We got six hours of blackout on Sunday. Yes, I know you were not surprised. Is there anything about this Government that surprises the Guyanese people? Any small child is asked which time of the year cars, motor-cycles, bicycles and pedestrians merge in a virtual jungle of bodies and metal, he/she would tell you it is during the Christmas season.
The 2013 Christmas season is like no previous one in terms of the sheer number of vehicles and people on the roadways. I don’t, if they are shopping or just looking, but it is a jungle out there. In such a traffic nightmare, signals become life-saving. Guyana is not a country in the throes of social upheaval as what is taking place in Thailand or the Ukraine.
But go to the Chinese channel, CCTV (channel 78) and you will get blow by blow account of what is taking place in those two countries. You will see working traffic lights.
That channel is one of the best for news (and believe me, it is not Chinese propaganda; if you thought so, you are wrong; they gave good coverage of world news). I saw on television thousands and thousands of protestors overran Bangkok and Kiev and traffic signals in those two capitals were working. Somalia is in the throes of violent warfare and I saw on that same CCTV channel, traffic lights working.
In peaceful Guyana, they don’t work. But let us assume that the Government was busy during the year and couldn’t fix the lights, surely by October they knew the lights had to be working because of the volume of traffic for the holiday season. But they are not in operation at some of the headache junctions.
You cannot cross from Cummings Street going north over Regent Street. The signals have not been working since September and at the moment there is madness and confusion. My wife was terrified when we tried to make the journey. She vowed that she is not going over Regent Street again in that traffic situation during the holiday period. I am not doing that either.
I came close to getting my car struck last Friday at the junction of Lamaha and Albert Streets. The signals were put up there in 2007 but they never worked even for one day. How can any government be so unconscionable? How can any government be so cruel to a nation? If you see what is going on at those junctions where the lights are not working, it would scare any human being. How can any Guyanese support the Guyana Government?
This is one citizen that has no respect whatsoever for a body named the Private Sector Commission. And I am sure APNU didn’t pay it any attention when it called upon APNU not to tamper with the toll at the Berbice Bridge. APNU parliamentarians, like other political parties in the National Assembly were elected to bring justice and comfort to those who voted for it. Which member of the Private Sector Commission faced the electorate in 2011?
I hope both APNU and AFC relentlessly pursue the crusade of lowering the toll. And if they should be a snap poll and both opposition parties participate, they should promise the nation that if they win that the tolls would be reduced substantially. The working people and lower middle classes must know that the rich people in the Private Sector Commission haven’t a clue as to what poverty is.
These people are so rich that their money will last for generations to come, so they couldn’t be bothered with changing a government that oppresses the labouring masses. The demise of UG does not affect them. Their offspring and relatives go to foreign universities. The ubiquitous mountains of garbage they do not see because their employees do all their buying.
Malcolm Harripaul, when he was in charge of the Fraud Squad of the Customs and Excise Department under the Jagan presidency, told me that a well known Portuguese family imported their own water and bakery products. These are people that grew up in Guyana and went to school in Guyana. If you don’t believe me ask Malcolm.
One thing about Malcolm Harripaul; he speaks his mind. He will probably name the family for you.
The Private Sector Commission will go on supporting the Government; that is their pursuit. Their function is to accumulate capital. No one should stop them from doing so. The opposition parties have their purpose too, and so the working people have their dreams too. Their job is to put in a government that cares about them. I see that as my role too.
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