Eyewitness: The country’s business…


…and the PNC

Leader of the Opposition (LOO), Joseph Harmon, continues to want to eat his cake and (at the same time) have it. It’s a common affliction of the greedy and the avaricious. He’s accepted the role of LOO with 31 MPs from his party’s performance at the March 2 elections – with salaries, allowances, office, and other perks like vehicles, guards, etc – while refusing to recognise the PPP’s legitimacy to office!! Even though he has a challenge in the courts, he ignores that the apex CCJ defined the bona fides of the incumbent. Harmon and Co must accept that until, and if, the courts rule otherwise!

Recently, he demanded “talks” with President Ali to discuss the Budget, even though the mechanism was created constitutionally for this to be done in Parliament, but was trampled upon. He and his Parliamentarians banged desks, hurled homophobic insults across the aisles, and refused to take their seats when the Speaker so ordered them. Five of them had to be suspended for the session. Harmon’s Opposition should either use Parliament as our rules of democratic engagement demand, or boycott it, as other Oppositions have done in the past, if they doubt its legitimacy.

Then, a couple of days ago, he came up with a new LOO demand: the Government MUST appoint a substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice. Now, Harmon knows as well as anyone that the posts remain “acting” because one of the reforms coming out of the Herdmanston Accord’s constitutional changes in 2000 was that the LOO and the President must AGREE on the appointees. And it’s for this reason that Carl Singh and Ian Chang had longer “acting” careers than Tom Cruise! And when Chancellor Carl Singh retired (under great pressure from the PNC) and Chang passed away, we ended up with the incumbents Cummings-Edwards and George – to whom the PPP didn’t agree.

But now that Harmon has gratuitously made his pitch on International Women’s Day for the “two women” Jurists to be substantively appointed – to obviously score brownie points – he should be reminded that Granger had tipped his hand in that area. He’d suggested to then Opposition Leader Jagdeo that he actually wanted his old army squaddie and then Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin, to be appointed Chancellor. Cummings-Edwards would be pushed down to her old post as Chief Justice, and the incumbent George-Wiltshire would be dumped. Her independent stances didn’t exactly endear her to Granger, who dubbed her judgements as “her perceptions”!

Benjamin, however, was shown to be a slacker, since the authorities in Belize showed in-basket overflowing while justice was denied for years and years! Jagdeo balked.
As the Americans say, Harmon should “sh*t or get off the pot”!

…and COVID-19 vaccination rollout

We really can’t run outside, raise our arms to the sky and shout, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!” Not quite yet. But we can see a small light at the end of the tunnel of COVID-19 darkness with the MoH’s announcement that 13 centres in our 10 regions began vaccinating folks over 60 years old yesterday. We’ve got roughly 75,000 older steps in that category, so the 100,000 vaccines (which have to be given in 2 doses) would leave 25,000 of them uncovered.

Former President Donald Ramotar stepped up to the plate and was the first in his age cohort to take the shot. He must be complimented, since there are still some unanswered questions for older folks whose auto-immune system might be impaired. The question, of course, is whether their bodies would be able to deal with the antibodies the vaccine would trigger.
The WHO and most developed countries, however, have signed off on them.

…and local content

Exxon is ramping up production exponentially to take advantage of the window of opportunity before non-renewables age is over. It needs some more shore bases.
Shouldn’t the Government mandate they allow citizens to buy equity in them?