Latest update June 1st, 2023 12:59 AM
Jan 17, 2022 Letters
It is beyond mystifying why some insist on holding on against all good sense, all that is dignified, all the odds, and all that is helpful to internal constituents and the country. It is my belief that if a man cares for the people that once looked to him for representation, and they have since clearly signalled that they have gone in another direction with a new hope, then that man makes as graceful a departure as is possible.
The problem is that nothing of the sort is happening. Rather, there is this spectacle that is played out publicly that undermines and devastates a process that nobody has challenged, given the cleanliness and seamlessness of it.
For all these reasons there are these circumstances, where knowing insiders have relayed to me that on every occasion that the name of the passed over one comes up, men are reduced to cursing profusely. Some are asking why? I am asking myself quietly: who does he represent? Who would want him to stick around, and for what purposes? Many have said leave quickly with a smooth exit strategy. I toss all of that in the dung heap. My thinking is taking shape.
My thinking suggests that something meaningful is involved, and it is not paltry. Oil companies in general, and Exxon in particular have perfected the art of making men seeing matters their way, and performing according to plan, as expected; maybe even demanded. Such are the precious bargains that have taken place in other oil places. The interests and welfare of the people? Let us get real, they are cannon fodder. Who are they, if nothing but a faceless, voiceless, helpless mass of humanity that is gullible, dependent, and caught between the forces of memory and history as they interpret it, and new realities of which they are at sea?
I will concede that the benefits associated with politics in this country have their irresistible attractions; there is nothing about noble public service attached to offices or those who hold them.
But those benefits pale into nothingness, when what Exxon could make possible through the channel of a treacherous and collaborating PPP/C leadership.
There is a history there, too. I ask Guyanese to cast their minds back a little, and there is a precedent and a parallel.
Those are so close to what is being repeated today that there is little room left for discussion or argument. The conclusions were of PPP/C arrangements by the barrelhead that hobbled one leader before, that left him speechless, powerless, and all but useless. Indeed, history repeats itself, and in colour. The colour is green.
There was no oil magic at work back then, it was all the power of PPP/C paper, and it was more than enough to cause bulging eyes and bulging in other things. In view of the ugly state of Guyana’s environment and politics, compromised PPP/C leadership is always on the hunt for people of standing everywhere, with whom it could do business. It goes without saying that it is not the type of business that is memorialised in documents and records; or the kind that accrues on the plus side of country interests.
There was plenty then to dole out, and make things happen. As an aside, look what happened at some polling stations in Guyana during the last year’s elections wars. It was not goodwill or relationships at work, but good old capitalism. The same kind that bought John F. Kennedy the U.S. presidency, compliments of Mayor Daly and Cook County, Chicago.
Now if there was much then for political emergencies, then there are countless multiples of those figures and levels available today to put to work. Some men become victims of circumstances, hostages to their own well-known histories, and addicts to what they find it painfully difficult to resist. Saying No is not an option since the litany of in for a penny translates into being unable to resist a pound now. Many of them, countless stacks of them, all neatly wrapped in fresh, crisp rectangles with big numbers embedded in and embossed on them.
Yes, I hear about talks, and then more talks. Talk, talk, talk. What the hell is there to talk about, other than leave and don’t let the door knock off the feet.
It is a tad embarrassing for me to write about this, spend time on this, when there are so many other crucial issues begging for immediate attention. In fact, I sully myself when I venture into waters such as these about who should go and who should stay. Of whom should stay and rise to prove the mettle made of, and to bring some measure of belated accountability and answerability on those many things that trouble so many, prompt so much anxiety in many others, and leave this society so much lesser for it. As I depart, I recall that glittering, sweeping passage from the good book, which I paraphrase to suit this parting message from me today. There is a time to stay and a time to go. At another time, before things deteriorated, the refrain might have right been – please stay, don’t go. Today, and of this, let there be no doubt, the groundswell has grown into a tsunami. It is as though a million voices whisper insistently at the same time: please go, don’t stay. Stop balking, there is no more time for talking. Get going.
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