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Someone wrote a reply to the following statement by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan; “By the time we are finished with salaries for this year, I can guarantee you that between July 1, 2015, and January 1, 2019, it will be over 75 percent increase.”
The Minister in announcing salary increases for public servants said that between 2015 and 2019, the government would have given public servants an accumulated increase of 75 percent. For reasons we may never know, the letter-writer opted not to sign a name.
In Guyana, one resorts to anonymity to evade victimisation. Of course, the aficionados of the APNU+AFC regime would say that the era of looking behind your back is gone so why think the government will victimise you if you criticise state power.
I would advise you to be careful how you embrace those words of governmental supporters.”
The reply to Jordan was published under the title “Cumulative salary and wage increases for public servants since 2015 varied depending on their bands” in the Stabroek News of Saturday, November 16, 2019.
I would recommend you read this missive for two reasons; it shows the importance of context. Context is everything in life. Everything has a basis in context.
This columnist has argued in more than a dozen articles and will continue to argue that I support the no-confidence vote in the context of the failure of the APNU+AFC to transform this blighted nation, an expectation that perhaps the whole world had of the Coalition Government.
The anonymous writer had this to say about Minister Jordan, “The claim that salaries and wages increased by 70 (sic) percent is as disingenuous as the arguments advanced by his colleague Basil Williams regarding the majority of 65. It is also an insult to the intelligence of public servants who know they did not receive increases anywhere close to 70 (sic) percent.”
The letter writer produced two tables of statistics covering public servants’ increases from 2015 to 2019. Here is where context becomes extremely important. The tables revealed that different categories of public workers received different levels of increase. And when you take the variations into account many public employees did not touch anywhere near 75 percent.
The missive argued that it was misleading to announce that public servants receive 75 percent increase within a four-year period because the generalisation does not apply.
The second reason for my recommendation of this rebuttal to the Finance Minister lies in the protection of the recording of history. Let us say that someone is writing a book about the economics of the APNU+AFC’s first term in office. He/she reads about the Finance Minister’s pronouncement. No one replies to the Minister. No one factually proves the Minister was wrong and the Minister’s figures faulty. The Minister’s figures then become part of the book and goes into history.
It is for this reason, I urge people in this country not to let propaganda, fake news, and self-serving narratives go unanswered. The most egregious example of recent times is the statement of the WPA that the Granger Government in the only administration in the history of British Guiana and post-colonial Guyana where no critic was physically attached. This was depraved fiction. This was unsavoury propaganda.
Shortly after a picket exercise was mounted outside the Kaieteur News criticising the newspaper’s report on the lack of transparency of Joe Harmon’s trip to China, there was a grenade attack on the publisher. Now the two incidents may have absolutely nothing in common and there is no proof of such a connection.
But the fact remains that the publisher of the leading newspaper could have died if that device had exploded. The WPA’s fact is no longer fact. It is fiction and that fiction will not find itself in the history books because others have replied and proved that it was not factual.
The paucity of rejection of the accusations of treachery against Charrandass Persaud is disturbing. Why can’t someone vote against their own government for reason of conscience? There is not a sufficient number of people coming to the defence of Charran as against those who vilify Charran daily in the Chronicle.


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