One of my jobs is to give you - the general, law-abiding, church-going public, a sense of what really is going on in the streets. It is a difficult thing, because Belize is a small place, and families often do not want to look at the facts for what they are. That is understandable. Not all of our children are saints, but still the love is strong, if you see what I mean.
When I started the Kremandala Show in 1994, Dickie Bradley was at the height of his popularity as the host of the KREM Radio Wednesday night Talk Show. The reason for the Kremandala Show was simple: Dickie Bradley was so big in 1994 that it was as if he spoke for KREM Radio. I was not comfortable with this. I knew there would come a day when it would have to be clear that it was I who spoke for the radio station.
In this news business where Kremandala makes its living, life takes places in headlines. But that?s not the way it is for most of us citizens most of the time.
Life is lived, so to speak, in the small type (lower case) - everyday situations behind the noise and the hype. This week there?s lots of headlines - Prosser wants $400 million; Ashcroft goes slumming on West Street; Johnny?s head on the chopping block; etcetera, etcetera. But this column is small type this morning.
During the early/middle 1980?s, Odinga Lumumba worked several years at our newspaper, and we became close. I told people that he was my ?spiritual advisor.? After his conversion to Islam, Lumumba drew from a deep well of serenity which affected all who had occasion to mingle and interact with him.
Nine months from now there will be municipal elections in Belize City, Belmopan City and the various towns of Belize. The March 2006 municipal elections are important for more than just the fact of electing City Councils and Town Councils. The results of the 2006 municipal elections will decide how the people who donate to political parties budget and apportion their money for the 2008 general elections. The 2006 elections will decide a ?favourite? for 2008, and then many people will try to get on the winning horse.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that there were two periods of paradigm change in the People?s United Party ? the first change was when George Price took power in the party in 1956, and the second change was when George Price lost national power in 1984.
When Mr. Price won the leadership of the PUP in 1956, he began to do a lot of travelling in all the towns and villages of British Honduras to spread the message of independence and nationhood. Those travels on rough roads which were far from being highways; through dusty picados and stony trails; down rushing rivers and secluded creeks; up hills and down valleys ? those travels by the Father of Independence built the national credibility of the new, post-1956 PUP to the point where the party became a political juggernaut.
As the inaugural semi-pro basketball season of 1992 entered the last third of the regular season, it had become pretty clear that the four teams which would qualify for the playoffs were the rookie Kremandala Raiders, Santino?s Hotpoints, Maria Chang Crown Stadium and Penta Lakers.
There was a huge decision which had to be made, and Commissioner Gus Perera was leaving it up to the playoff teams to decide. 6?8" Fred Garcia, Jr., and 6?7" Kirk ?Shabba? Smith had finished their season and school year at Navarro State, a junior college in Texas, and Penta Lakers? general manager/coach, Hugh ?Pinas? Staine, had registered Fred and Kirk on his 15-man roster at the beginning of the season. Would they be allowed to play the last three games of the 10-game regular season and the playoffs?
When we were growing up in Belize City in the 1950?s and 1960?s, the old capital was predominantly black, and it was a tough place. The so-called Spanish families were a minority, and I would venture to say they would have encountered ethnic pressure in the old capital. Sometimes they were called ?corn?, or worse, ?Pania?, or even ?yellow belly Pania.?
We so-called Creoles knew absolutely nothing of the history of the people we called ?Spanish?, except that we celebrated a battle every September 10thin which we were taught that our ancestors had beaten them with ?pocono boy? sticks. We knew nothing of the Caste War in the Yucatan in the last half of the nineteenth century, and we were completely unable to differentiate between ?Spanish? and ?Maya.?
Powerful factions within the ruling PUP and the Opposition UDP are working together to put a propaganda hurt on me. This is Wednesday morning, and I want to wait until their material is put in print, which would be Thursday morning, before I respond. So my response would have to be next week.
We have seen powerful factions within the PUP and the UDP work together before, most dramatically in the incredible case of Freetown area representative, Derek Aikman, who was declared a bankrupt and expelled from the House of Representatives in 1992. This case still has me shaking my head in disbelief, because Derek Aikman was simply one of the most spectacularly successful political campaigners Belize has ever seen.