Last week’s Plain Talk so angered some top leaders of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) that they began a buzz with email exchanges describing that programme and another on Channel 9 as constituting a “blistering attack” and “serious attempt to discredit the PSC.” It exhorted the troops, so far embarrassingly unsuccessfully, “to act.” Yet, amidst all this vituperation, one of the chief protagonists admitted to me by email that he had not seen the programme or knew its topic.
The topic of Plain Talk was ‘Budget 2013 – an Epilogue’ with Raymond Gaskin. During the hour long programme, the focus of which was an 11-point letter by Messrs David Granger and Khemraj Ramjattan to President Ramotar a few days prior to the 2013 Budget, Mr Gaskin, while defending the private sector in its wider sense named Messrs Dookhoo, Urling, Webster and Gouveia as individuals who collectively do not come as “a neutral professional private sector body,” but as “the government’s friends”; “persons with whom the government is comfortable.” Mr Gaskin also named and compared Mr Carville Duncan with former Ethnic Relations Commission Chairman-turned-government minister Mr Juan Edghill, whom Gaskin described as having always been a Civic in civil cloth.
Fortunately, the private sector is bigger, more diverse, measured, balanced and independent than the PSC and those at its helm. Unfortunately, by their silence the wider membership does nothing to help the PSC regain the authority and independence it lost when Mr Mike Correia clammed up after Dr Jagdeo embarrassed him at a GuyExpo opening a few years ago.
This Sunday I will give the PSC leaders another opportunity to look at the programme by having it rebroadcast on WRHM Channel 7.
The leaders can then make a reasoned assessment whether they may have over-reacted and whether Mr Gaskin’s opinion of them has any merit, or is shared by the public.