Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017


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

E-Mail Address:

View Article

(Aired 28 October 2005)

   More than 40 years ago when I was in school the two books we had to study for GCE literature were Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and "A Man For All Seasons" by Robert Bolt.

   I have not seen Bolt's book since I left school but I have a good memory for these things, now Bolt's book concerned the life, and death, of Sir Thomas Moore later to be canonised by the Catholic Church to become Saint Thomas Moore.

   Moore's king, Henry VIII, wanted to divorce his wife Katherine, now Katherine of Aragon was in fact Henry's elder Brother's wife, his sister in law and Henry had asked the pope for a dispensation to marry his brother's widow when he became king on his brother's death, since Katharine's father was the king of Spain and it was a political/military/strategic arrangement. Now I am speaking from memory of what I studied 40 odd years ago so if I make a small error here and there, you will please forgive me, as time went on Henry had no son by this Katherine of Aragon so he asked the pope to proclaim that he had made a mistake and should dispense with his previous dispensation, declare the marriage to Katherine invalid and void, and this would allow Henry to marry his new sweetheart Anne Bolin.   

    The Pope told Henry to go to hell and Henry told the pope to go to hell, the result was that Henry was kicked out of the Catholic Church, we call it excommunication, and he formed his own church, the Church of England of which he made himself the head.

  But Thomas Moore who was the Chancellor of the Exchequer [a position much like our Minister of Finance but with far more wide ranging powers] was one of the most celebrated scholars of his day in Europe, and refused to play ball with Henry; but Henry was insistent since Moor's support would have given enormous credibility to his shenanigans. One day when all in England were required to take an oath saying that they would support Henry in this breaking away from the church and swear allegiance to the issue of his marriage to Anne Bolin, Moore who did not want to take this oath was trying to tell his friend the Duke of Norfolk about the importance of the Law.

    Norfolk who was not noted for his intellect said to Moore, "Thomas I can never understand you, I would cut down all of the laws in England to get at the devil" Moore looked at his friend in a most piteous way and asked him "and after you cut down all of the laws and the devil finally turns on you, where will you hide? Having no laws to protect you!!"

   It is a simple lesson and even as a 17 year old boy I remember it today, you cannot play games with the Law.

   Sometime last week it appears that our President as usual looking for popularity, especially this close to the elections, told the armed forces and the police that he wanted something done about Buxton and that human rights considerations aside he wanted action, the police and the army took this to mean that they had been given carte blanche to break the law and go into Buxton with the army a completely illegal arrangement, which is against the Law, and committed what the Guyana Human Rights Association now call gross human rights violations and an ill conceived disgrace.

   You cannot beak the law to enforce it Mr. Jagdeo, and as the GHRA has said you are a lucky man that this has not escalated into a civil war. It yet may.

   You cannot have the moral currency to condemn Ronald Waddle, who deserves criticism by the way, when you yourself the head of state is also breaking the law.  

    I yearn for a Guyana where the law is held supreme ladies and gentlemen where every person regardless of colour, political or religious persuasion has true equality under the law.

  By doing what he is doing Jagdeo is telling me that he either cannot address the problems of the Afro Guyanese in this country, or he refuses to do so and that he does not intend to see that they are treated equally like everyone else, and if that is the case, then he has no right to be the President of this nation.

   Even a black man living in Buxton is entitled to the protection of the law Jagdeo, in doing what you did you acted no differently than Henry VIII and I for one like the GHRA condemn you for it.

     Whilst we are on the subject of lawlessness by this administration I want to tell you about the Guyana uplink matter and I hope that the members of the European Union are listening.

  Around 8 years ago the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and CANA were informed that they would receive 4.2 million Euros as part of the Lome IV agreement, this money was supposed to integrate the Caribbean as far as news was concerned and put uplink dishes in Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica and link the rest of the smaller islands by microwave and fibre optic connections so that anything happening in the Caribbean could be visible the same day. Floods in Guyana for example could be seen in Trinidad the same day this would and could for example alert any nation within the Caribbean Basin as to the plight of their neighbours and mobilise help, if indeed help is needed.

   So the CBU/CMC sent Mr. Ulric Captain to Guyana to decide which station in this country will host the uplink, now I knew that if I produced anything I would not be able to rely on the government to relay it to the other territories and I convinced Mr. Rex mc Kay, Mr. Jacob Rambarran, Ms Kathy Hughes and Alfro Alphonso the other CBU members in Guyana that the best place for this uplink was at the VCT studios in Quamina Street, and they agreed.

   To my utter astonishment I read in the newspaper that Fuzzy Sattaur Mr. Luncheon's slave, had announced that this uplink was going to be located at NCNTV in homestretch Ave.

    I immediately called the CMC to find out what the hell was going on, they told me that it was not true that the final decision was not made, but that they had been informed by this government that if they did not locate the uplink at NCN, the NFMU would be instructed not to give them a license to operate the uplink from Guyana.

   The result is that Guyana will not get this uplink and we will be left in the dust as we are being left in the dust because we are not fulfilling out promises to the Brazilians to build the road and the deep water harbour in Guyana for them, just as the government makes constitutional changes but cannot be relied upon to implement them, since the PNC are behaving responsibly and are not marching, the message that this sends is that unless the PNC marches the Jagdeo Government will do nothing to honour past agreements, and that is very bad for the country but marching and disruptions makes the PNC unpopular and that may be what the PPP wants, no matter who gets hurt among you, that is what the PPP may want to happen, so I am asking the supporters of the PPP to wake up and see the real picture and the consequences of it and demand that this be done differently, according to the law. 

   The PNC is behaving responsibly, there has been no kind of fire for several years now neither slow or fast and have generally been law abiding with no open acts of civil disobedience, and we do not want them on the road again it is bad for the country, but tell me in the name of the Lord, what choice is the PPP giving them or their supporters?