Yesterday morning, my wife joined me for my dog’s walk on the seawall. I decided to give her a tour of Georgetown. So we drove a few places, stopped at a few places. On our way to the seawall on Water Street, we passed a building that has not had seen even inch of change made to it in its 86 year old life. I looked at the abattoir and turned to my wife and said; “I am going to make this a column tomorrow. It is an issue on which the Guyanese people should judge the PPP.”
The Georgetown abattoir is one of the world’s saddest and biggest disgraces. The former PPP president, Bharrat Jagdeo, should be charged by the United Nation for cruelty to animals. Forbes Burnham dominated Guyana as a hegemonic leader from 1968. He didn’t have room for one-man showmanship between 1964 and 1968 because the PNC’s coalition partner, the business oriented party, United Force had a forceful presence in the Cabinet.
From November 1968 to March 1985 Burnham ruled Guyana. His number of years is matched by Bharrat Jagdeo (August 1999-May 2015). Jagdeo had 12 years of direct constitutional rule and was the hand behind the throne in the Ramotar presidency (2011- 2015.)
I don’t believe any scholar would jeapordize his/her credibility by arguing for a Ramotar presidency that was not shaped by Jagdeo. So pliable was Ramotar to Jagdeo’s diktats that he retained the identical Cabinet Jagdeo had. This must remain a record in the history of modern politics. An incoming president has, as a matter of psychology and commonsense, to have a few choices of his own; people he owe it to, persons he wants to be in his Cabinet, folks he can personally rely on.
I mean it as no joke but after the abattoir, the next most disgraceful thing in Guyanese history is the Ramotar presidency. Ramotar should stop writing his fetid, pathetic letters to the press bemoaning the absence of democracy; there wasn’t even an infinitesimal dose of it during his reign.
I looked at that building and windmills began to spin in my mind. I wanted to go home quickly to complete this column. How could anyone look at that building and not reflect on why they would want to give their vote to the PPP. How much money it would have cost to erect a comfortable building to house those animals some place out of Georgetown?
I embraced the 2015 coalition bandwagon. I campaigned zealously for it. I supported it in its first months of governance but it threw it away. The consequences of that we are living with today – the PPP may return to power. I don’t believe Guyana deserves a PPP in government. It was in power for 23 years. Look at that 86 year old sarcoma on Water Street.
They were in power for 23 years; look at how the infrastructure of Georgetown deteriorated. They were in power for 23 years, then, a philistine monster devoured the Botanic Gardens. I would argue that any textbook on Guyana has to mention one of the world’s greatest irony – the UN awarded Jagdeo the accolade of “Champion of the Earth” while the capital city looked like the nastiest gutter in the entire world.
I get into arguments almost daily with my friends when they speak of hoping for a defeat of the APNU+AFC in the March election. I would turn and say; “so you want the PPP in again?” With emotional vehemence they would say yes. That is a moral injustice. The PPP had 23 years. Jagdeo had 12. What changed?
On was on the Naim Chan Show on CNS, channel 6, and Chan asked me if I am not feeling lonely because my friends like Lincoln Lewis, David Hinds, Mark Benschop, Chris Ram are all rooting for either PNC or PPP and I continue to remain independent. I am not lonely. Not in the least. I studied too much of Freud, Koestler and other philosophers to know how humans operate.
I honestly believe Mr. Jagdeo will not change. Mr. Jagdeo in 15 years almost destroyed this country and there has been no apology to the Guyanese people. One would have thought that after the discontinuation of the libel case, he would have met with me and at least say, “well, Freddie, no hard feeling right.” I am not at liberty to say how and why the case was discontinued but I am willing to say it privately to people who ask me. I honestly think Anil Nandlall should have been the PPP’s presidential candidate. I am voting for a third party
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