OPINION: EYEWITNESS

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Promises…

…and lies

Ever since Walter Raleigh went up the Essequibo River in search of “El Dorado”, the city of gold, Guiana was sold as a land full of potential and opportunity. Raleigh, of course, was tossed into the Tower of London (literally) when his promises to Queen Elizabeth (the 1st…not this one!!…she’s not THAT ancient!!) weren’t kept!! But we did make a whole lotta Europeans rich from our Guyana gold sugar crystals, didn’t we??

For hundreds and hundreds of years, we certainly did!! African slaves toiled away while they were treated to salutary applications of the ubiquitous whip on their backs to produce that crystal gold. The Portuguese and Indians followed them to add to the wealth of Britain, but even with that, not a few of them lost their heads. So you would think we’d be a bit leery when a fresh set of outsiders appear off our shores with “billowing sails” promising to “develop” our potential, wouldn’t you?

After all, fool me once, “shame of you”, and fool me twice “shame on me”!!

In our case, maybe we can get away by saying that the first “fooling” was hundreds of years ago, and our “foolers” had germs, guns and steel to our bows and arrows. But what’s our excuse this time, with the oil potential?

Well, actually, we can kinda appreciate that Janet Jagan pulled off a master stroke in 1999 when she inveigled Exxon and Shell to take first dibs on the possibility of oil in the deep-water Atlantic off our shores.

After all, Hugo Chavez had just been elected President of Venezuela, and was breathing fire and brimstone on our western borders. Janet’s move to allocate 600 blocks – 10 times the legal limit – is being criticised now. But hindsight’s always 20/20, isn’t it?? Who knew then they’d be so many oil geysers under our Atlantic? No one, including the PNC, said anything then. They almost tripped over themselves to congratulate her strategic move.

But what was Trotman’s excuse in 2016 when he was changing the Exxon contract from an exploration one to a production one – and oil had already been struck? One newspaper’s blaming Exxon…but what about Trotman??

A contract with a moron may be voidable, but didn’t Trotman boast that he was trained at Harvard in negotiating techniques?? They don’t accept morons, do they? So how about grilling him about those terms he offered to those Houston lawyers??

But what about the Tullow 1% royalty…when he’d already boasted he’d browbeaten Exxon to DOUBLE their 1% to 2? What strategic interest was Tullow protecting?

Trotman said he was INSTRUCTED to offer those terms. Let’s have a clue about who it was?

Is he immune from prosecution?

…on Kitty Market

The Kitty Market has been around for quite a while; since 1882, to be exact. And in that time, you can be sure it experienced the good, the bad and the ugly in administration. But which one can possibly beat the PNC Mayoral duo of Patricia Chase Green and her sidekick Royston King?? Their tale is one even a fiction writer wouldn’t dare conjure up? Readers would reflexively say, “Naah!! Even the three stooges couldn’t be so bad!!

In Feb 2016, the dyspeptic dup promised to completely rebuild the Kitty Market, and have it ready for the May Jubilee Bash. The 178 stalls were to be air-conditioned, since the design allowed no ventilation. And there was to be an automatic switchover generator; a refrigeration section for fish and meat; a rates and taxes centre; community hall and municipal clinic etc!! All for a mere G$240 million – which the MC&CC didn’t have.

In May 2016, the date was pushed back to November by Town Clerk Royston King, then the 1st quarter of 2017, then 2018, then 2019.

And now? Manyana!!

…on sugar tourism

We continue to pile up operating losses in sugar. But the Govt’s now opening the remaining 3 sugar estates to “sugar tourism”.

So we’ll now subsidise the industry for the tourists?? But couldn’t for sugar workers?