Oct 14, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – If the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is unable to speak openly, early, and truthfully about what is going on inside its sphere and, more importantly, on matters regarding the public welfare, then soon enough it may not be able to speak to anything of substance at all. That is, without political clearance, or without political massaging to come out differently in sound, look, and feel. As Guyanese should know, that would not be in their best interests on things that they value. For example, what is the real story with crime, should they be alarmed or comfortable, and how much should they trust what is being dished out to them by public relations professionals, who are gaining a deserving reputation for slickness and sharpness? As Guyanese know well, sharpness is good for young children relative to education, but it is not good when attached to messages from skilled practitioners of the art of camouflage.
As said in our introduction, Guyanese should know more than they want to know about the GPF, meaning of the wrong and weakened within it. Those old enough to know, have terrible memories of how members of the GPF were misused, by a leader named Burnham, in our streets and communities to attack and abuse law abiding citizens expressing their constitutional rights. It was then, and remains now, a savage irony that a constitutionally mandated body like the GPF, was then remade by oppressive political men to batter and beat down citizens exercising what is allowed to them under that same constitution. The making of the GPF into what some may term an occasionally monstrous body, when it suits the visions and objectives of powerful leaders, has never really stopped, in some form or other, under one government after another, and under the guiding hands of leaders whose minions are always ready to jump to deliver, regardless of how citizens are hurt in the process. It has been only a matter of scale and degree, as government come, and governments go.
Today, a government has come into power, and its leaders will tolerate little by way of messages that speak to the kind of developments, the types of stories, that they don’t want to hear. And when leaders don’t want to hear those hard, piercing developments and stories, they do their best (or worst) to make sure that the public neither hears nor learns nor knows about them. In a word, there is ever effort made, and no expense spared, to suppress crime facts, and police truths.
The strategies and techniques gaining firm and firmer footing inside the GPF are becoming more and more obvious. They are what were feared, and for which there were early objections. Of course, this being the government and leaders that Guyanese have, none of this is really unexpected. Crime stories that make leaders uncomfortable are being delayed, by which time some of the initial significance would fade. In this skillful way, the GPF propaganda professionals, acting at the behest of the political men that put them there for such purposes, fulfill their marching orders. It is to desensitise the public to the true and brutal assaults of the day that are every day, and around the hour, if not by the moment. After all, a desensitised public is unconscious of what is happening in its environment.
When timeliness is removed from the GPF’s reporting equation, there is little left to report. And that is precisely what has happened: more and more. The GPF has little to report, when its new PR professionals smartly work to sanitise stories and to repackage them into the ordinary, without meaning. If there is one thing that should have meaning in the GPF, it should be those Cotton Tree murders. Even the Acting Commissioner cannot speak on reported ‘disappeared money’. If that is unanswerable, then there are no answers to anything. It is the season of suppression in the GPF, a different kind of oppression.
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