Eyewitness: Fighting in the clinch…

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

…after PNC nominations

Your Eyewitness is a boxing buff…even with the steady deterioration of the heavyweight division! Tyson Fury? Really? So, he looks at the fight for the PNC leadership playing out – and sees it in terms of a boxing match. And right now, we’re in the “weigh-in stage”. You know…where there’s a lot of trash talking, self-promotion and put-downs. Now don’t get confused that there’s supposedly three persons in the ring –
this isn’t a tag team sport!! This prize fight – and what a prize it is!! – is between Joe Harmon and Aubrey Norton.

Your Eyewitness has been saying this from the beginning and he repeats it now -not to say “I told you so” – but because the fundamentals of the PNC party dynamics haven’t changed since Granger was made leader of the PNC in 2011. Whatever we may say about the PNC, we must appreciate that even though it was founded by a maximum leader, he was doing it at a time when the masses were being mobilised for the first time. They needed to be LED! But it was always a MASS party at its core – with that core dominated by matriarchs from the African Guyanese community.

That Burnham was at its helm for TWENTY-EIGHT years (from 1957 to 1987) was fortuitous since it left a firm institutional memory as to what the party was all about when it came to leadership. And the essence of that relationship was that the leader must be seen as being in command through making strategic decisions for whatever challenges the party was facing at the time. While some claim that Hoyte wasn’t “the grassroots” party type, he was at Burnham’s side after he entered the latter’s law firm since the early sixties. And he knew what was to be done strategically.

So, let’s look at the two contestants in the ring – Harmon and Norton. From all the endorsements he’s received, Norton appears to be an unstoppable force. And mainly because he’s seen as the man of the hour who could CONFRONT and take down a PPP that’s firmly in control. But this was how Corbin was seen when he took over when Hoyte passed away in 2002. But eventually, he himself had to concede that his style and persona failed. He then remade the PNC-as-APNU with a PNC-man-from-the-outside (Granger) who did bring home the bacon!!

Now that the two heavyweights are locked in a clinch, expect a lot of inside fighting. But the winner will be the one who can convince the base that they have the strategy for the times.
And the capacity to execute it!!

…and fighting dirty?

There’ve been some strange goings on from inside the PNC’s camp. And one of the strangest to your Eyewitness was the decision by Volda Lawrence not to contest for the leadership. Even if she didn’t want to do it for herself, she’s let down the (feminine) side by suggesting that – even as women seek to break through glass ceilings – they mightn’t have the necessary fire in their belly! Even tough-as-nails Janet Jagan did this when back in 1999, some felt she wilted under pressure from Desmond Hoyte.

Another anomaly was the endorsement by the two Lindeners who’d been suspended by Granger – Sharma and Kissoon – of Richard Van West-Charles!! Now if they “had a grouse” against Harmon – who might be seen as a stalking horse for Granger – what about their fellow Lindener Norton?? Doesn’t being a “landsman” count anymore? Or is it that a prophet isn’t honoured in his own town?? But Norton did stand by them back in 2011 at the PNC Congress.
O tempora!! O mores!!

…with contributions?

With the AML/CFT law, your Eyewitness does believe that the banks and money-transfer companies are overdoing the “letter of the law” – and ignoring the “spirit”.
Could Norton really launder money or finance terrorists with US$500?