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OPINION: New faces on the political horizon -a primer

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 November 2020, 13:29 by Denis Chabrol

by GHK Lall

I note with some interest the recent announcement from a new voice about political interest for leading at the highest level.  What I offer on this and any similar future development speak not to the merits or otherwise of any such new figures, but to the stark realities sure to be encountered by those visions and ambitions.  I hope that in so doing, I would succeed in getting my fellow Guyanese to minimize their hysterias and do something they are not famed for, which is to be receptive and possessing of some reasoning.

First, they don’t stand a chance, less than that of a snowflake in a raging forest fire.  Regardless of the caliber of the new face, the new program, the new outlook, the new promise, none stands a ghost of a chance.  They are dead in the water, and that is that, with utter unalterable finality.  It is Guyana’s reality and here is why.

First, any newcomer or group challenging the mighty PPP does not have the numbers.  Not today, not just yet, and that should not require any explanation or sophistication.  I steer naysayers (and hopefuls) to the Bureau of Statistics, and if that is too much heavy lifting or incomprehensible, then I point them to Elections 2020 configurations.  Nothing could be easier for understanding than that, or what comes next.

For second, even as new faces and voices appreciate the numbers arrayed against, they must come to grips with this: the Guyanese voter is not moving.  Not his or her ‘X.’  Not through any changed thinking or position or loyalty or belief and trust.  I comfort by saying maybe in a hundred years or thereabouts, definitely not the next fifty.  In sum, the already immovably committed Guyanese voter does not have any terrorist, simply freedom fighters, absolute tribalists they are.  That is not of the heights, it is the domestic Himalayas, one of the many unconquerable frontiers in this society.  There is neither educated nor rational nor patriotic voter in this country.  At best, there is the race voter and the party voter, which is all there is to the Guyana democratic story, its frail country character.

And third, even if by some unimaginable immeasurable miracle there were inclinations in Guyanese voters to stand in opposition to my positions, then the leadership of both major parties would move ruthlessly to sabotage the prospects of any such new presences and effectively neutralize them.  Cult leadership, blind loyalty and following, and unmatched obeisance would all combine to derail the new by using the old that has served so well.  That is, buy them out, chase them out, or dismiss them out of hand.  Regarding the latter, potential newcomers would have only the record to lament.

It is because, fourth, the fresh and stirring and promising have flattered to deceive.  More bluntly, when the charm and pretenses are cut through, there is nothing of authenticity left, no sincerity found compelling.  It is because, from within that sorry pantheon of political panjandrums, they have dissembled (full out) and lied (outright) and betrayed (flat out).  There is not one residue of trust or confidence left for those, whether from before or in those who come from now on to warm Guyanese hearts with promises of a new day.  Unwittingly perhaps, but unerringly undoubtedly, political newcomers are considered Guyanese lepers of the worst kind: they are seen as incestuous and traitorous.  Both have been earned well, given what they have done in the past to those who placed their futures in their soiled hands, their devious plans.  I think that that is irrefutable and, therefore, now beyond the pale of the retrievable, even if the wisest and most honest were to come.

Fifth, there is that trump card that I saved for last.  It is trump card and wildcard and the only card that matters in the grand Guyanese scheme, now made grander by oil.  It is the American card.  The only thing that I have to say about that card, that it is necessary to say, is that that has functioned as Guyana’s GECOM (the real one) and Guyana’s version of a final electoral college.  I admit that there is nothing profound about this, as I merely mention reality.  Neither numbers nor money nor ideals nor the will of the people matter.  What matters with unassailable power is this: when America stands for, none can prevail.  Forbes Burnham experienced that dubious blessing before.  Today, it is the PPP’s turn.  America has been Guyana’s political arbiter, negotiator, mediator, peacemaker, and (if compulsory) troublemaker.  It is their way or no way.  Now whoever wants to argue can do so with self.

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November 2020