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OPINION: Where to after the CCJ? Especially for the losing

by GHK Lall

There is an anticlimactic feel to the court decision(s). Now there is breathing space for re-strategizing and repositioning, and none more so than for an opposition, which prematurely overreached. Oil does make for madness. Also, GECOM gets some much-needed space to operate; and a government with a second lease on life is provided an opportunity to shake off its rusty lethargy.

I know it is off to the CCJ; that was foregone once the judiciary became embroiled. But whether upholding or reversing, I have already proceeded beyond that wearying (and to my thinking, given the temperature and schemes of things) pointless cul-de-sac and jumping off point. It is a pointless place, but a necessary pit-stop. Yes, there are laudable sounds about respect for the decision of the Court of Appeal; but that has as much longevity as an errant pedestrian who strays in the path of an express minibus. Actions will speak louder than words in the next several months.

Most likely issues deliberations will occupy all the months of the second quarter before the CCJ rules. My hope is that this lovely warming talk about respect will still be operative when the mighty words and majestic messages of the CCJ come pouring down from that regional Olympus. Those messages are sure to be embedded in the voting numbers and accompanying guiding, enlightening narratives.

That said, I must be skeptic, pessimist, and spoilsport all in one. It is a tough place to be, but somebody has to be there and be the messenger. Just refrain from doing to this messenger what they used to do in days of yore. I fast forward to the hour of decision from the CCJ. Forget about who wins, if there is such a thing anymore in this unholy mess. What about the defeated? Will those leaders and supporters gracefully stand down? Bow out honorably and for the wider peace and greater good?

Try as I might, I am unable to see this occurring. That is why I have asked repeatedly-and now again-not only in this space: where to?  It does not require either prophet or pretender or obeah man to foretell that the grim and grotesque are likely to ensue, highly so. When there was no oil-other than the hazy, sporadic speculations, there was one slippery elections precipice after another evaded by the polish of a fingernail. Situations were as perilous as that.

Now there is oil, and the atmosphere is pronouncedly pregnant with every misgiving that can be imagined. There is this immeasurable insanity unleashed in the minds of greedy, drooling leaders, surrounding inner circles, and the wider supporting world of mesmerized followers. This is what is cultivated and amplified. Hence, the ugly mentalities and pulsing passions; lest it be forgotten, palpable hatreds, too. With what is involved, the ultimate remedies-harrowing to contemplate-are not off the table of tribal extremists and political fundamentalists.

Regrettably, I do not visualize any grudging retreat or statesmanlike concession (meaning anyone) of those coming up short. Coming up short means empty-handed, and that is not acceptable. Similarly, I do not envision any reaching for mending; much damage has been added to ancient damages. There will, though, be reaching and listening and learning to the not unbiased brokerage of the international community. It is the sad testimony of a nation utterly lacking in pride and dignity and self-esteem and self-respect.

Thereafter, it will be the same uneasiness, the familiar taste of bile, and that old gnawing in the craw and gut of the losers. Seems and sounds like business as usual, and life too. In the soggy interim, Guyanese of all numeracy aptitudes can debate to their hearts’ content the merits (and demerits) of judicial math; and, while at it, judicial wisdom. That, also, has the regular drone of the humdrum. Nothing new under Guyanese skies.