Medical aid by the state

On March 2nd 2015 after the disclosure of medical aid by the state to senior PPP/C officials including $2.1m in cosmetic dentistry for then Minister Pauline Sukhai, the newly formed APNU+AFC coalition quite rightly expressed its outrage.

Government

It happens to all governments: they come in with the best of intentions coupled with the belief that only they are equipped to ameliorate a bleak situation.

Ending the culture of harassment

Four years ago at the Oscars the comedian Seth MacFarlane joked that nominees for the best Supporting Actress category would “no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” As the quip suggests, and detailed accounts now appearing in the US media confirm, Weinstein’s abusive behaviour was an open secret.

‘Read my lips’

“Read my lips: no new taxes!” This phrase was one of the most quoted sound bites emanating from George H W Bush, speaking at the 1988 Republican National Convention, in accepting the Republican presidential nomination.

Duped

As the popularity of international athletics soared in the late 1970s with the increase of television coverage, athletes no longer had to surreptitiously receive under the counter payments or ‘gifts’ for their appearances at meetings, as changes in the amateur rules legitimately allowed the reward of appearance fees and bonuses for setting records.

The minibus culture

Preying on young women, particularly schoolgirls using minibuses as public transport, has become commonplace among some minibus drivers and conductors. 

Project execution problems

Word that a ‘Delivery Unit’ could be established to speed up the pace of the government’s sprawling Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) must reflect deep worry in the administration over the glacial pace of many key projects.

October 5

Last week everyone was in nostalgic mode: there was the 60th anniversary of the PNC engaging the attention of the one side, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1992 general and regional elections being the focus of the other.

America’s guns

The massacre in Las Vegas that has left 58 dead and more than 500 injured, will inevitably reopen the Sisyphean debate on America’s obsession with firearms.

Maternal and infant mortality rates

Two very important statistics in assessing the overall health of a society are the number of maternal deaths – that is, the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of pregnancy ‒ and the rate of infant mortality, defined as the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births.

Schemes

The availability of land for housing has allowed many citizens to move from squatting in shacks, overcrowding their parents’ or relatives’ homes or from being homeless to becoming home owners.

Playboy

Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy magazine passed away last week at the age of ninety-one. 

Keeping track of our Police Force

There is a school of thought that frowns violently on points of view that are critical of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), asserting in defence of the police that their job is a challenging one and that persistent criticism only serves to demoralize the men and women whose task it is to get the job done.

APNU+AFC procurement transgressions

Procurement rectitude was one of the areas the APNU+AFC government was expected to be light years ahead of the former PPP/C government.

Social cohesion and myths

There seems to be no end to the constant regurgitating of select portions of Guyana’s past by one or another of the denizens of Freedom House or Congress Place.

The future of democracy

The political philosopher Michael Sandel recently described the Trump administration as the most serious “stress test” the US constitution has yet faced.

To catch a paedophile

Leonard Archibald did not have to die. He was just 13 years old and attending high school.

Under the radar

Last weekend, for the first time, Guyana hosted the Commonwealth Games Federation (GCF) Annual Americas Regional Conference.

Travails of teachers

Once you decide to pursue a career in teaching in Guyana, moreso in the state school system, you automatically forfeit any chance of material fulfilment at the end of that career, except you simultaneously pursue some other more lucrative moonlighting option.

Hurricane relief

A debt of gratitude is owed to all those here and abroad who have risen up to provide relief to the hurricane-stricken islands of the Caribbean, whether it be the first responders, householders gathering clothing and batteries, the business community mobilising food and building materials, institutions providing cash or friendly governments availing inter-island transport.

Contradiction

This is a contradictory government.  President David Granger goes to the United Nations and delivers an impressive address, once again putting the case to the world body as to why the commitment given by former Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and subsequently the present incumbent of that office, António Guterres, should be adhered to.

Kaepernick’s dissent

When six members of the New England Patriots declined to celebrate their historic Super Bowl win at the White House in February, the US media quickly rehashed familiar talking points about the separation of politics and sport.

Valuing Guyanese

Guyana has a history based on European intrusion into the land of the indigenous peoples, their enslavement of African peoples brought forcefully to these parts, and finally, the luring of indentured labour from India, China and Madeira to work under very poor conditions and for minimal pay.