Eyewitness: Attacking the lion

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…but sparing the wolf

Your Eyewitness has noticed that the activist-citizens, both foreign and domestic, have intensified their drumbeats of war against EXXON for a “renegotiation” of the contract which the latter signed with Raphael Trotman on behalf of his PNC government. What has always bothered him was the free pass they’ve given Trotman and the PNC!! After all, the essence of a “contract” is a meeting of the minds between two parties to produce the set of mutually-agreed obligations. So, if the contract is lopsided in favour of Exxon – and it really is! – but Trotman insists it’s okay, what’s the problem from a legal perspective??

If Trotman were an “infant” or a “moron” – which are both terms of art, incidentally! – maybe we could get out of the contract, since there would be no “mind” from our side to meet!! But last time your Eyewitness looked, the PNC insisted Trotman’s mind was so sound, they nominated him to be the next Deputy Speaker of Parliament. That he lost to a fella in a loincloth is neither here nor there!! Another fella in loincloth overthrew the entire British Empire when the lion had teeth, didn’t he??

Anyhow, back to the contract. Another way we would’ve been able to renegotiate for better terms was if Exxon had committed what the lawyerly fellas call a “material breach”. Like, for instance, not being able to bring up the oil by developing the oil field as they’d promised. But Exxon have instead been ahead of their commitments – shipping oil months before the first quarter of this year, as had been projected.

Another reason we could’ve used to demand renegotiation is if the circumstances under which we’d agreed to the contract had changed dramatically. With this one, however, the changed circumstances since 2016 – collapsed markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and plunging prices – have all been in favour of Exxon. In fact, they’ve used this reason to renegotiate with some of their suppliers in Nigeria to hold up drilling, for instance!

We always have the right to unilaterally break the contract, of course, but this would open us to paying damages to Exxon for all their expenses and projected profits. Let’s say our profits would be big enough to pay those damages, do we have the capacity to run the deep-sea oil production, or even manage a contractor??

Let’s face it, dear readers…all we can hope for is for Exxon to feel sorry for us and give us a “top up” on their own.

But with their bottom line bleeding red ink and their stocks taking a dive, even altruism is unlikely.

We have a lemon, folks, so let’s make some lemonade!!

…Parliament

Granger has created a new PNC is his own image, and they’ve been sworn in by the Clerk to do battle against the PPP in Parliament. They are, after all, the official “Opposition”. In England, they’re called the “loyal opposition” …but in Guyana, neither the PPP nor the country can expect any loyalty from that lot.

First of all, Lil Joe Harmon has already declared he doesn’t recognize the PPP as being legally elected, since their elections petition has been filed. Expect the PNC in Parliament to follow Trotman’s 2002 call to “expose, oppose and depose” the PPP as their mission.

We can also expect them to follow Granger’s lead to ignore not only our constitutional conventions, but to flagrantly break even its explicitly stated articles. Imagine Granger and Harmon waited in the blazing sun to give aid and comfort to Mingo – the man who committed fraud in front of the entire Diplomatic Corps and the international and domestic elections observers. They exalt illegality.

There will be no quarter given in the 12th Parliament!!

…and placing MPs at risk

Christopher Jones has been appointed the PNC’s Chief Whip in Parliament – responsible for keeping PNC MPs in line, and coordinating business with the PPP’s Whip.

He’s also responsible for exposing everyone to COVID-19!