I refer to the article titled, `Ramkarran, Shuman and Gouveia appointed as gov’t advisors’ (SN August 23). This is where I stand.
I think the naming of Mr. Ralph Ramkarran as an advisor is a sound, commendable step. He brings maturity, responsibility, and credibility to the table. There is, also, the wisdom of what Guyanese call an ‘ole head.’ It is the way it should be, and I believe that the former Speaker of the House will add a layer of restraint to the more rambunctious and raucous impulses that come too easily to too many of the people at the helm, with the veteran ones standing out sharply. Whether the new people will listen to him is another story, but I think he could make a difference on the thorny, sensitive, and controversial in a crunch.
I am sure that there will be heat from the opposition people that it is payback for positions and support during the electoral disputes and impasses. In some respects, the party that Mr. Ramkarran founded with others, ANUG, runs the severe risk of now being labeled a red herring and Trojan Horse that had objectives of distracting and undermining the coalition. I think he and his group must be aware of that; they are in a better position than me to defend or advocate as to the merits of the acceptance and alignment with the PPP government.
Speaking for myself, I would have preferred that Mr. Ramkarran had remained aloof and well outside of the mix. I say this because it questions the authenticity and objectives of the new groups that contested the last elections, with Guyana watching to see who else from which other groups will be rewarded. And, of course, hay will be made of all those spirited and dogged positions taken by leaders of the smaller parties against the interests and thrusts of the now defeated PNC-led coalition. What were their objectives at the deepest core?
Second, I think that this will be the lot of Mr. Lenox Shuman, whose first order of business must be to look in the mirror and at where his resolve did go, the same resolve so publicly delivered and so supposedly honourably intended. I seem to remember (though if I am wrong, please pardon) that candidate Shuman had held his hand over his heart and fervently promised something to the effect that there would be no merging, blending, or aligning with either of the two majors.
I admit that that was at the party level. But, in my mind, the person and the party are inseparable. In other words, what was committed to on behalf of the party must apply to the full to the man making the political oath. Again, I am prompted to be real, since in real life promises made on the political hustings and the heat of battle are never sanctified and made inviolable by a hand on the Bible (or whatever sacred tome fits). That was then, this is now. Rather regrettably, appointed advisor Shuman has earned a sterling reputation as a composer, and arranger of a certain kind of music, and for which he negotiates well. He certainly has succeeded at the individual level, which makes me wonder what will take centre stage for him.
I do hope, and I give him the benefit of good wishes, that he will not be of the self-serving feathering, but of the hard demands for what is needed in Guyana. I think he will be judged best as events unfold.
On the part of the PPP, I must congratulate it on the tactical and strategic visions embodied in these advisor appointments. In two of these choices, the party has effectively harnessed and now hold close two potentially potent outsiders. I would go further to say in one of the two instances that I identified, neutralized might be the more applicable term fitting the moment.
As for the third citizen, that should surprise no one since his recent roles could not have been more partisan. Though doubtful, I trust that a positive may emerge here and there. Now if I were a part of the leadership of the other small political parties that were in the fray, my own ambitions and optimisms would be for some similar government recognition. Surely something could be found for me, too. A handsome sinecure would be a good start. Ah, Guyana!