We had abandoned the Cheers and Jeers feature of our Opinion Editorial during the last Administration because, in all fairness, it had become one protracted and painful jeer under the PPP and an annual recap of all that would have been sentencing our readers to death by TWO THOUSAND cuts.
We’ve done variations of it over the course of the current Administration but this year yielded such an exceptional crop of conspicuous stupidity from both arms of government that it would have been a dereliction of merely paying attention not to parcel it for posterity.
Tribalism and tent-meet ups and the group bonding founded on shared detestation encapsulates GT politics …with a final showdown always in Parliament where Guyana Power and Light never seems to load- shed and politicians substitute loud talking and finger pointing for a politics of substance, while playing for the accidental celebrity that comes with irreverence.
Granted, almost anything can happen in a year but a bountiful harvest of political disservice is not politics as usual, not when it straddles appeasing Venezuela and the vicious attacks on Afro Guyanese that are normally hidden because of shame and discretion.
So, kicking and screaming, we’re answering the call of duty that the Cheers and Jeers of 2019 demand…a candid recounting of a period when harsh tribalism is inspiring a new wave of norm breaking so festively raucous that nongovernmental organizations are using its disorder to sneak in their own agenda.
Cheers: just barely because it refuses much needed assistance.…to the Coalition for staving off an engineered No Confidence Motion ouster by PPP massaging of the lesser parts of an MP whose on- again- off- again AFC membership should have removed him from that seat long before he failed the loyalty/integrity test by defection.
Jeers: to Jagdeo and his PPP for its sense of entitlement to Government for which it has, combined with its demonstrable unfitness for it, the affliction to “unknowingly” misappropriate Funds bound for the Treasury.
Cheers: to Senior Counsel Attorney Stanley Marcus whose comparatively learned presentation to the Caribbean Court of Justice Article 106 (6) “directory” not “compulsory” rationale saved the nation from a mid-course installation of a PPP government, under which Guyana had fallen to the depths of itself in every socio economic metric.
Jeers: to Jagdeo for staining Guyana through his multiple expeditions to the Caribbean Court of Justice to fight frivolous and vexatious litigation for the reins of Government and for failing with spectacularly clownish fanfare in every attempt.
Cheers: to Guyana’s Justices, Yonette Cummings Edwards and Roxanne George Wiltshire, for navigating through Guyana’s maligned Constitution to stymie Jagdeo’s attempt at a soft coup to regain the keys to the Treasury.
Jeers: to the Coalition for failing to enact Constitution Reform, its broadly touted 2015 Campaign promise that now lies in repose after the ostensible delivery of its completed recommendations.
Cheers: to the Coalition’s GECOM for securing legality of House -to House Registration, for exposing the 35,000 Voter ID’s warehoused for backses and it’s streamlining of the voting exercise once weaponized for dynastic rule by the PPP …the only Party in the nation’s history to have been convicted of voter fraud not once but twice.
Jeers: to the PPP and its relentless bad faith in attempting to force an election, citing Constitution, after a vote of No Confidence, a Constitution they’d violated by bribing the low-integrity MP for the derailing vote, it is reported.
Cheers: to the Guyana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Report which detailed newly minted companies like Mid Atlantic Oil and Gas, ABR Oil &Gas, with no extractive experience but enough Government connections to receive these licenses …an added element to the corruption surrounding the giveaway of Canje and Kaieteur oil blocks by PPP’s Romotar, which State Asset Recovery is yet to rescind.
Jeers: To the PPP for giving away thousands of acres of land under 99 year leases, reserved for businesses, to its Party members …which State Asset Recovery is unable to retrieve because of low funding.
Cheers: to the multiplicity of minor Political Parties that formed as a fall out of Jagdeo’s failed No Confidence Motion Coup.
Jeers: to the People’s Republic Party campaigning on forming a ‘Government by God’ in violation of the Constitution’s right to religious freedom .
Cheers: to the US Government for deporting Roger Shaheed Khan.
Jeers: to the Granger Administration and its Commissioner, Leslie James, for unleashing Criminal Khan back into the community on USD 1000 bail for lack of evidence…when there were more than 1000 pieces of evidence to have kept him behind bars.
Cheers: to the patriotism of Whistleblowers in alerting the nation to the Granger Administration’s indiscriminate hollowing out of irreplaceable experience and expertise from the nation’s unarmed frontline of defense, its Foreign Service, with no trained line of succession to fill that, now, critical void.
Jeers: to the Granger Administration for agreeing not to offend Maduro of Venezuela by saying out loud that Venezuela illegally occupies Ankoko, in exchange for Venezuela’s support for Guyana as Chair of the G77…go figure!!!
That the line between the Cheers and Jeers is razor thin should be of alarm. Political culture says that leadership choice lies between two traditional parties.
Irrefutably, neither the PPP nor PNC has fulfilled the words encapsulated in the Motto or its Tag Line Land of Six Peoples, in offering a livelihood commensurate with the country’s wealth and the social amenities of quality health care, education and industry jobs that national wealth can afford.
Racism is no longer practiced at bottom house meetings by those who still tout racial purity.
A few weeks ago, there were two videos circulated on Social Media showing a young East Indian man sitting amongst a group of East Indians with a couple of currency bills planted on the ground beyond them. The ‘bet was to wait and see how long it “goin tek black man fuh come and teef dem”.
We flagged the post in our feed as racially insensitive and Face Book removed it.
But that’s the small picture.
The big picture is the indoctrination and the conditioning of the minds, the Nazi –like social media chants against Burnham by folks too young to have ever seen Burnham but who are comfortable pulling stock photos of black men from Google to use as propaganda for Haitian votes for a PNCR that is ‘Burnham’s Party’.
Guyana has become a nation where sub-standard is the benchmark. It is painful to listen to comparatives being …“well it ain’t that bad”… or how moral value is bandied about to prioritize which heinous crime should take police priority over the other.
And last we checked, English remains Guyana’s official language so it’s disconcerting to receive badly written condemnation for “using big words or fancy language” in our Editorials.
We will not apologize for being fluent in the language that is the official communication of our country…a Forbes, Luckhoo, Ramphal, Wills, R. Jackson, Field- Ridley, W. Gaskin era trade- mark that every Guyanese should strive to emulate…nor will we diminish the passion of our Teachers of English who taught the laws of grammar for the same reasons the laws of mathematics or physics were taught.
Lots more can be said but the Parliament is set to dissolve on December 30th and citing what we’ve already done over the course of this Administration will only fall on dissolved ears.
March 2020 looms more than approaches, bringing elections that will be fought largely between PNC and PPP, the two traditional parties that have under-served the country for its 53 years of Independence.
For all its faults, the PNC remains a comparatively functioning institution that strives to reach beyond the indecency of hijacking government to install one of racial inclination.
The PPP, on the other hand, is no longer a functioning entity. It is a failed State consumed by a separatist ideology focused on the alleged inferiority of Afro Guyanese.
Race will remain a politically influential element by virtue of the nation’s ethnic composition but political racism continues to fail as the enduring big idea.
Those who rule by indoctrination and depend on fanatical devotion won’t get that rationale… bedazzled by their ability to make people still consider them Leader-
-High Court, after Supreme Court, after Caribbean Court of Justice.
That said, 2020 is huge. To have had No Confidence in the Coalition was to have Confidence in the Opposition…was Jagdeo’s calculation.
That was not the overall sentiment of the electorate at all, nor was it the will of the political gods. Amoral and venal, they’d had enough of, so they extracted good from the No Confidence evil and served up a buffet of political Parties to choose from.
The traditional Parties still hold name recognition but the PPP seems to have angered many in its ranks with the selection of Jagdeo’s perceived errand boy, in Irfaan Ali.
On the other team, the wish remains some sort of therapy for Granger to overcome his clinical standoffishness and realize that his unilateral brainstorming is injurious to democratic health.
Thing is, it comes down to the biblical analogy. The Parties have gone around the mountain for forty plus 13 years, yet never found the exit from the wilderness.
Maybe there’s a Joshua in 2020 to get them to the Promised Land of governance and by eliminating the Party and Leader that disqualified itself for holding the country in unpromised territory for 23 years, it’s easier to consider the remaining candidates.
We’ll be frank.
Our Joshua pick is David Granger because he’s no Bharrat Jagdeo… not a ringing endorsement but an expedient one.
This election is about securing Guyana’s patrimony and preventing its largest generation of revenue, ever, from falling victim to the siphon network that generated wealth beyond salary or inheritance for PPP members. Jagdeo has already shown us how badly he wants this and his record from previous Governments confirm how thoroughly he’ll disenfranchise every Guyanese not under his tent, should he regain the keys to the Treasury.
Granger has remained in the race and Guyana will be none the worse for it.
He may have the map to the Promised Land but it’s the electorate that must remind him…as soon as he wins…that his victory is not a personal achievement, not a coronation but the expectation for him to execute the will of the people, particularly because democracy remains the shifting expression of collective will.
We, meanwhile, pledge to remain your Cheers and Jeers meter in the coming year