Aubrey Norton's strike at Mr Hoyte was inopportune
Stabroek News
January 8, 2002

Dear Editor,

One notes that former appointed-by-Hoyte General Secretary of the former PNC (now PNC/R) party Aubrey C. (please note the C) Norton has once again resurfaced with a characteristic most dogmatic critical appraisal of (as he puts it) the lack of built-up "democratic parties", in essence inveighing against the present party that Burnham built - but in fact embracing his once-again direct attack against its current leader, Mr Hugh Desmond Hoyte.

One can say without any fear of contradiction, that such a robust ventilation of his personal feelings, is the man's prerogative in a democratic society, particularly when one remembers that he is still probably smarting under the lash of personal pique at a remark, taken gleefully out of context, that Mr Hoyte had let slip that, by his being appointed to tenure, his general-secretaryship made him a "creature" of the leader who so appointed him. Much, one remembers, has been made of this.

I say "gleefully" advisedly since we are now a people with in the main, a most shallow grasp of the niceties and the nuances of language; and are wont to chortle, often most incoherently, at turns of phrase that could be and invariably are twisted to evoke even more laughter as we "gallery" (to use an apt Trinidadian term) in the street-corner bars and wayside tavern outreaches, where we accompany our persistent wine-bobbing and beer swilling with pontificates that delight the ear rather than educate the senses.

I know that many a bartender (and struggling bartenderers) are themselves "cussering" to keep their liquor-entity doors open in this "guava season" that is our present lot, and who would not be too happy at my remarks since I was once myself a publican, having piloted the once-esteemed Wig and Gown of Campbellville to prominence as a renowned entertainment, cum restaurant cum jazz haven for the afficionados of its time; but let's face it, the present assault on our ears and senses that passes for socialising, is a circumstance that is doing only a few any good.

However, let's cut to the chase of the burden of Norton's recent fulminations. One notes, also, that the Capitol News opened its television medium to fulsomely accommodate the former short-lived general secretary who had unfortunately sought to prolong the agony of his forced demittance from office, some short few years ago. He now returns to the fray.

From the tone so far of my discourse it could easily be assumed that the young man and his bombast are no favourite with me and I fully expect him to turn on me and pit-bull his way or bulldog an approach to my here comments. C'est la vie.

Once again, Norton goes for the jugular, in political jargon; and it is instructive that he assumes the attack-mode when there is such talk in the land (carefully engendered by some, though not without some justification) that the dialogue process that Mr Hoyte initiated with Mr Jagdeo (in a most specific context of our elections once again being suspect; but with the die virtually cast for the then present) was running into problems and also the perception holding sway that the PPP were up to their usual sleight-of hand and getting away, slyly, with it.

Strategists do insist that "timing" should always be paramount; and that, as Shakespeare's King Henry would say, the "nettle" must be grasped when it seems strategic so to do.

Norton thought with this his hard-spitting letter (3.1.2002) that he had seized the moment when general discontent appeared pervasive about this matter; but he forgot that time does not wait for a newspaper's publication, nor for no man's strike plan.

Mr Hoyte, "silver fox" as he has been dubbed, had already, it seemed, sniffed out the wind swirling around the nation and had presaged the present developments with a timely politically astute disclosure about complaints that all is not at all well with the presidential "dialoguing" and he had itemized and chronicled why this was so.

The current developments referred to are the news that President-select Jagdeo and his wise-after-the event back-up advisors, patently alerted by Hoyte's recent highly publicized strictures and conscious, as they ought to be of the jeopardy inherent in this perceived impasse, have as it were come to their political senses and with Hoyte's steering were able to right the listing boat of temporary co-operation, the "dialogue".Norton's strike (no bin Laden's that) and his oh-so-transparently-obvious plan of destabilising the seemingly beleaguered Desmond Hoyte PNC/R's sailing ship (elementally sluggish though it of times is) was, at first blush, seemingly bold, characteristically brash and duly but unfortunately for his thrust it was most inopportune. The once targetable intended prey was able, by virtue of the announced new dialogue-results, to subtly avoid his rancidly slavering but inept and empty jaws-of death-dealing.One supposes Norton will try again. His ilk, like Julius Caesar's Cassius, never ever learn when their best bolt is shot (like, also, poor Basdeo Panday of our neighbouring T&T). But has he not most ineffectively duly telegraphed his long-range punches? And like many a midget-sized boxer who does this, will he not end up like the now legendary Joe Frazier having the thriller in Manila Norton's stint at the general secretaryship of the PNC is merely a haunting memory of opportunity lost and unregainable.

Norton had his golden opportunity given him when (after Dr King demitted office) Mr Hoyte in his wisdom, or lack of same, pitchforked Norton into national prominence, at the top of the stable-heap and left the barn-door wide open, as opportunity provided, for him to help remould a once most powerful party and as a representative of the "youth" for whom he at executive level, had clamoured, just as abrasively as now, for "youth" to be given a chance. It is now well-known history that he just as inelegantly muffed it, destroying youth's image in the bargain.

My Jamaican friends, of my once-adopted home, in their apt turn of parlance, would suggest to Norton - "Res up bwoy; yuh had yuh chance and yuh mess up, big time, Rest!"

To Mr Hoyte, however they would also wisely say as advice - "Ah hope yuh tek note, sar, and wise up yuhself, selah! Yuh ent name 'silver fox' fuh nuttin".

Yours faithfully,

Lorri Alexander