Who is really in charge, Granger or Greenidge?
When the Winston Murray ‘break away faction’ headed by Carl Greenidge was forced to unite with his adversary to prevent the weakening of the People’s National Congress -PNC as they contest the 2011 General Election, the PNC newly elected leader, David Granger, faced the real danger of a coup d’état by the ambitious Greenidge.
There have been rumors from sources close to the party that a more radical approach is needed to sustain the pressure on the government. The more rational, statesmanlike approach employed by Granger, they say, is not producing the required results. These PNC/APNU hardliners are believed to have influenced Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon’s decision to organise the recent protest action aimed at shutting down the bauxite mining town of Linden on February 3, when His Excellency President Ramotar visited Linden to officially commission the PPPC office there. That building was burnt down by arsonists in July 2012 during the deadly protest led by Chairman Solomon that cost the lives of three “peaceful” protesters. Fortunately, this plan to create yet another showdown with the authorities was soundly rejected by the people of Linden, who must be commended for allowing common-sense to prevail.
The recent inconsistencies on the budget debate issue within the PNC/APNU camp, further demonstrates Greenidge’s determination to expose Granger as a weak leader.
According to PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee, “Due to its antics, the APNU has been offering a plethora of excuses for the 2014 budget. First they were not invited, then when the APNU leader [David] Granger directed Member of Parliament [Carl] Greenidge to engage, he said he needed more information and then finally, to save face, Granger said it was too late for consultations. It is evident that Granger had instructed Greenidge to engage in consultations but Greenidge chose to disobey him… a high act of indiscipline.”
And most recent, Greenidge’s “no show” at the meeting of the Special Select Committee considering the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, cast further doubt on whether Granger has any control over Greenidge. The official statement by PNC/APNU clearly states that, “APNU is committed to amending the current Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act of 2009 to ensure that it is effective.” Yet Greenidge, APNU’s Shadow Minister of Finance in clear defiant, boycotted these meetings. How can APNU be committed to amending this Act when they fail to turn up at the meetings to contribute to the discussions?
The question must now be asked, who is really in charge, Granger or Greenidge? As a highly trained professional soldier that understands the importance of having his instructions obeyed, how can Granger tolerate such behavior from a senior member of his team? It must be very frustrating for the retired Brigadier General to have Carl Greenidge disobey a direct command. Rohee is right… Greenidge should be disciplined for insubordination, if only to clip his wings.
I am reminded of a statement by another former general, Alexander Haig who, in 1981, following the March 30 assassination attempt and hospitalization of US President Ronald Regan, asserted before reporters “I am in control here”. Indicating that while President Reagan had not “transferred the helm”, Haig was in fact directing White House Crisis Management until Vice President Bush arrived in Washington to assume that role.
It is time for Granger to assert his leadership position in the PNC/APNU and work to ensure that 2014 is indeed the “Year of the Workers” as he had earlier declared. If Greenidge is allowed to bully his way and undermine Granger’s authority, he will evoke painful memories of a sad era in our Nation’s history under the dreaded PNC rule. The very reason that caused that political party to change its name to A Partnership for National Unity -APNU before contesting the 2011 polls.
No doubt, Greenidge’s stubborn refusal to even attempt budget consultations with Finance Minister Ashni Singh, cannot possibly be in the best interest of the workers the PNC/APNU claims to be so concerned about. And APNU’s determination to cut the budget again in defiance of Chief Justice Ian Chang’s ruling, will only take away the ability of parents to provide food, clothing and shelter for their dependents. The Government creates jobs for its citizens, and the Opposition takes them away. Every time this happens, desperate people are likely to do desperate things to survive.