Guyana- The art of destabilisation – By Adam Harris

Guyana- The art of destabilisation

Adam Harris

Apr 09, 2017 – Kaieteur News – Features / Columnists– Adam Harris

In Guyana it has long been recognized that political parties are more about gaining power than ensuring development. That happens because the political leaders are firmly convinced that they are the ones who should sit at the top of the pile.

If there is any doubt about this, then how could you explain the response the Opposition Leader gave when a reporter asked him what he would do different. He said that his job is not to advise the government. That may be true, but if the country is important, then he can offer some advice. That is done in every country. And those countries prosper to the extent that they make money available to countries like Guyana.    

This week past, I heard that the opposition leader has been meeting with the businessmen and telling them to avoid releasing whatever foreign currency they may have. The word is for them to tighten the screws. This is coming from the party that leaned heavily on some businessmen when the foreign currency exchange threatened to run away in 2014 and 2015.

One man held down the rate at some loss to himself, but as far as he was concerned he was helping the party, and he would get the money back somehow. Perhaps he would not have had to pay the full taxes later.

The campaign to keep the economy off balance began with the business community complaining that business is bad. I had cause to ask that if business is bad why they stay in it to keep losing money. Some of these businessmen then resorted to finding excuses. One excuse was that the parking meters were a deterrent to business, as if most of the shoppers were drivers.

The Central Bank was quickly on to the foreign currency deal and asked the commercial banks to inform of the nature of the transactions. As soon as that happened the complaints stopped, but the talk of foreign currency shortages continued.

Chatting with some of the staff of the stores, I found out that the business was not markedly slow, that they were seeing almost the same numbers. The wharves were reporting getting almost the same number of containers.

It can never be a good thing when the business community teams up with the opposition politicians to pressure the government. It merely means that there is politics in everything. These very businesses should beware, because the shoppers also have their political views.

I remember when the late President Desmond Hoyte caused a boycott of the Chronicle. This is something that is still hurting that newspaper after all those years. The same Desmond Hoyte, in 1997, said that there would be no Christmas. The businessmen bawled about the opposition being unfair.

On another occasion the people took it upon themselves to boycott certain stores. That was the same time when they effectively killed the Kashif and Shanghai football arrangement. I am not one to dictate to any business, but I say there is a time for politics and people should not allow it to get into their business.

For its part, the government is struggling to cope with the complaints. Like me, the government must be hearing all the talk about the change people voted for. Soon after the elections, I met a man who was complaining that he could not see the Agriculture Minister, and he was disappointed, because this was not the change he voted for.

From my vantage point, all the talk about voting for the change is nothing but hot air. The saying may be fashionable, but far from true. If all those people had actually voted for the government, then the margin of victory would have been much more than 4,000.

It is time the government realizes that regardless of what it does, some people will simply not vote for it. Many of them simply can’t wait to see the end of the government because of racial considerations. Race voting is very much alive.

Freddie Kissoon was at Wakenaam for a funeral this past week. He spoke of sitting next to a man who told him that the government was actually worse than the PPP. He said that he corrected the man who then appeared to agree with him, but Freddie knew what was at work. This man would never accept the government.

Freddie spoke about the road work being executed in the Parika area and concluded that nothing the government does would sway some of the people there. But President Granger simply would not concede that point. He firmly believes that people would be swayed by his works.

Where the previous government froze employment in the public sector, the Granger administration is filling the vacancies. More than 2,000 people have gained employment in the public sector, but that has passed unnoticed by most except Ms. Gail Teixeira, who contends that these people are unqualified and are there to do elections work. There are those who would believe her without setting eyes on any of these employees.

In keeping with his pre-election promise, Granger has put a lid on crime, but nobody is recognizing that. At one time the opposition was making a lot of noise about crime, but there is now no acknowledgement.

The clean surroundings mean nothing; the prompt disbursement of passports, birth certificates and other necessary documents mean nothing. But I hear complaints of people not being able to talk to Ministers when they call. It is as if the Ministers must take every call and do nothing else.

There will be more complaints, because the opposition has programmed its supporters to do just that. Suffice it to say that they have three more years to complain. The crimes of the previous administration have been forgotten.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: