Be careful, the APNU/AFC coalition’s trapdoor is wide open

first_imgThen I declared in the dailies some time back that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition 100 days manifesto was a propaganda pamphlet or more so a manipulative rag and that the regime’s 100 days performance in office revealed an inglorious start, the extremists, propagandists and hard core supporters of the regime chastised me with various nauseating labels. For a while, I thought I had crossed the line with my too over-confident, too over-courageous and too over-ambitious analysis of the regime. When I saw, however, the APNU/AFC coalition’s full page advertisements in three of the four local dailies last week, boasting about some of its achievements in recognition of its second anniversary in Government, any iota of doubt I had, was erased.The “presstitute” of propaganda in the dailies brought to the surface a groping desperation aimed at bamboozling the public that the government is in the trenches with them, for their interests while miscalculating or simply ignoring what the average person would think when they come across the rag list of achievements delivered at their doorstep. Such a brouhaha simply does not take into consideration if the public is tumescent with rage and anger at the regime’s dismal and disappointing performance. This is callous governance.This regime has not only mastered the art of propaganda but it is running on a treadmill of propaganda. The regime is working overtime in overdrive to spew propaganda to ensure another term in office. The zeitgeist of change this regime so promised is a pipe dream and mark my words, expect more propaganda this same time next year. This is now the regime’s game plan until 2020.If you have missed what was printed in the dailies, I will provide a snippet since full details of such propaganda print and pitch do not worth repeating here. They will provide fodder for more propaganda. The shibboleth of these grand old men in the coalition, I argue, will be better served everywhere else except in the cockpit of politics. I have nothing against old age but I wish these old men enjoy the ephemeral joys of politics. Some achievements listed by the regime are: “lower electricity rates”, “less blackouts”, “press freedom restored”, “VAT reduced to 14 per cent”, “land rental fees restructured”, the resurfacing of some roads and planting of more lamp posts and lights and so on.I do not expect governments to be self-critical or to take a propaganda selfie. That is a task for the public, and so in that regard, notice nothing was printed on corruption, notice nothing was printed on the mismanagement of taxpayer’s money, notice nothing was printed on releasing of the report on the Commission of Enquiry on Walter Rodney, notice nothing was printed on drug scandal, just to list a few. What is so sad is that the AFC and the Working People’s Alliance have partnered with this kind of propaganda when some in those parties have spent their entire career fighting 28 years of People’s National Congress dictatorship. Desmond Hoyte rigged the 1985 general election.To understand why this regime is so pre-occupied with political flattery, counterfeit charm, I turn to the iconic literary figure, VS Naipaul. He writes:“For the uneducated masses, quick to respond to racial stirring and childishly pleased with destructive gestures, the protest leader will always be a hero. The West Indies will never have a shortage of such leaders, and the danger of mob rule and authoritarianism will never cease to be real. The paternalism of colonial rule will have been replaced by the jungle politics of rewards and revenge, the text-book condition for chaos.”We are approaching 51 years of independence in Guyana this week and we have not moved an inch from Naipaul’s analysis.May I add also what Stanley Milgram has taught us about obedience and loyalty? Six out of 10 people will blindly obey to the end an official-looking authority in their midst. There are a few columnists in the State-run media and tabloids that have maddeningly modified their identity to please the President and some sections of Guyana are pleased to have someone leading them that look like themselves. May I warn that blind loyalty, exaggerated patriotism, unswerving hero-worshipping to your own fuelled by political flattery is a very, very dangerous thing? The regime is capitalising on this, big time.This regime has some good intentions but how to transfer or transport good intentions and intuitions into practical benefits will require more than what I have to offer. I am concerned with the following: How does one transform a political culture where producitively is not rooted in its ability and consciousness? How does one transform a political culture where politicians come first and the citizens come second? How does one transform a political culture when politicians are needed most are missing in action? How does one transform a political culture when politicians take three hours lunch break and do not return to work? How does one transform a political culture when some politicians believe they are above the law? How does one transform a political culture when late night partying is the norm? I do not mean to leave now but I have to go and help my son with his political science homework.(Lomarsh.roopnarine@jsums.edu).last_img

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