I will never give any government unconditional support, and no one should. Regimes use national support to legitimize their own power intoxication. This columnist will never accept the return of the PPP in its present shape. But I will not put down my pen because the APNU+AFC coalition is in power, and therefore I should be happy and I should rejoice that the PPP is gone. Politics is not as simple as that. Anyone who thinks that the APNU+AFC bandwagon is the thing of the future should be very careful.
The past history of this country has been one of continuous authoritarian output, because successive regimes were protected by unchanging fanatical support from their constituencies. Sugar workers for over sixty years have given extraordinary, emotional succour to the PPP. Once that fulcrum was assured, the PPP ran away with the blank cheque.
When sugar workers woke up, it was too late. They woke up in May 2015 to find the party that they irrationally embraced knew sugar was dying, but did nothing to cushion them from the fall.
The same thing is going to happen to Black people if they behave the way sugar workers did. One can see signs emerging that the leadership of the People’s National Congress is taking African Guyanese for granted. African Guyanese have 23 years of PPP rule to learn from. If they make the same mistakes, they will find their future very dim. I was stunned by the result of the local government elections.
I honestly felt that because of the surreptitious way the Coalition big wigs paid themselves an oceanic pay rise one month after coming into power, it would have been instructive in the way Georgetowners voted. It was not to be. Georgetowners ignored some fresh, youthful faces and gave the ruling outfit a huge victory. Georgetowners are regretting that mistake. It will cost them dearly. It already has.
There seems to be a willingness on the part of the AFC and PNC (I can hardly bring myself to describe APNU as a combination of parties) to milk the exposure of the PPP’s corruption and use of naked power to mask authoritarian directions. The leadership of the government seems to be taking a high level risk in this context.
Many examples come to mind, and the society needs to let its voice be heard for the deep moral reason that it should not give the present government all the latitude it wants. You don’t give a government that kind of space. They will use it for narrow purposes and by the time you wake up, you have a little Jagdeo on your hand. We have been that way before. Once we go that way again, Guyana has to die.
Some of those examples need careful attention by this nation. One is the chairmanship of GECOM. The fact is that for the 23 years the PPP was in power, it did not put up consistent hurdles to the opposition-nominated chairman. Now we are seeing what I am convinced is a hurdle by the APNU+AFC administration.
Not for a moment would I accept, and I will not accept that those words in the constitution pertaining to the eligibility of a chairman mean that it must be a judge or someone who can be a judge.
I am so convinced of the contextual meaning of those words that I will use a strong word like nonsense, to say that they exclude other people who do not have judge-like qualities. For me, the insistence of the government that the chairman must be a judge or someone with judge–like qualities is a setback for democracy, and we should not accept it, because we have been that way before.
Another example is the University of Guyana. UG now has per capita, one of the largest hierarchies of administrators in the global university system. We have a mere 4,500 students and 450 staff. If the PPP had brought in such a structure, the roar against it would have been heard all the way in Alaska. UG is spending prodigious chunks of money on all sorts of things, but not on the attraction of high level lecturers, improved facilities and laboratories.
UG remains in the same state as when the PPP was in power, but with more spending on high priced administrators. The society has gone silent on this backwardness.
I could go on with wrong roads, unworkable policies and terrible decisions, but space has run out. I did a column last year in which I said that in May 2015 God gave us a chance and he won’t do it again. I’m sure he will not.
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