A vision of a low carbon future is needed

Future Notes

Lest we succumb to the hopelessness that can very easily result from what has been a most acrimonious and debilitating political year, the holiday season presents a good opportunity for us to take a short break and turn our minds in other directions.

Outsourcing, Insourcing and Corruption

It is generally thought that all conscious practices proceed from some kind of theoretical construct and that if the theory is wrong, the practice will most likely prove insufficient.

The PPP/C has fooled itself!

Across the political divide, after a year in office, the populace appears to have given up any expectations that, with the exception of national elections sometime soon, much will result from the presidency of Mr.

PPP/C caught in a pincer

Cheddi Jagan was extremely proud of his government’s commitment to transparency and one of the most visible signs of this was his government’s ability to present the annual Auditor General’s Report after many years of default under the PNC regime.

Teacher retention: some policy positions

Cross Border Career Stretch in the Teaching Profession (cont’d) Since the idea is not to prevent but rather to facilitate an overseas career for those who wish it and have performed well, government can be more proactive in arranging such recruitment and putting reengagement incentives in place. 

The opposition cannot afford to fail

The current quarrel between the government, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the opposition over the content of the first Order Paper (parliamentary agenda) of this new parliamentary year keeps us in the same mode that has developed since the last general elections: a government blustering its way in the hope of finding an opportune moment to call a new election and an opposition determined to close the noose around the government’s neck.

Uninspiring plans for Guyana’s elderly

The first of the thirty-two recommendations found in the 2012 Guyana Report on Aging (the Report) states that “Associations of Older Persons could help educate about the rights of the elderly and promote their active participation in the community activities”.

Paltry services are available to the elderly

“Even though, the growing ageing population and the concomitant changes this will bring are viewed as a major socio-economic challenge for Guyana, other competing development priorities have overtaken the national agenda.

Policies for the elderly should be mainstreamed

Aging, along with and its moral and practical implications is so visible that most societies have had to establish norms to deal with it, but as Thomas R Cole, et al, observed in The Meaning of Aging and the Future of Social Security, “the ancient and medieval understandings of aging as a mysterious part of the eternal order of things gradually gave way to the secular, scientific, and individualist tendencies of modernity.

The elderly need an independent organisation

This intervention was motivated primarily by a report in the Stabroek News that from ten Caribbean programmes which were highlighted as “best practices” for the provision of services to the elderly by the Third Regional Intergovernmental Conference on Ageing in Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place recently in Costa Rica, Barbados was recognised for three of its programmes: the Home Care Programme, Nursing Pilot Project and its Information Communication Technology Programme.

The dangers of disclosure

The PPP likes to tell the story of how Arthur Schlesinger Jr., an adviser to the late President John F Kennedy in the 1960s, apologized to Dr.

The loss of strategic advantage

In 1989, after some twenty-five years in office, the PNC lost its strategic advantage over the PPP, and arguably left Guyana a more divided society than it was when it came to office in 1964.

Linden shows we need new governance

Even allowing that the unconscionable shooting and killing of protesters at Linden may have complicated matters for the government, how is it possible for a ruling party to concede so much on the major issues brought to the table by the other side but yet achieve so little?

Fair pay in the public sector

“The President’s pension and the Prime Minister’s pension shall be seven-eighths of the highest annual rate of salary paid to such persons at any time as President or Prime Minister as the case may be or two hundred and four thousand dollars per annum, whichever is the greater,” says the 1991 amendment to the Pensions (President, Parliamentary and Special Officials) Act Chapter 27:03, which now appears extremely dated.

Openness is apparently only for ‘the other side’

It is generally believed that the presidency of Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo constituted one of the most autocratic periods in the post-independence political history of Guyana in spite of the fact that he did not have control of both the government and the PPP the way Cheddi and Janet Jagan did.

Political parties should sanction their governments

Notwithstanding the present stagnation in the area of political reform, I believe that our political parties are on the cusp of major restructuring and that John Maynard Keynes was perhaps correct when he claimed that: “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood”, for even today, notions like “democratic centralism” and “party paramountcy,” rooted as they were in autocratic political cultures that are either dead or in their death throes, are still being used to explain contemporary issues.

PPP should be radically reformed

For those who have some understanding of the nature and workings of political parties, a few weeks ago we were treated to a quite extraordinary exchange between former speaker of the National Assembly, Mr.

Send the next budget to a select committee

If the public reaction to last week’s article (Cheddi’s mantra was `give them the books’ SN: 16/05/12) is anything to go by, discussions between the government and the opposition on financial matters will not bear much fruit anytime soon.

Cheddi’s mantra was: ‘give them the books’

“Interest and objectives are two sides of the same coin. They are closely related, yet being able to differentiate one from the other can often make all the difference during negotiations.” (Godefroy C & Luis Robert – 1991 – “The Outstanding Negotiator” Piatkus).

Negotiation is not a ‘casino-type’ activity

The Stabroek News, quoting GINA, reported that in response to the statement by Opposition Leader, David Granger “that he is ready for Government to seek a supplementary budget provided that certain conditions are met, President Ramotar said that he is not running a `casino-type’ operation and maintains that all decisions will be based solely on what is in the best interest of Guyana and its people.” (“Gov’t to uphold APNU pacts – Ramotar:” SN: 30/04/2012).

We must be sceptical of politicians who claim allegiance to principles

Two weeks ago (“PPP/C has an historic opportunity …..:”  SN 25/01/12) I promised to address what it is that politicians can mean when they claim that their policy or actions are based on ‘principle.’ This interest arose from what appeared to be an unusual amount of reliance on this concept in our recent political discourse.

Opposition made huge blunder

Notwithstanding all the opposition talk of seeking to create a new political culture in Guyana, its recent antics are as old as the hills, but the PPP/C is not without fault and should not use the opposition’s faux pas to prevent us from moving forward in a timely and efficacious manner.

Rotating speaker is a good suggestion

The current discourse about the election of a speaker for our new National Assembly has been variously described and assessed but here I will discuss the opportunity it presents us to identify and contemplate some important issues, the nature of which are likely to stay with us as we go forward in the present political context.

Parental engagement can make big difference to a child’s life chances

“The literature suggests that among the non-school factors of school achievement like socioeconomic background, parent’s educational attainment, family structure, ethnicity and parental involvement, it is the latter which is the most strongly connected to attainment.” It has long been known that parental involvement is a powerful tool for enhancing pupil achievement and most schools here and elsewhere try to devise ways of involving parents.

PPP/C position on Speaker pure propaganda

If President Donald Ramotar wants to represent change in and modernisation of the Guyanese political fabric, one of his first priorities must be to put a rein on the type of propaganda with which the PPP has been historically associated.

What is a ‘good life’?

The 2011 manifesto of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) promised “A Good Life for All Guyanese”: now that it is in a position to help to provide one, we shall see!

Propaganda and a Destiny to Mould

Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s “Evil Genius” and Reich Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, who is generally believed to be responsible for bringing that seventeenth century Vatican-created term “propaganda” into disrepute, stated that: “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result ….