EYEWITNESS: Holding the line…

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…in the Courts

In the long, slow march away from the law of the jungle, whatever your Eyewitness’ complaints about the shortcomings of the Judiciary might be, he has to accept that, in the main, we can be proud of our Judges when it comes to encroachments of the Leviathan. This “separation of powers” device of splitting the powers of the state into the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches has proven to be a powerful device to curb the excesses of the executive – which runs the Leviathan.

In our parliamentary system, which parliamentarian on the government benches will go against the party line, when he’s salivating for “Minister wuk’? So, all we have left to look out for us is the Judiciary. And that’s why we, the people, have to be very wary about who ends up on the Benches. Even in the US – which before Trump, could trumpet its “democratic” credentials – the Executive constantly tries to “pack the bench” to support its agenda. But generally, that agenda is more at a macro level than in our small Guyana where things can really get personal.

So, when we had the top two judicial officials of our land retiring (well TECHNICALLY) and being replaced by this new administration – a lot of eyes swivelled to the new appointees to see how they’d vote in sensitive cases. Well, strike one Chief Justice (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards, who just ruled that SOCU can’t compel the GRA to turn over information of taxpayers’ returns to them!!

Maybe this will force the administration to return to first principles on not just the powers of SOCU, but more broadly, exactly what it’s all about. For sure, your Eyewitness is a bit challenged when even though they’re supposed to be going after “organised crime”, the Pradoville II’s supposed misfeasance of public officials is number one on their “hit” parade. Your Eyewitness always assumed, of course, APNU/AFC accusation’s about PPP running a “criminal syndicate” was just throwing shade!

Anyhow, the Judge has justified the stance of many critics of SOCU who’ve pointed out that the powers given to the Unit are too extensive and violate the fundamental principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. With the emphasis on “proven”. At this time, even the GHRA has had to complain about the intemperate language used by the heads of SOCU’s twin, SARA – and acted out in the manner in which SOCU went about interrogating the leader of the Opposition.

The government shows no sign of toning down its strident accusatory rhetoric towards those it deems opponents.

All citizens should encourage the Judiciary to hold the line.

…for Chuck Berry

Man can’t live by bread alone – he’s gotta satisfy the needs of his soul. And right on top of those needs is music. One of the stalwarts who gave solace to many was the legendary Chuck Berry – who just passed away. Now it doesn’t really matter that Berry was off the scene for a while – ‘cause his music and style influenced so many from across the pop music spectrum – he’s remained alive.

For someone from the poor, black American ghettoes, that’s quite an accomplishment. But it’s not coincidental his influence wasn’t directly acknowledged by contemporary US white stars like Elvis Presley – but from across the pond in England. The Beatles and Rolling Stones both did covers on some of his hits when they started out. Roll over Beethoven!!

In addition to composing many of his songs and coming up with the tunes, Berry was a mean guitarist who had a distinctive style that lent that xtra special SOMETHING to his hits.

Rock on Chuck!

…on Smart Man Meters

Today, the City Council, with a majority of its members from the PNC will vote on a request by the PNC-led central government that it suspend the infamous parking meter contract.

Today, we will see who has “more seed that baigan”!

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