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Something must be said for longevity in politics. In their book ‘We Shall Not Fail: The Inspiring Leadership of Winston Churchill’ Celia Sandys and Jonathan Littman note that some leaders stay on far too long, outliving their usefulness.
Comments attributed to the venerable Vice President Bharat Jagdeo still reverberate when he spoke on the subject of choosing of PPP leaders which, ‘includes identifying persons who are exhausted and replacing them with those who are vibrant and ready to move the party forward.’ He said, “If you’re spent, there is a place for you but you shift down a bit and allow others to emerge and be new leaders.”
Editor, the theory and practice of this principle seem remote one from the other. We were pleasantly surprised by the announcement that Dr. Roger Luncheon would be returning to the Office of the President. Dr. Luncheon’s response in 2011 to the court when asked about qualified African Guyanese who could serve at the time as ambassadors, he stated callously they were none.
Perhaps, we should not have been surprised, but disappointed. As from all indications the Ali Administration in actions and attitudes is bent on returning the country to pre-2015. We see former Dr. Bheri Ramsarran and Dr. Leslie Ramsammy are back at the Ministry of Health with Dr. Frank Anthony. The nation can judge whether their return has been consequential. We are spellbound by the latest iterations of Pauline Sukai, Jennifer Westford, Ashni Singh, Robeson Benn, Juan Edghill, Kwame McCoy and many others.
There is also Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Government Chief Whip Gail Teixeira. Editor, when the Honorable Minister entered Parliament in 1992 I was thirteen. Now a Member of Parliament myself I look to the MP as a senior elder. The Minister’s government came to the helm of state promising ‘a heavy agenda for the 12th Parliament’. The absence of any agenda period thus far begs the question if the Honorable Member, like her other returning colleagues, still has the stamina needed and up to the job.
With longevity comes experience; we value institutional knowledge, no doubt. Yet a recent Harvard Business Review article is instructive, “Executives are doers; they execute. Knowledge is useless to executives until it has been translated into deeds.” We watch on, fingers crossed.
Sherod Avery Duncan, MP.