Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
I confess to good feelings for the Hon. Prime Minister of Guyana, Mark Phillips. I recognise his heroic efforts to weave magic where there is mysticism and monstrosity, as captured by the caption “Government will continue to build on its ardent policy of inclusion -PM” -KN January 9. On behalf of all Guyanese, I thank the PM for his extraordinary zeal in blowing this parade ground bugle about inclusion, and his government’s devotion to such a noble cause.
But ardent, Mr. Prime Minister? Surely, this is an unintended insult to the intelligence of Guyanese, especially the discarded, those struggling to reach up and touch the bottom of the bottom. It doesn’t get much lower than that grim state. I offer ‘unintended’ for my assessment is that the PM is a fine Guyanese caught up in bad company; his grooming should have warned him, kept him on the straight path, and prevented him from venturing into these treacherous political shoals. He dons his full war bonnet to fight a losing battle over a porous issue that leaves him looking worse for wear. Respectfully, I say that he should have stayed retired, write his memoirs, and publicize his war stories.
But I am more than staggered about this business of “ardent policy of inclusion.” Obviously, the PM and I have vastly different interpretations of what ardent and inclusion mean, both individually and together. In Guyana, and under the PPP Government, the two are in a state of perpetual tension, always on the edge of the slippery precipices. It should be noted that I speak in the language of the barracks, so that the Ret’d Brigadier General and I can be on the same page, arrive at the same conclusions, no matter his public posturing necessitated by circumstances. I take the liberty of suggesting to this defender of the political faith that he consults with scores of EMTs treated cheaply and shabbily, thousands of public servants handled more rancidly and shabbily, and all those communities of a certain kind of people (now strangers to the PM) that have been bypassed and earmarked for exclusion. Just so that the Hon. PM doesn’t get the misimpression that I misspelt or miswrote, I repeat for his edification: earmarked for exclusion. It is a word, that one about exclusion that conjures up all types of ugly images, worse passions. That is, because they are considered PNC bastions and part of the settled enemy camp, because they have to be taught clean and clear lessons about who is in charge, who is calling the shots, and in whose hands, they find themselves.
In case that the PM is not persuaded, I point him southward in the direction of Mocha. It is certain that the PM cannot dig his head into the sand on that one; he may set his feet and grit his teeth, but of his head, he can’t hide at all. Of course, he is given the benefit of the doubt in that he still has a mind of his own, can speak from the heart, regardless whose feathers are ruffled, whose fur is rubbed the wrong way. Indeed, there is a certain dogged and compelling ardency about bulldozers and excavators, but I contend that it is not of inclusion, but the other way. I urge the PM to compare the deliverables in Mocha to the tender care and compassion, the swift reactions, of His Excellency in other situations impacting other communities. I can’t help but to quote this good Guyanese lecturing all of us on the virtues of the PPP Government: “Our policy does not include any form of discrimination in Guyanese society.” In a less politically correct era, a more caustic time, I would have called the PM a practitioner of the lovely art of ingenious innovation, of that which has no basis in reality (and truth), and of that which falls apart at the slightest whiff of air or touch of the fingertips.
I take it hard when I have to disagree with those who have served this country long and well. There is no psychic value in saying their clothes have holes, that the linen is unwashed, and that such is both visible and permeates the air with a powerful pungency. I appreciate that the PM has to earn his political spurs, and prove himself, but not in this way. Instead, he needs to be more ardent in maintaining a certain dignity more becoming of an officer and a gentleman, both of which I am sure he is. Leave the politicking to companions who are using him, and are majestically superior than he ever could be on this issue of inclusion. One, which is both mirage and myth, and which will take a miracle to knit together in some form or season of acceptability.