Ever so often, the countries that “know better” and tutor us into becoming “civilised”, redefine our society so that we can “get with the programme”. THEIR programme of course!! Which has to be periodically updated. For instance, in our fathers’ time, our society was divided into those who were “communist” and those who weren’t. The latter were the “good guys” and were given mucho dollars by the Americans to make sure the former got their comeuppance.
In those days, a fella by the name of Peter D’Aguiar knew a good thing when he saw one, and launched an “anti-communist” crusade with funding from folks in the good old US of A. When the old communist bogeyman just rolled over and expired, and there were no “public enemy # 1” to rile up the folks against a government the US didn’t like, they suddenly decreed that “all governments” were suspect. Even those elected in the democratic fashion they’d insisted was what those nasty communists were denying us!
To take on any such government that might’ve gotten on their bad side – for reasons they “educate” us about – the US encouraged the formation of “Non Governmental Organisations” NGOs – which they funded through their Government Funded Organisations (GFOs)!!! For example, there’s this US GFO called USAID, which funds NGOs in Guyana such as the Blue CAPS, SASOD or this motley crew calling itself the Guyana National Council on Public Policy (GNCPP). These NGOs work in what the US calls “Civil Society” – which is all people outside of Government.
From the definition of these NGO organisations then, the Government’s the “bad guy”. Now if it’s one thing that’ll get folks to sign up with an organisation, it’s the promise of feeding at the trough of free money. And as we can see…from the old-time “hard guava” days of groups opposed to the PNC who had to scrounge around for lunch much less full-page ads in the paper, in the past couple of years, it’s literally been raining NGOs – for women, for youths, for Gays, for fornicators or whatever. Why in Cuba even Hip Hop artistes could get funding!! And we did get some Punk Band, didn’t we??All you had to say was you’re opposed to the Government.
Heavily funded, being able to host fancy conferences with hors d’oeuvres and wine, fly off to exotic foreign locales and generally living high off the hog is the lot of the NGO.
Who said that regime change couldn’t be fun?? Can’t tell that to the US and its NGOs!!
And that brings us to Phillip Mozart Thomas and his Guyana National Council on Public Policy (GNCPP) which held its long promised Conference yesterday. It was supposed to launch the Mother of All Civil Society Organisations in Guyana!! From today no other NGO can speak for anyone – Thomas now straddles the NGO world like a colossus. And who’s this fella?
Well, even his hired flack says he’s eccentric even as he claims “He has Doctorates, Masters and Degrees from various American schools, including the National Defence University, National War College, Berne University, Mercer University School etc, etc, etc). When contacted, every one of these institutions denied that Thomas had even crossed their doors, much less earned degrees.
Close readers of the news would remember that this Thomas went to the CCJ to vitiate the 2006 elections and went to the local High Courts to stop the 2011 elections.
But the $500 million (Was USAID that generous??) he claims to have (and this is only for “starters”) will certainly get some nuts to be at his side.
We’ll see who these are today.
We’re betting dollars to donuts Lalloo Ram’s gonna be there! Has there ever been a photo-op this pervert’s missed?? He’ll try to pluck the dollars from Thomas with his tweezers?? Then maybe not. That’s public money not PUBIC money!!
In George Orwell’s dystopian “1984″, we learn about the “Thought Police” – otherwise known as “Thinkpol”. They’re supposed to ferret out transgressions that are only being THOUGHT about.
Don’t ask us “how?”…that’s not the point. The point Orwell was making about the “totalitarian imperative” is there are folks who’re so convinced of their “rightness”…they’ll try to silence contra opinions by whatever means necessary. Think Nazis and gas chambers.
Orwell was spoofing totalitarian Governments…but this urge to deny the freedom of thought to others is alive and kicking in lots of folks outside of Government. And not surprisingly, you’ll find most of them doing their darndest to get into Government – to have the full apparatus of the state to silence “the other”.
Take this fella Ruel Johnson who still doesn’t accept he’s much too long in the tooth to play the enfant terrible. He just comes across as mean, petty, spiteful – and gauche. Look at his recent attack on Ian McDonald.
Now McDonald isn’t this Eyewitness’ favourite cup of tea. But hey!! Whatever drivel or doggereled opinion he wants to put out…it’s a free country no?? Well, not if you ask Johnson.
Prodded on why he didn’t leave his papers to UG rather than UWI, McDonald replied, “I do not believe, even with all the efforts being made, that Guyana has a matching facility.” Now, how dare he say that!!?? What the heck does McDonald mean by mentioning “all the efforts being made”?? Doesn’t he know that not an iota of effort was expended to improve Guyana’s archival capacity??
And even if he knows different, how dare he express the thought in print?? If Johnson and posse had the equipment McDonald’s brain would’ve been fried the moment he had that treasonable thought!
But going even further, Johnson demanded that we forget the “sterling literary credentials” of McDonald . We should note “the social, and perhaps moral, limitations of his (McDonald’s) interventions into the reality of life and politics in Guyana.”
Whew…that’s quite a mouthful!! What “reality of life in Guyana”? That he cobbled Johnson’s first book of poems and entered him for the Guyana Prize?? That he was silent when the soon bloated-headed Johnson ripped viciously into his wife and the mother of his child on social media??
Politics?? That McDonald didn’t intervene with the Ministry of Culture when Johnson demanded to be made Editor of the Guyana Press at $3 million??
The moral?? We’ll give a rain check on that. That litany will be longer than the collected works of Karl Marx. And as tedious!!
Ahhh…how low has the mighty fallen!! The WPA’s holding a symposium on “prorogation” and they can’t field all the speakers from their ranks?? They’d better be careful – they might be taken for that Thomas fella – with more letters behind his name than the dictionary – but unable to get a single invited reputable person to be at his side!!
And he doesn’t even have Kuh Kuh Beh!!
So guess who’s accompanying Dr Clive Thomas at the head table?? Carl Greenidge!!! The same Greenidge Thomas skinned up so badly when he (Greenidge) was PNC’s Finance Minister – he was laughed out of every gathering of progressive economists since!
We’d sure like to hear what this enemy of Walter Rodney will say about “prorogation” as a political weapon!! So while he was basking in Brussels, Greenidge was boning up on political strategy – as well as Brussels Sprouts!??
Of the third panellist, the less said the better – Chris “Lalloo” Ram. What can a 70-year old, fresh out of law school, say about “the legality of prorogation”?? It can be “tweezed”??
Mook Lall knows which limb to jump on – Lalloo Ram’s. That publicity hound’s only reason to be at the side of Lall on the latter’s protest in front of the DPP’s was to get his photo in a paper!!
…in civil society
Since he’s come into the business of commenting on the follies and foibles (and occasionally, the good deeds) of the movers and shakers (or who’ll like to be!!) in Guyana, this Eyewitness has shied away from getting too personal. One has to draw a line somewhere – and a veil over some things, no?? But there comes a time – or an issue – when you’ve got to overcome your reservations and call a spade a spade.
The issue that’s gotten this Eyewitness quite riled up is the reaction of the aforementioned “movers and shakers” to “domestic violence”. As with one voice, they all denounce it most vehemently. And that’s the first tip off. The “one voice” reaction suggests that the denunciation might just be shouted because it’s politically correct. Who’s gonna be FOR domestic violence??
But wasn’t it said somewhere, “Not all who shout, “Lord!” “Lord!” will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven??” And a recent letter in the Chronicle conclusively showed that some of the most vociferous denunciations of domestic violence are among the worst practitioners of that particular brand of cruel and inhuman treatment. The fella in question is Lalloo Ram – no stranger to this column because of his insistence of preaching what Guyanese OUGHT to be doing on every issue under the sun.
After reading the letter and taking its challenge to examine the scanned copy of the divorce petition (uncontested) by Lalloo’s wife on the worldwide web, this Eyewitness now understands why Lalloo has NOT ONCE commented on the burning issue of “domestic violence” – over which the entire country’s been transfixed for years!! He’s been one of the most vicious and sadistic domestic abusers this Eyewitness has had the misfortune to read about.
We will pass over the multiple infidelities of Lalloo to his wife. While this inflicts extreme, mental anguish to a spouse, it’s unfortunately quite common in Guyana among men who “have to prove they are men”. They feel by paying some poor woman for sex, their manhood is “proven”. How pathetic!! We won’t even mention the verbal abuse of Lalloo calling the mother of his children “a whore”. But what got to this Eyewitness was that the wife “was beaten and kicked so badly (by Lalloo) she started bleeding”. Is this being “a man”?
The children weren’t spared – neither from the verbal or physical beatings. The man who’s championed the right to sexual orientation taunted one son about being an “anti-man”, making the boy suicidal.
Shouldn’t Lalloo remove the moral planks from his own eye before he preaches morality to the nation??
The Muckraker reported that its publisher Mook Lall received a trophy – one of those gaudy plastic cups they give to students – from the Pi55 Doctor of Guyana – Ramayya of the AFC. Now we’re not surprised the AFC handed this out to the Mook. They know the poor fellow never got an award in his life!! Like they say with lotto – you got to play it to win it, no??!!
And of course, they’ve got to reward the Mook who carries the press releases via which their fearless leader Ramjattan wages his “revolutionary” actions!!
But surely the Mook knows what’s in the cup. Ramayya’s the fella who’s famous for prescribing “cow pi55″ as a cure for every disease known to man and then some!! Hence his name – the “Pi55 Doctor”!! But we suspect that the Mook eagerly accepted the cupful of pi55 because he hasn’t been able to stop weeping ever since he said he was “threatened”!!
Ramayya assured him that if he drinks the cupful of pi55 is one draught, his weeping will cease!!
…and pubic plucking
We saw in the papers that Lalloo’s fond of asking others personal questions. We’d like to ask him if it’s true he can only “perfor m” if he’s plucking his partner’s pubic hair. Ouch!!! What a pervert!!!
If we didn’t know better, we’d have thought David Granger made a “snap”. He said all these proposals about constitutional change flying all over the place – is nothing more that “beer garden” talk!!! He was referring to the politician and ex-Company Secretary (Nigel Hughes), the (ex??) businessman (Yesu Persaud) and of course political gadfly and pot-salt Lalloo “Suspenders” Ram.
We can understand Granger’s dissing Hughes (upstart hanging on to his wife’s coat tails!!!) and Lalloo (“wannabe politician without the necessary cojones) but Persaud??!! Hey …with elections nigh upon him, isn’t he going to need DDL’s contribution?? Even though Ramjattan and Nagamootoo, Granger’s bête noire who want to oust him from the Opposition Leader’s saddle, also are high pushing the Constitutional Change panacea, Granger couldn’t possibly be dissing THEM. For that he’d have referred to “rum shop talk”!!!
Even though most of the spoutings from the chatterati are to show they are “high thinkers” …all it does is make them look “high”. We just can believe that a group of grown men would think that by making scribblings on paper they can solve Guyana’s political problems!! Just for a start, a good bit of these changes will need a 65 percent majority. Meaning that the PPP/C will have to be brought aboard.
Now how the hell is this going to be done, when every single proposal has to do with getting the PPP/C out of office?? What’s in it for the PPP/C?? Then how silly can the Changers be to suggest they’ll get the ball rolling by clipping the powers of the President! Wasn’t this done in 2000??? Did Hughes just wake up from a deep slumber?? But more importantly, forget the PPP/C: how’re they gonna persuade Granger??
The man was a General for Chrissake!! If you think the powers of the President are over the top after the 2000 changes, you haven’t read ANY army manual on Generals!! Those fellas are like GREEK Gods!! Unlike the President of the country, Generals can shoot their charges LEGALLY for disobeying their orders. Granger’s never going to agree to a reduction of the powers of the Presidency once he thinks there’s even the SLIGHTEST chance of him slipping into that position.
But this bunch of Constitution Changers are just literally a bunch of wankers. Or at best a bunch of armchair politicians. The sad truth is, they can change all laws they want – including the Constitution.
But since the Opposition politicians have shown they don’t give a damn about Guyana – voters KNOW it’s all about getting THEIR hands of power. Bun them!!!
…by AFC newbie
Out of the mouth of babes!!! A new Executive Member of the AFC, who like most of the others won his spurs by writing fervent letters to the press, wrote another that’s VERY revealing. On the letter-writing qualification – don’t forget that leader Ramjattan told Granger he doesn’t need to show up at Square of the Revolution to protest. HIS revolution will be waged through letters and press releases!!
Anyhow back to the AFC newbie’s letter. Fella confessed he “was astonished when Ramjattan talked about corruption”!! We understand. He obviously knows how corrupt Ramjattan is and doesn’t think such a character should speak about corruption! The best he could say about Nagamootoo was his “sparkling opening speech”. Nagamootoo’s erstwhile comrades in the PPP/C always said that all Nagamootoo could do was “talk”!! Confirmation!!
Nigel Hughes talked about his obsession – Constitutional Change. But who was it that dismissed this as “beer garden talk”??
The newbie was understandably confused and referred to Cathy Hughes as “Sister”. Maybe he thought he’d joined the WPA?
…with GPSU ultimatum
Someone pointed out that the GPSU’s “48 hour” ultimatum had expired and the Government hadn’t done anything. Wasn’t it the GPSU that had to do something to be spared from being dubbed, “Christmas blow blow”??
…in Agricultural development??
At long last, it seems our large scale agricultural development might be taking off.
Trinidad confirmed responsibility for doling out 10,000 acres in Canje to their own farmers to produce items for export to their country. The Trinidad Minister of Agriculture’s here again – but now with a team that’s supposed to “spec out” the land.
But this Eyewitness has to be frank…he’s really not convinced that much will come out of this initiative. It’s not that he’s a pessimist, but the Trinis do seem to be quite confused about what they’re trying to achieve. When the Minister came some months ago, he said that the goal was to “reduce the food imports into Trinidad”.
Now there’s nothing wrong about that. But the last time we looked, Guyana was not part of Trinidad – so how the heck will the products shipped from Guyana not count as “imports” into Trinidad?? The Trinis also aren’t clear about the involvement of locals in the venture. While we Guyanese may snicker about how tiny Trinidad is, in reality, there’s lots of prime agricultural land available that’s not being utilised.
Less than a decade ago, the former PNM Government of Patrick Manning launched 18 “mega farms” in Trinidad with the same goal of “reducing food imports”. They’ve all gone belly up – even after the Government pumped millions into them. The problem with the effort was that Trinidad’s lost its farmer “class” but – unlike what’s happened over in Suriname – they refuse to allow the free movement of Guyanese into their country to get the job done.
In Guyana, the Trinis don’t seem to have engaged many – if at all, any – locals and unless they do this pronto they won’t even be able to get off the ground. Also, it doesn’t seem to have dawned on the Trinis that the land they’ve been offered is literally virgin territory, which has to be drained, and then irrigated for those crops that’ll be cultivated in the dry season.
In the estimation of this Eyewitness, the Trinis are trying to reinvent the wheel. The Jagdeo Initiative – under which the land was offered to all Caricom countries at dirt cheap rates – Trinidad was asked to address one of the eight identified “constraints” – finance. All Trinidad needed to do is to establish a fund that would finance large scale agriculture in Guyana.
By accepting proposals on products for which Trinidad would provide the markets, they could’ve had their cake and eat it too.
Its not too late.
…in multi-racial politics
Few were actually fooled when the AFC – launched in 2005 – boasted they were introducing “multi-racial” politics in Guyana. How?? Well because they SAID so!! And that the two top guns from the PNC and PPP/C were respectively “African” and “Indian”!!
The irony that EVERY political party (with the exception of GUMP in the 1960s and ROAR in the 2000s) has made the same claim – with the same technique – fronting persons from the various ethnic groups – seems to’ve been lost on the group.
But recently, the mask has been ripped from the AFC’s pretensions when the party was invited by the African-dominated APNU to send their top leaders to a meeting. The AFC’s Indian leaders – Ramjattan and Nagamootoo – sent the African ones and studiously stayed away. For once they admitted they did so because they would be “dead meat” if their Indian supporters saw them on an “African” stage. Multiracial?? Ha!!!
Recently, this paper asked non-Indian AFC’s Treasurer Dominic Gaskin how he could be a member of a party that shunned Africans.
Exhibiting severe cognitive dissonance, Gaskin stoutly denied what his leader had explicated announced!!
…in presidential power?? Nope!
After complaining about “abuse” of presidential power …more specifically the use of the prorogation prerogative, David Granger turned a complete somersault. He now says when it comes to clipping presidential powers…the “people” should pronounce!!