APNU/AFC’s ob­ses­sion

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By Dr. Les­lie Ram­sam­mmy


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.

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