Henry Jeffrey

Henry Jeffrey

Government and GPSU: politics without vision

About a week ago, with ‘tears in their eyes’, some of the executive members of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) shared with the Stabroek News ‘their bewilderment at the lack of movement on the part of the administration to begin the collective bargaining process despite making several public statements about its importance’ (GPSU alarmed at gov’t lack of engagement on public service wage talks).

Another democracy without political virtue

Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham became an autocrat, dictator, whatever description suits you, under our 1966 independence constitution, with its non-executive governor/president titular head of the government and armed forces; prime minister directly answerable to the national assembly; Westminster-type separation of powers; right to prorogation, etc.

The coalition: Governing without a united national interest

So far as I am concerned, it is inconceivable, particularly in the context where first-come-first-served is the order of the day, that about two days after you would have promised to seat together about fifty relatively important persons at a public event like the Golden Jubilee flag-raising ceremony, you would not have cordoned off a designated section.

Jubilee celebrations or African fest?

The apparent massive Afro-Guyanese support for and participation in and the apparent Indo-Guyanese absence from activities associated with the golden jubilee celebrations have led some to claim that the event will be more of an African fest than a national celebration than those who gathered to hoist the Golden Arrowhead on 26 May 1966 would have expected.

Guyana needs a national names authority

There has been much comment on the proclivity of the present regime and its associates to name and rename various national objects and institutions, and this article has been prompted by the dispute over its wish to rename Ogle International Airport and the possibility that the City Council might give rise to more controversy if it still has on its agenda the renaming of 100 city streets for our Jubilee celebrations.

Reverting to the old placement system is retrograde

“Educational assessment must overcome a central dilemma, … If there are no consequences attached to a test, then it will do little to motivate healthy change within the educational system; however, if the result of an assessment is highly consequential, then it may engender unproductive or undesirable outcomes such as narrowing the curriculum, “teaching to test,” and weakening the role of teacher” (Braun, Henry, et al (2006) Improving Education Through Assessment, Innovation, and Evaluation.

Prisons

What a cost when, in a most gruesome manner, seventeen individuals lost their lives as a result of having been taken into custody by a society that promised to safeguard all their other freedoms apart from their right to liberty.

Did Burnham plot to kill Rodney?

Hours after Walter Rodney was killed and his body taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital, Forbes Burnham spoke to a well-connected young woman who was a family friend and a nurse at the hospital, saying he had heard that Rodney had been killed and wanted her to go find the body and confirm that it was indeed his.

The ‘people’ is not yet born

An admixture of our unique political context and nearly two decades of autocratic PPP/C rule have given rise to notions of how we should conduct political discourse that appear to me neither practical nor complete.

Team Benschop’s Agenda

To adequately manage local government, or anything else for that matter, one should have some general philosophical understanding of what local government should be and is and, given existing resources, what can be done to help it towards its goal.

Benschop unchastened

Etched in the public mind about Mark Benschop is his incarceration, for five years, in solitary confinement for treason followed by an unconditional pardon by then President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Benschop for mayor?

I’d bet my bottom dollar that a substantial number of those who wanted to see the PPP/C out of government and supported the coalition are now extremely disappointed with the performance of the latter.

Raiding the public purse: pay and patronage

Last week I stated that during my presentation to the Public Service Commission of Inquiry I argued that after only a few months in office, the present regime succumbed to ethnic entrepreneurship and began undercutting its stated principles of what a public servant should be.

A neutral public service

I have some pretty definite views about the Guyana public service, born of some theoretical understanding of how and what it should be doing in modern times and a quite lengthy sojourn in it.

Brassington

On the morning of 4th June last year, I was at the Guyana Revenue Authority headquarters on Camp Street to collect my driver’s licence and had an interesting encounter with the now besieged Mr.

Participatory possibilities in law making

Last week, in commenting on the controversy that arose when the government sought to bulldoze three pieces of legislation (the Municipal and District Councils and Local Authorities (Amendment) Bill, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill and the Anti-Terrorism and Terrorist Related Activities Bill) through the National Assembly at one sitting and the government’s response that the PPP/C’s regime had acted similarly, I concluded by suggesting that the current government and its supporters would do best to reference their behaviour against regional and international best practices rather than past PPP/C behaviour.