The Stabroek News had a very good editorial on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. It alluded to the attitude of secretaries of Ministers. Secretaries and security personnel providing protection for politicians are working people earning a modest income. People should not be arrogant with them. But they are some of the world’s most irritating humans. Even the most laid-back human, the most introverted, the most reticent, would get angry with secretaries and security personnel.
In my long activism, some of the stupidest people I have met are secretaries and security personnel. It has to do with the nature of their job. They are perhaps the most regimented humans in daily life.
Secretaries and security personnel are also among the most barefaced liars in the human species. A secretary would not know how important is your visit, but with a straight Pavlovian face say to you; “He is out at a meeting” when in fact her boss is at his desk looking at cricket.
Security personnel are silly people most of the time. They act as if they own the politicians. They engage in silly bravado. An expatriate Guyanese who is one of the biggest dealers in cell phones was generous to me during the election campaign. He gave me a number of Samsung Galaxy phones and an expensive surge protector for the AFC election campaign. I took Adrian Cole, the AFC’s transportation manager, to buy his phone from this business place, I asked for a discount. Adrian was given forty percent off.
This man told me that last week he went to see the Prime Minister and two of the Prime Minister’s security detail treated him as if he was a dog. This businessman told me he was almost in tears.
I know Moses Nagamootoo very, very well. He would not condone such insults. I plan to speak with Moses when I see him. The only Minister of the Government of Guyana that I have spoken with on a personal level for about five minutes since the election campaign is David Patterson, and that was last Sunday at the wake for Denise Walcott.
I was at the same table with Basil Williams and Rupert Roopnaraine at the brunch of the Burnham Foundation, but nothing substantially political in nature was said. I believe it is going to be like that. Please forgive my recurring chauvinistic outburst when I say that because of my studies in philosophy, I know what human nature is like. I will keep my distance.
I know some of the Ministers very closely, but I will keep my distance. My training in philosophy instructs me that power is the world’s most dangerous thing. The further you keep away from people with power, the better you are able to safeguard your psychic integrity.
During the 2015 election campaign, I came face to face with the kind of people secretaries and security personnel are. I was speaking at an APNU-AFC public meeting at the Timehri junction. As soon as I took the mike, after Trevor Williams had spoken, this gentleman began to heckle me. It was as if he was sent to target me. You have to know how to deal with hecklers. Don’t ever respond to them. That is what they want, and they will disrupt your delivery.
Try to persuade them or if it becomes unbearable call in the police. The heckler was across the road behind a group of listeners.
An AFC security detail with us, secretly took him away, and slapped him twice. I was extremely upset with this unnecessary act. That is not my style. It will never be my style. The next day I told Michael Carrington of how strongly I felt at what happened. For the rest of the election campaign, all the AFC’s security personnel knew how I felt about that man. That night at Timehri was the last occasion that fellow and I were at an AFC-APNU election meeting
I remember telling Vincent Alexander when he was Registrar at UG that his secretary tells people he is not there when in fact he is. Vincent rarely shows anger. But he bowed his head briefly, then raised it up and quickly said, “Nah, I don’t train them to behave like that.”
Vincent’s secretaries were not like that, but I don’t know how many in the ministries right at this minute are not like that. I am naming Dr. David Hinds in this column, because I told him I received complaints about the way an AFC-APNU Minister’s secretary is treating members of the public. Since then, I have received many more complaints about many more Ministers. Trust me! Philosophy is a good thing to study.
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