David Granger, the classical Burnhamist.

November 12,2017

Source

I know of only two classical Burnhamists in Guyana – President Granger and Vincent Alexander. I would not put my longstanding family member, friend, Ras Tom Dalgety in that category, although Tom is very much an excessive admirer of Burnham. Tom’s essential approach to Burnham is within the theory of African achievements. Tom’s perspective has large elements of emotionalism, whereas Granger and Alexander use political theory to elevate Burnham as an outstanding leader.
Hamilton Green I will not consider, because Green’s attitude is a very simple one – Burnham was his cousin, he and Burnham were closely knitted together in building the PNC and the PNC government. Green makes no intellectual pretence in the admiration of Burnham. Burnham was his mentor; end of story. If there are other classical Burnhamites in Guyana, then they have not becomes as visible as Granger and Alexander.
Granger has four projects in Burnham’s name that are housed in his private home. In his address to the North American chapter of the PNC last week in the US, Granger was effusive in his panegyrics of Burnham which will be dealt with below. Alexander is the head of the Burnham Institute. Of the two men, only Alexander had made a public response that I know of when asked to discuss the dark side of Burnham’s use of power.
The occasion was a Cuffy 250 television programme on channel 9 where we were the two panelists and the topic was Burnham. When asked about Burnham’s authoritarian dimensions (which Aubrey Norton and Carl Greenidge are not uncomfortable in discussing), Alexander did not concede that Burnham was dictatorial. He polemicized on the difficulty Burnham faced in building a new political economy by having to stave off imperialism, and at home, the relentless PPP, the inexorably energetic WPA (my words) and a middle class that didn’t accept Burnham’s socialist directions.
Alexander is not a historian. Granger is. When you are a historian, there is more pressure on your scholarly credibility to include the totality of facts. A classical Burnhamite cannot have his cake and eat it too. You cannot isolate the vision and transformative brilliance of Burnham and interpret those dimensions as the essential Burnham. If you are a genius surgeon, but you beat your wife, then you are what you are – a medical genius and a wife beater. That is your being.
Forbes Burnham was way ahead of all post-colonial leaders and that is a stunning record. Post-colonial rejection of traditional economic development was contemptuously and rightfully discarded by Burnham, and replaced with a blueprint that was exemplary. It is outside of this column to enumerate Burnham’s phenomenal alternatives in economic independence, but they were par excellence. That was one side of him. The other side was his philosophical approach to power. The one collided with the other. Economic brilliance was defeated by power obsession. Power obsession led to dark pathways where the light and sun never shone.
In his address to his party colleagues in the US last week, Granger came across as a deeply political human. He was boundless in his praise for Burnham, telling his audience that it was from Burnham he takes his ideas and ideals, and asserted that, “I intend to protect and preserve and promote those ideas.” This is where his classical Burnhamism comes in. But this is where his credibility as a historian is open to question.
The protégés of Burnham and Jagan no doubt have an undying love for their guiding masters. It is perfectly alright to love your benefactor and pay permanent homage to him/her. The historian does not have the luxury of sentiments when recording the past. Someone like Clement Rohee in the PPP corresponds to Hamilton Green in the PNC. Rohee is on record as saying that he owes his political career to Mrs. Jagan. You cannot instill scholarly objectivity in the beneficiaries of rulers, because sentiments are a huge barricade preventing the flow of iconoclastic thinking. The historian operates on a totally different level.
Classical Burnhamism sees Forbes Burnham as a unique, transformational leader who broke with traditional post-colonial methodologies of nation-building. But that was not all Burnham was. As visionary and radical as he was, he also had a certain ideological approach to state power which I think was informed by certain philosophical schools like Machiavelli, Lenin and others.
Vincent Alexander in my presence has excused the excesses of Burnham by pointing to the priceless value that occupies centre stage in life – context. In the context of building an alternative pathway to an independent economy, Burnham had to do some unpleasant things. To gloss over serious and naked abuse of power is something I deeply resent.

Original Post

Hamilton Green's mother is Burnham's father second cousin.  Hamilton Green's speech in Parliament ( which was filmed and recorded) on the death of Burnham (which I believe but is not certain that the Honorable Gilbakka { MP retired} was present) referring to Burnham as "Cousin Forbes".   

Prashad posted:

Hamilton Green's mother is Burnham's father second cousin.  Hamilton Green's speech in Parliament ( which was filmed and recorded) on Burnham on the death of Burnham (which I believe but not certain that the Honorable Gilbakka { MP retired} was present) referring to Burnham as "Cousin Forbes".   

Which gilbakka was MP bai?

Gilbakka posted:
Prashad posted:

Hamilton Green's mother is Burnham's father second cousin.  Hamilton Green's speech in Parliament ( which was filmed and recorded) on Burnham on the death of Burnham (which I believe but not certain that the Honorable Gilbakka { MP retired} was present) referring to Burnham as "Cousin Forbes".   

Which gilbakka was MP bai?

Gilly,

Prash  give you promotion.

Django posted:

I knew Hamilton Green related to Burnham,why was he sidelined in preference for Hoyte to be Prime Minister,was it repentance for the atrocities committed on the nation,probably Burnham knew his time was up.

Only recently Green explained why Burnham overlooked him in favor of Hoyte. Green said Burnham habitually read CIA and MI6 reports on Guyana. One of those reports mentioned that Green was plotting to take Burnham's place. Green said Burnham summoned him to Belfield and questioned him. Green said he denied the CIA accusation and assured Burnham of his loyalty. But Burnham still harbored doubts about Green's ambition. Kaieteur News published Green's exact words about 3-4 weeks ago.

Gilbakka posted:
Django posted:

I knew Hamilton Green related to Burnham,why was he sidelined in preference for Hoyte to be Prime Minister,was it repentance for the atrocities committed on the nation,probably Burnham knew his time was up.

Only recently Green explained why Burnham overlooked him in favor of Hoyte. Green said Burnham habitually read CIA and MI6 reports on Guyana. One of those reports mentioned that Green was plotting to take Burnham's place. Green said Burnham summoned him to Belfield and questioned him. Green said he denied the CIA accusation and assured Burnham of his loyalty. But Burnham still harbored doubts about Green's ambition. Kaieteur News published Green's exact words about 3-4 weeks ago.

A revealing interview with Hamilton Green

Freddie Kissoon and Green in Green’s study

This week, Freddie Kissoon sat down with Hamilton Green to discuss Green’s role in Guyana’s political history. A section of the interview follows.

Freddie Kissoon: Why so close to President Burnham yet not chosen in 1984 to be Prime Minister?

Hamilton Green: Possibly three reasons. Burnham was a devout reader of a little blue book of the regular assessments of the CIA and MI5. In one of those reports on Guyana, it listed me as someone who wanted to take power from Burnham.  Burnham called me at his home, questioned me, I denied it but my pledged loyalty did not change his mind.

Secondly, the middle class supporters and PNC middle class leaders felt I did not have a tertiary education and should not be Prime Minister. Thirdly, Burnham probably felt an obligation to Hoyte. Hoyte was loyal, plus look what happened to his two daughters. Overall, I would say PNC leaders didn’t want me to be PM because they know I would be my own man.

FK : What do you think of Hoyte?

HG: His presidency was disastrous for Guyana.

FK: If you have to write a history of the PNC, would you be critical of him?

HG: I was writing such a history but left off after President Granger had undertaken that task. I have resumed. Yes, I would be very critical of his period in government.

FK: Why you think Hoyte so disliked you?

HG: He did not forgive me for contesting the leadership of the party at the congress. He felt that as president, I was impertinent to have done so. It was my right. And I know I would have beaten him. I withdrew after Tollo (Dr. Ptolemy Reid) asked me. My duty was to preserve party unity

FK: Do you have any regrets at all, for wrong policies or using violence upon persons, etc. in your long career as a central figure in government?

HG: No, I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. Looking back, I know I have done the rights things. I would say Burnham and I have done great things for the Guyanese people. People say Burnham was a racist but do you know Burnham’s policies would have benefitted Indians immensely because of the emphasis on agriculture?

FK: I saw you outside Guyana Stores manhandling striking workers who belonged to the CCWU. Why not leave such behaviour to the grass-root activists rather than a minister going there himself?

HG: I didn’t manhandle anyone. I have no regrets being there because people expect their leaders to lead; they expect their leaders to defend them. In government, I was such a leader.

FK: Can you think of at least just one regret?

HG: No, I don’t have any regrets because I believe what we did at the time was good for Guyana.

FK: What about the WPA?

HG:  Let me share something with you. I was in Tanzania at the time Walter Rodney was expelled from that country. President Julius Nyerere told me to inform President Burnham that Rodney was coming home to Guyana to use violence. When I came home, I told Burnham. You see Rodney was obsessed with violence. His politics was to use violence to overthrow Burnham. I have evidence of that. We know they burnt down the Ministry of National Development and my cousin, Omawale (Walter Green) was involved. We know that they were buying guns. I was involved in a situation where they bought guns, but our decoys took out the clips. When Ohene Koama and Edward Dublin were approached by the police, they fired and the police fired back.

FK: Well, I guess what you heard in Tanzania was the reason Rodney was not employed at UG.

HG: Exactly, why would you want someone like Rodney in, of all places, at the university given what he was about to do in Guyana.

FK: Did you have anything to do with the death of Minister Vincent Teekah.

HG: No.  Teekah was a womaniser. What was he doing at a very desolate spot at night with a woman? Either someone followed him there or he was robbed and murdered.

FK: Surely, you cannot deny Burnham was an authoritarian leader. Look the at the food ban, the imposition of National Service at UG. Students woke up a morning and found out in the coming weeks that they had to do three months of interior service along with military service

HG: I would not agree he was authoritarian. I agreed with the food ban and National Service at UG but they were not introduced properly. They could have been done in better ways.

FK: Didn’t you tell Burnham that?

HG: (smiling). Who could tell Burnham anything once he made up his mind?

FK: Surely, in a poor, third world country, how could President Burnham ride about on horseback in poor areas and sharing out cigarettes and cassava sticks to people?

HG: (laughing out heartily). What is wrong with that? I would have done that myself. It was his way of reaching people. Burnham loved to ride.


 
Thanks Gilly,missed this article.
reposting on GNI for posterity.
Django posted:
Gilbakka posted:
Django posted:

I knew Hamilton Green related to Burnham,why was he sidelined in preference for Hoyte to be Prime Minister,was it repentance for the atrocities committed on the nation,probably Burnham knew his time was up.

Only recently Green explained why Burnham overlooked him in favor of Hoyte. Green said Burnham habitually read CIA and MI6 reports on Guyana. One of those reports mentioned that Green was plotting to take Burnham's place. Green said Burnham summoned him to Belfield and questioned him. Green said he denied the CIA accusation and assured Burnham of his loyalty. But Burnham still harbored doubts about Green's ambition. Kaieteur News published Green's exact words about 3-4 weeks ago.

A revealing interview with Hamilton Green

 

 

 

Thanks Gilly,missed this article.
reposting on GNI for posterity.

You're welcome. Be sure to save it in your terabyte database and hope you have someone to exhume it posthumously. 

Gilbakka posted:
Django posted:
Gilbakka posted:
Django posted:

I knew Hamilton Green related to Burnham,why was he sidelined in preference for Hoyte to be Prime Minister,was it repentance for the atrocities committed on the nation,probably Burnham knew his time was up.

Only recently Green explained why Burnham overlooked him in favor of Hoyte. Green said Burnham habitually read CIA and MI6 reports on Guyana. One of those reports mentioned that Green was plotting to take Burnham's place. Green said Burnham summoned him to Belfield and questioned him. Green said he denied the CIA accusation and assured Burnham of his loyalty. But Burnham still harbored doubts about Green's ambition. Kaieteur News published Green's exact words about 3-4 weeks ago.

A revealing interview with Hamilton Green

Oct 16, 2017   Source

Thanks Gilly,missed this article.
reposting on GNI for posterity.

You're welcome. Be sure to save it in your terabyte database and hope you have someone to exhume it posthumously. 

Bhai,

The article will be save some where in the cloud on GNI database.

QUOTE: "FK: Can you think of at least just one regret?

HG: No, I don’t have any regrets because I believe what we did at the time was good for Guyana."

This is the scüntery Gilbakka cannot stand. I would readily admit, and have already admitted, that I have a number of regrets about my political life. When a once powerful politician like Green says he does not have a single regret, you know that he would do it all over again because it's "good for Guyana".

I really wanta cuss. 

Gilbakka posted:

QUOTE: "FK: Can you think of at least just one regret?

HG: No, I don’t have any regrets because I believe what we did at the time was good for Guyana."

This is the scüntery Gilbakka cannot stand. I would readily admit, and have already admitted, that I have a number of regrets about my political life. When a once powerful politician like Green says he does not have a single regret, you know that he would do it all over again because it's "good for Guyana".

I really wanta cuss. 

De man ain't even regret turning the Garden City into the garbage city? 

The PPP made an absolute blunder during the last elections for not painting Granger as a Burnhamist if this was known to them at the time.  Luncheon raised flags about his intent to surround himself with military personnel but this was not a big deal.

Had I known that Granger was a Burnham disciple I would have never had a favourable opinion of him.  The man shamelessly tried to rewrite history the other day in the US preaching to his flock.

Like Green, Granger is a dunce so they flock together.  Neither could come close to Hoyte.  

One positive thing about Burnham is that he recognized and admired brilliance. He was brilliant so he didn't feel uncomfortable in the presence of brilliant minds. He did Guyana a favor by  not grooming dunce ass Green for president.  That said, I hope Burnham is rotting in hell and started the fire to welcome his cousin Green 😀

 

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