By GHK Lall
I am ashamed. I am not sure, nor do I care, how many Guyanese I speak for but I am insulted and embarrassed at some of what came through from the CCJ today. Any self-respecting Guyanese, and I am not certain as to how many are still around, should feel the same way. Did matters really have to come to this humiliating state?
From some of the quotes in the Demerara Waves’ coverage titled, “Caribbean Court gives Granger, Jagdeo more time to find consensus on elections date; Gecom says general elections not possible until after Christmas” (June 24), it is clear that Guyanese leaders, and by extension all of the Guyanese people, have been given a public dressing down. It is one that reeks of impatience, disappointment, condescension, and frustration. The language was civil, even genteel, throughout; but there should be no mistaking the grim tones, and the mockeries that will mount for hapless Guyana and Guyanese when either come up in serious conversation. From this distance, I can feel the contempt, sense the ridicule.
Some extracts attributed to the President of the CCJ speaking on behalf of his brethren should be helpful to appreciate my own anger and disgust. First, “Everybody says these are important issues but it seems as though the same degree of urgency and deliberation that are expected from the courts, we don’t see them reflected in the behavior of the political directorate and that, I think, is unfortunate.” Regardless of who I appreciate or don’t in the Guyanese political directorate, all have been reduced to errant, immature schoolboys, and in a rather smooth, but telling, putdown. And that is a putdown.
And next from Justice Saunders, “This puts the court in a very awkward position because we don’t want to make political decisions but at the same time, we feel that it is our remit to assist in seeing the rule of law observed in Guyana but the observance of rule of law…also requires the political actors to conform with the rule of law and demonstrate a sense of compromise and reasonableness that allow for the rule of law to take effect.” Not the smoothest or most elegant language from the learned jurist, but effective in the thrust of its messages and devastatingly so. Even wickedly so.
Did matters have to come to these degrading observations that are the equivalent of mule kicks on the noggin? That local leaders lack the sagacity and capacity to recognize that some degree of movement, of consensus, of cooperating, are absolutely necessary to get anywhere on any matter of substance? And on particularly on these matters that bedevil Guyanese society? If I am the leader of government or opposition (and the supporting casts), I would hang my head in shame.
For what Justice Saunders is saying is that Guyanese politicians want the CCJ to do de dutty wuk fuh dem. To make decisions with which they can engage in more endless rounds of circular and useless pontifications and posturing, and then congratulate themselves on how clever they are. And further, that Guyanese leaders are skilled at sheltering under and spouting about constitution and law and the accompanying nonsense without putting any skin in the game. In other words, that Guyanese leaders are about all sound and fury (big mouth and big talk) but no concrete action that corroborates those words. And that Guyanese leaders do not have the guts to make their decisions by stepping forward into the fire and delivering; that they don’t have what it takes.
Now I am totally disgusted with where I always suspected that things would end up. Quite frankly, I have had my share on this. I did lend my voice. I have had enough. I have just said my last word on things CCJ relative to Chair, dates, lists, and the rest. May God in His mercy be kind to this country.
Mr. GHK Lall is a Guyanese author, columnist and former financial analyst on Wall Street.