By GHK Lall
The foundation and engine room of any governance mechanism is credibility. The willingness of citizens in their various segments–be they critics, adversaries, cynics, neutrals, even believers–to invest confidence and reliance that integrity and good faith course through officials and processes, as guided by law: respecting of and bowing before the law. Using these as bases, I contend that there are grave problems with the governance architecture that operates in Guyana. The entirety of it all.
The provisions of the law come alive through people: those leaders acting with values, conscience, grit to deliver in the best interests of nation first and foremost. This can only come to fruition with men and women of the highest integrity; and in the absence of that standard, then at least some acceptable fraction of it. With few exceptions (very few), I believe that leaders across the spectrum in Guyana lack demonstrable integrity on the matters that count: truth, principle, honor, character, and cleanliness. I would assert that there are those extreme instances, where some possess nothing of the sort. It is not limited to the troubled political realm.
The culture of commerce is substantial and polluted by the criminal. That pollution streaks to envelop and compromise political visions and actions, and results in the dirty, lawless society that is much of Guyana today. Cash talks. Men move. Ethics wither. Faith and trust die. Those calling attention to the unsightly, unsavory overlapping circles of politics and commerce had better prepare for the worst. One leader struggle to bring about change and wall crumble around him and upon him. People abandon hope and promise; they clamor for Barabbas.
In credibility and integrity, law and process, I hear the practiced chorus of mouths puckered in hypocritical lip service. Nothing more than that: meaningless lip service, which is deemed satisfactory and lovable. It is convenient oral homage paid to a disrespected, trampled-upon constitution. My hard, unalterable position is that none can lean on (or trust) a constitution erected on embedded deceptions and outright frauds, and speak of integrity or good faith in the same space and breath. All the skills, rhetoric, and postures fail to conceal that this is layering and blending trickery with yet more perversity. Only makes matters worse through searching for some ramshackle ground to justify falsity.
The falsification of faith in the judiciary is one more pretense. That only works when it delivers to plan. When it does not, there is rushed, taut acknowledgement; but nothing by way of recognition and submission; not even of the grudging, forced kind. I watch as the charades continue. If the executive structure is under hard siege and imperiled, and the judiciary is a convenience, a cheap and shabby one, then what is left? The legislative?
I look and that one has no bones; it collapses on itself. For all intents and purposes, what I observe is a debauched and dissipated spectacle: a polo field for the pseudo elite, strutting on high horses, occasionally colliding and knocking heads (and on behinds), and then retreating to the club for a nice, long, cold drink. An expensive one; charged, of course, to an enslaved populace. Now if the three pillars that normally function to balance the people’s interests and priorities command scant regard anywhere, are viewed with great suspicion, and burdened with terrible reputations, then where is any hope, some trace of a rainbow. Citizens have nothing on which to hang hat, no harbor for relief.
The result is to a great degree: no credibility. No trust. No faith. No dependence. In leaders or institutions. The opposite takes root and flourishes: suspicion, scorn and, in the end, sabotage. Sabotage of nation, people, destiny, and dreams. I watch as this country goes on: to the region first calling on the foster family of the CCJ. That link is already under the severest of scrutiny: honesty, credibility, dependability, integrity. I do not foresee that that will settle anything, only prepare the soil for more incandescent rage.
Thus, I see a ship coming. I think I can see from afar and from the distance of time the fair on the way. I believe there will be supplicating (in motion already) and surrendering to fix what is foul. Some fix that will be. That is why I keep saying: it cannot and must not be one or the other. Only prolongs the agony and the inevitable. Has to be both together; or neither of the two that traumatize.