By  February 3, 2017 stabroek news

 -Leadership, service, lust and greed

First a brief background on Newton -called Newt by his close buddies – would be useful. His middle name is Alan,  with one ‘l’. He retired early from the Public Service because of contractual favourites superseding him too constantly. The Burnham-inspired National Service somehow engendered a fierce patriotic pride in this gentleman.  (He worked at Kimbia for a while.)

But that pride was also intensely personal as once a Barbadian Immigration Officer questioned him unnecessarily even though he was entering the 166-square mile “Little England” on Guyana government business. Newt disdained Immigration officials even thinking he would entertain actually living in their territories. (But yes, he appreciated how the nineteen seventies/eighties Guyanese “traders” had set negative precedents in the islands, the hide-and-seek illegal Guyanese in other societies, and the mis-management of local resources by successive government here which rendered so many thousands of his fellow countrymen needy and (eager to exile themselves.)

But not our Newton Bork. He had committed himself to this Guyana Land despite all the years of strife and political mismanagement which stagnated a resource-rich country. He however, allowed his two daughters and son to flee among the thousands of all political affiliations who migrated.

So he resisted all the children’s entreaties to join them in the USA. They, in turn, considered him “weird” as he never even tried to visit.



After England, America!

There was a colonial period in “B.G.” when Newt was a pre-teen in the fifties that the Guyanese would sometimes join West Indians to migrate to England.

Newton read of big boats taking migrants from Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica -a journey to the “Mother Country” lasting two weeks. Then, as a teen, Guianese started visiting the “Land of Opportunity -America or the USA. Soon everyone wanted to go to “America”; to become “American” Then, they all were so welcomed.

Much, much later the American consulates in Guyana became more fussy and stringent with their visas to visit. Guyanese visitors would holi-stay instead of holiday: and become illegal in New York.

Newton Bork smirked and was ashamed of the lengths Guyanese of the nineteen-eighties and- nineties would go to get to New York. A senior American Consular official/Visa man even got rich –money, gold bars and all – arranging front track visas for the vulnerable, amidst all the other numerous back-track schemes to reach Uncle Sam. He, Newton could never be a part of that.



The visit, arrival, suspicion…

The terrorists used aeroplanes to devastate New York’s Twin-Tower Trade Centre,

America was angry.

Newton Bork empathised. Strangely, he chose to want to visit after that horror.  His younger daughter never-the-less, was overjoyed. He easily secured his visitor’s visa.

Then the mixed-race Barack Obama became America first “Black” President. Newton happily prepared for New York. One issue, however bothered him greatly! Every week some Guyanese would be caught trying to fetch cocaine past the American officials at the US airports.

Especially New York’s JFK in Queens, N.Y. and that’s where Newt was headed to seek vacation entry.

So with his wry humour, muted expectation and pride intact, Mr Bork arrived at JFK from Timehri. He thought he would attract immigration attention as he figured he fit some profile as a retired terrorist.

Guyana was now known for its frequent cocaine mules and couriers and he was “armed” with only a Guyanese passport. He however knew he would be visibly –even loudly- offended if the American airport officials badgered or embarrassed him – and his pride.

Well to his surprise and hurt that did happen. First, immigration grilled his as to the reason for his visit. He started to fume silently. But it was “their job”. Then JFK Customs actually harassed him with numerous questions.

Why? Well because Guyanese visitor Newton Bork had arrived for the first time on American soil with no luggage – no hand piece, carryon or suitcase (nothing), only his wallet, ticket information and passport! And he nearly invited the security to X-ray him for drugs in the stomach.

Newton smiled at their suspicions, his children welcomed him to Obamaland.



On leadership, service, power

So what makes some folks decide that they want to manage, chair, head or lead something? Put another way, what factors motivate individuals to want to lead others? To vie for topmost positions? Some reasons are, of course, obvious, such as: they respond to nominations- the wishes, the invitations of others; they see a need for leadership or better leadership; they love to serve; they crave attention, position or just authority.

Mind you Frankly Speaking, these are individuals experienced, qualified and of good character who accept or/are thrust into leadership with all good acceptable intentions. They serve, they listen and they respond to necessary needs. Then little by little something happens  to these leaders. Executive positions, control evolves into power-related actions. Then, where there are no checks and balances like strong subordinate members or monitors, activist public opinion, effective opposition or even judicial remedies your servant becomes master. Service is transformed into power, as a primary motivation and characteristic.

Consider how the little AFC wrested significant positions from the PNC before the joint slate of May 2015 and the consequent “flaunting of authority since, then. Discuss….



1)Is it really possible? That audits and calculations can reveal the billions wasted or appropriated since Mr Jagdeo reigned?

Corrective works by the present government – like on the High Street building also are costing us additional millions. Can friend Adams Harris help us to quantify the squanderrmania?

2) So our sports associations aren’t really planning for the 2020 Olympics?

3) Coming soon “independent editorial management …”

Til next week!