Stabroek News did its credibility a great disservice

Dear Editor,
The Stabroek News Editorial of Saturday 6th July 2024 does journalism a disservice. It engaged in equivocation of the PPP’s policy positions on oil with the direct actions of the AFC’s new leader C.A Nigel Hughes; it is an intellectual waffle that should not go unanswered, so here goes.
The editorial correctly points out some of the areas where Mr. Hughes may have a conflict of interest but it pointedly refrained from calling out his recent verbal dance (no other way to put it) that he did not directly represent Exxon at the CCJ but appeared for its partner oil company Hess, as court matters for Exxon are handled by Senior Counsel Pollard (Hughes was passed over by the Granger Administration for that distinction); worse yet was the Stabroek Editorial’s failure to mention or analyse Hughes’ statement to an online media entity when asked what would happen if he had to choose between ExxonMobil and Guyanese interests
“You seriously couldn’t be asking me to compromise my client’s integrity because the interest of Guyana is at stake because I happen to be the leader of a political party.”
I can never fault a man for being honest and, this may be the most truthful statement ever made by a politician. Still, it certainly disqualifies Hughes as a representative of the Guyanese people and their interests and establishes his credentials as a champion of the oil companies Exxon and Hess. It therefore boggled the mind to see the attempt to equivocate this stance with the policy position with that of the PPP which is to encourage as much exploration and production of oil as possible before the world ceases to need this resource.
In evading the direct naming of C.A. Nigel Hughes as the only politician with direct ties to the oil companies and instead making an unfounded statement “What Guyana and its people desperately need at this point are representatives in the political and other spheres who are free of attachments to the oil industry and, importantly, appear to be so.” Stabroek News did its credibility a great disservice; if it knows of a connection between any PPP politician and the oil companies it must reveal it to the public or do what is required for journalistic integrity and issue an apology; as Balzac said in the 19th century “Evasion is unworthy of us, and is always the intimate of equivocation.” It was true then and it holds the same for today.

Robin Singh