The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) recently announced list of parliamentarians is eerily reminiscent of the class character of certain organizations of yesteryear, namely the Manpower Citizens’ Association, the National Democratic Party and the League of Coloured People. These organizations may be physically dead, but they are spiritually and ideologically alive in today’s PNCR.
These three organizations were founded and controlled by the African and Indian petty bourgeoisie. Their leaders were disconnected from and contemptuous of the poor and vulnerable members of the society. They were not only anti-working class, but were Anglophiles to the core, just like the present day PNCR, as it will be constituted in parliament in 2020.
After Mr. Granger finally conceded defeat, he gave a rare interview on Benschop Radio, where once again he paid lip service to Burnham’s ideas in a final effort to deceive the base of the party. The deceptive behaviour of Mr. Granger, who boasted of his honesty and integrity, is shameful. The truth is, there is not a shred of Burnham’s ideas to be found anywhere amongst the present day PNCR hierarchy.
Those political commentators who insist that the last five years of PNCR rule and the recent election debacle is somehow reminiscent of the Burnham era are wrong. As one who was a member of Burnham’s administration, I can testify to the fact that this current crop of PNCR leaders has nothing whatsoever in common with the patriotic, anti-imperialist, visionary leaders, President Forbes Burnham and Prime Minister, Dr. Ptolemy Reid. These two servant-leaders waged a war on poverty and inequality, and were committed to the economic and social empowerment of what they called “the small man”. Does that sound like anything that we have witnessed since 2015? On the contrary, the PNCR facilitated those who were already empowered and extremely wealthy, while doing absolutely nothing to empower the “small man and woman”.
Those looking for an organization that embodies the ideas of Forbes Burnham’s PNC will find a home within OVP. Like Burnham, we fight for true independence, self-reliance and economic justice. Even Mr. Burnham and Dr. Reid’s most vociferous critics cannot erase their commitment to these principles, principles that are fundamental prerequisites for the creation of an egalitarian and democratic society. To build a nation based on such principles is possible but it requires courageous leadership and radical socio-economic and political transformation. The one thing we can be sure of at this juncture, is that the PNCR of 2015 and 2020 is clearly not up to the task.
Gerald A. Perreira
Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP)