In the long struggle of mankind to rise out of a brutal past that began in caves – with spiked clubs used to settle disputes – “government of the people, by the people and for the people” might’ve arrived rather late on the scene. But when we get right down to it, democracy has done all right for folks! In our case, we don’t have to go as far back as the Stone Age, cause the chattel slavery that’s the foundation of our country wasn’t much different in its brutal social relations. If we may call treating human beings like cattle “social” relations.
Well, yesterday was “International Day for Democracy”, and it behooves us to reflect on the state of our democracy. As the UN declared back in 2007 when it launched the commemoration: “International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of the international community can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality.”
We don’t have the space to reflect on the “world” – save to say that democracy looks pretty bleak right now in Afghanistan. Guyana’s democracy faces enough travails to fill a whole book – and they still aren’t over!! And when you do that bit of reflection, you can’t help but conclude that the biggest challenge democracy faces in Guyana is the PNC! That’s right!
Even though the British finagled things to oust the PPP – using the PNC’s coalescing with the UF – we could’ve still had a functional democracy if Burnham had accepted coalition government. But he was anti-democratic to his very core, and refused to appreciate that “government by the people” meant their votes ought to be counted to select who’d govern on their behalf! So, he started rigging elections as far back as 1968. From then on, it was a case of “once dog start suck egg ‘e cyan stap!!” And Burnham went to the grave in 1985 not stopping!
And that brings us right up to March 2nd 2020, when the PNC went to the polls under one of Burnham’s proteges, David Granger. He promptly decided he was going to follow in his master’s footsteps when he realised he’d lost!! And as the UN Declaration had prophesied, “only with the full participation of the international community can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality”. And they certainly did – the US, UK, EU, Caricom, Commonwealth OAS, and practically the entire UN stood down Granger and the PNC!
But they haven’t given up yet…have they? Nope, they’re now using COVID to further their agenda of “undermining” democracy!
The news that the Public Prosecutor of Haiti is calling for PM Ariel Henry to be charged for the murder of his predecessor Juvenal Moise makes your Eyewitness wonder about “how many more” deaths will that poor land have to suffer before it would find peace. Why is it being punished for being the first in the world to rise up and free itself from chattel slavery against a powerful European Empire?? Remember the song by John King? Your Eyewitness can’t get it out of his mind.
“Hear ma plea, Oh Jah/A song for my land
“Rose up early this morning/ To tha sound of crying/Another mother shedding her t-e-a-r-s oh Jah
Why all the pain and suffering? / Why all the senseless killing? /Could it be that nobody cares? Oh no/ So many sons lost in the slaughter / Blood running in the streets like water / A gun in hand knows no f-r-i-e-n-d (oh no)/ Warmongers selling death in my lan
How many more Ja?
…to an entrepreneur
Maxwell Thom was a true entrepreneur. Early in the days of mobile phones, he saw a need that could be filled, and did so successfully with his “Wireless Connection”.
Sadly, COVID-19 struck him down. RIP Maxwell.