…governance from Parliament
Now that the Police have taken action to defuse one of the most explosive issues facing the nation – the murder of the Henry cousins – maybe we can get on with just-as-pressing issues that keep getting swept under the rug. Take the matter of “shared governance”, which the PNC – and so many well-meaning Guyanese – insist must take centre stage. They ignore the many “shared-governance” mechanisms already in place, which the PNC Opposition refuse to use and become involved in the governance of Guyana. Yes, you heard that right, dear readers: the PNC refuse to help govern Guyana. What they prefer is mount soapboxes and whip up supporters into frenzies of nihilistic violence against fellow citizens stereotyped as “PPP supporters”.
Take the four Parliamentary Sectoral Committees (PSC) – in Economic Activity, Foreign Affairs, Social Services and Natural Resources. These were formed after the PNC bludgeoned the PPP and demanded to be included in “governance”. These committees cover the ENTIRE gamut of governmental activities, and are constitutionally mandated to SCRUTINISE the latter in real time. As such, they go BEYOND, say, the traditional Public Affairs Committee that’s chaired by an Opposition MP – but checks Government spending AFTER the fact.
Half of the PSCs are chaired by the Opposition in a rotating arrangement – and they have great leeway in setting the agenda of their Committees. But the PNC aren’t really interested in “shared governance”. What they want is to monopolise governance – as they did in their 33 years in Government – to loot the public treasury. To use the PSCs to keep the PPP on the straight and narrow takes time to summon Govt officials and be prepared to grill them in areas of national concern.
Take the injection of Govt funds into the sugar industry, over which the PNC have made much noise. The Economic Services Committee could’ve had the executives and Board of GuySuCo on the carpet to be given explanations as to what’s going on. But, dear reader, that means work and research! Which act like garlic to Count Dracula!
Then there’s the matter of instituting constitutional change, that the PNC insist is necessary going forward. Well, there’s a STANDING (permanent) Committee on Constitutional Change, in which Ramjattan, Trotman, Nicolette Henry and Walton Desir sit with Nandlall, Manickchand, Ramsingh, Parag and Datadin. Let’s see what they’ll be placing on the agenda in the months ahead.
Your Eyewitness figures it’ll amount to ZILCH – same as what they did in the previous five years. They met 7 times in 5 years, and NEVER even considered the recommendations from their own Steering Committee on Constitutional Reform (SCCR), led by Nigel Hughes!
The PNC are just political opportunists and charlatans.
Granger’s hand-picked Opposition Leader, Joe Harmon, seems completely out of his depth as far as his portfolio goes. But your Eyewitness suspects that loyalty to the Caudillo trumps all! Take his recent criticism of the PPP Government for hiring a Washington lobbying firm to promote our interests to the incoming Biden Administration. He says the US$25,000 monthly over the next six months could’ve been better spent on our Foreign Service, which can do the same lobbying.
Now, if one didn’t know that Harmon – in Govt!- PERSONALLY intervened last year to hire a Washington lobbying firm at US$40,000 monthly to try to save the PNC’s bacon, you’d think he was naive about how Washington operates! Lobbying is the lifeblood of the American political system!! But Harmon’s just playing the fool. He knows perfectly well that lobbying by our diplomats will continue in parallel with the lobbyists.
What Harmon and the PNC are worried about is that, once again, the PPP have checkmated them with the elephant in our hemisphere!
We all know that “new brooms sweep clean”; the sweeper can’t sweep out the good with the bad.
To switch the metaphor, your Eyewitness advises the new Min of Sports not to be a bull in a china shop!