Almost daily I am confronted by sobering developments that alert me as to how Guyana really works; how dirty it is, and how infinitely dirtier many of the people are, be they upstairs or from the streets. Many innocent-looking, pure-sounding, clean-posturing men and women are treacherous to the core, and come up with innovative ways to sabotage and derail efforts aimed at introducing honesty and integrity to life here. Many of the betrayers are businesspeople, many are bureaucrats and professionals and well-placed people, who have one thing in common: no scruples, no honour. These are some of my recent firsthand experiences that follow.
The corrupters and thwarted arrange the delivery of a message through familiar intermediaries: watch John or Mary. They are working against and undermining. Don’t trust them. It so happens that I have every confidence in John or Mary who is upstanding to the core and utterly ethical. This is a rarity in this country, and stands as lonely but powerful testimony, given that so little of these qualities is around. Having seen through the game and where it leads, my response has been simple: today I am approached and warned to watch this or that person, tomorrow the shoe is sure to be on the other foot. Meaning that those targeted today (John or Mary) in this divide and conquer strategy, are next in line to be called up (like me) and cautioned to be on guard against me. That I am now the betrayer and bears watching. Well so said, so done. For this is exactly what has been happening in these very devious but transparent schemes.
There is no intrigue here with the simpletons involved; too juvenile, too pedestrian. Been there, seen them before while travelling repeatedly around the block. The handiwork of the principals engaged in these grotesque machinations is not so invisible: too obvious in a very small space. They might come over to the gullible as saintly; but they are dirty and dangerous and deadly. I must wonder how much money the consciences and souls of the proxies are worth; what is on retainer; what is promised. The frequent sabotaging is now a recognized set piece in the public fictions and clever ploys of politicians and media operators, to specify a couple of involved groups. At least those surrogates are in the open; there is the treacherous variety that rear deformed head behind the scenes in attempts to frighten the weak, to weaken the determined. They are no less insidious.
These sick manipulations confirm a few truths to me: a) since the powerful forces arrayed against cannot compromise or sway, they resort to cheap tricks (they do work in the dark like that profession); b) they seek to divide and overcome by working underground to make the few honest look suspiciously at one another; c) they play any card: the race card, the gender card, the foreign card; d) they will employ the many willing and the venal gullible to do dirty work; and e) they will employ inside couriers to get message across in seeming innocence.
From all of this, I arrive at a simple, immovable place: If the handsomely rewarded norm: colluding, condoning, and facilitating is resisted (un-bribable), then the wrath of the devil(s) is unleashed, through one artifice after another carried out by one agent after another. It could be public servants, the Fourth Estate, or ordinary folks, such as taxi drivers and household helpers, as have been the experiences. When the criticisms, (more like visceral denunciations) come there is the awareness on my part that the right road is journeyed with the right things being done. It tells me that this is interfering with some of the dirty business that plagues this society. If it did not, then no one would be endeavouring publicly or surreptitiously to trip up and trap through the sowing of dissension. After all, it would be business as usual, with everyone happy and wallowing in the dirty money. Past practice and current enticements invite to be as dirty and corrupt as the routines can absorb, which is much: welcome to the party; have a good time; help yourself; and speak up if more (cash) is needed to keep the good ole ways and days rolling along. It is rich. It also stinks.
This is how Guyana has operated for a long time. This is how many of the cunning illegitimate are determined to maintain matters. It transcends race, is beyond dirty politics. It is merely the ways thing have been, and should remain. It is damn the few souls who dare to be different. It is enlightening as to the numbers of people, and types of people, who have been recruited to do dirty work on behalf of one criminal cartel or another in this land. It should not have escaped attention that I have used a single word “dirty” close to half dozen times today. It does not begin to describe or encompass the universe of malignancy and treachery that is prevalent and poisons this land.
Somebody cautioned that sooner than later the backstabbers, knee-cappers, and headhunters will find the fertile ground of receptive ears. My answer is the same: truth and principle always triumph. Let the chips fall. And there is a time and season for everything under the sun. This is a fresh clean time.