Kaieteur News – I refer to a published interview with Hamilton Green in this newspaper of Monday, October 16, 2017. His answer to the first question is important and is precious historical stuff.
There is an item left out in the publication. When I arrived, Mr. Green and I chatted informally in his study. I asked if the leadership of the PNC, including President Burnham, thought that his street boy, bully boy image was not what the PNC wanted in its leader and that explains why Dr. Ptolemy Reid and Mr. Desmond Hoyte were promoted at his expense. His answer was yes.
No serious leader of the PNC in the 1970s and 1980s thought Green was leadership material not because he didn’t deserve the leader position but because the society’s perception of him was that he was the raging bull for the PNC. They feared the road corner confrontationist was all he was.
Robert Corbin suffered the same fate. But he eventually made it to the top only to be rejected by many of his colleagues including at the time, the big names of Vincent Alexander and Aubrey Norton. In the 2006 elections, the African and Creole/Mulatto middle classes rejected Corbin and that was the end of his time as PNC leader.
The man that the Creole/Mulatto class saw as the embodiment of what the PNC should be after Burnham and Hoyte was David Granger. In his retirement days, Mr. Granger was part of the urban Portuguese/Mulatto world in Guyana. He became one of the closest friends of the founder of the Stabroek News, David DeCaires.
Mr. Granger founded a magazine devoted to social and political issues named Guyana Review. The Guyana Review was anti-government and it ran into financial trouble because business folks were uncomfortable advertising in it out of fear of governmental victimisation.
Mr. DeCaires agreed to buy the Guyana Review and paid an enormous sum involving millions for it far in excess of the copyright value of the magazine. Soon after Stabroek News ran into trouble and sought a $200 million loan from Republic Bank and began charging online readers.
It is the only one of the four dailies that you cannot read for free on the internet. When Mr. DeCaires died, his home was turned into a foundation named Moray House and from its inception has been supportive of Mr. Granger both as Opposition Leader and President. Today, Moray House is the bedrock of anti-government carping.
Circumstances arise to give opportunity to a political dreamer when the dream looks far from being realised. Barack Obama came to power favoured by two unique situations. America wanted to be unburdened by politicians who sought overseas wars. Mrs. Clinton represented an era dominated by Washington conspiracies that voters were fed up with.
Mr. Obama did not become the new America and the new president every human on Planet Earth hoped he would be. In fact, if rated by independent analysts (and he has been evaluated by a leading Black professor; more on that later), he would not be six on the list. The circumstances favouring a Black woman president in the next two years in the US will not be there.
The circumstances that give the opportunity to Norton to become PNC leader in December 2021 will not be there in 2025. First, the dialectics of politics degutted David Granger’s survival. He was a non-performer as president and a non-performer as opposition leader after August 2020. His intimate comrades in the PNC’s hierarchy were tired and psychologically jaded. Volda Lawrence admitted she needed a break.
No one of substance in the PNC had the energy to oppose Harmon for the leader position, and if they did, they would have beaten both Harmon and Norton. Circumstances honoured Norton but the warning sign was larger than Mount Roraima. He won with huge absenteeism. He took less than 50 percent of the vote.
As PNC leader, Norton shows that he is incapable of (1) understanding how and why men and women should learn from the past; (2) how important it is to make the transition from the mode of ordinary street fighter to board-room negotiator; (3) that Guyana in 1997 when “slo fyaah/mo fyaah” was born is not that Guyana any more.
The post 1997 dialectics have reshaped Guyana to exclude leaders in the PNC taking Guyana down the pathway of Caribbean pariah status it had for several decades. Mr. Norton is performing the only way he knows and he has been performing like that all his life.
His simple, commonsensical mistake is that his audience is not the same. His old audience is long gone. He will not survive after he loses the 2025 election, and lose he will.
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