Home Letters What is our assessment of the Leader of the Opposition?
Aubrey Norton is the elected leader of his party, and, after some wrangling, is now the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. It is now prudent for us to make an assessment of him as he takes up that important position in Parliament.
So, we ask the question: What has he brought to the table? Or, what has he brought to the noble position of leadership? Is he an autocrat? one who insists on complete obedience to him? One who is overtly imperious and domineering? Who is he? Or, does he believe in consensus leadership, or the collective views of the team that he leads? These are some of the questions we are tempted to ask.
In a previous article that I penned, I was very critical of Mr Norton, the reasons being: as a fellow worker at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he exhibited an air of arrogance and repulsion. Norton prided himself on being a clone of Burnham, one who could smother everyone around him with his so-called brilliance.
Well, if I may so say, that might be reluctantly acceptable to his party, but if you put that to a national vote, it would be a far cry from what is expected of a candidate for the position of Opposition Leader, far less from one who might be called upon to lead a nation. No one in this day and age would accept someone of such repugnance to be a national leader.
Now, they say the first impression is all that it takes to assess a leader, and a stark negative example was shown when Miss Volda Lawrence was invited to speak to the press. No sooner had she begun her remarks than Mr Norton rudely stepped in to speak his mind. It was Norton all the way, right down to the very end; his views were all that mattered. So, again I say they might be uneasily comfortable with that kind of behaviour, but I am absolutely sure that autocracy would not be condoned anywhere on a national scale.
Secondly, when you assume the position of an Opposition Leader and begin to whine and complain, it tells everyone that you are bereft of ideas, if not of intelligence. When you can only champion the age-old PNC tactics of race and class, it tells us that you cannot bring anything new to the table, but the old rehashes. In that regard, Norton would have to lift his IQ and begin to think critically. He has to bring fresh ideas, new proposals, or newer courses of action.
It means that rhetoric of divide-and-rule would not gain much traction either; it is either you chart a course of action that would benefit everyone in society, or you simply have to shut up and mope in your own corner.
The point is: whether or not you voluntarily shut up, the people would do a job for you, come the next election.
So, Mr Norton, Guyana is looking forward to team leadership and collective effort in bringing together a country of national unity. It would be pretty difficult to measure up to Team PPP/C, who are light years ahead of you.