by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 7 March 2006)
There is a great old comedy routine by Abbott and Costello called, “Who’s on first.” Costello wants to know the names of the players on a baseball team Abbott is coaching.
Here is how the conversation goes:
Abbott: Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...
Costello: That's what I want to find out.
Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.
Costello: Are you the manager?
Costello: You gonna be the coach too?
Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?
Abbott: Well I should.
Costello: Well then who's on first?
Costello: I mean the fellow's name.
Costello: The guy on first.
Costello: The first baseman.
Costello: The guy playing...
Abbott: Who is on first!
Costello: I'm asking YOU who's on first.
Abbott: That's the man's name.
Costello: That's who's name?
Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.
Abbott: That's it.
Costello: That's who?
This routine goes on to cover most of the team’s players and gets funnier by the minute. This comedy act gets me every time and makes me laugh so hard it brings tears to my eyes. Which is why I found the PPP’s version of “Who’s on First” to be so entertaining this past week.
Guyanese politics are amusing on almost any given day of the year, but there is nothing I wouldn’t do to watch the next cabinet meeting for the Jagdeo administration. There is not one comedy on television or one comedian alive today that could possibly be funnier than this administration has been in the last week.
First we have Dr. Roger Luncheon who says if they knew who the drug lords were, then of course they would do something about it. That statement alone is hysterical. Like when everyone believed the government took the necessary steps to make sure there would be no more flooding after last year. Yet when rainy season hit this year the canals were overgrown, the pumps were not maintained and no one had a clue as to what was going on.
Okay, so far the government doesn’t know who the drug dealers could possibly be.
From left stage comes Home Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira who says the people of Guyana should boycott the businesses of the drug lords. So does she know who they are and is she going to tell the rest of Guyana so they can boycott these businesses? Well, yes. It seems she knows who the drug lords are and that they have established businesses.
Here is a quote from Stabroek News last Friday, “Asked how she could reconcile her call for such action when government has granted concessions to known drug dealers for certain projects including for the World Cup Cricket, Teixeira said, ‘These are the things that bother me,’ adding that they are controversial issues.”
Hmmm. So the government does know who the drug lords are then.
Then along comes the star of the show, President Jagdeo. To justify the fact that the government does know who the drug lords are – and have even been giving them concessions for projects to the World Cup - the star of the show then points his finger at the U.S. and blames them for not doing anything about the drug lords in his country.
Oh my, I’m laughing so hard I think I may need to use the little girls room. I can’t help but wonder if the international community wouldn’t be a bit more generous with helping Guyana with such issues like this if the PPP were more transparent with the aid it had already received.
For example, it would be great if those countries that sent aid for the flood last year received an itemised list of how the money was spent. For that matter, it would be great if the people of Guyana were given the opportunity to see where their money is going too.
The greatest part of this whole comedy routine was the fact that a name was actually provided in the U.S. report, but it doesn’t seem the PPP has any plans whatsoever of doing anything about it – well expect for give this person land. I guess the government thinks the best way to punish a drug lord is to give him presents.
Here is how I would write the script for this past week’s comedy routine:
Drug Lord: I am going to set up business in Guyana as a front for my drug trade.
PPP: That is fine, but we don’t know who you are.
Drug Lord: Aren’t you going to try to stop me?
PPP: We are going to tell the people to boycott your businesses, but we are also going to give you a piece of our land so you can make yourself a comfortable home right here in Guyana and do business for a long time.
Drug Lord: What will you tell the people when they demand that you do something about my real business?
PPP: We will blame the U.S. for not doing anything to help us get rid of you because you have so many resources (which we gave you) and we have so little.
Drug Lord: Won’t the people see right through that excuse and be upset that you are allowing drug lords to do business in your country?
PPP: We will dance around the issue and tell them this is a controversial issue and these are the things that bother us.
Drug Lord: Will they buy that?
PPP: What other choice do they have? By the way, would you like to do some good business during the World Cup?
Now that I think about it, this is not a comedy routine at all. This is a tragedy script with betrayal and corruption laced throughout the storyline. The only part that is really funny is watching the PPP trying to worm their way out of another debacle. They are squirming here and there trying to find some way to explain yet another big mess. Doesn’t seem like there is a new one everyday?