Kaieteur News – Tell me what purpose life is in a country when a group of three or four persons form an organisation and tells a democratically elected government we want you to employ this gentleman to be the fire chief; we want you to shape the law in such a way, that our point person can sit on it.
Something has to be wrong with the very existence of a country when its people can accept this degradation of modern discourse. In the world, there are thousands of civil society bodies in the following areas; climate change, animal protection, protection of refugees, LGBT rights; elimination of racism; police abuse; child welfare, domestic violence, etc.
If you were to examine these bodies, they are credible entities with substantial members and their leadership consists of highly educated people like engineers, scientists, scholars, lawyers, columnists, authors, retired military officers, retired judges, etc.
In countries where you find these organisations, the media gives them coverage because these people are credible voices with credible credentials. In Guyana, these persons meet at Hard Rock Café and over dinner, form an organisation. The next day, these three persons want a certain person to be the head of the EPA. They want impending legislation to incorporate their views and the stage performance goes on.
So we have a one-man organisation named the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA); a three-man entity named Election Reform Group; a four-man show called Transparency International – Guyana Inc. (TIGI), a four-man grouping named Article 13, a four-person thing named Red Thread, a two-person thing named SASOD; a two-person trade union and the list goes on.
What is wrong with such units being formed? Absolutely nothing! Society is poorer in national character if civil society organisms do not exist. But there must be a standard that they have to maintain. These organisations must go to different parts of Guyana, visit institutions like the universities, seek out retired public servants, retired teachers, etc., and reach out to them to populate the entity so it can have substance.
I hesitate to use an un-journalistic term like social masturbation but that is what it is when three persons birth an organism and tells an elected government what it wants it to do. That is a recipe for elitism which modern day democracy has no tolerance for. Guyana should not be an exception.
I saw an irritating caricature on television recently – David Hinds waxed lyrical about the WPA in which he said he is a leading member. The WPA has no membership, no chairperson, no general secretary, no treasury, no secretary, no elected executive and this state of affairs has existed for decades.
The WPA has only three persons in it, including Hinds, who lives abroad. One would have thought the interviewer would have done even a modicum of research and ask David for proof of existence. This is what I mean by a two-man show. The WPA head-office on New Garden Street is in a derelict state.
The commercial banks have not been transparent and accountable when dealing with small depositors and low-income people who have to make transactions. They apply the money-laundering law wrongly to thousands of people. I know this from first-hand experience. The commercial banks are horrible institutions when it comes to common sense and intellectual analysis.
Here is a perfect example. My wife and I have an account that has not moved for over 15 years in terms of deposits. You have to be a jackass to suspect that account, with a small amount of cash, of money laundering. Money laundering is washing dirty money that runs into dozens of millions and hundreds of millions. Yet every two years, I have to provide proof of address.
What transaction is that account doing for me to provide proof of address every two years? It is an abuse of power. Do you know once you have less than a million dollars in a Bank of Nova Scotia account, you have to pay a maintenance fee of $5,000 a year? If you think this is an exaggeration, please check it out.
So this week, the President followed in the footstep of the Prime Minister of Barbados and the Premier of the Turks and Caicos and lambasted the commercial banks for their mistreatment of low-income people. But the little dictators, the little hypocrites, the little narcissists have said or written not one word about this banking monstrosity that have seen dozens of complaints in the press during the past 15 years. Almost everything about this country is so irritating and hypocritical.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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