Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

Updates!

Receive email notices when a commentary is uploaded. Join our mailing list.

E-Mail Address:

View Article

Foot in the Mouth Disease
(Aired 9 July 2003)

  Foot and mouth disease is not specific to cattle, in this country some very prominent members in public life are also suffering from a variation of it, foot in the mouth disease. Some of these people only open their mouths to take out one foot to put in the other one.

   Tonight I will be looking at few of the people who are suffering from this disease, and I don't care who they are, if are suffering from it, then you will have to be treated, the first step to treatment, being  identifying those who have this problem so that they can seek the relevant help.

   First I will start with Prem Misir the head of GINA the Government Invention News Agency.

   For some time now I have been telling the public that this man would not recognise the truth if it jumped out of the ground and bit him on the nose, but we have put him in charge of GINA, and why shouldn't we? Deception is the order of the day and who better to orchestrate fantasy than that master of the untruth Prem.

   So first I want to tell you about a story published in the Chronicle on the 18th of June 2003, the headlines proudly proclaim that "Procurement Bill supports Government's Transparency Efforts". There is even a photograph of  Kowlessar walking into the parliament with his huge briefcase, ladies and gentlemen, I have always held the view, that a man's briefcase varies in inverse proportion to his intellectual capacity, the bigger the brief case the smaller his intellectual capacity. Now Kowlessar's huge brief case in this picture is purported to contain this new transparent Procurement Administration Bill, but I am going to forgive Sase on this occasion, since it contained such a huge load of hogwash, I am surprised that he could even fetch it, in fact I expected him to be carrying a 5 gallon bucket instead of a briefcase. 

    In the article that accompanies this declaration, Prem tells us that consensus has been reached on the Procurement Bill through a consultative process hosted by the Ministry of Finance with the Parliamentary groups, the Builders group? [I think that this refers to the Guyana Contractors Association] and the Guyana Association of Professional Engineers. GAPE. What happened despite these alleged meaningful consultations?

   Well the Parliamentary groups walked out of the Parliament that same day, GAPE is still gaping at the dimensions of this lie since they never agreed to any of it, as for the Contractors Association there are still meetings going on as I am reading this comment to you tonight, regarding the numerous areas of weakness which guarantees that the Procurement Administration will function, as it always has, with the corrupt Executive in control of it.

    How simple it would be in this process if the PPP would put in place non-partisan Commissions or Administrations to ensure that everyone gets a fair share of the pie, and not only in procurement, in everything; the way we select our Judges, the Broadcast Authority, the way money is shared out through poverty eradication programmes. Any government that tries to control rather than regulate these things, always end up with huge problems, and have to resort to repressive measures and to lies to enforce them, If they are not prepared to be transparent and even handed, then there will be problems, the PPP just do not seem to get this message. EVER. 

  Some 25 years ago when I was field manager of Versailles, Justice Aubrey Bishop then a sitting Supreme Court Judge conducted a series of courses in Industrial Relations at the UG then located at Queens College, I attended the course for some 3-4 months, one of the first things he taught us was the PPP principle in Industrial/Human Relations.

    Now at the time the PPP political party was in opposition, completely under the control of Forbes Burnham so this bore no relationship to them.

   Simply put, the PPP principle had to do with Policy, Practice, Problems. In your business if you have bad policies, even if you put them into practice properly, it will lead to problems. If you have a good policy but you put it into practice badly you will end up with problems, so the lesson was that you must have good policies and put them into practice properly, then you will end up with no problems.  

   The PPP have lost all credibility, the enormous corruption of its government is in the open, the country has been brought to a stand still since 1997, the International Financial Institutions are asking for more transparency; and no one in the Executive seem to understand or care that what happened in the past few years, can happen again, unless they proceed to implement what they agreed to in good faith, so there will be problems.

    In the mean time they are destroying the country. Their own supporters are punishing along with everyone else. One whole page in several issues the Chronicle, endless GTV and GBC productions with people like Nadir a well known political grasshopper, despised by his own supporters, trying to rationalise this nonsense and they are inviting complete chaos again, for the sole purpose of giving all the contracts to their friends and family for kickbacks and favours, and to hell with the country and its people, including their own supporters.

   In another article by slippery Prem in the June 21st issue of the Chronicle, Misir tells us that quote "Government supports Human rights, equal opportunities" in it he says that the PPP has an excellent historical track record of promoting equality before the Law, also in this pack of lies he tells us that his PPP government has made discrimination against people on the basis of their race, ethnicity, class, colour, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, unlawful.

    Now ladies and gentlemen this can't be the same Equality Bill that his President has refused to sign for over 4 years? Surely Prem made a mistake? These things are not the law yet Prem, you have to make Jagdeo sign it, first, and he has shown great reluctance to do so. And it was you, probably personally, who orchestrated the huge red herring by telling the public that the equality rights for persons of sexual orientation is not acceptable to the public, so the bill with all the rights you say that we now have, but don't, is going back to parliament for another vote.

  In the mean time Mr. Vincent Alexander of the PNC is recorded in the Sunday Chronicle of June 8th 2003 as telling a group of 11 persons assembled by something called Students Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination [SASOD] that when the provisions of  the sexual orientation bill comes before the parliament he and the other PNC parliamentarians will vote their conscience, well first of all Vincent there is no Sexual Orientation Bill and secondly your pronouncement on the matter and I quote you "it was intended to ensure that persons who have an orientation - a way of thinking - which may or may not lead to a certain activity, to not be discriminated against in terms of rights" and quote "I am not saying that the bill does not comment on that {the right to be homosexual} however law is peculiar, especially in a common law system"    

     Well DUHHHH! Vincent, if you put non discrimination of Homosexuals clauses in the constitution, you are making it the supreme law of the land which overrides all other laws, this means that any existing laws will have to be thrown out, you can't say that homosexuals are equal under the law and cannot be discriminated against, and then take some person to court for buggery the next week. It would be unconstitutional.

   Putting this provision in the equality laws, now, creates an impediment to the conference of too many other numerous fundamental rights for the public, so don't vote your conscience as you say you will Vincent, vote sensibly since it provides a tailor made excuse for the PPP to hold it up for another 4 years, and it collides with other fundamental provisions in the constitution. Now since it was you as co-chairman on the committee which thought up this provision being embedded there in the first place, without having regard to the consequences of the deprivation of the other numerous benefits contained in this Equality Bill, vote to take it out. And send it to the Constitutional Reform Committee in Parliament.

  Getting tired of having his right foot in his mouth Vincent then puts his left foot in it, since in the Stabroek News of 2nd July 2003, Vincent is recorded as telling students at the UG that the PNC will not be participating in the next Local Government election or any other election for that matter, unless there are constitutional changes in the way we conduct these elections, no one else in the executive of the PNC including its leader is aware of this decision.    

     I left the best for last ladies and gentlemen, our Minister of Water still gives me cause for grave concern, my commentary on Severn Trent is on the internet if you would like to see my objections to it, we are paying these people nearly a million US dollars more, to do this job as compared to the other company Bi-Water which bid, so in our Stabroek newspapers of June 23, 2003 Baksh is recorded as having stood in the National Assembly for what appears to be nearly an hour disputing Ms Sheila Holders accusations that 1. Trent had been kicked out of Trinidad for non performance and 2. That it was a company which did not have a good reputation, but was being paid substantially more than the other company.

    In our Stabroek newspaper of 28th June 2003 it is recorded there on the front page in blazing headlines for all to see quote "Baksh blasts management of water utility" "The progress over the last six months" he tells Trent "was not what he would like to see" for six months they have done nothing tangible, but he was in the National Assembly defending them to the hilt only 5 days earlier.

   What I would like to see Baksh, is you heading for Timehri with a one way ticket. The points system, which you claim to have used to retain Severn Trent, is worse than the points system used by Commercial Banks in this country. They are lending at 17% and they are paying their depositors 4%. Our Central Bank and the other commercial banks need some urgent attention and I have decided to give them some.

   They are bankrupting all of us.