September 22, 2014

The trouble with being…

…Clive

No, not Clive Lloyd. He’s doing quite well, thank you. The new mandarins at the WICB seem to’ve recognised the worth and integrity of this regional cricketing genius. They’ve evidently tasked him with reviving our fortunes in the one thing we used to do better than anyone else in the world: cricket. No. We’re talking about Clive Thomas – unquestionably the most prolific economist in the modern Caribbean.

Thomas is as indigenous an economist as you can get and while he’s accepted a host of “visiting professorships” across the globe, the good doctor has always called Guyana “home”. Just out of grad school, “The Dynamics of West Indian Economic Integration”, he produced in collaboration with Havelock Brewster back in 1967, stands as a testimony of “what could have been” if it hadn’t been ignored as a template for all subsequent integration movements.

But unlike what he and other social “scientists” would have us believe, Thomas’s claim to “objectivity” in his writings crumbles into dust when examined even cursorily. We’ve already pointed out the cognitive dissonances he’s obviously subjected to as he tries to project this “objectivity” in his weekly column in the Stabber News.

Knowing that most folks just glance at his headlines – or, at best, skim though his articles (let’s face it – economic analyses filled with tables and stuff aren’t seen as exactly “sexy”, are they?) he buries findings that contradict his newfound ethnic bias. And trumpets his bias in the headline.

This week, his headline screams: “Inequality, poverty and the flaunting opulence of the newly-rich”. Can’t miss the “flaunting opulence”, can you?? He “explains”: “to the poor struggling masses, the perception of an inexorable rise in the flaunting opulence of the newly-rich amongst us leads not only to resentment, but also to feelings of societal marginalisation and exclusion.”

Trouble is, the “perception” – to use his word – is formed by fellas like him writing slanted articles like the instant one! And this gets picked up and exploited by the provocateurs out there.

Before 1992, as a staunch Marxist, “ethnicity/race” was just an “epiphenomenon” to Thomas. Now, as a member of ACDA, “ethnic” disparities in wealth and poverty are his métier. Yet it’s only as a throwaway last line he mentions that after the PNC’s 28 years, the ethnic breakdown in poverty was Indians 33.7 per cent, Africans 43 per cent and Mixed 44.7 per cent.

By 2006, under the PPP/C, it was Indians 30 per cent, Africans 31.6 per cent and Mixed 33.7 per cent!!! Where’s the “objectivity” in hiding that now there’s no ethnic disparity in poverty??

…weak

David Granger just called Clement Rohee “distracted and weak”. Talk about the pot calling the kettle “black”!!! Sigmund Freud had this theory about “projection” as a defence mechanism in some people. Fella reportedly has secret feelings about being a homosexual but is ashamed because he’s taught it’s an abomination. So he “projects” these homosexual desires to others – whom he dislikes. In fact, he may become a champion AGAINST homosexuality!

Now Granger’s been dogged by accusations of being “weak” ever since Burnham catapulted him over a dozen senior officers to make him the head of the GDF. He was always seen as a desk-bound officer, commanding very little respect from the troops. He was just slavishly loyal to Burnham. Hoyte refused to appoint him as his Chief of Staff.

Right now the “weak” taunts dog him wherever he goes. Even the Stabber News – where he used (?) to write editorials, had an editorial yesterday about his weakness. And he’s now so “distracted” by the challenge from the AFC.

So the wanker projects “distracted and weak” to Rohee!!

…nice

Prezzie is one heck of a nice fella. Remember how he started the Tripartite Talks after the last elections? Well, we hope he remembers how he was kicked in the teeth by Granger and Ramjattan afterwards.

So with the new olive branch to Granger – forewarned should be forearmed.

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More whingeing…

…by “do nothing” activist

The word “whinge” mean to complain incessantly and peevishly about something and not doing anything about it. It’s not only very annoying but quite tiresome. This Eyewitness has cited David Hinds as only whingeing about “African marginalisation” in Guyana.

Hinds just fired off a missive (his “missiles”?) to the Opposition press, whingeing this time about the “motives” of those who say Ramjattan dissed African-Guyanese by unilaterally changing the AFC’s rule on their foundational “Principle of Rotation of Presidential Candidates”. To paraphrase, Tina Turner, “What’s motive got to do with it??” When white liberals in the US agitate for black rights, are they rejected because they may be doing so from “historical guilt”?

What’s this nonsense?? This shows once again that Hinds isn’t serious about the interests of the people he purports to represent. Any objective action that helps them ought to be accepted. But we aren’t surprised by Hinds pettiness – he represents a “type”. And what’s this “type” you ask, dear reader?? In the struggle for justice for Africans in the New World, following the abolition of slavery – there have been two strategies.

One advocated for African leaders living within their communities and helping them concretely through their own example to organise their lives and achieving economic success. The other insisted that the job of leaders was to agitate and agitate and agitate about storming the citadels of “power”. And Hinds belongs to this latter group. No one disagrees that he’s serious about African Guyanese empowerment.

But you’d think if he was serious about achieving his own stated goals, he’d realise that this agitation through talk can only get a group so far. At the most elementary level, if the group gets power, what then?? Didn’t Lee Kwan Yu compare his performance with that of our own Manley and compare the performance of their two countries??

There’s a time for talk and a time for work. The first is over and the second must begin now. Hinds could take a lesson from his comrade in the 1970s WPA Odaipal Singh, who became Swami Akshwrananda after obtaining his PhD – around the time Hinds earned his. Singh had complained about the “marginalisation” of rural children from top quality secondary education – all in Georgetown.

Rather than only whingeing, he launched a rural school – SVN – which is now challenging Queens for the top spot in Guyana.

C’mon Hinds, start walking the talk!

…by Opposition parties

After two years of whingeing about not being able to wrest Executive power from the PPP/C Government in the Chambers of Parliament, the Opposition – well, the PNC/APNU then – is about to take to the streets. And in that tactical dichotomy between the AFC and PNC/APNU lies a story in political opportunism and ambition.

Old man Marx had always cautioned us to look at the contradictions in any situation. Sooner or later they had to manifest themselves. It was all a matter of the circumstances. While the two parties had seemed to be joined at the hip in the Parliament on issues like AML/CFT – the AFC was full of ambitious men – who wanted to get their own grubby hands on the levers of power.

While it made rational sense for the AFC to go into a pre-election coalition with the PNC – the ambitions of Nagamootoo and Ramjattan would never permit this move. Wasn’t this the issue that caused Trotman to decamp last time??

So look for the AFC to distance itself from PNC/APNU as the “protests” inevitably turn violent.

…and “trying a thing”

It’s clear Ramjattan and Nagamootoo were “trying a thing” on their “MP buyout” allegations. Even APNU distanced themselves from the ridiculous claim. Question is, how’d they think of this scheme that’s foreign to Guyana since Burnham bought out Saffee in the 1960s??

Ahhh…these fellas always had “mean and hungry looks”. Beware!

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Those whom the Gods wish to destroy…

…they first talk bribes

If anyone had any doubt about it, the PPP says Ramjattan is not only threatened by Chikungunya, but by dementia. They were trying to explain the “verbal diarrhoea” emanating from Ramjattan’s frothing mouth at his latest press conference?? Maybe it was because he’d just knocked off his daily “large”? His old friends obviously thought not!

Let’s start with his claim that the PPP’s trying to bribe three Opposition members $30 million each not to vote for their “no-confidence” motion. These fellas would’ve then be “crossing the floor”, in not toeing the party line on the vote. Now if Ramjattan wasn’t just plain loco, the PPP must’ve reasoned, how else would he’ve forgotten he and Trotman had precipitated the “recall legislation” against “crossing the floor”. When they jumped ship from the PPP and the PNC??

But maybe it’s not a case of madness but a case of a guilty conscience?? People have always speculated as to who bribed Ramjattan and Trotman to cross the floor. We mightn’t know what goes on behind closed (embassy) doors – but we can connect the dots from what followed, no? Did Dick Morris – pollster to the US Democratic Party – with US million-dollar fees, parachute in because he heard about these “underdogs” in the Amazon juggles?? Please!!!

So is this where the $30 million figure came from?? Is this how much Ramjattan and Trotman each pocketed for doing the dirty?? Was it on top of what they collected for “carrying news”?? Now this isn’t the first time the AFC floor-crossers have accused the PPP of trying to buy their members’ vote. Remember back in early 2012 when Trotman lashed out at some of his (unnamed as of now) party MPs for being susceptible to the PPP. He had a nasty exchange with his predecessor Ramkarran – about the PPP trying through “bribery” to ensure the budget was passed.

Reminded about the “recall legislation”, which he and Ramjattan had not surprisingly opposed vehemently, Trotman said he and Ramjattan would do what they had to do. Well, we all know that no one crossed the floor back in 2012. So why cry “wolf!” at this time?? Why don’t they “do what they gotta do” once again??

They won’t because there’ve been no offers of bribes. From the PPP or anyone else. It’s just Ramjattan trying to muddy the waters that’ll drown he and his party when the “no-confidence” motion comes up for the vote!!

…they first abandon principles

Bribed to form their party, Ramjattan and Trotman were advised by the Big Dick from the US that they had to show they were different from both the PPP and the PNC. And how were they to do that?? “Simple,” said Big Dick. “Tell the people that with you guys being African and Indian (never mind Trotman was Mulatto – Dick followed the “one drop of black blood” rule) you represent all the people of Guyana.”

So the Two Stooges reminded Big Dick that the PPP and PNC had both gone that route with the Indian and African leaders bit. And the Big Dick pondered a while and then announced. “Hey!! Tell the people that the two of you will rotate being the Presidential Candidate. And we’ll start off with you Trotman now in 2006.”

And so it was in 2011, Ramjattan reminded Trotman (very forcefully, thank you) that it was the turn of the “Indian”. Namely he, Ramjattan.

So this Eyewitness finds it more than passing strange that Ramjattan now says it’s “OK to abandon principles” to have his Indian brother Nagamootoo be the candidate this go-round. Marginalisation??

…they first defang

Poor Granger. He’s been made to look like a “toothless poodle”. Why did his advisers have him make threats they know he can’t carry out?? Civil Rebellion??? What next?? A moon mission??

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Fighting the good fight…

…for “democracy”

One thing about good guys…they just don’t get a chance to ever relax. “Easy like Sunday morning” might be a good anthem for Lionel Richie…but never for Superman. And so it’s ever been for the US – fighting for “peace, justice and the American way”. But another thing about good guys is they care about everyone – no matter how small and insignificant.

The US is the last superpower left standing. Of course it is! China?? Didn’t old Mao say “political power comes out of the barrel of a gun”? Even with all those factories churning out goods like there’s no tomorrow, you wouldn’t doubt the US has more guns than China, would you?? Just think they blew US$1 trillion in fighting the war for democracy in Iraq alone. Now that’s commitment to a cause!!! And that’s POWER.

With this magnanimity of spirit for the downtrodden, can you doubt that even teeny weenie Guyana would get its share of attention?? And we aren’t disappointed. In addition to the Red Caps running around at CJIA fetching luggage, we have Blue Caps running around Georgetown, insisting they would be willing to bear the burden of “observing elections”.

The US, of course, has kindly helped by bearing a hell of a lot of that burden – if not all. What with flying down their Washington consultants to train the said Blue Caps. All for democracy!

In the same week witnessing the Blue Caps’ noble gesture, the ABC Ambassadors – the “A” is NOT for “Apple” – took time off to educate our Foreign Affairs Minister. Seems the democratic thing for Guyana to do is support the US-EU proxies who seized power in the Ukraine.

Knowing that our Foreign Minister was too busy to answer the telephone, they took the trouble to call a press conference to send their message. It just makes this Eyewitness want to sob in admiration.

And today came the icing on the cake. We learnt that the IRI has already launched their operations to educate the youths of Berbice as to how they must behave to spread democracy. The IRI, of course, is the US outfit, aligned to the Republican Party of George Bush, that played such a great role to bring democracy in the Ukraine and so many other places.

And for you bad-minded readers out there – DOWN!!! It is purely serendipitous that they started in Berbice – the old stronghold of the PPP/C. Pure coincidence.

…against sin

This Eyewitness is pleased – and at the same time perplexed – at a report in the Chronicle – which he’d always thought was a family newspaper. With all the stabbings, hair pulling and other sundry well-publicised reports of the activities around the St George’s Cathedral after dark, he’s pretty sure most of his Dear Readers know what’s going on – or getting down!

The paper reported that “cathedral officials have noted that they are not in any way against the sex workers’ trade.” Well…well…well. Isn’t this great??? None of that fire and brimstone stuff for the “fallen” and all that!!

But before your Eyewitness could say “Jackrabbit” (you know what rabbits do all the time, don’t you??) he sadly read that one of the aforementioned “officials” complained: “It is highly unethical to have male prostitutes near a church.”

Now, right away your Eyewitness was struck by the slanted language against males engaging in what has been called the oldest occupation in the world.

So it’s OK to have female “sex-workers” around the Cathedral and not “male prostitutes”??

…against corporate corruption

There’s people pontificating most conclusively about what telecommunications licence GT&T and other entities might or might not have received. Made this Eyewitness wonder if GT&T has finally gotten to the bottom the scam where a big one was said to have looted its treasury to the tune of billions?? Ouch!!!

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Yard fowl…

…politicians

In a letter to the press today, an unnamed interlocutor took Clarissa Riehl to task for daring to criticise the leader of the PNC, David Granger, who was recently rigged into office. All the poor woman said was that Mr Granger was “aloof” as a leader. “Not so!!” screamed the-one-who-would-not-be-named (by himself/herself). Henceforth, to be referred to as “TOWWNBN”.

TOWWNBN, however, did not elaborate on Granger’s acceptability or amiability or approachability or conviviality or sociability or whatever other words signify the opposite of “aloof” to counter Ms Riehl’s contention. This Eyewitness must confess that he’s not personally familiar with Granger, so all he can go by is the image he projects in and to the public. And “aloof” has to be one of the kinder words that describe Granger!! “Tight-assed” might more be what most persons use.

We would have to say too that Ms Riehl is not just made acquainted with Granger. The lady served as an officer for quite some years under him in the Guyana Defence Force and surely she had time to make a considered judgment about the fella – even before he took control of Congress Place. But sadly, TOWWNBN descended – as these nameless, cowardly types always do – to an ad hominem attack on the lady.

But in the attack, he betrayed the mindset of the top leadership echelon of the PNC when it comes to ordinary members – the ones at the grassroots. Referring to Riehl’s support of Aubrey Norton for the PNC’s Presidential Candidacy, TOWWNBN called the grassroots’ activist of 40 years standing, a “yard fowl”.

As if to justify his insult, he referred to Norton “drinking rum” – much as Hoyte had done when he’d dismissed Norton as the General Secretary of the PNC. The “yard fowl” was Hoyte’s “creature” with whom the big man announced he could do as he pleased! Folks like Hoyte and Granger presumably drink brandy like the Founder Leader and this elevates yard fowls to “peacock” status.

And this has always been one of the contradictions of the PNC – a middle-class League of Coloured Peoples’ elite totally contemptuous of the African masses that form the bulk of their membership. Who can respect “yard fowls”?? And this is what explains why Granger can rig the leadership elections and be confident he can get away with it.

He’s counting on the prejudices of those who support him to reject not just Norton but all those who came from Linden as “yard fowls”.

…opposition to development

Mouth open and story jump out. The “Donkey Cart” Economist Khemraj had jumped ship from AFC to APNU. He’d followed in the footsteps of the other Khemraj – the AFC’s Ramjattan, who’d also jumped ship in his time – from the PPP/C. But the Donkey Cart fella had shown even more ideological dexterity – or was it just out and out political opportunism – by hopscotching from the PPP/C to ROAR to AFC, then APNU?

Anyhow, the hopscotcher – who’s been singing hosannas to Granger like crazy – in the course of taking on the Natural Resource Minister’s argument that the lack of cheap energy is a major deterrent to local value-added investment – blurted out quite a mouthful: “I know a few who opposed the Amaila Falls project, not because of its technical weaknesses as given above, but because a perceived East Indian Government must never succeed.”

Well…well…well!!! We know that DC Khemraj has most recently been in bed with the AFC and APNU. The question, of course, is who’re the ones who so hate East Indians, they would spite Guyana’s developmental face??

… prayer service

This Eyewitness suspects that only divine intervention may save City Hall. But was that really the purpose of the “prayer service” Mayor Green convened?? Doesn’t the presence of APNU’s Bulkan and Amna Ally et al…suggest it’s the opening salvo of Granger’s “action”??

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Bobbing and weaving…

…on “no-confidence”

The Chairman of the AFC, Nigel Hughes, has emerged from his “lying-low-until-the-Sithe-storm-blows-over” scandal, to comment on the AFC’s “No-Confidence Motion” on Parliament’s agenda after it reconvenes in October.

We don’t count his earlier fervent (undemocratic) endorsement of Leader Ramjattan’s unilateral choice of his buddy Moses Nagamootoo as their party’s Presidential Candidate. That was just some mutual, self-serving back-scratching done for self-preservation.

Hughes was answering his Cuffy250 cohort David Hinds’ criticisms in the press about the aforementioned “no-confidence motion”. You wonder if these fellas speak to each other outside their attendance of their “consciousness raising sessions”. But the public tête-à-tête did allow us to have a glimpse the real perspective of the AFC on politics in general.

Answering Hinds’ charge that the AFC should’ve demanded “shared governance” out of the “no-confidence” vote, Hughes whimpered that he “support(s) the concept, but the power lies not in the hands of the apparent powerless”. And in this confession of “powerlessness”, we can see how far the AFC has strayed from the promise they made to the people who voted for them in 2011.

Back then, they went on the hustings selling the line that they would support either the PPP/C or PNC/APNU with the seats they secured. They would be “holding the balance of power”! And this would’ve been a hell of a lot of power! So how come the Chairman of the party’s slobbering about their “powerlessness”?? We’ll tell you how – it all has to do with practising politics without a shred of principles.

Let’s look at what happened after the elections. The AFC literally did have the balance of power in Parliament – since neither the PPP/C not PNC/APNU obtained an absolute majority. But the votes had hardly been counted when the AFC threw their unreserved support for the PNC to deny the PPP/C a share in a single institution of Parliament – from the Speaker’s chair to the fella fetching the coffee.

Then, of course, the AFC kicked the President in the teeth when the latter accommodated the Opposition Leaders in the Tripartite Talks. Nagamootoo and Ramjattan ran down to Linden and screamed the PPP/C were “racial” on the electricity rates. And we know what followed.

So it’s because of their lust for Executive power in their gamble to support the PNC/APNU all the way – that they lost any leverage over the Government. They became the “powerless” petitioners they now bemoan.

…on transportation

The minibus operators really do believe that they have the commuters of Guyana by the short hairs. Whenever there’s even a whiff of a fuel increase, up go the fares! And we’re not talking about a percentage that might just cover their additional expense. No sir! It’s always 20-25 per cent at least – if we’re lucky. And with these fellas – when fares go up – there’re no reverse gears. That’s where they remain until the next round of price gouging.

And the commuters always get it in the end – literally and figuratively. There used to be price controls – but with “free market fundamentalism” and all that – that’s not going to be on the cards. This week, the Government tried to help hapless commuters by contracting some “big buses” to offer free services on some runs.

The theory is presumably to lower the demand for the minibuses’ services and hopefully lower the fervour for fare increases.

This is just a stopgap measure. And will fail. “Free” won’t work for long. Bring back the public bus service. If it can work for New York City, why not for Guyana?

…on Chikungunya

We know that it hasn’t been easy for the health authorities on the Chikungunya epidemic. But not being forthcoming with the numbers on the incidence of the infections isn’t helping matters. It just creates unnecessary hysteria.

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Building castles in the air…

…in politics

One of the staples of Guyanese politics since the PPP/C came into office, has been an explosion in the number of individuals who’ve made a profession of “building castles in the air.” You know? Wool gathering…having their heads in the clouds… just wasting their time making speculations on things they know for sure, will never happen. At least in this lifetime!

Much of this castle-building takes place in the letter pages of the newspapers – which has flourished along with the “free press” because the PPP/C’s Government absolute refusal to follow the PNC’s victimisation of critics during their dictatorial rule. Take this fella David Hinds. Like most political wool-gatherers, he has the solution to whatever ails Guyana. And he’s not bashful about letting us know – in the aforementioned letters’ pages, of course.

Take his latest bag of wool. The no-confidence motion that the AFC and the APNU say they’re committed to, he asserts, can be used to compel the PPP/C to commit Hara-Kiri. Fall on its sword. Or in the word that’s in the air, commit suicide – political suicide.

Meaning that if they go ahead with their threat to move and pass the no-confidence motion – precipitating elections in three months – the PPP/C would cave in and agree to the Interim Government (IG) he proposes. This IG would include the APNU/PNC and the AFC. This is the CASTLE!

And this, of course, would solve Guyana’s problems. Well, not ALL of them, since, Hinds opines for that happy circumstance to come into existence, the PPP/C Government has to be removed from office totally. And with an Interim Government, the dastardly PPP/C would unfortunately be there. Albeit in a diminished capacity.

But Dr Hinds probably feels half a loaf is better than none. Or maybe a diminished PPP/C is obviously and literally, the lesser of two evils? So why is all of this just building castles in air??? Well, a castle on the ground would have to rest on a foundation, no? And so too Hinds’ Interim Government Castle. But Hinds builds on a premise that is completely erroneous or non-existent. He claims the PPP/C would buckle under because it doesn’t want snap elections!!!

Can you believe this?? The President had literally begged the Opposition to “make his day” by precipitating snap elections. How much clearer can he get?? Hinds is reading too much into PPP/C’s calls for a clean list.

He’s been hanging out too much with PNC types – who abused the list for avoiding elections. Remember Hoyte in 1990??

…on PNC’s “action”

From the above you, Dear Readers, would’ve gathered that David Hinds – part of that diminishing species , a member of the WPA – wasn’t enamoured of Granger’s ultimatum to President Ramotar. You remember that, don’t you??? The one where if the President didn’t announce a date for Local Government Elections, he, Granger would huff and puff till he blew the entire Office of the President away!!

Well the President immediately pointed out that Granger ought to make up his mind. Vacillating on such an important question wasn’t good for his image – which wasn’t exactly in the ascendancy after he so blatantly and flagrantly rigged his party elections. First he’s demanded fresh General Elections that was to come out of the no-confidence motion that he kept insisting he supported.

If he weren’t lying through his teeth on that one, when the heck would the Local Government Elections he’s now demanding, take place.

The questions, one guesses, is first, “How many elections can be held in the next three months?” And second, is Granger ready for either?

…in Ukraine

If the British would go to war at the other end of the earth because of their ties to the people of Falklands, why would they expect any less nationalism from Russia for Russians in the Ukraine??

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Today’s the day…

…for Granger’s “action”

Back in the day when Granger was in his heyday in the GDF – busy with his machinations that would catapult him to “Commandant” ahead of dozens with greater seniority – the rocker Rod Stewart (he of the gravelly voice) crooned, “Tonight’s the night….”

Well, last week, Granger’s voice was quite gravelly – but he certainly wasn’t crooning – when he delivered his ultimatum to President Ramotar. Call Local Government Elections by Monday or the PNC will launch into “action”!! Today’s the day…Monday.

He tried to cover his tracks by muttering that the “action” would be both international and local – and peaceful. Knowing the nature of the beast they were dealing with – all of their “peaceful actions” over the last half century had ended in violence and mayhem of one sort or another – citizens weren’t taking chances.

Especially over in Regent Street, which had faced the brunt of the fury of the PNC’s “peaceful actions”. They were paraphrasing Rod Stewart’s lyrics in pleading with the PNC’s street elements: “Stay away from my (shop) windows/Stay away from my back door too.” But some say that unlike earlier leaders like Hamilton Green (the earlier incarnation) and Robert Corbin, Granger’s all bark and no bite.

We’ll see. As for the “international action”, the ABC Embassies, which normally offer succour and sustenance to the Opposition, claim they haven’t received any information as to whether they should be part of the “international” prong. Then again, they might be so tied up twisting Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett’s arm to sign on the dotted line in support of their own “action” against Russia, they might’ve forgotten. Bigger fish to fry and all that.

So that leaves Granger to get his troops to launch their “action” on the local front. And today’s the day, for that foot to fall. And we’ll know whether Granger has the support of the rank and file – and the street elements – that’s always at the centre of PNC’s local “actions”. Not being able to seize total control of the PNC’s machinery, Granger has surrounded himself with an ageing bunch of ex-Army and Police has-beens. Like Harmon, Archer, Felix, Collins, etc….

They’ve no connection to real PNC types – like Norton and the Linden lumpen elements. They were quite efficient when they could order their troops about. Remember that “Bannuh” Felix “heading off” the investigation into the Agricola Massacre? So what’ll it be today on the Day of the General??

His PR flak Captain Mike Archer dashing off another letter to the Stabber News, or Mayhem on Main Street? Today’s the day…and everything ain’t gonna be alright!

…of the least inequality

There’s no question Clive Thomas is a solid academic economist. We’ll never know how he would’ve fared in the real world, since his party, the WPA, nixed his nomination by Dr Jagan to become Prime Minister after 1992. Since then, he’s downplayed his Marxist ideology (not advocating complete severance of economic ties with the West?) and inched into the mainstream.

This week in his column in the Stabber News – innocuously titled “Inequality results” – he lets on a fact that had been known by everyone willing to be honest – that Guyana had become an increasingly less unequal country ever since the PPP/C took office. At a time when every major Western nation – especially the US – has gone in the opposite direction.

The Opposition, of course, has not only never been willing to be honest about the PPP/C’s achievements – but would actually lie through their teeth about it.

We dare Granger, Ramjattan and Nagamootoo or their minions to comment honestly about our plummeting inequality! But we aren’t holding our breath!

…for wordiness article

This Eyewitness gets paid for reading and analysing the newspapers. So why does Greenidge have to write these 2000+-word theses in the paper??? This is cruel and inhuman punishment and is banned by the Geneva Treaty.

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Bubble…

…in doomsayers

The recent “One Stop Shop” house lot allocation – saw another 500 lots, this time by Subject Minister Irfan Ali – reminds this Eyewitness of the doom and gloom prognostications from the MuckrakerKN, Lalloo Ram and the rest of the Opposition naysayers that we are in the midst of a “housing bubble”. Well, from the evidence, the only bubble we can see is maybe the bubble session joyous house lot awardees might throw now that they have achieved their dream.

What the doomsayers are moaning about “bubbles” is that the number of houses being constructed and the rise in prices have no bearing to the “economic fundamentals” of supply and demand. So whenever the “artificial” factors – always read “the Government” when these wankers are spouting off – are gone, house prices will plummet. Ruining folks like in the US “NINJA” housing bust.

But all this caterwauling does is to show how low the Opposition and their handmaidens will sink – lower than the belly of a snake – to bad mouth even the most positive achievements of this PPP/C Government. Which Guyanese can deny that the PNC left this country’s housing stock woefully in tatters? Remember their promise to “Feed, Clothe and House” the nation by 1976?? Well, if we were all starving and naked by then (excepting the party boys, of course) imagine the state of our housing needs!!!

Now, since the PPP/C came into office, over 100,000 house lots have been given out. “Squatting settlements” – which sprouted up like “jumbie umbrellas” under the PNC all over the place – became a thing of the past. Even the PNC’s Squalid Squatting Settlements had been regularised by the PPP/C! Seventy thousand houses have been built!!! So we can see the pickle the wankers are in: how the hell can they deny this kind of success??

And so we have their spin about “housing bubble”. Well, they have been crying “the bubble is bursting! The bubble is bursting” for a decade now…and even more people are stepping up to the housing crease. What these “One Stop Shop” house lots demonstrate is that it’s real flesh and blood people who’re rushing for house lots and houses. This isn’t the “speculation” that drives “bubbles”.

The Government has worked from any number of fronts to create the biggest housing boom the Caribbean has seen: the NBS with low cost mortgages; special interest rate write-offs by commercial banks for low-income applicants; pre-built and financed homes; etc…etc.

Owning your own home, creates law abiding citizens who can live with dignity. The Opposition wants to deny the goodwill this creates for the Government. For them, it’s all politics! So what else is new??

…in elections

PNC-APNU-Opposition Leader Brigadier David Granger seems to have developed a bubble in his head when it comes to elections. He needs to get his head straight on whether he wants Local Government Elections or General Elections.

But then, this Eyewitness guesses the burden of being the leader of all the above titles must be weighing heavily on him. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown – especially when the crown was filched and the other contenders are lurking by!

On one hand, Granger is adamant he’s supportive of the AFC’s “no-confidence” motion. Now unless he’s been told confidentially by the AFC (we know the PNC and the AFC are in bed and under the sheets, so confidences will be shared, no?) that all the huffing and puffing on the no-confidence motion is a bluff and hot air, this means there’ll be General Elections three months after.

So exactly where does Granger schedule the Local Government Elections he simultaneously demands the President call??

…in fried foods??

When the developed countries clamped down on cigarettes (for health reasons) they were dumped into the Third World. Is the same thing happening with fast foods, now that “fat” is “out”?

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Selection…

…not election in AFC

Nagamootoo’s reportedly said he’s “very humbled” to’ve been selected by Khemraj Ramjattan as the next Presidential Candidate of the AFC. Poor fella. Apart from the quip that he has a lot to be humble about, he should be ashamed and embarrassed. He claims he was “abroad” when the decision was made.

Yeah, right!! Nagamootoo’s candidacy was cooked up right there in the backroom of their HQ in Campbellville – over several large bottles of rum divvied up between Nagamootoo, Ramjattan, and Hughes.

It goes without saying that most of the rum was consumed between the first two, who’re old rummies from their PPP days. Hughes was easily convinced to step aside for Nagamootoo. While it was the turn of the “African” leader of the party to have a shot at the top rung, Hughes knew he was damaged goods. Irreparably damaged goods. How was he ever going to shake off the albatross of the Case of the Sithe Company Secretary??

But there was another, more fundamental reason – the very fact that he was “African”. Over the years, Hughes had made no secret about his racial orientation. His recent acceptance of taking the lead in the Cuffy250 conclaves across the country – at the side of the likes of Granger and David Hinds – is merely his coming out of the closet, so to speak. So why wouldn’t he want to represent his constituency in Parliament – if not the Executive, you ask??

Simple. Since folks voted for the AFC according to the ethnicity of the Presidential Leader (African Guyanese voted for Trotman in 2006 and Indians voted for Ramjattan in 2011) if Hughes, was the top gun, he’d be pulling African Guyanese votes. Especially after his advocacy in the last three years. And like in 2006, these would come from the APNU constituency. Now, Hughes is caught between a rock and a hard place. From his decision, it’s clear he doesn’t want to risk this outcome.

Better Nagamootoo becomes the Presidential Candidate and pulls votes from the PPP/C’s constituency, no?? Hughes would be killing any number of birds with the one stone of him stepping aside. And we come back to Nagamootoo. How can he talk about “democracy” when he’s connived to deny younger African leaders like Carrington and Williams their chance to lead the party??

But like they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, can you?? Was it because he was anti-black, Granger rejected him in favour of Trotman for the Speakership?

…of a legal dunce

Well, the other foot has dropped on the ridiculous complaint that Ramjattan had dropped at the Police’s feet. They said AFC’s complaint could, in no way, shape or form, constitute a “criminal charge” and so the Police couldn’t get involved. And isn’t this what your humble Eyewitness was saying from day one?? This fella Ramjattan is a real dunce – legal or otherwise.

Some’ve said we should go easy on the wanker – he’s always “high” on “spirits” or something. But jeez…you’d hope that he wouldn’t make these elementary mistakes. But they say “every dark cloud has a silver lining”…and what we’ve learnt from this very dark cloud is that Ramjattan is so besotted with the lust for power, he’s willing to literally trump up charges against his opponents.

He seems to have a special venom for Minister Ashni Singh. We saw how he went after the man’s wife, no?? We’re sure it’s tied up in some twisted way in his twisted mind that Ashni Singh is riding high in a party where he once thought he was the “rising star”.

What a wanker!!

…of armoured vehicles

Trinidad recently acquired an unknown number of some real heavy-duty armoured vehicles. Looks like they’re finally getting serious in dealing with their criminals. With all the threats issued over here, shouldn’t our Police follow suit??

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