You may feel inclined to accuse me of fictionalization in the next few lines. But the description is factual. I would never spew a fiction and name my wife as an eyewitness. She doesn’t deserve that from me.
On Friday evening in our study, my wife was sitting in the Berbice chair looking at the local news.
I came into the study to go to the computer. Volda Lawrence was speaking at a press conference. I honestly didn’t take any interest but I do know that there was vociferous applause after she made a point. I turned to my wife and told her that it was indeed strange for journalists to cheer at a press conference. That was all I said as I moved on.
I never knew that in fact the cheering at the press briefing came from APNU+AFC supporters who were there sitting next to the journalists. It was when I saw the Kaieteur News the next day then I knew what happened.
I immediately reminded my wife of my remark. So it was not journalists cheering on Lawrence but hooligans, thugs and philistines who were brought to the press conference.
This is an incredibly backward land that time and civilization forgot to offer a seat on the bus heading in the direction to civilization. President Jagdeo’s chief press liaison was caught on tape coercing an underage boy to have sex with him. When he did that, he was on the Rights of the Child Commission. The Minister did not remove him. No one from the Commission resigned.
But more importantly, the liaison officer was not removed from his job and continued to serve another PPP President, Donald Ramotar after Jagdeo demitted office. The same high-level presidential press officer beat up Mark Benschop the next year. and in what could only happen in a wasted county, Benschop was charged for assaulting the man who assaulted him.
No other regime in the history of the West Indies has so institutionalized philistine behaviour in government as the presidencies of Jagdeo and Ramotar. Both presidents in their capacity as president were seen ‘back-balling’ publicly during the Christmas season in different years. Jagdeo, during the 2011 election campaign of Donald Ramotar in Lusignan openly ‘backballed’ with a journalist from the Guyana Chronicle.
In 2010, I was delivering an academic paper at a conference sponsored by the Historical and Research Society, the place was the National Library. About seven persons barged in and disrupted my talk. In the group were Charles Ramson Junior and Dr. Randy Persaud.
Amazingly, Persaud is a university lecturer in the US. Amazingly too, Charles Ramson says he wants to run for the Guyana presidency.
The post 1999 PPP culture has been taken over by philistinism. Priya Manickchand’s conduct was unbecoming at the 2014 Fourth of July celebration at the home of US Ambassador. It was unbelievable to know that at the time of her sordid performance, she was the Minister of Education.
Her deputy boss, Dr. Roger Luncheon, justified her behaviour when at his weekly press conference lauded Manickchand and fondly and smilingly referred to her uncouth emanations as a feral blast.
PPP parliamentarians disrupted an official session of Parliament when they assaulted the policemen that were called in by the Speaker to remove an indisciplined Juan Edghill. Manickchand cried before the cameras that police ranks assaulted her when no scientific evidence existed to prove her claim. And both male and female PPP parliamentarians ran amok shouting that some of them were raped by the policeman. Again, no evidence existed.
The institutionalized philistinism of the PPP is being practised by the ministers and leaders of the PNC (not APNU) and the AFC. Ministers Lawrence, Harmon, Greenidge and Ally from the PNC and Ministers Patterson and Ramjattan and the Prime Minister from AFC watched the depraved thuggery of their supporters in a brand new dimension of debauched governance – the violent semantic attacks on journalists invited to cover a press conference hosted by the ruling party.
The violent semantics including the following; “Stop asking bullshit question!”, “Wuh stupid question is dat?”
One thug looked straight at the seven ministers and asked them, “You waan me deal with dese reporters?” Here is the most sickening irony of this vulgarity. On the same day, Moses Nagamootoo watched his supporters intimidate journalists, his sister was interviewed by the Stabroek News and she accused PPP supporters in Whim of thuggery during the LGE campaign. In fact, the three AFC Cabinet members at the head table all complained of bullying tactics by PPP campaigners in Whim.
Fortunately, no thug at the press conference told any journalist; “Haul yuh ass!”
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