Gov’t always on the defensive

Dear Editor,

This is a response to a query from Brother Tacuma Ogunseye (Stabroek News, November 16, 2017) about a reference to him in my column in the November 12, 2017 edition of the Guyana Chronicle. I made the point that had the Coalition countered or preempted the PPP’s narrative about the selection of the GECOM chair with one of its own, the debate would have been less one-sided. I then repeated an old criticism that the Coalition and its government tend to rely on Public Relations rather than Political Narratives—public relations never win people over to political positions.

Finally, I wondered where were the likes of Aubrey Norton, Gary Best and Tacuma Ogunseye before the President made his decision? When I read the brilliant interventions by Gary Best and Aubrey Norton on the GECOM matter and listened to Brother Tacuma on Walter Rodney Groundings, I wondered why the Coalition has not yet assembled its political brains in a structured manner to counter the PPP’s narratives. The point I am making is that the Coalition has within its ranks people like the three brothers I identified and others who know the issues, understand politics and political polemics and could contend with the PPP’s propaganda any day.

Why the APNU, the WPA, the AFC and the PNC are not out there every week sensibly standing up to Jagdeo in the media? They have all become media-shy and this failure allows Jagdeo and the PPP to control the weekly news cycle and determine the content and tenor of the general political debate and discourse. The government is always on the defensive, always responding rather than dictating the debate. It is downright stupid and will cost them dearly in the long run.

Let me end with this—there is a reason why Jagdeo cusses out Eric Phillips, Lincoln Lewis, Freddie Kissoon and one or two others every opportunity he gets. Those persons hit the PPP where it hurts. They don’t do PR; they give them the real thing. But they are not government spokespersons.

Yours faithfully,

David Hinds

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