August 31, 2015

Invisibility cloak…

… removed for Berbice?
You can tell that Ramjattan, the invisible man, is also a frustrated man. And we’re not only talking about the crime tsunami that’s long drowned him and his ambitions from moving up in public life. All that’s left for him is to move on…as wide swathes of citizens are praying reverently for him to do. One new PPP MP had mentioned moving a “no confidence” motion against him in Parliament. What’s happened to that idea that’s taken so much traction?
The PPP shouldn’t worry about the two additional MP votes needed to pass the motion. Crime isn’t a partisan issue. APNU/AFC members are as petrified as everyone else about being the next victims. Not all of them are Ministers with phalanxes of guards like Ramjattan. There’s got to be at least two PNC MP’s (the ones he accused of taking bribes?) who want justice done. At least they’ll make sure it’s a “conscience” vote and then citizens can see exactly who’re in favour of the same ole, same ole.
But back to the (other) issue that has Ramjattan’s drawers in a knot. Did you hear his latest pronouncement on his infamous curfew? Because he’s taking knocks on the 2:am deadline for battening the hatches at watering holes, he’s now threatening to bring that down to 12 midnight. Maybe he figures if it was good enough for Cinderella, it should be good enough for the partying crowd? Now while you humble Eyewitness, who likes his vino as much as the next guy, do think Guyanese ought to reign in our Bacchanalian revelries, he still hasn’t seen the figures Ramjattan keeps conjuring up that his curfew’s brought down crime rates.
In fact from the actual figures released by the Police, those rates are zooming steadily onwards and upwards. So you Eyewitnes’ gripe was that Ramjattan’s engaged in fiddling with peripheral measures like curfews, decriminalizing suicide etc, while Guyana burns with criminal depredations. But it might appear Ramjattan’s finally waking up from his slumber. A couple of weeks ago he announced he’d deployed a squad form the SWAT to Berbice…but we haven’t heard of their “special weapons and tactics” being used up to now.
And now comes news that he’s sent in army units in conjunction with the Police. 45 men in all. Now while may sound as if something’s being done at last by the previously somnolent Minister, we remind him of the last time the Police and Army conducted Joint Operations- during the Buxton Violence. And there were more problems between the Police and Army than between them and the bandits!
Hope Ramjattan makes clear who’re the “bad guys”!

…over the Presidency
Whether the honeymoon’s officially over or not, folks are begin to talk about where’s President Granger when the action’s been flying so fast and furious. Either he’s there in the middle of the fray and is using Harry Potter’s invisibility shield, or he’s missing in action. And since our President is an upstanding Muggle, and has no truck with magic and incantations and such like, it has to be the latter.
But why? We know Generals aren’t in the front lines – that’s reserved for the youthful and not so youthful cannon fodder – but when the army’s in full retreat, shouldn’t the General be at least be instill some spine in the troops? Now let’s face it. While Jordan might’ve “rolled” in previous administrations, he was never a conceptualizer of policies. He wouldn’t know a static equilibrium much less the latest DSGE model if it crept up and bit him on his behind.
Isn’t this where the General should be there to recognize his troops may need more advanced weaponry?
After all they’re facing Jagdeo!

…over Inauguration
When first you try to deceive….The govt first said NO government was spent on the inauguration. Now they say $1M was spent by pure coincidence on the Stadium.
When no sports programme was scheduled!!
Oh my…

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There is something rotten…

…in Parliament
All through the 10th Parliament (2011-2015), with the APNU/AFC opposition parties controlling the National Assembly, they argued strenuously for the doctrines of “separation of power” and “independence of the National Assembly” – all grounded in the overarching democratic principle of “representative government.” The PPP/C Government, having secured the Executive, was trampling on democracy by ignoring the Opposition, they screamed.
But what a difference three months make, eh? Or is the difference due not to old Father Time, but to who now has power of the Executive? We’ve heard of “volte face” – but never have we seen “faces” – along with their “mouths” – turned around like this! But then again, when you have a Government packed with so many military types, they’re drilled to execute that “ABOUT TURN” maneuver on a dime, no?!!
The function of an Opposition in a Parliamentary democracy is to interrogate the Government – by any means necessary. Forget the nonsense about “not opposing for opposing’s sake”. In the Anglo-Saxon tradition we inherited, justice in the Courts and in the Parliament is supposed to be arrived at through an adversarial process. Of course there are rules – Robert’s Rules of Order and the House’s own standing order.
So why did the Speaker not only acquiesce in the slashing of the overall time scrutinizing the estimates from seven days to a paltry three? Or make himself the handmaiden of the government during the exercise by ruthlessly denying the PPP-Opposition time to follow up their questioning of government ministers – when they were clearly dissembling to avoid the gravamen of the questions? Time, the Speaker intoned, in his role of Chairman of the Committee of Supply into which the Assembly had been transformed, was running out!
By these stratagems, the Speaker used the Procrustean “3-day bed” into which the entire debate had to be fitted, and then repeatedly chopped off the legs of the PPP’s arguments to fit into that bed. And this is where something rotten is clearly present in the National Assembly – this kind of behavior by the Government and their Speaker stinks to high heaven. The urge for bureaucratic efficiency – totally arbitrarily defined or otherwise – can never be the yardstick for measuring the democratic imperative.
It is not only in the courts that justice must both be done and seen to be done, the Parliament, is in fact the granddaddy of the Courts and it was here that most of the traditions of Justice were born.
The citizens of this country better wake up or the stench might soon emanate from the carcass of democracy in the National Assembly.
…in State media
The Chronicle published an editorial attempting to square the circle! They tried to “explain away” Moses Nagamootoo’s arrogant bullyism of a reporter to toe HIS line. But in defending the high-handed action, the Chronicle stuck its foot into its mouth. Seems that they don’t understand the difference between “State” and “government”. The Chronicle is a STATE newspaper – that is – owned and operated on behalf of ALL the people of Guyana. The Government’s merely in charge for a while.
So the Chronicle can’t pose the question: “Should they EVER be critical of Government actions?” and then claim the answer is “not cut and dried”! It blasted well be cut and dried. And it certainly isn’t that the government NEVER can be criticized. So moving from the general to the specific issue that caused the stink, when the government presents a budget that’s in VIOLATION of laws it passed just a month ago –THAT’S A BLUNDER of the first magnitude!
And the Chronicle had better be critical of such actions!
…in women’s issue
Playing on the progress by women’s lib, a cigarette ad in the U.S. boasted, “We’ve come a long way, baby!!”
Well, we Guyanese certainly have a ways to go when we exhibit frilly Barbie Dolls at a “National Women’s Conference!

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Making up…

…budget numbers

Winston Jordan was reintroduced into the political system as a technocratic kinda fella. You know…the back-room, number crunching faceless drudge who keeps their Ministers looking good. There was always the school of thought that in areas like finance, where you don’t need too much (any?) charisma or razzle-dazzle, maybe fellas like Jordan can take centre stage. Bumping up, rather than cutting off, the middle man – so to speak.

Well if Jordan’s the test of that theory, then it’s back to the drawing board. The man has made such a mess of the APNU/AFC 2015 budget that this Eyewitness wonders what the ***** he was doing during Jagdeo and Ashni Singh stints as Finance Minister- when he was in the back room. What he has shown is he’s straining mightily to be the Rottweiler political type – with his heavy handed put-downs and ponderous attempts at “cutting wit”. He mostly managed to cut himself!

The most egregious blunder – which got his PRIME Minister in hot water – was to not cater for the fact that his President had signed legislation mandating several agencies being funded directly from the Consolidated Funds. Now this wasn’t just for administrative or bureaucratic convenience, screamed APNU/AFC but that those agencies were “being muzzled by the hand that feeds them” and all that jazz. Apart for Nagamootoo having to grovel, hat in hand to Jagdeo to beg for “understanding” Jordan forced even supporters to wonder if, in fact, the PNC-led APNU/AFC hadn’t lost its penchant for muzzling!

But just when you think Jordan couldn’t get his foot further up his mouth, up comes Jagdeo to point out that the $23B he boasted of paying to farmers for paddy shipped COULDN’T BE FOUND IN THE ESTIMATES!!! And this wasn’t the only instance of “Case of the missing money” (Jagdeo thinks it’s “Purloined Money”!) There was a $3.8B to GuySuCo and $5B to GRDB – but these are chicken feed, no? $23B would pay for 200,000 tonnes of rice!! An entire year export to Venezuela!

What Jordan’s trying to do is to let APNU/AFC have their cake and gorge themselves on it at the same time. First they say the Treasury’s bare as well as the PetroVaribe Fund. But what Jagdeo figures they did was to transfer some numbers on the books to simply pass the $23B in the Budget as a debt to PetroCaribe.

But any self-respecting bookkeeper would know this is just financial legerdemain – trickery and conjuring of numbers out of thin air.

But thin air leads to a hard landing. As Jordan will find out soon.

…for lack of size

It’s been a running joke for decades that fellas with challenges in their trouser-equipment try to make up for it by getting bigger cars. It’s called the “compensation syndrome”. Well, it’s a theory no longer. A study in England published in the Daily Mail last year proved that the charge just wasn’t an urban legend! And as if to provide definitive evidence up comes (we use the adverb “up” figuratively) Nagamootoo with his pouting demand for a $22 million SUV!!

The Fella says he MUST have it so that he can visit “constituents”. Now can you believe this load of horse manure? Here it is, the man just told his constituents that he can’t reduce VAT (apart from Mayonnaise) or raise salaries more than 5% but to comfort them he’s be tooling around in his new, black (and of course, totally tinted) Landcruiser.

This beats Marie Antoinette telling the peasants crying for bread to “eat cake”. But we know what the guillotine did to her neck, no?

Other parts of the anatomy can ask be further decimated!!

…crimes?

Whatever happened to those 60 choir boys who strayed from the straight and narrow to filch people’s cell phones and were pardoned?

Have they actually not sinned again?

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To be or not to be…

…President (for a day)
President David Granger seems to like the itinerant life. Ever since he acceded to the Presidency he’s been flying here, there and seemingly everywhere. He also doesn’t like folks knowing where he’s jetting off to. So even when you THINK you know where’s he’s headed- like the Scarlet Pimpernel – he shows up somewhere else. Remember when thousands of the faithful showed up in Brooklyn for CELEBRATION TIME and up to today it still hasn’t been revealed where he flew to?

But Moses Nagamootoo doesn’t mind. For a man who’s been salivating for the presidency for decades, being a heartbeat away is progress, OK? And talking about “heartbeat”, there’s been some speculation that the seventy-year old President may have some health challenges driving his nomadic lifestyle. But whatever it is, with Nagamootoo being sworn in every other Sunday, he just might qualify for that Presidential Pension and Benefits he lambasted former President Jagdeo about.

But then maybe not. With his pouting insistence that he earns more than the Legal Affairs Minister, his salary and benefits are right up there with the President. But a couple of nights ago a funny thing happened to Nagamootoo on the way to Parliament. It could be been amnesia. Earlier in the day, he’d been sworn in as President because President Granger was on one of his secret jet-jaunts. (To Trinidad, where some say it was to give tips to the embattled PNM boss Keith Rowley. Ain’t Caribbean solidarity something else?!!)

But the now President (ag) Nagamootoo then proceeded to tell the driver of one of his five vehicles to ferry him urgently over to the National Assembly. He had to defend the purchase of a $22 million Land Cruiser in Parliament. He evidently found rats in the four SUV’s that Sam Hinds bequeathed him. If the purchase of the luxury vehicle by Nagamootoo in his capacity as PM wasn’t defended he could lose it. Nagamootoo wasn’t about to have that happen. How would he be able to visit his constituents, he argued. He couldn’t just show up at Whim in a ratty, used Land Cruiser, could he?

Anyhow, since Nagamootoo is a lawyer (as he’s never tired of reminding all and sundry since he qualified in his sixties) you’d think he’d know that the President can’t participate in the regular operations of Parliament, wouldn’t you?

So that’s why your humble Eyewitness thinks it’s either amnesia or incipient senility settling in on the man who would be President.
It couldn’t be that he just didn’t want to lose that $22 million Land Cruiser, could it? Naaaah!!

…playing the fool
Because he was blanked by the media in his maiden speech in the Assembly, Charranrass, picked by Nagamootoo to earn over $180,000 plus a car as an MP wrote an oleaginous and ingratiating letter to the Stabber. Wanted to defend his sponsor Nagamootoo against Jagdeo – who, he whined, shouldn’t have walked out before the former’s speech.

Why? Well in an amateurish display of sophistry and disingenuousness, Charranrass claims Jagdeo wanted to avoid Nagamootoo’s “stern rebuttal”!! Say what? Didn’t Charanrass notice that only once in Nagamootoo’s 100 min speech he called Jagdeo’s name? Even though the entire speech was about Jagdeo. Doesn’t Charanrass know Nagamootoo did that because he learnt in Sunday School he shouldn’t utter the name of a fella who’s bitch slapped him senseless umpteenth times? Wouldn’t look nice to have it done again.

After all, as Nagamootoo reminded Jagdeo, he IS Prime Minister, now, ain’t he?
To bad he really took over Kwame’s spot!

To be or not to be…
Charanrass also simpered that Jagdeo deigned to notice him. Jagdeo simply pointed out that Charanrass’ contention that “VAT” had been reduced was ridiculous, when only some items were made exempt. Charanrass should re-read APNU’s Manifesto.

The promise was: “a phased reduction of VAT AND the removal of VAT from food and other essential items.”
Does Charanrass understand the significance of the conjunction “and”?

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Nagamootoo’s self hate…

…and the Indian “N” word

Your Eyewitness was shocked – but not surprised – that Moses Nagamootoo, Vice President and Prime Minister of Guyana used the racially offensive term “Coolie” to describe former President BharratJagdeo. And of all places – the National Assembly of Guyana. But US President Barrack Obama did say, “you can put lipstick on a pig…but it’s still a pig”, no?

Nagamootoo always presented an image of crassness and crudeness and even as he hurled accusations of the same at Jagdeo, his Neanderthal intonations and hate-contorted face made it clear he was projecting his tortured inner demons. Here in the 21st century, with the charges of ethnic and racial discriminations flying furiously in our country – and the same beamed in from the U.S. daily, – what kind of man would descend into such despicable gutter language?

A man who could boast in the same hallowed halls of Parliament, that he yelled at his grandson, “shut yuh so-and-so mouth!!”. That’s who. A man who could gratuitously inform a New York audience that, honoured by the Global Organisation of People’s of Indian Origin, he told them, “I am not an Indian”. That’s who. A man who is so lacking in self esteem that he projects his self hate on the group he came out of. That’s who.

Nagamootoo tried to share blame for the use of the odious term “Coolie” by noting that it had been used by Joey Jagan, who was in the visitor’s gallery as he spewed his hatred at Jagdeo. It was true that DrJagan’s prodigal son had uttered the words “Coolie Bully” to Jagdeo during the last elections. But most folks dismiss Joey Jagan with a rueful shake of the head and a muttered “Da chap head na good”! What’s Nagamootoo’s excuse?

Well, he could always say he was singing for his supper! Guyanese know that with even neutral observers like Clairmont Lye condemning the ethnic discriminatory actions of the APNU/AFC government, it’s two Indians -Nagamootoo and Ramjattan who’ve been tasked to rebut. But it’s more than that. Nagamootoo (and Ramjattan) are so filled with self-hate that they hope their Uncle Tom’s behaviour will redeem their lost psyches.

Then there’s what Nietzsche described with the French term, “ressentiment”. “The man of ressentiment is neither upright nor naive nor honest and straightforward with himself. His soul squints; his spirit loves hiding places, secret paths and back doors…he understands how to keep silent, how not to forget, how to wait.”

The “Coolie” slur is only the beginning: the ressentiment of Nagamootoo will continue to boil over. Beware!!

…and obsessive comparison with others

For the man of low self-esteem and self hate like Nagamootoo, he’ll constantly be comparing himself with those around him…as he constantly looks for “slights and put downs” – which sadly are all mostly in his own fevered mind. Take his “explanation” as to why he insisted that he get a raise – which is not ACTUALLY a 100% raise so it’s OK!!

The man (OK…your Eyewitness knows he’s taking liberties with the term!!) actually had the temerity to announce that he just wanted $100 (doesn’t matter is its U.S. or GY) more than the AG!!!

Can you believe it? This is straight from the psychiatrist’s couch! Why does his salary have to be greater than the AG’s. Why does this irk him so? HE IS PM and VP!!

And for a man with no self esteem, the salary discrepancy eats away at his mental equilibrium like a canker.

Nagamootoo’s one sick dude!

…and pitiful self denial

And why was Nagamootoo so pi55ed at Jagdeo? Well that’s his default state since Jagdeo accepted to return to Parliament as Opposition Leader. How’s you feel, dear reader, to see the fella who bitched slapped you senseless for a decade right in front of you!!

OUCH!!

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Zero…

…as “Prime” Minister
Is a lamp a lamp if it can’t give light? In life one has to distinguish between an object and its function. If the lamp can’t give light, as far as the fella who is in darkness and spent a fortune for it, it just ain’t a “lamp”. It is no different from the lump of rusted iron in his garbage pail that also can’t give light.
Last night after quivering behind his desk as Bharrat Jagdeo delivered his masterful riposte to Winston Jordan’s Budget speech – and after Jagdeo and the other PPP MP’s had walked out – all Moses Nagamootoo could bluster was, “He is Opposition Leader and I am Prime Minister”. And there in a nutshell, is what Moses Nagamootoo’s all about – kidding himself that having a title means that he’s finally become “somebody”.
So the question arises: “Is a “Prime” Minister a Prime Minister if he isn’t “Prime” in any of what’re supposed to be the functions of the Prime Minister? In Nagamootoo’s case we don’t even have to seek precedence in what transpired with other Prime Ministers – here or elsewhere. There was a document negotiated between Nagamootoo’s party, the AFC, and the party of President Granger as what was to be the meaning of “Prime Minister”. Since it’s possible that Nagamootoo has forgotten about this agreement (he is getting on in years, poor chap, and senility does creep up!) it’s called the “Cummingsburg Accord”.
By this document, the Prime Minister was supposed to chair the Cabinet. Has Nagamootoo been “chairing” any “Cabinet” – save for the one in which he found some dead rats at the Prime Minister’s residence? It was reported by his bodyguards that he jumped on a chair when he spied the dead rats! By the much touted Accord – which was to usher in APNU’s regime of “power sharing” – Nagamootoo was also supposed to be in charge of “governance”.
Whatever else he may be “governing” he sure ain’t governing this country or Cabinet! In fact, the governance portfolio was subsequently given to Raphael Trotman – the same fella who’d been made Speaker by Granger over Nagamootoo in 2011. This has to be the unkindest cut of all: not only to be eunuched but by the same man who’d done it before. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Nagamootoo should hang his head in shame.
Now you’d think that the Prime Minister could surround himself with a couple of trusted advisers, no? After all, look who the President’s around himself with. But “Prime Minister” Nagamootoo couldn’t even appoint his fellow villager, and AFC’s live wire, Ramayah, as dogcatcher!
Nagamootoo’s not even a “Prime Number” – he’s just a big, fat “zero”….

…reality checks
This Eyewitness gave new Finance Minister Winston Jordan the benefit of the doubt. He thought Jordan, as an old backroom numbers-cruncher in the Finance Ministry, would stick to the numbers. But it’s become obvious that Jordan is having to sing for his supper – albeit, very, very off key.
Imagine he claimed that the budget was “pro-people” and people were impressed “not only by the length and lucidity of (his) delivery”! And where and who were these “people”? As the old spiritual advised: “Oh, brothers you oughter been dere/ A-sittin’ in the Kingdom/To hear ol’ Jordan roll.”
“Roll Jordan Roll”, and sing some mo’ for your supper!

…shame
The PPP leased Red House to a Special Purpose entity to ensure Cheddi Jagan’s papers are preserved. Kinda like the US’s Presidential Libraries. But seeking to score cheap political points, the Government claimed the PPP “stole” the building. Screamed Amna Ali, “thief, shame, barefaced thieves and bam bam.”
The only problem, as was pointed out by the PPP, the PPP man who did the deed (literally) was Moses Nagamootoo, her PRIME Minister!!!
He didn’t even have the grace to hide under his desk!!

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Asphyxiating democracy…

…in the National Assembly

“Yuh na need lamp fuh see wha clear in daylight”. And Guyanese shouldn’t need much more than the bare facts to conclude that the fears about “creeping authoritarianism” expressed before and immediately after the elections, have now been ratcheted up. Next stop, “Creeping dictatorship”?

At first, the worry was the appointment of all the ex-military top brass as a phalanx in front of Granger – himself a Brigadier and former head of the Army. The fears expressed by a wide swathe of observers- including this Eyewitness – was than each of these men were not only “trained” but CONDITIONED to a top-down, hierarchical leadership style. When the General yells “Chaaaarge!!”, he not only doesn’t expect the Captain, much less the private, to question him: he can have the questioner shot then and there! No democracy in that mindset!!!

There was the red herring about retired officers having the constitutional right to employment. Heck!! No one’s questioning that. What’s being questioned is when in a democracy the military-conditioned President only receives advice from his military conditioned kitchen cabinet – what kinds of decisions will be forthcoming? Surely no one thinks Ramjattan was consulted when his portfolio was divvied up with ex Commissioner of Police Winston Felix, do they? Well, we don’t have to speculate any longer – the other foot’s dropped. Several times, as a matter of fact, and every time it’s on the neck of our democratic traditions.

The latest jackboot to fall was on the right of the Opposition to question the government. This right of the minority to subject the majority goes to the very heart of democratic governance: auditor et altera pars – the other side must be heard. Take this away and what is the motivation of the minority to concede legitimacy to the majority? In the case of Guyana when the majority is by a single seat, such an abrogation of this fundamental right is a recipe for extra-parliamentary action.

The asphyxiation of the minority began with the refusal of the Speaker to concede the routine request of Opposition MP’s to extend their time by 15 minutes. But the death knell was signalled when the Government moved and passed a motion to slash BY MORE THAN HALF, the time allotted for the Opposition to scrutinize the spending of the Government.

Parliament is unique in having to give approval for spending. This right is now traduced to pointlessness. A “right” is not a right if it cannot be exercised.

This Eyewitness calls on all Guyanese – but especially supporters of the Government – to protest this attack on democracy.

“Never again!” should be the cry?

…via ethnic cleansing

Democracy in divided societies is always a tricky business. In fact of the founders of liberal democracy – to which everyone genuflects to nowadays – JS Mill, said democracy can’t ever take root in such societies. His point was that if folks don’t see themselves as a common people, they will vote for reasons that have very little to do with reason and everything to do with emotions.

And he knew full well – as we in Guyana should – how the latter can be manipulated. So to even make a stab at creating and sustaining a democracy, governmental actions have to be seen as affecting all the groups in a society FAIRLY. The moment a group seems themselves singled out for discrimination while another is favoured, democracy “gone for channa”.

Right now, for whatever reason, the APNU/AFC coalition is singling out folks of specific ethnicities to throw on the breadlines.

The most atrocious was the firing of 1972 Indigenous persons.

We have now crossed another line drawn in the sand. When will Guyanese say, “No more!!”?

…with racist slurs

Ramjattan asked PPP to not promote ethnic division. Then posits a connection between the aforementioned Indigenous peoples fired in the hinterland and rising crime rates on the coast.

So they commit crimes here and then run back to the interior?

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They can run but can’t hide…

… from Jagdeo

Nagamootoo has the look of a fella who’s been bitch-slapped so many times, he suffers a trauma eve-ry time he hears the name “Jagdeo”. He won’t even talk to his boyhood friend also named “Jagdeo” – who used to catch crabs with him on the Whim foreshore. So when he learnt former President Jagdeo was going to speak AFTER him in the Budget Debate, he nearly suffered a heart attack.

Good thing he’d sneaked some of that good, old Whim bush rum into Parliament, to calm his nerves. But during the recess, he fell on his knees to the APNU Chief Whip, to have Jagdeo moved up the or-der, so that his presentation wouldn’t be skewered as he knew it would be. Ramsammy has just re-vealed how he was “skinned up” by Jagdeo during PPP’s Ex-Co meetings when he attempted to “de-bate” Jagdeo.

“Debate”? For a fella like Nagamootoo, who invariably “wings it” in any discussion, it was like Jagdeo taking candy from a baby! But in APNU trying to hide its 11% man, it’s trampling on a convention that’s been with us since Independence. And with all Westminster-type Parliaments across the world. The convention is that the Opposition Leader’s the penultimate speaker – just before the Finance Minister.

And it makes sense, no? The Opposition Leader gets the opportunity sum up all the arguments his MP’s who preceded him, had made. And to place them within an overarching framework to critique the budget presented by the Government. The Finance Minister then has the final word, to rebut. With the people of Guyana as the sitting jury, it’s as if the two opposing sides in this institutionalized mechanism to get the best “bang for the buck” for Guyana, are allowed to make their “closing argu-ments”.

But this Eyewitness doesn’t think it’s Jordan who’s ducking Jagdeo: Jordan know’s he’s a technocrat and will stick up to the numbers. He’ll leave macro-economic theory on stimulating the economy and suchlike to fellas like Greenidge. The Government must not bow to the pusillanimity of Nagamootoo to refuse to face the man he considers his “nemesis”. They will be doing themselves a favour if they allow him to be a deconstructed. Their 11% man is actually a “hollow man”… full of hot air, that escapes from orifices at both ends of his gastrointestinal tract.

If the APNU/AFC combine is sure of the bona fides of their Budget, then they should have it subjected to the fire of Jagdeo’s critique.

Or else neither history nor the Guyanese people will absolve them.

…their emasculation

Ramjattan finally got the floor to explain why he was fiddling with 2: am curfews while Guyana was burning from a raging crime explosion under his watch. But even before getting to his excuses, even the Muckraker had to point out that his APNU mentors made him address the “racism” issue – which they’d avoided like the plague. Ramjattan, the 11% man’s Berbice sidekick, had to justify his VP title.

He’d put his foot in his mouth when he connected the burgeoning crime rate with the firing of 1800 Amerindian CSO’s. The racist implications were too much for the Opposition. What do Amerindians from the hinterland have to do with armed robberies on the Coast? But the PPP’s demand for an apol-ogy was denied by the Speaker.

One wonders what would’ve happened if a PPP member had claimed that the crime upsurge had coin-cided with Granger’s letting loose “60 convicted criminals” at his accession to the Presidency?

Banned from Parliament?

 

…Ramjattan’s shame

Ramjattan was obviously so ashamed to be the token “racism” spokesman that he flubbed his lines. Looking at the PPP, he begun: “It was not ethnic cleansing, you guys were doing some…” But before he could complete his sentence, Greenidge shouted “you were using tax dollars to pay people to do PPP work.”

The mouth is muzzled….

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Roots…

…and branches

It was loudly hailed as “the return of a Jagan” in Parliament. There’d been one since 1947 with Cheddi and Janet and while there was hope for their son Joey (He was named by his parents, “Joseph” after Joseph Stalin, not Cheddi Jr) to follow in their footsteps after his initial foray. But he kinda doomed his chances after he rolled in protest on the ground in front of GPL while his parents were in charge of the country.

In all honesty, your Eyewitness understands that Cheddi was never one for dynasties. In fact as a card carrying Marxist, he rejected the role of individuals in historical change and looked to “historical forces”. But, it would’ve been more than passing strange if the folks around him weren’t influenced by his perspective on public service. Talk what you may about Jagan, but you have to admit that as an American trained dentist returning in 1943 with a white wife, he could’ve enjoyed the “good – meaning high – life”.

But both he and Janet plunged into public service. What’s not often mentioned is that Jagan, true to his roots, didn’t neglect his family of origin while he was being a “do gooder”. With Janet’s enthusiastic support he assisted all his large clan to better themselves. But not through handouts. He was the original proponent of “give a man a fish – and you’ve given him dinner; teach a man to fish and you’ve liberated him for life.”

Well the son of one of those brothers, Clive Jagan, who not only became a dentist like Cheddi – but inspired 3 of his sons to do the same, just entered Parliament. The Jagan spirit of public service is alive and well. Now this Eyewitness doesn’t hold people like Jagan above criticism – but his approach to life was pretty much above reproach. And like his uncle, Clive Jagan is comfortably positioned – so he’s not in politics for the dough.

And that’s not an inconsiderable qualification right now. Guyana needs folks who want to serve for the betterment of Guyana. Not to demand salary increases of hundreds of thousands of dollars – while tooling around in luxury SUV’s with sirens whining. Clive Jagan appears to be a man of the people without the hubris of, say, the fella who said he can’t live in a house with two rats that died in the oven.

Your Eyewitness doesn’t want to put too much burden on the shoulders of this Jagan. He can’t be – nor should he be want to be – the original Jagan.

But he can carry on with Jagan’s central virtue that politics is about people. Ordinary people.

…of Indigenous Peoples

The Junior Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Valerie Garrido Lowe made a curious statement – that the “Hinterland is not a separate nation”. Your Eyewitness found it curious because the very fact that there’s a Minister for Indigenous Peoples – created by the PPP – means that there is some uniqueness to their condition that makes them be treated “separately”,

Lowe seems confused. While she didn’t want the hinterland to be treated as “separate” she insisted that their development be equal. But the problem is that the hinterland’s been so disadvantaged due to historical and geographical circumstances that they’re lagging by every measure in every aspect of human development. For Indigenous Peoples to catch up with the rest of Guyanese society, they will HAVE to be treated as separate.

It’s the old foot race analogy: you can’t break a fellas legs, put him into a race and then tell him he has an “equal” chance of catching up. Never gonna happen.

Garrido Lowe should check out her legs.

…of paralysis

The Government’s conducting God knows how many audits and investigations. Seems that they haven’t heard of the aphorism: “Too much analysis leads to paralysis”. Now we know why the economy’s dead and with crime skyrocketing, the nation may soon will reach that state.

Action, fellas, action!!

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Professionalising…

…Or feather bedding?
The Government just established another Commission of Inquiry (COI). No… not to pinpoint exactly how Nagamootoo was emasculated. Seems that was a mutual decision – “you scratch my back and you can cut off my family jewels”! This time, joining the scored of audits, probes, investigations and “snitching” (like at GPL) is a COI into the Public Service.
As we all know Public Servants were a key bloc that got APNU into office. While they would’ve voted for that party in any case, just to make sure… APNU promised them a 20% pay hike. Hey! When you’re out on the hustings the rule is “promise them anything!!” However, claiming that “the treasury was empty”, APNU reneged on its VOW and is now promising milk and honey in the hereafter. After the COI looks into “the condition of services, wages, training, salaries and other issues of public servants.”
And this is a shame. Ever since Desmond Hoyte had gone on bended knees, hat in hand to the IMF in 1989 to bail out the PNC-induced implosion of the economy, they’d made him agree to “rationalising” the Public Service. This was because the PNC had made it so bloated to provide “jobs for the boys and girls” some radical surgery was necessary to trim the fat. And imagine this was on top of the 4000 public servants that has been “retrenched and redeployed” by Burnham in 1982. Hoyte was eventually to let go some 2000 additional Public Servants before he was voted out in 1992.
The PPP refused to continue Hoyte’s policy of “retrenchment” but and continued with a fat, bloated and unresponsive Public Service. FAT LOT OF GOODWILL IT GOT THEM!!! Harold Lutchman, who literally wrote the book on the Guyana Public Service, is heading the COI. But even though he says the COI is looking at “revamping” the Public Service, based on his performance as the referee on the Cummingsburg Accord, this Eyewitness isn’t going to hold his breath.
The fact of the matter is that Lutchman knows that the Public Service must be professionalised to serve the interest of the State rather than Governments that may come and go… just as he knew that the AFC should’ve gotten a real slice of the power pie, if the promised “ethnic” power sharing were to have any meaning. But he allowed the evisceration of the Berbice AFC leaders – on top of their neutering, without uttering a word.
But that’s not true. He did say, “Not my job man!!” So we can expect the Public Service to be expanded with higher salaries and benefits – even while feather bedding becomes the name of the game.
That’s when you just “mek wuk to give wuk”!

…Thievery
Khemraj Ramjattan just doesn’t know when to keep his mouth closed. Apart from flies possibly entering that orifice, the seemingly unstoppable inanities that issue forth just exposes his as the charlatan and poseur he is. For years he’s insisted on having intimate knowledge of the security field.
Finally his bluff was called when his outfit was swept into power as part of the the APNU combine. By now, all this Eyewitness can say is that Ramjattan’s been proven to be the fraud insiders always knew he was. He wouldn’t know “security” if it crept up and bit him on his behind. But the man WAS made Minister of National Security! And he has to say something, no?
First he made the astounding discovery that CRIME IS CAUSED By GREED!! Thence imposed the 2: am drinking curfew to stop crime in its tracks!! But the last one takes the cake.
The man justified to Parliament, the criminal actions of “de street bandits”. Politicians, he insisted, set a bad example.
He was obviously looking in a mirror! Precipitously!

…Parliament
For six sessions the APNU/AFC coalition had the Parliament to themselves. Standards dropped precipitously. But with the PPP and Jagdeo back into the House, even Nagamootoo looked spiffy!
No Mafia outfit!

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