On this the third day of the New Year, I thank you for allowing me to ramble, waffle and muse on the captioned topic. In this the brand new month too, January, when both the still-young President Jagdeo and I celebrate our birth anniversaries. Ha! I mention that because it is the Jagdeo Administration which will occupy a bit of this space, hereunder.
So who are the “Guyanese” I’m speaking about? You and me, but with one fundamental criterion – that both “you and me” continue to live within the borders. I mean that for today’s purpose the Guyanese I write about are those citizens who chose to stay in their birth-place home. Especially the unemployed, the employed, the employed poor, the flooded out farmers, the responsible fathers who are embarrassed that they can’t maintain home and family as they would love to; the “single-parent-often-abused moms, pupils and students who watch on as books and lunch are in short supply, the good cops and the few honest businessmen around.
In the old days of the British Monarch as Head of State here, the “Government” consisted of both the winning party on the government benches in Parliament and the opposition. In these Republican days, I know, the government is the Jagdeo Administration, full stop. They asked, agitated, campaigned for the job. And got it once again. How they are executing that mandate is another story, too long for this brief commentary.
Admittedly, this is a bad time to ask any poor, honest, hard working, law-abiding, religious Guyanese to assess how “their” Government is performing on their behalf. The stark truth is, Frankly Speaking, that as you read this many Guyanese who live at home are now under water and most are under the poverty line! Woefully inadequate wages and salaries are supplemented by all types of other sources of income and the inevitable overseas remittance from those relatives who decided to flee.
So it is my frank, forthright view that we working-class Guyanese who remain in the home-land are not enjoying the best status with the rewards, comfortable or basic life style and quality we deserve. We are a dependent lot in a land of unending, seemingly unassailable potential. Whilst the government can’t shoulder all the blame, it is certainly a primary cause of our condition as a people. Development priorities seem mixed and not really ordered. Drainage takes third and fourth place to celebrations and politics. Police transportation, crime-fighting and government employees pay lose out, too often, to hosting cricket. Mind you, I know the lose-lose situation governments find themselves in when some segment is neglected or left dissatisfied, but I wish this government would step out their party box more this year.
Perception, even with governance and equal opportunity is often stronger than reality. Just take cognisance of this vivid view a “Young Black Professional” asked me to “publicise”: that even besides Ministers and Regional Heads, most positions of influence and authority in state or para-statal agencies are held down by Indo-Guyanese. I’ll share only part of his list in the following paragraph.
The Civil Aviation dept, the EPA, the Elections Commission, the GNNL, NCN, CANU, New GMC, GPL GRA, NDIA, Auditor-General, Accountant-General, CJIA, GWI, etc, etc. Okay you might not understand the fourteen abbreviations above, but the fellow was griping over the Images and Imagery of the office-holders. I tried to plead “Qualification” the heads listed have. I can’t even print the young man’s response. He feels strongly about “discrimination” and No, He’s not PNC”.
So is this government an “equal-opportunity” employer? What? Those entities have their own Boards and governance? Ha! I close these “ramblings” with another well-considered view: most Guyanese are indifferent to this government even if they voted for it. Like me, most citizens would love less government in their daily lives; but such is our lousy “system”. Meanwhile I wish you a successful new year which, hopefully, you could chart.
Please, trade unions…
I’ll leave you early today. But I renew my invitation: let’s approach the Registrar of Trade Unions to identify the really, fully-audited trade unions in our midst.
Join me in dissecting both the TUC and FITUG to discover their strengths, programmes and agendas. I close this comment by urging the real unions to establish economic venture with members’ help. Like transportation services, buying clubs, housing projects and credit unions. Create or evolve a new trade union culture. More soon.
1*) List five positive points for probable national development outlined in the President’s New Year Message.
2*) Please government; accept advice from home-based outsiders this year –on drainage, crime-fighting, border-controls, anything!
3*) Which national sport, attracts the most drug barons locally?
4*) What’s Region Four Chairman’s views on the East Coast Demerara floods?
5*) You-all know it may just happen? Three world-renowned Fenty’s could be in Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration? DC Mayor Adrian, Rihanna —-and Allan A!? Ha!
‘Til next week!