Nov 08, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – The small citizen is too weighed down with eking out a daily existence to care too much about oil and corruption, to be preoccupied with Guyana’s iniquities and inequities. He knows both are present in this country in spades, and would count himself lucky if he gets a trickle-down from oil; and in the right place with the right partners to get a slice of the corruption.
That is as close as the small man comes to being concerned about oil and corruption.
Political schemers and vagabonds are familiar with the outlook of the small fellow. They move swiftly and efficiently to capitalize by making promises intended to be breached, while ripping off the treasury (contracts, sweetheart deals, cronyism, favours owed, and favours delivered.).
Both the political schemers and the ordinary man know that the regular citizen – the bulk of the population possess neither physical presence nor intellectual breadth nor spiritual strength, nor moral force to confront endless wrongdoings.
Cunning Guyanese leaders have settled for giving the numb multitude what sells, while also giving them leases for precious building, timely handouts to keep quiet. It is not a risky or dangerous way to live politically.
If there is one thing that could be said about the wisdom of local political leaders, it is that they have studied Guyana well, know Guyanese better.
Throw the Guyanese mobs some dog-meat occasionally, and like curs, they fight over the skin, bones, and fluff.
The sinew, fat, marrow, and prime cuts go to the club of political elites. In this sphere, there is no difference between government and opposition, no divide between PPP hustlers and PNC grabbers. It is a free-for-all dog-fight in the trenches, which is why Indian and Black Guyanese (and soon Indigenous and mixed heritage citizens) are at each other’s throats to get the biggest swallow of the offal that is tossed their way to keep them busy and distracted, while the big money games in town are handled and parceled out behind the scenes.
For this is what, on the other hand, that occurs in a very civilized arrangement among political contemporaries at the top. Call it whatever fits: political compromise, leadership horse trading, personal pork barrel pet interests and visions, and it is happening.
This is what has happened and is happening with Guyana’s oil. It provides one persuasive explanation as to why the Opposition pretends to know nothing, and has nothing of substance or power to present with what really happened with rich portions of this nation’s oil wealth. The money is so much that there is enough to share around amongst themselves to satisfy their greed and cover the most lavish spending imaginable, while setting all of them up for generations to come. It is a nice place for the lead PPP/C and PNCR people to be. They can be generous and extend sweet charity to newcomers and middle of the roaders, who are only too glad to grab their share.
Meanwhile, the middle despises and shuns the bottom, since it reminds too much of what could be fate; and it is too close to get ideas or harbour reckless visions.
The middle class looks to the top, has a solid idea of what goes on, and yearns to get into the act. It is available, it is ready to sell, it is prepared to grasp at whatever comes its way. Don’t tell its members about who is corrupt, or who has ripped off and siphoned off, or who has cheated country and citizen.
There is little by way of interest in what could be perilous pastimes. It is better to take what is there to get while the going is good. That is safer, it is better, it is sensible, and it is rewarding all around: no harm, no foul.
The middle class is not taking any chances with its perch. Careful is the word, not drawing any attention to self, not making any waves, through rocking any sensitive boats considered off-limits.
When all is finished, it is forever the little people who are taken advantage of, mislead, and left hungry and still hoping that they will get something this time around.
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