Eyewitness: Reading the PNC…


…on elections

One interesting idiosyncrasy of Burnham was his instance that everything he did be recorded “for posterity”. Most megalomaniacs are seized of this characteristic. They were “making history”, weren’t they?? And how can you make history if it isn’t recorded? The tree that falls in the middle of the forest and no one hears it: did it fall? But one good thing that came out of his narcissism was that we can look at some of those records to explain the actions in the present, of some of his devotees. Like David Granger.

We all know that Granger uses the Constitution expediently – even as he swears by it at the drop of a hat. Or a fall of a knee for a prayer!! Where’d he get that cynical attitude?? Burnham, of course. Back in the early sixties, when the PPP had been slotted to lead British Guiana to independence after winning the 1961 elections, they turned cartwheels to produce a constitution that they would take up to London and show the Brits how they intended to govern. Their legal genius, Dr Fenton Ramsahoye produced their constitution – which the PPP insisted was the best thing since sliced bread!!

Burnham didn’t even stir a finger. Why should he? he calmly announced. It didn’t matter what constitution the Brits gave to him – once he was going to be the leader after independence, he could change the damn thing to say whatever he wanted to say on what was legal!! And so, lo and behold, after he did lead Guyana to independence, he did change the constitution to legalise what he wanted – be a constitutional dictator!!

At their 1979 Biennial Congress, where he was to warn Rodney about his “sharper steel” – which we now know was no hyperbole since the plan to have Gregory Smith blow up Rodney six months later had already been launched – one of the Committees was arguing about whether some proposal or other was “democratic”. He dismissed their concerns with a wave of his hand and declared, “Comrades, the problem with you is you only read what’s on TOP of the lines! You have to also read BETWEEN the lines.”

And it’s against this background we have to evaluate Granger’s cavalier attitude to what’s sacred in other countries – their constitution. To Granger, our constitution is merely a fig leaf to cover whatever excess he’ll commit to remain in power. The Article on No Confidence Motions? That’s for “Judases”, not democratic accountability. “Majority”?? Whatever he says it is! “Votes to be counted”?? That’s actually “valid votes” which is transmuted to “credible votes” – produced by whatever Lowenfield says they are!!

So, don’t sweat what the CCJ will rule. That’ll be just their “perception”.

And it’s only Granger’s that counts. He reads between the lines!!

…on going forward

Burnham’s and Granger’s stance on constitutions is merely a subset of their Machiavellian politics which views power as the alpha and omega of what politicians should strive for. Burnham once remarked that if a politician says he’s not in it for power, he’s either a fool or a liar!! So those who’re asking what’s ahead after the CCJ’s ruling, we don’t have to guess: Granger and the PNC ain’t giving up power!! And you, Dear Reader, can put that in your pipe and smoke it. Through your mask, if necessary!!

Some folks are banking on sanctions to force the recalcitrant minority PNC to change their minds. Not with this lot. Will sanctions bring more hardship to Guyana than what Burnham inflicted before he croaked in 1985?? Jeez!! You couldn’t even get toilet paper!!

On a TV interview, Burnham was asked how long was he going to keep up his “experiment”.

Until there were no more Guyanese, he replied, blithely!! Over to Granger!!

…the riot act

After 244 years, the Americans don’t seem to understand how to deal with ex-British subjects like Granger.

You don’t read the Riot Act more than once.

You’re then seen as a “Christmas blow-blow”!!