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

Complete stupidity
(Aired 16 July 2004)

   This is a poor country, a very heavily indebted poor country, most of the highly qualified Guyanese have migrated leaving poorly qualified, struggling ones behind to function way beyond their capacity, a concept called the Peter principle, now the world has known of this Peter principle since the early 1980's when a book identifying it was conceptualised by one Lawrence Peter and tells us that you cannot promote certain people past their level of competence, since in doing so the laws of gravity always prevail making them eventually fall back down on you, taking the whole organisation with them.

   When I was working in sugar just after the nationalisation of the Sugar industry we saw this concept very clearly in operation, we were promoting supervisors, good supervisors who were performing with competence to superintendent level at which stage they just could not function.

   these very good supervisors became incompetent because they could not function at the conceptual level of management, they were doers not conceivers and their writing skills prevented them from doing the weekly reports, order books etc. so we promoted persons from a position at which they were completely competent to a level at which they were totally incompetent, but we had no choice since we were losing people every day and just could not fill the vacancies.

   The brain drain is noticeable everywhere in this country from president to beggar almost no one in this country today can pretend to be fully qualified, or excel at the functions they are paid to do, as they would be required to do if they were doing this same job in say, to be ridiculous, Trinidad! Do not even worry to make this comparison with the US, or Japan.

   Now there are some people who are capable of developing to higher levels of management or specialisation without becoming incompetent but this is the exception rather then the rule.

   I repeat this phenomenon is everywhere around us, people who are completely incompetent to perform their functions are being paid to do so; and it is going on even in the private sector much less in the Government. And since we are making no progress to improve our ability to pay better and better salaries to keep those who can truly be elevated without meeting their level of incompetence and who leave for greener pastures, as the country becomes poorer and poorer under these incompetent regimes we have been forced to tolerate over the past 50 years, the situation just gets worse.

       I think that it is reasonable to say that we have the most incompetent government in the English speaking Caribbean, one look at the auditor General's report would leave one with no doubt that even the simple task of bookkeeping to account to the Guyanese people for the way our money is spent in this country is incompetent.

  And I am ashamed to admit it but this incompetence being everywhere as it is has reached our media long ago. Now the media is the watchdog of the democracy it should identify what is wrong with the functioning of government and how it is affecting its people. But it does not and here are a few examples.

   Lets take our Amerindian affairs minister now amid much fanfare this lady recently announced that she is going to find 5 million to buy all of the Amerindian children school uniforms, but in an article which occupied nearly three whole pages of the Stabroek news the people at St. Cuthbert's mission we learn that the democratic rights of the mission is being mutilated since there is no democratic method of selecting the leaders of the mission an archaic act dating back to colonial times is what works for these the poorest group in this country. Now whilst this lady is running all over the place holding seminars in Georgetown to show us how effective she is, this effectiveness is only in her mind, at almost no Amerindian village can the effects of abuse by the PPP not be seen, the media does not make this connection. 

   I am accusing this government of  keeping the Amerindians in abject poverty for the sole purpose of controlling them financially. This other lady Shadick does not understand that the systematic looting of the Amerindian villages of its young men and women most of whom are turned into slaves and prostitutes constitutes trafficking in persons and she has only now been made to "wake up" by the huge furore made by the Americans but if one is in government as a functioning minister of human services you would have to be aware, that  the young Amerindian children were being lured away from the Amerindian settlements and systematically turned into prostitutes. Common humanity alone would have prompted you to do something. But let's say that we forget about Shadick for now and its quite easy to do that, this Amerindian Affairs Minister Rodrigues is an Amerindian, was she not aware of this trafficking in persons? Of course she was, and what did she do about it? well the answer is simple, she did nothing! But she is buying them uniforms so that they can look good at school because that makes her look good in the newspapers and on the news. But even here there are problems according to the Stabroek news the St. Cutbert's mission head teacher has left the mission because the accommodations were unacceptable, so now we have this ridiculous Rodrigues lady giving free school uniforms to children who don't have a teacher. Everywhere you look it is there, this incompetence.

  The corruption is so endemic that the head of the wildlife Division was fired because someone was exporting wildlife without the permission of the board this man then tells us that he was instructed to do so by Luncheon, huge mistake Khalawan, just shut up and everything would have been fine, you did the unthinkable you pointed to the culprit Luncheon and said he did it, a guaranteed way to get fired. Hopefully Khalawan photocopied the correspondence from Luncheon telling him to do the exportation and if you did buddy I for one would like to see it.

   Then we have our president who holds a press conference now he has invited Jimmy Carter here to help him with the PNC, but he states that he does not care to have further dialog with Corbin, now the National Democratic Strategy financed by the Carter centre identifies this quote "meeting of the minds of the PPP and the PNC" as the single most important precondition to the smooth running of the country's affairs. What is he inviting Carter here for? To demonstrate that he has passed his level of competence and is now totally incompetent. some weeks ago the US Ambassador said that the people of Guyana should accept Jagdeo's commission of inquiry, Jagdeo did not find this as interfering with the internal affairs of the country, but the UN representative here says that their should be some modifications to the commission and Jagdeo calls for the removal of the man since he is interfering with the running of the internal affairs of the country, well if the US ambassador can say that its OK and this is acceptable to Jagdeo, then any other diplomat who says that's its not OK has the right to do so also, isn't that true?  Did anyone hear Jagdeo telling the US ambassador to keep out of the matter? Then we have Ramsammy telling us that we should identify the migration of nurses, not as failure of the PPP to provide them with a better living standard but as an international trade in nursing services? And that we should talk to the WTO about it, this foolishness defies categorising; there is no category of foolishness under which this nonsense can be filed.