This is one time in these columns that I will not and cannot cite names. I believe as a matter of journalistic principle that the production of verifiable data in commentary is a requirement, because it enhances the integrity of the story. Your facts are established because they can be verified. I have belaboured this point several times in the three decades I have been doing analyses in the newspapers.
People cannot make accusations of embellishment, because contacts can be made with the names cited. This of course is quite different from the sacred duty of not naming your sources or quoting those who gave information. A relevant example is my Monday column, in which I cited a concern I had over a particular attitude of the PNC in government, and not the government itself. I relayed that curiosity to two of my KN colleagues – Leonard Gildarie and Suraj Narine.
The editor removed their names. He may have had his reason, but that could open me to the charge that Freddie is just saying that to make the column look credible. But someone who knows Gildarie and Narine, and is suspicious of my intention, could have contacted them to ascertain if I wrote truthfully.
In the paragraphs to follow I cannot name names – with one exception – because those persons do not want to be identified. The exception is Marlon Williams of the AFC. I am pleased that through his name the polemic I am about to describe could be verified.
I had dinner with some key players in politics at New Thriving on Monday evening. The entire night the conversation was one-dimensional – the errors, faults, flaws, foolishness, weaknesses, insensitivities and incongruities of the APNU+AFC administration, in the context of a vicious, resurgent, PPP. The evening was so absorbing and fascinating that when I glanced at the time on my cell phone it was way past my wife-imposed curfew time. It was about 23:07 hours.
I left the ambience, ran downstairs and headed for the door, only to find New Thriving was locked with a huge metal door. I couldn’t find the attendant to open it. Eventually he did and I ran to my car in the spot that had become lonely because of the hour of the night.
I jumped into my car, drove off, but the lights failed me. Only the park lights would work. I drove from Main Street to Turkeyen at 23:15 hours with just park lights. If I was stopped I didn’t know how the traffic cop could have expected me to leave my car on Main Street unattended. Life can be harsh at times. I went early the next morning to my electrical guy, Savin’s Auto Electrical on Middleton Street. They fixed it. I was about to drive off – no start. From dead lights to dead battery.
The most intriguing aspect of the New Thriving polemic was when we explored the future of the Alliance for Change outside of the Coalition for the 2020 elections. One key player in politics said should that happen, he is giving the AFC at least five seats. I then shifted the ware to one side of the table and asked him to do some demographic drawings on the table. Where in the areas of Guyana are these five seats coming from?
So with my finger I went through West Coast, starting with Leonora and ending up with Berbice.
My point to the table was that the AFC’s constituencies have moved back to the PPP or have moved away, the reason being what they see as the AFC’s failure to be a progressive alternative to the regime it removed in the 2015 elections. Some around the table felt that the AFC got squeezed by the egregious flaws of the PNC section in government. That is not a convincing thesis. It seeks to shelter the AFC. That is both politically and morally unacceptable.
For whatever reason, be it old PNC behaviour, silly AFC politics, newness to government, intellectually bankrupt Coalition leadership, unthinking, uncaring government, 2016 has not seen any kind of transformational politics by the Coalition; on the contrary, in the face of an aggressive, unrepentant PPP, the term self-destructive would not be an excessive description to apply to the performance of the Coalition in 2016.
It simply defies logic why in 2015, in the midst of humongous goodwill from the entire country and with a president that was seen as honest and democratic and a Prime Minister that was nationally embraced, the Coalition stumbled from one mistake to another; mistakes that resemble the self-destructive abominations of the PPP Government.
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