EYEWITNESS: Politics…

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…and racial discrimination

Looks like Opposition Leader Jagdeo has had it with the PNC-led Government and its partisans branding him and the PPP as “anti-African”. He’s once again challenged one of the most vociferous proponents of that line, David Hinds, to a debate. Your Eyewitness doubts Hinds will accept the challenge, since much of the rhetoric on the issue is just that – rhetoric!! What’s facts got to do with it?!!

Take one of the standard examples cited by Hinds and others –unemployment in Linden’s bauxite belt. Sam Hinds, who was a top official in the bauxite industry, has rebutted the claims with facts and figures time and again, but have they changed any opinions? Not a whit!! Who was it that fired teargas at bauxite workers when they protested the PNC’s handling of their RILA pension funds?

Who was it that ran the bauxite industry into the ground after their hand-picked managers couldn’t meet delivery schedules and customers went elsewhere? Wasn’t it the PNC that shut down the alumina plant?

Didn’t Hinds’ WPA have to organise bauxite workers to oppose the PNC’s stranglehold on their lives? Wasn’t it Desmond Hoyte who made the decision to downsize the industry and place thousands on the breadlines?  Wasn’t it he who started the privatisation of the industry by bringing in foreign operators who

“rationalised” employment? So the PPP’s to be blamed for continuing the subsidy for electricity to Lindeners – even though they took the money from the levy on sugar while sugar workers were living in squalor? Oy vey!!

Was the PPP anti-African when they refused to implement the recommendations of the Disciplined Forces Commission – with David Granger as a member – that instructed more Indians be recruited into the Armed Forces; which would mean less Africans being hired? Was the PPP anti-African when they refused to continue the downsizing of the African-dominated Public Service as directed by the IMF and which had been started by Desmond Hoyte?

The Africanists refused to accept the PPP’s explanation of why they hired contract workers in the Public Service – they needed their skill sets. But isn’t this the same reason proffered by the PNC under Granger, which has actually INCREASED the number of contracted workers. Is it now OK because most of the PNC contract workers are Africans?

In which sector of the economy did the PPP discriminate against Africans? The PNC had nationalised 80 per cent of the economy – and placed their partisans in top positions. But wasn’t it these same officials who systematically destroyed these nationalised companies – like, say, Sprostons/ GNEC – and made themselves and their workers redundant?
But in any debate of this, these will just be inconvenient facts!!

…and strange bedfellows

There’s the old saw, “Politics makes strange bedfellows” and in Guyana today, we can see why it should be taken as the “gospel truth”. Take the case of the WPA and the PNC. The former was founded to fight the latter and all that it stood for – and faced their “sharper steel” when Walter Rodney and several other members were assassinated. Yet here it is, the WPA remnants are the strongest defenders of the PNC, when the PNC wouldn’t even condescend to allow the CoI into Rodney’s death to be officially recognised!!

The WPA was a Marxist party and boasted about using Marxism as a tool for analysing society and politics. Clive Thomas was one of their main theorists – yet here he is in the belly of the beast as Chairman of GuySuCo – and implemented the PNC’s neo-liberal policies  to “immiserate” (one of Thomas’s favourite words!) 7000 sugar workers!!

The “multiracial” WPA also defends the PNC which has staffed its Ministries and Departments with 80 per cent Africans?
Discriminating against Indians isn’t “discrimination”? Don’t they also bleed?

…and confidence votes

All those high-priced lawyers the PNC hired to remain in office mightn’t have been necessary. Its backbencher Sharma just announced the Constitution speaks only of a “confidence” motion!!

Out of the mouth of babes!! The negation of an affirmation doesn’t exist!!

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