AFC clutching at straws, openly and blatantly lying, but who believes them?

first_imgThe Alliance For Change (AFC) is in trouble, clutching at straws, trying to navigate itself into some relevance. Having been totally rejected, their leaders now possess absolutely no credibility. They held their National Executive Meeting last weekend, confirming that they depend on piggybacking on the People’s National Congress (PNC) for survival.Notice, I said the PNC, because A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) is nothing but the PNC. The other parties are just useless cosmetics. The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) is now a one-man show, just as Keith Scott’s party and the Justice Party. The PNC forced the AFC to go it alone in the November 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) and that LGE confirmed that the AFC is “dead meat”, exactly as Khemraj Ramjattan had warned before the 2015 elections.Lying to people in politics is not new, but the AFC lies are blatant, wicked, and reckless. Fortunately, people have learnt their lesson and, whereas the lies did succeed in 2015, those lies and other lies do not fool anyone anymore.This past week, they announced that the AFC will make education free from nursery to university. Education in Guyana is already free from nursery to secondary school, except for those parents who voluntarily decide to send their children to private schools. Essentially then, the AFC is promising free education at university level. This announcement followed several postings in social media that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is including free university education as part of its manifesto for the 2019 General and Regional Elections.The AFC has two problems. First, it would be good for all political parties to agree that OIL money would be used to improve the education system and to ensure education is free from nursery to university. But as part of the coalition with the PNC, the AFC cannot deliver on that promise.It will need the PNC to make that promise too. The AFC knows that because the PNC has called the shots since May 2015, the AFC has no say and is unwilling and unable to stand its ground. The AFC is impotent. Even if the PNC agrees for free university education and joins the AFC, they face a second problem – who will believe them?Since May 2015, the fees for university students have steadily increased. For most of the last two decades, the annual fee for the University of Guyana was $127,000, except for certain programmes, like law and medicine.Since May 2015, the general fees have increased and for 2019, the fees are now around $210,000. There are also increases for the special programmes like law and medicine. There have been several increases in special fees and there are some new fees also. The AFC has not just been silent, it has supported these increases. Now faced with an election and with total rejection from the population, the AFC is promising free university education.This is the political party and the same leaders who promised before the last elections in May 2015 that no sugar estates will be closed. In government, in partnership with the PNC in its APNU form, they ruthlessly closed four sugar estates and ripped away the jobs of more than 7000 people. Not only did they take away the jobs of sugar workers, the sugar workers had to fight them for their severance. In fact, several thousands of them had to go to court and the court had to order the Government to pay.The AFC actually went further in 2011 and in 2015 and promised sugar workers 20 per cent annual increases in wages. The sugar workers have been denied any wage increase for four years now and there is not a single sugar worker who believes that they would get a wage increase in 2019. The AFC has been silent as injustices burdened the sugar workers into poverty, being an integral part of the decisions that affect sugar workers. It lied to the sugar workers, to its own members, and to the nation.There are other lies. They promised rice farmers $9000 per bag of paddy. The rice farmers today get less than 25 per cent of that. They promised rice farmers no delays in their payments from millers. Today, rice farmers wait for their payment, sometimes more than a year.They promised zero corruption; corruption today is vulgarly rampant, centrally directed. They promised constitutional reform and, in spite of their own Prime Minister, a senior leader of the AFC, leading the process, constitutional reform has come to a total standstill. In fact, the AFC has actively played a role in railroading and disregarding the existing Constitution. Who believes anything the AFC says today? They are pathological liars.last_img

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