Everything is about political relevance

Dear Editor,

Mr Sherman Thompson seem to have missed the point I was making in my letter, ‘The PNC stands to benefit…’ (July 30). His recent assertion that the “PNC stands to benefit by having Mr Solomon at its strategic level” is exactly my point.

Please understand that I think that Mr Solomon is the coolest breath of fresh air to come out of Linden in quite a while. I have high respect for him but cannot help thinking that he may have made the wrong move with respect to how he can help with the social and economic development of Linden and Region 10.

Mr Thompson noted, “Isn’t this the same man who, it was reported, had threatened to march should the APNU act against the interests of the people who voted green in the first place? Words which can be construed as blatant antagonism to the very ‘party’ of which he is a part?

The fact is that Mr. Solomon has always represented himself as a man of the people and for the people. I doubt very much that any of that will change.”

I hope that Mr Thompson is right and Mr Solomon can indeed turn the tide that has been affecting Linden since 1964. I have communicated with him in the past and would certainly like to work with him in the future in respect with development of the region. But my concern is not about Mr Solomon. It is as I said in my previous brief, Mr Solomon may have been confined to a straitjacket in a smart political play.

Look, when Mr Solomon was making his stand for Linden the ‘party’ stood back and left him out there to dry. While he was negotiating with government outside the auspices of the ‘party’ no technical assistance was given to him from the ‘party.’  He was considered, in my view, as stepping off the plantation. Now that he appears helpless as negotiations with government seem to be fizzling out there is this kind of attitude, “I told you so. Come home to Papa.”

Again, I have good reason for feeling this way. Being the son of staunch members of the ‘party’ and myself a previous member of the YSM, I’ve done my share and seen a lot. I was involved in clearing land for the Vryheid’s Lust soldiers’ scheme and the Sophia Convention Centre in the seventies. I must tell you that everything is about political relevance. I cannot point to one instance where the politicking is put aside for a minute and attention paid to the needs of the people represented.

For instance, Region 10 has been the stronghold of the ‘party’ even before 1964 and still is up to this day. After 28 years in the driver’s seat, look around Linden and the region. Ask the question, why is it on a constant slide downwards? At least there should have been an all weather road to Kwakwani. How can you explain Ituni being crushed into the dust?

When 1992 came the government did all they could to swing their political fortunes in the region. They wanted to turn around the trajectory of the region and capture political bragging points, but they were resisted. There were cases where allocation for developmental works were returned to the treasury unutilised. People will make all kinds of frivolous excuses but it is my number one feeling that is was, and still is that the development of Linden must be stymied to establish the narrative that government or a specific party does not care.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a strategy unique to the ‘party.’ Both sides are guilty of this throughout our political history. The PNC were not allowed bragging rights in PPP strongholds. Development works in some regions were also stymied for the same reason in the past. It is a ludicrous turf war in play out there, much to the detriment of the ordinary people. I have never heard any praise for the logging concessions given to the communities in Region 10. I am yet to see attempts of the ‘party’ to match investors to financially starved logging associations. How can I be hopeful?

Mr Solomon could not be allowed to win without affiliation. Who cares about the actual people of the region? It just proves the heartless nature of politics. Let’s hope that Mr Sharma really has some soul. Let’s hope he can convert the heartless who have allowed Linden to burn. Let’s hope that the promise Mr Solomon showed will present him the opportunity to “use his position at Central Executive to further advance the cause of Region 10.”


Yours faithfully,
F Skinner 

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