Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stella Says…A bucket full of worms will fertilise a garden

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in the Kaieteur News on 21 Feb 2006)

Sometimes there is just so much to say and so little time in which to say it. This past week has offered some comic relief to the usual run-of-the-mill statements and exchanges. For example, how funny is it that NCN got caught red-handed peddling PPP propaganda? That one gave me a real good laugh.

Speaking of the PPP, I was sure that when I read the title of a certain column named, “It’s The Vision,” it was just another of Peter Ramsaroop’s “Vision Guyana” articles that sees the country as it could be maybe in a decade or so instead of as it is at the present time. Imagine the laugh I got when I read that the column was by Robert Persaud.

Subsequently, my mind automatically thought of Mr. Persaud’s new MBA tagline that is now attached to everything – just like the suit man himself. Maybe the new Mr. MBA with a vision wants to be just like the other Mr. MBA with a vision when he grows up? As if this country didn’t have enough problems already!

In fact, this past week Home Affairs Minister, Gail Teixeira, was urging young people not to get caught up in one of the more serious problems in Guyana - the drug trade. According to the Kaieteur News article “Drug barons contaminating our young people,” Teixeira said, “young people getting involved in the drug trade cannot be certain of living a long and prosperous life.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle, because if I had been sitting in front of her, I would have wanted to ask, “Does that mean the young people can expect a long and prosperous life if they avoid the drug trade, Ms. Teixeira”? What other options do the young people have to steer them away from drug trade?

According to the article, the Home Affairs Minister then, “urged the youths to pursue a career in organisations such as the Guyana Police Force and the Prison and Fire Services. She explained that there are rewarding and lucrative career opportunities in these fields which will enable them to be part of the exciting world of information technology.”

Lucrative career opportunities in the Guyana Police Force and the Prison and Fire Services? I wonder what Ms. Teixeira considers lucrative? Perhaps she should compare her salary with that of my friend who works in the police force who can barely make ends meet. My friend told me the only reason she works for the force is because there is absolutely nothing else available for a young person in Guyana to forge a career.

If Ms. Teixeira wants to keep the young people away from the drug trade, wouldn’t it make sense to offer them some viable alternatives? Are the police force and the prison and fire services going to employ all of the youth of Guyana? Hardly. Then what, pray tell, are the rest of the youth going to do when there are no more jobs in these areas?

Does this mean that the PPP is going to do something besides talk about the situation? Are they actually going to go after the drug barons? Are they going to put action to their words for a change? Or is this just another one of those times when we are all suppose to smile and nod our heads while pretending like we believe the PPP is going to take steps to stop the drug trade and create a thriving economy so the youth will have an alternative way to make money?

Let’s move on to the next item on my list before I get on my soapbox again about the precious youth of Guyana. It is no secret that there is no great love loss between a fellow columnist whom I affectionately refer to as Peeps and myself. However, I found his article from last Saturday, “Blowing a woman’s mind,” to be very insightful and dare I say that Peeps seemed to be able to highlight some of the menacing activities women have to endure?

Just this past week in Annapolis, Maryland (a city about 45 minutes from where I live), an 84-year-old State Comptroller made national news when on camera he asked a young woman who had just brought him some water to come back and walk away again so he could watch her walk away.

This is where all the guys give a deep chuckle and all the women who have been in that humiliating position feel the pain of that young woman. That old geezer got a kick out this whole incident; the girl is too embarrassed to release her name to the press. I am so glad he is up for re-election later this year.

Election time is quickly approaching for Guyana too, which is evident by the wonderful letters from the various contenders. I couldn’t help but notice the letter from Raphael Trotman in Stabroek News last week. I had never before realised that Raphael could be so articulate. Indeed, he addressed my questions for his party by saying the AFC is still refining their position on various issues.

Raphael was even nice and said it appears that my concern for the AFC is genuine. Isn’t that just too sweet! Don’t get the cart ahead of the horse though, Raph. My genuine concern is for Guyana alone and the AFC has yet to prove that it will be any better than the do-nothing-but-get-a-lot-of-money-anyhow party that is currently in power. If you and your party can prove how genuine you are in bringing change, then you will see just how genuine I can really be. Until then, I’ll be waiting anxiously for you to announce your platform.

I also took note that the PNC decided to show it had something of merit from its sorted past to flaunt in front of the PPP. The Programmed Propagandist Party sure can spin things well – to the point where I think even the PNC forgot they had started the nation on a respectable path economically before the PPP got a chance to shut it all down. Does anyone else ever wonder what Guyana would be like if it had continued that path of economic recovery? Maybe it would be like some of its Caribbean neighbours – prosperous.

A bucket full of worms can fertilise a garden or help catch some fish for dinner – if there are seeds in the garden and fish in the pond. Otherwise the worms are useless. The same goes with drug legislation that is enacted but never enforced and economic reforms that are not implemented. Empty promises and shallow words will not help Guyana.

Email: Stellasays[at]gmail.com

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