Features — 24 February 2018
Sedi can come out but we’re not accepting the proposal

Sedi Elington describing some Caleb proposal as “lovely” cannot go unremarked. Ever since Katherine Hepburn informed Peter O ’Toole in “The Lion in Winter” (movie about England’s King Henry II) that old men like to develop crushes for little boys, it’s been a part of my knowledge base. It’s good to know things, so when you see things you are not lost as to what is going on.

This Caleb obviously puts a lot of exertion, goes the extra yard into maintaining a boyish look. Elrington is an old man with a Santa Claus white beard. If you have any sense of numbers, you’ll see what I see, that the math is—interesting.

You might not have heard it directly from the horse’s mouth, but thank gudnis for transcripts it’s all there in the Channel Seven files what Minister Elrington said: “LGBTI has come onboard, they will be working with us. We have been having meetings with Caleb and they have presented a wonderful proposal to help us. They have a lot of experience and knowledge in advocacy and I’ve been asking him maybe for the last 2, 3 years to come onboard to help us. They put forward a very lovely proposal and I know that he met with Alexis last week so we are trying to spread a very wide net, bring in everybody who has the ability to help us, to help us.”

Those who heard, and those who are just reading now, your ears, your eyes, must have opened a little when he spoke about the Unibam’s “wonderful proposal.” When that proposal turned, just a sentence or two later to “lovely”, I said, there – signed, sealed, delivered.

I know, I know, the man talks archaic. Well he’s not speaking at any old defunct St. Michael’s College elocution contest. Ever since the mighty Alfred Hitchcock got ahold of “lovely”, it is an adjective exclusively for a gender discussion. Has the Unibam advocate ever been in a discussion that didn’t involve gender? Heck, did anyone else know that there were more than two of those before he and his crowd came along to educate us?

My, Elrington thinks so highly of the “advocacy.” Advocacy indeed! That gentleman and his crowd just drove Belize into the Dark Ages. If you read books you will know that in the day of Leviticus man was just a common beast, concerned only with eating food and his various debaucheries. It wasn’t a race to see who could be more restrained (civilized): it was a race to see who could be more depraved. God had to wipe out two whole cities to tame the savage inside us.

Oh yes, it was hard going. Some people had to get rubbed out, so that humanity could step out of the darkness and into the light. Thank gudnis we did. Then those wonderful, lovely advocates came along, and plunged us back into our wikid past. They deserve tar and feathers, not a seat at the table where we hold our nation’s most important discussion!

The pursuit in this story cannot be ignored. Elrington, no pride at all, says he has been soliciting, chasing after Caleb and the Unibam’s services for going on three years now. Elrington seems to be very old school, so he might be ignorant of the new rules about these types of engagements. Three years in the new age, I will advise him that that takes him well into the realm of harassment.

Caleb and the Unibam are not guiltless; this matter is in the public arena now, so they and their leader have to explain why they have been playing so “hard to get.” When they got their (not our) great victory with the smacking down of Section 53, one of their sympathizers declared that they shouldn’t stop there, that they should go for violently kicking down the whole fence.

For sure they can see we are reeling. That court ruling blow was immense, a flush hit on the jawbone that buckled our knees. We shouldn’t be surprised if the philistines are seeing carpe diem, and there’s something in the offing for them when they sign on to this proposed deal.

I think certain parties ought to know that weak as we are, we are nowhere near toppling over. Mr. Elrngton might get what he is after, but there’ll be no reciprocation. I’m not really into the business of disappointing anybody but they, the other party, have to know that what Elrington has to give is just words, words that count for nada in our courts and even less out here.

You know, when Sedi Elrington first came along people saw grace in him. Maybe that’s because we compared him to his big brother, Hubert, who gloried in the image of being a fearless bohga. Well boss, brother speak softly went into politics and grace was quickly lost, and it didn’t take very long for his fall to grass to sink to the disgraceful third state. Maybe he thinks he’s got no farther to fall.

He’s got nothing to lose so now he’s coming out. That’s his business. Our business is that we are not going to pay. If we do, heaven will be furious, as it was with those two towns in the Bible, and with the Greeks and the Romans. We don’t want what happened to them, to happen to us. That proposal that is lovely to him is not very decent to us. Sorry, we are not accepting it.

Seriously, both sides have the same rights

If the ICJ-ists are so confident that the court is the way to go, why not allow the arguments to speak for themselves? Does someone feel we are not smart enough to know a good thing when we see it?

Yes, the Belize government insists on railroading the referendum verdict on the ICJ. Elrington especially, does not respect the intelligence of the Belizean people. He has said that only a hundred thousand times. It is hard to find out wherefrom he got the information that led him to reach such a disappointing opinion of our capacity as a people to think things through.

Foreign Affairs Minister Elrington claims to have been a conscious participant in the Philip Goldson led march against Bethuel Webster’s Proposals (1968). Among other things in the Webster Proposals, we would have had to “consult” Guatemala on foreign and security affairs. Interesting, from a British colony to a Guatemalan one.

There were the 1981 Heads of Agreement. Socorro Bobadilla, Odinga Lumumba, BAM, and the Amandala led the charge against this one. This was “puss-eena-beg” from the start. The “agreements” had not been fully agreed on. The framework had Guatemala getting use and enjoyment of some Belizean territory, free access to our ports, pipelines running across our country, all that is in the MAA, and more.

Philip Goldson led the charge against the Maritime Areas Act. Sedi Elrington well knows what was the beef because his brother, Hubert, was big against it. Those against the MAA saw land cession to follow, in the Deep South. The story is they did not approve of the line being drawn all the way up to near Barranco. There was conscientious objection to the MAA, but it was passed without any violent uprising.

If I recall correctly, Emma Boiton and Sandra Coye were the lead challengers to the Facilitators  (Ramphal/Reichler) proposals. But Belize didn’t get much of a chance to think this one through because the Guatemalan government rejected it. The Facilitators used the MAA as the basis for their proposals to get the Guatemalans to ease off. Among other things, the Guatemalans got the MAA, a sizable EEZ in the Caribbean, and some of their citizens who had established a village, Santa Rosa, inside Belize, would not be evicted. But they would have to respect all our land borders.

Yes, before Belize got a chance to think this one thru, the Guatemalan government rejected it. If we could talk across worlds, and we dialed up Ambassador Alfredo Martinez, he would quite likely tell us the Guatemalan government rejected the Facilitators because they couldn’t go to their people and tell them they got no land, after insisting for so many years that they have legal rights to half of our country.

Jimmy Morales’s apparent no fear approach to going to the ICJ might have to do with his not being a career politician. He has little face and no legacy to lose.

Mr. Reichler knew the Guatemalans were not entitled to any land. More than 200 years after Spain left Belize alone (1798), the Guatemalans persist, in Spain’s name, to claim Belize.

The government’s proper course should be to seek advocates from both sides. I hear that Dr. Assad Shoman is likely coming on board. Assad is squarely of the position that we should go to the ICJ. He spells that out very clearly in his “Pocket Guide to the Referendum on the ICJ”.

The “No to the ICJ” folk should prepare a similar type booklet. The cost shouldn’t be prohibitive. It would be only “fair” that the Ministry of Home Affairs sponsor it, as they did Shoman’s book.

We must never forget that we are a democracy. No government in Belize has been elected on a pro or no ICJ platform. The democratic way then is to allow both sides equal time.

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Deshawn Swasey

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