(Photo above: Belize Abroad©)

Article: Contributed by Janus and Edited by Corozal Daily©

Unless we set high standards, our country will never become the great nation it was destined to be. High standards of conduct and performance should be established and maintained in every sphere of our private and public lives but, especially, in our schools, in our public services, in our government and, above all, in our House of Representatives, the highest institution in the land.

A nation is made up of its people, its citizens. And yes while there may be borders that delineate its territory and natural resources, these were fought for by the people that wanted to create a nation for themselves.

Belize may not have seen battles in modern times and maybe no blood was shed to form our new Belize.

Maybe this is why so little value is put on our passport and nationality. Maybe people did not have to fight hard enough for what they have.

Being a national of any country has no monetary value, it is priceless, it has to be earned by birth, or by investing time, sweat and tears into the country you want to call home.

Putting up your country for sale to the highest bidder speaks volumes.

Maybe it is the reason why so many good Belizeans we know can't wait to flee... or have fled... while despots remain. For the majority of us that want to see Belize flourish, we hope that ALL political parties put an end to this practice, when there is no identity real problems surface.

If we had high standards a Maya Monument would not be bulldozed for material to build roads. How remiss is our public education. Why is it that every schoolboy and schoolgirl does not know what a great treasure is our Mayan heritage and that these monuments are priceless?

We could list other examples where lack of high standards in our public life has caused us pain and suffering that readers may be aware of.

Who is to blame for this state of affairs? Of course, it is the government. Which government? All the governments. Actually, itís all the people but, that is not important. What is important is, who will set the standards? Of course, it has to be the government. Which government? This government. They have the power. All that is needed is the will. Letís assume that they have the will. Where shall they begin? Hereís one manís opinion.

A lot of misuse and abuse of power by public officials, a lot of mistakes by these offices due to bad or poor advice, a lot of wasteful and extravagant spending of public funds; and a lot of dishonest and corrupt practices which have become endemic in certain government departments, are all due to the adoption and implementation of an idea by one of the members of its brain trust that the public service should be run like a business run by Chief Executive Officers. There are two things wrong with this idea. Firstly I think a caller on a television show on the morning (September 2) said it best, the government of the nation is not about money, it is about service. The Public Service is not a business. Secondly a CEO, like his minister, has a five-year term. Their fortunes are bound together. Thirdly, no government with a Westminster model parliamentary system has uplifted the masses from privation. Amongst Caricom countries, Barbados which has been most faithful to that system is the most prosperous. And, lastly, if CEOís were more suitable, the British Parliament would have adopted it, long ago. I have to ask this question. Have we had higher standards of conduct and performance in the public service, since the CEO experiment? Iíll say no more because the idea has taken root. The ministers are wedded to the CEOís and neither the UDP nor PUP will end the experiment, until they see the light or until the people change it by a referendum or civil disobedience.

To get back. How can we raise our standards of conduct and performance? That is something for our best minds to find the answers. What I know is this. First we have to create a climate and a culture of discipline, like the Spartans. STOP CORRUPTION!