Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Repeating history

If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.  This line has become one of the most famous sayings in history. And for good reason. Seems like humans can never get it into their thick skulls.

Once again this week, we get a glaring example.

Dean O, in the midst of wedding jitters and nuptial pressures, followed in the footsteps of his much maligned predecessor Said Wilbur Musa.  He underestimated the will of our brethren from the North.

Now, setting aside the Core Sampler argument as we know the Cañeros must come into the 21st century, how did the PM underestimate the determination or our Northern brothers? Easy one. Arrogance.

On the very same bridge that Said's downfall most likely started, we may have witnessed the beginning of Dean O's as well. Doesn't he understand the first rule of dealing with an issue like this. You have to de-escalate the tensions then you can talk. That is why union negotiations have "cooling off periods". So the negotiators can go home and kick back a few beers an maybe realize that perhaps they are being unreasonable. Giving already incensed protesters an ultimatum can only end badly.

A few years ago, a popular PUP politician told me something. "So goes the north, so goes Belize". At the time, I dismissed this as politcial arrogance. Maybe now I am not so sure.

Mr. PM.....suggest you keep a close watch on  Benque. 


Anonymous said...

De-escalation is indeed a tool that is not used as often as it should be. Patience is a wonderful virtue. Unfortunately, leaders are put into positions to get things done, and there are expectations that they will DO something, not just be patient.

The leadership of the caneros has riled them up, brought them to a confrontation that could have been avoided, and ended tragically. I mourn for the mistakes of the leaders of the farmers that, mixed with other people's mistakes, led to the tragic loss of life.

At this time I will take a moment to pray for the family left behind.

Anonymous said...

I personally don't think the PM had any blame in this sad outcome. I put all the blame on the caneros. its ridiculous wat they were trying to do. they r too blame for the death of dat one individual. the PM ask them to be reasonable n clear n way n he would have personally made it to OWT to meet w/ them but the caneros were being arrogant.

Democrates said...

I agree. I normally sympathize with working-class movements, but this one, similar to the 2006 BTL shutdown, seemed out of control and leaned on the side of radicalism. One thing that the PM said that I found very worthy was that the cane farmers can't make demands before reaching the negotiating table, because if the government gives in to those demands, what is there to negotiate? It didn't make sense to me that you make ultimatums about the same issues that you should negotiate. Weird.