I would not like to be in Norton’s position, no never, I am speaking from the standpoint of him receiving such negative reviews coming from within his own party, then, it begs the question, “Are we seeing the end of Norton”? With such mounting pressure from within his own fold, he is in pretty bad shape, to say the least, although he persists, hoping somehow, somewhere to reach the nirvana place of leadership which sadly eludes him.
But let us do a brief check into his past and one would have thought that this guy was the new rising star to lead the party to victory and maybe respectability. I am talking about him being born into a PNC Family and coming up through the ranks of The Young Socialist Movement, being educated at our premier institution, and the whole nine yards, Norton was destined for greatness. Further to his accolades, he is a prototype of Burnham, “The Kabaka, so what hinders him from being great.” This is the burning question that haunts him and the wider Guyanese Public.
Seeing he is nowhere close to being a star, we then would look at the factors that militated against him. In real terms nobody wanted him in leadership, Burnham, his mentor and demigod, never kept him close by, and neither did Hoyte, in Corbin’s case, he banished him into the wilderness, so whither would Norton go, that is the question.
In Granger’s scheme of things, Norton was again met with a brick wall when he was rebuffed at every turn. There was gunplay and massive rigging of the party’s election as Granger came out the supposedly chosen one Norton. After Granger’s demise at the polls, the name Norton resurfaced, this time with strength, because there was nowhere else to turn to. But wait, at his election all the bigwigs suddenly resigned their positions, thereby showing great disdain for his leadership.
So, The PNC was left as it were with the dregs of the party, ever since. Norton’s accession to leadership was the testing point of his leadership style and demeanour. He ruled with an iron hand, just as his elders had predicted, he got rid of many stalwarts who had stood with the party and brought in other undesirables or people he could control. Others defected on their own accord. Norton’s autocratic, heavy-handed approach to leadership would see a further erosion of fortunes for him as well as his party.
The Local Government Elections gave fair evidence of this when top members of his party crossed the floor, the bottom line, Norton’s despicable Leadership style was taking his party down a path of no return. He would not want to admit it, but instead of looking introspectively, he made a number of foolish mistakes, by going on a “cuss out” rampage on the defectors. He referred to them by every vile name he could find in the book.
What Norton fails to realize is that tenement yard politics would not help him, rather, it hurts him, because here his people see him as a brawler who would resort to the gutter when it suits his fancies. Such a lowdown political posture in an enlightened modern society will not work!
So, is this the reason why he keeps postponing party congresses? I am of the firm belief it is; Norton is terrified to face the collective opinion of his own party comrades, and here is where the rubber hits the road. He keeps postponing his own party’s congress for fear of what might happen to him. As long as the election is free and fair Norton will be toast. Already there is a bounty on his head in the diaspora as a No-confidence vote hangs over his head. Norman Browne is not letting up in his campaign either.
On the local scene, his party elders are just waiting patiently for him to fall. So, with such mounting pressure from within and within, Norton is in a sorry state. Not forgetting there will be further defections before or after the party congress. I predict two top knobs who will cross the floor and take their places in the fold of The ruling party. The sooner they do so will certainly be the better, so let then take their places on the progressive side of governance. We can euphemistically classify those moves as “inclusive governance,” and when it happens it would all be Norton’s fault.
Guyana needs good conscientious objector opposition with a robust support base whenever necessary, however, backward brawlers, the likes of Aubrey Norton are a definite no! So, are we about to see the end of Norton? And the answer is, absolutely!