September 25, 2016

Whistleblowers…

…in Government
The Government’s started running ads in all the dailies inviting John and Jane Q Public to a “Public Consultation” on a Whistleblowers’ Bill, come this Oct 10. The fact that Parliament’s due to begin its “fall session” (well, the Govt announced its “summer holiday” after their earlier 45- day hiatus, didn’t they?) isn’t the only reason your humble (but sceptical) Eyewitness thinks this is just a red herring.
C’mon now! Do you, Dear Readers, think this Administration really wants to have the tens of thousands of Government employees to have immunity if they fink on the officials who’re daily bilking the treasury of billions and billions? And that’s the bottom line, isn’t it? “Whistleblowing” is simply exposing behaviour or acts that one believes are ETHICALLY or MORALLY wrong – but which may be protected by the rules of the organisation. So, if you out and tell your superior about pilfering by a colleague, he may just fire your tail!
In fact, in the news today is the story of Wells Fargo Bank, which actually encourages whistleblowing on enumerated, sharp mortgages practices. But when some employees picked them up on their offer and finked, they were summarily thrown out on their ears! The point of the story is managers may feel they’re guided by some “higher” morality (read they’re in on the hustle!) on behalf of their organisation. Look how the US Government, for all its vaunted “openness”, treated Snowden and Assange.
Of course, they’ve cited “national security” concerns – but that’s a slippery slope, ain’t it? The term could cover a multitude of sins – and the whistleblower could just as easily be labelled a “snitch” or “informer”. That’s especially true when the corporation (private whistleblowing) or government (public whistleblowing) is “corrupt” as is the case in the Third World in general and Guyana in particular.
Let’s take the case of what went down with the now infamous Albouystown bottom house warehouse. There has to’ve been dozens of employees in the Ministry of Health who knew what was going down. And it doesn’t matter they might NOT have been guided by some higher moral voice booming from on high. It could be that they just didn’t get a cut of that $450 million and wanted to fink out of spite.
What the legislation has to guarantee isn’t to just fire the miscreant now caught with their hand in the cookie jar…the challenge is to protect the whistleblower for all time. Once he/she is known – which is all too easy in our personalised record keeping – no other person will hire him.
Why? Because every official – especially the big ones – want a piece of the action!! Explaining why nothing’s gonna be done!

…in broadcasting
And right on cue on this need to find ways to get a grip on corruption and graft via spilling the beans… comes news that two members of the GNBA – including a former TV fella – have been accused of hustling some poor broadcaster slob over in Essequibo. Seems the Essequibo guy’s been squatting on a piece of the cable broadcasting spectrum and it’s alleged that Mr TV suggested he vacate the jurisdiction for some locale out in the boons.
Now you may say what’s wrong about this bit of fatherly advice to someone who’s breaking the law? Well, as usual, there’s more to the story. It’s alleged the cable market would’ve been offered to a big one on the Coast! And we can read between the (spectrum) lines, nuh? What makes it more suspicious is Mr TV’s peeved the Chair of GNBA blew the whistle. Mr TV wanted the ENTIRE board to agree.
Thing is, he’s a member of the board!! Uh! Uh!

…on nursing negligence
The nurses don’t move a mother about to deliver on the available chair but insists she walks. Baby plunks out, falls on the floor and fractures skull.
Mother’s now told “not to worry”…it’ll heal!! Really? What about brain damage? Blow the whistle!!

Judicial…

…depth
The address by President Anthony Carmona of T&T to the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (CMJA) Conference, suggested that Burnham might’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater when he did away with the “titular” Presidency. Carmona demonstrated with panache why one needs some sober and educated voices at the top of the state – to balance the inevitable partisanship of an Executive Presidency.
Our own Arthur Chung, like Carmona, was also a judge and by the time he acceded to the Presidency as designed by the British in a reflection of their own “titular” Monarch, he’d been imbued with wisdom about the faults and foibles – as well as the strengths – of the Guyanese people. Carmona reminded all of us in his speech about “what might’ve been”.
He reminded us, as another one did the English way back in 1936, that justice was not a cloistered virtue. When Judges handed their judgements from their Olympian chambers, what is the ordinary plebes to do when all they get is the effect passed down by the ubiquitous Policemen at various and sundry roadblocks? He pleaded (pun intended!) for judges to write their opinions in plain and ordinary language. The Americans have made this mandatory decades ago… and the sky hasn’t come crashing down. Carmona suggested that the Bar Association ought to place a greater role in making the public an “informed” one, as far as the “law” and their rights.
Carmona also suggested that perhaps our local judges oughtn’t to be such pedants about “positivism” in interpreting the law – “what is” cannot ignore “what ought to be”. How else are we ever going to have an “autochthonous law” to go along with our “West Indian Civilisation” that is now taught in our Law Schools? Carmona accepted that while judges have to know the law, he spoke about judges being “steeped in a type of social and global consciousness” that -as in the US – guide the evolution of law.
This was brought out even clearer in his pointed exhortation for the judiciary to be “intellectually ambitious” so they can craft the necessary “transformational judgement law” that gives life to the constitution. Too often we see in Guyana rather pedestrian judicial opinions – with the noted exception of former Chief Justice Ian Chung. Say what you may about the man – but he was “intellectually ambitious”.
And that reminds this Eyewitness about one of his pet peeves in judicial interpretation: the painful insistence of our judges not to use the opening of Justice Brennan in Mabo to extend the rights of our Indigenous Peoples to THEIR land.
How long are we going to split hairs to maintain the status quo?

…settlement
Pressie gave his 15 minute in the spotlight at the UN to push our case for the Venezuelan sword of Damocles over our (development) head, be removed. He called the recent Venezuelan shenanigans (extending maritime boundaries, chasing off oil exploration ships from our waters, etc,) “a scandalous revival of the conquistadors all disease that once plagued their own history. They are a crime against our humanity clothed in the verbiage of national honour. “Whew!! Talk about a “feral blast”!!”
Since the Venezuelans placed their concocted Border Controversy in the hands of the UN Secretary General (SG), Pressie called upon the incumbent Ban Ki-moon to leave as his legacy a solution. Among the options the SG has is a “juridical settlement” – meaning we and Venezuela present our cases to the World Court at The Hague.
Problem is… Venezuela has to agree. But with their case so weak, they ain’t going down that road willingly.

Three-card monte…

…at City Hall

Your Eyewitness has heard about “the other foot” falling to confirm what had been suspected in shady deals, but needed further confirmation. But on this Georgetown Parking Meter abomination that’s been shoved down the throats of Guyanese, so many feet have been falling, it’s clear a centipede has been let loose in our midst! And we know who’s that centipede, don’t we?! But yet nothing’s being done by those above to rein in on the Town Clerk and Mayor who reign over us like Stalin executing one his more notorious purges.

The latest foot to drop is the confirmation that Kamau Cush was just a front man for foreign interests to get their teeth into Guyana and suck our blood for forty years. Yep… after all, the outrage and protests about the contract, the meters are gonna be rolled out any day now. The Panama Papers was a preview of how these fellas operate – hiding behind a welter of paper corporations to pull off their three card monte or shell game. Now you see it, now you don’t!!

You’ve seen them at fairs haven’t you? Look at the three cards… You’re shown each of them as they’re flicked and then placed on the table and then interchanged in front of your eyes. You think you’re following the last movement and that’s where you’re being challenged. But that’s not it. When the cards were originally flicked and placed on the table that’s when the switch was made. What you thought was the second card being placed face downwards – wasn’t!

So in the parking meter scam, the switcheroo wasn’t the terms of the contract or the price or any of that jazz… those were just misdirection. The switch was way up front – who was really behind the contract. Was it Smart City Solution (SMS), who installs Parking metres? Was it National Parking Solutions (NPS)? Or was it Amir Oren, who we’re now told is the “major investor” behind the two named companies?

One wonders whether Kamau Cush collected a cushy “small piece” for delivering a contract for making money so outrageous, it makes the Royal Mint look like a cane juice stand. He’s still insisting he’s a “director” of the companies executing the deal – but the new head honcho didn’t even bring him up to date with the hiring of his new shill – Kit Nascimento. Your Eyewitness hopes Cush will get what he deserve in the days to come.

The new spinner – who’s even better than Sunil Narine – revealed: “we (meaning himself and Oren) were brought on after the contract was baked.”

It was a Freudian slip – he obviously meant “when the contract was cooked up”!!

…in Region 6 AFC

Whatever you may think about Ramayya out in Region 6 – and your Eyewitness confesses the fella wasn’t on his hit parade during the last elections! – he’s now looking like a prophet! Imagine Moses Nagamootoo has the testicular perspicacity to think he’s insulting Ramayya when he says his fellow villager never agreed to AFC’s merger with the PNC… oops! – APNU!

Insult? That’s the highest accolade that can come from the AFC camp. If Ramayya needed anything to guarantee himself a bright future in Berbice, all he has to do henceforth is to play a recording of Nagamootoo’s remark! Berbicians, after all, want to know what the marriage – which was consummated in front of all of them at Whim – has given them. They know Nagamootoo got “Larwah” and seemed quite comfortable with that… but what about them?

And if Nagamootoo claims Ramayya’s holdout was “racist”, what about Ramjattan’s “dead meat” prediction that was also just as prophetic.

Accepting Ramjattan ate his words for a mess of pottage! Thus his sour mein!

…with WI Cricket

The WICB ruined WI cricket and needs radical surgery according to the committee headed by Jamaican Statesman, PJ Patterson, a decade ago.

But nothing has or will happen. Parochialism will kill reform as with PM Mitchell’s resignation.

 

Three-card monte…

…at City Hall
Your Eyewitness has heard about “the other foot” falling to confirm what had been suspected in shady deals, but needed further confirmation. But on this Georgetown Parking Meter abomination that’s been shoved down the throats of Guyanese, so many feet have been falling, it’s clear a centipede has been let loose in our midst! And we know who’s that centipede, don’t we?! But yet nothing’s being done by those above to rein in on the Town Clerk and Mayor who reign over us like Stalin executing one his more notorious purges.
The latest foot to drop is the confirmation that Kamau Cush was just a front man for foreign interests to get their teeth into Guyana and suck our blood for forty years. Yep… after all, the outrage and protests about the contract, the meters are gonna be rolled out any day now. The Panama Papers was a preview of how these fellas operate – hiding behind a welter of paper corporations to pull off their three card monte or shell game. Now you see it, now you don’t!!
You’ve seen them at fairs haven’t you? Look at the three cards… You’re shown each of them as they’re flicked and then placed on the table and then interchanged in front of your eyes. You think you’re following the last movement and that’s where you’re being challenged. But that’s not it. When the cards were originally flicked and placed on the table that’s when the switch was made. What you thought was the second card being placed face downwards – wasn’t!
So in the parking meter scam, the switcheroo wasn’t the terms of the contract or the price or any of that jazz… those were just misdirection. The switch was way up front – who was really behind the contract. Was it Smart City Solution (SMS), who installs Parking metres? Was it National Parking Solutions (NPS)? Or was it Amir Oren, who we’re now told is the “major investor” behind the two named companies?
One wonders whether Kamau Cush collected a cushy “small piece” for delivering a contract for making money so outrageous, it makes the Royal Mint look like a cane juice stand. He’s still insisting he’s a “director” of the companies executing the deal – but the new head honcho didn’t even bring him up to date with the hiring of his new shill – Kit Nascimento. Your Eyewitness hopes Cush will get what he deserve in the days to come.
The new spinner – who’s even better than Sunil Narine – revealed: “we (meaning himself and Oren) were brought on after the contract was baked.”
It was a Freudian slip – he obviously meant “when the contract was cooked up”!!

…in Region 6 AFC
Whatever you may think about Ramayya out in Region 6 – and your Eyewitness confesses the fella wasn’t on his hit parade during the last elections! – he’s now looking like a prophet! Imagine Moses Nagamootoo has the testicular perspicacity to think he’s insulting Ramayya when he says his fellow villager never agreed to AFC’s merger with the PNC… oops! – APNU!
Insult? That’s the highest accolade that can come from the AFC camp. If Ramayya needed anything to guarantee himself a bright future in Berbice, all he has to do henceforth is to play a recording of Nagamootoo’s remark! Berbicians, after all, want to know what the marriage – which was consummated in front of all of them at Whim – has given them. They know Nagamootoo got “Larwah” and seemed quite comfortable with that… but what about them?
And if Nagamootoo claims Ramayya’s holdout was “racist”, what about Ramjattan’s “dead meat” prediction that was also just as prophetic.
Accepting Ramjattan ate his words for a mess of pottage! Thus his sour mein!

…with WI Cricket
The WICB ruined WI cricket and needs radical surgery according to the committee headed by Jamaican Statesman, PJ Patterson, a decade ago.
But nothing has or will happen. Parochialism will kill reform as with PM Mitchell’s resignation.

Out to lunch…

 

…on the economy

it’s clear Finance Minister Winston Jordan still doesn’t get it about why his insistence on stressing increased gold production in keeping the economy on its growth trajectory isn’t cutting any ice with anyone. So why isn’t he giving the Public Servants their promised “substantial” raise if the economy’s doing so well.

Most recently he was challenged by PPP’s shadow finance maven Irfaan Ali when he blurted we should consider ourselves “lucky” for the role of gold. Is this guy for real? So this is what’s supposed to be taking care of the economy…luck? There’s two things wrong with Jordan’s cockamamie ebullience on gold. First and foremost – as was pointed out by Ali – how much of the proceeds of gold are available to us since the major portion of the gold proceeds are sent overseas by the expatriate two largest producers in the sector?

He should share that figure with the Guyanese populace, who will then know who’s getting the gold and who’s left with the hole! The second thing wrong with Jordan bigging up gold – is he’s seemingly oblivious to the consequent distortion of our economy. Gold’s very volatile since its price has nothing to do with supply and demand and everything to do with totally exogenous factors. Such as the strength of the dollar which is the world’s de facto reserve currency; inflation, interest rates, volatile markets in commodities or stocks etc etc…

So we can’t depend on gold or (any non-renewable resource) to generate sustainable growth – much less development. And this would be true even if ALL of the proceeds from gold were being ploughed back into our economy. The situation’s akin to what has been called “Dutch Disease” – contracted when that country “threw back” and allowed its traditional industries to wither when oil money from North Sea oil started to flow.

And when the oil was gone…the Dutch was left holding “wood” or what former president Donald Ramotar quaintly called “larwah”. It ain’t pretty! For a man as old as Jordan, has he forgotten the discussion from back in the day about “development” being the goal of those placed at the helm of the Finance Ministry and not just “growth”? Growth is necessary – but not sufficient for development.

So let’s make this simple for Jordan. He has to either come up with plans to resuscitate the traditional “six sisters” – or create new industries to get money into the pockets of the populace. If the increased gold production were employing the entire Guyanese work force, there would’ve been no problem – in the near term.

But since it’s not we’re screwed twice over…

…on an ego kick

Your Eyewitness had heard this fella Goolsarran was an egomaniac. But then, back in his days in the bureaucracy during the Burnhamite regime, most professionals had fled (from Burnham on horseback during Hope Estate “reorientation”, among other things) and it was easy to be “king in blind man country”.

Returning to Guyana from a stint at the World Bank (on the bona fides of the GoG) he was livid that some who were his juniors were now in the top tier – far beyond what he’d previously ingratiated himself into. From his vicious attacks on them in the press he showed when it came to “hell and fury” women had nothing on bookkeepers!!

Thrown a few “audit” bones (without much marrow, to his consternation!), he threw a hissy fit when none of his advice – more like “getting even” – was taken by the government.

So he’s returned to singing for his supper. Most recently by claiming the Sanata dyeing and finishing operation – which used a million gallons of water daily – wouldn’t own its own well!

…on sugar

The Stabber waxed quite indignant about the government and GuySuCo not consulting sugar workers – first on the closure and now on its diversification into sugar.

When did the PNC ever consider sugar workers as “people”?

 

Deflowering…

 

…Social Protection

It used to be called the “Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security”. But President David Granger decided to change that “Social Security” bit. Not because it coulda been confused with “Social Security” of the US… which is just to dole out a kind of national pension to its elderly – but because of a government’s duty to guaranteed the “security” of those of the less fortunate in society. He created a separate Ministry – “Social Protection”.

Get that? SOCIAL PROTECTION. That is, to move from just passively providing security to actively taking action to PROTECT those citizens from forces threatening the less fortunate due to their circumstance. This was certainly a welcome move…but a year and a half later, we can safely conclude when he placed it in the hands of old time PNC MP, Volda Lawrence, Prezzie made a huge mistake.

Two actions have defined the unsuitability of Lawrence for the position and both have to do with the PROTECTION of probably the most vulnerable segment of our society – young girls. If women are by and large vulnerable to the degradations of males – physical, sexual, verbal, or whatever – then multiply that vulnerability a thousand fold for the young girl. She epitomises the new concept of “intersectional” oppression. Physically, she’s weaker, sexually she’s seen as more “desirable” than the older woman who may have “spunks” and verbally she’s not experienced to exchange barbs: “sticks and stones and words” do maim her.

The first incident concerned allegations against a serial abuser of young girls that demonstrated at a minimum, a predator pedophile might be at work. The Child Protection Agency was involved so the facts would’ve been available to Minister Lawrence. But she insisted in defending this individual to run for a City Council seat because he was a “good PNC worker”. Party uber alles! When the man’s sister insisted he should be put away, Lawrence chided the woman for “finking” on her brother. Lawrence, drawing more than half a million a month to PROTECT young girls from such men – wouldn’t have done that! Several groups including Red Thread protested without success for her removal.

And now comes her approval – by her silence – of a press release from her agency bemoaning incest and rape of young girls, and dubs it “deflowering”!! Can you believe this!! Dirty old men justify their rape of young girls – and its STATUTORY rape once the girl is under 16 – by calling it by this euphemism. On the other hand, President Obama’s poet laureate Rita Dove likened it to the lord of Hell, Hades, seizing young Persephone and dragging her there.

Which is where Lawrence may just be consigned.

…the rule of law

One of the biggest disappointments with this APNU/AFC has being its willingness to play fast and loose with the “rule of law”. And in case you’ve (with good cause) forgotten what this is all about because of its being honoured more often than not in the breach, let’s give you a refresher. Law is what stands between us in society and our cousins running around in the jungle where might is right.

But that law must be applied to all in society without fear or favour – or all hell breaks loose and anarchy returns. This is worse than the jungle’s – because we’re much more devious and venal than those “animals”. And this brings us to what the government’s doing to Carvil Duncan. The fella’s before the court to determine whether in fact he broke the law. So far so good.

But up comes the government and forms a “tribunal” to determine whether he’s “fit” to head the Public Service Commission.

Hey! Doesn’t the rule of law say that depends FIRST on whether he’s found guilty?

…inter-ethnic cooperation

But there’s a reason why Duncan’s being picked on. It’s a message to all African Guyanese not to break the silence.

And you thought only the Mafia practiced “omertà”!

 

Deflowering…

…Social Protection
It used to be called the “Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security”. But President David Granger decided to change that “Social Security” bit. Not because it coulda been confused with “Social Security” of the US… which is just to dole out a kind of national pension to its elderly – but because of a government’s duty to guaranteed the “security” of those of the less fortunate in society. He created a separate Ministry – “Social Protection”.
Get that? SOCIAL PROTECTION. That is, to move from just passively providing security to actively taking action to PROTECT those citizens from forces threatening the less fortunate due to their circumstance. This was certainly a welcome move…but a year and a half later, we can safely conclude when he placed it in the hands of old time PNC MP, Volda Lawrence, Prezzie made a huge mistake.
Two actions have defined the unsuitability of Lawrence for the position and both have to do with the PROTECTION of probably the most vulnerable segment of our society – young girls. If women are by and large vulnerable to the degradations of males – physical, sexual, verbal, or whatever – then multiply that vulnerability a thousand fold for the young girl. She epitomises the new concept of “intersectional” oppression. Physically, she’s weaker, sexually she’s seen as more “desirable” than the older woman who may have “spunks” and verbally she’s not experienced to exchange barbs: “sticks and stones and words” do maim her.
The first incident concerned allegations against a serial abuser of young girls that demonstrated at a minimum, a predator pedophile might be at work. The Child Protection Agency was involved so the facts would’ve been available to Minister Lawrence. But she insisted in defending this individual to run for a City Council seat because he was a “good PNC worker”. Party uber alles! When the man’s sister insisted he should be put away, Lawrence chided the woman for “finking” on her brother. Lawrence, drawing more than half a million a month to PROTECT young girls from such men – wouldn’t have done that! Several groups including Red Thread protested without success for her removal.
And now comes her approval – by her silence – of a press release from her agency bemoaning incest and rape of young girls, and dubs it “deflowering”!! Can you believe this!! Dirty old men justify their rape of young girls – and its STATUTORY rape once the girl is under 16 – by calling it by this euphemism. On the other hand, President Obama’s poet laureate Rita Dove likened it to the lord of Hell, Hades, seizing young Persephone and dragging her there.
Which is where Lawrence may just be consigned.

…the rule of law
One of the biggest disappointments with this APNU/AFC has being its willingness to play fast and loose with the “rule of law”. And in case you’ve (with good cause) forgotten what this is all about because of its being honoured more often than not in the breach, let’s give you a refresher. Law is what stands between us in society and our cousins running around in the jungle where might is right.
But that law must be applied to all in society without fear or favour – or all hell breaks loose and anarchy returns. This is worse than the jungle’s – because we’re much more devious and venal than those “animals”. And this brings us to what the government’s doing to Carvil Duncan. The fella’s before the court to determine whether in fact he broke the law. So far so good.
But up comes the government and forms a “tribunal” to determine whether he’s “fit” to head the Public Service Commission.
Hey! Doesn’t the rule of law say that depends FIRST on whether he’s found guilty?

…inter-ethnic cooperation
But there’s a reason why Duncan’s being picked on. It’s a message to all African Guyanese not to break the silence.
And you thought only the Mafia practiced “omertà”!

Anti-national…

 

…on Hydro-power?

Some folks have no shame…and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman sits right on the top of that dung heap. Imagine he’s part of a Government that swore to derail the Amaila Falls Hydro-Electric Project (AFHEP) – which could’ve given us energy independence by now – and yet he talks about the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in general, and Jagdeo in particular, being “anti-national”?? Talk about taking your do-do and wiping it on someone else’s bamsee!!

It was the A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) refusal to sign off on the project – and to even threaten to rebut the contract if the project went ahead – that caused Sithe Global to walk away from the deal which was almost signed, sealed and to be delivered by now. Wasn’t this “anti-national”?? APNU had two major objections – firstly that the project was too costly and would “condemn Guyana to indebtedness” – and implying that payoffs were involved that inflated the costs. Well, now that they’re in office and have access to the files, why haven’t we heard about the fat that was gonna be creamed off? They also said the consequent electricity tariffs would still remain too high.

By now they could’ve also shopped around to find another developer that would complete the AFHEP cheaper, since they aren’t corrupt (snicker!). What’s holding them back? They’ll be exposed for their lies – that’s what holding them back. Isn’t this anti-national? First of all, there would’ve been no net debt to Guyana since the funding costs would’ve been serviced from the revenues of Guyana Power and Light. And pertinent to the charge against Jagdeo, Norway was providing a US$80 million of that funding costs.

And pertinent to why the PPP would have reported the lack of consultation to Norway, it was the Norwegians that brought back AFHEP into play when they transferred the remaining US$80 million of the US$250 million to the IDB. “Use it or leave it!!” they told the Government. Now if the Government had any principles and really believed the malarkey they were spewing about AFHEP, they should’ve told the Norwegians to take their money and shove it in a place where the sun don’t shine! How can informing Norway that APNU isn’t consulting stakeholders as required – on a project that would benefit the entire country – be “anti-national”??

After all, if the numbers on financing remain the same – we know the Government’s done nothing to check out alternative financing –  and the Government believed it was too high then, it doesn’t matter what the consultant says.

Unless of course, the anti-national APNU’s willing to admit they were just pulling their numbers from their nether orifice!

…on rice?

Ok…let’s see if your Eyewitness has this right. Back in 2015, Venezuela cancelled its 200,000 tons rice contract with us, pegged at the equivalent of US$780/tonne. We’d produced 687,000 tons and could then export over 500,000 tonnes – so we were now stuck with all of that at a world market price of only US$450/tonne. Which is barely break even at best for the most efficient producers.

And hell for the others, who not surprisingly didn’t replant for the 2016 crop. Yet the Government boasted that “rice exports up by 10 per cent in 2010”!! It obviously escaped these fellas – in a Government that declared it’s guided by the philosophy of Forbes Burnham – that just SELLING your product isn’t the point in business. It’s selling it at a PROFIT!!

But it explained the report just released by Government that as part of its plan to “save” GuySuCo, rice will now be produced on 485 acres at Wales.

So the Government will now be competing with private farmers for the cheap rice markets!! Lord have mercy on them.

…law enforcement?

Seems that saner heads have prevailed in the military brain trust advising President Granger. SOCU won’t be changing its orientation into SARA.

They’ll remain part of the Police Force. With all the latter’s follies and foibles!

 

Keeping the bathwater …

 

… and throwing out BaiShanLin

It’s becoming clearer every day that this government and its representatives don’t have the foggiest notion about what it takes to develop the economy in a practical and realistic manner. Some of them may’ve read a few books or had a few plans thrown at them by some foreigners…but when it comes to the nitty gritty, they’re lost out in the deep seas.

Take their take on BaiShanLin and its operations in Guyana. Sure the company came in, promising the moon and the stars and hasn’t delivered them as yet. But what’s so strange about that when it comes to how business is done in a free market economy? In the first incarnation, the PNC nationalised the economy and ran it into the ground…but didn’t they learn from that what NOT to do?

Didn’t they learn from that the cardinal rule for the business owner is “Buy low and sell high?” And that the cardinal rule for customers is “Buyers Beware!” That this rule is more familiar in its Latin formulation – “Caveat Emptor” – should let you dear readers know how long ago folks figured out the orientation of the businessman. But obviously, this government had its head buried in books or some more unsavoury place. Haven’t all of us heard about the “robber barons” who built America to what it was in the 19th Century? Think Vanderbilt and Rockefeller. Today, they define “high society in the US”, but they didn’t become filthy rich through giving away charity. That came much later!

In the case of BaiShanLin…it’s a Chinese company operating in forestry. Why didn’t the Government institute rules and ensure they were followed? We’ll tell you why…because there are a dozen other countries that understand there will have to be some egg shells broken before the omelette of growth and development is ready. Didn’t we all hear about the hardships of South Koreans while they were building their industrial empire? Right now, aren’t we bombarded daily by the tales of “slavery” at Foxconn that makes the iPhones in China?

But interestingly, after the experience in other countries, the Chinese Government developed a comprehensive set of rules that foreign Governments can apply to Chinese companies in the forestry sector. All our government had to do was insist these rules were followed. And then see the investors walk away.

There’s a lot of loose talk about “giving away” the country – but only when it comes to Chinese and Indian companies. Somehow companies from the States and Europe get a free pass.

Is ExxonMobil really gonna “do the right thing”?

…with the Private Sector warning

We also see the same “no-nothing” attitude being applied against the local business community by the Government in general – and the AG in particular recently. All the Private Sector said was the SARU Bill the Government’s pushing represents a clear and present danger for business and the economy. But they weren’t just “throwing shade”. They spelt out what they meant, chapter and verse.

The PSC pointed out the Government doesn’t know what its assets are or were – so how the heck can they find what they don’t know about. The Bill consequently gives SARU the right to go off on fishing expeditions to harass anyone they want to – without any evidence. The other problem is that the laws will be ex-post facto…which goes against all that the rule of law stands for. Lastly, the Bill gives the Director of SARU more powers than all the law enforcement heads COMBINED!!

Does this government even have a glimmer of what this will do to anyone thinking of investing here?

…Sooba

There’s the old saying – “Be careful you get what you wish for”. For years, vendors around Georgetown were mobilised by King to harass Sooba.

Now that King is in and Sooba is out…what say they now?

 

Conspiracies…

 

…on 9/11

America has to be the most fertile ground for “conspiracy theories” (CTs) to flourish. And it’s not only in California, long regarded as the land of “fruits and nuts”!! One wonders “why”. Fifty-three years after JFK was gunned down in Dallas, the word is still out that there was a “third man” on some grassy knoll that actually did the dirty deed. And the identity of that “third man”? CIA still heads the list.

But the events of 9/11 gave rise to such a slew of “conspiracy theories”, just following up on them gave rise to a whole new cottage industry that provided employment to thousands – not to mention grist for the sensationalist media. What are some of these theories and what are their status up to now? Do they have the shelf life of the JFK mystery?

One of the most sensational ones was that 4000 Jewish persons stayed away from the World Trade Center (WTC) on that fateful day – either from their jobs or from appointments. That one is still alive and kicking, since no one has provided an exhaustive list of all the persons who were supposed to be at the WTC – but came out with a list of the 400 Jews that DID perish. The conspirationists deny that the first claim is destroyed by the second fact!

The second big CT is that burning jet fuel doesn’t create the 2700F temperatures that can melt steel – and that the towers were brought down by “controlled explosions”. Now most have looked again and again at those steel beams collapsing like wet noodles and it’s hard not to demand some credible explanation. The explanation that the 1700F max temp can SOFTEN steel and create the meltdown hasn’t managed to convince the diehards.

Another popular CT was based on the fact that even though it was CONFIRMED that four planes had been hijacked, NOT A SINGLE fighter plane was scrambled from the 28 bases within range!! The “explanation” that there was no computer network or alarm system designed to alert the central command of NORAD about the hijackings and that they had to be dialled manually still hasn’t cut any ice with anyone!

Another fact that strained credulity and begged for CTs was that the holes at the Pentagon made by the 125 ft place were only 125 and 12 feet wide. That the wings might have fallen off hasn’t been shown by the evidence. That there was absolutely NO debris from a plane at the Pentagon didn’t help.

So where does that leave us? Well, two years later, we had the second Gulf War that is still continuing under ISIS!!

…in Guyana

Never let it be said we don’t strain mightily to imitate the developed countries – first Britain and then the US. From the Brits, we still insist executive compensation packages include “leave passages”. This, of course, goes back to the British colonial elite workers getting their “leave passages” to return “home”.

From the Americans we adopted “Conspiracy Theories”. Well…not “we”, but mostly the PPP. Jagan was the first to go off on this tangent when he carried on and on about the Americans throwing him out of office! Some of his followers still can’t get it that an elephant doesn’t take any notice of gnats.

Then Jagan carried on about his arch-rival Burnham “rigging elections” to keep himself in office! He just couldn’t get himself to accept that because – as Burnham put it – the PNC had brought “Peace Not Conflict” (which forms the acronym “PNC) he could routinely get 97% votes from the grateful populace!!

They’re so colonial about these CTs, aren’t they?!?

…on corruption advocates

Our Finance Minister just can’t identify the “corruption advocates. Several fellas have appended their names when they identity corrupt activities by several government operatives.

Is there a conspiracy to keep the “advocates’” names from the Finance Minister?