Salary increase for nurses

first_imgFollowing much deliberation and representation being made in the interest of nurses, they can now expect a pay raise before the end of 2019. This was hinted at by Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Public Health Ministry, Colette Adams, who noted that this is “good news” for the nurses.“The Ministry of Public Health takes nursing and the nursing profession seriously. We looked at all of the demands, and we try to fix what we can, and I want to bring good news to you nurses, and that is you will have your increase in salary,” Colette Adams is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.Adams was at the time speaking to nurses in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) at the first event in observances of Nurses Week 2019.Adams assured that the Ministry has long sought to have this particular issue resolved. She added that while nurses stand to benefit, the increase will be applied to all healthcare workers in the public health system.“This increase is because we lobbied, we talked, we took your cases where it was ought to be heard and we were successful and I want to say this is not only for the nurses, but for all healthcare workers, because we are looking to spread the increases across the board the doctors, the nurses even to the assistant nurses and patient care assistants.”The PS noted that this is just the beginning of a push to safeguard the future of the nursing profession in Guyana. More specifically, the Ministry is looking to have more specialised nurses in the system.Further, Adams noted that as the health sector develops, there is an increasing demand for complex nursing care especially at secondary health care institutions and the only tertiary main referral establishment in Guyana, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).“When we put a nurse in the theatre, that nurse would have had that training to perform all the theatre work. We are not looking at nurses generally anymore, the world is changing and we have to look to have a more diverse and developed nursing profession… nurses will be paid across the board according to their professional training.”It was stressed that even as the Ministry seeks to do more for the nursing profession, a higher level of service is expected. “If we are going to pay you better, serve us better.”last_img read more

It’s boring! – Wenger on speculation about Arsenal future

first_img1 Arsene Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in Europe as he approaches 20 years Arsene Wenger has passionately defended his position as Arsenal boss and insists he has become bored of people questioning whether he has what it takes to continue in the job.The 66-year-old has been accustomed in recent years to supporters and pundits alike calling for him to end his long reign with the Gunners, and in recent weeks he has faced a fresh wave of criticism after the team’s Barclays Premier League title hopes were derailed by some poor results.Former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness called Arsenal “weak and insipid” and claimed they “bordered on a joke” during their defeat to Manchester United last month, while ex-players Paul Merson and Thierry Henry have also had their say on Wenger and the club.Wenger, who is now the longest-serving manager in Europe as he approaches 20 years at the helm at Arsenal, has seen his side win just three of their last 12 matches in all competitions, leaving them on the brink of Champions League elimination and eight points adrift of domestic league leaders Leicester with nine games remaining.They face Hull in an FA Cup fifth-round replay on Tuesday night as they look to win the competition for a third straight season, having beaten the Tigers in the 2014 final and defended the trophy against Aston Villa at Wembley last May.The 2014 success ended a decade-long run without silverware for the Gunners and relieved tensions between disillusioned fans and their manager – but things could once again to come a head if they end the current campaign empty-handed.But Wenger came out fighting when asked if the way fans react over the remainder of the season would affect his thoughts over signing a new contract at Arsenal, with his current deal expiring next summer.“Look, I have worked here for 19, 20 years and I’m always sitting here having to justify that I’m good enough to do the job,” he said at his press conference previewing the trip to the KC Stadium.“I have no problem to cope with everything but I find that a bit boring in the end. I always have to convince you that I am good enough. I worked for 35 years at the top level.“What I find just boring is always sitting here after 19 years to face, ‘Do you think you are good enough?’ If I am not, somebody will tell me.”Wenger’s counterpart on Tuesday night at Hull will be Steve Bruce, who labelled criticism of the Frenchman as “appalling” and said the only thing he would be giving the Arsenal boss is respect.A fighting 2-2 draw at Tottenham on Saturday showed Wenger’s side does have heart and the hunger to fight for silverware after a poor run of results.Henry said he had never seen the fans as angry as they were when Arsenal lost at home to Swansea last Wednesday but Wenger insists he will go about his job of delivering those trophies rather than focusing on what he cannot control.He said: “I cannot influence the behaviour of the fans. How can I do that?“I am humble enough every day to question myself, to accept my mistakes, and believe me I do that. After that as well there is no coincidence that the people who own the club tell me to be here for 19 years. Do you think they are more stupid than you or me?“I am not on Twitter. I don’t invite anybody to go out to dinner and be nice with them. I work and work and work and work. If it’s not good enough someone will tell me one day.“That’s all I can do. I do not worry what you say about me or what fans say about me. I try to do my job in a proper way and with full commitment. After that everybody has the right to have an opinion.”last_img read more

DONEGAL GAA MEMBERS DETAILS ON STOLEN DATABASE

first_imgA MAN has been arrested and released pending further investigations after details of GAA members from throughout the country were stolen.We can reveal that the details of hundreds of registered GAA members in Donegal were on the stolen database.However it’s thought that a former disgruntled employee of Servasport in Belfast, the company which managed the GAA members database, was behind an incident where discs containing information were sent to the Gaelic Players Association and the Data Protection Commissioner in Dublin. PSNI sources have ruled out any paramilitary or sinister motive behind the leak.As well as the names and addresses of members, the database holds:288,511 dates of birth107,212 mobile numbers63,695 landline numbers30,171 email addressesIn 544 individual cases, the database referred to a medical condition.The GAA said it would write directly to each of these members setting out the information about them. Over 167,000 of the members on the database are under 18.A PSNI source said they don’t believe any GAA members here or elsewhere in Ireland was at risk as a result of the actions of the former computer company.DONEGAL GAA MEMBERS DETAILS ON STOLEN DATABASE was last modified: December 11th, 2010 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Manchester United set to wrap up £52m deal for Brazilian midfielder

first_img1 Manchester United target Fred will complete his medical with the Premier League side on Monday.The Shakhtar Donetsk star, who has also been linked with rivals Manchester City in the past, is expected to sign in a £52 million – including add-ons.Fred will leave the Brazil camp after their friendly with Croatia to undergo the medical.The midfielder is part of Tite’s squad to take to the World Cup in Russia later this month, so Jose Mourinho is keen to tie up a deal as quickly as possible.The Portuguese sees the 25-year-old as an ideal replacement for the retiring Michael Carrick, who hung up his boots at the end of last season.Since joining Shakhtar in 2013 from Internacional, he has won two league titles, two domestic cups and three Super Cups. Fred pictured during Brazil training last_img read more

Liverpool and Tottenham given ‘huge boost’ in pursuit of Ligue 1 forward

first_img 1 Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ REVEALED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Latest Transfer News targets Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father LATEST Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Tottenham and Liverpool are still keen on signing Brazilian forward Malcom Liverpool and Tottenham have been given a boost after Malcom’s agent revealed Inter Milan’s loan offer is not good enough.The winger is ready to leave Bordeaux this summer after having his departure blocked in January. moving on center_img “Inter are a great club,” Garcia told Italian news outlet Calciomercato.“But he won’t be able to join the Nerazzurri on loan with only an option to buy.“Without an obligatory option, Bordeaux won’t accept [the offer].” targets LIVING THE DREAM IN DEMAND Liverpool and Tottenham are interested in the Brazilian, but Inter have been leading the race for him.The Italian club want to sign Malcom on loan for next season – and then decide in 12 months time whether or not to make it permanent.However the 21-year-old’s agent, Fernando Garcia, has warned Inter their offer is simply not good enough.Instead, the Italian side must include an obligation-to-buy clause in any loan bid made to Bordeaux. Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January RANKED Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star last_img read more

PLANNING SOUGHT FOR NEW CARAVAN PARK IN LETTERKENNY

first_imgLetterkenny could be getting a new caravan and camping park.An application has been sent to the local town council for permission for the site at The Glebe on the outskirts of the town.The park will include 16 static caravan sites, 12 touring van spaces and also 8 camping spaces. The application has been put in by local resident and businessman David Moore.The facility will also include toilets, a laundry room and a reception area for holidaymakers.The caravan park will be one of the first such facilities in the town.A source said “This is a great application and hopefully it gets the green light. “Tourism is the way forward and a lot of people look for places to park their touring van or their caravan and this will be the area for them.” PLANNING SOUGHT FOR NEW CARAVAN PARK IN LETTERKENNY was last modified: March 2nd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:caravan parkletterkennyThe Glebelast_img read more

Dr. Kee’s Bag medical bag is found… but wait, there’s more!

first_imgBallybofey’s Butt Drama Circle are delighted to report that Dr. Kee’s Bag is returned safe and sound to its home at the Balor. Rumour had it that it was returned on payment of a big ransom. It was nothing as dramatic as that…A bit of detective work found the name of the group who had borrowed costumes for St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March 2016 and among the borrowed clothes was the bag. A phone call was made to one of the group members and hey presto within a couple of hours the bag was returned. As suspected the borrower put it away in a safe place and just forgot to return it. A spokesperson said: “So all’s well that ends well. Other costumes have been returned as well, some Annie Musical costumes duly washed, ironed and folded. Quite a few Panto costumes too, not in such good order as the Annie costumes but we are delighted to get them back nevertheless.“Among the returned costumes was one satin polka dot skirt, there are another 8 or 9 still out there. We received some costume donations as well which we appreciate very much. “As a result of the previous plea in the press we now have two Dr’s Bags. “The local Garda Sergeant on having read the article informed us that a Dr’s bag had been abandoned along the roadside. On inspection it wasn’t Dr. Kee’s bag but a more modern one and we were allowed to keep it. “So thanks to all the local papers who gave us the space and to all those who returned costumes. But there are still more out there !!!” Dr. Kee’s Bag medical bag is found… but wait, there’s more! was last modified: June 27th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BalorButt Drama Circledr kee’s medical bagtheatrelast_img read more

Go to the Ant Farm, Thou Darwinist

first_imgIt’s the 50th anniversary of the Ant Farm, and inventor Milton Levine is still tickled about the impact his toy has had on millions of kids, reported AP on MSNBC.  The charm of Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm was in “creating a whole world that you can see,” a world of creative and industrious ants.  Moms didn’t mind too much as long as the ants stayed confined.    Serendipitously or not, Philip Ward (UC Davis) published a primer on ants in Current Biology.1  “Ants are one of evolution’s great success stories,” he began, but while his article had a lot to say about ant evolution, the actual evidence he presented seemed equivocal or imaginary.  Some excerpts:Because they are fully social, ants do not tell us a great deal about the transition from solitary to eusocial behavior…. Regardless of the details of this sequence of events, which of course was played out long ago [sic], contemporary ants offer abundant opportunity for comparative studies of colony life after the eusocial threshold has been crossed.The point to emphasize is that since their divergence from a common ancestor [sic] in the Cretaceous, some ant lineages – such as the iconic army ants and leaf-cutting ants – have evolved [sic] quite complex societies while others, such as the ‘primitive’ [sic] bulldog ants of Australia, have remained at a much less advanced level.  The factors responsible for such heterogeneity in the rate of social evolution [sic] have been little explored, and will require a careful analysis of ecological and phylogenetic influences.Ants are treated as a single family, Formicidae, in the order Hymenoptera, a large and diverse group of holometabolous insects…. Apocritan Hymenoptera exhibit a unique reorganization of the body parts in which the middle tagma [a functionally integrated set of body segments] is composed of the thorax plus abdominal segment 1, while the posterior tagma comprises the remaining abdominal segments.  It is unclear how this evolutionary novelty arose, but one apparent consequence is that additional constrictions, involving abdominal segments 2�4, evolved [sic] in some apocritans, giving them exceptional dexterity of abdominal movement.Ants differ from social bees and wasps in one important respect: the workers of ants are entirely wingless.  This places constraints on their foraging behavior and has probably spurred the evolution of complex chemical communication systems [sic], such as trail and recruitment pheromones, designed for terrestrial (as opposed to aerial) movement.There is little doubt that ants are a monophyletic group.  They share a distinctive suite of morphological features, including geniculate (elbowed) antennae, a prognathous (forward-projecting) head, a characteristic configuration of the foretibial antenna cleaner, modification of the second abdominal segment to form a node-like petiole, and several unique exocrine glands.  Yet the closest living relatives of ants have not been unequivocally identified.  Several other families of aculeate Hymenoptera, in a subgroup known as the Vespoidea, have been touted as possible sister groups of ants including Tiphiidae, Bradynobaenidae and the combination of Vespidae plus Scoliidae.  It is a measure of the incompleteness of our phylogenetic knowledge that none of these alternatives has particularly strong support.  In many respects the summary cladogram published by Fredrik Ronquist in 1999, which depicted most vespoid families emerging out of an unresolved bush, still applies today.The fossil record helps to explain this impasse.  Most families of aculeate wasps appear rather suddenly in the early Cretaceous, suggesting that there was a rapid burst of diversification once the sting had evolved.  Ants make their appearance a little later, about 100 million years ago [sic].A more extensive series of fossil ants has now been documented from the Cretaceous.  The fossils range in age from about 78 to 100 million years, and they include some undoubted crown-group taxa.  Among the more spectacular finds are additional well preserved specimens from New Jersey amber, including representatives of the modern subfamily Formicinae, as well as fossils from Canada, Eurasia, and southern Africa.  This taxonomic diversity and geographic spread indicates that crown-group ants arose some time before this period, perhaps as long ago as 120 million years. [sic]One might expect that the phylogenetic relationships among living representatives of Formicidae have been reasonably well clarified.  In fact many uncertainties persist here too, and this is an area of active investigation and debate.  Morphological studies have been helpful in circumscribing the major lineages (subfamilies) of ants, but the relationships among them have largely eluded confident resolution.Molecular data, in the form of DNA sequences from multiple nuclear genes, are just now being applied to the problem.  Such data confirm the monophyly of nearly all of the subfamilies, but they also reveal a number of novel and unexpected groupings.Another insight to emerge from molecular phylogenetic analyses of ants is that there has been profound morphological convergence in some aspects of worker morphology, to the extent that it misled earlier phylogenetic inferences.  For example, a constriction between abdominal segments 3 and 4, and the formation of a second node-like structure (a postpetiole), has evolved repeatedly [sic] in ants.The new phylogenetic estimates, combined with fossil-calibrated [sic] molecular dating analyses, suggest that the history of ants involves a series of sequential diversifications: evolution of sphecomyrmine and poneroid-like lineages in the early Cretaceous, about 100�120 million years ago, followed by a more exuberant diversification of formicoids beginning about 100 million years ago and continuing into the Paleogene…. In short, while the stem lineages of modern ant subfamilies were present before the K�T boundary, the ecological dominance and range of diversity that we associate with modern ants did not arise until later in the Tertiary, about 60�70 million years after ants first evolved. [sic]Several commentators have argued compellingly that the social behavior of ants is responsible at least in part for their evolutionary success [sic] and ecological dominance.  Eusociality confers marked advantages in terms of resource acquisition, defense against enemies, and buffering of environmental variation.  The division of labor and flexibility of task allocation that are the hallmarks of advanced social insects enable them to meet contingencies and exploit opportunities much more efficiently than solitary insects.    But this cannot be the entire story.  Even among social insects ants are especially notable for their abundance and diversity, so additional factors must be invoked to explain their particular prominence.One can imagine that if formicoids had not evolved [sic], ants would be perceived as a modest group of tropical wingless wasps (with no vernacular term reserved for them), as opposed to the near-ubiquitous ecological dominants that we know today.  But, then again, maybe another poneroid would have stepped in to fill the void. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)One of the “spectacular finds” Ward mentioned was a formicoid ant found in Cretaceous New Jersey amber.2  More were announced in 2005 in New Jersey and Canada.3  For all practical purposes, these ants in amber look entirely modern, so any division into “primitive” or “advanced” seems a judgment call.  Prior to this find, formicoids (those that produce formic acid as a defense) were thought to be much more recent.  This also means that in the evolutionary scheme essentially modern ants evolved in the age of dinosaurs, survived the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous, evolved little for 60 million years, then exploded into a diverse and widespread group 40 million years ago.  For the essentially parallel appearance of all the ant groups, see this phylogenetic diagram from the Tree of Life website.  See also our related story on army ants from 05/06/2003.    In addition to his evolutionary speculations, Ward provided some “gee-whiz” facts about ants sure to fascinate ant farmers.  There are about 20,000 species inhabiting a range of habitats from deserts to tropical rain forests:They impose a strong ecological footprint in many communities in their varied roles as scavengers, predators, granivores, and herbivores.  In some tropical forests the biomass of ants exceeds that of terrestrial vertebrates by a factor of four, and their soil-turning activities dwarf those of earthworms.  There is a word for ‘ant’ in most languages, reflecting their ubiquity and distinctiveness to humans.  The ecological dominance and conspicuous social behavior of ants have long engaged the attention of natural historians.  In terms of their species diversity, relative abundance, ecological impact and social habits, ants emerge as one of the most prominent groups of arthropods.Perhaps they also join spiders as arthropodal challenges to evolutionary theory (see 10/21/2005, 05/25/2005, 09/13/2001).  Ants have complex sticky feet 09/27/2001, 06/05/2001) and navigate with intricate software (09/12/2001).  We learned last year that ants are also adept hang gliders (02/09/2005), and just two months ago that they are better teachers than chimpanzees (01/11/2006).  They also teach us humans the value of industry.  An early natural philosopher, Solomon, advised, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise, which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8).   See also Aesop.1Philip S. Ward, “Primer: Ants,” Current Biology, Vol 16, R152-R155, 07 March 2006.2Grimaldi and Agosti, “A formicine in New Jersey Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and early evolution of the ants,” PNAS, published online before print November 14, 2000, 10.1073/pnas.240452097.  See also our 11/14/2000 entry.3Engel and Grimaldi, “Primitive New Ants in Cretaceous Amber from Myanmar, New Jersey, and Canada (Hymenoptera: Formicidae),” BioOne, doi: 10.1206/0003-0082(2005)485[0001:PNAICA]2.0.CO;2, American Museum Novitates: No. 3485, pp. 1�23.  See also a similar find in Geologica Acta, about the oldest known ant: “Although its characters are those of modern ants, it does not fit in any recent ant subfamilies.”If anyone can find any value whatsoever in Ward’s evolutionary speculations, please write in and explain.  If you subtract the assumption that evolution is a fact, and remove the fictional diagram of millions of years, and erase the supposition that everything evolved from something else by common ancestry, the actual empirical facts speak loud and clear: ants are complex and amazing animals that appeared suddenly on earth and fulfill a variety of important roles in the ecology.  Why does anyone need to be told that they evolved from stinging wasps, evolved their distinctive features several times (05/28/2003), and figured out their complex foraging and navigating skills (the envy of robotics experts) on their own?  How is this speculation helping science?  It serves nothing but to prop up the dead corpse of Charlie at the head of a traditional evolutionary parade.  Worse, it distracts attention from the wonders of nature that should inspire us to observe, study, and think.  Send your local Darwinist a gift and support an industrious entrepreneur: send Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm with a sticky-note saying, “Prov. 6:6-8.”(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Hazare, Congress engage in slugfest ahead of Lokpal panel meet

first_imgThe talks on the Lokpal Bill seem to be heading for a collapse. Ahead of the meeting of the joint panel to draft the anti-corruption ombudsman bill, both Anna Hazare and the Congress have sharpened their attack on each other.After his party called the anti-corruption activist an “unelected dictator”, Minister for Civil Aviation Vayalar Ravi said that he did not respect Anna. “I have no respect for such heroes,” he said.Earlier, Anna Hazare too upped the ante against the Congress, accusing the party of having forgotten the basic tenets of democracy. Anna once again raised the issue of the late night police action at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan undertaken by the government to quell yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s agitation over black money and corruption.”The Congress has forgotten democracy. Is resorting to lathicharge at night democracy? June 30 is the deadline for the Lokpal panel,” Hazare said, adding, if the government did not carry out its duty, then it was the job of the civil society to point out its shortcomings. Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi defended Finance Minister and drafting panel chairperson Pranab Mukherjee, who had attacked the Hazare-led civil society members on Sunday. “I want to clarify that there is nothing wrong in what Pranabji said. There is a particular way to run a democracy,” Dwivedi said on Tuesday, adding, “personal egos” should be kept aside for the common good.The Congress on Tuesday had launched a campaign to counter the anti-graft movement by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev and accused a section of civil society of trying to weaken democratic institutions.advertisement”The Constitution has given the power to legislate only to Parliament and the state Assemblies. If 5,000 or 6,000 people dictate from outside what the Parliament ought to do, this will weaken democracy,” Mukherjee had told a press conference in Kolkata on Sunday.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ashwani Kumar told Headlines Today on Tuesday that Hazare is defining democracy in a bizarre way. Urging the civil society to “go and put forward its points of view in a constructive manner”, rather than in “a negative way”, Kumar said even if Hazare’s team did not co-operate, the government, which remained committed to Lokpal, would bring the Bill in Parliament.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

‘Sonia, every Congress loyalist concedes, is a fantastic listener’

first_imgAmong the more uncharitable things said about Rajiv Gandhi was the accusation that he was prone to believing the person he spoke to last. No such charge has been levelled against the currrent head of the Congress. A possible reason could be that no one really has the remotest idea,Among the more uncharitable things said about Rajiv Gandhi was the accusation that he was prone to believing the person he spoke to last. No such charge has been levelled against the currrent head of the Congress. A possible reason could be that no one really has the remotest idea what Sonia Gandhi actually stands for or believes.So successfully has the lady of 10 Janpath perfected the medieval art of purdah politics that it has become impossible to identify which is the real gospel and which is the gospel twice removed. Sonia, every Congress loyalist concedes, is a fantastic listener.That is a wonderful attribute, lacking in many politicians. Unfortunately that’s where it stops. No Congressman, not even those whose claim to fame lies in their ability to walk into Vincent George’s office without an appointment, has resolved this mystery.Some 11 months after she launched her political career, Sonia has not given a single interview, spoken to a TV chat show or intervened spontaneously in a debate. Rajiv at least spoke about “jitenge ya loseenge”. The real Sonia Gandhi has said nothing. She has been ghost-written from A to Z.It would be surreal, if it wasn’t real. India is confronted with a novel situation where the unquestioned leader of the largest opposition party and a possible claimant to the top political job is a complete prisoner of her speechwriters.Without them she epitomises a complete void. Worse, she is a willing captive in the hands of wordsmiths who take a ghoulish delight in getting her to repeat their media columns. No wonder consistency is not the hallmark of this Congress president. If the Pokhran tests were a scientific achievement one day, they become a national disgrace the second.advertisementIf religious tolerance is declared a sacred duty in one speech, Saraswati Vandana becomes a reprehensible ritual in the subsequent letter. It’s not a complex question of timing; it’s a simple matter of who wrote the speech of the day.Blessed with sensitive antennae, Congressmen have not been slow to grasp the meaning of speechwriter raj. Last Tuesday, the party spokesman in Delhi described Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress as the “third youth club in West Bengal after Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting”.The next day, perhaps mindful of the hurt caused to East Bengal club, West Bengal Congress Working President P.R. Dasmunshi invited Mamata to rejoin the parent party. Sonia spoke in Mizoram of Christian “priests and nuns … subjected to unspeakable atrocities” under BJP rule.She didn’t know that the man who gave shelter to the rapists in Jhabua is now the Congress candidate. She appealed last Wednesday to Sikhs to rise above the scars of 1984. Two hours later, as if to rub salt into their wounds, a beaming Sajjan Kumar was on hand to release the party’s Delhi manifesto.It’s not that Sonia doesn’t know. It’s just that Congressmen are convinced she is incapable of going beyond the script. Hence the uncontrolled explosion of personal agendas. Sonia has been praised for her maturity, for steering a pathologically promiscuous party toward brahmacharya.If the Congress wins the assembly elections, the enforced celibacy will end. Jyoti Basu may declare her Nehru’s worthy successor and help reinstate her in a Race Course Road house vacated nine years ago.On paper Sonia will reign, but who will rule? The wordsmiths are drooling at the idea. It will be dynasty of course, but it will also be regency. Till she effects her elusive discovery of India.last_img read more