Moral callusing…


…or patriotic urges?

Some folks have expressed surprise at the few egregious acts of robbery and violence that were perpetuated during Jubilee 2016. On the other hand, your Eyewitness was very thankful the banditry wasn’t more widespread. With all those “outside people” moving about Georgetown – and so many in the geriatric brackets – he was afraid they’d be seen as easy marks to fleece. So we have to congratulate our criminal class for their patriotic efforts to curb their natural urges.

But the couple of reported incidents were intriguing in that they both involved real foreigners – white foreigners. Over at the Jubilee Park a group of American tourists stood up to applaud the flag raising while waving their own little Golden Arrowheads. Cries from folks behind the stands, went unheeded. This so annoyed some locals who couldn’t see the action that one fella literally hurled his body into their midst – and knocking down three of their females. A regular letter writer to the press expressed his disgust at the “violence” inflicted on our guests.

Well, the fella who felt so strongly about seeing his Golden Arrowhead fluttering on the highest flagpole in the land…might just be patriotic, too. He also wanted to see his Golden Arrowhead, nuh? Was it because he wasn’t American or whatever, the blood of nationalism didn’t flow in his veins? If those Americans were, say, in Yankee Stadium when “The Star Spangled Banner” was being belted out as its subject was lifted into the sky, would they put up with Guyanese standing up in their faces?

But the other incident was a bit much. This British soldier who’d been posted here when the British handed over power decided to check out what we natives had done with our fifty years of freedom. You have to remember for the longest while (hundreds of years!) the British had claimed we weren’t ready to go it on our own. Well after he was mugged by a fella named “Quarters” – who spared no quarter as he ripped off the Britisher’s gold chain, given to him by his dying wife – you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess his assessment of us right now.

But should we wonder whether “Quarters” was making a point – maybe not too subtly, we concede – about us being oppressed by the British for the aforementioned “hundreds of years” and the old soldier merely being a trope for expressing our collective rejection of that domination? Are we facing a case of “one man’s criminal is another man’s freedom fighter”.

If “Quarters” is sent off to Camp Street should we expect patriots picketing the locale with “Free Quarters!!” placards?

…of the business class?

Back in the day, this old geezer Newton proposed that “what goes up must come down”. Or more relevantly to what’s going on nowadays, “to every action, there’s a reaction”. Everybody and their uncle has been beating up on our beleaguered governmental officers – Ministers and such like – for being “corrupt”. Among other things, for sticking their hands out to take bribes from John Public – but moreso from the business community.

Well, it seems Pressie’s just about had it with that sort of thinking. He pointed out mildly that, “It takes two to tango” and if government officers are “corrupt” for taking bribes, then what about the parties that OFFER the bribes? Namely the public and businessmen. But are government officers more to blame?

After all, they ought to be doing what they’re being bribed to do – they’re already been paid by the state to do so. But this is where we get to the “action and reaction” business.

Once morals have been callused on this bribery road, there’s no turning back for both sides.

…and show no mercy

Pressie’s also taking a lot of flak for pardoning some low level law violators. Without going into deep analysis about the implications of the costs of total incarceration, don’t we have any mercy for our fellow (fallen) man?