The reality may be something else
In its Peeping Tom Column of 3 August, 2011, a not-unexpected agenda of the KN/Peeping Tom seems to be emerging as translucently and compellingly clear as when the sun rises over the Pakaraimas on a clear, crisp morning. I am of this view because of the following.
The KN informs that in the prevailing political environment, “The AFC can deny the ruling party a majority and thus hold the balance of power. With this balance of power, the ruling party would be forced to negotiate with the AFC…”
First of all, can the KN explain to the Guyanese people why and how specifically, would the AFC, as opposed to any other group, hold the balance of power if it could “deny the ruling party a majority”? My understanding of this is that if the ruling (or any other) party is denied a majority, all contesting groups which have won seats will all, constitutionally and practically, “hold the balance of power”; not only the AFC.
Hence, if the ruling (or any other party) party is denied a majority, it will be forced to negotiate with the others. Or is KN privy to information to which other Guyanese aren’t? This statement that the “AFC would be forced to negotiate with the ruling party”, rather than with any of the other contesting groups as implied, begs the question.
If the ruling party is denied a majority, how do we know for sure that it was due to the efforts of the AFC and not to the efforts of other contesting groups? And the answer to this question leads us inevitably to another issue. If as KN claims, the AFC will “hold the balance of power”, why will the party be forced to negotiate with the ruling party and not, for instance, with the APNU, which is expected to do even better than the AFC in the upcoming elections?
Is KN surreptitiously planting a seed now which it hopes will germinate, grow in strength and bear fruit by the time this very possible eventuality comes to fruition? It would certainly be a sure way of guaranteeing the survival of the PPP and Donald Ramotar after the upcoming polls, especially if no group achieves the magic electoral returns of 50 per cent plus one!
Secondly, the KN intones that, “The AFC must be recognized for what it is and what it will always be. It is a middle class party, and it has filled the void left by the WPA, which was also a party of the middle class around whom the working class rallied. Essentially, the WPA’s leaders and core have always been middle class.”
The KN columnist is oracle in nature judging from the certainty expressed in the narrative of what “The AFC must be recognised for…..and what it will always be”. (S)he could have prevented much heartache for Guyanese, if only (s)he had provided us with some of these insightful prognostications 12 or so years ago when the reign of terror began under Jagdeo.
I also have to disagree with the suggestion that essentially, the AFC is a “middle class party around whom the working class rallied “, much in the tradition and nature of the WPA.” I am not sure what the columnist means by the term “middle class party”, but at the most superficial level, I take it to mean a party which represents the class interests of the Middle Class.
The columnist then expects us to join her/him in making a leap of faith that is expected to reconcile her/his definition of the essential character of the AFC and WPA as middle class parties, with the fact that the leadership of both parties are perceived for the most part to have emerged from the middle class.
(S)he should do a five-minute Google search to ascertain the class origins of Castro in the broader context of his life’s work! Or, (s)he need not even go that far! C. Jagan, Burnham, J. Jagan, King, Carter, Rodney, Roopnaraine, Thomas, et al., were all middle class leaders of political parties in Guyana, all of whom declared themselves to be working class, at least in orientation, but some, also in deed.
I have looked for reasons to justify the juxtapositioning of “middle class” versus “working class” in the writer’s examination of the relative fortunes of the electoral contestants, but more so the AFC. It is clear to me that for some reason, the writer is implying that the AFC, like the WPA, should not be given the responsibility of taking care of the interests of the “working class” because that party is essentially “middle class”.
And of course, this then begs the next obvious question! Which party has been perceived historically to have had the interests of the working class at heart? No kudos for guessing my friends!!
Finally, KN informs us that “The middle classes have found refuge in the AFC and are not going to go back to the WPA. The WPA for all intents and purposes is no longer a force in local politics. Without the middle class, it has no constituency.”
The poorly disguised disingenuousness of the KN columnist is laid bare in the above quote. (S)he emphatically states that because the middle class has found refuge in the AFC “The WPA for all intents and purposes is no longer a force in local politics.” In my mind, this is a not-so-subtle kick in the solar plexus of the WPA, but more specifically, at Drs.Roopnaraine and Thomas, and by their official association with the joint partnership, the APNU.
The problem here is that the writer is incorrect to say that the WPA is no longer a force in local politics! The WPA, when last I heard, was, and as far as I know, still is an active member of the APNU! Another point in case is the recent cancelling of Dr. Thomas’ pre-arranged presentation at an international conference because, “the government has a problem with his association with the APNU”! If this is not recognition by the government of Dr. Thomas’ and by extension, the WPA’s relative power, I don’t know what is!
The question one must ask is, why would an anonymous columnist of the KN want to misrepresent a situation which authenticity could be easily verified, thereby exposing the KN to potential derision and ridicule?
Only (s)he knows the answer to that question. However, on even closer examination, that which stands out in the narrative represents in my mind, an attempt to belittle, demean and diminish the authenticity, power and potentialities which the AFC, the APNU, the WPA and Drs.Roopnaraine and Thomas possess to disable the rampaging PPP as it continues to destroy all in its path.
The insertion of the issue of a Fourth Force is an unsuccessful casting of a red herring by the writer to distract from the primary agenda. The reasonable among us will have little difficulty identifying that agenda.