For within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his Court, and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable, and humored thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell King!
– RICHARD II, Act III, sc. ii, l. 160-170
Our old people used to say, when you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas. If our elected politicians are going to be running around with any foreigner who flashes money and offers drinks, then our elected politicians run the risk of ending up with egg on their faces, from time to time. There were several Government of Belize officials, including Cabinet Ministers, who were scrambling this week to distance themselves from their entanglements with the one “William Danny Mason,” who stands accused of orchestrating the beheading murder of Llewellyn “Pastor Lou” Lucas sometime on Friday afternoon/evening July 15, 2016.
There are other crimes of which Mr. Mason is accused and will be accused, including kidnapping, extortion, embezzlement, and so on. He had documents for several aliases, including a Belize birth certificate for the village of Crooked Tree, even though he is basically Guyanese and Canadian. By now, had there been resources available for a media system like Kremandala, we would have had to send people to Guyana and Canada to build a lifetime dossier on William Danny Mason. He has become that big in Belize.
A couple years ago, Belizeans thought that the American John MacAfee was a crazy bad dude, but for now, William Danny Mason is taking the cake. Remember, MacAfee claimed that his troubles on San Pedro Ambergris Caye began, ending up with his fleeing Belize to avoid police questioning in connection with the shooting murder of his neighbor, when he refused to give a donation to the political campaign of Hon. John Saldivar, the Belize Minister of National Security. We’re just saying.
By the time the Belize Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, came on national radio and television Wednesday morning, July 20, to do damage control for his ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Government of Belize, a rare, contradictory mood of satisfaction and anger had set in amongst the Belizean masses. The Belizean people were satisfied that murderers had actually been apprehended with blood on their hands and they were satisfied that high flying local politicians had been caught in bed with an unsavory character, but the Belizean people were angry because our highest ranking officials had allowed the name of our beloved nation to be besmirched. The Belizean mood at the base was, to a great extent, “we told you so”; we been telling you so a long time now.
Too many of our elected politicians have been absolutely longing for pretty things which their salaries cannot afford. The corruption inside the ruling party had become massive, and the people of Belize could see it. The question was, when the Prime Minister looked in the mirror, what was he seeing?
When the first Said Musa People’s United Party (PUP) government came to power in August of 1998, there was significant optimism amongst Belize’s thinkers and scholars, intellectuals if you will. Belizean thinkers were optimistic because Mr. Musa’s personal political history suggested that his would be an open and enlightened administration. At least, that was the hype. Belizean thinkers, during the first Musa administration, began, in an organized, meticulous way, to examine Belize’s constitution and political system more closely than these had ever been examined before.
They concluded, amongst other things, that Belize’s so-called parliamentary democracy was really a monarchy in disguise. In reality, the Prime Minister is like a king. The Prime Minister’s power is very large. Since those days of research and discovery in the early third millennium, no one has been able to disprove this fundamental thesis: when Belize elects a Prime Minister by electing a majority of the standard bearers in a specific leader’s party in our 31 electoral constituencies, we Belizeans are actually choosing a king to rule over us.
When our king looked at himself in the mirror this week, the realization that he was sitting on a throne of filth may have set in more traumatically than ever before. Under questioning by his radio/television hosts and their audience on Wednesday morning, the microphones caught Mr. Barrow sighing audibly on multiple occasions. For all his money, his power, and his baubles, bangles, and beads, there was the matter of his personal reputation, one he had always scrupulously sought to preserve. Now, in the court of King Dean, there were courtiers whose dignity and decorum, at least, had been proven to be lacking. And in the streets of Belize, the court of public opinion passed judgment without a trial: guilty of corruption was the verdict. In response, the king came down from his throne on Wednesday morning.
As a people, we Belizeans ourselves need to look in the mirror. What we see in our government, is what we have wrought. These are the individuals we chose to lead us, in free and fair elections. We are one Belize. The sins of our leaders are our sins, Belizeans. You don’t want to hear that, because you believe, above all, in prayers. After you look at the filth going down in Belmopan the last week, look at yourself in the mirror. This is our Belize. How it is, is how we made it.
The Belizean people, we submit, now want to know where it is exactly that King Dean now intends to lead us. In the House of Representatives, his answer has always been to point his finger at the king who came before him – King Said. Mr. Barrow, it may be argued, came to power by default in 2008. There was no other option. King Said had broken the treasury. But that treasury, after eight years of King Dean, is in bad shape. Belize is in a financial crisis.
Through all Belize’s turmoil of the past few months – Chiquibul, Sarstoon, BTL/Ashcroft, and now William Danny Mason, Mr. Barrow has been refusing to call a meeting of the House of Representatives. Mayhap he is hoping to bridge the gap to the “feel good” Centenary months.
The bread and circuses aren’t going to work this time, Mr. Barrow. Our socio-economic problems are too deep-seated, and your administration’s performance in the face of Guatemalan intimidation has been discouraging. Because you are no Prince Hal, you will have to come clean to the Belizean people. Come down off your throne, and speak truth to the Belizean people.
Power to the people. Remember Danny Conorquie.