Editorial — 20 July 2005

Senator Bradley?s constitutional rank inside the Government of Belize, increases his value to the Andrew Brown legal team far beyond that of an ordinary lawyer who belongs to the ruling party. Everything in Belize is politics, even a matter such as Mr. Brown?s extradition hearings, which is supposed to be a strictly legal question. Here we have, in the Brown matter, a legal team which is led by the Leader of the Opposition United Democratic Party (Hon. Dean Barrow), and which includes the highest ranking official of the ruling People?s United Party who is not in Cabinet. The prestige of his legal team provides evidence of Mr. Brown?s socio-economic rank in Belize. But a political burden of proof is on Senator Bradley, because the decision to seek Andrew Brown?s extradition to the United States, that decision we believe to be a Cabinet decision.

We say this because there are any number of Belizeans whom the American government wants to have extradited to the United States. The police do not move on such matters unless they have permission and instruction from the Minister of Police. And the Minister of Police reports, and is responsible, to Cabinet. At least, that is what we Belizeans believe. So why would a gentleman who is just below Cabinet ranking, seek to frustrate a Cabinet decision? Is there no loyalty to Cabinet on his part, or is it that the dictates of mammon represent a licence for lawyers which takes precedence over political loyalty? Interesting.

The second aspect with political implications of Senator Bradley?s decision to serve on Mr. Brown?s legal team, has to do with the fact that Senator Bradley?s hitherto bitter opponent in the Queen?s Square constituency, Hon. Dean Barrow, is the leader of the Brown legal team. Mr. Bradley?s decision to serve as junior counsel in a matter in which Mr. Barrow, the UDP Leader, operates as senior counsel, amounts to an act of public submission in the eyes of the general public.

Dickie Bradley has been extraordinarily active in the Collet constituency for the last eighteen months, or shortly after the 2003 general elections in which he was beaten by Mr. Barrow for a second consecutive time. The reports are many that Mr. Bradley has decided, with the support of PUP leadership, to seek to replace Remijio Montejo as PUP Collet standard bearer. The decision to cast his Queen?s Square credibility to the winds by playing second fiddle to Dean Barrow, appears to confirm Mr. Bradley?s new preference for Collet.

For his part, Mr. Montejo has won twice (1989, 1998) and lost thrice (1984, 1994 and 2003) in Collet at the general election level. Outside of Collet and outside of the ruling party, he is not thought of as being a brilliant chap. But Remijio Montejo, we can assure you, is a very, very astute politician. If he decides to defend his standard bearer slot in a Collet divisional convention, he would not be a pushover. Trust us.

We cannot resist the temptation to remind Senator Dickie of the fable of the dog with the bone in his mouth who, crossing a bridge over a pond, saw the reflection of the bone in the water. He snapped at the apparent bone in the water, only to have the real bone drop from his mouth and sink beneath the waters. Collet, in other words, looks like a bone, but it may be a shadow. Thus endeth the lesson.

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