Life is strange. But not politics. It is sometimes difficult to understand how someone can be praiseworthy of a person in one instance and then, in another, be scathing in their criticism of that very person. But if you have followed Guyanese politics for a reasonable period of time, nothing would surprise you.
Eight years ago, a boxing card was scheduled to be hosted at the Princess Hotel. The card was titled Caribbean Fury 2 and was promoted by Carwyn Holland who, up to recent, was the Mayor of Linden.
The card almost did not materialize after the Guyana Revenue Authority demanded a deposit on the purse of the boxers. An American–based boxer, who was scheduled to appear on the card, threatened to pull out of the card when he realized that after taxes not much would have been left from his US$1000 purse.
The matter was reported in the newspapers and that report was read by then President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo. Jagdeo intervened to save Holland’s boxing card. According to a Stabroek News report of 8th November 2010, the President, after reading the report in the newspaper, took action which allowed the card to continue. He was even present at the event, which meant he would had to have been invited by the promoter, Mr. Holland.
The promoter of the card, Mr. Carwyn Holland was grateful to the then President. He was effusive in his praise for President Jagdeo. He said that he was happy and relieved by President Jagdeo’s intervention and even said that he knew that the President would have intervened to help the promotion.
Holland was quoted as saying that with such a move by President Jagdeo, sports tourism will thrive. He noted that President Jagdeo was always supportive of his promotions, citing a card in 2004 when he, Holland, had brought a world title fight to Guyana.
A lot of water has since passed under that bridge. Jagdeo at the time had hair on his head; he is now bald. Holland is not active locally in boxing promotion but has entered the political ring, having been elected the municipality of Linden and then being elected as Mayor of that town.
In a recent letter to this newspaper, Holland was acidic in his criticisms of Jagdeo. Holland put on his boxing gloves and stormed out of his corner like Aaron Pryor. He accused Jagdeo of being ludicrous, hypocritical and spoilt. He described him in unflattering terms as an individual who tyrannized and micro-managed every tier of the governance system. He questioned whether Guyana was Jagdeo’s personal property for him to take back.
It is pity he did not know all of those things eight years ago when Jagdeo literally rescued him and his boxing card. But such is the nature of politics. Politics and gratitude are like water and oil. They do not mix, as so many people are now discovering, and others will find out eventually.
We are in the political season. Local government elections are due to be held on November 12, 2018. This is usually a low-level affair but the political temperature is already becoming heated.
The exchanges will get more caustic in the days ahead. Parties and candidates will make heavy weather of their opponents. That is to be expected.
Things must not be allowed to get out of hand. We have also seen how easy it is for the political environment to become explosive and degenerate into violence.
Things got a little nasty last Thursday when a group of male APNU supporters were videoed harassing a female who was in picket line protesting for the payment of severance for former sugar workers attached to the Wales Estate who have not received their severance after more than one and a half years. Sadly, like gratitude and politics, civility and Guyanese politics is like oil floating on water.
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