Eyewitness: Toxic…

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…political suggestion

Like those morbid folks who’re drawn to scenes of gruesome accidents, your Eyewitness tuned in to Day 2 (or should it be “Round 2?) of the ERC/UN/UG’s “Conversation on Ethnic Relations”. He figured that at least the ERC could provide him with some diversion, after getting their $256 million 2020 Budget. This time, the technical folks they hired (was there an open bid?) seemed to’ve gotten their act together, and there wasn’t the interminable wait of Day 1. Progress, your Eyewitness hoped.

First out of the box was former PPPC Minister of Education and a host of other portfolios, Henry Jeffrey. The fella was more animated that any of the times your Eyewitness had ever seen him – and this included several late-night sessions at Seeta’s Bar!! He threw off the drawl he usually affected and spent his entire ten minutes ranting about the waste of time it was to hold competitive elections! He was almost foaming at the mouth! Yeah, you could have elections, but at the end, there should be no winners in his “Shared Government” model. According to him, there’d be a Cabinet wherein the Presidency would be rotated between the leaders of all the parties – here the PPP and PNC – EVERY YEAR!! His model was Switzerland, where things work like clockwork!

To your Eyewitness, this sounded suspiciously like the time after Hamilton Green was tossed out of the PNC, and ran for the Mayor of G/town against the PNC and PPP’s candidates with his “Good and Green” Party. When, with no outright winner, the PPP was persuaded to agree on a rotation of the mayorship every year between the three parties. They started out with Ranwell Jordan of the PNC, and after his turn came Hamilton Green. This being Guyana, where things didn’t work like clockwork – and in fact where the landmark Stabroek Clock hadn’t worked for years! – Green refused to vacate his seat for the PPP’s candidate!! He was Mayor for the next 20 years!!

And that’s the point, isn’t it? Does anyone out there believe that if a man like Granger – or Harmon or any of their candidates – were given the Presidency, they’d give it up?? If you said yes, then your Eyewitness has a bridge across the Essequibo River to sell! Cheap! Granger lost the last elections…he knew he’d lost the night of March 2 from his SOPs, yet he was willing to try to rig in front of the entire world.

And that’s the problem with all these “shared government” pie-in-the-sky spiels for Guyana, isn’t it? Once the PNC get their hands on power – even for a day – there’s no way they’re getting out!

…economic models

As the world starts to see a light at the end of the tunnel out of the COVID-19 pandemic (hope it’s not the light of an oncoming train!) with the US launching their vaccination programme, most have missed a seismic change in the world economy. We’ve all been forewarned that China would be overtaking the US as the largest economy in the world. But the change isn’t that COVID has accelerated that inevitability – it’s that the Chinese economic model might just overthrow the West’s new-liberal capitalist path!

Unlike the failure of State capitalism here under Burnham, the Communist Chinese have shown that it’s their secret weapon. In late 2013, Pres. Xi vowed to give market forces a “decisive role.” but these have floundered and the state had to step in. The market-reform camp is all but gone, and state firms, with unlimited access to the state credit spigot – unlike the private sector – are poised for expansion.

Will some of the clients of China’s B&R now follow their economic model?

…challenge

With no vaccines for us till January at best, we can’t afford to have our usual Christmas revelry. We’ve to act like everybody we come into contact with has COVID.

It’s survival time, baby!