…parties in Guyana
One of the founders of ANUG – A New and United Guyana – (to be launched this week) commented in his blog which is reprinted by the Stabber News and then regularly reprinted as a news item (talk about publicity!!): “Political parties are mushrooming, as is the custom when elections are close.” Since we’ve tried and failed to grow “real mushrooms”, maybe it might be more appropriate to say, “political parties are sprouting like ‘jumbie umbrellas’”!!
Our colloquial reference would convey not only the accelerated growth cycle of the fungal life form, but the reason for the phenomenon – it grows on dung!! This, of course, makes it a perfect analogy since there’s nothing that resembles dung more than Guyanese politics!! So, while the statement’s true in general, it’s accentuated when the politics gets dirtier – like now, when the PNC’s back to its old tricks!!
Presently, there are supposed to only be two parties in the National Assembly – APNU/AFC coalition and the PPP. But like one of those Russian Babushka dolls, as you open APNU, you see the PNC staring at you and four other parties supposedly in a “union” with it. But those latter parties, along with the AFC, have lost any sign of individuality, and are an object lesson for “Jumbie Umbrella Parties” (JUPs). They pretty much melt away in the bright light of electoral politics, to become “one-man shows”.
Case in point being the two-man (in its heyday!) National Front Alliance (NFA) with Keith Scott now as the only survivor); the Guyana Action Party (GAP) (with Sydney Allicock) and Justice For All Party (JFAP) with CN Sharma’s son standing in for him. The WPA’s the most long-living, but withered inexorably away with Walter Rodney’s assassination and is having a tough time surviving even in Granger’s “country for old men”! The AFC was “dead meat” on arrival!
So, we look at the new JUPs. Recycled from the “old days”, the United Republican Party (URP) took part in the LGE, but was not even able to garner a single Councillor seat, only its cow-symbol might survive! For the real newbies, first one off the block was the Democratic National Congress (DNC), who took the concept of “one man party” to its literal apotheosis! Manning the head table by his lonesome at the launch, the leader alternatingly asked and then answered his own questions!
Last weekend, over in Berbice, three local (meaning Berbice) lawyers launched the “Federal United Party” (FED-UP), whose manifesto appears to be summed up in its name and acronym! ANUG, composed of some well-meaning middle-class Georgetowners, will launch this weekend, but has already suffered its first defection.
Jumbie umbrellas do tend to be fragile!!

…disrespect to Canada
Oldsters would remember the American comedian Rodney Dangerfield, whose main schtick was to riff on his doleful expression, “I just can’t get no respect!” It does seem that Canada’s the Rodney Dangerfield of international politics! Long seen as a pale imitation of the US – especially by the US which started the “disrespect” – it’s come to a point when even “s*ithole” countries “follow pattern”.
Take the sabre rattling by the PNC Government at the Canadian Government for giving one of its citizens – Charrandas Persaud – protection to fly out of the country – after he was most publicly threatened with death by several MPs of the PNC and AFC IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY!! (“Charrandas you gun dead tonight”!!!) That Charrandas was also a citizen of Guyana is of no consequence to Canada, which accepts MPs and Ministers who are even TRIPLE citizens!!
Just because Guyana doesn’t give a hoot about its citizens abroad, doesn’t mean Canada has to do the same!
Canada has to stop being “Mr Nice Guy”!

…Venezuelan aggression
The PNC should stop fooling around and making our democratic credentials plummet. It’s also encouraging Venezuela to step up its aggression. This time with a “remapping” of their waters in the Atlantic.
The world will back democracies against dictatorial aggression!