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OPINION: I am not a puppet. Really? Sez who?

by GHK Lall

I refer to the headline article titled, “Ali maintains he’s no Jagdeo puppet” (SN December 31). I thought for a moment that Stabroek News mixed up its calendar in mistaking Old Year’s Day for All Fools’ Day. Oh well, here I go.

Everybody is due the benefit of the doubt. This is even when they themselves have mountains to scale in the credibility department. And such is the case with the opposition’s presidential candidate.

This should have been a crowning moment for him. It isn’t. This should have been an hour when well-wishing competitors, from within his own fold, put aside envy and malice, rise to the occasion, and surround him with their enthusiastic, at the very least, spirited energies. Rather frowningly and regrettably, little of that is present. The man is on his own and he only muddles things when he opens his mouths to make what he believes are profound statements. The trouble is that none are fooled (including the party’s own) and, thus, the only success registered is that he makes a bigger object of derision of himself.

Now he comes before the public, on this last day of a tumultuous year, to say he is not a puppet. Score one for something; do not bother to look for it in the scrupulously honest area. If it took all this time to squeeze that one out and save some face, reassure the wider public, and gain some measure, no matter how small, of regard, then what about actual decision making? What out those crucial decisions that have momentous impacts on the present and future of this nation? As I am in an inquiring mode, I continue. Where was he when all the urgent and testing issues of the Guyanese day were unfolding in the heat of high temperatures and sharp acids? To ask and answer, the candidate was nowhere in sight. Like Cinderella, he could not be on the road after certain hours. In his case, that meant all of them. Such was the charade foisted upon his own people.

Let it be faced: he was not around. He was hidden from sight for fear that he would hurt himself. And when he did make an appearance for the sake of the record, he was mum to the point of being dumb. Not a word. Not me. Not wanting to make a blunder and fall on face. That was the body language (his), when the message being conveyed by the party’s propagandists, given a rabbit to remodel into a racehorse, was that he was off campaigning across the country. I will acknowledge that the Guyanese voter is so far gone, as to be committed. By that I mean institutionally. But anyone who buys this particular political pig in a suitcase needs to have more than his head examined, he or she should be taken outside and spared wastage of the taxpayers’ limited resources.

Whose electoral race was it to take charge off and lead from the front in true presidential fashion? Where was/is the personal pride, of at least going through the motions of a performance? By all accounts, this was shaping up from day one to require the performance of a lifetime. So far, he has fallen flat, as in on his face, and proven to be the biggest, but emptiest, of noisy barrels. Well, there is certainly some downhill rolling in the mud that is electoral Guyana.

I will give him this: he is struggling to put up a manly fight at this ungodly hour. He only succeeds in tying himself into more knots. They do say, when a lie is lived, then one cannot afford to forget. Ever. Not the script. Not the source of the script. Not the sponsor. And certainly not the objectives and ambitions of said champion of Russian style democracy. But this business is so riddled with stupidity that they are still trying to get the story straight as to what the man will be and how he will be, in the biggest job in the land. Yet even then, despite the armies of the king’s men and all the horses of the king, there is still massive fumbling. It is not easy to put up a full-fledged lantern post using needle and thread only. Some hearts are just not in it; they will admit, on the sly, they are in it for the overtime.

Let this other truth be faced: the man does not have what it takes. The main man knows that, which is why he very artfully selected him, and has stuck with him, through all the clamoring and cursing. I remember that big hit from James & Bobby Purify from yesteryear” I’m your puppet”? Well, what else is it? Or, more pointedly, denials and all, what else is he? Remember one of the lines: “Pull the string and I’ll wink at you? Or far worse, from a Guyanese perspective: “I’ll do funny things, if you want me to…” God help us on this one. He himself must be having a good laugh at our expense.

Mr. GHK Lall is a Guyanese author, columnist and former financial analyst on Wall Street.