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Spoiling for an Argument Print E-mail
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Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 00:00

As I was about to enter the People’s Store here in Orange Walk Town Friday afternoon past, I heard someone shout out my full name with a sense of urgency. Now I don’t know about you, but when I am addressed by my full name in a high tone I immediately get fretful; the caller is either trying to beg for, or borrow money from me, a commodity that  I am always in short supply of.

But as I looked around at the gentleman I realized I did not know him, and offered him a warm hello in return, you know, season greetings and all. Without much pause, he continued in his baritone voice, putting a question to me “do you think the UDP will win again in 2017?” At this I decided to proceed very cautiously, since either he was spoiling for an open argument, or, maybe he was a UDP supporter who wanted some reassurance that his Party was in good standing.

Since I was unsure which was which, I decided to do some quick wiggling out of this one, and I answered him with a question, “boy, I don’t know what to say, but what do you think?” He hesitated for only a fraction of a second before opining that the United Democratic Party has very good prospects for another victory since the PUP could not even muster sufficient signatures to trigger a recall, even with that threshold being only 30%. I had to agree with his logic on that one. I think that the failed recall is a poor reflection of the PUP’s organizational skills, since they should have submitted at least 2,500 signatures, to cover all possible slips.

Anyway, I walked away feeling better than before I met the stranger, but began thinking of several PUP-based organizations who may be asking themselves the same question as my fellow UDP sympathizer, and drawing the very same conclusion. The possibility of a third UDP win must provoke much personal angst in their minds, since many PUP’s cannot survive when their Party is not sitting in high office.

To this end I understand that a dictate has been adopted at the Queen Street Headquarters for PUP supporters in leadership positions to promote and encourage efforts in creating instability in any manner and wherever possible, and to do so persistently. It seems that 2013 was utter failure for the People’s United Party and the word is now out from its leadership: the attack mode must be activated at all levels, whatever it takes.

If you think I am making this up, think again. Look at Palacio and Munoz of the BNTU and the leadership of other similar organizations up North. Malice seems to be the order of their day. And even after getting what they claim to strive for, they continue to instigate for more and more, simply to maintain an atmosphere of anxiety.

The most vocal of all, though, is the PUP diehard Palacio of the BNTU. In every capacity which this cantankerous gentleman has served in the trade union movement, he has always placed the interests of his political Party first. He can holler all he wants, but this is a fact.

Look at his New Year’s televised speech. First he started with a big quarrel with the Prime Minister about the difference between getting a retro-active salary increase in August instead of July. I still cannot decipher what Palacio’s beef was with this one, since both time frames, July or August, produce the same result mathematically. But maybe I am missing something in his skewed sense of logic.

Even after the PM admitted to an error, Palacio continued whipping the dead animal. Now he is saying that the yearly increment is not an increase, because they work so hard for it.  Jeez, this man does not impress me at all. Any upward movement in one’s salary is an increase, no matter what name it is given. The Prime Minister only mentioned the increment to state that the salary increase would be in addition to the merit system.

 Palacio is presently threatening to reinforce another of his demands with a series of demonstrations all over the country for an MOU from the Prime Minister, guaranteeing a floor for the salary increase in July.

Personally I think this will only be a PUP puppet show, cloaked as the Union, and led by fanatics.  This reminds me of another organization who also is demanding that the PM sign an MOU which they personally drafted, guaranteeing them something already publicly promised. It would seem like everyone wants an MOU these days from Hon. Barrow, insisting for guarantees for huge benefits.  Spoil for an argument, they seem to say, and then still hit GOB with a series of protests to show discontent. This is the new PUP strategy.