Comment is required on former president Bharrat Jagdeo’s statements about the course he and his party intend to take should the attempts he believes are being made by the government to manipulate the 2020 general and regional elections succeed, for if he is forced to respond in such a negative fashion, there goes the opportunity to optimize the significant wealth fossil fuels are projected to generate.
Do you believe that if the African child pictured at right had followed the missive sent by Mae’s Primary to parents stating that on the day of Guyana’s independence anniversary 2018 ‘pupils will be allowed to dress in their cultural wear, depicting an ethnic group of their choice’ he would have been prevented from attending classes?
I have heard politicians give all manner of questionable and laughable explanations in defence of their positions, and some of this is unavoidable in political life with its notions of collective responsibility and collegiate destiny.
Deciding what aspect of Marxism to consider in the 200th year after Karl Marx’s birth (5th May 1818) was made considerably easier when some comments, purportedly by a ‘Jewish leader’ about ‘why black people are economically behind’ and what can be done to make them rich, arrived in my inbox.
Apart from theatre intended to appease supporters of the coalition government, I am struggling to understand the case being made against former finance minister Ashni Singh and former head of NICIL Winston Brassington.
Nine days before the 2015 general elections, Stabroek News headlined ‘APNU+AFC makes pact to restore bargaining rights to workers – under gov’t of national partnership.’ It continued, ‘The opposition coalition APNU+AFC yesterday made a pact with the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and labour unions in Guyana for the resuscitation of collective bargaining should it win the May 11th general and regional polls.’ Presenting copies of the coalition manifesto to Guyana Trades Union Congress General Secretary, Mr.
Clearly in retaliation to the government’s – by way of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) – charging in their absence former minister of finance and chairperson of NICIL Ashni Singh and former NICIL head Winston Brassington with misconduct in public office for selling government lands without proper valuation or under the assessed value, last week two opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) MPs, Juan Edghill and Vickram Bharrat, brought private prosecutions against ministers Volda Lawrence and George Norton for misconduct in public office.
In a presentation given at a panel discussion at Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement on 10th April 2018, former president Bill Clinton claimed that ‘The Good Friday Agreement is a work of genius that’s applicable if you care at all about preserving democracy.’ According to Clinton, the agreement ‘called for real democracy – majority rule; minority rights; individual rights; the rule of law; the end of violence; shared political decision-making; shared economic benefits’.
On 8th February 2018, the same day the Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit and Exhibition (GIPEX) began and the vice president of ExxonMobil, Lisa Waters, was playing up the need for world economic growth to help the poor, an article by Ted Nordhaus was published in the influential Foreign Affairs magazine entitled The Two-Degree Delusion: The Dangers of an Unrealistic Climate Change Target (FA: 08/02/18), in which he said something similar but suggested that social development will be better achieved if we liberate fossil fuels and oil and gas in particular from the strictures placed upon them by the 2015 United Nations climate change conference in Paris.
Below are some important parts of a statement taken from a letter by former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds (KN: 02/02/2018), intended partly to place the blame for the violence that took place between 1998 and 2008 on the PNCR and its supporters, which came at a opportune time for this closing contribution on an alternative form of government for Guyana.
The focus of this column is upon the judiciary and it is important to note that an essential chapter in the playbook of the modern autocrat – Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan – is to insidiously install loyalists in this institution (How Democracies Fall Apart: Foreign Affairs, 05/12/2016).
‘Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.
‘Government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another.’ Charles-Louis Baron de Montesquieu I can say without fear of contradiction that the vast majority of us would accept the above as a useful general rule.
The ancient Greeks, considered the progenitors of modern democracy, referred to the rule of one person as ‘tyranny’ and particularly in countries with weak institutions, modern presidentialism and prime ministership quickly morph into one-man autocracies in which the single leader, to whom access is limited, surrounds himself with a retinue of fawning, usually self-seeking, followers (Foley, Michael (2000) The British Presidency, Manchester University Press, and Poguntke, Thomas and Paul Webb (2005) The Presidentialization of Politics, Oxford University Press).
I have repeatedly argued that the attempts to establish ethnic dominance of various sorts by different means are unnecessary and cannot solve the ethnic security problem that exists in Guyana and I have often been asked to outline what form of government best suits our condition.
Two Saturdays ago, in keeping with a rural African tradition, my cousin found a local pig and cattle rearer from whom we went to purchase pork for the holidays.
One must have to be a dolt to believe that the treatment at present being meted out to the sugar workers is because the country cannot afford to keep them at work.
In 1972 Julius Nyerere, one of Africa’s iconoclastic leaders, stated that the African position in relation to southern Rhodesia ‘is now, as it has always been, the attainment of independence for Zimbabwe on the basis of majority rule, and under conditions which allow the development of human dignity for all citizens.’ (http://www.juliusnyerere.org/ uploads/after_the_peace_ commission_1972.pdf).
The Christmas season is as good as any to indulge in ‘lite’ nostalgic ruminations and what follows in two parts tells the story of a minor event leading up to the political ascendency of Robert Mugabe.
Last week two events were reported that deserve some comment. The first had to do with the case between DIPCON Engineering Limited and the Attorney General (AG) of Guyana before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which the AG, Mr.
About a week after President David Granger made his controversial choice of Justice James Patterson as the chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, which many viewed as signalling the PNCR’s intention to manipulate future elections, he took to the podium to speak to the North American Chapter of the PNCR in Georgia, USA.
Seething with unaddressed grievances, the AFC’s support for President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of the chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission being the final straw, the Canada chapter of that party has temporarily withdrawn its support from it ‘unless and until’ all its grievances are properly addressed.
The present political impasse has yet again presented opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP/C with an opportunity to reposition the party as a positive national rather than communal institution.
In a lecture at the London School of Economics earlier this month in support of his book ‘Post-Truth: why we have reached peak bullshit and what we can do about it’, Evan Davis, the eminent British journalist, stated that never has there been more concern about dishonesty in public life and, that, inter alia, people are more susceptible to bullshit that reinforces commitment to their side.
Arguably the most important achievement of the PNC in its 60 years of existence was its dismissal of the PPP/C from government in 2015, and the most important day in the history of the PPP was its removal of the PNC from government on 5th October 1992.
‘The lawfulness of state actors’ decisions frequently depends on the reasons they give to justify their conduct, and a wide range of statutory and constitutional law renders otherwise lawful actions unlawful if they are not justified by reasons or are justified by the wrong reasons’(Mathilde Cohen.
On reading last week that a decade after the dispute arose between Rusal, the Russian bauxite company, and the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU), union officials still had to be forcing their way into government offices to demand that their long-standing grievances be properly considered, I remembered the cartoon above, which portrays a confrontation between Mr.
Around midnight on Saturday the 5th of August Varnika Kundu, a 29-year-old female Indian DJ based in Chandigarh alleged that she was involved in a motor car chase with the son of a politician and his friend who tried to abduct her.
The decision by the Kenyan Supreme Court to annul the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta brought back memories of the October 1998 decision by the British House of Lords that stripped the late Chilean President August Pinochet of his immunities and allowed for his arrest to answer for the over 3,000 tortures and deaths that his regime allegedly orchestrated during the 17 years of his dictatorial rule.
‘I am now convinced that the simplest solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a new widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.’ Martin Luther King, 1967.
On reading the Stabroek News article ‘Democracy is Bureaucracy’ (SN: 18/08/2017), I was again reminded of the need for conceptual clarity as we seek to broaden the scope of political participation for being imprecise could lead to deliberate avoidance or our missing important aspects of the discourse.
‘[O]ptimum functioning or malfunctioning of the Public Service Commission … depends on the type and nature of the regime within which the institution operates.’.
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP/C’s pontifications about the need for a free and open media must have elicited if not the vast hilarity coming from his detractors at the very least a timid smile from even his ardent supporters.
Please excuse me if I am somewhat jaded by all the talk and little action surrounding diaspora involvement.
This has been an unusually good week for finding issues to comment upon, but apart from joining those celebrating the success of the 2017 STEM Guyana team, I want to focus on two matters.
Last year, when considering the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry into the March 2016 prison disturbances in which 17 inmates lost their lives, I made two recommendations having to do with imprisonment and sentencing, which I am following up on here, because I believe they are still important to how our criminal justice system develops and is responded to by those in jail.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s ‘Das Capital’, and I was invited by the Guyana Peace Council, Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union and the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre to make a presentation, “How to translate Capital into meaning for one’s life” at a seminar held last Saturday at National Library in Georgetown.