It takes no stretch of imagination to understand why the Linden under-19 football players may in all likelihood be sidelined from the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) squad. The IGG is due to begin later this month, and up to now there is no indication that any Linden player will be included in the touring team.
It seems as if the malevolence that infuses certain dark corners in the corridors of power has not escaped the sports realm. No one has to play any guessing games to determine why Linden is being marginalized by certain bad actors in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport.
This Ministry has been in the news for some very bad reasons lately, including the New Opportunity Corps fiasco, and there is no cause for any hope that the current under-19 misjudgment will be resolved in the national interest and pride anytime soon.
As a matter of opinion it would not be surprising if just to spite the people of Linden, this administration goes ahead and sends off a football team with members who arguably may not be the cream of the crop.
The level of disrespect that is being meted out to the people of Linden came to the fore during the 2012 protests and was aggravated by the insulting awards to the claimants and relatives of victims of the police’s unprofessional actions by the Commission of Inquiry.
Now the people of that community are hearing through the media that government has increased the toll for the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge. Interestingly, the Linden Interim Management Committee had put forward cogent arguments for a toll raise but, as with everything else, the government baulked and stalled, offering one excuse or another why an increase could not be introduced to offset the maintenance and other associated costs.
The treatment of the Linden community suggests that the perception of infighting among the political opposition, particularly within the People’s National Congress, makes confronting the party in power a non-starter.
There is some credence to that thinking, especially with the recent uproar during PNCR leader David Granger’s visit last Friday. One columnist has offered the view that Granger has not gone out of his way to mend fences with influential party members, especially those who have not always seen eye to eye with his style of doing things.
The question which surely must be occupying the minds of the political observers is how long the main political opposition party will give off conflicting signals to its supporters and other hopefuls. The possibility remains that as long as the People’s Progressive Party government and its underlings believe that the people of Linden can be trod underfoot, as has been the practice in recent times, there will always be reasonable doubt about the PNCR’s capacity to represent those in its traditional stronghold. If the major players are not careful, they may well wake one day and have to come to grips with the fact that the term ‘stronghold’ has become a misnomer.
Another point which has not escaped the attention of watchers is the apparent ineptitude of the opposition parties with respect to issues requiring technical knowledge. The government has been riding roughshod over the nation, putting forward as fact matters of dubious value to the country, aided and abetted by an almost total veil of silence from members of the opposition and wider society.
The populace is subject to a propaganda bombardment by the state media and others, who owe their very existence to unprincipled sleight of hand manoeuvres. There are notable exceptions to be found in varying degrees in the likes of Carl Greenidge, the Bulkan brother and sister duo, Khemraj Ramjattan, Christopher Ram, Joseph Harmon, Winston Felix, and the Asquith Rose and Harish Singh letter-writing pair.
People need to hear more public pronouncements which speak to profundity and research on matters that affect the national interest. Commissioner of Information or not, the government monopoly on information must be broken. People need to be informed of the implications of what is being done in their name, cutting through all the technical jargon. It is unacceptable that there are Guyanese unwilling to lend their technical expertise to making issues clear to the layman because they fear retribution.
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