Kaieteur News – I first met Vladimir Glasgow about 10 years ago. Mark Benschop and I were going to Kwakwani on a human rights mission and at Linden, Vladimir was going to arrange things from his end. I was sick when I reached Linden. My head was spinning, stomach churning, and body lifeless. I don’t know what happened, but I didn’t eat that morning and there was a touch of the flu.
My suggestion was that they go without me. I will book into a hotel and leave the night when they return to Linden. Vladimir delayed the bus and checked me into a pharmacy where I met a doctor. After the intake of some different types of tablets and some rest, I made the journey to Kwakwani. I liked Kwakwani. Years after, in 2011, I went back there to campaign for the Alliance For Change (AFC). Actually, the best pigeon-peas cook-up rice, I ate in my entire life was during the 2011 election campaign in Kwakwani.
From that time, I became friends with Vladimir. I asked why the Russian first name. He explained that his dad was a trade unionist in the bauxite industry and had once visited the USSR and that explains it. Vladimir was the point man for the AFC in Linden. On the AFC campaign trail in Linden in 2011 and 2015, we got to know each other very well.
After the APNU+AFC got into power in 2015, Vladimir became the Region 10 representative for the Office of the Prime Minister. It was during the five-year period of APNU+AFC in office, I saw the essential politics of Vladimir. He was no ‘yes man’. He spoke his mind and his mind was independently structured. He saw governance differently from the way the AFC saw it.
As a member of the national executive committee (NEC), he resigned last week. This means that the NEC since the election defeat in March has lost large names that mattered in the halls of AFC’s politics. The list includes Dominic Gaskin, Leonard Craig, Gobin Harbhajan, Audwin Rutherford. Former MP and AFC executive, Trevor Williams, told me that he has completed his resignation, has it printed out but he wants to deliver it personally to party strongman (my words), Khemraj Ramjattan, because when he joined the AFC in 2006, he did so in front of Ramjattan so he wants to leave in front of Ramjattan. Another executive, Joel Edmond, husband of PNC parliamentarian, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, told me he has taken a break from politics. This means the AFC has lost another popular Berbician.
Vladimir knew that too much was wrong in the AFC leadership now that such leadership had power. But as a name in the long list of second-tier leaders who didn’t have an independent source of income, they had to shut their mouths. This entire second tier leadership knew that doomsday was coming from the APNU+AFC government because power intoxication had taken over. They saw it coming but could do nothing about it.
Vladimir’s days in politics was numbered. He was not a favourite of the PNC bigwigs in Linden and they saw him as a threat. I was shocked when I met Vladimir in Survival Supermarket on Sherriff Street and he told me that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had dismissed him on the complaint of the PNC group in Linden without conducting a hearing. I remember my first expression on hearing the news was, “Oh my god, and you just got married.”
I was prepared to let Nagamootoo feel the full brunt of my scatological vocabulary when I see him despite whatever police action he may want to take. But we never bumped into each other since Vladimir broke the news to me. Guess what? You are not going to believe what you are about to read. Vladimir told me, he was asked to return to the AFC for the 2020 election campaign by Ramjattan and he agreed. I remember asking him if it was the same Ramjattan that remained silent when Nagamootoo fired him.
I’ve known Vladimir for more than 10 years. He is one of the better young men politics has produced in this land. I met so many of them that were dreaming of a better Guyana when the AFC first contested national elections in 2006 and did phenomenally well. They all flocked to the AFC because they saw a chance of a third party coming up to diminish the hold the two leviathans – PPP and PNC – had on Indians and Africans. All three of them, Glasgow, Craig and Rutherford, were AFC second-tier leaders that I interacted closely with and could testify to their superior political culture. I hope there is still a place for them in the political sun.
(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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