Tuesday, February 7, 2012
BELIZE- HUBERT ELRINGTON STARS IN COMPETITIVE DEBATE ON BELIZE ECONOMY PRE-ELECTION DEBATE.
HUBERT ELRINGTON, STAR OF A TV DEBATE FOR PRE-ELECTION ISSUES, ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CAPABILITIES.
by Wendy Auxillou
I watched my first ever Dickie Bradley special last night, being very skeptical as I tuned into it. Dickie Bradley was a huge part of the PUP during their term in office, so of course, I expected to see a one-sided political show. Not so. One thing is for sure and that is that Dickie Bradley is a very charismatic talk show host. He is flawless at it...
The guests on the show were Audrey Matura Shephard, a young man (lawyer?) by the name of Patrick Menzies, Lisa Shoman, and Hubert Elrington. What a treat! The panelists appeared on the show two at a time. First up were the first two, and secondly the other two.
There is no question that Miss Audrey Matura-Shephard is a superstar. She, too, is flawless in her delivery, and very charismatic. Of course, her topic was the referendum issue. Even though her referendum was quashed, she emerged from the show looking like the moral winner. Kudos to her. She has an easygoing way of making her point.
The other young man that appeared as co-panelist with her, Patrick Menzies, appeared to be a lawyer. His topic was the Nationality Act. He came across as an eloquent, committed, fervent nationalist. What a treat to watch the young warriors in action. Definitely a superstar as well. I don't think the two are linked professionally, they just happen to be on the panel at the same time. But it was definitely incredible to watch relevant national issues being debated by learned, eloquent individuals.
The second half of the show found Lisa Shoman and Hubert Elrington side by side. Ms. Lisa was there as a representative of the PUP (Communications director), and Hubert was there as .... well ... out spoken Hubert.
As Dickie Bradley pressed the issue of the state of the economy, it was clear that Lisa was out of her league. Many times, Dickie has to stop her to say "but that is pure political rhetoric" I want to hear substantive suggestions on what will be done to fix the economy come March 8th.
The real star of the show, however, was Hubert Elrington. Mincing no works, Hubert gave a star performance. While Lisa was repeating her talking points about exporting beans and yam to Mexico, Hubert reiterated that if she was working in his Ministry of Economic Development, she would be fired by the end of her first sentence. The problem with Belize, he stated (and I am ad libbing here), is that we are still in the era of taking our beans and yams on the donkey to market, that is the mentality of our leaders. They cannot think above the glass ceiling which is quite low. He said that the problem is not one of human capital, because we have that. Look how Arlie Petters, Marion Jones, Frankie Reneau and a host of other Belizeans have gone abroad and excelled, as have many other Belizeans. The problem is that we have stupid, incapable Francesco Shettinos (the captain of the Costa Concordia) instead of Captain Sulleys (of the airplane that landed in the Hudson) captaining our economic ship. There is nothing wrong with the Costa Concordia, he said. It's a great ship. The problem is the stupid captain, which goes to show that all it takes is one wrong person in a position of influence to crash a ship on a reef.
In his opinion, no government, beginning with the government of George Price, has given adequate if any attention to the Ministry of Economic Development. It is a backwater, non-elite ministry relegated to a minor minister. He said that although GP didn't pay much attention to economic development, he didn't do harm, and neither did Manuel Esquivel. He went on to say, though, that under Said Musa irreparable harm was caused to the reputation of the country, a situation which we are still trying to recover from. To add to that, he said, Dean Barrow began his "nationalization" campaign which sent the nation's reputation even further into disrepute, sending direct foreign investment tanking from a high of $200M+ in 2008 to a measly $12M or so in 2011. We have incapable captains, he said. We need a captain and leaders that can think in the 4th dimension like the Petters, Reneaus, etc.
Asked about March 8 (the day after election), he said one of two things will happen: there will be a devaluation, or a massive retrenchment. Things will get really bad and people will die. We have to deal with it, he said. It is our reality.
He said neither Francis Fonseca nor Dean Barrow possesses the know-how to get us out of this mess because they are not critical thinkers. We need bigger thinkers than that, he said, people with the know-how to take our economy into the technological age, into research and development, etc.
(Please remember that I am ad-libbing here.)
I can't remember what all else was said, but Lisa spent a lot of her time on the show cutting her eye at Hubert.
Honestly, I find Hubert to have an excellent grasp of the situation in Belize. Of all the people making the talk show rounds, he would be my first choice for Prime Minister. He has his head well placed on his shoulders. Pity we do not go to the polls to vote for a prime minister. He would be my choice.
I was trying to find a link for the show, but don't think it has been uploaded onto the Channel 5 website yet. Anyway, watch it. It is a great show. And kudos to Dickie Bradley. He is a very charismatic and engaging talk show host.
Posted by A Professional BEACH BUM retires in Belize! at 9:46 AM