Five weeks ago, the government halted the distribution of relief hampers by the Civil Defence Commission. The government said that a new system had to be implemented which would identify the vulnerable populations. That was five weeks ago.
If the government wanted to know who were the vulnerable that required immediate assistance, they should have talked to Bryan Max, Yog Mahadeo or those civil society organizations which have been distributing thousands of meals, more than 50,000 face masks and thousands of hampers to the poor.
Four weeks ago, the government established a National COVID-19 Task Force Secretariat. The Secretariat has been stacked by ex-military personnel. Yet, to date it has not commenced distribution of any relief supplies, except to the disabled. It is yet to be engaged in helping the poor to survive during these desperate times.
It is now asking certain categories of vulnerable persons to apply to be registered for assistance. Four weeks after it had stopped the distribution of relief hampers.
The poor people right now need meals, not necessarily hampers. The army should have already been cooking thousands of meals for distribution to the homeless and other poor persons.
If the government really understood poverty, they would realize that the most vulnerable will not know how to go about applying for help and what will end up happening is that the most needy will not get any help.
This confusing approach to human suffering reveals the gaps which exists between the ruling elite and the poor. It shows how far divorced the APNU and the AFC are from the people.
The PNCR has never been a working class party.nParadoxically, it has drawn its support from the working classes but the party, as an institution, has been controlled and dominated by the middle class and elements of the petit bourgeoisie to be found in the public bureaucracy and state institutions.
The PNCR has never allowed for working classes to assume any solid foothold within the leadership of the party, even though it has allowed token membership to the lower classes within the party’s structures. The working classes, from which the party has derived its traditional support, have little or no say in the leadership of the PNCR.
The PNCR was once the PNC. The ‘R’ was added as part of the rebranding of the party to create the illusion of a change from the entity which had brought the country to its knees politically and economically. The ‘R’ has stuck.
The introduction of the ‘R’ solidified the role of the middle class within the PNC. But it also did something else. It allowed for the party to be penetrated by rich and powerful individuals whose agenda was mainly self-aggrandizement.
Under Desmond Hoyte, they managed to influence the economic plans which the party touted while in opposition. Some of the proposed projects would have entailed infrastructural developments in close proximity to where some of the R elements had lands. They therefore stood to benefit greatly if these economic plans were ever implemented.
Later, there was also a political dimension which would have involved overturning Forbes Burnham’s One China policy. At one stage, the PNCR came within fingertips of recognizing Taiwan. It was only after the Chinese Embassy intervened and there was widespread condemnation of the deviation from the One China policy that the PNCR backpedalled. The main architect of this attempt to overturn the One China policy is still around, albeit no longer active within the party or government.
The PNCR is the only significant political force within the APNU. It would not be incorrect to say that the PNCR is the APNU since the other political groupings within that entity have little or no support bases within society and they have all been politically marginalized with the partnership and government.
Right now the APNU and AFC have joined together to hire a lobbyist in the USA. This is a most interesting development because it should be recalled that President Granger had nixed a previous contract with the said firm, in which his name had been used as a client.
Granger is the head of the APNU. He is also the head of the APNU+AFC list, a development which gives him absolute control over the replacement of the Coalition’s parliamentarians. But is Granger really in charge of anything?
The new contract which the APNU and the AFC signed with the foreign lobbying firm does not bear the signature of Granger. It has been signed by others, most likely without the authorization of the President. It needs to be explained how APNU can sign a contract on behalf of the partnership without the signature of its leader. Has the Leader consented to this process? It is doubtful given past developments.
The APNU and the AFC are paying that firm approximately G$8M per month for the next 12 months. This totals more than G$100M annually at the present exchange rate. This money is said to be provided by supporters of the Coalition. But ordinary supporters cannot raise this sum and are not likely to contribute to an initiative which is not likely to benefit them. The money for the payment of the lobbyist is believed to be coming from some rich and powerful backers of the APNU+AFC.
These super-rich individuals are not doing this out of any kindheartedness. This is an investment for them for which they will expect a return in the forms of favours.
Yet, we have a great many working class supporters of the PNCR who believe that they are presently engaged in a struggle for their own benefit. They should ask themselves some serious soul-searching questions about the priority which the parties have shown towards them during the pandemic.
That eight million dollars which is going each month to the lobbying firm to undertake a mission impossible, could have provided 1000 persons with a daily meal for one month. But that would not be of any benefit to those rich supporters who are financing the lobbying firm’s fees.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Jul 05, 2020Executives and members of the Georgetown Softball Cricket League Incorporated (GSCL) express their grief at the sudden passing of a true cricket all-rounder Anil Persaud. At the time of his sudden...
The hot question at this moment is what type of attacks we will see on the Secretary-General (SG) of CARICOM, Mr. Irwin La... more
The government should not be selling any lands. It has long gone beyond being a caretaker administration and is merely in... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders There have been unhelpful and destructive attacks by leading members and zealous supporters of the... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]