Dear Editor,

There are these sharp public clashes over who speaks to truth, and who is a liar.  It is revealing.  Some are so far gone, so long practised in the dark macabre theatre of deception that even if truth were being told, (a personal constitutional impossibility) the inevitable response of listeners would be ridicule and absolute disbelief; it is a record well-earned.  I am at those coordinates involving lies, dammed lies, and the lying liars who tell them.

I remember that saga of a union.  As these things go, they are usually private but bindingly sacrosanct, even when public parties are involved.  Especially when they are; the populace demands it.  In Guyana, a believed normal contractual fait accompli was placed before an unsuspecting nation for a long time.  Intentional falsehood, a calculated deviousness, the likes of which was unprecedented at that level, was foisted upon society.

Well, I heard that that kimono of pretence, which functioned as accepted truth, convenient truth, collapsed to the ankles in naked telling disarray.  Exposure!  Who fooled an entire nation as to authenticity: authenticity of arrangement, authenticity of intention, authenticity of character?  US Immigration, with which many Guyanese have had bruising encounters re marriage fraud, would have had somebody incarcerated.

Editor, here is the starting thrust in this tawdry affair about lies: some things are inviolable; marriage is one.  Anyone who uses that from the inception for whatever shabby reason, other than the sacred nature of the bond, cannot be entrusted with truth.  Thomas Huxley said it better than I ever can: “The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying.”  I go beyond morality and add values, ethics, and standards.

But matters of lying and deceiving did not stop there.  It became a national spectacle, a scurrilous circus, when another shifty Putinesque arrangement became reality at the very top here in Guyana.  In the middle of a smoky political séance, there was this deceptive leadership masquerade, through elevating on stilts and continual falling on face.  Part of that misleading package was the anguish and resentments that came from one reduced to the tyranny of being a public cypher.  Citizens, honest knowing ones, can decide whether that was fact or fiction.  That might have been apropos for the courts of Pope Benedict IX, Henry VIII or the Kremlin, but not here, and certainly not in the 21st century.

In the same vein, what can be said honestly and accurately about the latest fiction (or revisionist fact) of political group decision-making?  Usually, decency and good sense allow for decades to pass before attempts are made to rearrange facts and truths through revisionist history.  Well, they are being revisited and revised now, mere single-digits years later, to position a more human, less monstrous outline.  In three years, this re-engineering of the record becomes part of the local political gospel, when no one is listening or analysing, but voting only.  Emerson did say that an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.  That is certainly applicable to political groupings in Guyana, and never (repeat never) in such sinister fashion.  It has been an ugly diseased shadow that has infected too many for the worse in this place; now that shadow is being painted over.  For all these reasons and more, it is why the word of a Guyanese has no standing in most places.  It is why with rare exceptions, those of us who operate in these mean streets, hear others pontificate about truth and lies and cringe, if not smirk.

The same questions must be asked about whether truth or lies were delivered regarding Clico, Motilall, and much more.  Here is another consideration: it is said show me your company and I will tell you who you are.  I do not think that a regular citizen would pass muster if his cabal exhibited such chronic disregard for the law.

My closing position is this: Guyanese can trust whomsoever they wish; can accept blindly lies now dressed up and peddled as truth.  As for me, if someone is chronically devious in special things, in private things (and public ones, too), and in a continuing pathological obsession with things false and the embrace of such things, then I go my own way.  And I stay there.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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