Some proponents of a new “third force” seem to be hinting this will deliver a mediated love fest into Guyanese politics. I, on the other hand, have always been wary of the implicitly liberal premise that lions and lambs can sit around a table and, through rational discussion, arrive at consensuses on which they can all act and live happily ever after. Maybe lions and lions, but never lions and lambs. Politics is always about lambs struggling to become lions, and the lions fending them off: in liberal polities, the opposition are the lambs with the party in power being the lions.This proclivity to struggle is ineradicable because humans, pace the liberal view, do not only act out of cold, rational calculus. There is always the messy business of predispositions — feelings and emotions that coalesce in group solidarities, exclusions and antagonisms. All societies are therefore “plural” to a lesser or greater degree. In our plural society, where our divisions are not just around economic class issues, but include ethnicity and religion — going to the very heart of ascriptive identities — the emotional effects are with us in spades because of incommensurable values. Consequently, the always latent tendency for our political struggles – and all the other struggles are ultimately over questions of power, and so are political – is to get out of hand.This view of politics, which places conflict at the centre, goes beyond the old, familiar school of “conflict theorists” such as the Marxists. The latter, for instance, propose that while class conflict is immanent in the present capitalist conjuncture, once the working class assumes power, the conflict will disappear. Utopia would have arrived. I believe this to be a fairy tale. As I wrote over thirty years ago, humans will find one or other reason to divide themselves and deal with the “other” aggressively.There is now a school of thought that accepts this tendency of humans to cleave into groups that manifest hostility towards each other: agonism. But rather than treating each other as enemies to be obliterated, the “other” is considered as adversaries with positions we cannot agree on, but yet respect. Rather that pretending, as liberalism does, that we can always rationally discuss away the immanent hostility between deeply divided groups, agonistic politics aims to challenge and channel it in non-destructive, institutionalised ways. If this is not done, then violence will erupt periodically, or large sections of some subaltern groups would have to be locked away, as in the US. The goal is not to find consensus at any cost, but to manage dissensus.Each polity has its unique blend of incommensurable pluralism generating its own volatile melange of conflicts, and consequently there is no one silver bullet to confront them all. However, we can observe the trends in polities that have exposed the hollowness of both Marxist and liberal utopian thinking to deal with deep pluralism. Britain has devolved. India continues to do so. Sudan fissioned, as had Czechoslovakia earlier; not to mention Bosnia a tad more violently. Other conflict-ridden countries, such as Kenya, have furthered processes of extensive, deep, institutionalised devolution of power through federalism, which should facilitate agonistic politics at the grassroots level, and hopefully spare build-up of hostilities that can tear the country apart. We should extend this into our villages.Thus, far from proposing love fests, I am suggesting the ever present simmering hostility ought not to be fanned, but given expression institutionally. Worse, it ought not to be moralised as a struggle between “good” and “evil”. This reinforces the feeling that the “other” is the “enemy” to be eliminated. No one gains when there are explosions. More pertinently, for peaceful political change, open hostilities scare away key constituencies that can secure an opposition victory. I am further saying that the present political arrangements would ensure that whichever side wins the election, unless a system is introduced that equitably distributes power among the various groups, we are ensuring that the inevitable resentment in the “remainders” will erupt sooner or later.A distributed system, best exemplified by Federalism, also encourages some of the more mature present lions not to fight to the death. There will be “something” for everybody, without the need for the beneficence of future lions.
Portsalon Golf NewsGaeltacht LeagueOn Saturday last Portsalon Golf Club embarked on their quest for success in this seasons Gaeltacht League. The Gaeltacht League comprises of Cloughaneely, Cruit Island, Dunfanaghy, Gweedore, Nairn/Portnoo, Portsalon and Rosapenna golf clubs. The event is a match play competition with each club fielding twenty golfers.The visitors to Portsalon on this first round match was Nairn/Portnoo golf club. The match started wet and miserable but as the first teams got under way the skies cleared and we were left with good golfing weather. The overall result saw Portsalon with eight and half matches to Nairn/Portnoo’s one and half matches. The best fourball score on the day went to Shaun Shields and Tony Kingston with 45 points. The next Gaeltacht League match has been rescheduled for Saturday 5th November at Cruit Island golf club. EventsOn Saturday 23rd there is a gents open competition and Sunday 24th October there will be member’s turkey competitions. On Wednesday 26th October Portsalon will stage gents open stableford competition. Following the trial of playing off the green markers for the Wednesday open the club have decided to revert to the yellow markers for the Wednesday open competitions. Time sheets are in operation for all competitions contact 0749159459 or go online to portsalongolfclub.com.ResultsThe winner of the inaugural Green marker open was Tony Morrison with 45 points, runner up Ronan Mc Clafferty 43 points, Gross Seamus Patton 34 points, 3rd Peter Doherty 43 points, Visitor Rory Mangan Gweedore 40 points. On Saturday the winner of the members competition was Sean Gibson (17) 39 points, Runner up Denis Sweeney (19) 38 points. On Sunday the winner was Denis Sweeney (19) 40 points, runner up John Shields (4) 38 points, Gross Stephen Connolly (5) 30 points Portsalon Winter LinksThe next outing of the Portsalon Winter Links is scheduled for Saturday 29th October.All members of the Winter Links are reminded that their tee times remain as the previous outing and if you are unable to play please contact the clubhouse. All should also note that if a member misses two consecutive events without notifying the clubhouse, their name will be removed from the time sheetSympathyThe Captain Donal Callaghan and the members of Portsalon Golf Club would like to extend their deepest sympathy to Paddy Sheridan on the sudden death of his father John. May he rest in peace. Gift VouchersFancy something special for that special person in your life, why not purchase a Portsalon Golf Club Gift Voucher. It’s the ideal gift for birthdays, Christmas or just to say thanks. For further details contact 074 9159459.Drop OffOver the past few weeks members and visitors have been requested to drop off the 2nd, 7th and 9th fairways. As a result the fairways on the selected holes are improving. The fairways will be clearly identified. Please ensure that you drop off on either side of the fairway. The captain Donal Callaghan, council and green keeping staff would like to thank everyone for their co-operation and appreciate your assistance during this repair work. New MembersTime is running out for a fabulous special offer to play golf at Portsalon golf club free for October, November & December? Portsalon golf club are running special offer of three months (October, November & December 2011) free golf for new members who join Portsalon Golf Club. All you have to do is make your application pay your fees for 2012 and get October,November and December 2011 free. For further information please contact 074 9159459.PlacingAll members and visitors should note that six inch placing on all fairways only is in operation at Portsalon Golf Club.On Line BookingMembers and visitors to Portsalon Golf Club should note that on line booking is now available for all competitions at Portsalon at the flick of a button go to portsalongolfclub.comDivot BagsMembers and visitors please note that divot bags are now available on entry to the first tee box. Please ensure that you pick up a bag and assist with the course maintenancePORTSALON GOLF CLUB NOTES was last modified: October 18th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Portsalon Golf Club Notes read more