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Talking Parrots will leave you speechless. It is funny and cute how they mimic human repetition of words and phrases, albeit, sometimes foul-mouthed. Regardless of their amazing linguistic prowess, there is nothing which they can say or do which could result in a prosecution. Unless, of course, if a maxim leader so decides as a matter of political expediency.
You can argue with this proposition, you may scoff at this ornithological metaphor which seeks to illustrate the extremes of which political leaders can go to prosecute their political adversaries. You may stomp in revulsion from a moral vantage point but realpolitik so suggests. It is not only a phenomenon which is restricted to undemocratic regimes, it is a regrettable state of affairs that appears in all systems of government. While there might not be a solid case from a legal standpoint, the aim is always to ensure that by the time you get to a verdict, enough political injury would have been inflicted. This sordid practice has occurred across all governments in Guyana since independence.
THE STATE, THE POLITICAL BATTLE
There is probably a key reason why heaven and hell is raised in the pursuit to capture the state apparatus. If viewed through the prism of Machiavellian interpretations, perhaps the frenzy that surrounds political battles is due mostly in part to the fear of the abuse of the investigatory arms of the state by political challengers to exact revenge. As such, those who operate in such orbits have to accept that once you find yourself outside of the walls of power as a former high ranking official, get your bail money ready, they are coming for you. There are those may say: ‘do nothing, fear nothing’. Sadly, it is not so simple in the realm of politics.
Once the mechanisms exist, this is always at the mercy of the nature of men and women who hold tutelage over the state. It is for this reason, the Founding Fathers ensured the American governance system places trust in systems and not the nature of humans. If mindsets consistent with values of some moral moorings are at the helm, there is a good chance of goodwill across the political divide. If it Stalinists, woe is he who stands outside the halls of power.
THE STATE AND INVESTIGATIONS
Having just referenced Joseph Vissarionovich aka Stalin, it is quite fitting proceed along the following trajectory. The investigative arms of the state in most developing societies just shy of being banana republics are essentially at the whims, fancies and caprices of the political directorate. To ably illustrate, I draw your attention to one of my favorite books, ‘The Court of the Red Tsar’ by Simon Montefiore where a conversation between Stalin and Morinov perfectly captures the subject at hand: You think Kamenev may not confess?” Stalin asked Mironov, one of Yogoda’s Chekists. “I don’t know”, replied Mironov “You don’t know?” said Stalin. “Do you know how much our State weighs with all the factories, machines, the army with all the armaments and the navy?” Mironov thought he was joking but Stalin was not smiling, “Think it over and tell me?” Stalin kept staring at him.
“Nobody can know that, Joseph Vissarionovich; it is the realm of astronomical figures.”
“Well, and can one man withstand the pressure of that astronomical weight?”
‘No” replied Mironov “Well then…Don’t come to report to me until you have in this briefcase, the confession of Kamenev”.
(Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar) Pg. 190
Considering all that I have said, the administration of justice in any give society must be in the hands of professionals who are protected by legislation. What happens when there is no evidence to tie your political opponent to a crime? What if your targeted political opponent was not even within miles of a crime scene? In such circumstance, vindictive leaders instruct employees of the state to tumble every drawer and search every piece of official paper to find something that will stick. Security forces are instructed to tail opponents, search bank activities, conduct searches at homes and seek out every nook and cranny to deliver political justice. Hence, the seemingly facetious caption above but yet very real and serious. Independent courts stand as important referees for this blood sport.
In the absence of clear systems and safeguards, the state can indict a Parrot if the political will exists.