Most parents are good teachers and teachers are all great, but history is the most fabulous teacher of all. You get burned by a match once and no one ever has to tell you what hot is. You eat a lot of chicharón and nobody has to tell you that you will burp until you are sick. Don’t eat a lot of beans. If you are lactose-intolerant, ditto with staying away from too much cow milk. If you are around company, looks directed your way might make you feel unloved, unwanted.
Pastors go to Bible school and when they come out they act like they are very smart. In fact, the Bible and other religious books contain a lot of important historical lessons. You go to Proverbs and you will meet lessons galore. In the Bible school there are lessons to explain the lessons in the book. But that doesn’t give them license to…Wait, got to get back on track; this isn’t supposed to be about religion, this is about UDP palitishans.
All politicians study a fellow named Machiavelli who wrote a book called, The Prince. He was a guy who thought that cunning and low ethics are essentials for a politician who wants to win elections. For a guy like that, the be-all is winning power, and the end-all is keeping power.
These politicians, they also study history books. They have to, if they don’t want to repeat past mistakes that hurt their chances to win elections. You need wiles to deal with fish you are trying to hook. And if you’re a politician you have to know the history that hurt you. Tampering with dates is a big no-no in a UDP camp. If you want to see those bohgaz in a tizzy, talk about changing dates. It’s all because of a bad experience. In this instance it may be they have to respond to vibes coming from across the line too. But I don’t think so.
This UDP has power and they absolutely don’t want to lose it, and that’s the full explanation for their hesitation on what is obvious, and right and proper. See, a way back when, the UDP put off a date, and the blowback from that they have never got over. It explains a lot of the dishonest things they have done since coming to power in 2008.
For background we could talk about 1979. The story about the UDP was that they were supposed to win that one. But we won’t go there, not today. We will certainly talk about 1989, another election they were to win. They were all over the country singing a song called: never again PUP!
Ah, 1989, it was supposed to be a cake walk, a stroll in the park to pick up the grand prizes and all that went with another victory at the polls. Remember George Price? Oh, this is a long, long time ago. He had gone to the House, before the 1984 election, and declared that he couldn’t see how we could go any further. And then the UDP rode in to the rescue.
They rescued the economy by privatizing banana, selling off major shares in telecommunications (the precursor to Ashcroft), and they sold passports by the gobs!
Talking about passports by the gobs, there is an old story that warns us to not allow our dogs to get too fond of eggs. If we had learned that story well, eyebrows would not have raised when the minute the UDP got back into power, in 2008, they were back to the same old tricks.
Egg-loving dogs can get very sly. There was a feeding frenzy and under massive pressure from abroad, their leader responded by hiring the super smart detective, Godwin, to mind the passports. He had credentials. He was a fixture on the talk show circuit, and he was one of the three wise men – Henry, Herrera, and Godwin – but when they put him as cat to mind the cheese from the rats in the UDP cabinet, it wasn’t long before the cat had no fur and the rats were running riot in the pantry with the cheese, again.
Under his very nose one of the citizenship eggs was sold to an agent who was in a jail in Korea! The sale of passports never ended. What ended was Godwin’s title as Belize’s smartest man. You know, it is best sometimes for a boxer to stay down for the count. It is better sometimes for a jockey to pull his horse up “lame” midway through a race, than strain to get his mount to the tape and finish out of the money.
He, who absolutely dominated the airwaves for decades with his vast arsenal of answers for everything, he who had all the pundits with their mouths agape, woke up to find that they were knocking down his door to get answers from him for his immense failure. He would go into some kind of think tank, for a long time, and when he emerged all Belize said it were better that he had taken his lumps and gone away, disappeared from government, permanently.
It is not impossible that he slaved to prove to those who duped him that he was smart indeed. Hmm, the hurdles men go through and leap over to save their image. It is also possible that it was all revenge – hell hath no fury like that of a smart man made to look foolish. All that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we ended up paying, for what he wrought to restore his fur was the impossible new Vital Statistics Handbook, a creation that has disenfranchised men, women and children, from the Hondo to the Sarstoon.
For those of you who are too young to know, and those of you who are so old you have forgotten, 1998, the regime which changed dates, was the worst. A philosopher friend of mine told me that every government is worse than the one before it. Boy, we did think that there could be nothing worse than 1989-1993, until along came 1993-1998. And then worse actually came, 1998–2008, when instead of being welcomed to the party, we welcomed a decade of hurricanes and corruption. We thought that was it, that for sure we’d seen the worst. But that was only frying pan, because when we jumped to 2008, worst rode in on a cruel hoax whitéd sepulcher of a horse named Transparency and Accountability. Oh calamity, why is the joke always on us?
But back to that 1993-1998 government¯those were some days, my friend; we thought the pain would never end; we didn’t sing or dance, we just prayed and prayed – and then, when we were near the finish line, after the long drawn-out five years in which each year was a lifetime, a generation, the dastards said – mek dem bohgaz wait some more!
And wait we did, counting the tiresome days like a wearied insomniac counting sheep, until they couldn’t make us wait anymore. The UDP has never forgotten what happened to them on election day in 1998. It was a debacle, a wipe out. One by one they fell, and to this day people say it was a wonder that any were left standing when the dust settled. Sometimes egg-eating dogs get wap pahn di nose. One by one they fell, and many say it was a wonder that any was left standing.
But it might be more than fear of reprisal from home that drives them. The Guatemalans are going to elect a new president in June, and the party in power right now is absolutely depending on Belize going to referendum in April. It’s a win for the incumbent party in Guatemala either way we vote. Guatemalans have been hoodwinked since childhood by the false claim in their constitution, that we are theirs, so a YES vote from here will feel like a win for them. And a NO vote makes the politicians in power look real good, for making us blink.
It is not impossible that the Morales government is begging our government to step to the plate in April, or threatening them to keep the date. But I don’t think any fear of Guatemala can compare to the fear in the UDP over what happened to them in 1998, when they delayed the date for the election. It was some terrible night as they mi get wap one by one. It is still a wonder to some, why any was left standing.