On the hustings…

…or the hustlings?
Just before he flew up to Cuba for his medical check-up, caretaker President David Granger tooled over to New Amsterdam in his military-type convoy replete with outriders, ostensibly to declare their “Town Week” open in his role as “Head of State”. But decked out in his PNC-green shirt, shimmying on the stage to Chronixx’s “Here Comes Trouble”, and belting out a speech chock-full of tall promises to a bussed-in, green-clad audience, Granger was anything but “presidential”.
He was more like a used-car salesman trying to convince a customer – on whom he’d unloaded a lemon four and a half years ago – that he was now bringing sugar to make lemonade!! It was nothing but the campaign spiel of a politician pulling out all the stops to ensure that the gravy train he’d been enjoying wouldn’t stop. It’s a heady brew, this presidential gig thing, that’s for sure. As his PNC-predecessor President Hoyte remarked, once you’ve heard that eighteen-gun salute, you’re not much different from that druggie sweating and shaking for a “fix”!
But your Eyewitness has some severe problems with the whole charade of the PNC in Government exploiting their lame-duck statuses to campaign. This is just rubbing salt and pepper into the wounds they carved into our Constitution when they refused to obey its crystal-clear language on resigning after a successful no-confidence vote. Even in normal circumstances, incumbents take care not to make their abuse of State resources too obvious. Not Granger!
The man had the gall to insist that New Amsterdam be locked down as if a new strain of a virus capable of wiping out the rest of Guyana needed to be quarantined! It was clear that the barricades thrown up at the West Coast school to keep away protestors is now going to be a feature at his rallies. The barricades at New Amsterdam extended the military-type cordon for several blocks that virtually paralysed the entire business district. The effect was heightened by the presence of GDF troops patrolling in open-back pickups, all decked out in full battle gear.
Just thinking about the cost of deploying all this manpower just for a campaign speech has convinced your Eyewitness that there is a method behind the seeming madness. As a military man, Granger understands the potency of “massing of the troops” before the enemy. It’s evocative of Burnham’s penchant for having GDF forces marching through “PPP areas” during past elections. Even though he knew he was going rig the elections in the end, he enjoyed rubbing the PPP’s nose in it!
It’s all about intimidation! This is war, baby. A war for control of all that oil money coming down the pike!!

…against the crime background
Your Eyewitness is also convinced the present upsurge in crime is not unrelated to the upcoming elections. He challenges you, dear reader, to cast your mind back to every past election (including the 1992 one). Google them if your memory’s hazy!! And what you’ll find is the identical surge in criminality. As Ian Fleming once pointed out, if something untoward happens once, that’s “happenstance”; twice, it’s “coincidence”. But thrice and more?? That’s “enemy action”, baby!!
It all started just before the 1961 elections, as the PNC pulled out all the stops to prevent a repetition of the previous election of 1957, when they were ignominiously routed. “Choke and rob” moved from being a descriptive verb into a noun as “PPP supporters” were pounced upon when entering Georgetown and relieved of their gold jewellery. Before the 1964 elections arson and ethnic cleansing entered the picture.
By the seventies, “kick-down-the-door” bandits morphed from being an election feature into an all-year-round of terror in “PPP communities”.
Let’s not even talk about the “freedom fighters” of the new millennium elections!

…against Janet Jagan
Janet Jagan would’ve been 99 this year. And let’s not forget how this American-born woman, who gave her life to this country, was hounded out of office after the 1997 elections.
“Wuk pon she” entered the national lingo!!