Mark for official endorsement

Wednesday Ramblings
Stabroek News
August 15, 2001

This column is coming out early in its whole-hearted support for Mark Benschop as the next mayor of Georgetown. This does not contradict an earlier suggestion that Mark be put in charge of garbage on the international space station, as City Hall is actually on a nearby planet .

All over the globe it has been traditional for oddball characters to be elected as mayors.

Jerry Springer the US talk show host was briefly the Mayor of Cincinnati before manufacturing scuffles on day time television.

In New York the colourful and outspoken Ed Koch used to go around asking people "How am I doing??" and opining on which deli served the best pastrami sandwich. Only last year "Red" Ken Livingstone an unreconstructed communist was elected Mayor of London if only to annoy Prime Minister Tony Blair.

For all his faults and his constant appearances in the courts, it cannot be denied that Benschop is loved by many poor people. Which other personality can cause a near riot when thrown in jail? What great copy Mark the Mayor would give the press as he sat at the horseshoe table wearing the preposterous chain mail ... "you know what I mean?". And it is high time we had a new message coming out of City Hall instead of the decidedly stale "moral and spiritual revival." It was always difficult to understand the connection between this and efficient garbage collection.


The Ruimveldt Bridge

The sinking bridge in East Ruimveldt is really a lot of fun. That momentary loss of gravity which causes butterflies in the stomach was brilliantly calculated by the engineers so as not to induce vomiting but still give drivers recurring doubts as to whether the bridge is still there.

Many persons of course fail to realise that the bridge was intentionally constructed that way so as to make motoring pleasurable. A prestigious American firm which designs amusement park rides was consulted on its design. The Ministry of Works is now proposing to place toll booths either side of the bridge and charge a quite reasonable $50 a ride.

Meanwhile, the recent repairs to the Demerara Harbour Bridge were in fact to install an elaborate loop the loop which observers have noted will rank with some of the best rides in the world. Congratulations should be handed out to the Ministry of Public Works for its innovative ideas in raising much needed revenue. It is now proposed that the City Hall compound will after many years be officially declared an amusement park with games such as 'Knock over the Soda Bottles" and "Pin the Blame On the Uniforms."


Say No to "Say Yes for Children"

One really has to wonder what is the point of such projects as "Say Yes for Children" except to waste a lot of money which actually could be wasted on something else.

The 10 goals set out in the programme are laughably vague: No 1 "Put children first!" No 6 "Listen to Children" or No 10 "Fight poverty - invest in children." What does it exactly mean to invest in children? Start them up in some small business? Surely this would go against Rule No.5 "Stop exploiting children" unless of course they were given a share of the profits. Listening to children of course flies against all sensible wisdom that children should be seen and not heard as most of the time they talk a lot of nonsense about cartoons and all-boy pop groups.

Governments seem to believe that parents are complete idiots who need to be told how to care for their offspring when in fact most of us do quite a fine job on our own.

Thankfully this and the other very silly social programmes will not make an iota of difference on the way most parents bring up their children. Which is of course perfectly sensible.

A rally is supposed to be held at the beginning of the school year. All children are encouraged to boycott this as a sign of their new-found independence.


More Luncheonspeak

On GPL: "Much still has to be done by this utility in interfacing with the public at crisis time or at those delicate times when interventions are urgent."