…through PNC proxies
It was Burnham, self-proclaimed “founder-leader” of the PNC – Eusi Kwayana, John Carter, Jainarine Singh, JB Latchmansingh et al were presumably chopped liver! – who (in)famously introduced to Guyana the distinction between “causa belli and casus belli”, the CAUSE of a war versus the OCCASION for a war. Of course, Burnham never missed the occasion to “show off” his schoolboy accomplishments, and had to invoke the First Form Latin phrase he’d crammed back in the day!!
But some of his disciples in the present need to be reminded of their Master’s words as they launch their latest war of words (for now) against the PPP. The first salvo was to defend Walton-Desir’s indefensible assertion that Indian-Guyanese are “mentally lazy” to support the PPP versus African-Guyanese who’re mentally adept to pick the PNC! This defence wasn’t framed politically, but viscerally, as a “duty” of African men to defend an African woman who’s being attacked by the mentally lazy PPP bullies. The fella hoped it wouldn’t descend to the level of the days of the Resistance…but left the possibility open. You don’t draw lines when your women are under attack, do you?
A second front was opened up when President Ali issued an “Arrival Day” message to the nation that all arrivals had come “for their betterment”. Well, since he was giving an Arrival message, you’d think he was addressing the indentureds who arrived, wouldn’t you? But in trying to be inclusive in his preamble, he also alluded to African-Guyanese, who of course had involuntarily been brought as chattel slaves. He quickly apologised for his faux pas, but this didn’t cut any ice with the mustered PNC army. Condemnation swiftly followed, with the charge that this was proof that the “mentally lazy” tag wasn’t just a slur.
Well, at this time, it’s a war of words, but, as mentioned above, one warrior had explicitly declared that the troops should be ready to go beyond that if necessary. The fella quoted Gandhi’s dictum, “If there is a choice between cowardice and violence, then I would choose violence”. Never mind that, in the previous war, another of Gandhi’s aphorisms proved to be more apropos: “If we practise an eye for an eye, pretty soon the world will be blind”. Including the ones who gouge out eyes.
But to return to Burnham’s distinction, the complained-of words by the PNC brigade is merely the occasion for the war, the casus belli. They’ve been champing at the bit ever since Granger conceded defeat last August and demitted office. How dare he?! And we arrive at the causa belli – the real REASON for the war: losing office.
But moreso, losing the oil spoils!!
…delayed by no Congress
Diddling with Congress has a long lineage in the PNC. In fact, it goes back to even before there was a PNC, when Burnham was intent of seizing control of the PPP from the leader Jagan! The man actually surreptitiously organised one Congress without even inviting Jagan and the PPP executives, who stood by the party’s rules!! Anyhow, Burnham was forced to eventually concede defeat, and slunk off to form the PNC?
But he never gave up his tactic of fixing Congress Meetings to fix who was in and who was out. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Granger is using the same modus operandi to stave off the challenges to his leadership. The man confessed in Atlanta that he was a member of the PNC since 1965 – who would’ve then attended every Congress since, to swear loyalty to Burnham.
So, as a fella who doesn’t think, but just remembers, don’t hold your breath waiting for Congress.
You might just croak.