Look who is Pointing Fingers Print E-mail
( 2 Votes )
Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00

I think the Prime Minister made an excellent decision yesterday, October 15, to withdraw support from Penner at any level of representation in the National Assembly. While I was initially inclined to agree with the reasoning that Penner had been punished sufficiently by being dismissed as a Minister of State, many UDP supporters were expressing to me that the degree of shame that this gentlemen has wrought upon our country is too deep to merely demote him. They were saying that no amount of wailing at a wake can bring back the dead, and Penner is dead as a politician. It was a better decision to figuratively bury him and take our chances with the electorate, hoping that a newer, cleaner candidate will be more appealing to campaign for.

Why I said I was keen on the PM’s decision is that although I think that Penner would have survived the recall process, he would have brought too much long term political damage to the United Democratic Party even if he were only an area representative. We would have been seen like Social Security in the old PUP days, that whenever a benefit claim was denied, the worker would curse out the SSB employees and accuse them of jilting pennies from the workers but allowing Courtney to walk away with $3.34 million.

If Penner would have been allowed to continue representing the people of Cayo north-east with the full backing of the UDP, the Party would have been in an adverse position in future elections since we would not have been able to campaign in any constituency without having to defensively explain why we supported a man who brought so much embarrassment to our country. Now the Party’s position is clear; even as this decision can reduce the UDP’s majority by half.

With all that though, I cannot just ease the PUP, or lend them any crumb of sympathy support. I mean, they are now claiming that the PUP of 2013 is not the same PUP of 1998 to 2008. Well, here I beg to disagree. As I listened to the PUP press conference at Independence Hall, I heard the same voices bleating at the head table who once ran this country to the ground. I can readily accept that a senior member of the Party I identify with has let me down, but I will never accept that the PUP has changed one bit since their last stretch in government.

Indeed we see the same hungry faces hugging the microphones, and we certainly are fully aware of the ones in the background, pulling the strings and waiting for the pendulum to swing so that they can once more pillage our treasury. In fact, one of the same persons that is hurling  the most accusations at the UDP, the same one who saw some youths burning files which never showed signs of being singed, should answer as to who sponsored his law degree studies.

You see, Saldivar was a protégée of one Samuels, the man who was facilitating the illegal night landings of planes filled with drugs during the Iran/Contra international scandal. Yes, this same Samuels was the Immigration Minister who walked around with a briefcase full of passports, ready for sale to anyone who had $50,000 cash. Yet, when someone blew the whistle on him, the then Prime Minister sent the police after a mere shop clerk, whom they alone had appointed JP, and arrested her as the ringleader in the scandal. What a laugh this brought out from citizens like me.

We still recall when the US government cancelled the gentleman’s visa, and when he was required to attend a simple meeting in South America he had to change so many flights in Central America to arrive at his destination. Did Mr. Musa remove him from Cabinet? No. Was he allowed to contest the following election? Yes. His only punishment was to transfer him to the then Ministry of Energy and Communication, where shortly thereafter we heard that Novelos had received a loan of $30 million in one day.

I really would not want you to draw conclusion that I am trying to justify Penner’s action. Truly, his actions are reprehensible and I would want no part of him, but the ones pointing the fingers at him in the Opposition are the same ones who did much worse than Penner. The difference is; Penner at least is showing guilt and hiding from the public. But those PUP’s that are suggesting he be publicly lynched did much more damage to our country yet are still walking with their heads held high. No blinking shame.


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