Saturday, March 1, 2014

Morality and the minister(s)

The apparently spineless Finance Minister found himself in the papers recently as he hit a car into a trench without due care and attention as he was supposed to stop. Perhaps if he hadn't been driving an oversized vehicle unsuited to Guyana's roads there might have been less damages, but there it goes. Like Ted Kennedy-- he removed himself from the scene of the accident without seeing that the other people involved got out of the trench- in this case a taxi with a passenger, and sending a minion to deal with his mess.

This raises several questions in my mind-- I remember reading that the goodly minister had completed a Pandit's training course -- so he should have been aware that the ethical thing to do would be to assist people to whom he had caused harm. ( A Pandit means/implies a learned person able to read and understand the Vedas-- the sacred Hindu texts-- implying some sort of moral leader)  In fact, to back-pedal a bit  he ought not to be even drinking alcohol, much less be driving recklessly, supposedly under the influence ( no breathalyser or blood tests were carried out so there is no evidence!)-- AND according to Kaieteur News-- especially after he had 'jammed' another person's car under similar circumstances only a month previously!
Then as now, a minion had been dispatched to cut a deal, keep it out of public knowledge and quietly drop the matter after ignoring the person's pleas.  Looking very hard for mitigating factors I could only come up with -- it was a Public Holiday so his driver was not working and he was generously driving himself to do the rest of us a favour of not paying another minion 'time and a half', thus having the Country's interest at heart.
(Likewise one could suppose the questionable position of having his wife in the Auditor-General's office to oversee his department's spending of the Public's funds - he could, purely from an altruistic view make sure she had her facts right-- like the Minister of Culture-- a trained Public Health specialist having his wife be in a position of controlling the then cash-cow funds for HIV prevention. I am not saying these are not intelligent women who could not of otherwise have gained these positions on their own steam because let's face it-- Guyana's Parliament has a higher than required number of women parliamentarians on all sides but our peculiar system means they toe the Party line-- and why spoil a good thing of all the perks?  Maybe that's one of the functions of a good Guyanese wife-- clean ya husband dirty laundry?)
I think the Crime Chief indicated that traditionally Ministers are treated differently from ordinary citizens with respect to failing to report the accident within 24hrs or rendering assistance to those injured at the scene of an accident  -- whether this was another genius move from the President who wrote the 1980 constitution giving himself unlimited powers or harkens further back to to Colonial times - it is the same thing -- blatant abuse of Power.
Ironically-- this Minister of Finance's name has been touted as a possible presidential candidate following the stellar performance of the last one.

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