One of the first lessons you get from your International Relations professor as a university freshman is that one of the causes of war is when a dictator tries to hide a major violation that may bring him down and he diverts attention by launching a war on his neighbour.
Republican critics of President Clinton accused him of bombing Iraq over Saddam Hussein’s incursion into the no-fly zone because he wanted to erase attention about the widening Monica Lewinsky scandal
Here in Guyana, Guyanese know about the antics of its former president, Forbes Burnham. He was a fierce confrontationist with the US and the West, accusing them of all kinds of crimes against the Third World, while at home, he ran a ruthless regime. The Working People’s Alliance leveled more damning indictments against him. The WPA’s radicalism eventually cost the life of Walter Rodney. Only a really stupid person would deny Burnham’s role in Rodney’s assassination.
At the moment in Guyana, we have witnessed a scathing attack on the World Bank by President Jagdeo. He intoned that there is an enormous waste of money in that institution. The staff, he exclaimed, stay at the best hotels and live lavishly and pronounce on subjects they know little of. Jagdeo said that if he had his way, he would fire half of the World Bank staff.
Let’s stop and offer a brief note on economics. Large groups of people read the newspapers and they are not familiar with technical terms. Why would a simple fish vendor be acquainted with certain phrases in philosophy? When an economist uses the word per capita, it means he/she has taken the total income of the country and divided it by the number of citizens. For example, if a nation earns one million dollars and has five hundred citizens, its per capita income is $2,000.
In comparing something between countries, you divide the statistic by the number of people. For example, if 100 persons die every year on the roads in the US and Guyana has the same fatality rate, then the two countries cannot be said to have the same rate of road deaths. This is because Guyana has just over 700,000 and the US, more than 300 million
With that explanation, we can most definitively say that Guyana has the largest Cabinet in the world, when you take the population of countries around the globe and the number of Ministers they have.
A poor Third World state like Guyana, that the Jamaican PM says is an international beggar, has the largest group of Ministers per capita in the world. Yet the President of that land says that if he had his way he would cut the World Bank staff by half. It is for the use of these excessive jargons that Mr. Jagdeo would never debate his opponents publicly.
He knows he would face ridicule. How can he condemn the World Bank for over-staffing and have a bloated Cabinet? He would not be able to respond when that double standard comes up.
On the question of World Bank consultants who deplane in developing countries and do not have knowledge about the subjects they dwell on, Mr. Jagdeo would know a lot about that in Guyana. NCN television and radio have damaged the English language beyond recognition. How did those announcers get their jobs? Through the patronage of either Mr. Jagdeo’s Government or his party, the PPP. But at least the World Bank consultants have their university degrees under their belt and those universities are top class. Sadly, one cannot say the same for Mr. Jagdeo’s employees.
So do the Ministers and other high governmental officials who are from the PPP’s womb enjoy a lavish lifestyle? Well ask Guyanese that question and most of them would answer in the affirmative. We beg all the time. Venezuela is selling us oil at below market price. Yet do you see the type of cars the political elites drive? Those vehicles drink gas. And they are always brand new. When the PNN series is over, the Ministers will drive newer SUVs with the PPP licence plates.
High state officials drive the vehicles that belong to the state, yet they put in for gas for their own private cars and get it. The Guyana Government can save billions each year if it cuts out decadent expenditure. Look how often Mr. Jagdeo travels. It is said that each trip is costly to the treasury. Of course the double standards will go on.
Tomorrow Mr. Jagdeo may launch another verbal assault on the West. It is all political deception. But people are not fooled. And we should expose the hypocrisy.
Aug 09, 2020By Zaheer Mohamed It is the dream of every young cricketers to play at the highest level and while it is understood that not all of them will reach the pinnacle of the sport, one would expect that...
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