I have an axe to grind as a representative of labour


Dear Editor:

REFERENCE is being made to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic(PPP/C)- elected Member of Parliament, Harry Gill’s accusation that I have an axe to grind with Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP/C (Guyana Chronicle hatch-job on Jagdeo is a shameless attempt to influence the CCJ third-term decision-KN, June 25, 2018).

I have an axe to grind as a representative of labour, against all who try to prevent the workers’ constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association and right to collective bargaining; to ensure all workers are given a living wage; to protect and advance the rights of all workers who have been the vanguard for change in this country, from pre-independence to date; to ensure that every worker– past, present and potential — enjoy a life of freedom without discrimination and marginalisation; and with those who seek to use the workers in time of need and forget them when they are riding high.

As a citizen of this country, I have an axe to grind with all who try to hinder my right to freedom of expression; to want to think they can prevent me from representing those who have placed their confidence in me; or believe that I owe blind loyalty to anyone and will cower in fear.

Likewise, this axe will grind for all Guyanese to be treated equally and fairly and to have equal enjoyment of the resources of this land. My axe will grind against all those who feel they can exploit the nation’s resources without all the people benefiting. My axe will grind against those who engaged in and those who seek to continue perpetuating the culture of lawlessness, crime and corruption.

As a proud descendant of Africans, I will grind my axe to ensure that the gains from ancestral struggles are not lost under any government and under any leader. My axe will grind to fight against those who think they can mistreat me because of the colour of my skin, the texture of my hair, or my enslaved ancestral history. I will do this for all my brothers and sisters, but not at the expense of others who like me/us deserve equal treatment. Once health and life allow, my pursuit for equal rights, justice, and the Rule of Law — regardless of race, colour, class, creed — that I see as my mandate to serve the Guyanese people.

I’ll continue to grind the axe to raise the level of public discourse and accountability to a higher truth that evades this nation. Be reassured I shall grind the axe against Gill and others like persuasion with no moral compass, and those whose only interest is powered by any means necessary at the expense of the workers’ peace and stability. He represents the shameful side of this nation’s politics.

This issue where to disagree with any administration’s policy, programme — or anybody for that matter– has to be driven by personal hatred and not principled critique, even when evidence is there to support one’s argument, is the ugly underbelly of our politics, used by some to hold this nation hostage, keep us divided and under-developed. This is a known tactic successfully used to forge disunity, consolidate ethnic power, and stymie the development of all the people.

As the world is witnessing the chaos of such patterns of behaviour on the international stage, for us in Guyana such chaos, public lies and political wickedness has characterised this society from the creation of nationhood. It is time that we stop seeing this behaviour, which the world is condemning, as a norm. It has no place in a country that needs to forge national unity and engage all its citizens in a developmental thrust consistent with our motto, “One People, One Nation One Destiny.”

With regard to the Member of Parliament’s allegation about ownership of a car, it is suggested in the statement that I’ve compromised the interest of the workers by taking money, this is an axe I’m prepared to grind with him personally in a court of law.

The fact that this man holds office in the highest decision-making forum of this land and shows blatant and reckless disregard for research and knowledge of the facts before he speaks, should be troubling for all.

Lincoln Lewis