Minister Sedi Elrington’s assessment of the performance of our present Police Commissioner, that it isn’t ANY WORSE than that of any of his predecessors, is just about the lowest compliment ever. And his observation that he doesn’t believe in super players, only in super teams, exposes him as a man who doesn’t have a full grasp of how the world works.
There was a time when Sedi couldn’t go to a House meeting without disparaging the job done by former PM, George Price. It did seem to be an obsession and there was real concern for his inability to get over it. When he kicked the habit, there was a breath of relief. We were glad for him, that he was past the bile within him. We really should be more careful about the things we pray for. We should have prayed for the bitterness to increase until it consumed his every waking hour.
Sedi is the leader who proposed that we get a Police Commissioner from a foreign place. Some of us thought this might be a good idea. Belize being such a small country, with so many of us being related by family or through the natural rub-rub that occurs in a small population, and our political leaders interfering so much in the regular day to day, we agreed that it just might take someone from foreign to do the job without fear or favour.
Now we know the whole truth, where he is coming from, and whatever pretty was in that picture just turned ugly. It’s a low thing to argue that the present Commissioner isn’t WORSE than any of his predecessors. That statement says that the Pickstock leader is totally unimpressed with the performance of the Belizeans who have held this post. It does make one wonder. Is he one of those Belizeans who yearn for the full return of the colonial master?
One day I’ll have to go into Amandala’s archives and find the column by Anne K. Lowe in which she quoted the European man who said he was for the natives getting self-rule. I don’t have it verbatim, but what I write here is close enough. The colonial man said that our desire for self-rule was similar to that of a child thinking they were ready to face the world. He said, give them self-rule, they will find out soon enough that they aren’t capable of handling the job and they will come running back to us, begging for us to master over them again.
A number of Belizeans have served Belize in the capacity of Police Commissioner since Arthur Adolphus took charge back in 1969. It is possible that one or two left something to be desired. Of course, circumstances must have crimped excellence. But we can be sure that some did well, and some performed BETTER than others. How can the Minister of Police say that the present person in charge isn’t WORSE than any of the rest of them? Those who have served Belize in that capacity, and their families, their stomachs must be turning. Those who are no longer here must want to rise up and give him the sense.
A Commissioner of Police should be a super player. The reason for that is pretty simple. They, a Police Commissioner, will have a great difficulty putting together a super team if they don’t bring super talents to the table. That’s just the way the Almighty designed things.
A super team congeals around a super player. A super player doesn’t have to be loud about their business. They don’t have to fill up all of the stat sheets. Many times it is the intangibles. By their fruits you know them. You put them in an organization and you see positive results. You take them out and the results are no longer so good.
Is Chester Williams a super talent in the realm of policing? They plugged him into a situation, he recruited some sincere talent, and Belize began to look like the tranquil haven of democracy again. They unplugged him and we again experience horrors. The worst thing a people can do is to disrespect talent. We have every right to challenge. To disrespect is to make a great mistake.
In every sphere there are talents that are luminary. A George Price leads land reform. His government takes control of thousands and thousands of acres of land, and these lands are distributed, with a form of title, to farmers and people who want to build homes. A Philip Goldson sees the British about to appease a bully neighbour and he steps up and leads the resistance to preserve our country from the Hondo to the Sarstoon.
Jesus the Christ was a rare one. He just might have been the best in every sphere. There’s no record of him as a fisherman, but one day he took a walk down by the seaside and saw that the great fishermen were having a really poor day. Jesus told them to cast their nets in a certain area. Their nets couldn’t hold the fish. Now, why didn’t one of the fishermen know where the fish were? They didn’t because they weren’t super talents.
This Sedi Elrington, in foreign affairs he is out of his water and his ideas about policing escalate violence in the streets. From my observation the trouble here is that we are dealing with an academic. There is nothing wrong with an academic, if they understand their practical shortcomings. But when they don’t, things can get difficult.
Sedi’s star began to rise when he became a lawyer. When you have that level of education you have it made financially, and you gain respect for cerebral powers you might not have. Sedi contributed to the national discourse by joining SPEAR. Maybe a job at the university might have been the place where his public contribution should have peaked.
People around him must have told him he had the capacity to operate at higher heights. Maybe he thought so himself, that he was a super player. So, he pushed for elected office. Unfortunately there is nothing super about him at the higher level.