His Excellency’s second term, the Brigadier’s new military

-Trying to understand multiple genders

-We’re now an “other-people” people?

Nostalgia usually refers to (fond) memories of something pleasant; sometimes a yearning for a return to past events and times.

Mixed are my responses to the memories of my participation in the People’s National Congress’ General Council sessions usually held in the huge auditorium “nationalised “ by the party in those days (1970 to 1990?). Both as one-time paid-up Kitty member of the party and as a professional in the ministries of the Information, National Development and /or Public Utilities. Absenting myself from those two-three-day sessions was never an option. The PNC General Council, after all, was the highest decision-making party forum in between the mother of all fora – the Congress.

In passing, I recall Dr Reid keeping senior officials late into Friday/Saturday nights as mosquitoes and sandflies made their life uncomfortable. No complaint ever offered – or entertained. And the Comrade Leader (LFSB) would often retire to his quarters behind the main stage. A few hardy souls in front would then feel a little more free to voice their views. (But Forbes would be listening keenly through his speakers mounted strategically behind the “front”). But party members did get updates and “charges” from Leader, Chairman and General Secretary. Man, for better or for worse, I recall, the hey-day of Cammie, Shahab, Hammie, Dessie, Ptollo, Shirley, Agnes, Joshua et al!

Over this past weekend the PNCR convened a General Council session. Naturally it was presided over by leader, His Excellency the President D A Granger who is also leader of the APNU and the Coalition government.

Now, whether you are a political analyst, a senior student, public servant professional, businessman, farmer, housewife or vendor you must appreciate that at the Ruling Party Conferences the faithful comrades usually endorse the Leader’s and the Party’s programmes which relate to government policies which ultimately affect all citizens of our Republic. That should be your interest – however oblique, whether you “like” Granger and PNCR or not in these PNCR sessions.

Here, after that substantial background, are my two main take-aways from last Saturday’s council.

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Victory and a busy military

Any first term President will tell the nation, especially the electorate, that another term will be necessary to continue and sustain his party’s, his administration’s national development projects and long-term vision. So did the PNCR last Saturday.

His Excellency as PNCR leader re-committed to the grouping named APNU –a partnership of five “parties”  – and vowed to contest local government elections as the country heads to “great times”. Party Chairman Basil Williams – about the highest-paid Cabinet member – rallied the party troops by promising “unimaginable prosperity” for all – to guarantee that prosperity, he advised, “we must win local government elections…. and general and regional elections in 2020”!

Campaign objectives laid out! I say now that the 2020 general elections will be tumultuous.  Okay I always acknowledge that I’m no trained political analyst, no academic, no insider- philosophy knowledgeable, but this I ask you all to remember: The PNCR and what’s left of AFC will not allow the PPP to enjoy any more political 2020 power and the prospect of petro dollars. The PNC especially will hold on to government after 2020 by using any means at its disposal! This year’s local government poll results notwithstanding. (Remember Fenty in 2020 – whether I’m around or not.)

His Excellency is both a military/security strategist and university-trained academic versed in History, journalism, publishing. I’ll soon quote his work as army ideologue from his Green Beret publication and his Africanist writings that I have.

But I’m interested in his current thrust to refashion the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). In the midst of his publicly-declared plans to upgrade his military- GDF to feed itself; Engineer Corps to assist Public Infrastructure Ministry; Information Technology to inform a renewed signal corps, etc. etc. – the Brazilians came to discuss assistance, inclusive of the threatening Venezuelan potential intrusion. Remember now: even People’s Militia Reservists can’t hold our borders. Green House spokesman Harmon has promised to deploy more actual troops.

So be interested citizens. Better yet, be involved. Pioneers – National Cadet Corps – People’s Militia – Community Policing – GDF! Total security! Should we be assured?

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LGBTQ (I?): Assist me

Look, I can make bold to declare that I’ve grown – over my 70-plus years – to be tolerant, (hopefully) understanding and supportive of every group’s legitimate civil and human rights.

So, from my teenaged ignorant years of impatience with and rejection of homosexual persons in Georgetown   – some with the most colorful personalities – I have graduated and matured to be a liberal citizen who can accept people’s right to embrace any gender they choose. No matter what they were born as.

I also acknowledge that gender issues and rights could be complicated – given our more traditional values and the existence of decades-old laws

But for today only I seek assistance. Even as I promise to return to this burning social issue more frequently. The Sunday Chronicle of Sunday February 04, 2018 carried an impressive report of a Guyana participation in the fifth annual Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference in St Lucia recently.

Now I understand that in the abbreviation LGBT “L” is for lesbian, “G” is for gay, “B” is for bi-sexual and “T” is for transgender. Later I’ll seek guidance on the latter two categories of persons. The report mentioned “Q” as being for queer. What’s that? Who’s those? Then there is an “I”. whew! I’m not being facetious here. To understand today’s modern gender choices, I’m searching for definitions. Any assistance as I endeavor to cope?

An “other-people” people?

Caribbean artistes are here to “celebrate“ our Mashramani. They will headline the events. Do our “stars” headline Caribbean concerts?

Our youth like to sound American and Jamaican. Just listen to the ads and promos on radio- stations, do outsiders hustle to sound Guyanese? Our soca songs have no distinctive inputs (since Kwesi Ace).

We copy descriptions and events from Trinidad’s carnival. We celebrate thanksgiving and Halloween. Are we another-people people? Discuss.

Just imagine…

Arrangers now tell me why our calypsoes are stale. I’ll explain soon. And that calypso should have been given to an adult. Not even genuine double- entendre to transmit subtle double meaning.

No mercy from the bandits – pensioners, school children, the blind. Will militarisation help? Or promote.

Thank you Monte Griffith from Pittsburgh. I appreciate your copy about the first (black) Britons. Dark folks with blue eyes! Wow

’Til next week!

(allanafenty@yahoo.com)