A case of one step forward and two backward
I read two letters of frustration about the quality of life in present-day Guyana, one about a village called ‘Paradise’, which, according to its state as described, should be renamed ‘Purgatory’.
It was depressing to read in one letter that “we have made giant leaps to nowhere”, and there seem to be no signs of a possible solution. In fact, we have a contrast of haves and have-nots, coupled with a racial divide.
Analysing our predicament, we find a curious succession of leaders since 1966. First, a coalition of PNC and UF – a mixture of socialism and capitalism. A few years later there was a falling out which resulted in a split. The PNC, under the leadership of a charismatic man and gifted speaker, eventually introduced measures which caused great hardship to the population – one section of which had never before experienced such hardship.
Some years later, another leader was in place, and tried to moderate or reverse some of the harsh policies and implement gentler ones. This involved a devaluation of the currency, when people’s money became confetti overnight, and it was downhill from then on.
A few years later, came a regime change of an entirely different complexion, led by an elder statesman, a dedicated patriot. Five years later, he was no more. Apparently, taken by surprise, the leadership seemed to try its best at first to keep things on an even keel and then lost its way, with the ‘new kids’ doing their own thing. They are still trying. A case of one step forward, two backward.
No one so far seems to have a clue how to stop the rot, let alone restore the community to what it once was, a country with a relatively fair and stable government.
We continue to plod on, or as Shakespeare put it “And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe and then from hour to hour we rot and rot – and thereby hangs a tale”.