Crime and criminality under the PNC and the PPP
OCTOBER 20, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
No country can flourish in a society of criminality, crime, wrongdoing and breakdown of the rule of law. This is the kind of society Guyana has become under the PPP. The drug trade flourished under the PPP when other countries in the region saw major decline in drug trafficking. While Colombia has reduced the impact of drug trafficking, Guyana has become a drug trafficking haven.
As long as we continue to have drugs in Guyana, we will have serious crime, corruption and the breakdown of law and order. Guyana is now a full-fledged criminal republic. Criminality has found a safe haven in Guyana. Let’s get something straight. Crime in Guyana did not start with the PPP. Crime has been around for time immemorial and upsurged under the PNC regime.
What the PPP did was that it took crime and criminality in Guyana to an entirely crippling, sickening and frightening other level. Everything in terms of crime we had under the PNC we basically have under the PPP with some differences and exceptions.
In every society we will have crimes of passion, domestic violence, crimes against people and property, crimes of opportunity and crimes of corruption. Guyana under the PNC of particularly the 1980s saw its fair share of such crimes. We have seen more crime and criminality under the PPP despite its boast of economic development.
What is it that has caused these richer or less poorer and better living Guyanese to engage in more murdering, killing, slaughtering, domestically abusing, robbing, thieving, kicking down doors, filling their pockets and corrupting than they ever did when they were dirt poor, starving and destitute under the PNC?
The collapse of the rule of law, the drug trade and the rampant corruption and stealing from the public treasury are important answers. However, the PPP has encouraged a permissive culture of condoning corruption, immorality and stealing. Its bigwigs not only steal, but arrogantly display their stolen goods in extravagant style, throwing up mansions, driving luxury vehicles out of the reach of even the middle class in developed countries and living in brazen style.
This creates greed, covetousness, envy, keeping-up-with-the-neighbours mentality and copycat tendencies, particularly when others know the spoils were from ill-gotten. So, the decent-minded citizen will start accepting bribes or pilfering money from the people. Or the cop will leave his job and become a drug cartel enforcer. Then there is another set of criminals who think there is nothing wrong in invading the homes of these individuals and robbing them.
One cannot discount the skyrocketing cost of living issue. Everything costs a lot of money in Guyana. Criminality has made a handful of criminal entrepreneurs and those they bribe very wealthy. So has those outrageous fat cat salaries paid by the PPP to thousands of party hacks. This has created another small cabal of wealthy, using taxpayers’ money. Then there are the thieves who steal the public money and fatten themselves on the backs of the people. The spending of this small group of crooks and the corrupt, places significant pressure on the working class man and woman. Because these vagabonds can pay more for a product, they are constantly driving prices up.
When Pradoville mansions with ten bedrooms are being built, it drives up the price for building materials for the family of six building a simple home. People pressed economically start making immoral decisions and the downward spiral occurs.
Under the PNC, crime and criminality was kept to a petty level except for politically motivated crimes such as the assassination of Walter Rodney. Gun crimes were infrequent but are now a common occurrence. The drug trade existed under the PNC but was marginal at best. Contraband trading was big business but many viewed it as a moral necessity in the face of food bans.
The drug trade, proceeds from crime and the underground economy are now major centrepieces of Guyana’s economy under the PPP. The fact that the drug trade continues untouched under the PPP suggests the party sees the drug trade and the criminal economy as vital to the country’s economy.
One may argue the VAT was instituted to tax the spending of illegal wealth in Guyana. The PNC did not have a similar tax imposed on the proceeds of contraband trafficking. In fact, contraband trafficking and smuggling under the PPP is much larger than it was under the PNC.
The evidence of inaction against drug cartels points to the PPP strategically deciding to make the proceeds from drug trafficking and the underground economy a facet of its economic policy. The fact that the PPP refused to allow the DEA and the British entry to Guyana to fight the drug scourge and its denial of serious external help, strongly indicates the PPP sought to profit from the economic spinoffs of the drug trade.
Like every other jumbie and voodoo economic miscalculation of the PPP, this one backfired. Guyana grew 3.54% per annum under the PPP and 2.23% under Jagdeo, under whose rule the drug trade flourished in Guyana. There was far greater annual growth in Guyana under Cheddi Jagan when the drug trade was in its infancy.
It was a shameless, gutless and intellectually backward decision to refuse to crush the menace of the drug trade when the opportunity presented itself. Today, the drug trade benefits only a few who control it and those who are bribed by it.
The PNC had the same moral and economic dilemma as the PPP. During the heyday of the drug trade in the 1980s, where drug cartels made their most profits, the PNC could have allowed this scourge to take root to reap the economic spinoffs. But for all its skulduggery and wrongdoing, the PNC refused to take this step. Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte were patriotic enough to know the price of social devastation from encouraging criminal cartels and drug networks. They knew that drug cartels do not benefit a nation. They benefit the few leaders of that cartel and the corrupt who feed off of them. Corruption under the PPP dwarfs the stealing by the PNC. The PPP is showing us what thieving and bribery really is.
A bribe for a soft drink and a tennis roll or a small pittance to feed the family for a day in the PNC days is now a demand for millions, a car, a house and school fees for an entire year for the crook’s children. When men stole under the PNC to fix the leaking roof of their existing house or their fences, men today under the PPP are stealing enough to build several mega-mansions.
The scale of corruption and pilfering under the PPP is alarmingly outlandish. These are men with the impunity and unchecked greed. There is far more money collected from tax revenues available to the bandits within the PPP. It is evident that both the PNC and the PPP created criminal states or nations wracked by criminality. But the criminality and crime has attained a catastrophic scale under the PPP. Guyana is a narco-state.
For all their wrongs, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham knew when to draw that line in the sand. For all their flaws and there are many, these men knew that some things simply could not ever be allowed to set foot upon the country of their birth and the land of their political sacrifices. They may have loved power and worshipped foreign ideologies and run dictatorships, but they knew when nation trumped everything else. These were men who were wrong on many things, but right on a few things that matter. The prospect of economic prosperity from drug trafficking at enormous cost to the nation was not an option to these men. They preferred a life of poverty, free of drug cartel-created crime, than a life of illicit wealth created by a poisonous substance that filled the nation with crime, fear and the rawness of blood spilling.
Drug cartels and crime networks are run by a few for the benefit of a few. Wherever the drug trade blooms, death, crime and inequality take off. This is the deathly legacy of the PPP.
The PPP and PNC are elitist political organizations. As race-based parties, they use their primarily Indian and African support and see these two ethnic groups as politically expedient. These parties have always acted in the interests of the few who dominate them. This elite is comprised of a handful of men and a few women who believe they own these parties.
There are no term limits and an incestuous system of cronyism and nepotism within these parties that ensure the elite remains firmly entrenched in power. The PPP and PNC may pretend to be working class parties but they are in fact bourgeoisie entities. Once in power, those who dominate the party situate themselves, their families and friends in plum positions where they benefit handsomely while the ordinary man and woman in the street who voted for them is left holding the empty end of the stick. A scan of the executives of both parties shows the majority have been there for decades. There is functional superiority galore. Decisions are made that offend the dignity and good sense of the membership but the leadership elite does not care. PPP supporters who are enraged that Kwame McCoy remains in the PPP upper hierarchy despite his recent conviction are ignored. PNCR supporters angry with APNU’s sloth and laziness on a legislative agenda since the last election are ignored.
The PPP and PNC are con artists. The AFC will head down that same road if it does not change its ways. Racial politics make it easier for a few members to accomplish control. The ordinary rank-and-file membership of the PPP and PNC is there simply to rubberstamp these individuals back into power congress after congress. The congresses are carefully controlled affairs, to ensure the old boys club is maintained. Where the party feels its elite will be threatened, it suspends the congress to prevent ordinary members from voting. This is what the Jagdeoites did with the PPP. Donald Ramotar was handpicked by the Jagdeoites and rammed down the throats of PPP supporters. What the Jagdeoites did by suspending a congress was to annul democracy within the PPP. Forbes Burnham is probably rolling in his grave wondering why PPP supporters and mainly Indians were so vehemently opposed to him then for disregarding democracy when PPP supporters approved and endorsed the candidacy of Donald Ramotar which was imposed on them, and delivered the sound of silence on the suspension of the party’s congressional election. It becomes profoundly difficult to argue that it is acceptable to condone authoritarian behaviour from your own but not from others. You are either for or against it in all its manifestations.
Elitism within the PPP and PNC leads to corruption, as these individuals believe they are un-touchable. They also assume delusions of grandeur. The PNC did not fix the debacle of the 1980 Burnham constitution, although it knew fully well it was going to lose power in 1992. The PNC wanted that exact same instrument in place if it regained power. It backfired on PNC supporters who felt the brunt of the PPP’s use of that constitution against them. Similarly, the PPP has gone from condemning corruption while in the wilderness to condoning it by implication.
Strong anti-corruption legislation will never be passed in Guyana because there are many skeletons in the closets. This is why the American political system allows for a John F Kennedy or a Barack Obama to emerge to shake the very foundations of power and redraft the social contract. That will never happen in Guyana.
Dynamic figures will be vilified by the elites in these parties and forced to toe the line. When an entire country is held to ransom by a handful of elites controlling political parties, and those elites have a deep-seated self-interest in preventing good, decent and virtuous laws to be enforced, that country cannot advance.
From 1992 to 2006, the PPP dominated Guyana politics. However, change was reshaping the PPP and the political landscape from 2006. 2011 delivered the first sign of the dimming future the PPP faces.
While it remains the strongest political party in terms of numerical support, the PPP has seen a steady decline of its support from a high of 220,000 in 2001 to 166,000 a mere decade and two elections later. Of all the major parties, the PPP is the only party that has steadily declined from its 2001 high. The PNC has see-sawed back from its 2006 demise while the AFC has made steady but marginal gains.
The PPP on the other hand has steadily lost some 54,000 votes since 2001. These losses can be explained by demographic changes affecting the PPP’s main voting support group, Indians, which as a population is declining at the fastest rate amongst all ethnic groups due to migration and lower birth rates.
Then there is the growing Indian disenchantment with the corruption, internal dictatorship, hijacking of the party apparatus by a few, wrongdoing and other ills that are commonly associated with the PPP power cabal. Before the arrival of the AFC, the PPP obtained the largest percentage of crossover ethnic votes from Amerindians and Mixed Races.
The AFC has split this vote while a substantial segment of these two ethnic groups have stopped voting at all. Combine these chilling facts with the dramatic decline in ethnic voting determined by support for ethnic parties (only 61% to 63% voted for PPP and PNC/APNU since 2006 whereas both got 90% of total votes in 2001) and the future of the PPP is only going to get bleaker. The internal wranglings of the PPP have deflated many of its traditional supporters.
With weak handpicked leadership in the presidency, internal dictatorship dominating the party machinery, no real change in personnel (Rohee is still around), the continuation of square pegs in round holes like Bishop Juan Edghill as Junior Finance Minister, the strongly suggestive influence of the reviled Bharrat Jagdeo, corruption continuing unabated, no dynamic new leadership on the horizon, Indian awakening and independence and Indian psychological liberation from the PPP (see Berbice in last election), decreasing ethnic voting, alienation of its own membership, campaigning laziness (‘wine-down sessions as opposed to intensive campaigning), hijacking of the party by a handful of suspect types and the continued full exhibition of incompetence, mismanagement and maladministration, the PPP is in a serious bind for the future.
Unless the PPP undergoes a radical democratization and transparency transformation like the PNC with new leadership on board, it will likely suffer further losses in the future. Even if some Indians who departed for the manna from Moses (Nagamootoo) are to return, demographic realities impacting Indians and an even further massive disappearance of the crossover votes from Amerindians and Mixed Races will harm the PPP in 2016. Whereas in the past the PPP needed these crossover voters to secure a majority, the party needs them now to secure a plurality.
The PPP is losing the little multiethnic appeal it held to Amerindians and Mixed Races while it is bleeding Indian supporters, particularly the younger Indian generation which is no longer an assured vote for the PPP. That is a volatile and depressing combination. As the election result demonstrated, the attempt to resurrect fear amongst Indians failed or only partially succeeded.
It is no longer a proven political ballistic. Indians want more than fear and the PPP has not offered it. Indians want credible political leadership. The PPP cannot offer it.
Unless the PPP allows the brilliant sunshine of democracy to erupt within its party, it will face more apathy and revulsion from its traditional supporters. Its arrogant refusal to change that which failed before and jettisoned its supporters will generate more political casualties.
What is truly tragic is that the PPP led by that celebrated incompetent, Robert Persaud, rather brazenly and barefacedly tried to blame PPP supporters and Indians in particular for the party’s inability to secure a majority without casting the entire quarry of stones at the cabal running the PPP that has deformed the party and wrecked its integrity and symbiosis with the people.
The Guyanese people have advanced beyond the PPP’s model of building often shoddy infrastructure and bottling it as the entirety of progress and development. People want a better quality of life that values life and human dignity.
While it is difficult to see the PNC/APNU overcoming that 26,000 gulf in votes between it and the PPP in the next election, it could in the election thereafter. What if by some miracle the PNC/APNU wins power in 2016. Has the PPP prepared its followers for that reality? The future of the PPP lies not in ethno-politics but in trying to erase ethno-politics to appeal to the changing demographics of its own support and to try to win back the departing droves.
A minority government run by a race-based party cannot offer security to its supporters and to the nation without serious change in the way its does business. The fact of the matter is that the PPP has not changed at all or has not metamorphosed to enable its own supporters to face a better future.
The handful of failed leaders running the PPP inner circle are so consumed with getting power and filling pockets that they have missed the potential consequences of their actions upon their supporters and the nation in general.
As it stands, the Parliament and most importantly, the armed forces (army and police) are dominated by non-PPP parties and supporters. Has the PPP considered where the allegiance of the army lies when a delicate matter of national importance puts the executive and the majority in Parliament at loggerheads? What if this minority government situation existed in the early 2000s during the crime wave? Could there ever arise an instance where the armed forces back the decision of Parliament over the executive?
The future of the PPP lies in using the next five years to implement serious changes to erase ethnic imbalances so that it can regain its crossover votes, minimize ethnic insecurity and bring fairness and equity back into the fold. The PPP must start with serious ethnic balancing of the armed forces. Continue with making Gecom independent and hardened to political manipulation. Implement various rights-based and equity oriented organizations and commissions.
Even if some in the current PPP inner circle may consider keeping power by any means, the reality is that the armed forces which had no problems with the PNC’s propagation of dictatorship will not take kindly to any contemplation of dictatorship by the PPP. This raises the question of whether the PPP will consider rigging the vote in 2016 if its support continues to fall and the PNC is in danger of pipping it?
Will an ethnically imbalanced security forces ever take electoral skulduggery from the PPP lying down? Believe it or not, the future of the PPP lies not, as it presently appears, in the pursuit of internal dictatorship or in ethnic voting but in democracy and the reduction of ethnic voting.
Outside of the AFC, it is the party with the best ability to transform into a strong multiethnic force and to capture votes outside of the African and Indian majority populations. The future is darkening for the PPP. As long as it continues down this autocratic and arrogant road, encroaching darkness may end up being a permanent blackout.
By STABROEK STAFF | LETTERS | MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2012
Freddie Kissoon is bang-on with his position that the PPP has and has always had an authoritarian culture. However, Mr Kissoon did not examine why. I must state that many features of the analysis below are applicable to that other political wrecker-in-chief, the PNC, now APNU. It starts with the fact that the PPP remains a communist party at heart. Communist parties are totalitarian in structure and practice. Nonsensical notions like democratic centralism are used only to hoodwink the followers. At the end of the day, a handful of men and women handpicked by the bigwigs have always controlled all the power within the PPP, excluding the rank and file. Ever since Balram Singh Rai challenged the Jagans, the PPP has centralised power in the hands of a few who make all the decisions for the hundreds of thousands who support the party. It is this travesty that saddled this nation with a neophyte like Mr Jagdeo who went on to rival Burnham for his authoritarian tendencies and currently Donald Ramotar, who had many questions surrounding his qualifications for the presidency. The autocracy started with the Jagans and has continued. Cheddi Jagan’s political skill and class made him an obvious choice for leader but there was nothing wrong in Cheddi being re-elected in a proper transparent democratic process.
Authoritarianism thrived in the PPP because of several factors. Firstly, the PPP inner circle fooled its membership into believing that internal dictatorship was necessary for the survival of the PPP in order to prevent Western intrusion. Secondly, this argument was extended to the claim that PPP’s internal dictatorship was necessary to fight the PNC dictatorship. Thirdly, the PPP inserted serious anti-dissent clauses in its communist constitution to keep the membership in line. Fourthly, totalitarian concepts like democratic centralism were masqueraded as democracy when they were nothing but rank autocracy. Fifthly, the PPP exploited the lack of education about democracy among its supporters. Sixthly, the PPP exploited ethnic insecurity and promoted the concept that democracy within the party was expendable in order to maintain the PPP’s standing as the provider of security for Indians. The PPP blurred the lines between ethnic affinity and party fairness. Ethnic security or insecurity is no barrier to internal party democracy. In fact, the PNC has just demonstrated that fact. Democratic elections within the PPP would have still delivered Cheddi and Janet Jagan as leaders, but likely not Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar.
Ninth, the PPP practised blame transference by focusing on the PNC’s dictatorship to deflect its own internal autocracy. Tenth, the PPP congresses were carefully managed, controlled and influenced events which led to the same set of people getting selected again and again to the prime positions within the PPP. Eleventh, the PPP centralised power to small groups such as its Executive Committee, a group of 15 that directs and controls the party. Twelfth, the PPP fosters functional superiority where an incompetent who is loyal must be put on a pedestal by the general membership simply because he has ingratiated himself with those who were handpicked for power. The incompetent serving as a minister or as a party executive must not be questioned and must be embraced at all costs. This is classic functional superiority and leads to party totalitarianism. Mr Jagdeo who could not hold a candle to men like Mr Nagamootoo and Mr Ramkarran within the PPP obtained functional superiority over these giants by an innately undemocratic selection process led by Janet Jagan. The same could be said for Donald Ramotar’s selection as the PPP’s presidential candidate. Thirteenth, the PPP has planted some fears in its supporters such as don’t-split-the-vote and unity-at-all-costs to detract PPP supporters from the real problem of internal dictatorship.
There is nothing wrong in the PPP having an internal revolution akin to what occurred in the PNC after its 2006 election debacle. Despite its continuing flaws, the PNC has become more democratic than the PPP and has elected its presidential candidate in a far more transparent process than the PPP. It is quite ironic that PPP supporters who complained bitterly about the PNC dictatorship had nothing to say about the PPP’s own internal dictatorship. The PPP supporters must demand democracy within the PPP before it wrecks itself. It is not only the loss of Indian support that internal authoritarianism brings, it is the loss of ethnic crossover voters who are necessary for the PPP to win a majority.
OCTOBER 20, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
The PPP/C continues to boast about the large crowds they are attracting at their rallies all over Guyana. What they are in fact doing is recycling crowds at these events. It is the same set of people all the time with a few additions trucked or bussed into areas where rallies are being held. Guyanese are not fools, they are fully aware of this kind of politics. The PPP/C has a mobile and easily transportable crowd of supporters.
Another thing, they are presumptuously using state resources to propagate their message. This is cheap politics that has no place in democratic societies. State resources belong to the people not the government and therefore political parties have no business using it for partisan political activities. GuySuCo is an ailing company, workers are underpaid, yet its vehicles and fuel are used to make the PPP/C look good at their rallies. Also, other vehicles belonging to other ministries are being used to transport people – supporters and sympathizers to these rallies. What a shame.
Then they are using public servants on their political platform. This is in breach of the public service rules. How can public servants be politicians, speaking at public rallies on behalf of a particular party and still carry out their Ministries’ tasks in a professional manner. It is not only illegal but affects the behaviour of all other employees who may not be inclined to get involved in party politics. Further, the government is encouraging public servants to flout the rules which were put in place to preserve the integrity of the public service.
Also, the goings-on at these rallies are to say the least very distasteful. Imagine, the president of this country, the presidential candidate and other party supporters wining on stage at their rallies. Serious political meetings, which should be used to inform the public on very important issues like the alleviation of poverty, approaches to tackle corruptions and nacro-trafficking, which continue to embarrass this country, have become entertainment shows with inappropriate actions and antics by senior politicians in this country. These rallies are fast becoming monkey business.
On the face of it, APNU has made the best decision not to get involved in ‘big rallies’ which could never be a true indicator of solid support. It would really be stupid for anyone to think that crowds at rallies equal support or votes. APNU must meet people on the ground in all areas and let the people know the truth about this government.
It seems good to say that APNU should not have to spend too much to score a landslide victory at these elections, because the facts are just public for everyone to see. In spite of the loud promises of the PPP/C, all Guyanese who live here know exactly what happened for nineteen years, the crime, the corruption, executive lawlessness, the phantom squad, the killings in 2002, Roger Khan’s army which took this nation into moral decline, the piracy on the high seas, the unsolved murder cases, discrimination against people, awarding of big contracts to party favourites, and the host of evils and their impact on the populace.
Phillip Bynoe’s presence on the PPP/C stage for its Sunday, October 16th Linden Rally is a stark reminder of the nature of the governance Guyanese have suffered for 19 years, and a man without a soul.
Along with me, Bynoe was on July 15, 2002, charged with treason. This charge which infers the accused is engaged in acts inimical to the state’s interest, was as a result of my presence in front of Office of the President.
My presence there that day was to lend solidarity to the Lindeners’ struggle for equal rights and justice. I had a loud hailer in my hands appealing to the heavily armed Presidential Guards not to shoot the unarmed protesters who were seeking an audience with the President.
In pursuit of justice, several unarmed persons were shot to death, and dozens injured by trigger-happy Presidential Guards.
At that time, Bynoe and others were leading daily vigils in front of State House with persons primarily from Linden who were seeking the attention of the government to ensure social and economic justice for their community.
This was the call the PPP resisted and proceeded thereafter to gain public acceptance of their discriminatory management by demonising the group and calling them names like hooligans and criminals.
Having spent over five years in the Camp Street jail, in solitary confinement (and my case called just once in the High Court, with 11 of the 12 jurors bringing back a ‘not guilty’ verdict.)
I was finally released on August 27, 2007, with a critical period of my youthful life spent behind bars on a charge I was never guilty of, and of which President Jagdeo used as a pretext to show his ‘omnipotence’ and drive fear into this nation by saying he has forgiven me and hope I have learnt my lesson.
During those five years Bynoe was on the ‘run’ and writing/calling President Jagdeo seeking his pardon. Pardon for what – was he guilty of a crime when the court, who has the authority to make such a judgement, never ruled on the matter.
The people of Linden in 2002 were protesting for social and economic justice, their conditions are worse off today than in 2002.
Among some of the injustices are high unemployment, increasing poverty, poor school conditions, absence of a pension and where such exists, it is measly. Injustices have also been meted out to workers employed by the Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc. (BCGI), a company owned by the Government of Guyana and RUSAL.
And, even after almost 10 years since the protests, Lindeners have still not achieved economic and social justice. Yet, Bynoe wants Lindeners to support such a heartless regime.
It is under this PPP administration that the people of Linden have been targeted in a manner never seen before in this country.
Bauxite which has been the mainstay of this town has seen the government caring little or nothing about what happens to this industry, and how the workers are treated.
Over the years bauxite workers have had to suffer such injustices as the government took away the tax-free overtime they fought for, in as much as they keep it for sugar workers.
Bauxite workers have been wrongly dismissed and going on to two years the government refuses to enforce the Labour Laws to ensure justice prevails. For the many without a job, they have to subsist with the help of overseas support or having to do menial day-to-day jobs, in as much as they are highly skilled.
Linden, a once thriving town, is now dying as a result of the vindictive, racist and cruel PPP regime. The people are crying out for economic and social justice – theirs are like voices crying in the wilderness.
Having spent my early years in Linden (and a product by birth) I know the people of Linden are proud.
They are not lazy or incompetent, but want what is theirs by right. This is the town the PPP chose to make its political pitch on Sunday, October 16th, touting it as the largest rally in history when it came nowhere near the tens of thousands that attended the rallies during the earlier years of the PNC.
This is the town the PPP punished for 19 years even though Prime Minister Sam Hinds was rescued by Linden and worked in bauxite.
This is the town the PPP went to ask for another five years, making false promises of value added products to bauxite and bringing 2000 new jobs when the truth be told they took away thousands of jobs from Lindeners, seeking to bring the people to their knees.
Bynoe did what he thinks he had to do, but for those who know better and believe in better, his support of the PPP and calling on Lindeners to support the party – knowing fully well of the people’s sufferings under this PPP regime – is mere pandering and singing for his supper (eating the King’s Meat.)
And, most importantly, it reveals the nature of the man without a soul – a self-serving person who will do anything to satisfy his interest, even exposing his people to more injustices and deprivations.
I ask the people of Linden not to vote PPP. You deserve better. Do not be fooled by their promises, free t-shirts, small piece to attend rallies and wine down, because should you let them win on November 28th they will make your lives worse off than now. Time to take back Linden, and the entire Guyana from the hands of modern-day ‘massas’, and slave drivers.
Mark A. Benschop
Harris’s harvest, Hamilton’s hambroline, history’s heaven
OCTOBER 6, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER FEATURES / COLUMNISTS, FREDDIE KISSOON
Next to Heaven, the most reassuring place is history. History tells us what we didn’t know. History opens our eyes. And history makes liars of those who try to fool us. Shall we look at history, Adam Harris, Joseph Hamilton, the former PNC leader now turned PPPite, then speak to the residents of Albion in Berbice and nearby districts? Yes we should!
For the second time in less than a year in addresses to Berbice audience, President Jagdeo, attempting to paint the Kaieteur News as an opposition newspaper affiliated to the PNC, told his listeners that the paper’s editor, Adam Harris, is a man who worked for the PNC Government. The latest of such an announcement was at the Albion election rally of the PPP last Sunday.
The ironic moments in the life of the present government are so oceanic or mountainous or simply countless that it is useless trying to measure which one is more shocking than the others. Just before President Jagdeo told the gathering at Albion that Adam Harris used to work for the PNC Government, Mr. Joseph Hamilton came up the platform and was introduced as a PNC convert to the PPP cause. Can you get a more blatant irony than this? The listeners are told to be suspicious of the Kaieteur News because Adam Harris edits it and he was once a part of the PNC Government. Joseph Hamilton worked for the PNC Government and remained with the PNC long after it lost power in 1992.
The PPP leaders were lucky that no drunken fool didn’t walk up on stage and reminded them that Mr. Hamilton was once part of the PNC.
Let us peep inside history’s heaven to see how beautiful are the flows of history. Mr. Donald Ramotar once pointedly asked me in a letter in this newspaper what did I mean by the words, “the poetic essence of history.” I didn’t reply but I will tell him in person when I visit one of the PPP meetings in South Georgetown where I have my roots.
So what is inside of history that is so instructive that PPP supporters and the goodly folks of Albion can be educated about the contents of past epochs in this country?
Kwame McCoy once worked with the PNC Government in a close capacity. He functioned in the office of the Prime Minister. When the PNC lost power in 1992, Mr. Mc Coy worked with Mayor Hamilton Green. Shall we remind Berbicians that the said gentleman is a powerful figure in the Office of the President working closely with the very man who reminded us last Sunday that Adam Harris was once a functionary with the PNC regime?
Mr. Odinga Lumumba and I have a little score to settle. I will not go into details. But when it comes to my family, I see red. When my wife occupied the post of a project officer in Guyana Office for Manufacturing and Industrial Development Agency (GUYMIDA) in the PNC presidency of Desmond Hoyte, Mr. Lumumba, a long-standing PNC official then, made a remark to her about her husband. Maybe when I speak on the platform of one or all of the opposition parties, I will describe what happened.
The entire Guyana knows that Mr. Lumumba was an employee under both Burnham and Hoyte. Mr. Lumumba is an advisor to the man who told us last Sunday that Adam Harris was once a PNC Government employee.
This writer saw Sir Shridath Ramphal on television delivering a panegyric on President Jagdeo in honour of the Day of Appreciation. The goodly knighted gentleman remains an admirer of Forbes Burnham and was one of President Burnham’s closest advisors. Under President Jagdeo, there was a diplomat who served under the presidencies of both Hoyte and Burnham. His name is Rudy Insanally. He was named Foreign Minister by President Jagdeo.
Shall we go on about the harvest years of Adam Harris? And return to Hamilton’s hambroline? Or continue to look inside history’s heaven?
Let’s recount the past before we conclude. Justice Prem Persaud was made a magistrate and judge under the PNC Government. Khurshid Sattaur was deputy to Edgar Heyligar at the tax department. But wait! Here is a salacious part. Do you know the owner of a certain television station who is extremely close to the President was once on a committee to re-elect Mr. Desmond Hoyte in the 1992 elections?
Finally, when Manzoor Nadir was in opposition to President Jagdeo, he threatened to write the US Government about Guyana’s trade with Cuba. Some people are too foolish to remember the past.