The King’s Speech: Ramotar did it. Will do it again
One of the major, if not colossal faults of the PPP Government (and this is not a flaw of Bharrat Jagdeo only) that Guyanese in and out of the country find nauseating and horrible, is its insane refusal to discipline or sanction its erring officials whose mistakes are not just egregious, but disastrous.
If the PPP had adopted this commonsensical policy that one finds all over the world, the PPP leadership would have had much greater support across political and race lines.
A government never loses but always, I repeat, always wins when its leaders openly apologize or when a bad egg in office is reprimanded or dismissed or even prosecuted. A society wants powerful bureaucrats and ruling politicians to behave, because they are simply fearful of powerful people who can do no wrong. It is a natural expression of human nature to feel scared about a Minister, Police Commissioner, Army Chief, Prime Minister, President, who just does what he/she wants.
Mr. Jagdeo stands alone in contemporary world politics as a leader in government who just could not have been bothered with his subordinates’ venalities and incompetence and laziness in office. This writer can cite hundreds of examples of depraved behaviour by low and high party officials, and Mr. Jagdeo and PPP leaders were simply unmoved.
This columnist believes that not even in military dictatorship and cruel authoritarian systems, would the government have tolerated a Kellawan Lall, Kwame McCoy, Nirmal Rekha or Odinga Lumumba among others.
If any military dictator had received word that one of his Ministers was often involved in brawls in rum shops, his career was over. If ever an autocrat heard that one of his Permanent Secretaries had signed over fifty duty-free bogus letters, there would have been sanctions. The most graphic pathological signs of sick governance in any country are when its immoral members become untouchables.
Once you are a PPP supporter, you can “throw back” and use your office for fun, never raise a finger in doing a decent day’s work and there will be no sanctions. To get your own way with the PPP Government, just don a T-shirt with the face of Jagan or Jagdeo or Ramotar, help with the barbecue lime, buy some tickets, and join the party.
When you steal or you harass your secretary, no punishment will come because you are a party man.
There will be no discipline for the swimming pool thief because he is a party boy. There will be no discipline for the guy who recently embarrassed President Ramotar in front of the people of the CARICOM region and around the world, because he is a PPP member.
I don’t think President Ramotar did the research himself when he made a terrible mistake in front of CARICOM Heads. His speech was written for him. Let’s deal with the embarrassment first. Ramotar told the Heads that it was nonsense and unacceptable for West Indies Cricket Board to hold international matches with visiting teams outside of the Caribbean. He had in mind, the current New Zealand series being played in Florida.
To justify his frustration and anger, Ramotar cited the Patterson Report. He told the Heads that it is time the Caricom Governments implement the contents of that document. But it was the Patterson Report that strongly recommended that the WI Board take West Indies cricket to the globe by holding competitions in parts of the world that never had West Indies series before, thus the reason for the Florida matches at the moment (see letter of Imran Khan, Board official in KN and SN, correcting and chastising Ramotar for this lapse).
In Europe and the US and Canada, Ramotar would have been roasted by the opposition, the talk show hosts and the media. The stand-up comedians, along with David Letterman and Jay Leno, would have mauled an American President if he had made a similar error The word “ignorance” would have been overused. But is Ramotar to be blamed? No doubt that speech was written for him?
That was the work of the speech-writer. Whoever he/she is (no, shut your mouth, you fool; couldn’t have been Parvati!), instead of demotion or a stern lecture, that speech-writer will in fact get a promotion as the months wear on. All he/she has to do is sell plenty tickets for the party barbecue and perhaps write a letter in the Chronicle calling me a book-thief.
Mark my word, after a few months, ‘Fuzzy’ Sattaur and Parvati will be back in some other form. Put on a PPP T-shirt and you can steal how much you like and buy a swimming pool.