1. an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.
2. a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.
2. sycophant, toady, leech, sponge, hanger-on.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.
1. Biology An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
2. 1. One who habitually takes advantage of the generosity of others without making any useful return.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
parasite par·a·site (par'?-sit')
n. 1. An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
You guys get the drift? Parasites are nasty little things that feed off their hosts, sometimes to the point of destroying them, but give absolutely nothing in return. In our politics, that person is a fixed part of the food chain. In our politics, sometimes we even have layers of parasites, i.e. the ones who are running the state feed off our taxpayer funds and the leeches attached to them feed off their fat host in turn. Otherwise known as catching the crumbs from the master's table.
What we are seeing now, the implosion of the two major political parties, is the result of their parasites taking turns draining the ultimate host to the point of near death. The spoils are fewer, and the scrambling for them both more vicious and more desperate. The ultimate host is our beleaguered, nearly destitute country, and every leech in every hue is responsible for Belize's deplorable condition. See, a greedy leech will kill its host, and therefore ultimately destroy its sole means of support. This is the message behind the fable of the golden goose, but we never learn, do we?
The easiest way to recognize this leechlike political creature is to look for someone who, before entering politics, was near bankruptcy (in business) or of a certain salaried income level. He (or she) enters politics and is suddenly, inexplicably, oozing wealth from every pore. He/she builds a multimillion dollar mansion; he/she brings their business from pending death to crazy wealth; he/she can own multiple houses for rent when the bank was once foreclosing on the only house they had.... Again, you've seen it and you know someone whose foot fits that metaphorical shoe. Unexplainable wealth elsewhere triggers investigation, but not in Belize, because parasites on the other side are satisfied merely to think "my turn will come." You see, parasites cannot survive without their host body to feed on. Parasites cannot successfully run an honest business, and parasites are never satisfied with a decent, honestly earned income. When in opposition, parasites' names are called in foreclosures, and parasites get listed for unpaid bills of every kind. But parasites out of power cannot loudly condemn ruling parasites lest they cut off their own path to wealth.
Have you ever met someone who holds no official position but who can still get things done almost effortlessly? Think of land transactions, trade license and property tax discounts, passage of goods with no duty paid, that kind of thing. These days it seems you can even include the phrase nolle prosequi in their repertoire. This parasite manifests the kinds of sudden, unexplained wealth gains mentioned above, and is nine times out of ten attached leechlike to the side of a powerful minister. The tenth parasite has assumed a position that gives power to make a profit without toadying to a Minister...except to keep the position, of course. This parasite will use his(her) affiliation to cajole, bully, bribe public servants to get things done for himself and his friends, legality be damned.
How about our elected leaders? Now, it's not fair to say that all of our elected leaders or their opposite numbers are parasites, but the growing unpopularity of our two ruling parties and the growing stigma attached to politics as practiced in our little nation state means that there's plenty of opportunity for the leeches to become legislators. Remember the UDP in 1998 and for the following five years? No one would have anything to do with them, and so they had to take any and all comers, leeches included. Today's PUP is paddling a similar watercraft up a similar creek.
In order for this country to survive...and maybe one day thrive, the few elected leaders that aren't parasites ought to wake up, step up and crack down on their colleagues. Those elected leaders ought also to be pushing for reforms that clip the wings of their fellow demigods, but no politician willingly gives up his own power, so here we remain. In political expediency (or will) lies the rub: will the current Prime Minister apply discipline in a decisive manner even when it may be politically damaging to do so? None have before him. From 1993 to 1998, Manuel Esquivel was managing a very fragile coalition, so that his Ministers could misbehave with impunity. The events of 1998 to 2008 include many more stories of Ministers pillaging our national accounts...and we know how that went. Now we have a rogue Mayor, but she's far from the only sinner. Were Cabinet to turn a mirror upon itself.... The question is, will Z be the sole example made in the name of transparency? If the UDP even makes an example of her, that is.
At the rate we're going, the messages being delivered through the endless red and blue scandals are: 1) don't get caught; 2) if you do get caught, brazen it out. At no point has anyone demonstrated why you shouldn't do the nasty in the first place. And the leeches continue to suck the host dry, and we as a people continue to tolerate them.
Whose turn is it next? Let's set them straight from now. No more leeches! No more leeches! No more leeches! Come on, say it...no more leeches!