Viewpoint | Dr. Richard Van West-Charles

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– a beacon of light and representative of PNCR progressive politics
Oftentimes when one talks about development what quickly comes to mind is building productive capacity, developing infrastructure and communities, Health care, Education schools and such things. The concept of development is however more broad-based and includes all aspects of the life of an individual and the nation. Development is a holistic approach dealing with varying dimensions of a nation and its people.
The human aspect of development provides opportunities for a better life and for expansion of one’s learning and capacity to function at a higher level within society. Human development enhances the potential of a society. It should not be lost on us that even in this wider sphere of human development there are so many facets which one can examine, ranging from physical to cognitive, social, emotional, moral aspects of development.
In Guyana we are challenged by both the need for infrastructural, communities and other forms of development but equally there is a need for much of these other forms of development especially moral and political development. These latter aspects of development have proven to be much of what holds us back as nation.

It is unfortunate that we are still unwilling to serve all our people, We are lacking the integrity, cognitive, emotional and moral development to properly cope with our differences – the mosaic that make up our country, and the respect and inclusion essential to moving Guyana forward.
In a recent social media programme, Globespan 24×7 Guyana, candidate of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, in a cool, calm display of his political acumen, subjected himself to public scrutiny. This is something that is unique to the PNCR and highlights the progressiveness and the development of this party and its leaders. No other party in the history of Guyana has seen such a demonstration of transparency and had its potential successors face such scrutiny.

Once again, such development places the PNCR in a special and unique category of progressive politics. Dr. Van West-Charles have placed themselves before media that could easily be deemed unfriendly and even hostile. There were no easy questions asked but rising to the occasion proved he is more than capable of addressing all and even appeared in instances to be impressing the moderates who tried but failed to unruffle him.
What was interesting was the genuine surprise on the face of one moderator when he learned that the development of the University of Guyana Medical Program was done under the ministerial leadership of Van West-Charles. The depth of knowledge coming from Dr. Van West-Charles was refreshing. He appeared twice in a short period, and one gets the feeling that despite unsuccessful efforts to score political points, the moderators were secretly impressed.
Van West has demonstrated a commitment in reaching out to all Guyanese, wherever they are and regardless of which political party or predominant ethnic group they belong to. His approach seeks not to exclude anyone from his vision for the PNCR. Richard Van West-Charles came out of those interviews as a beacon of light, knowledge and integrity. He clearly advanced his arguments and facts
What was not refreshing was the comments from the program’s audience. To put it mildly it demonstrated how hateful our politics is, how destructive racial conflicts are and how resistant we should be to political propaganda that undermines the integrity of a society and capitalises on the emotional, moral, cognitive and other forms of human development that are important to forging a nation.
The majority of the listeners were persons who by names are perceived to be mainly of one group and who are People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) supporters. There was a demonstration of irrationality to the extent that one could easily conclude purple in their eyes would be red. It was not just frustrating, it was mostly sad and even a bit disgusting as one wondered, “how in heaven’s name could people demonstrate publicly such an alternate reality without having a prick of their conscience.”

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The PPP/C has denuded many of their supporters of rationality to the extent where they are emotionally and morally compromised and in a state where the party leadership exploits them to nurture hate. The question is how can these minds be liberated? The party could do with some progressive leadership to help their supporters and country to evolve. It is feared, however, though Guyana could benefit from such political growth, the PPP/C may not want it. The leadership seems to find it more advantageous to keep supporters mentally lazy which is proving a threat to social cohesion in our plural society.
Guyanese can see hope in the PNCR, even in its current weakness. Supporters and members can be proud of the foundation laid for progressive politics and inclusion. The campaign of Dr Richard Van West-Charles epitomises that which the party has the potential still to offer: inclusion, artful representation, hope, dignity and progressive. politics.



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