To tell the truth, we had almost no interest in this Patrick Faber challenge to Gapi Vega for Deputy UDP Leader/Deputy Prime Minister until Easy Glen entered the picture. Easy Glen entered the picture because Michael Finnegan, who appears to be supporting Faber, called him out naked on national television last week, the police picked up Easy Glen, and after holding him for 94 hours, according to Easy Glen, they released him without charge. Easy Glen then counter-attacked on the KREM WUB talk show and the Channel 7 newscast last Friday.
You may not know this, but Easy Glen is a popular man in the city streets. This is because he is friendly with everybody, and he has lyrics. Michael Finnegan is a big man on the city streets because he has won Mesopotamia five straight times, and by bigger and bigger margins. When these two meet in the UDP national convention in February of 2013, everybody will want to see the action, because Easy Glen will be Gapi’s general in the city constituencies.
The reason we had no interest in the Faber challenge to Gapi is because there are no general elections due here for four years, and no matter how much wrangling and political bloodshedding goes on, it will be an internal matter of the ruling UDP. That’s all.
No matter how small the victory margin of one of the two major political parties over the other, and in the case 0f 2012 it was only 17-14 in favor of the UDP, once the Governor General swears in the Prime Minister, that means Buckingham Palace is staying, story done. In the British Commonwealth, the election process is sacrosanct. If you lose, no matter how narrowly, don’t be moaning and groaning. No one cares.
So, Faber versus Gapi: who cared? Easy Glen versus Michael Finnegan, now that is a different story in the media capital. This is big stuff, because there is history here. In late 1968, Michael Finnegan was Michael Myvett, a poor and uneducated 17-year-old who began hanging around Assad Shoman and Said Musa in the Ad Hoc Committee. In 1970, he joined UBAD, but by 1972 he had become Dean Lindo’s man in the city streets, and this turned out to be a political partnership made in heaven. The long and short of this is that Michael Finnegan paid his dues: whatever he gets, he has earned.
The exciting thing about life is that in all competitions under the sun, there comes a time when there appears what the streets call a “new kid on the block.” Is it possible that Finnegan took Easy Glen for granted? How come after the national television hatchet job the Mesop area rep did on Easy Glen, there was no arrest?
This is a big move being made by Patrick Faber, because he has to give up the party chairmanship in order to challenge Gapi. It was hard to take the Faber challenge seriously, until he received endorsements last week from former UDP Leaders Dean Lindo and Manuel Esquivel. Conventional wisdom had it that Prime Minister Dean Barrow did not want to rock the party boat, and his decision to seat Gapi at the head table for last Friday’s superbond good news press conference, was a Barrow message to any convention delegate who cared to read messages.
In Belize, for those of us who don’t go to casinos, party politics is often the only game in town. On occasions like Faber/Finnegan versus Gapi/Easy Glen, party politics will be the biggest game in town. Any excitement is better than no excitement at all.