Column: Daily Eyewitness




A friend sent your Eyewitness a screenshot of a post by an AFC Parliamentarian from Berbice on one fallout from the mass firing of sugar workers in that neck of the woods: they can’t afford to send their children to school. The MP Charanrass bemoaned some of these parents being on TV bemoaning their children’s tragic fate.

Charanrass, who’s a lawyer, was convinced the dastardly PPP was behind the parents’ complaint. And how did he KNOW this? Well, he said that back in 1963, his father — who was a cane cutter that fathered 14 children – went on strike on behalf of GAWU, and yet he and his siblings were able to continue going to school!! Can you believe a lawyer arguing a case from a single example, and that of his own family? Even in high school he would’ve learnt this is an instance of the (in)famous logical fallacy called “faulty generalization”.

Did he hear about “jumping to conclusions”?? Or about “one sparrow doesn’t make a summer”? Would he say all AFC executives are incompetent negotiators because one of them (Nassau Trotman, AFC’s leader) gave away the store (and then some!!) to Exxon?

But your Eyewitness just realized that’s not such a good illustration, since all AFC executives negotiated the Cummingsburg Accord with the PNC – and ended up with larwah!!

So let’s look at why the fella’s generalization is “faulty”. His family could’ve had other sources of income. He admitted they had! Then, during GAWU’s famous 135-day strike — which was actually in 1964 – they doled out “strike relief” to workers. Back in the 1960s, most sugar worker families also supplemented their meagre wages with kitchen gardens; “minding” chickens, ducks, sheep; “catching” fish in the canals etc.  Rice cultivation was less mechanized then, and part-time work was available in the fields. Etc…etc

But Charanrass didn’t stop with his hasty generalization to belittle sugar workers — who might’ve sent him to Parliament. He also argued that if sugar workers could send their children to school during the “out of crop” periods, which last months, why not now?!! Does he even know GAWU won a 4-day out-of-crop work week for all workers?

If Trump can go against the business class that traditionally supports his party and impose sanctions on steel and aluminum to help the unemployed workers in his “Rust Belt”, can’t these AFC types argue for their PNC Govt to offer relief to sacked sugar workers’ CHILDREN?

It’s pathetic that the AFC Berbice MPs — Nagamootoo, Ramjattan and Charanrass — are all prostituting their consciences for thirty pieces of silver.

What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

…on Hotels

There is welcome news that Badal, one of the AFC backers, is going to launch a US$100 million expansion of his Pegasus Hotel. And why is he doing this after leveraging his money from chicken feed (which couldn’t really have been “chicken feed”!) to buy the original Pegasus? Well it’s the oil, stupid!! Badal sees a good thing now that Exxon’s hit oil and the planes (well the CAL plane (singular!!!) are chockful of foreign business types who want to be assured about where they’ll be sleeping in a country that’s just above Haiti in their google search!

But all of this just goes to show what a visionary Bharat Jagdeo was to plough on with the Marriott when everyone and their uncle questioned why Guyana needed a branded hotel. Fact of the matter is, as he said at the time, top foreign executives don’t “stay over” at relatives’ – even if they had them in Guyana! – like Guyanese who go up to NY!!

With an internationally branded hotel, they literally know what they’re getting into!!

…the M’Baku challenge

The latest meme on the web is the “M’baku Challenge”, with fans posting their imitations of the Jabari chieftain’s — played by TT’s Winston Duke — challenge to the “Black Panther”.

The final line – “Glory to Hanuman” – would’ve already been familiar to the Trini!!


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