There are times when the truth stares people in the face and they simply do not recognize it. At other times they ignore it, because it is their want to criticize and to level attacks, even when none is necessary.
A few days ago, a columnist who is not brave enough to disclose his identity wrote that President Bharrat Jagdeo’s decision to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement was because he was humiliated. He continues that by holding on the fact that the European Union included two clauses into the agreement, Guyana was simply looking for an excuse; that the clauses made no difference in terms of Guyana’s objection.
There is none so blind as he who would not see. A review clause is inserted into the agreement so that every five years the signatories could re-examine the agreement and, where necessary, propose further amendments. Certainly, this is something that changes the original agreement in a significant way.
Before the insertion of this clause, the agreement was binding, and future governments would have had no recourse for objections, regardless of how bad things had become. They would have been bound by the agreement, and condemned to accept whatever they would have inherited.
Peeping Tom contends that this insertion did not make much of a difference. This issue is no longer a concern. What is important is the fact that single-handedly Guyana forced the Europeans to examine a real problem.
Of course there were other concerns addressed by the Guyana Government, and so far ignored by the Europeans; but, because of the review, there is a distinct possibility that these would be revisited in another five years when some of the other signatories would have seen the flaws in the agreement.
The EPA apart, there are other attempts to blame the Government, and one case in point is the deteriorating Demerara Harbour Bridge. When he met with the press, toward the end of last week, President Bharrat Jagdeo simply said that curiosity got the better of him, so he opted to drive across the bridge to have a firsthand look at the conditions. What he found left him shocked.
Another columnist, Freddie Kissoon, rushed to print that the deterioration was due to President Jagdeo’s micromanagement. If indeed that is the case, then Freddie Kissoon should be making a case for the removal of all ministers, because they are, in his book, useless and cannot think for themselves.
Even worse, he should be wondering how it is that President Jagdeo could find the time and energy to do all the things of which he is accused and run the country at the same time.
Last week, the Head of State simply said that the very critics would have called for his head had anything happened to the bridge; and worse, is there was some civilian injury or death. In his words, President Jagdeo said that people like Freddie Kissoon would have asked “What was Jagdeo doing?”
These are only two of the critics; the others write letters because they have not been able to earn space, or they, too, would have been columnists bent on criticizing the Government.
These people were most vocal at the height of the crime wave, and at no time did they blame the police. They rushed to blame the Government for the crime situation, as though the Government created the climate and the people who perpetrated the crime. Chief among those blamed was Jagdeo, by virtue of the fact that he is the Head of State.
When the police reaped some success, the critics immediately sought to give credit where it was due and ignored the man whom they blamed, although President Jagdeo rushed to better equip the police, by making them even more mobile and providing them with weapons to match those in the hands of the criminals.
Whatever the blame game, the EPA, as Peeping Tom seems to think, is not a done deal, because, in another five years, there will be a review. Some of those who have rushed to sign will begin to see the wisdom in President Jagdeo’s challenge.
They will also see that the financial loss they will suffer was what Guyana had campaigned against, and only then will they recognize the folly in being too hasty and in not waiting to see whatever concessions the ACP would have wrung prior to signing the EPA.
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