Kaieteur News – Is Mr. Granger gone? If he has, then the analysis of his career will begin to flow. I never spoke to David Granger directly in person. He spoke in person to me twice. I’ll come to that below. He once made a phone call to me. I remember it vividly. I was going west on the Railway Embankment. At the traffic light, the phone rang. He called to offer his solidarity over my UG contract termination in December, 2011.
Days after he came up to UG while there were protests because of my dismissal. He addressed the leadership of the demonstrations in the Faculty of Natural Sciences but we never spoke. The two occasions Mr. Granger spoke to me was when I joined the PNC picket line to call for the end to the prorogation of Parliament. He came up to thank me for my presence. At his open “birthday lime” at Congress Place, I was with David Hinds and he came up to our table to thank us for coming.
My UG contract termination was my first inkling that Mr. Granger was not good at strategising and that he compartmentalises his politics which would create problems for the smooth success in the exercise of presidential power.
The time was the first week in February 2012. President Donald Ramotar met a joint delegation from the PNC and AFC. The fall-out from my contract termination was still fresh. Gerhard Ramsaroop brought up the UG dismissal issue with the president and there was an exchange with President Ramotar who said, “My government did not dismiss Freddie Kissoon.”
Mr. Granger said not one word on my situation even though when he came up to the protest at UG, he gave assurances that he would pressure the government on the dismissal. I asked Ramsaroop why Granger took that stance. Ramsaroop told me he did not understand why Granger did not intervene.
I knew why. Granger felt that since the AFC was there, then let the AFC deal with the matter because it was an AFC matter. This is what I mean by the compartmentalisation of politics. I honestly believe if Basil Williams or Robert Corbin or Amna Ally was there, once the UG dismissal controversy was aired, they would have spoken on it.
This has been the outlook of Granger as a politician and as president. Lack of experience and leadership qualities prevented him from coping with large issues of sensitive politics. I will not accept that his performance was the main reason for the electoral defeat. The APNU+AFC regime was simply a holistic failure. But Granger’s approach to the political sociology of Guyana was certainly a huge factor in the loss.
We on the outside will never understand the mental anguish that many PNC and AFC leaders are now living with. It is a trauma that is mashing up their soul. As the APNU+AFC formation set about in 2015 to rule Guyana, many of their leaders were not inspired by Granger’s performance.
I heard several of them made that utterance. They knew their tenure was not marked by excellence, brilliance, deep thinking or purposeful strategising because their frontman was not carrying his notes smoothly but the band had to play on because the audience was in the stadium expecting a performance.
Whether Mr. Granger stays on or rides away into the sunset, he has partially but decisively hurt the PNC’s future electoral chances. And this could be directly put down to his lack of leadership qualities. It would literally take more than a research manuscript to enumerate the thin sheets of ice on which rested the fulcrum of Granger’s presidency.
He has been facing tsunamic animosities since July 2020 from both first tier and second tier leaders from the PNC plus a female bigwig and a dangerous mind in the AFC over his concession to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. But they can rant as much as they want, they would have done the same in July 2020. These detractors of Granger do not know what was coming had the APNU+AFC stayed on. Granger has not explained anything to them. This is how he operates.
Granger has a part of his personality that no other leader – from both PNC and PPP – ever had. He is a very private person who cannot separate what must be kept private and what he must seek advice on.
Cheddi Jagan led the way on seeking the intellectual strength of others in crisis situations. For all of Burnham’s colossal self-confidence, he sought ideas from Sir Shridath Ramphal, Ptolemy Reid and others countless of times. The PNC and AFC kings and queens knew by early 2018, that Mr. Granger should have done better. But he was the president.
(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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