Dr 'Joey' Jagan must work out why we got where we are
Stabroek News
November 20, 2001

Dear Editor,

I hope this response to Dr. Joey Jagan's letter captioned "Many changes are needed to put us on the path of development" [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] (l7.ll.200l) will help to edify Joey and others on what brought Guyana to this morass after being among the top fifteen countries in the region of the 1960s. Let us open those myopic eyes!

First, the PPP from its inception was intent on shovelling us in with the communist nations of China and Russia. When the PPP took office in 1957 the party continued its drive to tear down the class structure.

However, a strong Civil Service sidestepped the communist programmes and continued the orderly growth of free enterprise for the benefit of the nation but the upper classes and businessmen started to emigrate to foreign countries.

Dr. Jagan brought in Mr. Jack Kelshall of Trinidad to be his personal secretary even though Guyana was blessed with highly educated and knowledgeable professionals. Ray Charles' "Hit the

Road, Jack" became an instant success among our people.

Then came the fiasco with Dr. Kaldor which gave our nation its biggest strike, a total shutdown during eighty days of 1963. For years the locals had been preparing the annual budget without a problem but suddenly we needed an 'Expert'. Unfortunately, Kaldor was no expert on the Guyanese economy but a hard-headed Jagan wanted his way.

But young Joey and his countryman were "raising Cain" in our sister country, Canada. That cost our nation some $40,000 real money, not today's "Guyanopoly".

By the time the PNC-majority coalition, with the four-member Peter d'Aguiar led UF took office the country took a heavy

downturn. Forbes Burnham had been touting his personal agenda to civil servants who were advisors at the political level even before the 1964 elections. When Mr. d'Aguiar lost his Ministry for questioning Burnham's "misappropriation" of public funds the writing was on the wall for top civil servants. As they fled, their positions were filled by "yesmen".

If Cheddi Jagan couldn't do anything in the 57-64 period he couldn't fare better from 1993 to his passing. There were no qualified personnel to rely upon and he never would have understood how a civil service has to prepare programmes. We worked on fifty-year programmes and expected the population to hit the one million mark in 2000. We have, but more than 600,000 now live overseas. When returning to power he certainly didn't encourage "personal" growth.

I know some of us may want to speak well of our parents but not at the expense of truth, especially for those in public view. It is the main reason why quality people studied hard and worked relentlessly to climb the "professional" ladder of success. With knowledge comes the power to walk when incompetent people try to control the brain.

This is a new century and I swore to both Jagan and Burnham that when they were finished breaking Guyana, the knowledgeable Guyanese would return to rebuild. Joey, don't blame Mr. Jagdeo for his incompetence. He was born after the mess was laid and very few of our young people know the historical truth.

Yours faithfully,

George Jackson