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The gang style political battle of colours should not cause desecration of national symbols and official government portraits. The official pictures of Ministers of the Government and Members of Parliament (MPs), with the Guyana flag in the backdrop, raises questions as to the apparent variations in colour of the Golden Arrowhead, the dimensions of each colour, and what appears to be staging of the natural drop of the flag behind some persons to show only or mainly certain colours.
There is a clear political battle of national colours and it is becoming more visible as the People’s Progressive Part/Civic (PPP/C) takes on a garrison style form of governance. With garrison politics, as with gangs, colours are the symbols supporters rally around and protect. Communities
are identified as garrisons where these largely represent one colour and may often find themselves in conflict with other garrisons.
In our region, Jamaica is known for its garrisons where communities identifying with a particular party are better served than others not identifying. The numerical strength of those in the particular community is used to force compliance of others in the community and politicians secure votes through bribery, coercive means, intimidation, both implicit and explicit. Lawlessness is the progenitor of garrison politics, and whilst the political front may not be visible, they often partner with other societal predators to take advantage of the social decay for political means.
The recent declaration of Vice President Jagdeo of $250,000 cash transfer to former cane cutters, the inequity in the distribution of COVID-19 and flood relief measures, the treatment meted out to protestors who are supporters of the PPP/C as against those who support the Coalition (A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change), the treatment of the Guyana Sugar Corporation workers as against public servants, teachers and workers in bauxite communities, are signs of a government that is not prepared to govern in the interest of all and who don’t give a hoot how bad they look.
There is further evidence of this in their refusal to engage the Leader of the Opposition and to conduct the business of governance in accordance with the Constitution as they were installed to do. Their refusal to govern in the interest of all Guyanese should probably not be a surprise given the PPP/C’s record of governance and particularly that of its Vice President who is seen as the de-facto President.
Parliament represents our highest decision-making forum. Our government and Ministers of each government are expected to be guardians of our collective heritage of which our national symbols are an integral part. Whether overt or covertly done, efforts to undermine, or alter in any way our national symbols or misrepresent them are sacrilegious. The confounded nonsense must stop.
If an official backdrop is created for the pictures of MPs and government officials to be taken is set, then this should not be altered conveniently and particularly to show more of one colour of the Guyana flag. We get it that each political party may use specific colours of the flag as they see fit. However, when these five colours combine to be used officially, or when the flag is used officially then our common national interest must prevail.
The official picture of Minister Priya Manickchand appears to be in front of a PPP/C flag. The drop of the national flag behind her seems manipulated to depict the red, black and gold of the PPP/C. What is happening to us in Guyana that we cannot separate party politics from our country’s interests? No one is fooled by the message this picture sends. Hers’ just so happen to be the worst portrayal of what an official portrait of any Guyanese MP and government Minister should represent.
It is a clear indication of intended bias and partisanship, an effort to highlight what and who she represents and it’s not the people of Guyana but the colours she highlights. This Minister from past behaviours is known for her rabid politics and ‘don’t give a damn nature’ when it comes to public decorum and upholding the dignity and integrity of the office she holds.
The current official pictures highlight the constant, disgusting, divisiveness of our local politics and the ongoing partisan efforts even in circumstances where such is not deemed necessary. This lawlessness must stop, and better sense must take over before these bad practices become intractable. It is a sad day for Guyana in this continuing saga and battle of colours