George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the premise that all are equal, but some are more equal is promoted as a political model for democracy. It was, of course, a repugnant concept intended solely to consolidate an authoritarian State. The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government since May 2015 seems particularly obsessed with this preposterous political model. While preaching equality and national unity, they sow discord and division, practice overt discrimination and position a small cabal as the appointed beneficiary of the State’s largess.
This past week the constant bombardment of the citizens of Guyana with reprehensible statements from APNU/AFC’s Ministers continued without any sign of abatement. Ridiculous and obscene statements are not rare for this Government. Not a day passes without a particularly obnoxious statement from an APNU/AFC Minister. One thing is certain – each of their heinous statements seems to unapologetically promote the Orwellian concept that all are equal, but some are more equal.
Consider the recent insult of the Guyanese citizens by Minister Jordan, the Finance Minister, this past week, when he asserted that it “makes no sense for Guyanese to continue lamenting on whether Guyana may have a good or bad deal with Exxon”. These are his words and reflect absolutely the perspective of APNU/AFC. In different words, Minister Trotman, Attorney General Basil Williams, Prime Minister Nagamootoo and others have essentially lectured the nation, instructing us all to accept the Exxon Deal, as negotiated by a small group. They argue that even if the deal is inimical to the interest of the Guyanese people, it should be of no concern to the citizens. To them, the only people who have a right to know the deal and whether the deal is good or bad are the people Granger and his Cabinet have selected.
The rest must accept the consequences, good or bad. This is the essential argument of the Orwellian concept of “we are all equal, just that some are more equal”. But it is also the classical line of dictators, old and new. It is no different from how the old People’s National Congress (PNC) and Burnham operated in Guyana before 1992. It smacks of unaccountability and is a tantrum aimed against those who have called for transparency. Negotiating a deal for Guyana means that those who were entrusted with the responsibility must inform the citizens of its contents before it becomes a reality. There is not only a moral and legitimate responsibility to publish the deal; there is a legal expectation that the citizens must be aware of how this is a deal on behalf of Guyana and not just a cabal. This is modern Guyana trying to consolidate a free and democratic country, not Animal Farm.
This Jordan nonsense and diatribe is consistent with the statement by the President himself several weeks ago when the Chief Justice pronounced that Granger’s interpretation of the Constitution in respect to the selection of
the GECOM Chairman was wrong. The Chief Justice did not make up the argument. She listed and read the arguments proposed by AG Williams and others and by the former AG, Anil Nandlall. She declared that the Constitution is clear and that the Leader of the Opposition has the authority and the only authority to select a group of fit and proper persons which list may include or exclude Judges and that the next chair can only come from the list proposed by the Leader of the Opposition. Granger’s response was that the Judge made per pronouncement based on her interpretation and that he will act in accordance with his interpretation. In other words, the Judge may be an equal citizen, but Granger is above the law and, therefore, more equal.
Let us not neglect the statement by Minister Keith Scott that too many of the security guards in the coun-
try are elderly people. This might very well be true. But Scott and his colleagues in APNU/AFC have no moral right to bemoan this fact. This Government is totally one that is made of mostly old, geriatric men. The Cabinet is dominated by old men, men who have long surpassed the old-age pension eligibility age. The President has a number of retirees working for super salaries as advisors. Heads of important agencies and departments are being recruited from among retirees with allegiance to the APNU/ AFC machinery, even as younger, more professionally qualified people are being discarded.
Truth is this is a dictatorship and every statement emanating from their mouths further consolidate APNU/ AFC’s premise of governance – the Orwellian steaming garbage: we are equal, but the APNU/AFC cabal is more equal.