OPINION: Eyewitness …In denial

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…on crime

The top COP was recently confronted with the report that crime is rising all across the country and is forcing a beleaguered citizenry to demand action. He retorted, “I’m not necessarily BOTHERED, because I’m saying there are a few sensational crimes that are occurring”. He thus continues the line the Granger-led PNC regime adopted since they sidled into office: the populace is overreacting to the crime situation, which the Police have “firmly under control”, as “proven” by the statistics they regularly trot out.

So, for instance, the 16 murders that occurred over the last two weeks are nothing to worry about. Not to worry about the return of piracy. Not to worry about the spike in burglaries and snatching of phones that’s become the new “choke-and-rob”. So also for armed robberies that have become so routine that, rather than launching programmes to combat the robbers, citizens are now cautioned to avoid certain areas — evidently accepting, like the Police, that as with the 36% poor, the high crime rate will always be with us.

Caretaker President Granger, however, inadvertently revealed what’s behind the inexorably rising crime wave when he tried to explain away the inability of the Government – via SOCU – to convict a SINGLE PPP official of any of the crimes they’d been accused of. He said it was due to “corruption in the Police Force”, since SOCU was part of that crime fighting unit.

Another Columbus!! But Granger, for obvious reasons, didn’t go on to admit that this corruption in the Police Force is a systemic one, which he’s failed to address even though it was one of his main campaign promises.

With great fanfare early on, he shook up the top brass of the Force by using the transparent ploy that the then incumbents hadn’t investigated some cockamamie “assassination plot” against him. He insisted he must have “incorruptible” officers leading the GPF, and personally vetted the new command structure. He notably and personally insisted that Berbice Divisional Commander Linden Alves be appointed a Deputy Commissioner and Crime Chief.

Alves was going to spearhead the fight against crime and fulfil the PNC’s campaign promise, but after some damming evidence of Police involvement in a notorious criminal incident in Berbice, ranks there pointed to Alves as the ringleader in the Police-Criminal conspiracy. This was swept under the carpet until there were just too many bumps to ignore. He was, however, investigated only INTERNALLY by the Police, and was cleared!

However, we now hear he was sent on administrative leave, and won’t be back.

On crime, then, the question is, “Who will guard the guardians?” since it’s clear that corruption is rampant in the GPF from top to bottom!!

…on electoral prospects

Granger insisted recently that, at the next elections, the PNC coalition will end up with 36 seats and thus command a comfortable majority in the National Assembly. We don’t know at this time exactly which other parties will join him in the coalition, since the AFC have threatened to walk unless their leader Khemraj Ramjattan is the PM candidate. Unlike Burnham, who told Jagan, “Leader or nothing”, and kept his promise, Ramjattan’s “emasculated PM or nothing” is definitely a bluff, which will be called.

So where’s the PNC going to pick up another 3 seats or 18,000 votes after its record in the last 4 1/2 years?? Is the PNC even going to retain its traditional base – especially the urban youths – who’ve been left to swing in the wind since 2015?? Even if the AFC comes back with its tail between its legs, they ain’t pulling anything from the PPP! They’re dead meat there!

So it could only be Granger modestly imitating Burnham’s 1973 prediction of “securing” a 2/3 majority.

He secured it through rigging!!

…on agriculture

Caretaker President Granger insisted that agriculture “will remain the primary focus of our economy”. But right away you know he’s bullsh*tting – saying whatever comes into his head.

Why doesn’t he still not have a plan for the 60,000 acres of abandoned GuySuCo lands??