EYEWITNESS: New politics…


…escapes PNC

The PNC’s stuck in a time warp that has left it fossilised as far as politics of the 21st century is concerned. The time warp keeps their leadership in a bubble that was formed in the 1960s leaving them locked with a siege mentality of “us vs them” because of the politics the leader Forbes Burnham practised to claw his way into power. Robert Corbin is from that era, earning his spurs in what was to become “Linden”, during the most intense racial conflict of the sixties.

He passed on the PNC’s mantle to David Granger, who boasted that while he was an “army man” who rose to be a Brigadier, he’d always been a die-hard PNC. With him imbued with loyalty to that party, is it any surprise that in Guyana the supporters of the PPP were always wary of the role the army played in politics? While Granger mightn’t have actually been in the Corentyne when those two “Ballot Box Martyrs” were shot and killed by GDF soldiers, he played a pivotal role in indoctrinating army officers into the mindset  of slavish loyalty to Burnham and the PNC.

It’s not appreciated enough that as young as he was then, Granger was entrusted with that role specifically by Burnham, just as Elvin McDavid was responsible for the Civil Service’s indoctrination. Fast forward to the present: it isn’t a coincidence that Granger has placed army officers in key positions in every section of Government and in the Public Service. Some of them you wouldn’t even know – like Nicolette Henry, the Education Minister. They all act in the mould of the communist commissars who ensured the party line was always followed.

And because of the insistence on this chain of command, new leadership cannot rise up in the present PNC. Look at the case of Solomon Sharma and Kissoon from Linden – where are they today? Banned, that’s what! And it certainly isn’t because they aren’t “PNC” – they are that to the max. But they aren’t from the PNC of Granger’s vision. Another one who was banned from the centre was Aubrey Norton, who everyone thought was a protégé of Corbin.

Just as Burnham had dumped Hamilton Green and picked Desmond Hoyte to succeed him, so did Corbin diss his landsman from Linden!

Today, unlike the PPP which picked 38-year-old Irfaan from a group of five of which only one (Teixeira) was over 60, the PNC has just reaffirmed that the 73+ year-old David Granger will be their candidate.

And will be backed by his band of geriatrics!! Under Granger, Guyana can never transcend the politics of racial exploitation.

Only someone like Irfaan, who isn’t locked into the past can do that!!

…or race politics?

The PNC propagandists are trying to tag the PPP as a party that has the reflexive loyalty of Indian Guyanese. But isn’t it the same for the PNC and African Guyanese? It’s therefore quite racist for one paid letter writer of the PNC – Earl Hamilton – to claim PPP supporters – read “Indian Guyanese” – have a “political culture to vote race”. Let’s look at the voting record in Guyana. The litmus test of race voting was in 1992, when “free and fair” elections returned to Guyana.

All Guyana had achieved equality in one area at least – equality in poverty after 28 years of PNC misrule! For African Guyanese, there was an opportunity not just to vote for the PPP, but also for the WPA which claimed it was “multiracial”. Their presidential and PM candidates were Clive Thomas and Rupert Roopnaraine respectively. And who did African Guyanese vote for overwhelmingly? The PNC that’s who!!

The PNC should quit pointing fingers about Guyanese voting race. And deal with WHY they do so!!

…in 3 months

GECOM’s CEO has promised to issue timelines for the next elections, based on its “readiness”. This shouldn’t be a problem – since they’re always supposed to be ready!

Hence PNC’s Alexander and Trotman’s crocodile tears for a “new” list!!


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