FROM BELIZE FORUMS
People may remember that the UK government suddenly withdrew their High Commissioner to Belize, John Yapp, amongst allegations that had behaved improperly towards one of several ladies at a party.
The ladies concerned were either Denise Courtenay, Lauren Reardon Smith and Kim Simplis who later got married to our Prime Minister.
Lauren Reardon Smith later went on record to state that nothing untoward had ever happened, Eamon Courtenay told the San Pedro Sun just yesterday that nothing happened and no complaint was ever made http://sanpedrodaily.com/8-6-08.html
, and Prime Minister Barrow and Kim later invited John Yapp to their wedding and remain firm friends. Clearly the story which couldn't even decide which woman had been so disgustingly mauled, was a load of old tripe.
The UK Daily Mail in conjunction with their then Tabloid Troll reporter Dennis Rice printed a scurrilous 'exposé' of John Yapp and later had to print a retraction and apology and even had to pay a substantial and yet undisclosed sum to John Yapp after it was proven in court that what they printed was not true in the least bit.
Me and the missus were even joined at the table by Dennis Rice when he crashed our Wednesday night dinner at the local Chinese, to pump us mercilessly for some dirt on this poor man. He told us flatly right there and then that if we knew anything dirty on John Yapp we should tell him right there and then because if he didn't get a good juicy story, then he would probably make something up that was far worse, because a good scandal made the papers far more money that any later damages that they may have to pay.
John Yapp was forbidden by the Foreign Office to contact any of his previous friends or staff in Belize to help with his defence on the internal investigation, and indeed was not told the details of any of his accusers, nor what it was they were saying about them.
The internal investigation done by the Foreign Office cleared John of any misconduct, but issued him with a final written warning about his 'overbearing management style'. Obviously nobody at the internal investigation knew John or they would have thrown this out immediately. After all he had had over thirty five years with the Foreign Office without any other such complaints.
But the Foreign Office didn't stop there. John was sidelined, never given another overseas posting, even though normally he would have been made an ambassador and maybe even given a gong before retiring.
Could it be that the real reason that John was royally stabbed in the back by three of his underlings?
At the time there was a desperately ambitious person working for the foreign office that made it very clear that he wanted John's job. I know this because he mentioned to me several times that he wanted the position, and constantly denigrated John in public. The same individual also promoted two local hire staff to positions that they were clearly incapable of doing. There are strong rumours, that I personally believe from what I subsequently saw after this had blown over, that he was also having a sexual affair with one of the people that he promoted. When this individual was posted from Belize, both the local hires were sacked in short order by the new HC for not being very good at their jobs at all, and indeed for doing several things totally out of order.
I am of the opinion that this desperately ambitious person along with the two aforementioned local hires who he had deep in his pocket did a very effective hatchet job on Mr Yapp with the sole intention of vacating him from his position so that there would be a gap easy to fill by those who were already there.
Other employees at the High Commission at this time quite liked John, and remember him as a good man, he is sometimes discussed at various High Commission open nights across the bar at the club. Nikki was his personal assistant up to a few months before the recall and certainly bears him no ill will, but is bound by a myriad of agreements not to talk about the matter, even to me.
I have to say that I barely knew John even though Nikki saw him every day, so I can't call him a friend or even an acquaintance really. He did invite me once to dinner when Nikki's opposite number came over from Jamaica, and I talked to him briefly once or twice. I didn't find him overbearing at all. Not the sort of man I would readily hang around with though as his position precluded him from having any real fun.
But I do know a hatchet job when I see one, and hate bullying such as this, especially when I am certain I know the underlying reason, and can see no fault on behalf of the injured party.
We will see what the UK courts make of this shortly.