Apr 30, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – The story goes about how the great Italian scientist and philosopher, Galileo would – after being imprisoned by the Catholic Church until he was forced to recant his ‘blasphemous’ theory that the earth was not fixed as supported by Christian belief but in fact moved around the sun – whispered before he died, “Eppur si muove,” meaning “And still, it moves.” The story is often told as an illustration about the resilience of sound ideas, of sound beliefs, of integrity, even in the wake of overwhelming oppression and illogical, prejudicial systems of power.
One gets a sense that somewhere in the mind of Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, he is a sort of Galileo, a man forced to reluctantly accept the prevailing false narrative that he and his superior, David Granger, lost the elections of March 2020 and hence every now and then he has to defiantly blurt out, “And yet we won,” before being compelled to toe the line.
The key difference, of many, between Harmon and Galileo however is that one those men had the weight of not only integrity but also empiricism on his side. The man dubbed the “Father of Modern Science” studied tides, planetary movements, mathematics, physics and the stars before he challenged the prevailing ‘wisdom’ of the Church during the Inquisition, which was that the Earth was fixed in space while the Sun and moon and stars moved around it, as was represented in the Bible. Galileo Galilei observed instead that the Earth was really just one of the several planets that moved around the sun, establishing the heliocentric model of the galaxy that prevails to this day.
In contrast, Mr. Harmon is just peddling nonsense. He, David Granger and the rest of the Coalition leadership were peddling nonsense a year ago as an irresponsible government seeking to artificially extend their time in office and they continue to peddle nonsense as an irresponsible opposition seeking to perhaps ensure that their time in opposition is extended ad infinitum. As Opposition Leader, Mr. Harmon is not so much a ringleader as he is carnival barker to the macabre circus that is currently the APNU+AFC. From Cathy Hughes’ inane tall tale about Russian hackers, to Harmon’s grand conspiracy dossier to whichever US lawmaker outside of Hakeem Jeffries was willing to read it, one that initially listed both himself and Granger as US citizens, we have had ignorance, incompetence and absurdly insidious theatre coming out of the political machinery that represents almost half of the electorate.
As in the case with Galileo, it is easy to understand principled, informed defiance over prevailing ignorance. But this is not the case here. Firstly, empiricism firmly contradicts Harmon’s narrative that the coalition was cheated out of the elections: in fact, the only empirical claim to have come out of the APNU+AFC was the claim made by Granger himself that Statements of Poll (SOPs) that he was in possession of showed them winning the election, in keeping with the figures manufactured by the corrupt Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo. Since then not only has Granger disappeared from public view but he has apparently taken the SOPs with him, the only documents that would support his claim that he in fact won the elections last year.
And on the issue of principle, what caused Granger and Harmon and the rest of the then government to change course away from the path of the most idiotic (and hence most dangerous) attempt at dictatorship in recent history was not the threat of imprisonment for standing by their core belief that they supposedly won the elections, but visa revocations from the United States and the threat of revocations from Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe. In brief, their much-touted commitment to defence of the supposed ‘sovereignty’ of Guyana lasted only as long as their freedom to travel outside of Guyana to the very countries they were accusing of interference was under threat.
There has to come a time when this ad-lib farce that Mr. Harmon is engaging in comes to an end. One would almost be relieved if there were any sense that there was a method to the madness but two events of the past few weeks confirm that there is no plan whatsoever. The first is Harmon’s release to the coalition’s followers (and not addressed to the general public) in the wake of the predictable decision against the coalition in the surviving elections petition, a release in which he completely avoided challenging the merits or even subject of the Chief Justice’s decision but then proceeded to attack the decision and hence the Chief Justice as part the supposed global conspiracy to cheat them out of the elections. The second, at considerable odds with the theme of Harmon’s release, was an in-house interview conducted by Granger a week earlier in which he glibly conceded that the coalition lost the 2020 election and were taking the opportunity to contemplate and connect to the people on the ground. There is not therefore even the concept of congruity between the narratives being peddled. The nonsense has to end – the Coalition’s constituents deserve better, saner, more competent leadership.
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