Eyewitness: Being realistic…

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

…on oil

VP Jagdeo made our country’s policy on oil production crystal clear: we’re going to try to pump the black gold out as much and as fast as is possible!! Drill baby!! Pump Baby!! And why not?? The man also made that crystal clear. Whether we like it or not…whether we want it or not…the world is going to keep on using fossil fuel for decades into the future. This is a fact of life – don’t let anyone tell you differently. Did you remember all the grand promises made at the Paris COP 21 in 2015? Well, is case you forgot, not a single one of them was fulfilled by the biggest transgressors. And that’s the way the cookie will continue to crumble.

And somebody will supply that market, whether we bow out or not. So, what should we do, leave our oil in the ground to let a few companies become monopolies and make windfall profits?? And that while we remain a poverty-stricken country, where one-third of our population have to live on less than US$1.90 daily?? That is, only Gy$400 – which can’t even buy a veggie fried rice?? Ah… what the heck!! Your Eyewitness just doesn’t get the kind of thinking that wants us to sacrifice our last chance to live in dignity after four hundred years of slavery and indentureship. During that time, all the countries we emulate used their resources and – more to the point – ours from the colonies to develop their economies. We were like children with our noses pressed on shop windows looking in at their fantastic lifestyles.

Do these people who want to halt our oil production really believe the countries that did the most damage to the atmosphere to bring on global warming will compensate us for our sacrifice?? That’s what Jagdeo wants to know. Why hasn’t any of them stepped up to the crease to make us that offer we just can’t refuse on our lost “opportunity coat” if we were to stop drilling?? The problem with these “oil leavers” is they aren’t living that life of barely hanging onto sanity by one’s fingernails. And that’s so even though they have a word for that condition – precarity. This just allows them to ignore the people who experience it by removing the images conjured up by that other word, “poverty”.

What the “oil leavers” should be doing is to pursue the suggestion by Global Witness that the circumstances surrounding the oil contract must be investigated. The Government’s going after those who concealed the US $18 million “freck” – whether out of embarrassment or guilt.
But we let the fella who signed away our birthright get away with murder.

…about Janet Jagan

There was a poignant tribute to the late Janet Jagan in the letters’ column by Clement Rohee, who had grown up at her feet in the PPP. Today would’ve been her 101st birthday. Your Eyewitness noticed that Rohee complimented her (among other things) for being “attractive”. He wondered how Janet (as everyone called her) would’ve reacted? Was she one of those women who saw such compliments as condescending?

While your Eyewitness can’t pretend to have known her personally, she did strike him as a no-nonsense person who would’ve given short shrift to such “bouquets”. But her beauty – as defined by the then dominant Eurocentric standards – did serve her well. All of the books and articles by the British and Americans dwell on her looks. It must’ve meant something. Her sobriquet was the “Blue-Eyed Bhowgie” who hobnobbed with the PPP huddled Indian masses, partook of their simple fare, and even slept in their logies when she was mobilising back in the day.
She was quite a draw.

…on new voters list

Aspiring PNC leader Aubrey Norton wants a new voters’ list from house-to-house registration. But this would mean disenfranchising overseas Guyanese, unless the constitution is changed.
Is he willing to engage the “illegally installed cabal” on this?