When he was alive, Burnham’s vanity knew no bounds. Rodney once quipped that the main reason for the plunge in the educational standards of Guyanese students by the 1970s was because Burnham insisted on having his visage plastered on every single “exercise book”. Could you imagine what it’ll do to children having to stare at the face of the man who caused them to go hungry and barefooted to school day after day??
He once issued a book called “The Burnham Stride”, detailing all the titbits about Burnham that he figured Guyanese just needed to know – like that his favourite colour was purple!! Yup!! You don’t need to be no Freud to see that connection – purple is the colour of royalty!! Yes…just as how Dessalines destroyed the dreams of Tousssant and the Haitian revolution, Burnham destroyed Jagan’s dreams of a truly independent Guyana because he really wanted to become king.
Remember him riding his horse to the Hope Coconut Estate, where senior civil servants – who would’ve looked down at him while he was a student at Queen’s – had to weed grass and clean canals?? And don’t forget him strutting around with the uniform of a two-star general – him who’d never even been a Boy Scout!! The only thing that stopped him from crowning himself was, at the same time, he wanted to pose as a Third World revolutionary, which just didn’t go with monarchies!!
And we know that President’s College was launched when the Board of Queen’s College refused to change the name to pander to his megalomania. Anyhow, his vanity didn’t end with himself – he wanted even his children to be known by future generations – hence, for instance, “Roxanne Burnham Gardens”! Roxanne, of course, was one of his daughters who got married to a doctor Van West-Charles, who promptly was made a Senior Health Minister in his government. He got carried away with his affiliation to the “Kabaka” and was dubbed “Baby Jesus” for his pretentions to walking on water – at which, of course, Burnham claimed to be quite adept!!
Anyhow, your Eyewitness was hurtled on this trip down memory lane because, after decades of silence, Burnham’s daughter Roxanne suddenly surfaced to launch a fierce attack on Mia Mottley for daring to point out the obscenity of Granger and the PNC imitating their founder leader Burnham in the rigging area. Obviously, Roxanne was stirred into action by Mottley’s scornful dismissal of her father’s most famous legacy!!
But what struck your Eyewitness (pun intended) was Roxanne’s reference to the phrase Burnham made famous just before having Rodney assassinated: “Our steel is sharper”!!
Really?? Those who oppose the rigging will have to be assassinated?? Good grief!! From tragedy to farce!
…and the state of the rig
So, we’re now in, what? …117 days since the elections? We need to look at the situation as more like 480 days since the No Confidence Motion, ‘cause that’s the real beginning of this “war of attrition” in which we’re presently mired. But wars of attrition are very messy affairs, not least because, in being dragged out, they affect not just those on the front lines, but even those who see themselves as merely “supporters” behind the lines. Wars of attrition are “total wars”.
And this is the greater danger posed to our country than the nasty power grab by the PNC. That’s doomed to failure you can be sure, but at what cost will come the victory for democracy? For us in Guyana, our war of attrition will inevitably set back race relations for decades.
Your Eyewitness is pretty sure those who might’ve experienced the virtual civil war in the sixties never expected this level of bitterness in the 21st century.
The fulfilment of Burnham’s legacy??
The Caribbean was the raison d’etre for Burnham’s success against Jagan. The latter could never sell his rejection of the Federation – which sealed the departure of the African segment to Burnham’s PNC.
And now the PNC’s cussing Caricom out??