A missed opportunity

ON December 21, 2022, Guyanese had the chance to listen and view the Freddie Kissoon and Leonard Gildarie Show, which had as its guest Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton.
The talk show dealt with several issues ranging from Guyana’s political history, political leaders, race, class, and violence to the infamous elections of 2020.

Any reasonable and right-thinking Guyanese would find it difficult to digest some, if not every single one, of the pronouncements, analyses, and explanations that were made by Norton.
They would be stunned at the type of balderdash and drivel that Norton said, and tried to pass off as his reasoning behind the way the political opposition is behaving and acting with respect to the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led Government and the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic.

Sadly, the show’s episode was very disappointing and did not answer the questions that many Guyanese have in their minds about the country’s problematic and troubling political situation. It did not bring substance to the ongoing argument on race and politics in Guyana.

It was a waste of more than one and a half hours. A lot of nothingness was said. There was nothing that the viewers or listeners could take away from the interview.
Firstly, it was intellectually and mentally draining, as Norton struggled with the articulation of APNU+AFC’s main stance that the Dr. Ali Government and the PPP/C are allegedly perpetuating ethnic and political discrimination against Afro-Guyanese or any Guyanese.

Norton again, as usual, did not provide empirical evidence and facts, but made a set of bizarre and outrageous allegations.
He struggled to make a comparison between the PPP Government’s treatment of the vendors at Mon Repos and New Market Street in Georgetown. Anybody who is acquainted with the situations would know that the two cases are different, the facts are different and the circumstances that drove them are different.

What is known for certain, is the Opposition’s hands were at work, driving the vendors in Georgetown to have these emotive outbursts around this season to aid in the plan of the opposition’s farcical discrimination campaign.

Similarly, the situation with the squatters from Pigeon Island, East Demerara and Mocha Arcadia, East Bank are very different. They are like comparing mangoes and lettuce.
Apart from this, Norton struggled to illustrate cases relating to land ownership, house lot allocations, distribution of cash grants and financial grants and other procurement processes in which he alleged racial and political discrimination.

Secondly, what is worse is that Norton exposed himself and the APNU+AFC’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. He still, even now in 2022, is holding on to the Statements of Poll which he alleges proves the coalition was victorious at those polls.

Norton’s argument surrounding the Caricom Report, Recount process, and Order 60, proffered on the show, is false and shameful. Neither documents nor process proved that the coalition won, but Norton likes to play with the minds of ignorant Guyanese, twisting and misrepresenting the facts when it is most convenient to do so.

If Norton will not present the infamous SOPs to the public, then he should stop talking about anything remotely concerning them.
Thirdly, Norton’s recollection of historical political occurrences in Guyana is shameful as it is sad and worrisome.
One hopes that some politician or political student will correct Norton’s alternative facts and set the record straight about the violence and political disturbances which took place in Guyana from the 1950s straight through the early 2000s.

It appears that Norton’s head and mind may not be working all that well, but instead of pretending to know, he should actually allow others right in the opposition who was at the forefront of the struggle to school him.

Also, Norton has a very disturbing and partisan view of what, and who propelled the violence in Buxton, Wismar, Linden and other parts of the country. Racial conflict, and the political establishment, more so the PNC, all played a key role in the violence and protests that occurred.

Fourthly, Norton’s admission that he is being criticised by the public for not protesting or taking to the streets to heighten the movement is not true and vexing.

The truth is, no one is criticising Norton’s approach to street protest and holding the PPP Government accountable. They are criticising his leadership, decisions and political acumen. They are concerned that Norton is presiding over or caused the deep division in the opposition camp leading to the collapse of the APNU+AFC coalition. They are concerned about his alleged mistreatment of the Indian Party supporters and several internal crises and conflicts.

The fact that there is an alleged plot to have him removed or replaced as PNC Leader and Opposition leader is testimony that he is losing the war for unity and togetherness in his party because of his incompetence and mismanagement.

Finally, all Guyanese must be concerned about the Opposition Leader when he first supports a position publicly and then he is slowly distancing himself from it as he did on the topic of alleged apartheid in Guyana.

The Opposition Leader cannot want the public to take him seriously and talks up a storm about nothing or is caught not telling the truth or being evasive on the social media platform, and every single forum. He cannot cherry-pick political issues and is found to be putting alternative facts and narratives in the public domain for political mileage or points.
He must lead and stop playing the important role of Leader of the Opposition.

Guyana, this Christmas Day must start the call on Norton to get his house in order first and then talk to the country about bread-and-butter issues and governance issues. He must sit down with President Ali and start having discussions about how to make Guyana even greater than it is, merging his ideas on how to make the President’s vision of One Guyana a reality.

Norton missed yet another opportunity to get the support of Guyanese with his less-than-intellectual gaff session.
Merry Christmas!

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