Bated Breath


By Jamil Matar
Even when the United Democratic Party was at its lowest level of popularity in 1998 after suffering the worst electoral defeat in its history, and even after witnessing the subsequent breakaway of a powerful faction of its coalition, I have never tried to disguise the fact that I am a UDP sympathizer. But before the “Mini- Protester” Mr. Mira or his devoted fans at Plus TV spring up and declare that I am merely “singing for my supper” or have my hands “long out”, best I inform them that there is no supper I want to sing for, and I try my best to keep my hands firmly tucked by my side, even the bad one. I merely needed to open with that so I could share this observation: Several PUP supporters like to come by my place and goad me when they are under the influence of Mr. Cuello or Mr. Bowen with heaps of accusations of corruption against UDP Ministers. I have noticed a common mannerism on these occasions; they like to tap the right side of their foreheads with their right index finger to impress upon me how super smart they are! Quite the opposite, my friends, quite the opposite! Seems they have never heard the old adage about the frying pan and the fire.
Take for example my buddy “Biejo”; about two weeks ago he came by, practically frothing at the mouth bellowing “I told you Mason would have gotten off scot free because Saldivar is protecting him” the blinking case wasn’t even over yet! That’s how desperate the PUP are: clutching at shadows, chasing the wind, hunting for a spark. Mr. Mira even staged a mini-protest on Tuesday morning, waiting with bated breath (a phrase I borrowed from News 7) for a “not-guilty” verdict.
In my last submission I told you I was going to give an update on OW North. Well, yesterday, a long- time friend from San Luis came to see me to inform that the people are very pleased with the performance of Mr. Vega in their villages. New street lighting going up, streets maintained, regular visits from the candidate himself, etc. Except, he said, the villagers do not expect too much in terms of educational grants or scholarships since Gapi is sided with Hon. Saldivar. Long and short, OW North is no longer a sure-win for the PUP, check me out, Señor Monchies?
Regarding scholarships and the like, that is the other point I want to make. I do not imbibe anymore, so you won’t see me telling you how smart I am, but active UDP supporters and delegates will know to stay away from openly voicing support for either of the two leadership candidates. Knock your thing quietly, I say. The battle will soon escalate to radioactive levels; ask Yellowman. At this point I have to rope in the People’s United Party, because the same happens when they have their leadership conventions; bad blood and backstabbing all around, before and after the convention, sometimes for years. When asked my opinion by UDP supporters, I just advise that the Party will surely survive this challenge and move on, hopefully.