…and Guyanese politics
Back during the political troubles of the 1960s when we were still known as “BG”, the PNC had torched large sections of Georgetown in their campaign to throw the PPP out of office. The Mighty Sparrow belted out: “I don’t care if the whole a BG bu’n down/ I don’t care if all of Bookers bu’n down/ But they will be putting me out me way/ If they tackle Tiger Bay/ An bu’n dung de hotel/ where all me wahbine does stay”. “Wahbine” being “the good-time girls of the night”!
The point being that “Tiger Bay” has a long reputation as a part of the underbelly of Georgetown – a ghetto if you will – that has produced more than its fair share of poverty-driven crime in the city. Our Tiger Bay was named after the original Tiger Bay in Cardiff, Wales, which earned its deserved tough and dangerous reputation since the 19th century, when it housed many brothels to “service” the sailors of cargo-laden ships. Five years ago, one resident had described his reality:
“Crime coming from the ghetto is something you’re gonna always see because of crisis, people ain’t getting work and the youths them need things, them might see fancy things that them need, put aside fancy things, them gotta eat and many days you deh and it hard, sometimes a meal hardly coming by, sometime you might wake up in the morning you ain’t know how you really eating a meal, sometime it might be till afternoon…crime from the ghetto have to happen, ain’t no way they can see themselves out, only by going and commit crime because there ain’t no job for them.”
Decrepit as it always was, it became a veritable urban jungle during the Burnhamite destruction of all Guyana, when even the “Johns” dared enter to check out any “girls”. When the PPP took office, the Janet Jagan regime arranged for them to obtain house lots in the new development schemes in Tuschen, Sophia and Mocha. Many refused to leave a home they’d gotten used to and the area regressed even further into 100+ shacks.
There were great expectations when this Government took office because of the ethnic affinities of Guyanese politics. But they offered nothing, save the usual blather! So imagine the chutzpah of the PNC to send some of their top guns – Volda Lawrence, James Bond, Mayor Ubraj Narine etc, on the 11th hour before elections into Tiger Bay. Not to boast about what they’d done, but to hurl the most vicious accusations against the PPP for the “killings” that occurred during the PPP regime.
As usual, the lumpenproletariat is to be used as cannon fodder!!
In opposition, the PNC and AFC regularly flagellated the PPP for not transferring revenues from the lotto (of which the Govt receives 24%) into the Consolidated Funds. They claimed the moneys formed literally a “slush fund” for the party to use! Well, once again, they’ve merely proven that all their accusations against the PPP were projections of their own twisted and warped compulsions to raid the State coffers.
After making a big to-do about transferring the first tranche of funds they found in the Lotto Account in early 2015, the PNC has consistently retained more than half of the yearly take – averaging over $500million annually! For which, they’ve obdurately refused to provide an accounting: Winston Jordan merely announces which projects the money was supposedly used for, without any accounting.
The unaccounted half-a-billion used for the D’Urban Park white elephant, for instance, came from the Lotto Funds. This AG’s latest report confirms the siphoning goes on: $2 billion in five years!!
And yet, Granger, whose office has the lotto funds, claims to be “honest”!!
David Granger claims he so loves Forbes Burnham, that he gave over his house to Vincent Alexander to house the “Burnham Foundation”. Yet, they’ve allowed Central High School – Burnham’s first High School, to become a community high school.
Oh, the shame!!