(Eyewitness)The Rorschach test, Wikipedia informs us, “is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analysed. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning.” Most helpful for us in Guyana, “it has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly.”
In Guyana, we know, there are hordes of people in public life who just like to tell people what they want to hear – pushing their own self-interest, of course. In other words they generally lie through their teeth in their public utterances. We need a Rorschach test to suss them out. Well right now we have one in the inkblot spread through all the papers with the Nigel Hughes-Sithe-Alliance For Change (AFC) saga.
What are the facts? They’re quite clear cut. Sithe Global registers a local company Amaila Falls Hydro Inc (AFHI) in 2009 with the government to execute the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project (AFHEP). They appoint Hughes as company secretary. As such he has to advise them on local matters – such as tariffs of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), among other things – so that they can earn the most profits and so on.
By 2011, Hughes joins the AFC and becomes chairman. The AFC has already indicated its opposition to AFHEP. No word from Hughes or AFC that their chairman might have a different view on potentially the largest investment in the history of Guyana. In 2012, Hughes and his party leads help organise protests against Linden accepting an equalisation of their electricity rates.
The government mentions that this equalisation is needed to help make GPL viable. Now the very foundation of the AFHEP venture from Sithe’s viewpoint as an equity partner is the Power Purchase Agreement with GPL. When Hughes works to prevent GPL to collect the normal charge in Linden he is working against the interest of Sithe. No statement from Hughes or AFC.
It’s 2013, the entire AFHEP is on the line, with the AFC in the frontline against the project, it is revealed that Hughes is Sithe’s company secretary. Most significantly, AFC’s leader Khemraj Ramjattan says he’s heard of an “association” between his chairman Hughes and Sithe – but not as “chairman”. And this is the essential element of the incident as an inkblot – did not Hughes, chairman of the AFC, have a duty to reveal to his party leader and the other members of his party that he was employed by Sithe, the 70 per cent owner of AFHI???
Well according to two public figures, Lincoln Lewis, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), and Mark Archer, communications officer for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Hughes did nothing wrong or untoward!!! According to Lewis, since other people might have done the same thing, why should Hughes be blamed? This, of course, is the old moral fallacy that two wrongs make a right.
Now that the Hughes’ Rorschach test has exposed the thinking of Lewis, we can now understand why the TUC is a shell of its former self. The question is, don’t Hughes and Lewis have any principles by which their actions are guided? Is it just “do fuh do nah obeah?”
Archer’s tack was to “play stupid” and ask what is wrong if Hughes worked for a company or the government which his party opposed? But that’s not what the inkblot is all about, is it? The question is why Hughes didn’t tell even his closest associates in the party, much less the poor suckers at the grassroots? Their answers expose Lewis and Archer as political charlatans.