“Grutch not of mammon and his leaven, Work emulation up to heaven, By knowledge and by zeal.” – A Song to David, by Christopher Smart
Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in the House Friday that he had learned on Tuesday that representatives of the so-called Ashcroft Alliance were moving to attach Government of Belize assets in the US, hence the special meeting and hasty legislation.
In the ordinary course of things this would be an incredible assertion on his part but Mr. Barrow’s miscalculations have been so calamitous that I do want to believe he thought, and not just hoped that the British billionaire would just leave the matter pending.
In retrospect it is now indubitable that the decision to expropriate BTL and others, was an act of hubris and we, all of us, are paying and will pay dearly for it.
All told we are nearing the billion dollar mark for the bloodletting and there isn’t an end in sight as yet.
Who, besides Mr. Barrow, thought Lord Ashcroft was going to leave $100,000,000 or so lying out there and not attempt to collect?
Has there been any attempt at mediation, to sue for peace so to speak? Mr. Barrow’s jingoism is painful to watch but the rapidly escalating bill is even more terrifying.
I wonder, haven’t we had enough of “Hero Ball”, isn’t it time for good sense to prevail? This has to end before it is the end of us all.
The apparent answer to those questions is no since the Barrow administration’s propaganda apparatchiks immediately took to social media to boast that in an unprecedented show of unanimity and bi-partisanship, the House voted en masse and unanimously to “ … support bill that protects Central Bank’s assets from ‘predators’”.
(Note Gaspar Vega and Francis Fonseca were absent from the House meeting).
This is in stark contrast to the Musa administration having to face down a call from the NTUCB and the then opposition in April 2005, who in a letter to the prime minister demanded that he and his government resign citing “… the almost absolute disregard for veracity in… your public statements, and excessive foreign loans.”
The letter followed days of civil unrest and a 72 hour telecommunications shut down of BTL. At the time the nation hung in the balance.
On Friday Mr. Barrow declared the so-called Ashcroft Alliance an “existential threat” to the nation. A decade or so ago, he was manifestly one of the Ashcroft allies.
It did not escape my notice that Mr. Barrow and Mr. Briceno, the prime minister and leader of the opposition respectively, have been and are allies, business associates, partners, clients, and quite likely friends with Lord Ashcroft. They are all wealthy and powerful, the wealthiest and most powerful Belizean citizens in the nation.
It is time we ordinary citizens start looking earnestly beyond the rhetoric and painstakingly examine the historical and the empirical record before us, and reach some conclusions not colored by partisan political hues. I do think our nation hangs in the balance and we do face an “existential threat”.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
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