Features — 21 September 2019
Mr. Gill has got a lot of nerve

The PUP shouldn’t win the next general election 31-0, but the UDP should lose it in a total blowout – they shouldn’t get any seats. They have earned that. This party that had so much honesty and class, is now a story of corruption and crass. They, all 31 of them, need to be denied. This UDP is a party that needs to go off with their own guru to séance at one of our islands.

If it were up to me they’d do their penance at one of those cays where the habitat of the mosquitoes has not been touched by fire, hurricane, or human hands. I bet after a bad night they’d promise to rid themselves of all their dross. People like these need to get kos, even by the PUP.

No one can stop Mr. Vaughan Gill from giving the UDP hell, but he really must be out of his mind to, every morning, criticize the independent media over the way they do their jobs. Gill was trained by the PUP propaganda machine a way back when, and that Goebbels stables covered all the bases. Naa, I’m not quibbling about his general techniques. If I did that I’d be opening up myself to major criticism, because I’m no purist. I know my place.

I said he must be out of his mind. My, how easy some people forget where they came from. Before I go on, I have no negative words for the nice young lady, Ms. Wendy, who co-hosts with him on the Vibes most mornings. I don’t know her resumé, how long she has been running with that gang, but I know this Vaughan comes out of the belly of the beast, from the deep, the depths where the blue turns almost purple. All PUP should wear sackcloth until they are in office again and they have proved that they are no longer weak in the knees when they are near our cash and properties, like they were in their governments in this century, and like the UDP is now.

Juliet and Joe and Fonso could sound off before 2008, for their party had a history of turning out candidates that weren’t dirty, rotten, conniving crooks. They must be crazy to talk now. Yes, Mr. Gill, you saw what your party did and you know who all of them are. I’m not saying that you were in on the retirement plans, which were way south of the legal ones Esquivel hashed up, but you were very up close and friendly with the hounds.

It’s really a terrible thing how these political crooks spoil the names of good people. Do you know who is just about the most important talent in Belize, Mr. Gill? She is one of your people. Ms. Carolyn Trench Sandiford has the kind of training that Henry Fairweather and a select few others had. Carolyn was a dutiful public servant who just wanted to serve her people, but she was too near your devils.

I hear what the UDP mouthpieces say about her sometimes, and I know it is drivel. Oh, I almost forgot another great one, Dr. Carla Barnett. You see what being near to those mucky Reds did to her name? She lost much of her luster, but she’s got substance, like Carolyn, and it is those hardworking guys and gals in the media whom you deride, who will help restore them, for the glory of Belize.

Just about the only good thing you can say about your party at this time, Mr. Gill, is that you haven’t done any mischief in 11 years, and you never were bad as the UDP. The PUP never told us they were virtuous. Yes, Mr. Vaughan, please remember that the blue shirt you wear is made out of sackcloth, so at all times you must be humble. You’ve got a real nerve telling some of those top journalists whose articles I read in the independent newspapers how to do their jobs.

OSH

First things first, the recent tragedy at the Belize City Center should not have happened, at least not that way. Roofers are people who have no fear of heights; fear of falling doesn’t cause them to lose sleep at nights. However, we all know that one can be too good for one’s own safety, so somebody else, in this case someone who has a healthy respect for heights, has to step in and insist on the proper safety measures.

I have a lot to say about the OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) Bill, but I’ll just throw in this for today. There are things we can do, have to do, and those things should form the first OSH Law for Belize. There are some basic gears that roofers need if they are going to be sent two, three stories and more up. Let us do the things we must do, now, then we can continue on the things we’d like to do.

 A completed guide, safety standards for Belize, will not be a piece of cake, and the reason for that is that we are not a cash-rich country. There is no way an economy that pays its workers $5 per hour can wholesale copy what an economy that pays its workers $20 per hour does, so we have to be practical. The representatives of workers and the representatives of businesses must throw away the old antagonisms when they are working on this OSH bill.

Our present government exposed its lack of concern for safety when it signed on to the design for the rehabilitated George Price Highway between Roaring Creek and Santa Elena. They did not consider the safety of people who live in these areas, especially the children. They saw a road and climate change: they didn’t see the people.

My take on some news

I’m usually late on the innards, the stories behind the stories, but I read and listen a lot, so I usually have some preliminary assessments.

I saw Mr. John Bodden briefly at the BTL lobby in Belmopan when I went to pay my telephone bill on Tuesday, but I didn’t get a chance to tell him I’d be throwing a complaint his way this weekend about the two fishes because when I’d completed my business with the cashier, he was already out of there.

I want to tell the minister that John is a highly professional brother, well-liked, well respected, so he shouldn’t be messing with him. John is the Principal Public Health Inspector, grew up through the ranks, and my take is that he knows more than he is telling about these fishes. Mr. Bodden said their preliminary assessment didn’t look terrible, with two of the 5 species they sampled having elevated levels of methyl mercury. However, he was only certain about one of the two species.

Mr. Bodden must really love bay snook, because he remembered that that was one of the fishes with elevated levels. You would remember if a fish you liked was anywhere near the prohibited list. Belizeans would go crazy if silk snapper was declared too toxic to eat.

Ah, Mr. Bodden couldn’t remember if the other bad fish was the popular baaka, or one called chulin. I’ll just cut this off here and say that when John fumbled between the two fishes, I understood that he was talking in codes. The message is very simple. All is not well with the fishes, so we need to wait for more information.

All kinds of suspicion bells went off when the authorities declared that they could not determine the cause of death of a young woman from Belmopan who had been abducted and murdered.  The report must have been preliminary. There must be more on this.

Brother Louis Wade of Plus TV read a letter that he got from an establishment which complained that he could have produced his evening newscast without calling the business’s name. An employee of the business had tipped off the police about two suspicious looking characters that were at the premises and the police came and nabbed the men with some prohibited products.

No one wants their name or their business’s name anywhere near nefarious people, but I don’t know that Mr. Wade should have withheld the name of the business. If he had done so, people would have wondered why his station hadn’t called the name. The establishment was right to complain because in doing so they reinforced their innocence in the entire saga.

Coming to the ComPol, what was his purpose in not saying who owned the airstrip where the plane landed a couple weeks ago with all those drugs? Okay, there’s “no nexus”, but he hurt his creds to protect an innocent party. The ComPol’s credibility is very important to this nation.

By the way, BTL needs to apologize to Mr. Tony Wright.

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Deshawn Swasey

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