Cricket, Berbice Bridge, Cowardice

Date Published: 
Kaieteur News
Freddie Kissoon

One of the complaints this columnist receives from all classes within the Guyanese citizenry is that the government does what it wants and there is nothing the opposition wants to do about it. Now mind you; not nothing the opposition can do, but nothing the opposition wants to do.

Last week I did a column on a strange traffic situation. It dealt with the sudden one-way appearance of a two-way street (Peter Rose) at the intersection with Anira Street. I couldn’t understand what was beyond Anira Street to make Peter Rose a one-way.

Two weeks ago, the then Traffic Chief, Bryan Joseph, told me some of these sudden one-way impositions are being reversed. It turned out that the Peter Rose foolishness wasn’t changed. Last week I journeyed back to traffic head office to ascertain why Peter Rose Street when it meets Anira Street becomes a one-way street. It has a new boss, Mr. Denhert.

Mr. Denhert said his secretary was not in and I would have to return. I have since learned from officials at a certain Ministry that it was that Ministry that issued a directive to the police to make that section a one-way because a certain PPP prince lives right at that junction. Anyone can see why people are so critical of the opposition.

Politicians who oppose a government’s excesses have an obligation to do so continuously. So many outrageous things the Guyana Government does and there isn’t even an opposition whisper. In which other part of the world, a ruling politician moves into a house and declares he wants that part of the street be made into a one-way? The population and opposition of this country accept the most depraved type of bullying from centralized power.

It was an ordinary man, not a powerful businessman or a newspaper owner or an opposition politician who took on Minister Frank Anthony over a book controversy involving the State-owned press. The Minister threatened libel, but that will not happen because the Minister knows the court sessions will turn into a boiling room for him with this columnist being happy to testify.

As we are on the matter of libel, let me inform the people of this country that when Bharrat Jagdeo’s libel suit against me resumes on March 4, this columnist will be one in a long line of defence witnesses that stretches from the Kingston jetty to Moleson Creek.

The opposition and the people of Guyana continue to accept never-ending indignities of centralized power thrown in their faces with every passing minute of every day. With a plethora of lawyers residing inside the fortress of both opposition parties, this country sees no energetic use of the court to help the poor and powerless.

The most egregious example is the Berbice Bridge versus the minibus. The very government that imposed a horribly high toll on Berbicians to cross the bridge, uses coercion to stop the minibuses from increasing their fare. The bus-owners cannot get twenty dollars more.

Cricket has made us the fools of the Caribbean (which we may have been for a long time now.) The Guyana Government has bullied its way into having an IMC control the administration of cricket when no legal basis exists for such action. Every compromise by CARICOM was rejected and for one reason only – a government that faces no opposition does not have to submit to compromises.

The executives of the Cricket Board may not be without their sins, but why should a country allow a government to do what it wants, anyhow it wants, and anytime it wants even though the opposition has a stronger electoral mandate than the ruling party?

A cricket Bill is in Parliament awaiting approval and the AFC and APNU should strip that Bill with a machete to ensure that political administrators have no future role in cricket administration in Guyana.

This columnist is predicting a budget that will exclude the essential requests of the AFC and APNU. And this is because psychology will be at work, not political realities. The PPP as a ruling party is convinced at the psychological level that it is invincible and cannot be weakened. That kind of mental impregnability emerged because of the endemic cowardice of this nation.

The PPP will put forward a budget of its own making because at the psychological level, it believes that it is a force that cannot be defeated. It is called the Hitlerite syndrome. So permeated with mental invincibility because he got his way all the time, Hitler couldn’t see that Germany was losing the war. Cowardice in Guyana has made the PPP into an unbeatable army.