Kaieteur News – One of the most painful ironies of civilization, is that the ordinary folks want to be ruled by educated leaders. It doesn’t matter how grounded you are with the community, the ordinary folks, want to have a prime minister or president who is educated. People will vote for a brilliant scientist over a superbly wealthy politician.
As a spin-off, people tend to be more uncertain of street politicians than the educated elite. What happens is how the mind sees life. The mind has been conditioned to see humans as better people who dress flashily, speak persuasively and are highly educated.
The street folks admire you when they see you battling away in the trenches, fighting with the police, being hauled away in the police van and shouting out at them with radical exclamations from the window of the police station. But that has a natural negative side to it because there is a certain natural element of dishonesty in Homo sapiens.
They want you to fight in the streets for them but they want the guy with the three-piece suit and the university qualification to be in the presidential office. What the mind does is that it compartmentalises humans. It typecasts people. In life there must be the street fighter and there must be the educated president. The fearless street politician then is dealt a cruel hand. He fights for you in the trenches but you want the savvy intellectual to be your president.
Both Moses Nagamootoo and Robert Corbin internalised this lesson of life deeply in their psyche. After the PPP won power, Nagamootoo felt he was the logical successor to Cheddi Jagan but he, Nagamootoo, didn’t have impressive qualifications and this could’ve cost him dearly in a fight against a top class city lawyer, Ralph Ramkarran, or a top class medical doctor, Roger Luncheon. Nagamootoo then left the Cabinet and spent five years at university training to be a lawyer. Nagamootoo knew that in the past, of the two persons closest to Jagan – Boysie Ramkarran and Ranji Chandisingh – the educated one would be seen as the natural successor. And indeed Chandisingh was seen as such because he was Harvard educated.
Corbin knew that with the expulsion of Hamilton Green from the PNC, he was the next high profile leader in the PNC after Desmond Hoyte and that someone will have to succeed Hoyte. But Corbin had no qualifications. So he spent five years, like Nagamootoo training to become a lawyer. In a dogged fight to succeed Hoyte, Corbin the lawyer won the battle.
A casualty of this kind of human nature was Hamilton Green. The triumvirate in the PNC was Forbes Burnham, Dr. Ptolemy Reid and Green. But Green infamously stood out for two reasons. He was not an educated man and he spent about 20 years as a street fighter known for wild confrontations with detractors of his party.
There was no way Burnham and Reid would ever have thought about making Green the president. When Burnham died Reid never for a second thought about it. Hoyte the lawyer was made president with Corbin too casting his vote for Hoyte.
If Volda Lawrence does not contest the PNC leader position, the contest is between Aubrey Norton and Roysdale Forde. The thing about Norton’s politics is that though he has a Masters from England and was a foreign service officer, his relentless street politics the past 25 years has overshadowed that other part of his life.
People see Aubrey, the way they saw Green a generation ago – the street confrontationist. Now mind you, both Green and Norton are not seen as people who picket and demonstrate but street fighters. Norton has not learnt from the mistake of Green. Last week he was on the roadways and he was arrested. This reinforces the image that has accompanied his politics the past 25 years.
Not all those delegates at the congress will be people from the trenches. And those very delegates may be attracted to Forde, the big-shot, high priced lawyer, known for his legal defence of the PNC since the no-confidence motion of December 2018. Interestingly, as acting Leader of the Opposition, Forde was not part of Norton’s demonstration last week at Cuffy Square.
I have known Forde a long time now. In those years, we were more than just “hi and hello friends.” For a long time these columns were typed on the computer he gave me. Whenever I hear his name or see his face in the newspaper, I remember a potent political statement he made to me a Saturday morning at the Banks DIH outlet at Quamina and Main Streets. I guess he has changed. I haven’t.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Oct 26, 2021Kaieteur News – The stakes were high on Saturday afternoon last at the Lusignan Golf Club as golfers came out in droves for the final tune up tournament sponsored by C&V Shipping, prior the...
Oct 26, 2021
Oct 26, 2021
Oct 26, 2021
Oct 25, 2021
Oct 25, 2021
Kaieteur News – The answer to the question above is that they met in a confluence last Saturday morning in my head.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – It is nothing short of shocking to learn that, despite the fact that the world... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]