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Opinions of Monday, 28 December 2009

Columnist: Aidoo, Ato

Arthur Kennedy's Elephant

By Ato Aidoo
There is no point “chasing” Arthur Kennedy because of the controversy-driven book – “Chasing the elephant into the bush,” a so-called insider's account of how the New Patriotic Party lost power in 2008.
In the words of Will and Ariel Durant, “A book is like a quarrel; one word leads to another, and may erupt in blood or print, irrevocably.”
Perhaps, the difficult path has been how to disapprove a book, especially when an author chronicles what he perceives as the reason why a political party could not win power.
However, the inaccuracies in the perception of tension, and the derivatives as they relate to sharp contrastive elements, and contradictions in the Busia-Danquah-Dombo political tradition, can only be the author’s imagination, the work of a political novice.
One has to be careful, because Ghanaian scholars do not write many books (most of them are textbook commentators), hence Kennedy’s effort is worthwhile. Nevertheless, the haste with which first copies of the book were distributed connotes the work of a self-righteous storyteller who operates without due cognizance to the collective interest.
The author was in charge of communication within his own political party, and could not have sealed the channels to truncate his point of view. That could not have been possible because he was the conduit for information flow in a presidential campaign.
The fundamental premise of the book shows how the author discards movement values, and attempts to dislodge a more soulful political culture, which was in closer harmony with the people of Ghana.
If Kennedy were in his thirties, a “political domo” who practices medicine in the United States would have been the best description, though this is not the first time the New Patriotic Party is encountering a superfluous opinionated syndrome. In fact, many political parties have similar nemesis.
This “Kennedy debate” would not end easily, as we live in an open political system that recognizes divergent views, and promotes new ideas to strengthen democracy.
However, the main concern is - people have failed to understand that Arthur Kennedy is over-the-counter politician, a typical “American man” who says it all without caution. Given this fact, why then should we waste our time on someone who sustains an uncontrollable craving for sharing information , even if it means presenting an opinion immersed in ambiguity, party secrets, or less of the truth?
Author- formerly of the features desk, Daily Graphic.