PPP and PNC living in cloud cuckoo land
Stabroek News
February 27, 2002

Dear Editor,

The letter captioned "PM Sam Hinds is living in the real world," (l5.2.2002) might have had a different headline: "PPP & PNC living in cloud cuckoo land," and it would have been just as right. It has been the fate of our country to be ruled by political leaders whose only reality is the business of staying in power, not the business of realistically managing our country's affairs.

It is not simply that our leaders pretend that they have a national rather than an ethnic mandate or believe that they are really in charge of our destiny instead of the IMF and Aid Donors, it is much more that they are content with this reality, so long as the parties which they rule are in power.

The one refreshing and promising moment of departure from the culture of political power at any price was Desmond Hoyte's acceptance of the real world in 1992 by converting his party from its commitment to the practice of "co-operative socialism" to accepting and introducing a private enterprise open market driven economy, but, regardless of the obvious influx of investment and turn around of the economy, the electorate rejected his dose of realism and preferred to vote for their own.

Prior to Hoyte, Burnham knew he could not retain power from even an ethnic mandate and so manipulated the electoral result to remain in power. Post Hoyte the PPP, uncertain that even an ethnic mandate was assured to elect Janet Jagan, conducted a questionable election in 1997 and were comfortably returned to power with an ethnic mandate in 2000.

The PNC's bitter legacy and logic, knowing that an entrenched ethnic mandate guarantees a PPP election, is that whatever will bring the government down is sufficient unto the day, the consequences, whatever they may be, to be ignored until later.

The IMF and the Aid Donors are reasonably content to pretend that we have a democracy and will go on providing sufficient sustenance to keep us from starving. Potential private investors will continue to cast a jaundiced eye on us, afraid of the unpredictable.

Sam Hinds is a practical, honest and decent man with an abiding faith in the future, attempting to function in a political environment that puts the preservation of political power before the preservation of country. The PNC neither likes nor trusts him because he is an aberration from the norm. They know not what to make of him so they prefer to crucify him on the altar of expediency. The PPP is content to let him take the heat while the President plays it cool, clever, but compromising their own credibility.

The kitchen has been so full of smoke for so long that our leaders now can't find their way out and the nation is dying from suffocation.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address supplied)