It is often the case that people prefer to deal with the devil they know instead of the devil they don’t. The statement of the UDP Party Leader and Minister of Education was damning to the present government and its leader Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow. It was an honest and eye opening account of how the UDP has operated these last thirteen years. There were barbs and not so gentle jabs about “old style of closed government…and the special interest of the connected few.” This close to an election, the political ambit certainly heats up, but this particular style of political cannibalism must be the new vision that will characterize the leadership style Patrick Faber plans to usher in. There have certainly been many special interest groups that have profited grotesquely and many UDP cronies have been obscenely enriched under the Barrow leadership.
Faber has made clear that those people will no longer be able to pillage the public coffers. What does that mean for the UDP elite who has been accustomed to getting large tracks of land, or choice pieces of property at rock bottom prices? What does it mean for the entitled family members and those not normal Belizeans who have gotten illegally acquired crown property and were later compensated by government? What does the New Devil envision for those that have become accustomed to receiving advance payments for contracts, or those that have abused their posts by charging personal items on corporate cards? Those special UDP must be quaking in their shoes.
But, perhaps all is not lost for those well connected, after all this New Devil learnt his tricks from the Old Devil. This may just be a consequence of pre-election bluster. It was not long ago that Patrick was spending the Petro Caribe on delicious Corozal made pibil tacos. This New Devil for all his new found indignation, does not remember how he sat idly by with his mentor as the hot bed of corruption made a permanent home at the Ministry of Lands. It seems that the stench of corruption permeated every corner and crevice of the UDP government. The Devils were unable to detect “even a whiff of corruption” so accustomed they had become to the scent. There were only futile and feeble lamentations of “fu God sakes stop it,” that did nothing to stem the flow of vile and despicable deeds. In fact the fabled two sided machete turned magically into a pen that signed away the millions of the Petro Caribe funds unconstitutionally.
In the last thirteen years, not once has Patrick Faber voiced concern that the offices of the Auditor General or the Contractor General have been ill equipped and under staffed. The moment has come when we bid goodbye to PM Barrow. His disastrous political career is in its final hours. We had thought it would be left to us to give him a fitting farewell but that his comeuppance was delivered by the New Leader of the UDP seems far more appropriate. The PM had hoped to leave a legacy and to forever be immortalized in Belizean history. He has achieved his purpose. The reign of chaos, poverty, strife and violence of the last thirteen years will be remembered as some of the darkest in our annals. No doubt we have not heard the last of the PM, he will indubitably seek to have the last word not realizing he has both said and done quite enough!