… Independence hell
With “Independence Day” coming up tomorrow, maybe it’s time we look at the PNC that was handed our big prize. “Big”, because after being exploited by one European power after another – Dutch, periods of French and then the British – most of us natives not unreasonably thought we’d be enjoying all the goodies that were being scooped off to the “Mother Country”. That’s what “Independence” meant to most people in the BG as British Guiana was called by one and all: enjoying the “good life” the British had lived.
And that’s what PNC followers must be reminded off when – as usual – they’ll carry on about the “Brilliant Burnham” who “led” us to independence! First of all, he didn’t “lead” us to anything save ruination. Let’s face the facts. By the time the 1958 “West Indian Federation” of 10 British colonies collapsed with the withdrawal of Jamaica in 1962, the Brits had already decided to grant independence to the entire lot. Including Guyana, which hadn’t even joined the Federation. How do you “lead” to get something that was handed to you?
What Burnham and the PNC did was to DELAY independence for Guyana. The Brits were gonna grant independence to the party that won the 1961 elections – which the PPP did! In early 1962, the PPP moved a motion in the National Assembly to debate the call for independence which the PNC boycotted. They’d already decided that the new name would be “Guyana” . A competition for a flag was launched and the Golden Arrowhead was chosen. The song “Dear Land of Guyana” was also composed in a similar manner – as was the motto – one people, one nation, one destiny!
If it wasn’t for the PNC’s treachery, Guyana would’ve been independent in the same year as Trinidad and Jamaica – 1962. As it was, the PNC and UF joined up with the CIA to torch Indian Guyanese businesses in central Georgetown on February 16 in what’s now known as “Black Friday”. If Burnham hadn’t gone along with the Brits and Yanks, there would’ve been no choice for them but to grant independence to Jagan’s PPP. And we would’ve been spared the subsequent riots of 1963 and 1964 which rent apart the country.
Those riots descended into virtual ethnic civil war that had repercussions which dominate our lives to this day – the ethnic divisions that erupt into violence whenever the PNC loses political office democratically. This is the “Independence” legacy of Burnham and the PNC! We can only wonder where we would’ve been if it weren’t for the overweening ambitions of Forbes Burnham!
And we don’t have to even mention the economic, social and political destruction in the 26 years following Independence!
…a radical flank in PNC
Some folks are so predictable it wants to make your Eyewitness puke! Ennui isn’t pretty! Take what’s happening in the PNC as realisation dawns that they will be wandering in the wilderness for the next 40 years after their brazen rigging attempt last March. All sorts of fissures that were already there have widened into factions – all trying to “take over” the party. Their claim, of course, isn’t that they want to get back into power to continue enriching themselves from the public coffers, but for the “good of their African Guyanese constituency”!
As if that constituency shared in the unfolding billion-dollar GuyOil scandal, the consummated billion-dollar Durban Park scandal, etc! But back to the infighting. One predictable move is to form a “flank” movement – i.e. to accuse the incumbent leadership of BETRAYING the base by not being “authentic”. So we’re seeing a revival of the Black Nationalist movement from the seventies.
They forget you can’t cash the same cheque twice!!
Looks like our road users are vying with our COVID-19 abusers – the ones who absolutely refuse to observe the social protocols and even to take the vaccines – to have bragging rights on highest number of deaths.
Aren’t these behaviour criminal?