Saturday, November 29, 2008

Was Minister Henry Jeffrey axed or asked?

Was Minister Henry Jeffrey axed or asked?
Kaieteur News, November 27, 2008

Dear Editor,
Whichever one it is, we’ll never know. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
However, the greatest mistake Dr. Henry Jeffrey or anyone for that matter, who works under His Excellency The President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Great Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, can make is to disagree with him.

Hence the reason why certain types of personalities surround him – those with business interest; they have much to gain in such a relationship; those who have evolved under the maxim of the maximum leader, such as many in the PPP who were made and nurtured under former Presidents Jagan and Janet; and lastly, the spineless, but qualified and unqualified “yes men.”

Many would be surprised how much of these proliferate at the various levels of Government as Heads of Corporations, Boards and Agencies, including Cabinet; most, if not all, handpicked are cronies of the Great Leader.

Of the first category it is clear. Primary in the psyche of businessmen is receiving the biggest ‘bang for their buck’ even if it means ‘sleeping with the enemy’.

Wherever the political fortunes, once profits are to be made, business will follow, PPP or PNC notwithstanding.

This in no way implies they have lost their social conscience. Profit never had one. In the context of the Guyanese paradigm, however, being a bull in a political china shop profits no one. Business understands this as an essential element for survival.

Why disrupt the ‘gravy train’ by speaking out on controversial matters inimical to the interest of the maximum leader during his/her tenure in office?

Jerry learnt not to do so the hard way when he openly offered his professional opinion on the suitability of the two helicopters the government bought for the purpose of fighting crime.

He was publicly slapped on the wrist in the most demeaning way by the Great Leader. Hopefully, he learnt an important lesson; authoritarianism and friendship do not mix!

Dr. Yesu Persaud also came in for some blows for expressing his strong professional views. Being of old vintage with all the societal trappings of success, respectability and a political/social voice of conscience, he had to be dealt with extremely harsh.

Why? His achievements and successes along the historical and present paths represent a clear and present danger in the eyes of the maximum leader.

After all, he, the maximum leader, was a political unknown, not even ‘in liquid form’ (I love these words Cyril B) when Mr. Yesu Persaud was waging battle in the political arena.

Dr. Persaud built an economic empire with his vision, acumen and tenacity, despite great odds and a humble beginning. The maximum leader is sitting over the political, economic and social demise of a nation wielding authority with the arrogance of power foreshadowing any humble beginning.

Dr. Yesu Persaud has indelibly etched his name in the annals of the international history book in the Caribbean, Europe and North America.

Maximum leader will be forgotten as soon as he demits office, even though to his doting admirers, he has shown profound leadership in the epic battles of the EPA, the Jagdeo Agriculture Initiative, Carbon Credit, etc, which, when analysed will reveal the political manoeuvre intended for both short and long term objectives.

The EPA has long been a fiasco. Any sane negotiator with a modicum of negotiating ability would understand within the parameters of long term decision making, oversight mechanisms and periodic reviews are absolutely essential.

On agriculture, check former President Burnham’s Agriculture Drive! Carbon Credit? Check former President Clinton’s running mate’s expose’ on climate change. So much for “the Jagdeo Bubble”.

This brings us to the second category: PPP elements made and nurtured by former Presidents Cheddi and Janet.

Already firmly established or institutionalised if you may was the psychological foundation for blind and unquestionable following of the maximum leader.

Democratic Centralism, the core of the decision making mechanism – you have a right to disagree and I have a right to make you disappear, either physically or from the political arena -– through the majority, ensured this.

But which majority may I ask? None other than a combination of hard core unlettered and confused communists cum opportunists who have really lost touch with the Guyanese reality with their new found wealth, educated political opportunists tied to the skirt of Granny Janet, and a sprinkle of solid, qualified and intelligent individuals who genuinely believe their presence in the PPP makes a difference.

When Jagdeo, therefore, out manoeuvred Janet who had already out manoeuvred her unfavoured political successors, he was already on firm authoritarian ground. And with seven years of study in the land of Stalin, what better grounding did he need in authoritarianism!

Recognising the needs of the various competing forces in the PPP, the maximum leader skillfully played on their weaknesses and strength.

His tentacles even smothered the political opposition despite periodic grumblings inside Parliament. I am not at liberty to expose the undermining. Control its head and you subdue a snake.

In one clean sweep, Jagdeo not only undermined the PPP’s general Secretary and Granny,” but also endeared himself with the larger membership country wide, while leaving the opposition squeaking like a mouse.

Economic enticements became the weapon of choice with which he undermined the PPP leadership and decimated his political nemesis, thereby making himself untouchable and unanswerable to anyone; his ultimate ambition as maximum leader.

The last category I have absolute no respect for. I have heard of them grovelling, shivering and too scared to speak to the maximum leader.

Yes, seemingly intelligent and educated men and women who, despite knowing better, stoop to please and would dare not offer ideas contrary to his although their conscience tell them different.

Or are they too playing possum like the others; the businessmen and the politicians.
Obviously Dr. Jeffrey, even if he has been axed or asked seems to stand tall by openly admitting his difference.
R. Cing

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