September 25, 2016

A dangerous precipice

It has become somewhat ironic that voices of dissent so strident several months ago have fallen silent, despite the many questionable acts and events that have apparently become the modus operandi of the Administration of APNU/AFC.

One can perhaps infer that either all is wonderfully well with their world or they are too obligated to the present Government to voice dissent. “Waiting to see” how the coalition runs the country is no longer an excuse; APNU/AFC is already well into its approach.

Listening and reading certain media coverage of ministerial speeches is like still listening to political party campaigns, with a party focus rather than a national one.

At an overseas rally not long ago to garner foreign investment, rather than the Guyana flag prominently displayed behind the Government speaker, there was the coalition’s banner from its campaign days, while the speaker narrated the wonders his party promised for the country rather than explain frankly to potential investors what the Guyana Government can bring to the table worthy of their funds – in the real world.

Every governmental act is lathered as the magnanimity of APNU/AFC rather than a right of each citizen of Guyana to be provided for by the Government of the day. Have we not passed the campaign trail yet, and is it not time to get down to the business of running the country? Can a new bicycle, boat or bus be for the people rather than an ongoing APNU/AFC campaign?

Meanwhile, certain media pick up the sensational displays of party generosity and broadcast them as news, indebted as they seem to be to the new Administration. It has become obvious that many local media houses have become muzzled, unable to call a spade a spade because of their seemingly past involvement in political engineering, whose favours are being called in now.

How quiet is the call by some media houses for SOCU to be investigated, who before would have been screaming from the rooftops of the injustices that led to the cover-up of the death of an innocent truck driver and an officer and his wife, and the recent ransacking of a businessman’s home.

Instead, their focus is on the past Government and its apparent past misdeeds. Ignoring the present for the past so that their news would only show the new Government in good light. It is a ploy as old as politics, and just as dangerous.

Is it too dangerous as well for these media houses to criticise the coalition that they turn a blind eye to the obvious? Or is it that they tacitly approve of the human rights violations and petty political points scoring because it satisfies some – unknown to others – cause of theirs?

Whatever is the reason behind the sudden silence, it does not bode well for Guyana’s media and the country when an administration is not being called out on its questionable policies and practices because of a clear bias.

Observing some media, it would seem that the only thing wrong with the country is the Opposition, the new Government has all the right policies and practices in place. It is a fallacy and a shame.

When individual obligations and opinion have the capacity to prejudice general judgement, then blind faith and devotion lead perilously close to party paramountcy – a situation Guyana cannot afford to reach again.

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