What are the real curses?

Two statements reportedly made by President David Granger in a speech to an audience in New York while attending the United Nations General Assembly attracted my attention: one was an exhortation to members of the Guyanese diaspora to return home as the country needed brains, not barrels, and the other was a description of sugar, rice, bauxite, gold, diamonds and timber as the “curse of the six sisters”, perhaps a play on the Seven Sisters in oil.

Unfortunately, Mr Granger did not on that or any earlier occasion indicate the basis, logic and justification of the call for brains. Guyanese abroad respectfully attend presidential visits as a social event but have not been responding to President Granger’s several calls, in the absence of an industrial or investment policy, or a diaspora policy, or a crime policy. We not only need such policies but also a study to identify the skills set the President so much wants to attract.

In their adopted countries, the members of the Guyanese diaspora have worked hard to acquire their skills, operate in a functioning democracy (despite Trump), are employed in an organised and professional work environment, are reasonably well paid, are not subject to glaring discrimination, enjoy a decent standard of living and, very importantly, feel safe in the society in which they live. None of these can be taken for granted in Guyana. Continue reading What are the real curses?

Granger’s APNU – conclusion

Introduction
As a result of the debate sparked by my last posting on the performance of Mr. David Granger as Leader of the Opposition I decided against publishing the second part of that piece whilst the PNC-R’s Congress was in progress. Readers will recall that the column was in response to statements made by Mr. Granger at the press conference marking the third anniversary of the APNU. In the course of that press conference Mr. Granger stated, rather unconvincingly, that despite the serious lack of facilities and resources the APNU’s achievements in three years had surpassed the achievements of the past twenty years.

Before addressing the issue of resources it might be useful to point out that Mr. Granger leads and opposition in the National Assembly that enjoys a majority, a situation that had never existed before in the Guyana Parliament. It might be useful to point out too that even as a minority Leader Mr. Hoyte was able to extract concessions on the Constitution, a matter of grave importance which appears to have received little or no practical attention from the APNU.
Continue reading Granger’s APNU – conclusion

Granger’s APNU

Introduction
At a recent press conference to mark the third anniversary of the APNU, the major opposition force in the National Assembly, coalition leader Mr. David Granger addressed the unrivalled successes of the APNU in its relative brief existence despite what he lamented as the serious lack of facilities and resources it faces. Mr. Granger, who is also the leader of the PNC-R and of the Opposition in the National Assembly, came to politics after a career in the military of which he also became a historian, and a stint as an entrepreneur and publisher of the Guyana Review. Starting today, I will attempt an analysis of Mr. Granger’s assessment of his coalition and his claim of limited resources.

In his press conference Mr. Granger disagreed with his unidentified or unnamed critics that adequate work has not been done and also disagrees with anyone that the work of the APNU had not been adequate over the last 30 months. In what appears to be a poorly expressed thought Mr. Granger claimed that the APNU had “achieved a lot more than has been achieved in the last 20 years”.

There seems something wrong with the framing of Granger’s statement. It is incongruous for the 20-year period that includes the thirty months of the APNU since elections 2011 to be less successful than those of the three years, unless Mr. Granger is saying that the previous seventeen years produced negative achievements, an indictment of his predecessors President Desmond Hoyte and Robert Corbin who shared that period.

Unfortunately, none of the journalists at the press conference is reported to have asked Mr. Granger to identify either his yardstick for measuring success or to name a couple of those successes. Even if the commentator is able to make his own assessment of the successes it would be futile to second guess Mr. Granger’s yardstick.
Continue reading Granger’s APNU