…Christmas is this?
Yes…yes…yes…your Eyewitness knows when it comes to Christmas, we Guyanese have that “stiff upper lip” habit of our old colonial tutors: no matter how black things are, we’ll somehow use our ingenuity to celebrate Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be so, does it? It was really insulting to ordinary folks to have Granger declaring “Oil is here!! Oil is here!!” to take our minds off the dire straits into which Granger and the PNC have plunged us.
Do they really think we’re so daft that we won’t notice them living high off the hog on their massive salaries and perks, while, at best, public sector workers are bought off with piddling “bonuses”?? So what about the 7000 in the sugar belt they fired and the rest who haven’t gotten a bonus – or a raise – in the five years they’ve been in office??
Think of what could’ve been. Over in Suriname waters, their Government got a US$100 MILLION bonus for a field contiguous to our Canje Block – where no oil’s been found up to now!! While here, where there are 6 BILLION barrels and counting – we got just a lousy US$18 million. Now you’ll hear the Government bleating that the contract had already been signed by Janet Jagan back in 1999 when no one could REALLY be sure there was oil under the ocean. But that was a licence for prospecting – which had expired by the time oil was struck in 2015 and Trotman gave away the store. That had to be renewed – plus a production licence had to be procured.
Imagine if we had gotten the US$500 million or so, that would’ve been a fair bargain!! Not only would the Government have been in a position to match the 50% pay raise they gave themselves for all other workers – they could’ve followed their CoI’s recommendation, stabilised the sugar industry with some judicious injection of funds and bring it to a point of sale by now!! A win-win situation all over!
But instead, here we are, trying to make do on Christmas day. Your Eyewitness urges all you dear readers to think of what Christmas day signals when it comes to real leadership. Sacrifice, that’s what Jesus was all about. Have the leaders who were catapulted into office in 2015 shown any inclination to make sacrifices for the good of the people – meaning you and me??
Have they even minimally cut back their sybaritic lifestyles funded by our taxes? All you have to do is drive past their houses – or mansions and palaces – this evening. Maybe they’ll throw you a scrap!
It’s the best of times (for the PNC) and the worst of times (for us).
The old poem by Coleridge, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, gave us the famous line: “water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink” and of course, the phrase “an albatross around your neck”. With the latest and 15th oil strike in the Stabroek Block, it would seem that for us, it’s “Oil, oil everywhere but not a drop to use”!! And the oil might then very well prove to be an albatross around our neck.
In addition to the new strike, of course, oil is now being pumped into that great, big FPSO and it’s from there that the oil operators will be shipping out their 85.5% and hand off the measly remainder of 14.5% to us. The Government has already lined up in secret the companies they will sell our first share – the very same oil operators who’ll be shipping their big share out.
There are no plans to bring even a drop of oil to our shore to refine and add value. Kinda like our sugar which was shipped for hundreds of years abroad to be refined!!
Greenidge enthused: “All eyes on Guyana”!! But the question is, does Guyana have its eyes on them?
Not only carpetbaggers but hustlers and crooks of every stripe will be following their eyes to our shores!!