EYEWITNESS: Disagreeing…


…on the “good life”??

Your Eyewitness is quite concerned about the spirit of puritanism that the President seems to be pushing in his Emancipation speech at BV. He exhorted the crowd: “Our lives will be determined by how we make our living. If we make our living by hanging around the corner, liming by the Guinness bar, we’ll be forever poor. But if we go into our farms, go into our workshops, into our schools, we’ll be able to have prosperity.”

What your Eyewitness got from this was the President was drawing a rather stark line between “work” and “play” that really isn’t good for either our individual or national health.

Your Eyewitness was raised according to the principle “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. The principle had been passed down by the British – who did all right for themselves over the centuries, thank you.

The President illustrated his homily by insisting that the “four pillars” of our society were “the home, church, school and farm.” But what about the “pub” – which is derived from the “public houses” that first described taverns, inns and suchlike?? Wasn’t that institution as important as any other for the stability and success of the British people?? It’s agreed that England took off during the reign of Elizabeth I and at the beginning of her reign it’s estimated there were some 17,000 alehouses.

Taking into account the population of the period, that would equate to around one pub for every 200 persons!!

Point is, as one official British publication says, the pub – our “Guinness bar” – “is also a unique social centre, very often the focus of community life in villages, towns and cities throughout the length and breadth of the country”. What the President ought to be pushing rather than “work, work, work” is to rebrand our “Guinness Bars” as local community centres where ALL the peoples could “hang out” and resolve their inevitable disagreements over a beer!!

The other institution the President unnecessarily panned was “hanging out at the street corner”. Your Eyewitness is very shocked that as a trained historian, the President missed the social significance of the “street corner lime”. The small houses our foreparents built after Emancipation weren’t exactly ideal to facilitate the “visiting relationships” that had evolved and remain strong to this day. Kids of all ages were early socialised to decamp the premises when the child-fathers showed up.

Then, of course, it’s on the street corners that those kids learnt the real facts of life – by sharing their real experiences and not just receiving the sanitised versions from the schoolbooks prepared by the same folks who wanted to keep us enslaved!

Let’s free ourselves from mental slavery!!

…on Speaker’s dictatorship

The role of the Speaker in parliamentary democracies was defined by the retort of the incumbent to representatives of King Charles I, who barged into the august chambers to arrest five MPs.

The Speaker declared, “May it please Your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak in this place, but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here, and I humbly beg Your Majesty’s pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this to what Your Majesty is pleased to demand of me.”

The Speaker is the SERVANT of the peoples’ representatives – the MPs – against arbitrary power. So imagine the chutzpah of the present Speaker in Guyana, who declared an MP was out of line to simply write a letter to the press expressing his opinion that the said Speaker was violating the fundamental rule of his office – IMPARTIALITY!!

Seems we’ve substituted one tyrant for another!!

…on PM’s duties

Ramjattan was sworn in to act as PM, because Moses Nagamootoo is out of the jurisdiction. Skipped the jurisdiction??!!

But what exactly will Ramjattan be doing, since, as the Opposition Leader pointed out, the PM’s duties are confined to writing a newspaper column?



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