Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Stella Says…Freddie, Are You the AFC's Mouthpiece?

(Originally published in the Kaieteur News on 28 Dec 2005)

Dear Sweet and Sensitive Freddie, how have you been lately? We really haven't had one of our chats in such a long time, so I thought we should do our best to keep in touch. Life can get so busy and we can forget to give attention to the important things, like friendship.

I saw that you were chatting it up with Smart and Sharp Robert Persaud, MBA at the Kaieteur News Christmas party. Isn't that just so sweet? I wanted so much to come, but just couldn't make it happen. I sent my regrets to Glenn Lall, but I was still so disappointed that I could not attend.

Since we did not get the chance to chat at the party, why don't you take the time to talk with me for a bit, okay? How are things at the UG? Have you watched any steamy movies lately? Speaking of which, did you know my husband went out and bought "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" for me this week? Isn't that just too funny?

By the way, how are things going with your new political party, the AFC? I heard a little buzz about them when they visited stateside. I also heard that they said some not so nice things about me during their visit. I am sure you can imagine how totally crushed I was to hear about that. I might even need to see a therapist over it.

However, it is you that I am concerned about right now, dear friend. I have picked up on a developing trend in your recent columns that I find to be of great interest. It started a couple weeks ago with your scoop on how the GTF was supposedly breaking up. It continued with your column that gave Peter Ramsaroop, a GTF leader, a good tongue lashing.

The trend continued when you devoted another whole column to an analysis of the politics of Joey Jagan's, another GTF leader. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle came when you decided to go after Moses Nagamootoo. This last part was when things came into focus for me.

Silly me, I thought you just had problems with the GTF at first. We are all allowed to have issues with political parties, that is part of the democratic process. I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who puts some fire under the feet of any politician to see what he/she is really made of.

However, when I saw your column about Nagamootoo's negations with the PPP after it was rumoured that the AFC had been courting his as well, it was then that I realised you are being used as the mouthpiece of your new political party.

I think it is great that this newspaper has several columns written by leaders of various political parties. It adds fuel to the political debate. For example, there are columns by the PNC, Ravi Dev (ROAR and GTF), Robert Persaud, MBA (PPP) and Peter Ramsaroop, MBA (GTF). Now I am wondering if the Freddie Kissoon column has developed into the AFC column.

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to live their life (please read with sarcasm), but I am just afraid your new friends may be taking advantage of your very public role in Guyana to sway the hearts of the people in whatever direction they deem necessary that day.

Now before you get in a huff, let me explain what I mean. On December 21, Suresh Manbodh wrote a letter to the Editor of Kaieteur News questioning your objectivity concerning the AFC. I am going one step further, dear friend, I want to know why you are fighting their battles?

If we examined each of the aforementioned columns as separate and non-related, then I suppose you could make a plausible argument that each one focused on a topic that was notable on its own merit and deserving of your attention.

The GTF scoop could be easily understood since every journalist would love to write on such an incident. If you ask me, Peter Ramsaroop deserved the column he got from you since he pretty much stepped right into the critique you doled out for him and owed an explanation for his column.

Your article on Joey Jagan, the one real threat from the GTF against the AFC, seemed to come out of nowhere, but hey, that one too could be explained since you had just conversed with him. And finally, the Nagamootoo column seems to have been a result of confirmed negotiations with the PPP.

Like I said, at face value, all of these separate columns do not seem to have any tangible hidden agenda. It is when one combines the four columns, which were all written within the span of 11 days, that one starts to wonder if there is not something else going on.

It is no secret that the GTF poses a threat to the AFC's appeal to the nation as the one and only third force party for next year. Thus, they would no doubt be happy if the public thought the GTF was falling apart and that it has leaders who are incompetent and/or connected to the racial politics of the former parties – as the combination of your columns implied.

Further, if Nagamootoo really was being courted by the AFC, they would be extremely perturbed to discover he was instead contemplating a return to the PPP. In the culmination of all of these columns, there is a distinct common component – they are all competition, to one degree or another, for the AFC.

What I am trying to say, dear Freddie, is if all of these columns were written without any influence whatsoever from your AFC friends; then I offer my apologies now. However, if I am right and your new party is indeed guiding your columns by feeding you information that would help their cause, then perhaps you do not realise how obvious it is to others.

My question, dear friend, is whether the Freddie Kissoon column has become the AFC column? It is one thing to lose your objectivity, but it is a whole other issue if you become their mouthpiece and start fighting their battles with your words.

I hope I am wrong about all of this. I do have a tendency to see a conspiracy behind every door; it can be one of my best traits and one of my worst problems. Perhaps that is the case this time too – that this is a perceived conspiracy that is not actually real. I could just be jumping to conclusions since I now see you as an AFC supporter.

However Freddie, if what I am thinking is true – and I know you are honest enough with yourself to answer that question with a true heart - then maybe you should consider a job doing Public Relations work for the AFC. I bet you would make a swell yes man for Khemraj.

Email: stellasays[at]

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