The Aubrey Norton/Vincent Alexander madness
Just what has taken over the collective psychology of the PNC is becoming incomprehensible for both lay person and analyst. I can honestly tell Mr. David Granger that from speaking to really top people in the PNC leadership, there are hopes that sooner rather than later, both Norton and Alexander will be integrated not only in the body of the PNC, but inside its hierarchy.
One would have thought that with the mordancy of Robert Corbin, Vincent Alexander would have been reintegrated and Aubrey Norton, with his electoral efficacy in 2011 in a major theatre of PNC operations, Region Ten, would have achieved visibility once more in the hierarchy of the party that both he and Alexander gave so much of their entire life to.
The story of the debacle, fiasco, disaster (whichever word you choose) of Aubrey Norton and Vincent Alexander in the PNC is a tragedy of immense proportion. Both men are PNC genes, Guyanese nationalists and are crucial to the PNC’s continued existence in ontological ways (as opposed to biology) in this country. As to their contribution to freedom, few would question their balance sheet.
Why are these men not in the PNC’s leadership? It is a long story but it is confusing, bewildering and can be likened to the famous quote from Shakespeare –”something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
What are the accusations against Alexander?
I have heard from sources very close to Robert Corbin that the charge against Alexander and Norton is that they were not prepared to accept Corbin as leader, with the perception that he is not leadership material.
This kind of thinking occurs in most parties around the world. There is nothing immoral about an activist thinking that his leader is not up to scratch. Alexander made a challenge and he was not allowed to compete fairly for leader of the PNC because Mr. Corbin shifted the goalpost to suit himself as a contender. Mr. Alexander rightfully pulled out. After tempers cooled, Mr. Alexander should have been welcomed back in. On the contrary, his friends became victims of a party witch-hunt, with one of them being removed from Parliament, a process that was not in the interest of the PNC and Guyana.
Writing as an analyst and not as someone who knows Vincent Alexander personally, my academic take is that the PNC, its constituencies and Guyana need a long-standing activist like Alexander. A decent man with a profound analytical mind, the PNC simply cannot afford to have someone who served the PNC for donkey years to be outside of its war-room. It is political behaviour on the part of the PNC that is strategically misplaced and morally horrible.
The Aubrey Norton story has more dimensions to it than Alexander’s. After Team Alexander pulled out of the leadership race with Corbin, Alexander hibernated to concentration with the Electoral Commission and because of that, helped to save this country from the expansion of PPP’s dictatorship.
Norton on the other hand persisted with the Corbin tenure and stayed with the PNC. He won one seat back for the PNC in 2011 in Region Ten that the AFC had taken in 2006. But the tall shadow of Corbin was always there.
A huge row broke out between Corbin and Norton; Norton was ousted from Parliament and the rest is history. What is bewildering is the reality that the Jagdeo/Ramotar syndrome may be present inside the PNC under Mr. Granger. Mr. Ramotar is the leader, but Jagdeo manoeuvres behind the scene? If the trouble with Norton was a Robert Corbin thing then Corbin is out. Where then does that leave Mr. Granger? Why is someone like Norton not back in a party that he has given all his life to?
Is the answer the Jagdeo/Ramotar thing? Is Robert Corbin still calling the shots in the PNC? I met Mr. Corbin at Bourda market last month and he told me he is invisible in Linden writing his memoirs. But is he writing yet leading? If he is, then Guyana has really gone to the dogs, where the organization that is best placed to remove the PPP is as undemocratic like the PPP. Surely that is going to mentally devastate a nation that wants the PPP out.
Aubrey Norton reminds me of Kevin Pietersen. He speaks his mind wherever he is. I can sympathize with Norton; I know the danger that comes with speaking your mind. For this Pietersen has paid the price. But I am sure that Aubrey Norton will go on to call it as he sees it. That is the way it should always be with all humans.