Eye on the Issues by GHK Lall
It mistakenly thought that the local lunatic fringe was on the way out at the close of the last elections, and that it would settle into a dignified death. Well, circumstances have conspired to prove me wrong in both old and developing theaters. And theaters they are.
There is a whole crowd of losers who howl in lunar frenzies about corruption and ethics these days. These folks have (had) no association with either the meaning or practice accompanying any far-reaching principles. It was spelt out for them repeatedly, but they did not care for such interferences. During the long years of their reign, they never lived any of the things that they now clamor for so fervently. But today, they dress themselves in sackcloth, put on glass eyes, paint their faces (in brass), and end up with horns on their heads, as they prattle about corruption and ethics and the rest. As I read all of this, I am caught between laughing and crying, swearing (blue) and patronizing this undeniable manifestation of unmitigated lunacy made puerile and vacuous by the gods. This is more than the normal slack-jawed, bleary-eyed, vacant drooling that is usually recognizable. This is an acute condition indicative of wires crossed, men questioning and answering themselves loudly and in public, and who have lost all credibility, and evoke only pity. I believe that the sanity of local residents calls for the urgent construction of a facility to institutionalize these unsound and unmoored pretenders, to house them far away from civilized society. I do not think that the place for them is parliament.
As if in competition, there was hurrying to imitate by some newcomers to the reigning comedic opera called ruler-ship and leadership. As usual, it was over cash. Leading men and women must be insulated from temptation and the alluring overtures of corrupting influences that proliferate. They must be protected from their feeble natures. The recommended-and implemented-inoculation was a nice fat salary increase. Many (myself included) viewed this troubling development as redolent of the preemptive, protective, and provocative. Then along came some troublesome, dissatisfied, selfish spoilers. They call them public servants.
Apparently, their skins are thicker, their ears clogged, and their senses dulled. Why? Because it takes a mere 10% to wean them away from the delights of offered honeypots. Somebody is, in effect, saying that they are more resistant to corruption than their leaders in parliament; and since they have been starved for cash for so long, they have grown accustomed to such a condition, and should be left right there in the mud and financial outhouse. Obviously, the bulbs of the decision makers and policymakers are in heavy energy saving mode. Now if this is not lunacy of a special kind, then I do not know what is. Fifty percent works for me; but ten must be good enough for you.
Next, the country went from the information lockdown of a communist state to the spectacle of some state boards going overboard to make derisive objects of themselves. It as if they did not know what to do with the new found freedom, or how to amplify the moment for maximum national beneficial effect. Of course, in their warped and stilted imaginations, the more free flowing boards saw themselves as media darlings and apostles of advancement. The only question is: to where?
The motto appeared to be full disclosure, and verbal fisticuffs both on paper and on air, and naturally in the street. In terms of on air, I would not know, as I never watch or listen. Some boards in true paparazzi fashion ran amok through loose lips and cerebral caprices. These could have been entertaining episodes, save for the underlying grave issues at stake. In a single year Georgetown went from the Kremlin to Wikileaks. It is clear that some state boards, once shrouded in thick secrecy, have metamorphosed into Southern Comfort induced loquacity; their cups runneth over with dribble, if not drivel. Such is the usual state of the mentally challenged.
Reference to the capital city brings to mind City Hall. Dante had to have had a place like City Hall in mind when he descended into purgatory and immortality. In the instance of City Hall it would be infamy. The dilemma for me is which circle should be rightfully reserved for these brethren. I look at City Hall and have to go back a century to New York City and exhume Tammany Hall to find a parallel. I mean these officials (brethren) who are out of their depth, really ought to be put out to pasture. They are an overweight albatross around the necks of citizens. Take a look: parking meters, garbage financing and collections, seven and eight story monstrosities are all representative of what has been thoroughly mishandled, and lack both intelligence and vestiges of common sense. Given that Dante dived to nine circles of hell, there is still another real estate story to go and waiting for the telling, if not the falling.
Clearly, the incumbents cannot be trusted to appreciate what is required by circumstances, of the times, and the people. It is to do things well, on time, aboveboard, and with some degree of good sense.Still, I do not blame this motley crew for their vocals, actions, and deficits. They are not responsible for their actions (or themselves) and should be patronized. The responsibility for their cringing (to us) presence rests squarely with the voters who put them there. These voters all belong in the gulag, where they can be mentally and politically rehabilitated.
Then I read that the government is crying; that must be crocodile tears. It went ahead and maintained a legacy position worth two million a month, knowing full well that it was not going to get anything for that outlay, since the earlier people responsible for this abomination did not. Now that the information well has seized up (from the inception), there is the absurdity, the sheer lunacy of lament and lachyrymosity, about receiving absolutely nothing in exchange for twenty-four million a year. It is time that a writ based on de lunaticoinquirendo is filed. Those who perpetuated this rip-off should be awarded lifetime institutionalization, if only for reorientation. There ought to be no early release for medical improvement; this is too far gone for clemency to be considered. All things considered, this could extend to the entire government. Even a (very) limited (very) outsider like me would have known that more could be extracted from North Korea than the local information divinity.
Also, there is a burgeoning stealth industry growing right under the nose. It involves brothers-in-law, cousins-in-law, some flighty characters; and some departed ancestors, too. Yes, to get real expansive and inclusive a la Mark Antony, there are friends, Guyanese, and countrymen involved in a growing scam. This scam industry involves the divesting (secreting away) of cannot-be-explained holdings, and unearned income and assets. The recruited bodies serve as long-term temporary repositories for those pretending at financial cleanliness and ethical purity. The lateral movement of hidden wealth is best termed passive investments or blind trusts; they remain passive, blind and in trust until the local equivalent of Swiss custodians become active about helping themselves to some of the plunder. After all, goat aint bite dem. All the parties involved in this code of conduct evasion think they are clever and the rest of the country stupid. There ought to be a national award for lunacy of this preponderant cast.
Separately, reports of a decline in the manufacturing sector are grossly exaggerated. All one has to do is to survey media/journalistic output. There is some manufacturing of facts and circumstances. Some will be quick to condone under the creativity column. Okay; but fiction is fiction and imaginations and concoctions should not be part of the historical record. But like every mentally delightful party out there, the belief is that it is the other man who is mad.
If I were to continue, before long there would be very few citizens outside of the fringe. This Guyana of today is a real mad, mad world.