Feb 14, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – The PPP government has worked out and settled for a strategy that serves its interests well. But, as we know, when governments the world over decide on what is favourable for them, then the last dollar can be spent that results in what is either unhealthy or costly to the greatest number in the population. The most recent instance of the PPP’s leadership strategy is to hold back a card in reserve so as to protect party and the chiefs and make all look good that comes in the form of Taiwan.
There were official reports of clearance for Taiwan to set up shop here. Then, after a flurry of sharp inquiries, there came an abrupt about face. First, the Taiwanese were coming here, then they were not. This was in no large part due to the serious pressures and reminders brought by the resident senior Chinese (mainland Chinese) diplomat to Guyana, as presented to Guyanese leaders as to the errors of their thinking and their ways. There was quick retreat with the lame-brained excuse of a communication failure issued by the Foreign Ministry. Not totally satisfied with the hollow sounding nature of that “miscommunication” release; the government has now come up with what it believes to be its ace card.
That is, the Cabinet did not give approval for that Taiwan office here. In other words, a rare moment of abandoning collective responsibility occurred, under this guise of the equivalent of ‘the Cabinet was not involved’, and the decision was, therefore, premature and unsanctioned. That is just beautiful, and one must feel for the newcomer, the Hon. Hugh Todd, hung out to dry. Apparently, Guyana’s Foreign Minister is functioning in a vacuum of his own making, and for that he is made to be the fall guy. Now, who would believe such patented nonsense? Where everything in the new PPP government (just like more recent ones) are under the total control of those, and one, who do not take kindly to mavericks; who leave no initiative, and nothing, to chance. Apparently, the gods were not appeased, and another sacrifice was in order. The Foreign Minister was custom-made to fit the bill.
As another example of the current government’s deviousness, there were the dispositions of those highly controversial oil blocks, Canje and Kaieteur. For the longest while, the leaders of the PPP government were mum. They were missing in action, and one after the other ran for cover and did long disappearing acts. But, as always and as part of the current modus operandi of this government, the efforts to find a way out of the corrupting Canje and Kaieteur gutters that it had dug for itself continued behind the scenes. Soon enough, there was the bizarre and what could only be termed the height of brazenness. It was that ‘no laws were broken’ and there was nothing corrupt about what took place. Now, if that was so from the inception, then why stumble all over the place, like some embarrassing drunk, with one sometimes spoken, and most times unspoken, excuse after another? Why the many and continuing secrecies over those rich oil blocks? Why go the roundabout route to get right back to the endpoint, which was along Exxon?
But as in the surprising and indefensible Taiwan development, there had to be the buying of time to find the right shoe to fit the situation. Thus, there came about the equivalent of the insanity defence of ‘no laws broken’. Both the PPP and PNC leaderships, in their unblended forms, are well aware that they have enough blind and untroubled citizens for supporters, who would believe any garbage that is shovelled down their throats, no matter how rotten and smelly. They know they can get away with anything, which is why they engage in the farces and corruptions that are now the norm. The unbeatable trump card is to tell the nation anything, and it is guaranteed that almost half of the population is in the corner, including so-called intellectual and professional ones, who lack the ethical fortitude to go against them.
The most recent instance of holding back something in reserve to serve as cushion and cover when needed is this Wales gas-to-shore project. Out of the blue, Wales was circulated, as being the place and the best. No reason or release was put before the public. Now, the nation learns of four studies and why the prior sites are now thought to be less than the best. It is as if the PPP leadership, held in the poorest esteem by the few still thinking and conscientious Guyanese, had to give itself space to think of how to come up with a rabbit out of it huge hat of tricks. Months ago, Wales started being featured. Despite questions, concerns, even outrage, nothing was forthcoming. That is, not until the camouflages held in reserve could be dusted off and scrutinized for hidden holes, before being given the green light for public presentation.
There is something cunning and unconvincing about all of this. It is not of clean governance or ethical, trustworthy leadership. This is not how principled people in any walk of life conduct themselves. It is certainly not how men elected to serve the nation, who desire to be considered as moral and principled, should comport themselves. Silence is revealing, and in Guyana, it does a whole lot of dirtiness. He who hesitates is lost, for he has just stripped himself and showed the world what he is really about at the core. The defensive trumps held in reserve to be trotted out before the public do not diminish chronic distrusts; they intensify them. If the thing was right all along, then why linger in the dark so long?
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