Before and after his assumption of the presidency, the consensus was that David Granger had a clean slate with money. That belief and perception are grounded in reality and the consensus lives on. As I stated in a previous column, Mr. Granger is not the only head of government whose financial integrity was faultless. The list includes Cheddi and Mrs. Jagan, Sam Hinds and Desmond Hoyte.
As we near the 2020 poll, Mr. Granger’s outstanding record of a clean attitude to the world of money will be played non-stop, and rightfully so. Recently, Raphael Trotman and David Hinds recommended his reelection based on his incorruptibility. But it is a sad day for a country when its leader could be praised for the possession of one important leadership quality only – the non-corruptible value.
I know of no textbook or political theory that argues (and none will) that a country could achieve social and modern advancement only on the basis of the leader’s clean sheet when it comes to money and related resources. Could Mr. Granger move Guyana forward if he lacks the other essential leadership qualities? The answer is no and it is a scientific answer.
Two disturbing characteristics must be thrown into the equation when we assess David Granger’s ability to lead Guyana into the future. One is the authoritarian instinct. The other is a lack of a multi-racial profile. Granger is guilty on both counts. I will discuss the one-dimensional racial image in a forthcoming column
For now, let’s look at the first one. David Granger cannot be compared to Janet Jagan when it comes to having no personal interest in money as the head of Guyana. Anyone who studied and studies Guyanese political history will know Mrs. Janet Jagan was as clean as a whistle. She probably gave away the money she had. She probably threw away fancy gifts she got. She was exceptional in this regard.
Mrs. Jagan was frighteningly exceptional in another context. Her moral philosophy was neatly carved in black and white. She was contemptuously dismissive of grey areas in life. Mrs. Jagan practiced the following perspectives. If you do not like my party, I will hate you. If you criticize my leader, I will hate you. My party leadership is historical and criticism of it, I will never accept. My party is the saviour of Guyana, if you do not accept that I will not accept you. The choices, directions and ideology of my party must be embraced, because they are grounded in history, if you do not accept that, then you are wrong and I will reject any relation with you.
Simply put, Mrs. Jagan had a one-dimensional outlook on life. When translated to power, she was a terrible autocrat. She was cunning, conspiratorial, narrow-minded, cruel, insensitive and intolerant. She is solely responsible for many of the tragic mistakes of the PPP and the different PPP governments; 1957-1964, 1992-2001. This was a powerful person who once ruled Guyana and didn’t even take a cent for herself.
We must always remember that cardinal rule in political theory – incorruptibility in power does not mean political purity. Mrs. Jagan was incorruptible, but she was politically flawed. As we debate the clean slate of Granger, we must remember the case of Mrs. Jagan. Mr. Granger has done several undemocratic things, and could end up having the approach of Mrs. Jagan. Some of his actions have betrayed the totalitarian instinct.
It is my ironclad opinion, which I will tenaciously cling to, that Granger was the decisive factor in the dropping of the columns of David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis in the Chronicle. Many of his state appointments are unpalatable, but he doesn’t care. He has an incestuous approach to state employment. He puts people that he was close to in the past and is presently close to in important positions. Four examples will suffice – Halim Majeed as ambassador to Cuba; the choice of Vice Chancellor of UG, the GECOM chairmanship and the Bynoe energy job.
The Majeed thing was the most outrageous placement in the history of Guyana’s diplomacy. Majeed, a staunch Burnhamite from the socialist days of Non-Alignment and Third World socialism, retired from politics and migrated to the US when the PNC lost power in 1992. In a rapidly changing Cuba where forms of capitalism are now embraced, Cubans Majeed hobnobbed with in the eighties have long gone from the Cuban scene. Granger overlooked so many learned and qualified diplomats and chose his friend Majeed. As the months unfold, I suspect we will see the true colours of David Granger.
Sep 22, 2018The 2018 Indigenous Heritage Games (IHG) was officially kicked off by Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday morning at the at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) Ground,...
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