The Empire Complains!
The Private Sector Commission is looking for a scapegoat to blame for the decline in entertainment related commerce. Bars and nightclubs have been experiencing some problems but instead of the private sector seeking from its own resources to boost this sector, they have tried to blame the government policy of enforcing the legal closing time for these establishments.
The Private Sector Commission is requesting that instead of the stipulated 2.00 am closing deadline for bars and nightclubs that the deadline be 4.00 am. This, the Private Sector Commission believes, will help to revive business at bars and nightclubs.
The Private Sector Commission cannot provide any empirical evidence in the form of a study that it has done to establish that it was the enforcement of the legal closing time of no later 2.00 am that is responsible for the decline in business.
The Private Sector Commission is advancing an argument without any supporting evidence. It lacks the evidence because it is too damn cheap to undertake a study to establish a case, either that or it knows that the measures implemented by the government is not responsible for the decline in business.
How many people in Guyana are out of their homes at 4.00 am, both now and in the past? It is only a small number of partygoers, mainly at certain nightclubs with bars with vested political connections that stay out late. Ninety per cent of those persons who patronize bars are out by midnight.
The nightclubs tended to go later because this is what has been encouraged. But it must be recalled that in the 1970’s to the 1990’s, the nightclubs went up to 2.00 am on Saturdays but it was only a handful of the party-goers that stayed on beyond midnight.
By the time midnight came most persons were on their way homes. The present generation of revelers cannot be so lacking in discipline that they cannot adjust the time they begin partying to the time they leave. Why do partygoers have to begin partying after midnight? There is a reason, why, because this is when the young girls are able to escape from their homes when their parents are asleep.
Why do some of these young girls have to stay out so late? When they stay out so late they cannot wake up the next morning to go to church or to the temple. They are spent from the exertions of the night before both at the nightclubs and the places they go afterwards. They cannot wake up to cook the next day. The effects of the hangovers and exhaustion carry through to Monday and many of them turn up to work with tired limbs and sore eyes.
We have to return to the time when parties began early and ended early. People should not be on the roads after midnight. In the old days it was said that only two types of persons can be seen walking late at nights on the roads. But that is a story for another time.
With the crime situation as it is now, with motorbike gangs riding into the center of town and shooting Wild West, people should be at home rather than being on the streets after dark. This will allow for the police patrols to better control crime because with less people on the streets at dark, it is easier for police to focus on the criminals who may be roaming the streets at that hour.
Christmas is not going to turn anything around.
People are scared to go out after dark. Money is not circulating because business is contracting and Christmas, even though it is likely to see an increase in business activity, is not going to be as it was in the past.
The Private Sector Commission has no case. It is not the ‘curfew hour’ that is responsible for the decline in business. There is a crisis in business, not necessarily in the economy, but within the business sector which is controlled exclusively by the private sector. What we have is a private sector that is at the root cause of the present business crisis.
The private sector is not importing and investing as they should because they do not have the same confidence in the present government as they did in the previous administration. And from a theoretical point of view that is understandable because the propertied class is no longer being ruled by a political class which it controls. So the business class which is the main arm of the propertied class is cautious when it comes to investment in the economy, including in the import/ export business.
The private sector is flush with funds and they can wait out the next five years and hope that the party they controlled is returned to power. The economy is strong enough to survive four years of decline.
There is therefore no reason for the Private Sector Commission to be seeking a scapegoat for what is clearly a lack of confidence by the business class in the government?
Do not blame the Minister of Public Security. Do not blame anyone. The problem lies in class interests.