To Turn a Socialist Print E-mail
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Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 01 December 2011 00:00

There is a gentleman from the village of Guinea Grass in Orange Walk who goes by the nickname “Mad House”. I have never found out his real name, even though he comes to town each day and is well known for railing at people at the drop of a hat. I always make an effort give “Mad House” a hail when I see him, and try to get a feel of the town from him. Very few people know this, but he has a daughter from Corozal Town, Rosalee Price Williams, who served as Town Councilor from 2006 to 2009 under Mayor Campos.

 I saw “House” on Saturday and as usual I decided to give him a shout. As I slowed down my vehicle, I recalled that we did not part company in good graces the previous occasion we had met, which was at the Ninth amendment consultations at the Multi-Purpose complex. I had asked him at that time how he felt about the Ninth, and he fired at me that this law would “make Barrow ton wa dictator”.  I felt at that time that our Government was losing the battle against sensationalism and fear-mongering being coordinated by the Opposition and the attorneys for the Ashcroft Alliance.

Well, on Saturday past, I had to ask him, at the risk of being razed with a barrage of his colorful adjectives, if Barrow had indeed become a dictator and if he still was in opposition to the Ninth. To my utter surprise, he did not take umbrage at my tease, and said that all was ok. I asked if he had returned under the red tent, but he said no, “till them fix me up”. At this I had to laugh, and promised that I would ask his area representative to inquire as to what a “House” wanted to be fixed up with.

What triggered the memory of the encounter with the “House” was the news on Love FM last night, Tuesday, November 29. I listened keenly as the anchor shared a release from the People’s United Party, which detailed the Party’s position on a number of issues, including majority ownership of our public utilities, BEL, BTL and BWSL. In all honesty,  I felt some relief that the Opposition is now openly affirming its support for an effort which this UDP government, singularly fought so bitterly for, against a determined adversary with unlimited resources. Now that we are witnessing the benefits of this decision, we are all appreciating that there was no hidden UDP agenda; only the struggle for our national dignity.

 My main regret was that if the PUP had made known its official position a few months ago, the old chap would have realized that he could not challenge a united people and would have backed down. As one commentator mentioned in the heat of the battle, we welcome all investors, but they must know that Belizeans will not allow our country to be abused. All that is requested is that our laws be respected and that industries become good corporate citizens. 

There are several other issues in the PUP press release which make for interesting comment, but I will hoard those away for another time. Judging from the sparse remarks I have heard this morning from my colleagues concerning last night’s news, there is the opinion that that the PUP leadership is finally beginning to demonstrate a level of maturity and nationalism, which is a step in the right direction after the past ten years of their governance. I hope this attitude does not lighten away with the promises of plentiful riches and free travel to exotic countries. If the recent past can be used as an example of PUP attitude, then these lures will invariably work on weak minds, since they even turned a confirmed socialist to one of the most callous Prime Ministers the country has ever known.