EYEWITNESS: One people…


…but not in Linden

The Mayor of Linden has his bukta in a knot because Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo visited Linden on a walkabout and a meeting. There’s been one response insisting that the Constitution of Guyana offers Jagdeo, like everyone else, freedom of movement, so why the heck can’t he visit Linden. Nothing wrong with that view, but it misses the point, doesn’t it?

And we all know what’s the point, don’t we? And that’s the nub of our political dilemma in Guyana: we all know that our politics is dominated by ethnic cleavages which the leaders of the communities try to seal as hermetically as they possibly can. But we skip around this inconvenient truth: it’s not about freedom of movement in a geographical sense, but freedom of movement en an anthropological sense. The Linden Mayor was upset that Jagdeo, an “Indian PPP leader” was poaching on his “African PNC” turf.

It’s as simple (and complicated) as that. In Guyana, however, while the two parties are seen to “own” their respective constituencies”, it does appear that the PNC is much more protective of its turf. Even in 2008, when Corbin the PNC leader visited Lusignan after the massacre of that year by “Fine Man” and his gang, there were no protests from the “PPP villagers”. But in 2010, there was an even bigger outcry when Jagdeo, then President of the Republic, decided to visit Buxton. How dare he, some “African” activists snorted, with smoke coming out of their noses.

They complained Jagdeo was trying to “buy off” the folks of Buxton by handing out goodies. But Jagdeo is now Opposition Leader which means he doesn’t even have a bucket of warm spit to give anyone. Your Eyewitness just can’t understand the fear. Do the (conscientious) objectors think there will be mass defections by Africans to the PPP?

Since 1957 when Burnham stuck out on his own, the parties of both leaders attempted to attract “multi-racial” votes. The truth however, is the people, by and large, always voted along ethnic lines. For instance, even though Buxton had been neglected by Burnham’s PNC because it was a “WPA” village and thus a “betrayer”, the PPP didn’t get any votes to speak of in 1992 or thereafter. Similarly, the PPP received some 4000 votes in Linden in 1997 and this declined steadily in the following years.
But your Eyewitness was just struck by a thought – a bolt from the blue? Could it be because the vote in 2015 was so close – some 4500 – it’s critical to keep the base intact to the nth degree? But upon reflection, your Eyewitness doesn’t think so.

There are many other quills in the PNC’s (rigging) quiver!!

…too many advisors

Aaah…the travails of being a Minister. Long pilloried by yours truly and various other observers on the local scene for not having any nous, much less expertise in his Natural Resource remit, Trotman promised to get some advisors. Now remember that old saying about being careful what you ask for – you just might get it? Well Trotman just confessed he has advisors coming out of his kazoos and that’s now his problem!!

So, what’s the lesson here, folks? Just that a leader of any organisation or even a project has to grasp at least the basics of his remit and also be very clear about his goals. Once he has these under his belt, he can pick sense from nonsense. The problem with Trotman – and it’s a HUUUUGE problem – is he has absolutely no clue about either variable. While he has a yen for the dough, the oil business is beyond his ken!

And his goals are conflicted. Sure, he wants to become President. But as AFC or PNC?
To be or not to be!

…no renegotiation

What’s this about a committee to RENEGOTIATE the parking meter contract?? That abomination was void ab initio – just ask the moustache man!
Start from scratch!!



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