Jul 21, 2019 Editorial Comments Off on First oil and bickering Guyanese
The dreams of long ago are drawing increasingly near. Soon from over the horizon, it will be almost here. Tantalisingly here is that first oil production boat. That single word “production” embodies so much. So much meaning for one and all Guyanese. That was part of the hazy hopes and unlived dreams of our ancestors, who came here; and today for those of us now here. Well, it is here.
Yet, we just as well might not as be here for this momentous event, so tortured are we with the never-ending political bickering, racial hating, social agitating. At this rate, that oil (and the coming oil production boat(s)) may not matter much since Guyanese are so preoccupied with, who should be nearest it (alone); and who should be kept away from it.
Politically, Guyana might be a boat, too; except that this country can be likened to a submarine held fast in the deep mud and snares of the past. The oil boat is coming to Guyana. On the other hand, Guyana is coming to one place: at its own throat, as it squeezes out whatever sense and oxygen remains. We are unready to reinvent ourselves to greet the moment.
Look at the sorry state of this potentially newest oil state in the world, an already carefully watched, smartly projected to be the richest place per capita globally. That means a lot of things. If Guyanese leaders and Guyanese citizens do not get some sense mighty quickly, then that means every other thing, other than that which has been tripped over, drooled over, and clashed over with such reckless ignorance.
It means that citizens can continue to fight among themselves and point fingers at each other forever, as to who is right, and who is the rightful heir to the oil legacy looming. It means that, while this local carnival of the foolish strut and hallucinate in mindless political hysterics and brawling social revelries, the foreigners will come and carry away the nation’s patrimony.
This means they will do so, with us knowing, but not caring, until the wealth has been depleted to the draining. For we will be too entangled in the regular traditional politics of who must get and who must not. In other words, to the winner goes all spoils.
This means that the oil boats will come one after another and go in the same endless procession of the laden with the bounty of this land, while we bicker about a denuding constitution; while we remain craven despite signals of being almost abandoned by the highest court in the region that has all but thrown up its hands in disgust, while we oppose and reject the only avenue of reconciliation left that would get anywhere progressive.
That is, leaders and citizens refusing to look at each other in the eye and at arm’s length, and say what is this problem of ours that is so incomprehensible and insoluble that it is unfixable?
Whether we do or don’t do travel to some constructive political summit, the oil clock ticks relentlessly. A country manager for the foreign oil folks issued a subtle salvo about contracts; an oil boat traverses the seas: destination Guyana. All the mechanical and technical alignments and connectivity are sure to be perfected in readiness for the first gush of first oil, for departure to the oil markets of an oil hungry, oil starved world.
While all those interlinked clocks countdown, warring Guyanese insist at scowling, rowing, barking at each other.
We can keep going at all of that. In the interim, the foreign workers and foreign investors and foreign money managers and foreign exploiters and foreign scalpers will come and pick this country to the bone.
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