“Bread and circuses”, according to one online site, is a phrase critiquing superficial appeasement. It is attributed to the Roman poet, Juvenal, In a political context, the phrase is said to mean to generate public approval, not by excellence in public service or public policy, but by diversion, distraction or by satisfying the most immediate or base requirements of a populace — by offering a palliative: for example food (bread) or entertainment (circuses).
And this brings me to one of the most disturbing aspects of the PPPC’s manifesto and promises to the people for the upcoming general Elections.
A poster released by the PPP shows a group of youths, (predominantly African Guyanese) in party mode, and a promise to end the 2.00 A.M curfew, imposed by Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, for night spots.
Is this how the PPPC hopes to attract the support of the nation’s youths? Is this “drop the curfew gimmick”, with its accompanying poster of mainly African Guyanese, an attempt to attract the votes of youths of this ethnic group? Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo recently conceded that the PPPC had not done enough in the past for African Guyanese. So, is this what a PPPC government would have in store for African Guyanese?
Not more access to education, not more training, not more land for agricultural purposes, but more hours to party?
Is the PPC so disrespectful of young Guyanese, (particularly African Guyanese, if the poster is anything to go by) that it feels that this group will vote them back into office on this cheap gimmick of offering more hours to frolic?
In putting up this distasteful manifesto, in offering more “bread and circuses,” the PPPC has shown its true colours, and that the proverbial leopard has not changed its ugly spots.
George. J. Austin
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