WEAPONIZING CHEAP PROPAGANDA

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Official mendacity can sometimes be strategy and even some not so discreet embellishment can be tolerated.

But this exhuming of the past by recycling decades old video, regurgitating material that has been declassified so long it’s seldom recalled as having ever been secret, stoking the embers of smoldering racism is a crude, unimaginative kind of political butchery that guts the art of propaganda of its clever elegance and offers us that cheap hollering of the desperate too unimaginative come up with a new line of attack.

It’s an understatement that the PPP Opposition is losing its mind on the sidelines of Government, as contracts for multiple hundreds of millions are being made when they no longer have access to the treasury and creative budgeting with Ministers of Finance waving magic wands while their wives, Director(s) of Audit Office sign off on their manufactured transactions.

Libelous, they say.

Hardly, when there is a direct correlation between the natural resource harvesting contracts doled out to China and Russia during PPP tenure and the inverse relationship to GDP per capita – in a shrinking population – added to stagnant living standards and expanded poverty manifesting along a specific racial fault line, as evidence of same lives on for posterity.

The prediction of a Jagdeo win in 2020 continues to be brandished in the general arena of Guyana’s politics, delivered both as a promise and a threat by those prostituting for position, should there be a PPP Fairy God Father and the acceptance of atonement some are singularly exhibiting for PPP consumption…  having switched politics to serve every Political Party, in search of ever- eluding personal validation.

The threat, they bellow, was conducted by reputable pollster – North American Caribbean Teachers Association – a group comprised mostly, if not totally, of East Indians and founded by a Dr. Vishnu Bisram, a panting Jagdeo supporter whose politics veers sharply off the road of patriotic dedication to country into the ditch of partisan ideology à la PPP.

A not so kind chuckle would be applicable to the science behind the ‘pole’ … a more apt term for what was allegedly conducted.

And look. I am willing to publish a retraction if the pollsters and their supporters would publish checkable data supporting their claims, appended to the official registration of the North American Caribbean Teachers Association with the body that grants it recognition as a ‘real -real ‘ Association.

That may help those of us deluged with the badly crafted emails emblazoned with ominous headlines of the impending fall of the Coalition with concurrent ascension of the PPP to the turrets of the Guyana Oil Kingdom come 2020, understand the frenetic need to share film, old film of Forbes Burnham purportedly ‘rigging’ elections and dated, stale dated videos of Clarissa Riehl complaining about then candidate Granger’s aloofness and cloistered posture, on loop.

“The nation must get to the truth about all the years so we can plot a future based on facts”…responded the rabid racist to whom I posed the question of ‘why’ cushioned by some well-placed consonants, in response to the scrapbook of film and choppy narrative that reads like a comic clip with scripted laugh lines, spammed to my email.

Seriously… “plot a future”…

I’ll graciously accept  the skewering for my dexterity in our official language by those who are limited to conjunctions but if we ‘plot’ our future, I can only foresee a dark outcome… so I would suggest ‘plan’  which would denote stratagem and not the dark and sinister that ‘plot’ portends…

….a small benefit of literary contextualizing…taught to me in Guyana

Of course, “facts based upon all the years” to which this person refers will never include years like 1889 through 1939 that chronicle the social wedge designed by the colonialists to conquer and control their enslaved by division, or the traits of the East Indian as delineated by Rev. William Arthur’s Mission to the Mysore. Why not just hover over Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh’s doctrine of East Indian Ascendance and the British Guiana East Indian Association (BGEIA)…it’s always a good place to start; where the country is projected as being the domain of one race with a future racing towards a ‘Fantastic New India’.

The hysterically unimaginative headings like  “EVIDENCE OF TWO HORSES VOTING IN THE RIGGED PNC 1968 ELECTIONS  sell a profound absence of intellectual curiosity so tightly wrapped in boastful ignorance that it actually mistakes itself for genius… rivaled only by its sibling “TILLERSON IS GONE, WHAT DOES THIS MEANS FOR GUYANA?”  –  another showing of such complete lack that it cannot be roused even in to partial shame.

Spurned by the Coalition he was, is the word.

Apparently, this Propagandist (in spite of his non-prowess at the fundamental level of creating a simple headline ) had visions of being the Chairman of Guysuco or its CEO- whichever would have catapulted him to the prominence he craves with the letters he appends to his name and though wanting to serve one’s country is admirable, one should not become the diametric opposite if one fails the selection process, despite the help of an old friend who ascended to heights that would have been unreachable had he not been part of the Coalition…

Look. When deployed with the wisdom with which it was originally conceived, propaganda can serve a veritable purpose to further messaging but it is not to be conflated with persuasion which is what takes those not married to the base, those who are more literate and tech savvy, au fait with the way governments operate in the Western World, to the polls.

There is now a younger breed of voter disgusted by the premise that racial and ethnic loyalty dictate that the vote is cast for people who look like them. These are the people who spent the 23 years until 2015 under one political umbrella mostly with a relatively young President who, along with his minions, grew exponentially rich, while the tumbling literacy rate and negligible employment opportunities matched the murder and mayhem of the country being used as a hub for all things illicit. They’ve taken note of that…as they recall the orchestrated procrastination of Local Government Elections and the diversion of funding from communities that were not in that government’s stronghold, the helplessness they felt by the obliteration of democracy and the steamrolling of partisan practices specifically to keep specific politicians at the helm, with wealth siphoning in their general direction. Add them to the older voters who are now ready to move past  ambivalence and swing towards the politics of country.

And these are the miscalculations of this Propagandist whose artillery continues to back fire every time he talks of the West throwing its support Behind Burnham in 1964 because every time he does this, people remember that the West was saving the country from the Communism proposed by Cheddi and Janet  – a less virulent strain of which emaciated the country for the twenty three years prior to 2015 that his Party was in power.

Similarly, every time he plays the video of the PNC dissenter venting frustrations with the aloofness of David Granger, he has to acknowledge that she is now the Nation’s High Commissioner to Canada and has been for the past two years….

It’s a kind of poetic justice … watching the lies collapse under their weight every time the truth is spoken… for it is true that the West supported Burnham but definitely for the greater good. And as for why Propagandist Uno still peddles the star of his video showing disgruntlement and not her accepting the instrument of her commission? Poor thing is confused because on his side of the aisle dissenters become either indelibly smeared or unresurrectably dead.

But for real though, recycling the same damnation does inject a titer of toxins into the portion of the body politic that is already peevish. This time it appears to be the crusade of those who seek preferential treatment for “their own” based on “ancestry”, as if ancestral lineage belongs only to one people.

I’ve long said that the protracted protection of specific lands for specific people was the guilty conscience of Britain reflected in a flimsy Independence Agreement that selectively compensated one of the nation’s six peoples… and ignored the one race that was enslaved, was forced by decree punishable by physical harm, not excluding death, to abandon its ancestral habits and manufacture a mores to effect survival.

I’ve long said that Politicians, buying in to White Piety by basing every political campaign on how well they will uphold the ‘promise to indigenous people’ with their ‘Mecca’ to the hinterland to solicit votes, while, paradoxically, stepping on the country’s motto, ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny’ to ignore the one group of people that was submerged by law-effects of which are irrevocable- is the politics of preference that has had no place in Guyana since its Independence and its selection of the words to frame its motto.

And the people to whom politics has pandered have been dangling that carrot of pledged votes to Parties in every election as a tool of manipulation, ever since. Border defence has to rise above the primitive concept of “frontier communities being the country’s first line of defense, the guardians of Guyana’s territorial integrity and national security”. It’s not only a portfolio that’s impractical and burdensome and that frightens tax payers who expect their borders to be more solidly fortified but it preserves an entitlement for a specific group of people which flagrantly violates the motto.

It would be re-assuring for politicians to proceed on the foundation that Guyana is a multicultural society, one that constitutionally bans preferential privilege for one group of people, that all people are equal, have the same rights and obligations under the law. It would be prudent for them to revive the tenets of the democracy that address equal opportunity for all, re-affirm that our democracy means equal opportunity without exclusion and in their politicking, emphasize that our democracy is inclusive, inter-cultural and celebrates cultural differences.

Not so unrelated but thematically linked to the flame throwing is the recent attempt to decry President Granger’s decision to celebrate the birthdays of Presidents Arthur Chung and Cheddi Jagan as a slight to Forbes Burnham.

Damn…even the most overzealous of the propagandists would note that the common thread in celebrating the eminence of these former Presidents is the fact that they both turn 100 years old this year… and that the suggestion that the Coalition’s President is a an embarrassment …to his party and ‘nationhood’ no less…and may be pandering… is a cocktail of crap shaken and not stirred…the ‘break glass’ back up when the usual stupidity is rendered flaccid because of overall lack.

There’s no superlative to rabid. No national benefit either. This low level radioactive brand of politicking in the name of Party or pledging votes exists on the two major political platforms…from whence commeth the buffoons whose weapon of choice – because in their arsenal is none other– is a combination of social media stalking and personal attacks, often on the proficient use of language and for the less evolved, hints at their sexual prowess … for which I break glass and retrieve my barf bag …

Propaganda, as an informative tool, dates to pre-BC so its use by those attempting to manipulate the political emotions of Guyanese is not novel. What may be novel is the overdose of distortion and deception that they are relying on to make their point and with overdose one can always expect death.

Guyanese are understandably weary. For them, government has been a lengthy insurgency by an establishment that was content to blur and dilute goals that were hardly with them in mind so they’re duly skeptical of making anyone their governing custodian; particularly the previous avatar of unbridled government and executive authoritarianism…which by length of stay and volume of ills remains fresher in the recall of the younger and savvier voter.

Oil is bubbling and the machinations and ruminations of those who have already tasted of the fruit of trading the nation’s natural resources for not so national gain, are calculating.  The demonization contraptions have been rejiggered and those with vaulting ambitions have positioned themselves on the perimeters of government.

But this 2020 will be different…contrary to the comic book headlines 2020 will be a straight political battle between the PNC and PPP”…by the prostituting Propagandist.

Voters themselves have decided to defend their votes and are frontally addressing every flawed aspect of the voting process…like the padding of voter lists with underage voters in rural areas by the party that has already squandered massive amounts of the nation’s patrimony in contracts to the Chinese and Russians, when it was allegedly governing.

The stakes this time are higher than ever before, they say and we have been generations in poverty, systemic suppression, the victims of a government that, as a matter of course,  de-selects one race from its entitlement to the reward of one destiny. We’ve already seen how rich some got off of the mismanagement of the country’s natural resources so right now it’s our turn to deny that travesty a repetition of itself…  and there won’t be a ‘straight up battle’. There will be no need. The people registered their displeasure and their lack of confidence in May of 2015. That still looms large.

It was confidence in their rigging machine that inspired the brazen gamble to prorogue the Parliament and because we know who they are our mission will be their exclusion… and by any means necessary…repeat that for emphasis nuff nuff times.

Otherwise this opportunity to get what is constitutionally ours will be squandered in another rigged election that will undoubtedly prolong our tragedy.

And that ain’t happenin’.

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