Carl Greenidge’s brief review in SN of December 15, of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of Countries (ACP), Caricom’s place therein, and particularly the ascension of fellow Guyanese Dr PI Gomes to the position of Secretary-General of the ACP was worth noting (‘ACP Group is again in need of clear political vision’).
It was the tenor of the letter which in fact attracted interest – that is the dispassionate analysis and references as to the historical circumstances attending such an appointment. It is this approach that, from this perspective, has become the feature of Mr Greenidge’s public submissions, orally and in writing. One remarks on this not only for its consistency, but that the approach contrasts so much with the animus which prevalently informs correspondence in the press and other media pronouncements, hollow as the latter usually are.
Too often is the substance of the conversation obfuscated, and not founded on facts that are verifiable. Too often there is the confrontation with the persona, rather than the concentration on the issue – its pros and cons.
So frequent is the repetition of the latter style, that the accustomed reader tends unwittingly to see implied in almost every pronouncement on a contentious subject the messenger not the message, a standpoint which, more often than not, does injustice to valid objective argumentation. In a real sense we have become accustomed to seeing and hearing only what we want to, and in the rush create disconnections between one another, which, on reflection, do not really exist.
There is no argument that the compulsion to disagree is usually wasteful; scarcely does it enhance or progress the real burden of the debate, since it lacks the professionalism which should attend it.
Listening to ourselves carefully, not only can we detect the descent into a sort of schizophrenic state, which on the one hand provides the satisfaction of scoring with low blows, while recognising in the process the creeping depletion of our spirituality.
E B John