by GHK Lall
The vulgar dissonance that has characterized the Berbice Bridge from its conception, birth, and now sickly if not obese presence continues. Dissonance is being polite; it is more like river-crossing robbery; in reality the political precursor and equivalent to the piracy on the high seas further pass that same bridge. Now in the ongoing frenzies of cleverness, there is this specter of “political gimmickry” inserted in the works; it makes for good theater and a large belly laugh, too. While there is some allure embedded in the meaning of those two weighty words, I look on in disbelief when sensible folks first bite; and then more than a few tumble overboard as willing suckers through what can only be lumped with the increasing volumes of local political porn.
For starters, there was the clamor of that date and its coinciding with local government elections. People have either got to be kidding, or have lost whatever marbles they had remaining. What does that matter? Since when do such correlations and extrapolations figure for something or mean anything in this country? Since when do the people in this society care about such connections, any such connections and whatever message they bring? Let us look at this a little closer.
For decades a school of thought has been established in this country. Men from all walks of life (some not on the up and up) have postulated and emphasized and reemphasized that voting in this country is not issue based. Go to the head of the class and take a bow. Collect a garland while at it. The people-pundits, panjandrums, pimps, and a parade of progressive supposed thinkers-have pointed repeatedly to the race-based roots, branch, and trunk prevalent in this country election season after dreary election season. Who can disagree? Who can contest that sorry and encircling reality? Voters do care about the economy, jobs, health services, social services, education standards and the like. But after all their philosophical departures, mental gyrations, and rum shop, barber shop, and salt goods shop advocacies for or against this or that, matters still invariably distill to the single lane of race. Race is trump (pardon me); race is justification. Race is first choice and fallback option. Race is reflexive. And that is the way it has always been; and will be for the foreseeable future. Illiterate people, credentialed people, rich people, poor people, atheists, and believers (as well as LGBTQ ranks) all vote race to an overwhelming degree.
Thus, I return to my question, questions to be accurate. What does that date matter? Any date for that matter? Why does anyone in his or her right mind think that the government rushing to the rescue like a shining savior on a white horse makes a difference? It means squat; especially given it is this government and that the targets of opportunity and circumstance are those people. I do not believe that anyone would need a translation. But I will do the honors.
This dreadful Black government (let us be unsparing here, as it is called for) in the eyes and hearts of a pointedly Berbice Indian electorate will not and cannot be favored by any seismic shift and sea change in voter attitude, voter recognition, or voter trust. Not for 365%; not for twice that proposal; not for the return of Guysuco. It is just not the way things work around here, and everybody knows that, including those chanting that dirge about “political gimmickry.” I like the government’s action; but it will not earn a single vote for its pains. This is just the way that we have always been, and remain immovably fixed. Think of this: the people behind that criminal concoction leading to the existence of the Berbice Bridge could come out publicly and declare that they did rob this country blind, and they did inflict a massive burden and injustice upon citizens, particularly supporters in Berbice and none of this would matter a damn. It is the exact same mindset with the lovely brethren from the other side. Political gimmick! my…I settle for foot.
While I am it, there is astonishment that the directors for the private shareholders have been quiet to the point of dumbness. I think that cap fits. Now I don’t read those other papers and deal with local TV, so I may have missed their contributions, spirited to be sure. But it does seem that de guvment maan is de waan doin aaal de taakin. Where are the other fellows when an illegal development gains traction through surrender? Like I said at the beginning: lovely town this is. If it is not puerile postures, it is the usual political bawdiness. And when that fails, there is always resort to election comedy, as stale and flat as that has become.