Gecom chairmanship announcement blew everything else out of the water

Dear Editor,

My first reaction was: James who?  Then followed thoughts of going it alone and deciding unilaterally.  There can only be serious disagreement with and grave implications from what has unfolded.  The debates were already at full throttle for a while now.  I anticipate thick escalating grimness from here on forward; the divisions, passions, and tensions can only intensify, and achieve more heated degrees of rawness.  In all of this, I thought I detected something else in my early Friday morning readings.  I hope that I am not reading too much in the political and media tea leaves.

There were two news releases coming within a short span of time on Thursday; they were almost on the heels of each other.  Before the populace could absorb and digest one, there was the other, and in the face, too.  In the grand never-level scheme of things Guyanese I ponder if there are not nexuses, appeals, and messages embedded in both announcements, which from my perspective are not unrelated.

For starters, the chairmanship of Gecom announcement blew everything else out of the water.  There is so much wrong with that, and with which I disagree.  I submit that the President could have done much better.  However twisted and turned (examined and critiqued), this flies in the face of good political sense, and any horse sense.  I believe that the President erred in his thinking (whatever that may be), his methodology, his approach, and his result.  I believe that he anticipates a certain level of fallout; I think that this can become unmanageable, visions notwithstanding.

Additionally, for anyone in this country (repeated for emphasis: anyone) to say that he or she is apolitical, however that is defined, is an exercise in dissembling, the practice of cleverness, and a posture laced with misrepresentation and open to ongoing dismissal.  In time, the harsh, immovable, insurmountable electoral realities of this society will compel the emotional to blend (somehow) with the statistical; perhaps to rebuild it.  Read my lips: circumstances prompt the cerebral and the clinical to give way and be overrun by the tendrils of history, of culture, and of private leanings at the perhaps still undiscovered core.  The tendrils can be heavy and irresistible.

Editor, let me absolutely clear: to incur the liability of the self-serving, I consider myself to belong rightly among the best anywhere in terms of fairness and honour.  And yet I would have extremely serious conflicts with a return to power of what has devastated this nation, and to which elements I have been privy in a minuscule way.  Thus the disembodiment and unreality of apolitical claims by anyone, including the best, must be subject to hard confrontation.  In the crucible of counting, apolitical loses some lustre, some traction, and some of its psychological sincerity.

That aside, the second associated media moment on Thursday involved public servants’ pay raise, some fourteen thousand strong I understand, and with more to be impacted in associated entities.  That is a solid number, and representative of a significant voting bloc, a traditional one with seasoned linkages to the current administration.  I am asking myself if this is the first money sortie in an electoral paying for playing (as in voting) gambit.  In other words, there is interest and caring, and there is this much-needed currency handshake on the one side.  It could be a percentage of things floating in the mind and that could come.  The government (and party) has done its part, the call therefore is for delivery in 2020 on the other, and leave the chairmanship selection controversy alone.  Better yet, take a stand for it, now that the wheels have been greased.

All things considered, I think that the proximity of the two announcements was not accidental, but rather well-thought out.  One was intended to minimize the blow of the other; to distract to some extent, a red herring in green camouflage, and in more ways than one.  I recognize a slight sleight of hand in all of this.  After all, public servants were/are a part of the cacophony of concerns reaching the roof.  They are reminded as to who has got their backs.  For some, it will not be nearly enough in dollars and cents; but it makes for good political sense. This is a classic example of two hands clapping in unison, or hopes in that direction.

As a quick aside, I must commend the President for taking the high ground during that Gecom announcement.  I fully agree with him when he spoke pointedly of “trustworthiness” and his refusal to descend to the “gutter” in response to comments from one of his predecessors.  That was the sole bright spot in the darkening twilight of a sure-to-be troubling evening.

Now I wait and watch for the storms brewing to break; this country has some manmade disasters in the making.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall