Finance Minister Winston Jordan has sued the Kaieteur News for libel. Before I move on to the essential argument of this piece here – PNC’s barefaced ingratitude – I make a slight diversion but a relevant one, nevertheless, because of the mention of the name Winston Jordan.
The last conversation I had with Jordan occurred in 2013 at the Timehri airport. I have never spoken to Jordan since then. I was with my wife in the arrival lounge waiting for her nephew. Jordan appeared as an obscure figure to me when he approached me to inform me about the type of people in the government bureaucracy that are recipients of foreign-paid employment. I will not elongate, because I am not going to let Jordan sue me.
It is almost six years since that airport encounter, and I have not spoken to Jordan. I saw him once since that time – at the 60th birthday of Bert Wilkinson.
In September, in possession of his cell phone number which I got from a Cabinet member, I texted him three times requesting to meet with him over a practice of the GRA of imposing a fine on imported vehicles for used tyres without measuring the threads in front of the importer. Jordan didn’t have the courtesy to reply.
Let’s continue on the central argument of this commentary here which will bring out the relevance of mentioning Jordan. I was part of a panel with James Bond of the PNC on Kaieteur Radio last Wednesday evening. This is what Bond said, and in saying what he uttered, he follows in the footsteps of Winston Jordan, President Granger, Carl Greenidge, and so many others like them who need to be vigorously told who the people are that are responsible for them having power today.
Bond said in angry tones that I am in my mid-seventies (I haven’t reached seventy yet and not as old as Bond’s leader, David Granger) and have been a devil’s advocate all my life and have done so successfully. Bond and I were in heated contention over the nature of the government, and he definitely resented the canvas I painted of the APNU+AFC government, which I have no apologies for, and which I will continue to do until I hope it loses the March 2020 election. What Bond did not mention – which in my opinion is deliberate – is that my devil’s advocacy helped to bring his party in power, when I used my academic training and social activism to criticize for 23 years of my life an Indian-oriented government.
Enter Carl Greenidge. I am contending here and now that if it wasn’t for the Kaieteur News, Greenidge, his leader, David Granger and his party, the PNC, would not have been in power. Yet recently Greenidge made an accusation of bias against this newspaper, implying that it was biased against African nations.
There is nothing complex about Greenidge’s statement in his letter to the press. If he is arguing that KN has singled out Africa because of bias, then the definitive conclusion is racial bias is the motive. But it is the same newspaper that for years has exposed corruption, nasty governance and undemocratic governance of a political party in power in Guyana that the entire world knows is essentially Indian-oriented.
It is stretching one’s imagination into morbid chasms that a newspaper owned by a Guyanese Indian that is biased against the African race, would use its pages to weaken Indian rule in Guyana. In fact, we live in the realm of mystery in this country, because this Indian owner and this Indian columnist have been accused by countless Guyanese Indians of being partly responsible for the electoral defeat of the PPP, a defeat that has resulted in Winston Jordan, Carl Greenidge and David Granger being in power today.
Let me be pellucid, I am contending that the Kaieteur News played no small part in the birth of consciousness among Guyanese voters about corruption and undemocratic governance that existed in the Jagdeo and Ramotar presidencies. A Cabinet colleague of Jordan and Greenidge, Mrs. Cathy Hughes reminded Guyanese in an AFC press conference in November last year that the PNC never won a general election on its own.
It is the inflexible and incontrovertible opinion of this columnist, an opinion I will never ever abandon (they say never say never, but I am saying, never, never will abandon) that the Kaieteur News played a crucial role in exposing the undemocratic governance that was a factor in how Guyanese voted in 2011 and 2015. It is also the inflexible opinion of this columnist that Jordan and Greenidge and Granger should show at least a modicum of gratitude.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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