…of PNC nationalisation
Well…well…well! There’s only so long a fella can hide his true nature; isn’t it so? The other foot has dropped – after the unilateral authoritarian hints — and the APNU/AFC Government has revealed what it’s always been: the unreconstructed PNC in all its gory!
There were some folks who thought Granger might’ve been speaking metaphorically when he promised to fulfil his mentor Burnham’s legacy. But now that the APNU/AFC has nationalised the Berbice Bridge, there should be no doubt this is PNC regime, tout court!
And let’s not even quibble that the takeover of the BBCI isn’t REALLY a “nationalisation”. When it comes to the Public-Private Partnership arrangement that built the Bridge, there’s a CONTRACT that governs the relationship between BBCI – a private company – and the Government. The Government has flagrantly violated and breached the terms of the contract when it suddenly declared it will “temporarily run the Bridge”.
Invoking “threat to public safety” isn’t even a fig leaf to hide the brazen violation of the sanctity of contracts in a market economy. What threat was there? The tolls announced by BCCI couldn’t take effect UNTIL THE MINISTER SIGNED OFF ON IT!! Until then it was just talk, which couldn’t be legally enforced!! The PNC-Government Ministers had consistently and adamantly refused to enter into discussions with BCCI to work out some other solution to the fix in which the managers of the bridge had found themselves; which was: to deal with the cash crunch that prevented them from servicing the loans, rather than plunging into bankruptcy. The BBCI had suggested the contract be extended for another twenty years, so that the annual payments would be reduced drastically. This wasn’t even given SHORT shrift, since, before a promised Cabinet consultation could be convened, the axe was dropped!
There had been speculation that the whole Bridge crisis was engineered by the “dead meat” AFC component of the Government to effect a Lazarus-type resurrection. After all, the Chairman of the BCCI and the Minister of Public Infrastructure (MPI) were both AFC executives – and “besties” to boot!! But your Eyewitness thinks no way in purgatory would the AFC dare implement the nationalisation move on their own; they just don’t have the testicular fortitude! This is PNC!
So, in addition to allowing their true nature to finally surface, the PNC are using the nationalisation move to also see how far the AFC personnel would betray their party to try and survive the imminent LGE test. The question now is: How far will the PNC go?
Back in the 1970s, they were willing to buck the USA and nationalise the Texas aluminium giant Reynold’s Berbice bauxite operations.
Will they now go after the Texas oil giant Exxon?
…of the instigators?
Back in the 1970s, while the PNC had early on declared they wanted to ‘control the commanding heights of the economy,’ they were prodded by elements that supported them. In the present iteration of the PNC, there are still the diehard socialist Burnhamites around, like Granger and Alexander. But could it be that the ASCRIA’ites, like Thomas et al from the WPA, might also be stoking the fire?
In the parliamentary debate of Feb 27, 1971, to nationalise Bauxite, UF member E. Da Silva had quoted from an ASCRIA newsletter: “Ahwee Freedom Come!”
“For over fifty years we toiled and sweated for those Canadian bastards. We enjoyed the most inhuman conditions — inadequate water supply, unfair income, rotten health service, poor housing facilities and last but not least, the fraudulent R.I.L.A. and Demba Thrift Plan. Yes, all this and more we suffered. And all this time, those Canadian bitches were reaping the fat of our labour, while turning a deaf ear and a Nelson’s eye to our problems!”
Sounds like the rhetoric around Exxon’s contract, doesn’t it?
Sadly, then, with the nationalisation of the Berbice Bridge, the PNC-led Government has brought back the darkness of the seventies into Guyana – ironically, as the nation celebrates Diwali!!
But it’ll take more than lighting diyas to remove THIS darkness!! Over to the Opposition!!