By James Mc Allister
I HAVE heard it for a long time, but I never saw it before. The harshest of criticisms could be a ringing endorsement. Yes, I am talking about Frederick Kissoon’s article in the Kaieteur News last Sunday, February 02, 2020. The article declared, “President Granger behaves as if he owns Guyana.” The article in which he asserted that President Granger has monarchical tendencies, is overbearing and cruel, and is the most arrogant President since independence.
It is obvious that Frederick Kissoon decided on the damning things he wanted to say about President Granger, then struggled for justifications. The fact that he came up woefully short is not only a vindication for President Granger, it is a ringing endorsement.
To support his assertion that the President is behaving like a monarch, he pointed to traffic snarls. In a world where despots kill their citizens by the hundreds, and dictators empty national treasuries, Frederick Kissoon’s reason for labelling the President is because of road closures when Parliament is in session. The police in every country, depending on threat levels, restrict traffic flow within a certain area of presidential activities. The police act accordingly in Guyana, and Frederick Kissoon declares the President monarchical, arrogant, overbearing, and cruel. The issues cited are so trivial, within the context of presidential and parliamentary security, I formally accuse Kissoon of journalistic and political science malpractice.
Frederick Kissoon lived in this country during the 23 years of PPP ham-fisted rule. He suffered the indignity of having faeces thrown in his face for daring to speak out against the PPP. He witnessed his friend, Mark Benschop, incarcerated for five years without trial because he dared to speak out against Bharrat Jagdeo. He mourned the death of his friend, Ronald Waddell, who was assassinated by the PPP- controlled death squad. He spoke out after the assassination of Courtney Crum-Ewing by forces within the PPP. He was paralyzed with shock, like the rest of the nation, when the PPP orchestrated the killing of three protestors in Linden. Frederick Kissoon was here for all of this.
When Janet Jagan threw the High Court writ over her shoulder, and Doodnauth Singh said, “that was good,” he was here. When a young man was locked up for showing his middle finger at a Jagdeo motorcade, he was here. When phantom death squads roamed the streets, wantonly snuffing out lives, Frederick Kissoon was here. He was abused, he was beaten, and he was locked up because he spoke out against a number of these things.
It is malpractice for Frederick Kissoon, a practising political scientist for over 25 years, to trivialise PPP murders, assassinations, and human rights violations by claiming President Granger is the most cruel President since independence. And for what? Because of security-related traffic snarls?
President Granger has restored decency to the office of President, after the malfeasance by Jagdeo and Ramotar. Kissoon is attempting to gaslight the nation when he, with no credible basis, attempts to compare his tenure with that of Jagdeo and Ramotar. Frederick Kissoon is guilty of malpractice.