The New Faces of the PUP Print E-mail
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Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 18 October 2012 00:00

A friend of mine enquired of me last week how I managed to submit an article each week to The Guardian, considering that every submission involves identifying and developing a different subject. I had to admit that recently, I have not been very consistent with my articles for the simple reason that while I totally favor commenting on political issues, the PUP is presently so dormant that there is very little for me to confute them on! Seriously, I envy the Amandala’s editor and publisher, who are able to come out week after week with diverse and interesting topics for readers to appreciate, and they never complain like I do.

The reality is, though, that the attempted humor in my introduction actually bears some truth: the PUP has really neglected, for the most part, their responsibility to be an active Opposition and seem contented to let others paddle their canoe. Even at the last House meeting, they were eager to walk out as if there were other more important business for them to attend to, other than represent their constituencies. The issue with the walk-out (I was there and I saw), was that it was impromptu; initiated by the former, and highly unpopular, PUP Prime Minister. He literally snatched the reins of the Party from Fonseca and ran with it. They did not walk out on the buffet, though, and they all later came out of the House looking smug and stuffed.

The face of the Opposition has, with this lack of leadership, taken the shape of a scattering of organizations that either have a personal grudge against the present Prime Minister or are slugging for their master (or dislike the PM on behalf of their master). The official organ of the PUP, the Belize Times, is only being published on-line, and I do glance at it from time to time to see what their new gripe is, but always it’s stale news. In this new era of continuous political engagement, it is Channel Fox who leads the fight against the UDP, deep in mire for its boss; the latter being the same chap, who has just been appointed to the Privy Council. Luckily, we got out of there in time!

Channel Fox, which is managed by a past editor of the Belize Times, has the unique knack to twist and turn an innocent news item into a blistering UDP shortfall. They are never inconsistent in their attacks or apologetic of their partisan slant on every issue. In spite of this, their news items have umpteen more blogs per day than what the Belize Times experiences per week. Some cynics on this side of the fence call it “auto-blog”, insinuating that Amalia takes on multiple personalities at night, furiously pounding the keys. But to them, it looks impressive on their résumé to brag that their newscasts are being read on-line by a good number of faithful fanatics; albeit these eccentric characters do tightly embrace the benefit of obscurity afforded by the Internet.

The next active group is of course our friends at Oceana, including the political pundit slash election results forecaster. I have not seen him for some time now, our friend the gold-digger that is, but the great leader, mademoiselle herself, continues to attack her keyboard in her weekly columns (not exciting reading, I swear), ostentatiously sounding like an expert on every issue under this sun. I tell you, the tantrums people throw when they can’t have their way.

The last group that keeps a sharp but cocked eye on the UDP government is COLA. In theory, they have no political axe to grind, but they don’t mind stumbling upon one. Like the L’Amour cowboys of the Wild West, they fight at the drop of a hat, and they don’t mind dropping the hat. Right now their issue is Guatemala, and I admire the courage and nationalism which they promote; but sometimes we have to be very careful. We don’t want to trigger something that could bring harm to our people and country. So admiration aside, I would like to gently suggest we take things cool and talk things over before resorting to burning effigies like we are in the Middle-East or something. No offence brothers! That said, I ask that you take care and see you next week, God willing.