EYEWITNESS: What goes around…


…comes around for TT

“Brother, can you spare a dime?” was a song that became the anthem of America’s Great Depression. It spoke of folks who were once on the top of the (economic) heap now looking for handouts when the bubble burst. “Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time./ Say, don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?”
Looks like the Trinis have learnt the tune now that their oil’s run out and they’ve had to shut down their oil refinery that made their workers the envy of Trinidad, and the twin-island republic the envy of the Caribbean.

Kamla Bissessar, the former TT PM, asked her successor, Keith Rowley, why he didn’t work out an arrangement with Guyana to partner with TT to run the PetroTrin refinery to process our share of the oil that’ll be flowing by the end of 2020. Well, imagine that!! Wasn’t this the same lady, back in 2010, who told her fellow leaders of Caricom not to look at TT like an ATM card?? So does she think Guyana is now an ATM card with oil coming down the pipeline? Or does she think Guyanese are stupid?

But we can’t just blame Kamla; her reaction isn’t peculiar to her, it’s how all Trinis think about us. For decades, they’ve looked at us like “starving guts” who were their very definition of “scum”. For a Trini to tell another, “You like a Guyanese, boy!!” were fighting words!! It was Burnham who plunged us into that cesspool of shame and indignity, of course. And he DID literally break the Caribbean Bank when he welshed on the loans. We should blame him!!
But rather than revel in schadenfreude all the time (but that does feel soooo good, doesn’t it??!!) we hope the Government won’t get sucked in with what might be presented as a “quick fix” to get us some refining capacity. We should listen to Rowley’s honest appraisal of PetroTrin that forced him to shut it down. The 1700 workers who’re now on the streets were mostly PNM supporters – so it’s not a decision that he would’ve taken lightly.

PetroTrin is one of the highest-cost oil refiners in the world, and its aging plant equipment and poor work systems and practices ensure that’s not going to change. Even Venezuela next door, in dire need of refining capacity to meet contracted deliveries, didn’t consider PetroTrin as an option!!

The most Guyana should do in the interest of the “CariCom solidarity” Kamla invoked is offer to sell some of our oil to TT for THEM to refine.
We can spare THAT dime!!

…should receive scepticism

Basil Williams is back with the law school he’s been hocking since 2015 like a snake-oil salesman in heat!! With his abysmal record as Attorney General (the “losing-est” in the history of Guyana!) is he trying to leave a more positive legacy? But since he couldn’t have foreseen his disastrous forays in law, there’s got to be more in the mortar than the pestle can pound.

He still hasn’t gotten the approval of the determinative Council on Legal Education (CLE). And without that approval, the proposal is dead in the mud of the land at UG where he broke ground! In a letter to the press, Michael Theodore, retired course director at the Hugh Wooding Law School, pointed out that for the 21st century, our legal education needs a complete overhauling…and “bricks and mortar” don’t even figure!!
So this week’s meeting of the CLE and its stakeholders in Guyana, sponsored by the Government, has to be his last ditch effort to save face.
But is it “face” or greenbacks??

…betrays a mindset

Forced to explain at his “once-in-a-blue-moon” presser, why he didn’t accept the recommendations of HIS Task Force on the Teachers’ salary issue, President Granger declared that the task force was “deficient”!

Like his Sugar CoI, whose recommendations he also discarded??
Why even bother?


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