Last year when the Chronicle removed David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis as columnists, I interviewed Sherod Duncan on the imbroglio after I found out he had voted as a board member for the action. It was unthinkable Duncan would do that, given his role in confronting the arrogant and bad governance of the then Town Clerk, Royston King. Duncan was also vocal on the parking meter disaster.
I couldn’t believe even for a moment that Duncan would agree to remove two Guyanese icons from the pages of Chronicle; for two reasons. They fought for the freedom of Guyanese so that Duncan could become a City Councilor and have the right to engage in protest. Secondly, it was the return of damning state control of the media.
I interviewed Duncan, and what I found was a man hiding behind a mask with the word, “I am a democrat.” See my column of Saturday, March 17, 2018 with the headline, “Contrasting interviews with Sherod Duncan and Ruel Johnson.” Just a brief recap; Duncan told me (I still have the recorded interview) that all he did was to vote for upholding the right of the Chronicle’s editor, Nigel Williams, to make the decision.
Now why is Duncan appealing the board’s decision to fire him? I know James Bond is advising him. Which one; the Ian Fleming character with the licence to kill or the local lawyer with that name? Whichever one it is, then they have to ask Duncan why is it that his editor at the Chronicle has the right to remove Hinds and Lewis but the board doesn’t have the right to remove him?
It looks like Duncan is set to ride off in obscurity, but the lesson to be learnt from the advent of Duncan on the political scene is vastly important and every Guyanese in this troubled land needs to internalize it. There is a colossal irony in the Duncan – King circus that should be told to every schoolboy. Duncan and King used popular struggle to get power and then turned around and became just like the people they criticized.
We all wanted Carol Sooba out of the Town Clerk’s job, because we saw Sooba as a PPP mandarin during the rule of the PPP. The PPP lost power and in stepped King. Then King ran out of City Hall shouting; Eureka! Eureka! King discovered that he was in fact a real king. And he ran City Hall as a king. As it turned out, King was more arrogant than Carol.
When I was five years old, there was a very popular song around the world by Neil Sedaka titled, “Oh Carol.” The first line went like this; “Oh Carol, I am but a fool.” We were all foolish not to see that King, when he was in the opposition, badly wanted to sit upon a throne and wear a crown. What is the ironic connection between King and Duncan? We now come to that.
Enter “Captain Clean.” Remember when he was trying to win our support, Duncan dressed up as Captain Clean and posted up his costume on social media. This was when he was Deputy Mayor and he was sending a signal to King that he needed to clean the Augean stables of Georgetown. Duncan flew over Georgetown as Captain Clean and parked his body outside of City Hall to protest the parking meter contract.
One day, Moses Nagamootoo was sharing out cuts of a new watermelon species he had blessed on a farmer’s plantation and saw Captain Clean flying overhead looking down at the thousands of melons that reminded one of that famous Charles Bronson movie, “Mr. Majestyk” where some bandits came and shot up the thousands of melons, Mr. Majestyk had on his farm.
The man from Whim (who I understand is running scared from the people of Whim who want to pick his bones) called down Captain Clean to earth and offered him the job of GM of Nagamootoo’s newspaper, the Chronicle. Duncan accepted and soon the irony with King was being shown to Guyanese as when people flocked to the cinemas to see James Bond movies.
As General Manager of Chronicle, Captain Clean flew so high that he almost touched the spacecraft that was featured in the James Bond movie, “Moonraker”. But unlike Bond who is unbeatable, Captain Clean crash-landed and got badly defeated. A lady at the Chronicle peep the file of Captain Clean and ran to the media. She intoned that Captain Clean was spending money, the amount that it takes to make a James Bond film. Captain Clean was then cleaned out of the Chronicle.
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