by GHK Lall
I had to travel all the way from the USA to find Stalingrad by the Demerara. With that announced preference by the PPP candidate for much-needed supporting material, there is no more cat in the bag, no disagreements about whether a cat is present and lurking. No discussions as to what kind of predatory animal it is. No controversies about what all of that says about the candidate himself. And no arguments as to his need for a crutch on which to hobble along. Truth be told, several crutches.
Finally, I experience the dubious thrill of seeing Putin out-Putin(ed) by one of his disciples and right here. The Jolly Roger would not be too pleased with this latest exercise in political smog, and of which India could have been proud. He had to settle for the measly honorarium of Head of the Presidential Secretariat, from where he effectively ran the country, like a Cardinal Richelieu or a Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. I think the good doctor has been cheated out of the coin of a better pension, for the lowballs he endured from bosom comrades. It is a striking situation, which provokes a number of thoughts, which I now present as polite inquiries.
Who is bridesmaid and who is bride today? Who is the artificial public face of power and who is the real power behind the throne? This sounds like a junta of two. I think that the vaunted Exco suddenly became an irrelevance; Anil now matters for less than zero, and the good Bishop’s cloth, never cut fully to begin with, has shrunk still further. And especially so, in view of that earlier prime ministerial candidate identification. All that heavy lifting for friends and having to come up short. Not surprising he has gone underground to lick his wounds. Promises! Promises! With friends like these, who need enemies? Somebody should take this all the way to the CCJ. The complaint would be: breach of promise. And if that fails, I offer cruel neglect or constructive abandonment. Why not? If in something as close to the heart as romance, the jilted could swallow pride and publicize their humiliations through suit. Why should those suffering the same betraying fate in politics from bosom comrades take matters lying down?
Even as I leave all of those personnel choices alone, I arrive at other places almost immediately. I am appalled. I am sickened by what governance visions and possible governance realities have come to mean in this country. For at the core, and in aggregate, it is about this naked dice rolling on the docks by piratical scoundrels to decide who must get and how to parcel out the booty from privateering exploits. It is where the destiny of this country is passed from hand to hand with aplomb, as though it is criminal pickings or somebody father’s bequest to them to be dealt with however pleases. Is this what this country has come to? Is this what the futures and lives of the several peoples of this nation mean to political men and women, who are the personification of the unspeakably sinister? And at the bottom, is this all that Guyana now amounts to, where it can be shared like some cheap prostitute?
I understand that, to some extent, this is the real politick of Guyana. The ugly, coarse, and vulgar strains of people, who reach desperately for a hold on the levers of power. Some are so crude in their ambitions and calculations about power, that they do not even care anymore as to how those come across, how it could insult some, and how it says so much about them, and what are their real priorities. It has never been about the welfare of the people; and never will be, since this type of political bottom feeder does not have those kinds of ideals inherent to them. What they do care about is the opportunity (again) to prey upon and plunder at will, now that there is a bigger jackpot in motion.
For the sake of simple decency, any reasonable Guyanese (make that a thinking human being) would have expected that there was some attempt to camouflage the backstory and the dirty quid pro quo arrangements, which now becomes more publicly pronounced with the latest “you scratch my back, I return the favor.” I wonder how party and people believe that, for a single moment, this patent farce would pass by unnoticed, or be found acceptable.
Maybe over there in the loyal tribal highlands it does not matter. But there are all those other constituent ingredients, and competing forces, which I am hard-pressed to visualize succumbing to what is slick reengineering of constitutional limits. No wonder, too, that they are so hospitable to that most dreadful of concoctions. One United States Vice President did famously describe the office with the singular recommendation of it is “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” Of course, that is in a land with some standing, where the officeholder knows his limits and keeps to that place. But when speaking about a society that still exists in the equivalent of political treetops, then it is an altogether other story. A dirty one. A sick one from sick people consumed by the lust for power at any cost and by any method.
Guyana just heard that where things are going, and how men line up their ducks. Interesting to watch and see how many will submit to being parties to these ongoing deceptions and this latest example of the cunning minds at sleazy work. At work to wreak havoc in the days ahead. I used to think that there is at least a year past March 2 before things assume some degree of civility. At the rate we are going, and disclosures are surfacing, I believe that this would take us all the way to the next election in 2025.
Mr. GHK Lall is a Guyanese author, columnist and former financial analyst on Wall Street.