Jul 17, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

Let me try my hand once more at explaining this “like they want to bring back the PPP” remark of a minister on a television interview programme. The Minister is a family friend that my wife and my daughter do like. One of his sons and my daughter were in the same class at both Marian Academy and School of the Nations.
I can understand why he showed that vexation, but his understanding of the philosophical context of the independent mind was at fault when he made that accusation.
The trenchancy was directed to me and Dr. David Hinds. I did not see the interview. It was David that brought it to my attention. The interview was done early in the life of the APNU+AFC Government. The minister’s anger had a context. He was part of a movement that had just removed a nakedly corrupt government in both senses of finance and good governance and he was irked at media criticisms of the government of which he is an important factor.
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I will summarize his context in the following way – Freddie and David should be comforted in the glorious fact and elevating thought that we have removed the PPP; their consistent condemnations of the government’s performance can help the PPP, and could make the PPP come back to power. There are various schools of theories one could use to reject that thinking of the minister, some of which we turned our backs on and it brought historical disasters.
When Europe was passing through fascist and communist authoritarian rule, the Oxford and Cambridge dons made a choice between Hitler and Stalin – Hitler was the worse of the two evils. There has been an ongoing debate since then about the moral and philosophical foundations of that choice. Some of the most learned minds in the social sciences have argued that there should not have been a choice in the first place. The two men were evil; period!
If any country should learn the lessons of emotional choices in politics and the catastrophes, disasters and tragedies they brought, it is Guyana. Ethnic loyalties overran philosophy and we blindly supported our own kind, our own type since 1953. After the split between and Jagan and Burnham, we have chosen questionable leaders with little tolerance for democratic freedoms and we have done so because, “they belong to our race.”
While the Minister must have been confused at what David and I wrote, there was no objective confused situation in Guyana when we wrote. You do not allow mistakes to become monsters. African Guyanese allowed the PNC’s errors to become eructation and this country will live forever with the saddest manifestations of the eructation – the death of Walter Rodney.
Indian Guyanese allowed the PPP’s depredations to become depravities and Guyana became a land of decimating fears.
We are seeing the same things with the government of the minister that criticized David and me with the accusation that we want to bring back the PPP. Peccadilloes have become imbroglios; imbroglios have become imbecilities, imbecilities have become tragedies. It is against this background one must avoid the pitfall of giving emotional support to the APNU+AFC regime because the PPP is at the door.
The very person that will open the door to let the PPP in will not be the commentator, analyst, editor, detractor of the APNU+AFC Coalition but that very leadership that refuses to learn the lessons of history. I can certainly speak for David Hinds; we have been friends in the WPA for over forty years. He dreads the PPP coming back. I shiver when I think of the thought. But if we should shut up would that make the Coalition Government stronger?
The answer is one any school boy can excel in. If a government does wrong, silly, insensitive, uncaring, undemocratic, nepotistic, racist, corrupt things, no amount of silence from its critics can save it. Which history books the leaders in both the APNU and AFC are reading? Surely not those on Guyana.
If I were to list the avoidable mistakes this regime is making it will fill volumes. If I were to list the obdurate attitudes of this government, it will fill a book length manuscript. If I were to document the old culture, old habits, recurring opportunism, persistent moral dubiousness of the Coalition leaders it will run into hundreds of columns.
Let me end with examples of old culture. Why didn’t the minister say; “Freddie, I read you, I don’t agree but let’s meet and do some introspection and soul-searching.” He didn’t because power destroys body, mind and soul.