Kaieteur News – Twice, Robert Corbin, about six years ago, told me that he was writing his memoir. I don’t know what stage it is at but if it hits the bookstores shortly, I hope it will not be 63 American dollars as Rohee’s autobiography is.
Corbin’s book no doubt will perhaps carry more than one chapter on his tenure as leader of the opposition. This columnist knows from very confidential sources in the PNC that the clash between Corbin and Vincent Alexander was inevitable because Norton and Alexander did not accept Corbin’s ascent to PNC leader.
Alexander challenged Corbin for the position, lost and subsequently withdrew from the PNC’s anatomy and physiology. From the date of that withdrawal, Alexander told me years after, he did not review his party membership. The quarrel between Corbin and Norton was bitter and the drama ended up in the High Court.
It is Norton’s turn to taste the poison of those who think he should not be leader. Both Joe Harmon and David Granger, out of deep conviction, did not accept the eligibility of Norton being leader. Granger thought it would have been a natural process for Harmon. He was wrong because that thought was based in his head and not from socialisation with the world of the PNC.
Granger had no idea of how disapproving the PNC world has been of him and Harmon. One of the reason Basil Williams dropped out of the race is because he feared that he would have cut Norton’s quota thus creating the possibility of a Harmon victory. Williams felt that he would be more accommodated under Norton than Harmon. Of course, Williams is naïve to think Norton wants him in the PNC leadership again.
The PNC has arrived at history repeating itself. Two big PNC figures – Norton and Alexander – did not embrace Corbin when he won. Two big PNC personalities – Granger and Harmon – will not accept Norton as leader. It is doubtful that Harmon will be persuaded by the argument that the bifurcation will hurt the PNC and thus Harmon should allow Norton to seat as parliamentary opposition leader.
Harmon is going to argue that Norton is the last person to be selected to fertilise the field of unity. Norton fought two leaders – Hoyte and Corbin – and must have been told at the time that his confrontation did not help party unity. Harmon will ask why he must carry thoughts of reconciliation and healing when Norton did not think like that when he was fighting down party leaders.
What is happening now and will drag on is the bifurcation will continue until the next election when both Harmon and Norton will step down. Norton will lose the 2025 poll. That is a foregone conclusion. The PNC will lose seats. At that time there will be calls for a brand new, young leader. Norton will be 68 plus in 2025.
Harmon will not contest in 2025 and because of advanced age, will follow Granger in riding away forever. Guyana’s academia will be poorer because all three men in writing about their time in politics and in power will not admit that the PNC lost a genuine, golden, glorious opportunity in 2020 to win the election.
They will write no doubt as they get older but the next generation will not be given some valuable facts of history. It will be the same with Raphael Trotman and Khemraj Ramjattan. As age catches up with them, the next generation will not receive any account from them as to why APNU+AFC lost the election.
This is a scholarly tragedy. Perhaps the only person who will do it is Carl Greenidge. He can write history and sociology with scholarly competence. His book, “Empowering a peasantry: The Case of Land Settlement in Guyana, 1865-1985,” is fine stuff. See my December 12, 2019 column on Greenidge’s book.
The current state of affairs within the PNC will play on. There will be further resignations as we see from Simona Broomes. Volda Lawrence says she will still be around but she admits she is tired. All of these developments can be traced back to March 2020.
The March 2020 election has devastated the nervous system of the PNC. It is no random occurrence that over 60 percent of PNC congressional delegates on December 18, did not vote. Surely, if it was just a 10 percent occurrence you could have argued that such a percentage was insignificant. But 60 percent is too substantial and it has crushed the credibility of Norton.
The analysis points in the direction that these people chose to be selected as delegates but they really showed no interest in the faces and names vying for administration of their party.
(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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