In Guyana you seemingly just can’t get away from race; especially in politics. But hold it! Why should that circumstance even be THOUGHT possible?? Our politics was born in race; lives in race; and, the way we’re going, will most likely die in race. And that won’t be a bad thing, will it?? The present politics dying out, that is!
But don’t expect that to happen overnight. What with the present players drooling over the mega-bucks that can be pilfered from the oil revenues which will flow from 2020, they’ll use every trick in the book to have their hands on the treasury. And the oldest trick in Guyana — as we just said — is to play the race card.
Just look at what’s in the papers over these last two days. We were informed by a former member of the ruling parties that out of the SEVENTEEN Permanent Secretaries in the Government of Guyana, SIXTEEN are African-Guyanese!! Now that’s scary. Permanent Secretaries used to be the backbone of the colonial form of governance that the British had perfected when they ruled the waves — not to mention half of the world’s landmass and population! Each was the top bureaucrat in the Civil Service, and headed an entire department, into which the functions of government were divided – Ministries.
Ministers may come and go with each election, but the Permanent Secretaries represented continuity of governance. The Permanent Secretary was supposed to be a professional who’d advise Ministers and execute their directives. His advice was supposed to reflect what was good for the country — not just the party looking to slink back into office.
So when you have a situation so ethnically skewed — as described above — in a country where folks vote race straight down the line, and just 4000 votes separate winner from loser, you’ll have a whole lot of disgruntled folks. Not just politicians. This is to be expected, no matter who’s appointed; but with ordinary folks in the group that’s on the “out”, “discrimination” shall be the cry!!
Another letter has shown how deeply this “race thing” has embedded itself into our national psyche. McAllister, a member of the PNC who’d disappeared into Reg 11, wrote a missive claiming the lists the PPP has submitted for the GECOM Chair FORCES President Granger to select an “Indian-Guyanese,” and not an African-Guyanese!! Even though each PPP list has more than one African Guyanese!
On the other hand, former PNC leader President Hoyte had submitted lists with each having just 1 Indian-Guyanese; but that didn’t FORCE the PPP to select them!!
“Race on the brain” will do that to you!!
In Guyana, “sugar worker” is a synonym for “Indian Guyanese”. So when, as in the present, the sugar workers are getting the short end of the stick, it’s not surprising that most of them think they’re being persecuted because of politics. After the Government appointed a CoI to enquire into the state of the Industry — which all conceded was “dire” — they were quite pleased at the recommendations. The Government should invest in the Sugar Industry to bring it to a point of sale — protecting the workers’ rights, of course.
But the Government pretty much dumped the CoI report into a canal, and blithely closed Wales Estate — with the prediction that three more estates face the same fate: 10,000 workers to be discarded like a used tissue. But the unkindest cut of all was to refuse the parliamentary reps of those sugar workers a debate on this wretched decision.
And now comes the final straw: the Speaker has forbidden the Economic Services Committee to meet those sugar workers and hear their opinions!!
Is the Government provoking a rebellion??
Your Eyewitness has heard the complaint that the law courts are becoming “revolving doors”. But the recent situation with Grey Boy and the courts is ridiculous!
Could the Government decide whether they want the fella to be railroaded, or what?