May 15, 2017 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

 Have you seen the achievements of the APNU+AFC Government as a paid advertisement in the newspapers? If you did, then you would see that there is an intellectual deficit in the leadership of Guyana. In the social sciences, researchers work with frameworks, methodologies etc.
frddie2Your conclusion will be based on the framework and methodology you use.  This is a basic in social science research.
You learn this from your first year as a freshman at university.
Take the complex sociology of Guyana. The three major ethnic communities – Amerindians, Africans, Indians – all have profound cultural differences among them. A sociological investigation into suicide has to start with this framework. If you don’t, then your conclusions may be off track. Using the methodology of rural/urban divide in Guyana can yield more efficacious results in one’s research.
We come now to the APNU+AFC Government and its chalking up of more than 150 accomplishments that adorn the middle pages of the newspapers.
One must question the framework and the methodology employed. One must assume that inside the hierarchy of the power establishment, there are people trained in social science methodologies. There is a functional, theoretical and practical distinction between state service and leadership accomplishments.
Let’s take this argument outside the realm of politics and place it into family life. Even working class people strive to give their children a tertiary education. Education is a deterministic way out of poverty.
The provision of an education to a child is not an achievement. It is a function of parenthood.  In the banal, grammatical sense of the word, it is an achievement. But that achievement carries no exceptional value because it is an inherent function of a parent.
State service and leadership accomplishments are not related and cannot be collapsed together. When a researcher does that, the research will have more holes that a dilapidated basket someone threw away in the trench.
Among the 150 achievements in that newspaper spread are functions of state.
I will just pull down at random some of the wonderful things that the government included in that figure of 150.
There are – fisherman protected from piracy; better drainage and irrigation; more irrigation pumps; canals and alleyways desilted; better streets and roads; 886 scholarship to Guyanese students; new lands for agriculture; new water wells; potable water in Sophia;  Soesdyke/Linden highway repaired; Corentyne highway repaired; East Bank highway repaired.
I could cite dozens more. But the one that makes you laugh is this; “Successfully hosted CARICOM Head of Govt. meeting.”  All of these things are functions of state. You don’t expect a government to list them as accomplishments.
They are processes that must accompany the administration of a country. They are givens.
Whoever leads Botswana, Guyana, the US, France, Barbados etc., will have to repair roads, provide security for fishermen out at sea, expand agricultural lands to speed up economic development, etc.
If the PPP is smart, it can score massive propaganda points against the APNU+AFC by researching President Cheddi Jagan’s first two years in power; President Janet Jagan’s first two years; Bharrat Jagdeo’s first two years; Ramotar’s first two years. If the PPP’s researchers use the framework and the methodology that APNU+AFC employed to identify 150 accomplishments, then it would be fascinating to see the balance sheet of Cheddi Jagan and Bharrat Jagdeo.
Surely, when a government desilts a muddied trench that is work that any government must do and all governments, without exception, will do.
Surely, roads have to be repaired. One would like to think in ancient civilizations as in Egypt, India, China, Africa, Greece, Rome, streets were always rehabilitated.
The one that is really funny as I alluded to the above is that in those 150 achievements is the successful holding of the CARICOM HEADS confab in July last year. But all CARICOM states have had such success, including PPP governments.
Using the framework and methodology that the great researchers of this government utilized, then that 150 number can be doubled. For example, recently I saw buildings at UG being repainted.
I saw workmen doing repairs to the National Library. Now this is interesting. Included in that 150 figure is the rehabilitation of the Madewini Youth Centre.
So why were repairs to the National Library not in the advertisement?
I saw working personnel from Ministry of Public Infrastructure repairing the street lamps on University Access Road where I live (only problem with that is they go out weeks after).
I witnessed policemen painting pedestrian crossings on dozens of streets last month.
Why was that not listed? Of course, the Cummings Lodge arch came too late to make the list.