September 29, 2016

Officers and gentlemen…

…in government
When the coalition between APNU and AFC was being fixed, Ramjattan allowed as to how one of the most attractive features of the fellows across the table was that the leader of the PNC/APNU was “an officer and a gentleman”. While the statement was obviously literally true, there were, of course, the implications that flowed from what those terms connoted.
Most notably being that Granger wouldn’t be throwing comrades under the bus at the first sign of screw-ups as is usual in the cut-throat, dog-eat-dog world of politics. And it now looks like Ramjattan’s assessment was right on the ball – in spades! Because after snagging the massive portfolio of Minister of National Security, Ramjattan has careened between spectacular screw-ups to long periods of quiescence that’ve convinced even the converted, he’s just completely out of his depth. And while it might be an act of mercy to send him out to pasture, he’s still there.
Thing is, his seeming obliviousness to the disarray in one of the most critical ministries in his Administration is beginning to cast shadow on PREZZIE’s own ratings. Being a nice guy will only go so far – and certainly not farther than people’s security being jeopardised because of lack of direction at the top of the crime-fighting chain. Apologists for Ramjattan point to his relative inexperience at the job – but this is rather ironic since it was he who boasted about being a Security maven and demanded as “non-negotiable” the job.
Ramjattan has pointed out that he’s been shadowing Security even when he was a junior in the PPP. He’s referred time and again to his calling out Laurie Lewis early in the PPP’s first Administration. So what was that all about? Surely it couldn’t have been he insisted on a bit of nepotism from the PPP on the Police appointments? If we go by what Ramjattan’s claimed over the years, he ought to’ve presented his plan for reforming the forces that were under his charge to Cabinet at least a month after getting into office.
If a baby could’ve been conceived, gestated and born since the last circumstance, surely Ramjattan can’t be allowed to continue when his sole, original contribution to fighting crime has been the introduction of the 2am curfew on selling alcohol. And even there, he is yet to produce the demanded evidence to show there is causation between crime and closing hours of bars.
This tragedy of 17 remanded prisoners perishing by fire in Camp St Jail is just the tip of an iceberg that’s actually a volcano exploding from the fires Ramjattan insists on ignoring. It is time for him to go.

…and codes of conduct
But Prezzie wouldn’t have been put on a spot with his National Security Minister if his Minister Trotman had completed the Code of Conduct promised within the Administration’s first 100 days in office. Remember?? “A Code of Conduct will be established for Parliamentarians, Ministers and others holding high positions in Government public office to abide by, including mechanisms for demitting office if in violation of the Code of Conduct.”
After all, two of the 10 principles that were guiding the Code were “diligence” and “responsibility” . We won’t even mention others such as “dignity” which Ramjattan once again violated by telling a SN reporter “Haul yuh ass!” when asked a perfectly legitimate question. Under “diligence”, he would’ve had to show what exactly he’s done since May 2015. Under “responsibility”, he would’ve had to resign after the Camp St catastrophe.
So when is the Code going to be issued? Just don’t hold your breath! Too many casualties in the offing!

…in the courts
Now that a retrial’s been ordered for the accused of the Lusignan Massacre, Guyanese are hoping at last we’ll be seeing justice dispensed by the “officers and gentlemen” who guard our judicial probity.

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