The most dangerous place in the country

Dear Editor,

A few weeks ago I wrote of how dangerous Guyana as whole has become. Today, I place the spotlight on a particular place that is unquestionably the most dangerous place in this country.

Nobody wants to be the first to say it publicly, so I will do the dirty, thankless job.  At first I felt it would have been certain dark streets and notorious alleyways. Then I thought it would be that high-powered office on Vlissengen Road. While the latter comes very close, it does not house all of the sinister unsavoury characters.

The most dangerous place in this country is right by the marketplace.  It is not the world of touts and toughs trolling territory accompanied by Swiss Army knives or homemade picks.  No, it is not the domain of loose cannon in uniform overflowing with official and politically sanctioned swagger.

Editor, I submit that the most dangerous place in the country is that somewhat rectangular colonial edifice pretending at business under the banner of parliament. The nation has seen time and again that this is not the source of any New Dispensation, only more of the New Disappointment and a New Danger.  Here is why I say so.

It is a place that shelters lawbreakers of the first magnitude; many who conceal heavy secrets and are bent double by private, professional and political perversities. Their guiding principles are ‘What is in it for me?’ And ‘forget about the pickings from yesterday, what can I grab today?’  In any other jurisdiction, many of them would be long-term tenants of the state. But not here in government running(s), narcotics dealing, money washing Guyana.

Here they are gamesmen of the first magnitude.  They grandstand ceaselessly and make further buffoons of themselves while reaching for elusive grand pronouncements and strategies on matters of national import. These men and women hold themselves out as friends, brothers, and stewards – they are anything but.  If deception of this nature was treasonous, the building would be empty and silent; the country less populated.  This land would be much safer.  This dangerous place assumes hilarious proportions when members start bestowing upon themselves – without an iota of shame – the questionable accolade of “great Guyanese.”  One must wonder what is their definition of ‘great?‘  Surely, it must be the greatness of saying much, delivering little, and representing plenty that is unethical, even nefarious?  In the real world of struggle and tangible contributions, longstanding excelling individuals are given a card, a pen, and sometimes a watch.  In this country, these dangerous and questionable individuals hold themselves out as great while oppressing the nation, and stripping it of hope and riches. They build monuments to broadcast their brigandage; they laugh at struggling society. Never have so many helped themselves to so much for so long…  They are over there at the western end of Brickdam having a real good time at our expense.

When I look at parliament, I see not a single cabal, but a band of brothers dedicated to mischief.  It is not exclusive to one group. There is no thought of public service, only the prosperity of self by any means. These men, their propensities and their visions are not good for the safety and salvation of the peoples of this country. They never mean what they say in public; not these stealth instigators and unreconstructed political segregationists. They tell the people that they have their backs, when they have them by another place. Lazy, incompetent, somewhat ignorant, and continuously scheming are their main traits.  Still, all of these incorrigibles see themselves as slick and sophisticated – cute even.  All of them are not this way; there are still a handful of through and through patriots distinctive in things principled and national in sweep and outlook.

Meanwhile, this country is subject to increasing danger because only a mere handful of the mob that jostles for mastery over Guyana has what it takes to be both political and principled.  A great number is structurally incapable of being both at the same time.  It is almost a year later, and things promise to get worse.  Like I said the peril is great, and the kingpins are in parliament by the market square.

Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall


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