I would not even try to engage Mr Kwame McCoy on issues of competence, substance or integrity. I have no time for someone who questions the veracity of serious statements attributed to him only after he is publicly challenged on them. If Kwame had been following Business Page for the past decade and more he would not raise the question of whether a professional can write on matters which come to him in that capacity. That question has been dealt with publicly on several occasions, but for Kwame’s benefit, the answer is no.
His new twist is that my role as a columnist to the Stabroek News conflicts with the firm’s role as the auditor of the company which publishes it. Let me share a secret with Kwame: For the entire period that I have been a contributor to the Sunday Stabroek, I have done so as the masthead to Business Page says, as a public service, pro bono without ever taking a copy of the paper, an entitlement of every contributor.
There is no issue then of my professional obligations and any personal gain or interest conflicting. That is the test of conflict which I suggest Kwame apply to his political colleagues and tell us the results.
Kwame then claims that I am a co-author of the 2006 Manifesto of the People’s National Congress Reform. How this gentleman can elevate my statement “that I was consulted and sat in on working sessions of two of the main groups,” as co-authorship is beyond reason. My role was on technical issues relating to economics, taxation and social security, all areas in which I have some experience.
Mr McCoy may not be aware that I advised Dr Jagan on similar issues in 1992 and did the same for the PPP/C both before and to a lesser extent after the 2006 elections, adding Company Law to the list of topics. Does that make me a co-author of the PPP/C’s manifesto or policy papers?
This has nothing to do with party politics, but with serving our country.
Finally, I am glad to see the President announce the tabling of the report on the Fidelity “Mixed Beverages” scam which by pure coincidence he did on the same day that I called for its immediate release.
In tabling the report I hope the government will say how it will treat with all the relevant issues arising from it.