Kaieteur News – Mr. Basil Blackman, an enduring PNC stalwart and a confidante of David Granger, has resigned from the PNC executive. Executive member of the AFC, Audwin Rutherford (AR), has departed from the party itself.
I don’t know Mr. Blackman but I am a friend of Rutherford. Both men have a certain characteristic that links them in terms of temperament. They chose not to serve destiny when destiny was calling them. Both men chose to resign after their party spent five years in power then lost the election.
When you listen to their emanations after their exit, it makes you wonder what exactly they were doing from 2015 and where they were living. I will expand on the politics of Rutherford because I know him well. I will leave the Blackman thing for another column. I regard AR as one of the better minds inside the AFC. For the entire tenure of the AFC, beginning in late 2015, I have been critical of the direction of the AFC and the philosophical betray that took over the souls of six of its leading generals (hereafter referred to as 6G.)
In all that time, I would discuss the failings and depravities of the AFC with AR and on every occasion, without exception, he and I were on the same wavelength. I never understood why at least five of them in the second tier leadership, including AR, never confronted 6G and told them that they were heading down the self-destructive chasm.
I could only think of three reasons: 1 – People, like AR, felt that given the relentlessness of opposition politics they should not rock the boat; 2 – They were too weak in character to challenge the 6G. They feared being ostracized or humiliated; 3 – Whatever they wanted from the government, they felt would eventually come their way.
Although one of the three reasons above or all three together holds the answer, AR’s post-election frustration cannot be sympathized with. An analogy is in order. If the police, the newspapers and society have been warning citizens not to be alone on the Georgetown seawall after 2A.M. then do you expect sympathy when you are robbed? Did you not know that was coming?
There was literally an ocean of moral turpitudes in the AFC after it came to power in 2015. I discussed these Herculean stables with AR for over five years after 2015. He knew the 6G were no better than the leaders of the PPP, the criticism of whom brought the AFC to power. Even before the AFC ministers were sworn in, 6G called a friend of theirs who never lifted a finger to help the AFC from 2005 when it was born right up to 2015, and offered her a ministerial portfolio.
I am tired writing of this particular manifestation of ugly degeneracy but its importance lies in the inherent immorality of the AFC. AR knew that when he attended the statutory meetings of the executive committee, the decisions were irrelevant because 6G decided any and everything in the AFC. AR knew the AFC executives were never told what the final outcome of the dialogue between the PNC and AFC to renew the Cummingsburg Accord was. The AFC and PNC announced that some details had to remain secret.
AR knew that there was never internal democracy inside the AFC and its leader was in fact far more ethically flawed than the very PPP that AR campaigned to defeat. AR knew that corruption was rampant in the APNU+AFC government. A bigwig’s son was selling a certain piece of paper, the end result of which was prodigious sums going to his father.
Then came the dénouement. The 6G which had now become 5G (because Dominic Gaskin had withdrawn) selected its 9MPs in a game of charade. First, the selection was done through a zoom meeting with the executives. When 5G realized that the nine selectees included persons it didn’t want to go to parliament, it scrapped the choices and ordered that executives submit a list in a few days’ time. During that time, 5G lobbied for its own list and got it. The results were stalwarts were omitted and some sycophants of 5G made it.
I end with the question that I will ask when I look at the Blackman resignation – where was AR and others like him when things were going so badly that a school boy could have seen that the APNU+AFC would have lost the 2020 election? I wish AR the best of luck in whatever he does in the future. Politics in Guyana is a cat and mouse game with Dracula, and Dracula always wins.
(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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