Permit me to share, please, two thoughts relative to commentaries that followed the decision of the CCJ on term limits. They tell the story of what really prevails here behind all the rhetoric and postures.
A Barbadian Queen’s Counsel was very frank in his pointed words aimed at part of the local judiciary on its positions in this matter of presidential term limits. I am interpreting his words to mean lack of courage and lack of convictions. Though unsaid, there might also have been an absence of strength, as well as the required breadth of plain commonsense to bring what was a thorny issue to a firm and final conclusion. In my own words, the local courts that presided over this business before it lacked the guts to call things as they were and are. Perhaps other things, particular to the anatomy, were also missing. But that is now history and ought to serve as a nudging call to the local judiciary to snap out of the rut, go against the grain in persuasively principled stands, and to take powerful positions, even in dissent, for something. It is my belief that, from the inception, the local courts fettered itself mentally, and settled emotionally and psychologically into premeditated places, which forced it into safe decision-making; all too safe and non-provocative. It is hoped that, going forward, there will be learning and the willingness to act decisively.
The second thought involved the party whose personal ambitions are now thwarted. I read that he cannot be this or that; I read further that there is insistence and immovably powerful determination to be an integral part of the decision-making for number one. All things considered, he is the only part that matters. What I am certain that I heard is this: since being the king is off-limits; then kingmaker it will have to be. In that man’s book, that might be one and the same thing.
Editor, kingmakers are coldly calculating, formidably influential people. They will not be denied; this one has demonstrated before that, indeed, he is so. They manipulate; they divide and rule; they weed out or recruit the weak; they partner with potentials; and they neutralize the threatening. The man who longed to be king for another decade or so has proven to be extremely good, and extremely successful, at all these randomly selected Machiavellian behaviors. They are second nature to him; that much must be recognized and watched from now, as it does matter as to what unfolds within the party. He has led from behind when it suited, and from the shadows through crafty political games in this young immature republic. Why not again?
It must be remembered in those old and memorable communist party lineups, there were always those stone-faced General Secretaries who conducted the orchestras and called the tunes. Lots of big men danced to those tunes. Lots of tunes have been sounding from the opposition camp; close attention should be paid to who is doing most of the singing. For all intents and purposes that might be a one-man party, third term or no third term. Quite frankly, I do not foresee any difference on the local scene following this decision; maybe ten years from now, but not now.
No great analysis is needed, a thoughtful look indicates that there are no real challengers or strong meaningful aspirants. That is how beaten down some have become, how sewed up that apparatus is currently. As for those names floated around as heirs apparent, which is a fine example of both contingency planning for the CCJ and the local distraction of red herrings, I see them as without significant backbone or brainpower. For those very reasons, they fit the bill and should work out well.
What am I saying in all of this is this: the CCJ has spoken and finalized what provides de jure lustre to the situation; on the other hand, the loser will still be the winner through what will be de facto conditions on the ground, at least in the near and intermediate terms.
The opposition has to have the foresight to purge itself of what has been nightmarish for this country and its own, too. I remember those words from the Cromwellian era, “The king is not England.” In this country, decisions will have to be made as to who is (or is not) Guyana. Then action has to follow.