Mar 26, 2013 Letters
One of the fundamental rules of living in this world is to try to understand the people in it that we relate to, how they affect our lives and those close to us and their impacts on the country we live in. My friend Lincoln Lewis has sent down three letters on me and I say I do not see his attempt to adhere to this basic obligation. First, from illiterate to genius, we must have an opinion on why people do the things they do.
Lincoln Lewis is telling me and his readers that he has no concern on what transpired between two important public institutions – the presidency (under Jagdeo) and the office of the opposition leader (under Corbin). Yet, this same Lewis, when that question was put to him on Benschop Radio said this; “That is the PNC’s business.” Those interviews were taped. They can be replayed. So the PNC’s business is the PNC’s business. I guess the same goes for all other stakeholders that want to change Guyana
For the third time, Lincoln let readers know that he engaged Sam Hinds because he is leader of the Government’s business in the House. It is clear to any schoolboy that under our Constitution, the House is subordinate to the executive presidency in terms of the exercise of money and control of the public realm. It would have been wiser for Lincoln to write President Ramotar for a dialogue. Maybe he did and they sent Hinds. Any schoolboy would know that Hinds is powerless to act in a political culture where the ruling party is paramount and the executive presidency acts over and above the Constitution.
For the third time, Lewis let his readers know (and he writes in glowing terms about this) that his engagement with Hinds was publicized by the state media. This is where my point becomes applicable, about humans trying to understand the people around them. At no time did Lincoln tell us why the state media was so generous to him. Any schoolboy can answer that, because all the schoolboys in Guyana know that the state media is shamelessly servile to the PPP.
The answer is that the state media announced the TUC’s dialogue with Sam Hinds because it was a propaganda coup for the PPP. One hopes that when the TUC reaches out to other stakeholders like the AFC, APNU, ACDA etc, the state media gives Lincoln adequate coverage.
For the third time, Lincoln tells his readers that enemies are talking in Afghanistan. Yes they are talking, not for the sake of talking, but because they want something from each other and they are getting it. Anyone who says you must talk because talking is a concept that must be used is talking nonsense. You only talk as part of a wider strategy. The Taliban has got American assurance that the Afghanistan Government will discuss areas of concern. This for the Taliban is a climb down by the Americans, because it is tacit recognition of the Taliban. The Americans have got the assurance that while talks are going on, Taliban attacks will cease.
Where were the talks between Castro and Batista? There were none. A revolution came about. Where were the talks between Gairy and Bishop? There were none. A revolution came about. Where were the talks between the British Empire and the American settlers? There were none. A revolution came about. Where were the talks between the Shah of Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini? There were none. A revolution came about. Where were the talks between Cromwell and Charles the First? There were none. Charles was overthrown and beheaded. Where were talks between Burnham and Rodney? There were none. Rodney was killed and the effectiveness of the WPA came to an end. Where were the talks between the IRA and the British Government? There were none until the Good Friday Agreement gave the IRA what it wanted.
This is just a brief number in a list of millions to show Lewis that you don’t talk when talk is a waste of time. Adversaries talk when they know it will lead to a strategic advantage in which there is forward dialectical movement for both sides. Talking can make people laugh at you if you just want to talk. Talk can make you lose your support if it does not bring about a result for you.
I repeat for Lincoln’s digestion – I know of no book, statement or action in history that says when people are opposed to each other, they must talk. I know they go into discussion when both sides are armed with the analytical knowledge that there will be give and take.
Finally, Ramon Gaskin. I don’t have to ask Gaskin anything. I am asking Lewis, who publicly said that Gaskin is his friend, publicly proclaimed that Gaskin has a fine mind, and placed Gaskin on the Critchlow Labour College Board. Gaskin on the other hand has publicly announced as late as Sunday evening on television to Mr. Yesu Persaud that his baby project is NICIL. He says it is one of the worst things the PPP Government has done.
Yet two months ago, Gaskin signed a consultancy with the Ramotar Government to examine the financial accounts of City Hall and discovered that money was not accounted for. Four persons will be charged. But the same Gaskin didn’t ask Ramotar for a consultancy to investigate NICIL.
Of course Lincoln will say that is none of Lewis’s business. After all, according to Lewis, Gaskin has a fine mind. I know a man who has a fine mind too… Bharrat Jagdeo. But Lewis wants Jagdeo to be charged for the abuse of power. So much for a fine mind. A fine mind can become a waste if it is put in the service of ethnic and political oppression
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