Feb 12, 2017 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

 frddie2A tradition I have is a column at the beginning of each year in which I express my hopes for the new year. January came and went and I didn’t conform to that tradition. Better late than never! Radio announcer on Hits and Jam Radio, Boom FM, Stan Gouveia had me as his guest last week. As the interview went into the final minute, Stan with a huge smile asked me what my wish is for 2017. I didn’t even for a fraction of a moment hesitate to respond.
I said more access to Guyana’s cake for the lower income classes. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that we elected in May 2015, a government that is a shameless neo-liberal group of men and women who intend to resurrect the failed economics of President Desmond Hoyte and who intend to put credibility on a discredited system named trickle-down economics. The parking meter scandal is proof of this ideology at work.
The neo-liberal government we have, became Christopher Columbus overnight. The nation was told that we cannot interfere with the independence of the City Council. That independence was baked in the oven and got burnt when the President met City Hall big wigs over dinner and the menu was a reduction in parking fees and a removal of clamping and towaways.
Another Christopher came upon the scene – the Business Minister. He intoned; “I have a staff of 20-30 persons who drive and have to park and I don’t think, given their salaries, they can afford to pay the fees charged by the company to park every day.” When the economic implications of this contract were being discussed six months ago where was the Business Minister?
Some strange mood has taken over this country and it has become a danger to poor people. Read this – some taxi men started a shuttle service at the junction of UG road and the highway. That service is for people who are dropped off at the head of the road. The cost is 20 dollars to the campus. UG has now demanded that these poor drivers trying to eke out a living must pay $3000 per month for entering the campus. This becomes shocking when you hear what the salaries of the Vice Chancellor and his four Deputies and the Cabinet that he has just formed inside the vice-chancellery are.
There has been an increase in the licence fee for animal-drawn vehicles. Licences have now been put on dogs, if you have more than three. People are laughing at this government they way they joked and laughed about the comics we had in the previous regime.
I lived outside Guyana and I can say with immense definiteness; Guyanese are among the most humorous nationalities on the Planet. From the time that proposed licence for your three puppies hit the news, people began to refer to the rulers of Guyana as a dog government. As the months and years move on, the humour will get more hilarious.
In this fast-moving, cruel, neo-liberal journey into Hades, I think of Clive Thomas and Moses Nagamootoo. Can one imagine that Clive Thomas was a part of the WPA that confronted the Burnham Government and sought to remove it? The Burnham presidency was a million times less neo liberal than the Granger presidency.
Clive Thomas is now part of the neo-liberal government. The more you live the stranger life becomes. Clive Thomas’ books advocating the economics of liberation of the poor had permanent effects on me. I regard Thomas as a national hero. Is Thomas proud to be part of this new government?
Then there is Nagamootoo, the famous Moses man from Guyana who parted the Jagdeoite waves so Guyana could exist. Then he joined a government in 2015 that may cause Guyana to no longer exist. Moses recently announced that he refused nomination for leader of the AFC because after 50 years of activism, he prefers to give way to younger leaders. But is that 50-year legacy in trouble? Like Clive Thomas, isn’t the heroic status facing extinction?
Could you belong to an anti-working class government yet maintain a heroic stature. I don’t know, I really don’t know. What I know is that I will not vote for the PPP in 2020. What I know is that I cannot support the APNU+AFC in the shape and form as I see it in February 2017, for a return to power in 2020. What I know is that if there is a good, committed third party I may vote for it. But will Guyana survive to 2020. By the way – how many puppies do you have?