Aug 05, 2022 Letters
Kaieteur News – I absorb three recent developments from Guyana’s Opposition Leadership, and conclude that this it is now an Opposition in motion, in escalation mode, one coiled by tension. The three developments involved that handshake, the Emancipation Day gathering, and the Opposition Rally the following evening. My thoughts will pinch; may even pierce.
My position is clear on the handshake. Personally, I am against such step taken. I will outdo anyone on courtesy. But I understand. In these pages years ago, I proudly made a statement repeatedly: I will not break bread with some, so beastly I thought them to be. Further, I would walk out of any space in which they are, so destructive I calculated them to be to this society. I have adjusted that harsh stance. Growth. Though there are worse than before, I have disciplined myself towards self-improvement for they are my brothers, too. I think the Opposition Leader should ponder, for there is the high ground, and then there is the hard road, which I think is what beckons ominously. In contrast, viewed from the purely political side, I see some light (more shared another time). But to close this out, I remember Ariel Sharon with Yasser Arafat at the Wye Plantation, which reflected the underlying historical and ever—present passions that, rightly or wrongly, can overpower men and moments. Yes, when matters have deteriorated that far, sores ooze, and worse when rubbed deeply they hurt.
Now I proceed to the Emancipation Day gathering, and the Opposition Rally held on Tuesday evening, which I bridge because, in their essences they feed off each other and build upon what came first. The clichés cascade. The Opposition has thrown down the gauntlet; raised the bar; drawn red lines. All cleanly, powerfully describe how I interpret what came out from both assemblies. There is this conspicuous intensification of impatience. I sense a broadening escalation of disagreement. And I discern that the Opposition is mad as hell, not willing to take it anymore, and neither interested nor impressed with PPP Government gestures.
For there are those other gestures that are merely passing gestures, the productions of the moment. A hand extended, a hug shared, a laugh delivered, a dollar and a minute spared. None of those are enough, and I gather that the Opposition has had enough. I am not part of the Opposition, simply present in Guyana’s fabric, and I am long past the stage of where the line representing more than enough has been crossed. It is what has crippled: handouts and giveaways that have favoured and targeted simultaneously. Favoured supporting segments, and targeted those identified for punishment. I have warned to the winds that it is neither leadership nor governance, and the reward has been the regular rank partisan fare, which is all we know, and relish.
When near to half of the electorate is made an example of, then I say that nothing could be more enough than that state. The passions and energies of the leadership voices that rose on Emancipation Day and the next day spoke for themselves on what is so grievously wrong here, and what cannot be allowed to continue, what must be confronted. It seems that that is where we are heading, for I heard challenges thrown out, and the issues burn so much that there is little left to scorch. Such were the sharp resonances and soaring echoes that rippled out of those two congregations of Opposition supporters during August ‘Monday’ and Tuesday. In their own way, there were hymnals of a different church and an audience receptive enough and yearning enough to believe and to go down whatever hard road has to be travelled. Note how they came out without much mobilisation. The alternative is to recommit to today’s new slavery, and from which only self-emancipation must be the resolution since it now appears to be the only solution.
The issues are present, and they need not much stirring, much breathing upon them, to come alive. I don’t think that there is any value to repeat any of them since they are so embedded in heart and consciousness of those on the receiving end of the extravagances (none in their direction), as well as being on the same side of the excesses (the deliberate political vengeances) inflicted as post-elections pains. Most regrettably, the delighted huffs and puffs with which those were wreaked on electoral losers have only, could only have, unleashed the hues and cries that came out of Emancipation Day and the day after. We have a hard day’s night ahead of us; it assumes every appearance of a long and winding road, an uphill one. This is where gauntlets thrown down, lines drawn, and sharp, ringing words uttered coalesce and concretise. They register. They then ring and re-ring, register and re-register. And next they ripple ever outward. I don’t like where we are, or where we are heading. Not one bit, not for one moment.
I think some mending is overdue. First, I think that there must be mending of minds, leading to mending of ways. It doesn’t have to be any other way. It is long past the time to be about good, inclusive governance, the usual leadership and regular old politics must be on the way out. If not that, then what?
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