(Writer’s note: My week with the President ends today)
The injunction former President Bharrat Jagdeo sought against me in 2011 from the Chief Justice (ag) still stands. It orders me not to publish the caption and exact words used in a June 2010 column on the policies and styles of Mr. Jagdeo. But here is the escape route.
When you have access to language you can convey the same meaning using different words. I have a copy of the order right here with me, it doesn’t mention anything about “meaning.” Remember on the tape, Anil Nandlall says it takes two to tango. Well I can tango with the Chief Justice because like him, I know my words, and how and when to use them (an apology for the chauvinism).
The Chief Justice is a master of the art of ambiguous grammar. In fact he may be the world’s leading expert on ambiguous vocabulary. His most famous (or could it be infamous) output to date in this regard is his Sooba decision. The Chief Justice (come to think of it when are they going to confirm the gentleman; he’s been acting for so long) ruled that the Minister of Local Government had no legal right to appoint Carol Sooba as Town Clerk, but in language that at least poor me doesn’t understand, Ms. Sooba can still remain in office.
I am going to respect the ruling of the Chief Justice and not repeat the contents and title of that June 2010 column, but I will maintain as a trained historian and social scientist that President Jagdeo continued with the tradition of the pursuance of racial favouritism by the State during his twelve-year-old presidency that saw immense race-based generosity favouring one group over the other.
Is this practice still going on under Mr. Jagdeo’s hand-picked successor, Donald Ramotar? The answer is yes. But more pertinently, can the label King Kong be used to describe the exercise of power by Ramotar as Walter Rodney applied it to President Forbes Burnham and I assigned it to President Jagdeo in 2010? The answer is yes.
If you have been following the Jagdeo libel writ against me you would have seen that the permutations used in the application of the term King Kong are complex and wide as adumbrated by Nigel Hughes. The common perception is that reference to King Kong means an ugly leader who is big built and is like a troglodyte bullying his way.
This is simply not true. Burnham was not a hugely built man and he was not ugly at all. He was handsome. By King Kong, Rodney meant the power of dictatorship where bullyism and violence reign. I borrowed that connotation from Rodney when I wrote that column about Jagdeo.
Like Burnham, Jagdeo is not monstrously built, and like Burnham, Jagdeo is a good looking fellow who, if he wanted to could have earned him a reputation as a lady killer. It is like “Babylon” in Rasta lexicon.
The common meaning is police. But Babylon refers to the oppressive power structure, as in “We gun bring down Babylon.” Having said that, could the meaning of King Kong, as explained above, be applied to Ramotar? I think it can. With regard to my column that describes King Kong politics in 2010, nothing has changed since then, so the column can be extended to include an analysis of Ramotar’s style.
It was under the presidency of Mr. Ramotar that I almost lost my life at the stroke of midnight in August 2012, when I was violently and viciously attacked while leaving the People’s Parliament outside Parliament Building with Dr. David Hinds and Michael Carrington.
Surely, the label King Kong can be used to dissect the nature of such power. It was under Ramotar’s presidency that the treason trial of three persons, including the mother of two tots, continued. Ramotar chose to proceed with the trial even though the society felt it was a farce.
This is what we mean by King Kong power. King Kong power is when police shoot and kill unarmed protestors, including a mentally handicapped youth. The Ramotar Government did that in July 2012 and a Commission of Inquiry ruled the police did the shooting. Babylon and King Kong did nothing to rein in the police.
Babylon and King Kong even paved the way for the officer in charge of the police at the time of the deaths to be promoted. Now we have “Tapegate.” If there is any situation where the Ramotar presidency could be identified with the King Kong label is the suspension of a democratically elected Parliament.
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