In the late 1970’s a close PPP/PYO comrade and I used to regularly visit parliament to listen to Forbes Burnham, Cheddi Jagan, and off course, the witty Boysie Ramkarran. On Wednesday 03-21-12, I returned to the public gallery of parliament for the first time since 1979. It was a totally different environment from the 1970’s.
Firstly I saw my former PPP/PYO pal. In 1992 when the PPP took over the reins of Government from the PNC he had proposed to the party that all the “PNC government 4×4 vehicles” be sold and be replaced with small fuel efficient Lada cars from Russia. Today my former buddy is a Government Minister and a PPP front bencher. He came to parliament with the largest luxury SUV! And the biggest Stalin moustache too!!
In the 1970’s only the Government ministers, and maybe three PPP MPs had cars. Today many MPs have not just cars but huge SUVs. The PNC MPs have as many SUVs as the PPP MPs. Off course in the 1970’s most, if not all, the PPP MPs worked at Freedom House, GAWU, or Mirror Newspaper and they had to donate half their parliamentary salaries to the PPP. In contrast the PNC MPs today are all educated and independently employed and they do not have to give away half their pay cheques.
But I think the PPP MPs were much, much hungrier for power in the 1970’s than the PNC MPs of today.
Secondly, being privy to the wit of the PPP’s Boysie Ramkarran in the 1970’s, I was appalled by the rum shop heckling of another PPP/PYO comrade of mine from Coghlan Dam, West Bank of Demerara. But then that was how he always operated in the PPP. He could not write one sentence at the Mirror Newspaper nor could he ever do a presentation in English. However he was one of Janet Jagan’s “blue eye party children” so he made it to parliament where he continues to display his lack of intellect.
Thirdly I was shocked to see the police prevent a small group of APNU supporters from engaging in a peaceful protest outside parliament. They were herded and kept in a small enclosure on the property of Demico House. What a shame on the PPP. I remember quite well in the worst days of “PNC Dictatorship” in the 1970’s we in the PPP/PYO were never prevented from protesting outside parliament. I even remember when Odai Paul Singh chained himself to the gates of parliament in protest against the PNC. Today the PPP regime is preventing APNU supporters from replicating our peaceful protest actions of the 1970’s.