…in the body politic
Folks don’t realise it, but cancer’s nothing more than the cells of our own body dividing to form new cells – which is essential to our survival – but doing so in an uncontrollable manner. In the fancy language of medicine, the cancer “metastasises”. Well, our politics in Guyana is something like that. Competition between groups for control of the State to determine “who gets what, when and how” – a common definition of politics – occurs wherever and whenever humans congregate.
But in divided Guyana, the competition is intense and before you know it, can metastasise out of control to explode in violence between the two major contenders for power. Your Eyewitness has a feeling of foreboding that if this insistence by the PNC-led coalition to cling on to power by throwing up one lame excuse after another, something has to give because of the rising tensions.
We’ve seen it before. During the 1997 elections, PNC leader Desmond Hoyte convinced his supporters that, based on the demographics, etc, they were sure to win the elections. In the preceding five years, he’d made one allegation after another of the PPP Government “discriminating” against a section of society – jobs, housing, land, etc, etc. So even though a welter of international observers – including the Carter Center, and the EU – certified it as “free and fair”, Hoyte insisted “we wuz robbed”!!
And his supporters bought it. Protests were initiated, which turned ugly as they were personalised against Janet Jagan to “wuk pon she”. That the Courts eventually ruled that technically ID cards should not have been demanded for persons to vote – but the vote was OK via a “forensic audit” – didn’t stop the agitation. The protests turned into violent riots where hundreds of Guyanese were brutalised. They eventually segued into generalised violence against a section of society and then the State, after five prisoners broke out of Camp Street Prison and holed up in Buxton. They carved out a state within the State and killed civilians and Police with impunity. Private militias, dominated by drug elements, used the pervasive violence to carve out turf and hundreds were killed.
In 1997, no one thought that the riots of the 1960s – in which 176 persons were killed – could’ve returned. But return they did – with a vengeance!!
The point is, the cancer of exacerbated tensions in our polity can metastasise rapidly, and before you know it – all is gone! The early detection of this cancer in the body politic is, therefore, very important. And it’s for this reason, your Eyewitness believes the PNC should heed the warning of the UN and EU.
Don’t lead your supporters up the garden path!! The NCM is legit.
We’re informed that 50% of our voters are under 35 and as such, they missed the meltdown of our society, economy, and all institutions after the Burnhamite “innovations” after 1968. But to see what could happen when the cancer’s spread by the STATE itself, the young’uns should just look at what’s unfolding over in Venezuela.
All States are supposed to ensure that their patrimony is shared equitably among the populace. No one could quarrel with that. The cancer takes off when the STATE decides to pit one group against the other and each dig in their heels and even counterattack. Sure, Venezuela needed the poor to get a better deal – but the solution wasn’t to expropriate businesses willy-nilly and alienate the old guard by placing army cronies in control of everything – including the drug trade!!
Well, starvation stalks the land; one-tenth of the population’s fled; most of the West now don’t recognise the govt: the sh*t has hit the proverbial fan!
Apart from being a cautionary tale; let’s remember Guaidó will also demand our Essequibo!
On the calls for “working class” rights; didn’t Marx say we’ve got to pass through a period of capitalism (to CREATE that working class!!), before we reach the blessed land of the “dictatorship of the proletariat”?