Jan 21, 2020 Letters
I must congratulate the opposition presidential candidate. His motto must be: since it has to be going all out, then it must be big and sprawling and arresting; make the hugest wave, stop them dead in their tracks. Some people have a way with words, the opposition man carves out his own with numbers, soaring, extravagant numbers.
First, there was that number of 50,000 jobs; just like that and plucked out of thin air. It certainly was eye-catching and enervating. Now there is this one about 20,000 scholarships. Who could find fault with that or whatever else is sure to come?
Despite my misgivings, I must admit that the numbers are, shall we say, entertaining. If I am moved, then I can only imagine the excitements and hysterias down in the boondocks and sticks and trenches. I seem to remember somewhere that some wise man said: promise them a fish and give them a snake.
As I listen and read of all these promises and visions from different corners, I discern the heights of hollowness, of promises intended not to be kept; even if they were well meant, they are not attainable. But I doff my cap to those throwing responsibility and sanity to the winds, and just dishing out what triggers live wires within audiences all over.
I thought that the promise of that season in December could not be bested; the one involving a manger and a child. Again, I am wrong. For here are men, without any reasonable (or disclosed) basis just shooting the breeze with whatever comes to their head and is sure to deliver electricity to the mob. It can only be elections season in Guyana, for that is when old head politicians spare a moment for Guyanese and actually drum up something to say to them, give them the time of day.
The problem is that that something is turning out to be a vast cornucopia of riches and incitements, that even an old dog like me is stirred to wag a tail in response. I still find the interest and energy to do this, though I detect wide swathes of the unrealistic and the bombastic (the masochistic, too) in some of these calculated political pronouncements. Promise Guyanese heaven, give them the usual hell. So, what else is new? What could be new during this season of courtship and polygamous relationships? Think illegitimate and secret and protected.
In addition, I keep hearing of an anticrime strategy, which is another one that slides off the tongue rather easily and smoothly, without a trace of saliva to pollute the proceedings. Any pretending wise guy (any damn fool) could step up to a microphone and make such a promise, with the vacuity and vagueness of “system” and “advanced” and “technology” used repeatedly to attract attention.
Also, there was some talk from the candidate about “stewardship” and “accountable”, which would normally impress me, until I recall how much the political stewardship and accountable qualities of his then governing party were. Why should there be belief today? Why should there any reliance on those, who still stonewall and utilise every legal trick to evade their own egregious failures from that period?
Further, who is equipped to man these advanced plans and technologies bandied about so fluidly? Pray, do tell from where are those systems coming? This is unbelievable, when a couple of billion from the British for the same policing (anticrime) business was turned down. I can’t believe it is the same group now talking about anything relative to reducing crime.
Guyana should not forget that to confront and conquer a politically-inspired crime wave, this same opposition (now) group proudly sponsored its own unique and peculiar crime response apparatus. Mercenaries and crime fighters, they were labeled. I must wonder if whatever is contemplated as a new anticrime strategy would not be more along the same old lines.
And to take this where it rightly belongs, the current opposition during its governance time and this present government have both experienced severe difficulties in recruiting and keeping the uniformed bodies needed to stand in a clean and continuing fight against crime.
I should think that the number of officers required, at the barest minimum, are not going to come from the ranks of retrenched sugar workers. So, from where are these policemen and women in waiting and readying to answer the call to serve and facilitate good and sound delivery of the anticrime strategy that may be in mind (if there is really one)?
I confess to being jaded and critical and contemptuous of these political offerings long before today. I know the devils with which this country has been cursed. I know what they are capable of, and it has nothing to with the welfare and progress of the citizens of this country. It is why I dismiss these political frivolities that come so smartly at this hour of the conman, the many of them that infest this place and from every political quarter.
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