Before the long-pants louts from the slums stormed the Bastille and lopped off Louis XIV’s head, he’d actually egged them on by announcing – of course in French! – “I am the state” (L’etat c’est moi’). Meaning that all the power of the state was represented in his person.
After that, even though folks defined democracy as “rule of the people” through their representatives, they conceded that the state is absolutely necessary to ensure life didn’t revert to its “short, nasty and brutish” condition if the organs don’t function.
And this brings us to President Ali’s appointment of Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken to act as the Commissioner of Police – COP. The PNC – in the form of its new leader Aubrey Norton, who was selected to play “big and bad” against the PPP Government – is insisting that the action is unconstitutional. But he’s going to the courts, rather than into the streets!! Ooooh, THAT’s macho!! He would’ve been better advised to take Granger to court, so he could enter Parliament!!
So, let’s look at the Constitution that Norton’s idiosyncratically interpreting – like Granger!! This simply states that the President can appoint a new COP after he merely “consults” – NOT for their approval – with the Leader of the Opposition and the Police Service Commission. So, what happens if neither of these bodies are in existence for the President to consult? The Police, after all, are one of the most critical institutions of the state in satisfying its foundational role of protecting the people. Should he twiddle his thumbs while the Opposition – which has prevented those two institutions from being constituted? – sorts out its contradictions??
The State must remain immanent!! There’s even a constitutional doctrine to support President Ali’s decision – the doctrine of “necessity”. A President’s gotta do what a President’s gotta do to protect the State, so as to protect the people. Simple as that!! But Norton’s resort to the courts reminds us that there are innumerable precedents for Pres Ali’s action. Just in recent history with the Disciplined Forces, didn’t Burnham pip a dozen senior officers to appoint Granger as head of the Army to deal with Rodney’s infiltration?? And didn’t Hoyte pip him with Joe Singh in 1990??
But, more pertinently, didn’t Granger play musical chairs with Hicken himself when he bypassed Ramnarine as Chief COP after Seelall Persaud was squeezed out? What was that “Assassination COI” but a mechanism to purge the Police top brass for his man James?? Wasn’t the man the PNC now wants promoted – Paul Williams – pushed ahead of his superior Hicken?? So, isn’t it mealy-mouthed and disingenuous to now argue about Police “hierarchy”??
Your Eyewitness now expects Hicken to prove his critics wrong and clean up the GPF!!
…quiet on Granger??>
Your Eyewitness wants to know why Norton’s so quiet on the Granger front. Does the latter – like that sly COP of yore, Laurie Lewis (who had a file on everyone) – have something on him? Look at it this way. Norton had drawn the PNC base like a magnet with iron filings at the leadership elections! He’d whupped Granger’s place holder Harmon so bad he forced the man to do a Duran and quit while crying “no mas, no mas!!”
All that stands between him and the role of the Leader of the Opposition is Granger. This is the platform that might finally earn him the respect that’s eluded him ever since Hoyte dubbed him a “creature”! But he’s been handling the Sanctimonious Gangster with kid gloves!! This is sadly making him to lose even more respect!! He’s gotta take a leaf from Hoyte, who recreated the entire PNC in his image after 1985.
Granger’s ain’t going quietly into the night! Gotta cut it off!!
…eyes on the prize
Your Eyewitness believes independence will have to be fashioned by us in the here and now. We finally have the funds to liberate us from handouts.
We may stoop to conquer, but conquer we must!