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Bran: Govt Should Say Sorry For Selling A Dream

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Branville McCartney

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE government has been called upon to apologise to the Bahamian people for trying to sell them the “far-fetched dream” that majority shares in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company have been reacquired.

The call came from DNA leader Branville McCarney, who spoke a day after Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that slightly less than two per cent of BTC had been transferred to a new foundation created to benefit Bahamians – a deal Mr Christie called a “win-win” situation for the government and the country.

“The Bahamian people remain with 49 per cent,” Mr McCartney emphasised, adding that those who say the government has reclaimed majority shares of BTC are “talking fool”.

He said: “If people believe they got majority shares, that just gives credence to the fact that our national average is a D average.

“Forty nine per cent is in no way the majority of ownership of BTC. We remain with the same amount of shares. When they went to the negotiating table, the Bahamian people had 49 per cent. When they came out from the negotiating table, the Bahamian people had 49 per cent.”

As for the notion that the government has indirectly regained majority shares for the Bahamian people through the establishment of the BTC Foundation, Mr McCartney said: “The trust foundation is not owned by the Bahamian people and the trust foundation is in relation to a subset of BTC’s profits going into this trust for charitable benefits.

“But BTC was giving from day one. BTC was perhaps one of the largest donors toward initiatives and groups and sponsors for a number of things. That has not changed.

“BTC owners still remain owners of BTC. And even if people say it’s even now, through both having 49 per cent of shares, BTC still has the controlling shares.

“They have management control so they can determine how the company is run. For example, how much is declared as a profit – they make that decision. So where does that put the Bahamian people? In the same position they were prior to them negotiating. They went in with 49, they come out with 49. Talking fool is a very serious thing.”

He said: “The DNA is demanding that the government, or BTC, share with the public the value of what has been given to charitable organisations in 2013 and the value of the two per cent promised.”

Mr McCartney said the government’s failure to reacquire majority shares in BTC reflects their failure to effectively address other national issues.

“We need to move on to deal with the crime situation, this VAT issue and other things,” he said, adding: “But if they deal with those issues the way they deal with BTC, and say they came out victorious, God help us. Many of their other initiatives have ended in complete and utter failure.

“Whether it’s the promise of 10,000 jobs; the mortgage relief plan that provided no relief to anyone; the gaming referendum debacle or the proposed economy destroying VAT plan, this government’s string of failures in less than two years is the only record breaking thing they’ve done, unmatched by any government in our past.”

“The government is searching for answers in the darkness, wasting time and taxpayer dollars on schemes that result in no wins for the Bahamian people. Crime worsens, unemployment rises and regrets soar, as admitted by Mr Christie, himself.

“Perhaps now Mr Christie can use his time and resources to plot rational plans to combat crime, create jobs, relieve homeowners and business owners, and explore reasonable tax alternatives. He owes taxpayers that much. As of this day, the Christie administration is known as the government that makes promises that they can not keep.”

Comments

B_I_D___ 3 years, 8 months ago

Wholeheartedly agree with Bran on this one...sadly those D average or below folk gonna be parading around a victory...Oh wait...you have Bradley Roberts scratching and crowing around the sand box...my apologies for insulting the D average crew...I shouldn't have lumped you in with the big bad Brad...bad being the operative word.

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JohnDoes 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree as well with Mr. Bran, I just dont see who is going to be right for the DNA party for the next election. Maybe some FNM and PLP reps will step down and join Mr. Bran, but then again although the country may have a different leader, the group that makes up the governing party will still be saturated by some of the dishonest peoples. I mean we only have a hand full of honest qualified persons who are fit and/or interested in politics. I trust that between now and 2017, Bran will focus on the best possible candidates for his party as well as figuring out who will take on each ministry and do their jobs properly if they were to win. Those representatives he had last time are not fit enough for such critical responsibilities. Simply having a good business does not mean that you are fit for representing people and taking on national issues as seen with his prior candidates.. It aint no way in hell anyone ga vote for sammy star or that cronie from galleria cinemas.

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B_I_D___ 3 years, 8 months ago

It would be epic to see though...neither FNM or PLP get re-elected...that would shake things up big time!!

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jackbnimble 3 years, 8 months ago

JohnDoes I wholeheatedly agree with you on this one. I believe the electorate will switch if McCartney can get a "proper" slate of candidates together. At this point, he is a one-man party. Didn't he just appoint Andrew Wilson as his party's Chairman? So why are all the press statements being given by him? Anyway... I digress!

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IsRightWrong 3 years, 8 months ago

I hope that Bran will have formidable candidates for his party during the next election. The Bahamian electorate waking up and realizing that the PLP and FNM are not viable solutions is just as important. It's time for people to vote for the best candidate and not along party lines. I really wish that The constituency boundaries would be made official at least 1 year prior to the call of election. This would allow candidates to work in the communities they want to represent. Work as in presenting meaningful solutions for the constituency and implementing plans. Please establish debates between candidates (not just party leaders) so that persons can have a better idea of what each candidate is bringing to the table. The debates don't have to be nationally televised causing an overkill. Several debates should be held simultaneously and in churches, hopefully reducing the opportunity for them to turn into a fiasco.

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually I am proud of Bahamians today. They overwhelmingly see this BTC thing as a scam. PLP lost big time this week and looks like Bahamians are getting a bit wiser. No one is out celebrating a PLP victory but everyone is saying what a scam.

Bahamians seem to be growing up...

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blackcat 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah but for how long? This will only be fresh on the minds until the next scandal rolls around (and it will) and then this mess will be on the backburner. How many things have gone on in this government and after a couple days , it blows over, never to be heard of again. shame, shame.

Or the next free party or ham and turkey will assuage the voters ang bring them back to PLP

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BDN 3 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget refrigerators lol.

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Honestman 3 years, 8 months ago

We'll find out at the next election if Bahamas has matured. Surely it's time to dump these old tired and useless politicians and empower a team of young forward thinking Bahamians who will put the country first and personal interest second? A team of young professionals who will tell it like it is and not be obsessed with spinning every story and situation. A pipe dream? Over to you Bran. You have three years to select your candidates and decide exactly what your party will stand for and what it will not tolerate.

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IsRightWrong 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually he should have his team assembled at least two years prior to the elections. They should be strategizing and prepping themselves so they can articulate a well thought out plan for moving the Bahamas forward.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 8 months ago

Bran McCartney and the DNA already had their biggest win................ Election 2012

Will he remain relevant for 2017?????????????????????????

Then we can evaluate his political impact............................

This is just Monday morning quarterbacking now.

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TalRussell 3 years, 8 months ago

Comrades I see something so different cause if the posts on here were from the heart Bran's DNA would have at minimum picked up one House seat during the 2012 General Elections. Right? Best you read Bran's most recent and ludicrous crime solving policy statements. Them is scarey, even for the most radical red or ex red shirt to digest. I'd run a real true lab DNA test, check he head out.It can't possible be attached like rests us.

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

Just do like Cuba did.. When you have had enough of Cable and Wireless raping the country, renationalize BTC and kick them out. Maybe the government should tred more slowly and carefully when it thinks of privatizing other corporations. Bahamasair, for one, has already had a management company and all it did was fleece the company of all its assets. Bahamasair may never show a profit, or a large one to boot, but it service is comparable to any other airline. It should be kept as a precious jewel in the national crown of the Bahamas..ZNS done gone!

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 8 months ago

@john ,how when the treasury is getting double the money from CWC then it did when BTC was government owned is that raping the country ,,And the rates are lower for both cell time and data

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

You already know the answer. Most of the additional money BTC is giving government is coming from the phone card and top up vendors. They reduced the margins to these persons by more than 50%. Lets do the math: phone cards and top up sales are around $140 million to $150 million a year. Lets say the vendors account for 80 percent of those sales, which is around $116 million. BTC/C&W reduced the commissions from 25% or $29 million to NINE percent or $10.4 million. a difference of $19 million. Now how much did you say they increased their dividends to government by? So yes, in my supported opinion BTC/C&W are raping the Bahamian people. and remember 51% of what they take in profits leaves the country. It is more than just the unfortunate vendor on the street corner, who, in your opinion needs to get a real job. It is about a foreign run company operating below the radar and not properly compensating persons who contribute significantly to their bottom line, like the five (unnamed) friends you have who sell top up.

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

NOTE also: when Leon Williams was the CEO of BTC the margins to wholesalers/retailers was THIRTY FIVE PERCENT and BTC was still making a profit. Imagine now the additional 10 percent or $14-15 million that is going to BTC.. from the time Leon Williams left (ok fired). Can you see the costly mistake Hubert Ingraham made handing majority shares to this company? A company that is known to be hoggish from their inception?

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Ocaba 3 years, 8 months ago

Phone Cards again. GET GELP

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 8 months ago

yeah and we paid the highest rates in the region for a system that was outdated ,,now w/ minute plans,, rate for minutes and data are cheaper ,,Companies are in business to make money and soon there will be compititon ,,sorry you can,t sell phone cards anymore while D Barttlet uses BTC as a volume buyer to do biz w./ the turks and stiff the Bahamian public ,,,,Dude don,t you have more ambition then for you and your offspring than selling phone cards

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 8 months ago

@rory , what a smart mouth lil english weasel you are,When i net 250 to 300 for a half day ,and up to 500 for a full day ,i,m going to keep "giving" tourist rides on my boat ..I just took a month off ..dec 22 to jan 21 and travelled ..I am thrilled CWC has rates w/ a plan and data since most of my bookings and emailing are down on the boat while i,m on the water ,,cuts way down on over head and increases my profit for me and my mate ,,

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

Your ignorance is showing again..It is not about who is selling phone cards. It is about the millions of dollars that is going to Cable and Wireless and out of the country. This is a national issue. How can you justify a company taking all this money out this country when we face being downgraded in a few months? For the record I don't sell phone cards but it use to be an honest job for many that allow them to subsist. And much of the technology that Cable and Wireless is using today was not available or just becoming available when Leon Williams was at the helm of BTC...maybe you have issues wit him because he is black? Anyway why waste my time talking to you

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 8 months ago

Who were these wholesales retailers getting this sweet deal from "Government-owned" BTC?....deal has a familiar ring to it....oh, that's right, 500,000 UR contract to clear a plot of land, that was lucrative too. I'm sure you're correct, the pre-CWC contracts were lucrative for "somebody"...it just wasn't, you, me or average Joe/Jane Bahamian.

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Ocaba 3 years, 8 months ago

Here's an idea sell cable Bahamas phone cards

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

Cable Bahamas does not have cell phone cards

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John 3 years, 8 months ago

Don't prostitute ignorance Rory. The few peddlers who sell phone cards on the street corner is just a small number of the 5,000 plus persons who sell BTC's products. There are gas stations, Food stores including Super Value, mom and pop stores, travel agencies just to name a few. But you are only on here as a detractor so I will ignore you.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 8 months ago

rory

how bout some BTC shares................................. call HI

betta dan phone cards

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TalRussell 3 years, 8 months ago

Common sense may not necessarily be specified herein this Tribune blog page. Comrades If I thought reading Bran's pronouncements was mak'in me be feeling light-headed that ain't nothing close to the effect me head is feeling after reading some of the personal pronouncements on this Tribune blog page. I can't take much more this feeling all blue in me head so early on Sunday morning, so best I drape me eyes as not read such confusing sets of unlimited mutterings by supposedly otherwise intelligent reds, cause ain't no way in hell ya no real card carrying greens of Bran's.

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EasternGate 3 years, 8 months ago

It amuses me that Bahamian look to Bran as some savior. Mr. McCartney does not have the depth to lead a successful party or this country. Nice guy maybe, but a shallow bench indeed.

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TalRussell 3 years, 8 months ago

Did Papa Hubert and Bran eventually meet in Bamboo Town in 2012? Even Comrade Bran has admitted to not knowing a damn anything about Bamboo Town or its constituents needs, that is until Papa summoned him up to PM office and only in way Papa Hubert can say it; "Branville McCartney I is decided I'm gonna run you for da Bamboo Town seat in da House of Assembly." The 2012 General Elections does proves what Papa Hubert givet Bran he did taket away.

Amen! Ingraham Dresses Down Bamboo Town....// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ryov_...

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Honestman 3 years, 8 months ago

Branville McCartney has not proved to anyone yet that he has true leadership qualities and the way he jumped ship from the FNM was in my view a sign of immaturity. One thing is clear however: the tired and failed politicians of the last 20 or so years (and their outdated ideologies) simply MUST be removed at the next election if this country is to move forward. The electorate is sick and tired of their deception and self interest. So SOMEONE has to step forward who is capable of breaking the cycle. It could be Bran or it might be someone else - politically, the next few years are going to be interesting.

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SP 3 years, 8 months ago

Branville McCartney is proving more & more every time he opens his mouth that he is an idiot with hair.

The "One Man Jackass"...Papa the clown created this problem and P.M.-PGC did all he could to make the best deal possible in the countries best interest.

THANK YOU MR. CHRISTIE FOR DO'ING YOUR BEST..AND GETTING SOMETHING AT LEAST!

As a voter that supported the DNA...I am now HAPPY Branville didn't win.

The PLP and FNM must be removed...BUT THE DNA UNDER BRANVILLE IS NOT THE SOLUTION!!

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