What would be the crime, I wonder, if we were to say we were giddily pleased with the Coalition’s efficient and effective Government, that they are negotiating geniuses, that their opportunity to revisit the Oil Contract with Exxon resulted in them obtaining the best possible terms with the companies bringing the crude to the surface;
and say, matters not that the 600 blocks of oil Janet gave to Exxonmobil wasn’t challenged by Coalition re-negotiators as an irregularity by a sophisticated investor, when the Exxon knew 60 blocks was the norm and didn’t rebuff Janet’s largesse;
but say that Jagdeo must be out of his mind to admonish what he sees as Guyanese’ ingratitude to Janet, whose gifting of 10 times as many blocks to the artful Exxon is the proximate reason that Guyana is now the oil find of the era….
What would be the crime, you think, if I were to say the 50% pay hike the government voted for itself, 90 days after its installation, was well deserved; that the missteps of Ministers in APNU are just baby steps, that Brian Tiwari had every right to be on the China Junket, that every clumsy statement made by Minister Harmon was just words, not an imbuement of boundless power in a show of tone deafness wrapped in arrogance?
And now that the Simona Broomes saga has been dismissed by the police because available evidence contradicted her account of security guards cocking their weapons and pointing them at her, would I not be right to say that President Granger should allow the matter to just wither on the vine, like he did when she desecrated the halls of Parliament with her parody of Allison in Paris?
Would I not be supportive of the government if I said gifting positions to operatives could never be nepotism and that Guyana Revenue Authority was discriminating against age and lack of industry knowledge when it refused to renew the Contract of Granger- appointee and third highest paid, Fitzroy Corlette, even though he measurably lacked knowledge, was demonstrably incompetent and a consistent embarrassment to the agency?
And definitely, I would say that the men in politics playing oil expert had a right not to renew the contract of geotechnical engineer and reputed oil expert Jan Mangal because his professional advice was, well, professional.
It was all Mangal’s fault, you know. He just didn’t know how to color between the lines.
And the exclusion of women….they know their places. First off they were not in the Party trenches which guarantees several steps ahead of formal qualifications and industry knowledge;
the gall of them seeking to serve their country without some attachment to a friend or relative who has an inside connection – given the optics of abundant misogyny…
…what would be the crime in me saying that it’s all the women’s fault for thinking that they would be contracted by this Administration that pledged Diaspora inclusion in Foundation 9 of its Manifesto as it did Women’s Equality?
This is where we are right now, in the age of reverse-sedition, where all hail the king and the men of his court should constantly waft in the air as a reminder of who’s at the helm; that the deployment of Sedition is just an interpretation away.
It is this kind of thing that invokes rhetorical epigrams like does man serve the law or does the law serve man because man in control of the law, by virtue of being in government, can decide what word on any medium “encourages, incites, induces, aids and abets, counsels any person to commit, commit any criminal offence against the President or any member of the Government….”
While most of us weren’t paying attention on the evening of July 21st 2018, the Cyber Crimes Bill made it through Parliament; effectively muzzling anyone who wants to say anything that isn’t flattering to this government; lest they’re prepared to pay unconscionable fines and spend time behind bars for saying the President and his Cabinet constitute a disappointment to expectations.
Matters not that you elected them to be representative of your positions, just don’t say that they’re incompetent and continue to fall short of pledged expectations, in terms that make them uncomfortable.
Decades ago but traumatizing enough for us to remember, there were names lodged at ports of entry and at, then, Internal Revenue, for the sole purpose of using elected office to spitefully imprison dissidents in place by taking away their right to either enter or leave the country.
The falling –in-love moments were many, as this Coalition forged its way into our hearts with this one, just below, being particularly tingling- having watched the Jagdeo government, through its support of the Roger Khan’s and the Ronald Gajraj’s and their criminal enterprises that were shielded by deflective political lingo, undo the framework of social norms, education and societal values that prepared so many of us for where we are today:
Foundation 4: Political Reforms …..we will amend the Constitution with the full participation of the People. The new Constitution will put checks and balances in place to consolidate our ethos of liberal democracy. Freedom of Speech, Reduction of the power of the President and the Bill of Rights will be enshrined in the document…
…is what we were promised- Top of page 10 in the Manifesto.
This, like too many others, has become a pledge that will live in the museum of the Campaign and not the active halls of Government.
Today, we have a newly minted Cybercrimes Bill that certainly has a place in the law books for the political community – but only to the extent that there is clear and not inferential or perceived danger by those who were elected to represent us but are now representing the law.
The Sedition Law will give the Government the comfort of thinking that it serves as a sufficient deterrent to open expression of honest opinion…
a paradox at best, as opinions take flight for underground dissent, as a more elusive and formidable adversary …that this violation of free speech would precipitate….