EYEWITNESS: Clueless…

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…in business

The Muckraker’s controllers have their buktas all in a knot over Exxon’s “business practices”. Your Eyewitness wonders why. They should have a talk with their owner about his “business practices” when he was “backtracking” bodies into the US. Did he cut those “poor, huddled masses” any slack when they couldn’t cough up their US$10,000 fee? Did he allow them to “negotiate”? Not in this lifetime! Those poor souls were thrown into the arms of Immigration if they lagged with their payments.

Whether we like it or not, businesses are in the business of making profit, and their social responsibilities are limited to complying with the law of the land. Any charity they undertake is to build goodwill for their business. Any business that ignores these rules will collapse into the dust. If Exxon is engaged in “sharp practices”, it’s up to the government of the jurisdiction to have laws that control those practices, so their country isn’t screwed.

And it’s for this reason this Eyewitness snickered so vigorously when he heard Trotman was going to negotiate the new Oil Production Contract with Exxon’s army of lawyers! We predicted they’d make mincemeat of him; and boy, did they ever!! Imagine this clueless poseur has the temerity to BOAST about accepting a 2% royalty on our oil production! Nowhere in the world is royalty lower than 10%!!

Trotman was a wet-dream to the lawyers of Exxon. Negotiators who know they’re clueless about their remit have the presence of mind to hire expert advisers. But insecure fellas like Trotman, who can’t admit they’re groping in the dark, try to bluff their way through.

Can Guyanese blame Exxon for taking Trotman (and Guyana) to the cleaners? Isn’t that what the Muckraker’s owner does when he hocks his exercise books to poor schoolchildren??

In the case of governmental officials, however, businesses like Exxon have been around the block and some. They also have, as part of their negotiating kit, “incentives” for greasing the wheels — especially in the Third World.

But this is where there’s the need for transparency in negotiations, when there’s such a disparity in the capabilities of the two sides.

The IMF has again emphasised the need for transparency — even as the EITI body is in Guyana. But that call is prospective. Who’s going to reveal what went on behind closed doors for Exxon to get that ridiculous (from Guyana’s perspective) 2% royalty? As your Eyewitness has insisted since last year, oil has peaked at US$50/barrel, and the “profits” at this price are tenuous at best, after Exxon amortises its exploration costs and adds it to production costs.
That 50% “profits” is pure “kak”!

…on integrity

In his new column (because he’s been reduced to running Government media) PM Nagamootoo pontificated on “Integrity” and the “Integrity Commission”. Well, they do say the best thieves make the best policemen! But that is only if they’ve turned over a new leaf! And from his effusions, it’s clear that Nagamootoo hasn’t been turning any leaves!

Nagamootoo explained how Bishop George was the head of the Integrity Commission since 1997, and he (Nagamootoo) duly complied with filing his declaration of assets since that time until 2014.

He stopped filing then, because he then discovered that the Commission was “headless” and “bodiless”. Didn’t he know Bishop George had passed away in 2006? Was he on a mountain top in front of a burning bush?

But what he’s doing, of course, is providing cover for his new PNC cohorts, who’d never filed — even when Bishop George was the head and the full body was operational. Such “integrity”!!

When the PNC non-compliants are jailed, Nagamootoo should join them, because of that “integrity”!

…or devious?

If search warrants are granted when “it is believed matters of evidential value were used or are intended to be used in the commission of a crime”, why was one needed, since Nandall declared he had the disputed (evidentiary) law books??

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