By  January 6, 2017

The beginning of this first month of a “new” year impacts me as I suppose it does all of us who have hopes, plans, aspirations.

For me the end of this month plunges me further into my seventies as well as marks the completion of the 24th year of this man-in-the-street column. Minor achievements? Okay but achievements all the same. So today’s first 2017 offering will be a bit more personalised than usual. So bear with my own testimony (which might just resonate with you – somewhat.)

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Granger’s `Good life’, personal, national…

Since assuming the management of this nation’s administration and resources – replete with potential and challenges – the President and his Finance Minister have been promising us “A Good Life in a green economy.”

The Brigadier, the Minister and the rear admiral would have their own understanding – and current, sustained enjoyment – of what they accept as a good life. Those ordinary voters, detractors and rural teenagers would experience sharply differing levels of that life. I understand that politicians must promise and inspire. But I advise the President, the Rear Admiral and Mr Honourable Jordan: “Ease up on campaign– like promises!”

And for you–all who take words and  meanings for granted allow me to remind or advise that some dictionaries define “good” in 20 ways when used as an adjective: Meanings include: “Favourable, bountiful, fertile, sound, considerable, ample, adequate, satisfactory, conforming to an acceptable standard…”

Now tell me, after 20 months having inherited myriad socio-economic chaos, can the cabinet, Mr Jordan and their executive managers deliver the real meanings of “good”? Especially if the potential beneficiaries are not motivated to help themselves? A “Green” economy is now being sought world-wide. “Greening” is to fight the ills of pollution of the planet. We are still relatively pristine here and the President is right about the benefits. But a full green economy will take many, many months to behold. So let us – government and people – settle for “a reasonable life in a viable economy”. And what is that?

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What’s “reasonable,” for us?

I personalise on behalf of all of us – especially the working-class – boldly.

I want to pay off the mortgage; you want the rent and installment up to date. We don’t, can’t lapse on all utility bills even when the service is poor or absent. You want all school fees paid despite “free” education. I hope for adequate public health care and a few subsidies for pharmaceuticals, water and public transportation. You need food at reasonable prices every day or land/space to plant and I still hope to see safe proper roads, bridges and drainage in my remaining life-time.

Of course we all desire adequate, appropriate employment or restful, meaningful retirement. The youth must have training for a moral, faith-friendly life – and we all welcome personal and national arrangements for a safe and secure life where crime is minimal.

What a simple basic list above? But can Mr Granger, Mr Jagdeo, Mr Jordan and the Admiral motivate us to even get near to those basics?

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Bruck de sign? What Cohesion?”

It is often observed: it is not always or only what is done, but how it is done.

I’ve written and shared my own perspectives with regard to the Red House issue. I veer towards the government’s position on the (in) validity of the lease engineered during PPP tenure.  Much law will abound but even as a complete novice I feel I can speculate correctly as to the Court’s eventual ruling. But I cannot embrace the near thug-like action of removing the Research Centre signboard in PNC-like rowdy manner and PNC-like counter demonstration in the face of what was to be a silent vigil.

In tearing down that sign with Cheddi Jagan’s name, the government/PNC loyalists were invoking the hatred, fears and eventual racism of the PPP/Jagdeo lot. They have thus granted/handed the PPP their latest race-card on a platter. We know the use which will now be utilised and expanded. Honourable Amna and her “social/national cohesion” will never cohere under government-inspired incidents like these.

I always say you can engender appreciation after understanding, even respect, after “consultations” and meetings to promote inter-class, inter-political, inter-ethnic, inter-religious harmony. But you can never legislate love through laws or constitution. I settle for peaceful co-existence. Even douglahs can be racist. Love, real affection, takes time to grow.

Leave Cheddi’s legacy at Red House. Erect other libraries for all other Presidents. “Worship” your own heroes without dismantling other people’s preferences. Yes, reclaim Red House, but retain Cheddi’s legacy.

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Ponder/wonder

  1. I wonder just who ordered that signboard removed instantly? There are ways not to appear PPP– like, comrades.
  2. What criteria does the President employ to select a GECOM chairman from Bharrat’s List?
  3. The NIS is actually raising its old age pensions. Sorry for me…
  4. Ian McDonald came his closest to being openly political this Sunday.
  5. Couldn’t the PPP and its Diaspora millionaires purchase the Skeldon Factory and secure its future?
  6. The 2016 best cop reportedly refused a total of $4,400,000 in bribes offered by evil persons. Hard to beat that!
  1. The old abandoned Co-op Bank building is soon to become a new vendors mall- without parking meters. So that Georgetown vendors will enjoy the “Reasonable Life in a Friendly Economy”.

’Til next week!

(allanafenty@yahoo.com)