EYEWITNESS: Spinning wheels…


…on GECOM Chief?

Your Eyewitness has to hand it to Opposition Leader Jagdeo: the fella’s certainly sticking to his constitutional duties on selecting the next GECOM Chairman!! Most others would’ve chucked it in and left it to the courts by now, after the first two lists were submitted and rejected by Pressie for all those reasons which were rejected by the said courts.

After all, parsing words like “or” and “is” to reject the meaning of the constitutional clause on criteria for selecting the GECOM Chair – which has been illustrated in action in at least six previous occasions – can get pretty tiresome, can’t it? We don’t even have to get into notions like “performativity” to assert that it’s the actions of folks that define their roles better than abstract “qualities”.

Quick now, wasn’t Rudy Collins a superb GECOM Chair in 1992 – the first to occupy the office after it was constitutionally broadened to include non-Judges?? What was there about his two predecessors, who WERE judges – especially Bollers – to commend that species as the ONLY one capable of being possessed of integrity, intelligence and impartiality? In fact, the CONSTITUTIONAL criterion was expanded to include “or any other person” just because they were found so wanting in PRACTICE.

Anyhow, Jagdeo has now included an individual — Joe Singh — who was actually one of those “Non-judge” Gecom Chair, who performed with distinction in the role. Meaning, he elicited complaints from BOTH sides of the political divide!! But Singh has more than that going for him; he’s actually a squaddie of Pressie!!! In an administration that has justified placing ex-army officers in positions where they have no explicit qualifications — like Brigadier Lewis as GHPC head — but do have administrative training, Major General Joe Singh has administrative qualifications coming out of his kazoos!!

Quite frankly, he seems to be a clone of Brigadier Granger, whom he pipped with one additional star. Both were born in the same year, attended Queen’s during the same time, went off to Mons in 1965, returned as Second Lieutenants etc, etc in Burnham’s new GDF. The only difference is Singh was made Chief of Staff of the Disciplined Forces in 1990, after Norman Mc Lean retired; while Granger was made “military advisor”. He basically used his free time to earn first and second degrees at UG. Singh also kept up his qualifications in management, and headed CI as well as GTT.

Now that the Court has instructed Pressie that he must give reasons for rejecting any candidate, it’ll be pretty interesting to see what he does with Jagdeo’s Singh gambit.
It’ll be like disqualifying himself!!

…on logging

Remember the Ancient Mariner’s tagline, “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink”? For us Guyanese the cry should be “timber, timber everywhere but not a log to profit by”! It was always a source of confusion to your Eyewitness why this was so, since the only reason offered was foreigners were shipping out our logs, THEN adding value by making furniture and stuff. They made the big bucks while we were left with a few low-paying jobs and sawdust.

But wasn’t this the same with everything else we produced? We’ve been shipping bauxite for almost 100 years, could someone explain what we got out of that deal? Linden’s barely hanging on by its fingernails! Gold? Sugar? Do we even have a refinery? At least with timber the trees grow back!

Well, now that Bai Shan Lin has been kicked out, we just learnt the Government is “conserving” a third of their mega concession, and divvied the rest between a local sawmiller and a Chinese company.
So, are we getting “value added”?

…Code of Conduct

Well, now we know why there’s no “Code of Conduct” for Ministers, even though one was promised within 100 days of taking office. There’s no need.
Like George Washington, who couldn’t tell a lie, they can’t be bribed!!


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