Sep 07, 2017
I have consistently polemicize in these columns that it would be misleading to think that the stumbling block to a modern, free Guyana is the political directorship from both the PNC and PPP and ruling politicians in general whether from AFC, WPA and others.
If we were to solve our ethnic dilemma and there is no more ethnically determined infusion in how our government make decisions, Guyana’s politics would still be extremely backward and primitive.
This is because the social composition of the society, apart from the political leadership, would still be visionless people.
It is my opinion, that sections of the following have important people who are without progressive, modern, transformational ideas; the judiciary, security establishment (traffic leadership in this country is the most unthinking set of people you can find in the Caribbean), the professional classes without exception (we have some of the rudest doctors anywhere in the world), the media, the business community, the senior public sector bosses, sports leadership, churches of all denominations; the one I left for last is the worst one – the academic community.
My point is, we are going nowhere in this land even if we ship out all of our politicians; every one of them. Let me emphasize my point.
By now readers would know I disagree with the policy directions of the new Vice Chancellor of the university. But he may be far more of a thinking person with ideas that those who are his bosses in the Council of the University.
We had general elections, the PPP lost and thus PPP persons that dominated the UG Council have been replaced.
But we may have got a Council whose membership is equally sycophantic, mediocre and visionless as when UG had PPP-dominated Councils. I spent 26 years at UG, and I have seen where Council members stood up and spoke their minds even though they were affiliated to the ruling PPP. In the present council, mediocrity has become morbid.
Before I come to the essential point of this column, let me reiterate – my theory is that Guyana’s endemic stultification is a psychic one, not only a political one, and it afflicts the social leadership of the country, not just our politicians.
We now come to the caption of this article. The restricted placing of advertisement in the Kaieteur News of GECOM business in favour of other newspapers is confirmation of my theory above.
There are six GECOM commissioners with a definite political flavor.
The political parties nominate them and all six have strong connections to the major political parties.
There is no GECOM Chairman for a long while now. It meant therefore there was no political conspiracy to deny Kaieteur News GECOM advertisements.
That was a decision of a person or persons who are supposed to be neutral professionals in the GECOM establishment.
What this advertisement scandal reveals is that the society, if left to itself without the presence of the politicians from political parties of all types, would still be mean-spirited, vindictive and undemocratic. This is what is frightening about this county and the GECOM scandal has graphically put it on display. Kaieteur News in getting fewer advertisements from GECOM in comparison to other media houses and that decision is not a malicious one that was hatched by the corridors of power to spite Kaieteur News.
This unprofessional descent into malice has occurred inside an independent body. You don’t expect this from this section of society.
The egregious dimension of this unprofessional decline is that it involves public money designated to do public service to the nation.
For example, if GECOM is conducting an Identification Card replacement exercise and it puts that notice in only two newspapers and leaves out the newspaper with the largest circulation, then large sections of the society will not know because they may not have read the other newspapers.
There is another dimension of this scandal that needs to be analyzed – the future of democracy. With each passing day, we are seeing the withering away of democracy.
In a forthcoming column, I will look at the failure of all of us to preserve the little gains we made in fighting the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabals. Could anyone have imagined a group picketing the Kaieteur News because it wrote about secret trips of an APNU+AFC minister? But it happened.
Could anyone have imagined the Office of the President in the new government issuing a press release accusing this columnist of anti-government mischief? But it happened.
Could anyone have imagined withdrawal of ads from Kaieteur News after the PPP lost power? But it happened.