Norton’s frozen trajectory – especially without the expected attempts to redirect the course to functional leadership by Party elders and members with a vested interest- has become more than just a series of blunders.
It’s enough to say that the populist platform that handed him a landslide victory may have led him to believe that he is what the people want…the whole package… manner and mannerisms.
But administration has one creed, irrespective of where it’s applied and brings along with it the operating principles that are intended for achievement. Substance more than style tends to arc towards success which pays dividends in the negotiating space – especially when that other characteristic, warmth, sits at the table with you.
We’re saying all this because we’re thinking that the PNC does not run on an election cycle, but runs as an institution founded on the rich history of deflecting racial animosity…
as an entity to promote political empowerment for the negro, forged despite the gnashing of Cheddi’s teeth(above 100) at the prospect of a Party under Burnham and political autonomy of the negro race; allowed, in part, after the British were “impressed” with the sentiment of Laurence Mann, who said that Cheddi was not interested in a Coalition and preferred an army instead 149…as a Party allowed to be established because Mr. Gardner saw that “It is quite clear that Dr. Jagan has two purposes, one to keep in power and the other to extend his power” …(7 lines below 132 )
The symbolism of its formation – with Burnham being expelled from PPP in 1955 and establishing PNC in 1957 to secure electoral rights for his constituents, in order to avoid the political marginalization because of race that was the pledge of Cheddi’s PPP – is the kind of hard -fought victory that should anchor the Party’s chore ideology and continuously define its existence by tying all of its subsequent actions to achieving this ……we’re thinking.
Such a mission demands organization – policy and structure and all the nuts and bolts that come with a machine. Leadership styles are adopted to meet the political era; which would make some past veneration to a specific leader obsolete- irrespective of reverence, and unnecessary to regurgitate when comparing to current times.
And the default response of pointing to the other major Party and what it calls leadership should be retired immediately.
A fanatical devotion to the advancement of race, enforced by fear of being eliminated or eternally black -listed, is not a political Party to which any kind of parallel should be drawn.
It’s a political cult with a motivation that’s not reflective of nation building or anything that’s patriotic.
Rival Parties should be committed to pointing this out to their voters.
And those still encased in the dear-leader reverence, who feel that it is blasphemy, political heresy, to speak in honest terms about a dishonest leader and the vicious cunning he has unleashed to remain some sort of king maker for obvious self-gratification –since his claims to have been vested the power to own and control appointments is part of the undoing of the 1957 inheritance of the Party– should revisit their position, in the context of the political commitment they say they expect of leadership.
The Party is not a club. It’s not a military pool for civil service respite. It was constituted as a political body from which to select leaders to represent citizens who need guidance and direction to get their rightful due from their country and society.
We’ll hope that the larger arm of the Coalition would not sit idly by and have control of its List transacted as a 30 piece of silver payment to any other ambitious leader of any other Party within the Coalition – as is now the speculation and with due concern.
This leads us to the operating principles of the Party and the trajectory of its leader that remains suspended in need of guidance.
In his defense, we’ll submit that it’s not his fault that he appears to be inept in the settings that he has walked so unwittingly into. We won’t even comment on his patented defensive indignation. We’ll say that…without expeditious changes, the Party will continue to underserve him, that he will remain the target of those who see his unguided efforts as self- destruction and the mission of party building will remain victim to the mockery that assails it currently.
The absence of structure will continue to yield interviews like that purportedly done with a member of the PNC Central Executive and an interviewer, mal adroit and unskilled, who still managed to get her to grade her Party Leader a 7 out of 10 and his performance a B, in a supposed news article that shows no origin.
If there were guidelines on the conduct of members engaging media, the Party’s Public Relations Team would have already refuted the veracity of these comments ascribed to its Executive Member, which have been a source of mostly unflattering information from around May 16th 2022. And since they haven’t, we’re left to accept that the words of the Executive member are true, that the Party is not as administratively nimble as it needs to be, or it’s a faulty combination of both.
The crusade against the PNC Leader is a fall out of metastasized mismanagement, the existence of which the Party seems unaware – because, we’re thinking, it’s improbable for its Executive to continue, so seamlessly, with the same administrative errors, if they knew what to do.
It’s an unquestionable lack of character that would commission the Party that leads Government to traffic in altered videos and manufactured news organs, to combat the Opposition.
But it’s a remarkably ill equipped Opposition that would be assailed by this strategic smearing, without ever organizing to stop it.
Its system of “rewarding those who were in the trenches” guarantees a recycling of the same failed ideas- as does placing qualified personnel in positions for which they are not qualified. There’s really not many ways left to say that the absence of organizational fire power will keep the Party an inviable entity.
This brings us back to the faltering trajectory of the Party Leader and the burden he has assumed because of the absence of administrative acumen…which is not activated by the mere election of a General Secretary.
His job, by definition, is that of politicking. Administrative decisions should not be his day to day remit. That’s what a studied organization chart would assign and hopefully to functionaries with the needed skill.
The development of an effective Party structure is critical to its functionality. But the recognition of the need for it has to come from those tasked with running it. The Party remains a composition of titles and labels that are not supported by underlying duties and responsibilities. And, we’ll add, media presence is not the same as media strategy.
This brings us back to the Party Leader who seems to have assumed the role of general factotum – probably because, that organization that should service the Party hasn’t quite risen to the task of defining what his specific role is as its face of politicking, the presenter of the Party’s ideological plans, the face of the people who have not voted for the governing Party and as the constitutionally appointed voice for holding the errant government accountable.
Probably, the Party is not functioning as an organization at all …but just a disparate group of titled executives making media hops to deliver painfully uncoordinated messages… on the narrow mission of working for its current members and not developing a way to expand beyond those it reaches with little or no effort.
Maybe, it should look in to crafting a message that establishes the Party as the holder of national office and not an agency with the single remit of complaining about what the governing Party does.
There’s so much they can work with to define a national role… …especially because the leading Party is being guided by the International Republican Institute, IRI…the equivalent to a resident invader with a mission that relegates the wellbeing of Guyanese to a byproduct of America’s regional dominance – which we can tell by its signature move of selecting the path of least resistance to secure its success….a Party, PPP, with leadership indelibly stained by corruption, per its US State Department notes…
For how else could they claim need to play guard dog to protect their ever expanding back yard???
It’s an old trick.
Remember the murder/ kleptocracy of a leader named Uribe who plundered and slaughtered in their ‘backyard’ of Colombia, received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from W BUSH for his valiant role in the war on terror in 2008 and is now on trial for murder, bribery, election fraud, drug trafficking…and all the stains State Department docs note in Team Jagdeo?
Theory of calculative political utilitarianism…what’s best for Madam Lynch’s country is taken at any cost and above all else. Infecting Guyana’s government with a leadership their notes document as kleptocratic and murderous is a small purchase price to secure more geo/eco strategic land for their empire. Royalty rules.
The challenge of political leadership goes as far back as the beginning, when there was civic organization around politics and more often than not, the successful leader was assisted by a strong Administrative team.
The monarchical approach to governance by Team Jagdeo goes against the Constitution’s provision for the right to live, earn and experience the quiet enjoyment that is part of a citizen’s inheritance as Guyanese. Tension and political strife are their tools of engagement but the Opposition can avoid this strategic incivility if it changes its tactics from teeth gnashing finger pointing to showcasing an actual national agenda.
The one- on- one letters and public roasting of opponents is the kind of brawler leadership that reeks of an untutored and unlikely ascent, is the thinking. An organization has to be erected around the PNC’s Leader. And those who are secretly decrying his obstinacy and refusal to listen to advice are just as culpable in his strident stomp to impotence.
Many of us, who will never vote for a Party that has been sponsored by western governments to place foreign interests above those of Guyanese citizens, have been calling for administrative rescue since his New Year’s message. The Party is not a one man endeavor. And an endeavor that appeals only to populism is not healthy for democracy – especially one that’s hanging on by its fingernails.
The role of political parties is important and function in a democracy only when they move beyond personality politics. Politics is not entertainment. It’s not about getting the last jab in.
PNC trajectory- did we mention that before– is about to flat line because it embodies too much of this.
CAPTURING POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS is the missing ingredient so far.
And by failing to reshape, in all the ways mentioned above, they might just be writing the last chapter of a political vehicle engineered for viability and designed to surpass marginalization….now sputtering along, for lack of ongoing maintenance.