The 2006 Government like the ninth Parliament will become history soon. The national election may be in late November or very early in December. I will always remember the 2006 Government. Without reference to any particular member of the 2006 administration, the Chronicle, in that period, created a little history about me.
The Guyanese scholar who has researched the history of newspapers in this country is Dr. Nigel Westmaas, formerly a leading member of the WPA in the eighties. If Nigel is going to continue his studies of Guyanese newspapers then his pen will have to identify that piece of history surrounding me.
The Chronicle over a ten-year period has carried literally hundreds of yearly letters on me. The trend continues unabated. What the researcher will find is that this may be very unique and not replicated elsewhere in a newspaper. By elsewhere, I mean in the world. It must be a fantastic piece of curiosity that in that period I never occupied space in any political organization but still I managed to have the Chronicle publish a letter a day on me for ten years now.
The PPP Government has presided over the demise of the Chronicle thus achieving the opposite of what the Chronicle wanted to do with me and other critics. A few years back, I wrote that if I should commit an unspeakable venality, and the Chronicle prints it, no one will know about it because the Chronicle is not read. And if they read it, it won’t be believed because over that decade, the mountains of silly inventions on me by the Chronicle have been completely ineffective.
The Chronicle is testimony to the moral bankruptcy of the political culture of the PPP. The paper has no circulation. As a propaganda weapon, it has not helped the PPP in its quest to dent the opposition and expand Government’s image. There must have been dozens of photographs of the Day of Appreciation but the average newspaper reader has not seen them.
This explains why Mr. Hydar Ally, the secretary of the PPP’s executive committee has completely abandoned the Chronicle.
He sends his weekly pro-government letters to the two independent dailies. Now here is a sensible man. He obviously said to himself that if people are going to read his side of politics, then why bother with the Chronicle when the Kaieteur News and Stabroek News are the main vehicles.
Mr. Ally doesn’t touch the Guyana Times at all. The coloured, long, glossy pages of the Guyana Times hold no interest for Ally. As the sun sets on the autocratic life of the 2006 Government, two other memories about the failed bandwagon of the Chronicle I will remember.
One is definitely the comical nature of the Chronicle letters on all those that the government vilifies. Even a bright school boy can write more effectively. I always wonder if Freedom House ever called in “Mavis Lawrence” and gave him the worst verbal dressing down on his failure to defeat government critics.
Mavis is in fact a high level employee at the Office of the President who writes against Government critics in the Chronicle using mostly female names, the latest was Mavis Lawrence. I am not referring to Mr. McCoy. I am talking about a person who claims access to intellectual analyses.
It is either the letter factory people have been conning the PPP or they are downright incapable of penning intellectual missives that have a cutting edge to them. The publications are comical and asinine, not most of the times but all the times.
The leading PPP kings cannot fail to miss the ineffectiveness of Mavis and his cohorts at OP operating in the Chronicle. That is assuming that the kings themselves are intellectually capable of detecting the mediocrities in the Chronicle publications.
A majority of the anti-Kissoon, anti-Ram, anti-opposition letters are stupid and hilarious. Just take one recurring theme on me – “Freddie, go and see a psychiatrist, please.” “Freddie Kissoon is a madman.” And it has been like this for ten years
The other thing about the Chronicle that I will remember the 2006 Government for was the Chronicle’s fantastic ability to expand Guyana’s population to over a million. If you examine the letter pages over that ten-year period, then those names at the bottom of all those letters will bring our population to over a million when you take into consideration that the names are not on the electoral roll, in the telephone directory and elsewhere, but according to the Chronicle they are real identities.
Our population then has passed a million.
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