Many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of criticising the opposition parties in the face of the relentless dictatorship of the PPP. To answer that question, we can best look at what a columnist of the Guardian (London) wrote about the breath-taking leaks of secret correspondence of US Embassies around the world released on Sunday by Wikileaks .
Simon Jenkins took the position that democracy is about the people’s right to know what the government is doing in their name. He wrote that if the Secretary-General of the UN is being spied upon, then he has a right to know.
Mr. Jenkins opined that the role of the media is “not to protect power from embarrassment.” The role of the media is to protect anyone who doesn’t deserve protection.
If a Parliamentary opposition supports a dictatorship or plays games with an authoritarian regime, the corrupt nature of the oligarchy should not lead the media to treat the opposition with kids gloves.
One recalls the choice that Oxford intellectuals took in the thirties between Germany’s horrible fascism and Russia’s horrible communism. Both were evil systems that killed their citizens en masse. Both should have been ostracized. The Oxford elites chose to support Russia because Hitler was worse than Stalin.
This writer takes the position that there is dishonest politics in the fabric of the PNC and AFC since the 2006 elections. I warned the AFC in a column as late as last week that as the election campaign intensifies, it will have to lie to the Guyanese people. And that is what it has done in a full page spread in this newspaper last Friday.
Designed to catch the attention of the UNASUR Presidents, the full page advertisement lists a series of nasty characteristics of the Government of Guyana. But in the process, the AFC put its sins and dishonesty on display.
Here is what readers have been told by the AFC. The Government has no respect for the parliament system; the Government has no respect for the rule of law; the Government has no intention to introduce Commonwealth Secretariat-sponsored parliamentary reform; Parliament continues to be used for the Government’s purposes only.
I will list only these four because they provide a sample of the ongoing hypocrisy of the AFC and the PNC. Let us discuss the contradictions.
If the Government has no respect for the parliamentary system, then it means that it has no respect for the AFC, too, because the AFC is part of Parliament. Why then has the AFC been in a system in which there is no regards for its presence since 2006? How can you remain in a system that does not recognize you and offer you space to present your agenda?
There can only be one answer – you are foolish. Next, we are told by the AFC that the Government has no respect for the rule of law. The highest forum of law-making is the Parliament. Again the nagging question – why then are you in Parliament?
Next we are informed that the Government has tossed aside parliamentary reforms initiated by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The perennial curiosity shows its face again – why then are you keeping faith with an institution that is beyond redemption?
Finally, the AFC let us know that the Government uses Parliament for its own purposes only. If that is so, then it means that in 2006, when the Parliament came into a new session, you spotted that but stayed in five years after.
Up to last week, the AFC was batting away in Parliament. Two of its MPs arrived late for the confabulation on social stability, sponsored by the ERC and business community because they said they were in Parliament. In Parliament achieving what? You have a whole page placement in the Kaieteur News informing the nation that, in your own words, Parliament is not a democratic institution and has been used by the ruling party for its own purpose.
There is more to come, more dishonesty, I mean. Many AFC legislators have voted for legislations of a government that the AFC tells us uses the House of Assembly for its own purposes. Shouldn’t the AFC have been more careful since by its own words, the ruling party manipulates the House for its own selfish motives?
The AFC is either telling the truth or is lying. If it is lying, then it is in trouble. If it is telling the truth, then why has it been in Parliament since 2006?
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