Reference is being made to Freddie Kissoon’s letter `Tattered credibility’ (SN 9th June, 2019). Freddie’s response reminds me of the old saying, “Some people love to throw their ‘cuss’ on you.” His deflection can only fool the less objective amongst us. As he continues to write readers are reminded that he is yet to debunk any statement in any of my responses to him. He instead engages in somersaults in the hope that his marbles, which are scattered all over, somehow hit a spot.
There can be no such luck, because the only effect malicious lies and distortions have in the face of rebuttals, is to validate deceit, demonstrate an unconscionable lack of decency, the orchestration of chaos and, in his case, a mind driven to believe it is his role to determine in a free society who is good, bad and indifferent; who should lead and who should not; who one should associate with and who not to associate with. This attempted puppetry of our politics, our activism, our social order, race and ethnic relations, of the University of Guyana ’s industrial environment is what drives him and is the common thread in all of his nasty personality-driven little pieces .
A cursory look at his performance is enough to conclude that his is a poor representation of what he said Antonio Gramsci stands for and can bring out in a human being. I remind him that whereas I said I never studied Gramsci this does not automatically translate, except conveniently in his head, to never having read Gramsci, a clear distinction he cannot differentiate. This Gramscian educated academic makes a statement alluding to those who are, “unfortunate not to have an education,” as though unless one has read/ studied at the level of Gramsci one’s learning is not to be respected and one is not educated.
Another point of correction. He claims I held the position of General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) “for over 25 years without being elected.” When the evidence was presented to him (2nd June, 2019) he is now cowering behind another lie claiming that I was “General Secretary of the TUC over the past 28 years; [I was] acting General Secretary in 1995 [as] the TUC’s representative on the UG Council; [and I] was confirmed in 1999 and acted for more than eight years prior to confirmation.” Freddie is reminded that one does not establish credibility merely by stating dates and sounding knowledgeable, presenting lies as statements of truth. These must be able to withstand scrutiny.
For his and the public’s information the facts are:
1. I was elected and served as President of the GTUC from 1993-1995. In 1995 Joseph H. Pollydore was General Secretary (GS) of the GTUC. I was elected and served as Principal Assistant Secretary (PAS) from 1995-1999. In early 1999 Pollydore resigned as General Secretary and as PAS I assumed the office of GS in an acting capacity until I was elected to serve and at the Congress held in September 1999. These positions were all held consistent with the GTUC’s constitution.
2. Contrary to what Freddie claims when I served on the University of Guyana (UG) Council I was not General Secretary of the GTUC.
3. As it relates to the act of seeking to terminate his services at the UG for representing the rights of the workers, I am not aware of this charge neither was I there or aware of any such meeting.
4. I was at the UG Council meeting where the proposal was made for Kissoon to be terminated due to matters pertaining to performance. Ethical reasons will not permit me to go into further details surrounding the issue. Readers must understand that writing columns in the newspapers are not criteria used to satisfy academic fulfillment.
5. Another correction to Freddie’s lies, the proposal to terminate him did not come from the Council but from the management and it was discussed but not voted on due to my intervention. This intervention argued that due process was not followed on the part of the employer ensuring documentation, warnings and compliance. The matter was withdrawn and never went to a vote.
6. Whilst I represented the GTUC on the Council the issue in question was never brought to the GTUC for discussion nor was a mandate given to represent said issue.
7. In yet another of his nasty little distorted pieces of writing he seeks to misrepresent the process used by the GTUC to appoint its representative to boards and committees.
In my letter of 22nd May 2019 it was said, “English was appointed by the GTUC Central Executive Council. There is a long-held practice of the GTUC that unless one, who is placed to represent the organisation on any board or council, does not express the desire not to continue he or she will continue when a new board or council is constituted. English, like others, is a recipient of this principle. In this specific case of UG, the Ministry of Education solicited from the GTUC, via a telephone call, whether or not English will continue as our nominee. As General Secretary, I responded in the affirmative.” Not only is the GTUC confident about this process, it has been recommended to this nation for the government to take on board to ensure continuity.
As per Freddie, “When the facts are given to readers, Lewis’ betrayal of priceless trade union principles will be on show”. As I await the presentation of “the facts” he is reminded to check his own lawlessness on show. I note one of his collaborators, whose name was mentioned, has written and he is put on notice to anticipate my response. Now Freddie knows I have a right to respond and will do so to place in perspective claims made and debunk those outright distortions.