This is my second instalment in response to a vicious attack on my political activism and analytical commentary by Tacuma Ogunseye (SN, April 11). I begin with just one sample of what Ogunseye wrote about the political ontology of Rupert Roopnaraine. Before I reproduce the item, a word of observation about those who no longer classify themselves as WPA members but feel sentimentally tied to the WPA for the rest of their lives and those who though they never belonged to the WPA of the seventies and eighties, are ideologically affiliated to the WPA.
I have several emails over the past six, seven years from these people writing regrettable things about the politics of Tacuma Ogunseye in relation to activism during the era of the Buxton crime syndrome. There are a number of emails on the degradation of Roopnaraine’s politics. What I find most morbid is that these persons (many of them live outside) in those seven years would have, through the newspapers, heaped all types of scorn on PPP leaders for political and moral failings, but when you think of the egregious mistakes of politicians like Ogunseye and Roopnaraine, they have never talked to those persons directly, much less written a public letter on their behaviour.
Today if an Indian in the PPP or an African in the PNC were to use an inexcusable racist phrase, these very so-called WPA aficionados would go into a rage and demand the parties discipline the erring ones. But they, themselves have been silent on the huge moral failings of the WPA. What Ogunseye did and wrote about Buxton from 2002 to 2006 should have long resulted in his ostracization from the WPA. Ogunseye’s presence in the WPA is a complete denial of anything positive that remains of the WPA.
For all the praise Ogunseye heaps on Roopnarine and his idiotic exclamation that, “Dr Rupert Roopnaraine is and will remain a member of the WPA, for as long as he chooses to do so. End of matter”, is pathetic, immoral, degenerate politics. Long before 2011 with the formation of APNU, Roopnaraine was gone from the WPA. Long before 2011, Roopnaraine refused to appear on the Walter Rodney television programme, ‘Walter Rodney Groundings.’
It was this very Ogunseye who wrote a letter in the newspaper chastising Roopnaraine for not consulting the WPA at executive meetings about governmental policies. It is this same Roopnaraine whom the WPA said took up the Cabinet post without the WPA being consulted on the appointment. It was this same Roopnaraine who tendered his resignation from Cabinet and when he withdrew it the WPA’s official press release said that Roopnaraine did not inform his party about the recanting of the resignation. Is this a person a party embraces and allows him to remain if and when he chooses to?
Now here is a full reproduction of a March 6, 2018 email Ogunseye sent to me. I will warn Ogunseye if he denies it and the WPA, if it supports his dishonesty, that there are computer experts who can check if the mail was authentic and which computer it came from. Here it is: “Hello Freddie,” I just read it and I recalled doing so when it was published. I too was disappointed with the book and was expecting something more political. The observations you made of his politics is correct. I remember persons who knew the “Brother” told us that we will later have problems with the comrade ‒ their point was that his political orientation was not Guyanese or Caribbean but European. He came from the European lift (sic) culturally. I had and still have problems with the Brother politics and his political culture, but the WPA, before Walter (sic) return, and during his activism and after had always seen the anti-dictatorial struggle as a multi-class struggle ‒ this explains our coexistence and objectively was Indian and one of the better element of the elite. There is something I would not say at this time. Tacuma.”
Now what is the something he would not say at the moment? The naked ways in which the WPA, its associates and its friends have decayed have caused Guyana never to take it seriously. The only persons who think the WPA has substance and should be respected are these very people.