EYEWITNESS: Stifling…

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…debate in Parliament

Your Eyewitness is sorry he’s got to begin with a tedious lesson in history. But we’re entering treacherous waters with the Parliamentary brouhaha, and you, dear reader, will have to make some sacrifices.

Parliament, you see, is one of the key institutions of democracy in any country. It evolved in England over the centuries, after some Barons forced the King to sign the Magna Carta in 1215 to share some of his powers. The representatives of the Barons became the House of Lords, as a new chamber, the House of Commons, was created for the representatives of the “common” people who elected by them.

The party system developed to accommodate the various interests of “the people”, with the majority party forming the government being opposed by the others that had different takes on the issues. Because of the real possibility the governing party could always lose its majority and become “the opposition”, they were always observant of the convention that developed: “the other side must be heard”. They didn’t want to become doormats!!

And we arrive at our own Parliament’s descent into Dante’s Inferno, with the Speaker having to use his Mace like a Trident to stoke the always simmering fires for the two and a half years he’s been there! That’s right! The latest draconian action — in this case, against Edgehill — is only the latest in an obviously calculated move by this PNC government to not only have the PPP “not be heard”, but to do so in the most humiliating manner possible.

This started from the Speaker’s refusal to allow the PPP’s request for Parliament to have its November session, so that the obscene, unilateral 50% increase in Ministerial Salaries could be debated. The session had been cancelled by the Government because their Ministers “had to travel”!! They could now visit foreign climes, of course, because of the aforementioned fattened salaries!

In early 2016, the PPP complained about the Speaker’s high-handedness during that budget debate; and later, during the passage of the tax Amendment Bill, when the PPP had the same number of MPs as the Government with the absence of Roopnaraine. A few months later, even Ralph Ramkarran, a previous Speaker, had to point out that he was flummoxed as to the reasons Scotland denied PPP’s Nandall’s questions on the identities of Granger’s pardoned prisoners. And so on and on and on…

When the “other side” is not allowed to be heard — as is the case with the PPP Opposition — the essence of democracy is being denied. Justice will be sought by other means.

But, more immediately, it means the PNC isn’t worried about being put into the Opposition. One wonders why?!

…consciences

The lies on the “bonus” keeps piling up. The latest comes out of the mouth of Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge, who says he advised President Granger to break Article 216 of the Constitution – which mandates all moneys for the Government be deposited in the Consolidated Fund. He claims this was because the Venezuela Border controversy would be sent to the ICJ after a year, and Guyana would need to have money available to pay the high-priced international lawyers.

The only problem was the account was set up in Sept 2016, but outgoing UN Secretary  General only made his declaration on Dec 15, 2016!!! Passing on the Fairy’s advice on lies to Pinnochio: “There are lies that have short legs, and lies that have long noses”, your Eyewitness had noted the crucial distinction – one that the PNC should remember.

The “long-nose” lies are immediately obvious, while the “short legs” ones will fool folks for a little while, and take them a little distance. But the truth will soon catch up with them.

…political investments?

After swearing that the lease for the Sussex St bottom-house warehouse would be cancelled, the Health Minister admitted the full $150 million was budgeted for 2018!!

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