Jul 09, 2016
The vortex of bifurcated confusion creates a permanent vertiginous existence living in the Third World where the anti-colonial discourse is never-ending. I use the peculiar combination of words, “bifurcated confusion” because there is this binary of criticism of the colonial rampage and the post-colonial barefacedness. What we have in the Third World is the constant reminder of how bad the colonial master was, how he stole our legacies, inventions, resources and our souls.
Juxtaposed against this, is the practice of politics by the post-colonial establishments the past sixty years. Have we learnt from the mistakes of the colonial epochs? The White man was imposing and authoritarian; the White man was elitist and class driven; the White man ensured we were kept in backwardness.
Have we learnt anything from those ruthless European colonial regimes? But more importantly, did the European rulers practice any form of morality that is objective and universal and not derived from any cultural context but are simple fundamental values of civilization?
One such value that comes to mind is the possession of power? Did the colonials teach us that power had Machiavellian usage and that violence had pragmatic purposes and so power must be used for the consolidation of one’s self-perpetuation? If the answer is yes, then shouldn’t the post-colonial establishments use a higher moral value and extirpate from the body politic the negative political values the colonials imposed on us?
Even more important is the question that every post-colonial citizen must ask him/herself. Why is it that the former rulers do not treat their own people with the cruel insensitivity as the post-colonial governments do? So we come now to the caption of this article, “Two White women; the democracy Guyana yearns for.” Right now playing out in the ruling party in the UK is a race to succeed the Prime Minister who felt it was his moral obligation to resign after he lost the vote against Brexit.
Three contenders competed for the votes of the parliamentarians of the ruling party, the Conservatives. The third candidate, a male lost out, leaving the next British Prime Minister to come from the female gender because the other competitors are two women Ministers. But here is where post-colonial society becomes far more repugnant than what obtains in the 21st century in the very European countries that colonized us.
These two women now go in front of the grassroot (I like the Guardian’s use of the word “grassroot” to describe the ordinary members of the Conservative Party) members of their party to win their votes. What it means is that the next British Prime Minister would have been voted in by the membership of her party rather than being anointed by a select group in a secret meeting at party headquarters. This is what happened in February 2011 at Freedom House of the PPP.
Mr. Ralph Ramkarran, expecting a secret ballot, anticipated his election to be the PPP’s presidential candidate for the 2011 General Elections. The President, Mr. Jagdeo anointed Mr. Donald Ramotar. The rest is history. Most humans in and out of Guyana believed when Cheddi Jagan died, his logical successor would have been Moses Nagamootoo. That Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo became President of Guyana over Mr. Nagamootoo is a Mephistophelean chamber of Faustian conspiracies that would never happen in any European country in 1999, the very European states that colonized us and that we continue to lament about what they did to us and will lament until time dies. We never seem to lament on what we are doing to our citizens.
Mr. Burnham is the favourite son of the anti-colonial preachers. Every time they meet in their favourite fora to extol his splendid virtues, they tell us he was the ultimate anti-colonial artist. Missing from the repertoire is the Guyana Constitution 1980. A constitution that PNC leaders, past and present; Guyanese thinkers both past and present; Guyanese citizens, both past and present have described as a document that made the President of Guyana an office-holder virtually above the law.
Most interestingly, a vote to retain that constitution may not even garner five percent. It is most intriguing to note that no former colonial power anywhere in Europe has a constitution similar to the 1980 Guyana Constitution. In the case of Guyana, our former colonial ruler was Britain. Great Britain does not have a written constitution. This meant Burnham could not have borrowed from the British when he was drafting his 1980 document. Readers may be interested to know that in Guyana, some people are heads of their respective organizations for over twenty five years. I call that the longevity of power.