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Briceno’s Poor Decorum Print E-mail
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Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 29 September 2011 00:00

Whenever I make any comment about a Member of Parliament, I make it a rule not to lose my respect for the office which that person holds, and I consciously undertake to be civil. But as with all rules, you will agree, there are exceptions, and I for one will readily confess that circumstances from time to time dictate that we must not be coy in calling out a person for the folly that he or she commits. In this particular instance, and through this essay, I will direct my remarks to the Leader of the Opposition, and hope that this article will serve as counsel rather than critique.

As everyone will appreciate by now, the death of Rt. Hon. George Price brought sorrow to all Belizeans no matter their political persuasions. His humble character was a reflection of the way our people were in the past, with the older generation having this unique affection and trust for one another. Today these traits have all but disappeared, with greed and envy having for the most part replaced the Belizean humility that once characterized our country.

On Monday morning, during the State funeral for the late Mr. Price, several speakers gave tribute to the former Premier, Prime Minister, and Father of our Independence. All but one of the speakers remained focused on the theme of the day, and gave honour where it was due, to the Hon. George Cadle Price. This was his day, the special ceremony done in recognition of his dedication and achievements, not a day for self accreditation or political rallies.

I don’t know who wrote the PUP Leader’s speech, but he did a terrible disservice to the nation. It was shoddy and disjointed, at times talking about Mr. Price, then about a “re-dedicated” PUP, and finally about the UDP’s performance. His manner spoke as if bequeathing upon himself Mr. Price’s distinction, his demeanor suggesting that he had been personally charged with carrying out Mr. Price’s legacy to the nation. I was watching the presentations live on TV, and after the PUP speech I expressed my objection to my family, who jokingly said that perhaps I was naturally biased against it because of my political sympathies.

But the next day at work I realized I was not alone in my dislike. Open comments were being expressed by fellow employees, which mirrored my own opinion. In addition, with like passion in which the PUP speech was being disparaged, there was only commendation for the Prime Minister’s presentation. The PM gave one of the most compelling speeches I have ever heard, which made all of us proud. Undeniably Mr. Barrow was the statesman requisite of such a ceremony and he received the standing ovation he deserved. We all say out here, well done, Prime Minster, the world was watching Belize and you did not disappoint our nation.