…for PNC’s subverting rule of law
Your Eyewitness’ favourite lawyer is the 16th century Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, who stood up to Henry VII and was beheaded for his stance. He set the bar for the rule of law, not just in his writings but in his own life. The judgement by Chief Justice Roxane George on Thursday on the No-confidence Motion, which the PNC-led Government protested, reminded your Eyewitness of More’s celebrated words from the play (and later movie) “A Man for all Seasons”.
Rebuffing the offer of a spy Richard Rich to work for him, More’s beloved daughter Meg shouts at her father that Rich should be arrested for being a “bad man”. More refuses and insists Rich should remain free: “Go he should. If he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law”. Roper, a suitor of Meg asks sarcastically, “So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!”
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – man’s laws, not God’s – and if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it – d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”
PNC partisans had long dubbed Jagdeo and the PPP as “the Devil” and its successful no-confidence motion – even though sanctioned by the Constitution as a test of a government’s legitimacy – as a “social coup d’etat!! And with her decisions affirming every one of the PPP’s contentions and knocking down those of the Government’s, Justice George is already being berated for supporting the Devil! And even being in his pay!!
The PNC has always maintained a cynical view of the rule of law: a view fostered by their founder-leader Forbes Burnham. At the 1979 Biennial Congress where he would boast about his “sharper steel” and advise Walter Rodney to “make his will, he had famously snapped to some delegates: “The trouble with us, comrades, is that we don’t know to read between the lines; we are always reading on top of the lines; we are more democratic than the people who teach us democracy.”
The PNC had expected Justice George “to read between the lines”; but she refused because she heeded More’s warning of the consequences for Guyana if she went down that road to traduce the rule of law.
We’ve already lived through one PNC dictatorship!! Justice George has drawn the line against another!!
…for elections stalling
If the PNC had any shame, they’d acquiesce in Justice George’s judgement and hold elections in three months – as clearly stated by the Constitution if the Government was defeated by a motion of no-confidence. And defeated it was!! The Chief Justice gave no shrift to the ridiculous claim of 33 not being the majority in a House of 65 members!! Hasn’t the PNC realised their patently absurd Rube Goldberg-ish concoction of “half-persons” have made them the laughing stock in the Caribbean??
Similarly, Justice George was pellucid that come hell or high water elections must be held in three months and the Cabinet must RESIGN at once!!
But we all know the PNC can’t change its spots…and the Judge hadn’t barely put down her gavel, when AG Basil Williams signalled they would appeal the decision.
Since appeals have to be on points of law…your Eyewitness isn’t sure what concoction will be forthcoming!!
…for Sam Sittlington
Looks like Ramjattan won’t be able to say, “Play it again, Sam!”. The British fired their “expert fraud detector” Sam Sittlington, after he established a “Fraud Company” here to solicit private business.
While working for SOCU!!