Earlier this month, the PNC gathered at Congress Place to mark their 65th anniversary – but barely a handful showed up. It’s a cryin’ shame. It really symbolises where the party’s at right now – rudderless and totally unable to fire the imagination of its traditional followers. It’s in a crisis…but what exactly IS the crisis? Where do we start?! Right off the bat, Norton, the leader, has clearly lost whatever support he had when he was elected by a majority of the delegates at a special Congress last December.
Their sentiment after Granger gave up his futile squatting on the presidency was exactly that which had prevailed in 2002 when Hoyte passed – a new leader who’d aggressively take on the PPP was needed!! The sanctimonious Granger had wilted under the fire of world leaders as Burnham hadn’t – never mind the times had changed and the leaders were then between a rock and a hard place!! But before departing he’d selected a whole range of newbies to represent the PNC in Parliament so when Norton took over with his own slate of newbies after months of vicious infighting, it was clear all wasn’t well under the fronds of the Palm Tree.
Norton’s dilemma was he couldn’t really stamp his authority as Opposition Leader when the MPs in Parliament weren’t beholden to him and all wanted to burnish their own credentials. While he was in his 60s and had been around the block and then some, he hadn’t acquired the gravitas and respect that had characterised earlier leaders like Burnham and Hoyte. It didn’t help that he’d been ejected by Hoyte as General Secretary and – being his “creature” – could be fired at (his) will! He’d also had run-ins with Corbin, Granger and Volda Lawrence in the PNC leadership corps!!
Like with Corbin, the middle class who installed him felt they needed someone from the streets who could “manners” the PPP and were expecting in-your-face politics from the word go!! But Norton was in a bind – while he came off like a thug, he’s smart enough to know that with the new demographics if he could get some cross-over votes he stood good chance of whupping the PPP at the polls – sooner or later!! So he’s been fighting on several fronts – internally in the PNC, to get control of the machinery, and externally, to simultaneously project “toughness” without scaring away “outsiders”!!
But the scant turnout at the PNC’s anniversary and the lacklustre public meetings indicate that he gotta put up or shut up. Be fish (present an alternative, inclusive vision for all Guyana) or fowl (come out into the streets). The latter is doomed to failure on getting the PNC into office, but the former will take time.
Does he have that??
…man of Europe??
In the estimate of some, Britain’s become the “sick man of Europe”. Ironic Brexit, eh?!! Scotland’s threatening to split and the economy has imploded into a black hole!! Like the US, the Brits are reaping the bitter fruit of using the weapons of mass destruction that back up the financialization of their economies that generate more profits than the real economy!! It’s a house of cards! America might be able to carry on for a few decades more – after all, they still can keep the mirage going since they issue the de facto reserve currency of the world!!Britain doesn’t have that luxury – notwithstanding the position of the City of London in the globalised financial economy. Well, because of its meltdown Britain’s fourth PM in as many months will be the once-rejected (because of his race) Indian-origin (via Africa) Rishi Sunak.
With all his financial legerdemain, your Eyewitness doesn’t think he can bring back the dead!!
…GPSU Credit Union
The aforementioned institution scheduled its court-ordered meeting – to sort out their internal struggle for power – on Divali Day!! Was that because they have no Hindu members whose sensibilities might be offended – or because they sought divine intervention??!