Mar 07, 2021 Letters
The budget passing was foregone. Also foregone were the rollicking ruckuses that marred what was supposed to be intense debates on the budget: underpinnings, peculiarities, projections, positives, and negatives. That was what I expected from all parliamentarians, but particularly those in the opposition. Instead of profoundness from all, there were cheap shots galore (literally); there was the superficial amid the storm-tossed; and, of course, the inevitable boisterous protests, departures, and suspensions all obscured anything resembling the thoughtful, the in-depth, and the sagacious.
If that was budget debating, then rum-shop belligerencies are preferable; and if that was political sensibility, then I settle for senility. Some things became obvious. The PPP members were expressive in the venomous and the vengeful; I detected payback for either the 60s, or those 28 years, or the last five. The PNC (all of its colours, contours and components) exemplified the frustrations and aggressions that flow from their limitations, the short-handedness of its parliamentary powers. Overall, it was not of the personally sublime, nor the austerities of a National Assembly engaged in the intricacies of a full-blown national budget debate. It was part riot, part exhibition, and all the domestic abuses that now characterize countless Guyanese homes. In our national home, our honourable members relished cursing and profaning each other, while not caring that they did both of the same to the entirety of the population.
Editor, it would have been so much more inspiring to read of the same dogged fervency in our budget debate that the coalition brought to the fore during the eternal and infernal elections of last year. If this was what was fought for, then it might be better if we are graced with a Spanish-speaking parliament; I believe that few miss my thrust. If this was what the PPP was so focused on, disciplined for during that same dismal elections graveyard, when it was of marshalling all assets to push to the end, without ever losing sight of the paramount objective, then it would have better if it had no representation in parliament, so disturbing were its own contributions, and the ready zeal to mix it up, and reduce issues and atmosphere to a vulgar affair. Naturally, the government had just as enthusiastic competition.
Editor, I have gone past standards for the children and regard for women and elders in how we conduct ourselves. I have left behind what could and should have been those stirringly unalterable elements of our budget debate: piercing scrutiny; embarrassing exposés of gaps and illogic; and spirited defences and always overpowering oratorical brilliance from both sides, among other grandness. Guyana had to settle for coarseness, shallowness, and fatuousness. When the numbers and their supporting rationales should have taken center stage, there were mostly exhibitions in name-calling, finger pointing, and physical abusing (even stealing allegedly). It is not a bad bargain for duty-free concessions, other tax-free privileges. This is how elected men and women face themselves and those who put them there.
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