Starting over…

…from Ground Zero?
Now that your Eyewitness has gone over Hammie “the thug” Green’s ejaculation at the Burnham Foundation conclave on the Founder Leader’s legacy with a fine-tooth comb, we should know that – as with most ejaculations – it might’ve been uncontrolled!! While it’s in these moments of unguardedness that the unvarnished truth is let out, it is also useful to take note of what the “varnished truth” might look like – since this most likely would be the more palatable articulation that’s considered suitable for public consumption!
At the conclave, the varnished truth was presented by eminent attorney Nigel Hughes, who was the featured speaker. Hughes, of course, has striven mightily for over a decade to rise above the vicious infighting that characterises our politics – as so pungently summarised by Hamilton Green. He’s been in several leadership positions in the AFC over the last decade, but, for whatever reason, has developed a “hold-me loose-me” reputation during that time. He’d resigned as Chairman of the AFC in 2013, and then again in 2018 – the first when he was in a conflict of interest with AFHEP, and the latter with decisions of the coalition he felt were high-handed.
He’s been heavily panned ever since he offered the “33 is not the majority of 65-member House” – even though the coalition had secured power through a 33 to 32 majority, which was reversed by Charrandass’s voting for the PPP in the latter’s NCM.
But aren’t lawyers allowed to try a thing?? Anyhow, in his address, Hughes argued that the political forces in Guyana today have become less polarised – almost approaching the Golden Moment of 1953, when most social and political forces were in alignment, and took a common position against the colonial Brits!! As such, he advised the political leaders that they have an opportunity to start from “ground zero” to move out from the zero-sum game into which they’re presently locked!!
Now, while it’s true that both the PPP and PNC have dumped their leftist postures, just as they differed on exactly where they stood on that continuum (Menshevik or Bolshevik??) they’re faaar from being on all fours in the present neo-liberal dispensation. For instance, the Opposition is pushing for a universal basic income, while the PPP’s sticking to the “rising tide bringing up all ships”. Then there’s their approach to the question of race in our politics. The Opposition has dubbed the PPP courting votes from African Guyanese across the divide as being the new “slave catchers”!! Maybe if the Opposition had a game plan to court Indian Guyanese voters, might they be dubbed “arkatis”??
Anyhow, there’s the question of our political history: can we forget it and risk Santayana’s caution??

…on Republican values?
Now that our Ministries have paraded their floats on Mashramani – supposedly celebrating our attainment of Republican status – your Eyewitness reminds all and sundry about Republican values as opposed to our prior colonial status, where we were natives who had to be tutored into civilised behaviour. So, what are the Republican values we’re supposed to have imbibed over the centuries??
Political scientists and historians have described these central values as liberty and inalienable individual rights; recognizing the sovereignty of the people as the source of all authority in law; rejecting monarchy, aristocracy, and hereditary political power; rule of law, virtue, anti-corruption, and faithfulness in the performance of civic duties. So how do we rate what was depicted on the Mash Floats and music on these qualities?? Well, liberty and inalienable individual right to do whatever we wanted to do with our bodies – and some – was certainly in evidence!! And the way we threw our garbage in the streets, who could doubt we’re the source of all authority??!!

…with defence
If there’s one error we shouldn’t repeat, it is Burnham’s exploitation of Venezuela’s rattling of sabres on our western front to build up our forces – but use them to suppress our people’s aspiration towards Republican liberty.