Our annual budget appears to be a magic trick every year. Now you see it, now you don’t! Where do all those billions go?

We certainly are not a country that “looks” like we spend billions a year! Our roads are just short of becoming tracks, our healthcare makes the average citizen cringe, our education system is stuck in time, our national security cannot solve this epidemic of crime we are facing and so on.

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The budget sounds nice on paper but the real story behind these budgets is the money appears to be like Monopoly money. Fake! Ministries cannot pay their suppliers and employees on time, sometimes for months at a time. So what is the purpose of this budget when in fact the money is not dispersed or available?

Six billion here, five billion there, when in reality these ministries are not seeing this money immediately or not in time to execute their jobs and projects! Why in this country does the concept of “backpay” exist? Pay de people! Do you think that could ever happen in a first world country!

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Elijah Cummings, the 12-term Democratic congressman who passed away several days ago at the age of 68, belonged to a political culture that seems increasingly remote from the incivility which prevails in the Age of Trump. A descendant of sharecroppers from South Carolina, he grew up in a working-class home—his father worked at a chemical factory, his mother as a house cleaner and at a pickle factory —in heavily racialised Baltimore.

“Mad house”, even in quotes, just isn’t “kool”. We use the terminology without rhyme, reason, rationale. Or ration. What’s a mad house? Well, any house can be one. A mad house can be a home where parents are squabbling or at fisticuffs. A mad house can be a home where children have no discipline. A mad house can be a newsroom at crunch time. A mad house can be Parliament any time.

RUSSIA and its Syrian ally Bashar al-Assad win, the Kurds lose, and the United States leaves in disgrace. It has been a hectic few days on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Ancel Roget has me confused. His utterances seem like those of the present Prime Minister and his Finance Minister—to change subtly over time. It was reported on October 17, 2018, in an interview with Roget, that the OWTU planned to propose a “lease to own” proposal to the Prime Minister.