Human history is replete with examples where the behaviour of persons in leadership positions can influence those around them.
The rowdiness witnessed in our Parliament on 2nd November, 2017 was horrible.
Guyanese, just before Independence and after 1992 have seen an unhappy pattern of behaviour by the PPP Leadership.
Someone sought to describe the rowdy behaviour of November 2, 2017 as a mere aberration.
On the contrary that performance was part of a PPP script.
There exist the many examples of the poor lessons offered by the PPP Leadership.
Reading the series “Heist of Guyana.” (Kaieteur News) may be a good beginning.
We share traditions which have helped to secure the integrity of society to ensure a regime of civility and decency.
We must not forget the ‘feral’ blast by the PPP representative at the American Independence celebration function in 2014.
It was not only vulgar but ungracious, towards an Ambassador who hosted Guyanese at the US Independence celebration; it coincided with his farewell event.
That fact seemed to escape the attention of the PPP hierarchy who justified the verbal assault. All those who were present expected an apology from the Leadership of the PPP.
But back to the Institution of the National Assembly and the Parliament.
Therein, we saw the petulance of the Leader of the PPP, Dr. Jagan when he threw Law Books onto the floor and on another occasion, removed the Mace, and later hid it. The Mace is the symbol of authority if not veneration regarded by all who enter the Chambers of a Parliament.
But then how can we forget the PPP’s descent into the gutter when four of its members led by Dr. Jagan made a most vulgar gesture, the type one will expect only from the “uncultured hoi polloi.”
To those who felt that the Parliament behaviour was an aberration be reminded that at the meeting of the National Assembly held on the 28th of May, 1963, the Speaker, Rahman Baccus Gajraj (nominated by the PPP) had to admonish the PPP Leadership.
Speaker Gajraj made a ruling during the debate on a motion which sought to extend the state of emergency. His ruling displeased the PPP side of the House.
I may add this caveat, during the Commission of Inquiry into the 1962 disturbances and the infamous February Black Friday, Dr. Jagan and PPP member, Mr. Jacobs, said that they had received letters threatening their lives and to create trouble in the country. Neither Mr. Jacobs nor Dr. Jagan was able to produce any letter in support of their statement before the COI.
Back to the House, during the abovementioned 40th sitting of the National Assembly the PPP members then in Government showed their displeasure by accosting the Speaker making vulgar gestures.
Offered an opportunity to apologise for what was described as the ‘disgraceful and shameless acts, conduct and behaviour’, the PPP members refused to offer an apology.
The Speaker then identified the following as being guilty of vulgarity in the house.
- Dr. Cheddi Jagan, Premier and Minister of Development and Planning,
- His brother, Derek Jagan, (an Attorney-at-Law)
- Victor Downer, and
- Mohamed Saffee.
As General Secretary of the PNC Party at that time I attended certain sessions of the National Assembly. The behaviour of the above-named PPP members was unforgiveable and unforgettable.
Amidst shouting, reminiscent of that which we heard during the address by the Head of State on the 2nd of November, 2017, Mr. Peter D’Aguiar successfully moved a Motion of ‘No Confidence’ in the Government.
It is my hope and prayer that the PPP Leadership would fathom the seriousness of their actions that day.
The young PPP ‘missionaries’ must demand some lifting of standards from those who now lead and that the PPP members everywhere should condemn this behaviour since it can achieve nothing, except to bring the Party again into disrepute.
President Granger need to be complimented for not being distracted by the constant banging on desks, shouting and display of placards by the PPP members while in the Chambers.
I sat there and marvelled at H.E. David Granger’s tenacity, not once varying from his prepared address.
It demonstrated the stature of our President who seemed invested with the highest order of a stoic.
Let the Nation pray for him so that his work and that of the coalition could be a monument more lasting than bronze and for which our descendants would express their gratitude.
Thank God for Granger who will keep Guyana, Good, Green and Glorious.
Hamilton Green OR, JP