Enjoying life they denied others

Frankly Speaking

– My dear Mayor Green

– Let’s text for Young Bill

Greetings to my layman, man-in-the-street, fellow citizens especially. We the unschooled in the law have to set aside some  confidence that the laws in  our National Constitution and those fashioned by Jurisprudence over decades are in our interest at  both personal and national levels.

Technicalities and intricacies, interpretations by magistrates, judges, defence attorneys and other legal arbiters can boggle our poor minds. But remember now folks, these laws, interpretations and handed down decisions are meant to be in our interests. Either fair play, or the concept described as justice must be served, I’m told. For, I am also assured without law society slides into anarchy. And yes, that’ll be ten times worse than the local disorder which obtains in this State right now.

Against those reflections, I ask you to consider how civilized we, as a nation, are made to be, as we implement our no-capital-punishment policy. Guyana, in keeping with numerous international Conventions and covenants signed, has abolished the death penalty – without saying so.

Punishment, Capital? Maximum?

Public sensitivity, even division, regarding Capital Punishment was not that high, even an issue as it is in the (Civilised?) world now. Personal and public/command transgressions were met with swift “justice”. Guilty convicted perpetrators were routinely boiled in oil, burnt at the stake, crushed, crucified, guillotined, stoned.

Later, the Penalty of Death took the form of hanging, shooting (by firing squad or individuals as in China) the gas chamber, electrocution and /or lethal injection. Oh yes, societies have fashioned interesting ways to execute the ultimate, maximum punishment for those who attracted such penalties.

Then the (western) world decided to be civilised. The thinking was, even lawfully, we should not kill (even) murderers as they have killed others. We become as they are and there is no guarantee that when potential killers see legal killings they are actually deterred from wrong-doing. Politics, religion, morality, ethics, human rights were all combined as various societies grappled with whether their judicial and penal systems should lawfully execute convicted killers, even those guilty of heinous war crimes. Opinions and policy  still vary across the global spectrum. Suddenly, in numerous nations, there was born the realisation that the Death Penalty was inhuman. Let the convicted killers live!

Islamic and Hindu States, much of Africa still retain Capital Punishment on their books, but implementation varies. China has very rigid Death Penalty laws and rates of execution. So what’s happening in good/bad old Guyana?

Civilised Guyana, Rampant Killers

Because Guyana has signed on to the appropriate conventions prohibiting Capital Punishment, Convicted Killers have been kept on our prison’s dubious Death Row for excessively long periods.

Now those delays, I’m informed, impinge on the human rights of these convicted murderers! Yes, they murdered innocent citizens but the State dares not inconvenience them on Death Row. So a few days ago we witnessed the growing recent trend: Chief Justice commuting the Death Sentence of a self-confessed, convicted murderer to life in jail – with food, medicine and recreation. He had drowned two children and slit the throat of a third. His God and our State have exercised mercy on his redeemed soul. He lives. After taking three little innocent lives. Poor fellow. He was probably “temporarily insane” at the time. He lives to be treated.
Frankly Speaking, our own bandit- murderers and wife-killers can now merrily take lives, knowing they’ll live! Discuss…

Dear Hammie…

Even though I’m approaching 70, slowly, I ask you for excusing me. I should address you as “your Worship the Mayor”.
Mayor of the Region’s most stinking Capital City, smelly, unsightly with a National Disgrace for a Public Cemetery; Shanty-town arrangements for vending and mired in political contentions. This brief missive to you is motivated by two reasons.

One, I wonder just why you continue with that Mayoral Chain of disgrace around your neck. Secondly, over the seven days past, I’ve heard and seen your presence in the local media.

Apart from those two stimulants, I remember you from my old “PNC days”. What status, authority, power!  From Vice- President to Prime Minister, even as Mr Burnham once passed you over for Mr Hoyte instead.

I marvelled as your security guards threw themselves out of escort vehicles in the Public Buildings compound. “Guarding you like American Secret Service agents. Oh well. How things have changed.

Just why do you stay on? Those who elected you really don’t care one hoot now. Your own GGG councillors seem ungrateful these days too. On TV you said you wouldn’t mind younger brains and brawn to take your place. So, retire.

Go swim and retain the physio. Even the weapon and leather socket. You’re a family man and were once a ladies man. Relax. You can do nothing about the businessmen who sell fish on Quamina Street or onions and potatoes on Middle Street, or who damage the parapets outside the still beautiful Promenade Gardens.
Any legacies to leave, Hammie?

Let’s text for Bill

Last Saturday evening Roger Hinds – stage name “Young Bill Rogers” after his illustrious father Augustus won the Mashramani National Chutney song competition.

Roger/Bill is, of course, Afro-Guyanese. So an Afro is going to represent Guyana, officially, at a predominantly – Indo song festival in Trinidad at Skinner Park. Levi Nedd, an Afro- Guyanese who years ago competed in many Chutney competitions, Adrian Dutchin and Lady Karen must be thrilled over Young Bill’s achievement.

The twelve Indo- Judges- and one Afro received their fair share of suck-teeth from the disgruntled. Blessings all-round to all. Since the high-octane Trini competition is judged substantially by telephone texting, I can just imagine all Guyanese chutney lovers texting for Young Bill, so that Guyana can triumph next week. Right?


1) I’m confused! The government says the Cricket Board is illegal. Even in contempt. But the Director of Sport was with the Guyana Cricket Team picked by the GCB! ( I supposed it’s in the young cricketers interest?)
2) Two silent 1823 voices:
Historians James Rose and Dr Winston Mc Gowan – the latter versed in the 1823 Rebellion- have been relatively silent in the acrimonious debate- I suppose the gentlemen eschew “the politics” (?)
3) My view on the issue? First, an East Coast, Demerara site. Secondly, the Parade Ground. I too am a little perplexed over Carifesta.

‘Til next week.
(Comments? allanafenty @yahoo.com)

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