His Excellency is becoming impatient? Intolerant?

A petulant President responds…

Qualfon is hiring, hiring, hiring…


(And to think, to decide that I had reserved the description “petulant” exclusively for Doctor Bharrat Jagdeo during the latter years of his active presidency.

Petulance indicates “capricious ill humour;” irritability, peevishness; being fretful, fractious and querulous. Dare I now assign this description to our current matured 70-plus urbane Officer-President D. Arthur Granger?)

As I left for a brief overseas holiday exactly one month ago, two reasons caused me to attempt this type of creative, fictionalized column. One was the fact that our current His Excellency does not seem to favour regular full-blown press conferences. The second “inspiration” was when His Excellency, upon being asked whether he would still take along his errant Press Officer to the United Nations, “scolded” the well-meaning reporter with: “That’s enough on that issue!”

Real commander-like, that was that for him. (De reportah was being too fass!)



The President, the Media, the comrades

So come with me as I concoct two scenarios – the President’s terse, almost strident and impatient responses at a press conference and interacting with concerned party members at a PNC group meeting in South Georgetown.

(You decide when the questions are coming from a professional journalist or a party comrade.)

Question: Mr President earlier during the day – the evening of which you made the GECOM unilateral appointment – your government also announced the unilateral salary increases for public servants and the composition of the Local Government Commission. Did you purposely plan any distraction? Answer: Nonsense! Government employees deserve the increases that we can afford at this time. These increases do not prevent the continued collective bargaining process.

Question: But will the Commission be allowed to function independently as central government will always control the purse strings? Answer: Funds are allocated to the Regions from the Budget. The LGC has specific mandates. You must watch to see how the PPP “co-operates”.

Question: Mr President, I’ll not raise the issue of your GECOM’s Head’s age, but are you not worried that legal challenges could stymie his work? Even delay elections? Answer: Do you know that Mr Jagdeo’s lists had persons in their eighties and late seventies? And I would hope that the Chancellor and Chief Justice would be seized with the vital national implications of such litigation…

Question: Comrade Leader, the folks of Sophia and Stabroek Square are our base. They are disillusioned with the manner your CH and PA and City Hall are treating them. Some comrades are threatening not to vote. Remember the PPP really won the last Local Government elections… Comrade Leader’s response: Look here! Am I getting you correctly? Comrades are upset because the party and government want to create orderliness to improve the community as a whole even whilst fulfilling certain donor-obligations? We are now on outreaches throughout this country – explaining to and educating comrades from Parfaite Harmony to Linden to Lethem to Buxton and West Coast Berbice!

Don’t want to vote!? Okay let Jagdeo get his hands on the oil revenues when they start to flow. Is that what they want? Go ahead!”

(Of course, the Comrade Leader-President stopped short of telling them that he is set to be comfortable for life. Thanks to the Presidential and Opposition leaders’ pensions, benefits and securities ’til death. Ask Hinds, Corbin, Ramotar, Green, Jagdeo.)

Question: Mr President, your administration and its agencies have employed numerous former Army Officers and former Police functionaries – I count some twenty of them – are you satisfied that your military picks are delivering, given the evidence of procurement lapses, arrogant responses to innocent criticism and non-delivery of Campaign Manifesto promises? Secondly, how do you see the politics of democracy by 2020 – the year of the Republican Jubilee Elections – and oil production?

Response (from a visibly-irritated President): Quite a mouthful eh Stabroek News? I had something to do with your newspaper once you know. To your first query. Check all the so-called military men’s qualifications for their positions – by the way, don’t blame me if Indo-Guyanese males never favoured the military traditionally – you will discover, Sir, that each one of them is immensely qualified academically; they also bring experience in or related to their now civilian positions. Must these abilities be left to rust, to migrate?

I know of no arrogance, perhaps animated assertive responses. Regarding Campaign promises, where in the world of reality politics could a new governing party fulfill all promises according to ambitious deadlines? Manifesto plans are not meant to deceive but there are unknowns on assuming office – like billions for GuySuCo and multi-millions wasted on corrupt infrastructure projects…

…2020 will take good care of itself; my Administration is determined to ensure socio-economic development for all – even in the face of promised assaults on cohesive, collective effort…indicative elections in 2018 will precede 2020…you assess.

Question: “But Comrade Leader, we of the PNC are hearing that you are over-doing it, sidelining the AFC “comrades”. Won’t they leave us? The Comrade Leader’s peevish response: “My friend – (First Lady revealed when First Husband says “my friend” he is silently seethingly mad, upset) – my friend, the AFC is going nowhere! Especially Prime Minister, Honourable Trotman, Gaskin and Ramjattan. Further I say not.  You go figure…” To be continued.



Qualfon hires, hires – fires?


Please, some young investigative journalist assist Uncle Allan here: what does an international Call Centre do? I mean its varied services.

The really big one here – Qualfon – says it’s now the country’s largest private employer. It advertises for additional staff daily! Why?

Employees being made redundant are telling me Qualfon invites them back periodically. Strange? Assist me here.



Let’s ponder…


I remain an admirer of Dr David Hinds – from Buxton and Tempe – AZ – as he singlehandedly keeps the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) think tank alive. Doctors Thomas and Roopnarine seem retired.  But tell me: What does the AFC think of itself these days.

List 5 outcomes of the inquiries into the “assassination attempt” and the lands issues.

When will they tone down the shade of green on the Presidential Wall? It threatens the ambience of good old Vlissengen Road!

’Til next week!


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