.
This never occurred under the PPP. As Brigadier (rtd) Granger noted, the state forces were expected to be loyal to the PNC.
Calls have been made about justice for “Crum-Ewing, Ronald Waddell, 400 African youths etc ” who were allegedly killed by “state forces”.
How about justice for the dozens of policemen, Indo-Guyanese businessmen and other innocents killed especially on the East Coast?