Form vs substance…

…in PNC’s “democracy”
In a parliamentary democracy – even more than the intricate dance – while “it takes two to tango”, both parties must play their part, or they stand in danger of falling flat on their faces. With the dance, there’s only the danger of bruised shins and egos, but in politics, we can have folks actually getting killed and the country plunged into ruination. If you forgot what happened right here in Guyana between 1998 and 2008, just look at the news of what’s going down in Myanmar. It ain’t pretty…and it’s downright bloody.
And this is what’s troubling your Eyewitness about the PNC’s behaviour since 2015. After their decade-long extra-parliamentary onslaught failed (don’t forget Desmond Hoyte said there were “no criminals” in Buxton during the height of the attacks) there was an apparent shift in their modus operandi. Granger took over, promised a “kinder, gentler” PNC, and was able to woo the AFC into an alliance that delivered power.
And the mask was ripped off! Your Eyewitness doesn’t have to repeat the sordid, morbid details this early in the day, does he? And if he does, it means there is no hope for democracy to ever take root in Guyana. For 28 years, the fundamental tenet of democracy – that it is the people who must choose their government – was violated with increasing impunity. Those riggings betrayed not only a contempt for democracy, but for us, the people. They killed one of our best and brightest who raised his voice against their excesses, and yet we saw their supporters support them en masse in 1992, when “free and fair” elections were returned.
And in case anyone thought that was an aberration, the PNC returned again to their rigging ways last year, after five years of betraying all the promises in their Manifesto. As someone said, “Democracy is all about differences, dissent and divergence, and the patience to accept them. It is the art of being able to disagree with dignity.” But with the PNC, their insistence at making a mockery of both the form and substance of democracy leaves the Guyanese nation with little dignity. How will we ever live down the “33 not greater than 32” snub, or the “Sanctimonious Gangster” label?
The clear and present danger lies ahead, from the reaction of PNC followers who fell for the “we wuz robbed” shrieks.
As Rowley said, this will not end well.

…in British Monarchy
So, Prince Phillip passed away at 99. In those years, we discovered, though his attempts at “humour”, his view of us natives. Here’s a sample:
1984: “You are a woman, aren’t you?” In Kenya after accepting a small gift from a local woman.
1986: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” To a group of British students during a royal visit to China.
1994: “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?” To a wealthy islander in the Cayman Islands.
1994: “Yak, yak, yak! Come on, get a move on,” Prince Philip said to the Queen from the deck of the Britannia in Belize, as she was talking to her hosts.
1998: You managed not to get eaten, then?” To a British student who had trekked in Papua, New Guinea, during an official visit.
1999: “Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf.” Speaking to a group of young deaf people in Cardiff who were standing near a steel band.
2002: “Still throwing spears?” Question put to an Australian Aborigine during a visit.
2013: “[Children] go to school because their parents don’t want them in the house.” To Malala Yousafzai who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, and now campaigns for the right of girls to go to school.
Ah, well…he was “royalty”!

…on COVID caution
The Police just went around G’town stores and warned them that they have to install sinks etc. But the vendors outside were left undisturbed.
Have they been determined incapable of transmitting the COVID-19 virus?