Let’s agree that many of you – my “regulars” – might be allowing yourselves to be caught up in the hurly-burly homestretch to December 25 that Christmas Day widely known now to be misplaced.
But since the Festival, the Day, the “Season” are all much, much bigger than this seventy-plus cynic and you must be “busy”, I’ll be most brief today.
This is the third December in our country now administered governmentally by the 31 month-old APNU plus AFC coalition political partners. (Incidentally have you actually discovered which groups make up the APNU?) So how does this third Coalition Christmas find you? Find us? Citizens of this State who are really wealthy, really financially comfortable can afford to largely ignore government. That’s because they can handle the taxation, can afford education, medical care, transportation, rents or mortgages – if necessary – modern housing and all creature comforts deemed needed. The only bother to them might be when the bureaucracy intrudes or the executive services are cumbersome, slow or incompetent.
Other folks know well our working–class woes. The coalition? Policies and developmental programmes would impact our lives daily. For better, for worse –or worse! A late friend of mine would declare- over strong drink – that “everything in our lives Allan, is a matter-of-state. From the price of toilet tissue, to getting an I.D. card, a passport or your pension to accessing medical needs, electricity or reasonable roads. The hands of the government are there!” He put it colourfully, but where the poor are concerned he was basically accurate.
Coalition Christmas 2017
Spare a few moments to consider December 2017. First, from Government’s perspective. They will be proud of the “early” Budget 2018. They have already disbursed their own non-negotiated salary increase to their own public employees, even old age pension “hikes” too. APNU+AFC has appointed its very own GECOM chairman and sent on leave the Commissioner of Police.
His Excellency has just concluded a “press conference”- a rarity and he’s just back too from feeding elephants in Kenya when he journeyed to improve his credentials in the field of global environmental matters. (Eat your heart out .Dr. Jagdeo…)
Christmas 2017 finds the coalition hard put to defend the numerous breaches of the constitution it is totting up. Significantly, strangely, His Excellency seems not to be bothered by these lapses, I hope my perception is misplaced but he seems to be almost cavalier when constitutional breaches are pointed out.
Well I’ve shared my own views on preparation for the 2020 Jubilee-and-oil election to be preceded by next year’s local polls. In a nutshell: the PPP will win most next year- and there will be temporary unrest in 2020. His Excellency and his loyal forces will be “on guard” at all times.
Coalition Christmas 2017 gave us unprecedented negative behaviour in the Parliament’s assembly. Government has the higher moral ground here but the PPP has fashioned elections sympathy especially from their PPP-DNA followers.
Secondly, from a people’s perspective, the question usually considered is: are we better off in December 2017 compared to the past? Why better? Because it’s accepted human nature to constantly strive for “better”. So the poor–employed , under–employed, under-paid or not -observes and experiences the vicissitudes of life in the cooperative republic and finds out continuously that “co-operation” from the authorities is not a real fact – or factor.
For example the ordinary citizen cannot be confident in our Police Force at this time. There are actually good cops but how are we to know those rogues that compromise our security?
The country’s municipal markets and the hawking vendors are keeping vegetables affordable, but meats, furniture, medications and transportation costs are challenges to the good life. And oh, the small senses the creeping corruption emerging in “new” places and spaces. Thievery strives in Private Sector enterprises. On the labour front this Coalition Christmas seems to be a death knell for sugar workers. Frankly Speaking, I feel that not enough collaboration was in evidence to plan for the inevitable. The coalition inherited the industrial calamity but its announced strategy still fails to mitigate the looming crisis.
Other workers, especially government employees, should include the return to collective bargaining among their Christmas /New Year wishes.
So whether it be the fear of parking meters, the long-delayed overpasses and E. Coast/E. Bank Demerara By-pass road, we citizens can only hope for coalition successes as they just might mean betterment for us at the middle and bottom. But tell me: What is now the role of the Parliamentary/ civil society opposition? And do we dare hope for any oil- and- gas “Good Life”?
The baby after Bethlehem
Amidst the sometimes chaotic commercialism of this “Season” I pause to have you pause over some socio-religious questions and reflections deriving from the Divine Birth. Christmas, however joyous, is, after all, a religious festival.
Questions: Did Jesus or any of this principal followers advise believers to celebrate his birth? Do we know that the “three” oriental astrologers were actually three? Wise Men or Kings? Whose children were described as Jesus siblings -Joseph’s or Mary’s “other children”? How old was the carpenter Joe when he engaged the teenager Mary?
I end thus exactly as I did one year ago: “I appeal to His Excellency to intervene with the GPL Board….Canadians are receiving US$7.5 million to “strengthen GPL’s management” and days ago a South Korean firm Byyuckstan received $454 Million for a consultancy to do lots (?)“ No more blackouts? Even the old Bethlehem had its power when the Christ was born. Some of us still resent candles and lamps as in the manger. Baby Jesus, please assist GPL – and us.
Ponder at Christmas…
1.Listen to A.A.Fenty’s Creole Christmas radio programmes: VOG 8:45 AM .Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
2.Thanks to minister “Good life “Jordan, for remembering retired Public Servants.
3.Be cautious and reflective for this Christmas 2017
Til next week!