Kaieteur News – It will take a sacrificial lamb for the PPP to be returned to the bosom of the working class – the place where the original umbilical cord of the PPP is buried, and to which the working class party of Cheddi Jagan has to return.
The PPPC was established as working class party. Throughout the tenure of Cheddi Jagan it was unapologetically a working class party. At the party’s congress in 1966 held at Land of Canaan, Cheddi went as far as saying that the PPP should aim to be the country’s only working class party.
Since his death, however, the bourgeois class has seized control of the PPP. It is this class that is exerting an overwhelming influence on the party, through its control of certain leaders of the PPP. It will not be an easy task to liberate the PPP from the clutches of those with money who believe that because they finance the party, they own it.
Whoever decides to step forward and take a stand in favour of decoupling the party from the bourgeois class must be prepared to be vilified to the point of being demonized. Those persons will have to be prepared to suffer persecution and even expulsion, but that is the price which will have to be paid if the PPP is to be restored as a working class party. There can be no return to the PPPC’s working class roots without persons being punished.
So who will step up to help retake the party on behalf of the working class? Who is prepared to make the sacrifices needed to redeem the party and return it to its roots?
Do not look towards the old guard. They have been put out to pasture and do not have the strength, will or the wherewithal to instigate change even though they have little to lose.
The younger brigade of the party is not ideologically developed, at least not in the working class ideology of the party. It also lacks the support and power to remove those who have hijacked the party. And make no mistake about it, the PPP has been hijacked by the bourgeois class and it will take some doing to uproot this class domination from the party.
But there is hope. The party now has a new momentum following its successes at the local government elections. These successes, however, must not be exaggerated.
The PPPC started out as a multiracial party. But the subsequent split in the party also split the working class. A return to the party’s working class roots must therefore involve efforts to reunite the working class. What took place during the local government elections was but a small step towards a more multi-racial party.
Whether or not the PPPC made significant inroads into the PNCR’s strongholds will have to await a more detailed analysis of the election results. But for now it can be safely said that a relatively fair number of African-Guyanese teamed up with the PPPC to contest and campaign for the 2023 local government elections.
Those vibrant African-Guyanese activists must not allow themselves to be left on the sidelines now that the elections are over. They must mobilize themselves at two levels: the first by coming together as a distinct and unique caucus, within the party; and secondly by organizing themselves into party groups within their neighborhoods and communities.
They must not allow themselves to be absorbed into the existing groups of the party. This will dilute their influence within the PPPC. They must see themselves as a powerful new force within the PPPC and retain that identity. In the next few months, they must work to have a presence at the next PPPC Congress and a place within the Central Committee and Executive Committee of the party.
The increased African-Guyanese element within the party must also establish their own groups in the communities which they represent. They should demand the right to do this and to have a say in the decision making of the party’s regional groupings. They should avoid being co-opted into existing party groups.
The 2023 local government elections was an eye opener. The PNCR showed that big bucks are not needed to do well in elections. The PNCR ran a lackluster, low-keyed and low-budget campaign. But the results were telling. The PNCR held on to its strongholds in Linden, Georgetown and New Amsterdam and tied in Mahdia and Bartica.
This will send shockwaves through the ranks of the bourgeois class which controls the PPPC because they will realize now that their money is no longer essential to the electoral fortunes of the PPPC. But this alone will not loosen their grip on the party.
It will take bravery to restore the PPPC as a working class party, including leadership changes. And this why the campaign for change within the PPPC has to begin now and not wait until the bourgeois class executes its plans to control and manipulate the party’s forthcoming and long-overdue congress.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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