EYEWITNESS: Deus ex machina…

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…in Guyanese elections

Deus ex machina – the god from the machine – was a device from ancient Greek theatre by which the god was lowered onto the stage by a crane to intervene in the goings-on there. Nowadays, it signals an author concocting an intervention to get him out of a contradiction in the plot, which is completely out of the blue. It can also happen in real life.

Recently, that data mining company, Cambridge Analytica (CA), has been in the news; more from the issue of Facebook – company from where data on 50,000 account holders in the US was collected – betraying its users who thought the data from their personal postings were safely sequestered away. CA is owned by SCL Elections, which hires itself out across the world to mine and manipulate social media for political and other interested organisations.

Back in February, when the story first broke, your jaded Eyewitness described how CA influenced the Kenyan elections, and asked, “And, dear reader, if data manipulation could affect the Kenyan elections, why should we be exempt??” Well, no newshound followed up here…but lo and behold…it was just announced that Guyana was one of the countries in which CA did its thing!! And immediately the three parties still standing — the PNC, PPP and AFC – all followed Shaggy and shouted, “Wasn’t me!!”

So, if it wasn’t the usual suspects, who did the dirty? Well, your Eyewitness will use the Sherlock Holmes test: “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The question, then, is: apart from the political parties – which other organisation used social media very heavily and got involved in elections??

And the answer, dear readers, is – the Guyana National Youth Council (GNYC)!! You remember them and the young persons who led the organisation to their remarkable intervention in 2015 that led to the PPP being ousted from office, don’t you?? Well, if you don’t, that’s the point, isn’t it? Who was the deus ex machina that intervened to make a completely unknown bunch of young people burn like a supernova and then became a black hole in executing their most CA-like “Vote like a boss” campaign??

After they PARTNERED with GECOM to “educate voters”, they claimed: “GNYC is a legally registered and independent youth-led NGO established in September 2014 after a series of broad-based consultations with youth and youth serving entities. While this was before the GNYC’s partnerships with its current donors (Cuso International and USAID LEAD project), the process was facilitated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme.”

Maybe it was a coincidence, but the group was formed just after the famous “feral blast” of July 4, 2014!!

…in seawall Police shootings

Your Eyewitness must confess he’s of the “hang ‘em high” school when it comes to applying justice to wrongdoers. But he must confess also that the “justice” part must first be applied. The “shoot first and ask questions later” approach just can’t work – if for no other reason that Justice being blind, has to HEAR testimony, since she can’t see what goes down.

And that’s what’s been going through his mind with this seawall shooting that just won’t go away. At first he thought, “Good!! At last these withdrawal robberies will stop – just like the carjacking epidemic – now the gang’s been taken out.” But as details started to slowly trickle out, there were just too many gaps in the Police’s account.

As is, it’s either there’s some kind of coverup going on – or a deus ex machina being invoked to explain the unresolved plot.

With Hughes bringing forward witnesses, there should be an impartial inquiry, so we can hear all the sides of the story.

…on kite flying

As a callow youth, your Eyewitness could never get the loop right for his home-made kite to stay up in the sky. Caused him no end of “tantalising”!

He’s happy for the deus ex machina keeping up his Chinese kites nowadays!!

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