Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017


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(Aired 17 May 2004)

   The comic section of the Stabroek News newspaper [the only one I read in this country] should be set aside on a special page for Andy Capp, Blondie, BC etc. and other hilarious matters, so that all jokes would be in one place for the convenience of the public, in which case the story captioned Legislation Passed for Constitutional Tribunals should not have been on page 3 where it was placed but on page 18 were all the other comic strips and jokes are. This is a story which tells us that our distinguished Parliament met and after due deliberation decided to pass into law a Tribunal which will police and investigate complaints about the performance of the Procurement Commission; but there is no Procurement Commission! It was the most hilarious thing in the entire issue of May 14th 2004 and the Stabroek News should have published it on the right page.

  This Government has found every conceivable excuse not to form this most important constitutional body, which is incredible since the formation of it was prompted by pressure from the International Financial institutions [the World Bank, IADB etc.] which was in turn prompted by the numerous complaints and accusations of corruption and victimisation in the awarding of contracts and Government purchases in this country. The Government and the PNC put up their list of names for this Procurement Commission since the middle of last year, the terms and conditions of the procurement Commission had already been passed into Constitutional law, so it was already written, but then the PPP, in an effort to circumvent the constitution, nothing new in this, went to considerable trouble to write a completely new alternative piece of legislation called the Procurement Administration Act which essentially changed nothing in the way contracts were awarded and allowed corruption and victimisation as usual, so now we have a tribunal not to police the Procurement Administration which is what is operating at present, but to police the Procurement Commission which does not exist. When has Andy Capp ever been as funny, or ridiculous, as this?

   Over and ever again there have been accusations from all quarters that this Government will not agree to anything and abide by it, under pressure Jagdeo in the Dialog and the Communiqué agreed to do certain things, and then someone in the PPP found a way to torpedo it later, so that what is implemented bears no resemblance whatsoever to what was agreed to in the first place, I have given you too may examples of this duplicity in the past to lay it out for you here again but I tell you that it is true. This has made the opposition in this country and its supporters [with justification] completely suspicious of any decision made by the PPP and this has in turn lead to gross mistrust and so the country suffers.

   Every country must have a ruling class, a group of people who the public have confidence in and look up to them for guidance, where is ours? Collymore? Nocta? Luncheon? Indra Chandrapal? Gajraj? Ramsammy? Baksh? Shaw? Where is this ruling class? One man once wrote in the newspaper that the leaders of this country must come from humble beginnings, why is that? People who come from humble beginnings do not have the pedigree to rule justly, it is funny but the public is far more likely to get a fair shake from a leader who comes from a privileged background than one which came from a poor background. The person from the privileged background already understands that to rule effectively you must share the pie equally and they are usually already well set financially and socially so they do not have to steal to get rich. I have also found people who come from privileged backgrounds have more compassion for the poor than those who come from poor backgrounds, since they climbed out of that barrel and who ever "lef inside lef inside" from that point on filling their own pockets becomes of paramount importance and to hell with everything and everyone else

   I know that this is a highly charged and contentious issue since the World Bank and the International Money Lenders prefer to keep the people of a nation poor, so that when they force countries to privatise their state owned enterprises to expatriate companies, which then come and make a financial killing using the poorly paid underprivileged workers of these states to make huge profits, it is good business. But it is not sustainable.

   Just last week the people at the World Bank and the IMF were again reminded of this, India the biggest democracy on the planet would not accept the high growth rate of India which is only a paper entry as far as its people were concerned when the majority of the population was living in abject poverty they voted to the left. It happened in Venezuela and it happened in Brazil and the Internal Financial Institutions continue to refuse to learn, these countries now have democracies and democratic elections and the majority of the people must share in the national pie of their countries or there will be trouble.

   The world will turn to the left again. China, India, Brazil, Venezuela constitute more than half of the planet and are all moving to the left, The pendulum is swinging too far to the right now and it must be stopped, Countries which finance the International Financial Institutions and whose interest rates in their own countries are 1-4% cannot expect to rape the poor in countries like Brazil, India and Venezuela, indefinitely, and demand 30% profit on their investment, it is unrealistic and it will bring big trouble. So why not wake up now.

    Demand what is reasonable for both the investors and the people of the country and let the population benefit in some way from these loans and investments. And for heavens sake demand that competent and honest people run things in each country, you the IFI's have the power to do this, to ensure that the little that is supposed to go to the poor does get there, you are doing a great disservice to your financial backers not to do so, since not doing so guarantees shifts to the left endangering their investments. And the governments you are dealing with are as corrupt as corrupt can be, so you have to watch them carefully.

   I am not going to say one word right now on the national noncensus, which has been presented to us by our incompetent or corrupt Bureau of Statistics.

   I am also not going to say much about the tribunal that will investigate quote "if there is any evidence to support the allegations against Home Affairs Minister Gajraj" at this time.

  Let me however point out to the geniuses who decide these matters that Mr. Ivan Crandon who is currently the Chairman of the Police Service Commission cannot be appointed to this position. He is the chairman of a constitutional commission and under section 210 of the constitution subsection (5) it is stated that and I quote it "a person shall not, while he holds or is acting in the office of an appointed member of the Police Service Commission or within  a period of three years commencing with the date on which he last held or acted in that office, be eligible for appointment to or act in any public office" being made a member of this Tribunal is a public appointment performing a public function so Crandon is ineligible to be on this tribunal. The President would be well advised to get some proper advice for once and appoint this Tribunal in consultation with the opposition parties in Parliament it would be a sign of good faith and go a far way in healing the rift now evident across the land; but imagine ladies and gentlemen having a Presidential staff including an Attorney General advising us, who have not read the constitution of the country?