By NICOLE BURROWS
I’ve never seen or heard anything like this.
Everywhere I go, and in places where I would least expect it, people are fuming mad at/with the Progressive Liberal Party, to a point which appears near to the oft-debated “critical mass”. I wonder what it is they – the PLP – are hearing and seeing on their end, because, where the common people exist, it is looking pretty bleak.
“Dis gov’ment don’t have a clue or a hope in hell.”
“Dese people ain no good; dey take us for fool.”
“Dis place gone, I mean gone, from sugar to s*.”
“Dese jokers? Ain nobody into dem. Dey need to get out. Bahamian people tired.”
“Perry dem? Chile dey’ain nobody. Dey into the same ole garbage, ain nuttin change. Talkin bout dey believe in Bahamians.”
“Dese gangstas. All dey into is fillin up dere pockets. Dey done see da writin on da wall. Dey jus wan make sure dey straight come 2017 when dey get tro out.”
Do they – the PLP – realise that the numbers of Bahamians who believe in them have plunged? Die-hard PLPs, old-time PLPs, faithful PLPs, even the new, baby PLPs who got swung in the last election have turned their backs on the Christie-Davis duo.
And for good reason: they have turned their backs on the Bahamian people, and made non-Bahamian interests important above all else. The only real redemption left for the PLP is that, to a good number of Bahamians, one or two of the party’s representatives appear(s) to at least be doing something measurable by bringing some degree of lawfulness to illegal migration, perhaps the most stirring issue – next to crime, and somehow intertwined with crime – among the Bahamian people.
But, guaranteed, if the bottom falls out of these efforts, the Bahamians will turn further in the direction of another party to represent them in the next general election to be the next government of The Bahamas.
From the beat on the street, the PLP’s days are numbered. If they keep moving in the direction they’re moving in, which is most likely, they will cease to be a viable entity, and if they don’t think so, then they have grossly misjudged the youth of this nation who have little care for political trickery. While not necessarily academic, Bahamian youths are well-informed with the aid of contemporary communications, and they are ready to fight for something more than jobs on the tourist plantation.
You really know things have not truly changed for the better when a grown man can’t even have his own honest opinion without being grabbed with the “nut cup”.
Leslie Miller, our favourite self-proclaimed potcake, is the current, best illustration of this “nut cup” grabbing. Miller always shoots off his mouth on topics he is passionate about, whether for good or bad, whether he is right or wrong, whether he makes sense or not. But, like a man drunk off his rear, it’s usually the very first thing he says that is most sincere. It’s the one reason any Bahamian who likes Miller still does, because, insofar as they can tell, he, way more than his colleagues, maintains some degree of authenticity in a world of falseness.
From the toilet extraction to the domestic abuse comment to LNG to BEC, Miller has made a name for himself as being “real”. Now, that in no way indicates specific or public support of him, but as far as Bahamians go, in general terms, Miller keeps it real. Never mind the fact that half the time what he says is humorous, he does not mince words. And whether you shoot off your mouth intelligently or unintelligently, Bahamians tend to appreciate when someone has something to say and speaks their mind without regard for who might find the viewpoint arguable.
Miller must know, then, that he loses a great deal of credibility and is seen as easy to manipulate when he is so easily grabbed by his pants seat and made to say what he never intended to, and what is in direct contrast to his personal convictions. When he might speak out of turn and loosely, and he might be dead wrong on most occasions, he usually stands alone if he has to and abides by what convictions he has.
Now, with his latest comments about Carnival, which I’m not entirely clear on with respect to why he was asked his opinion on the record, as it often leads to a great uproar, he has essentially been muzzled. And regardless of the fact that that may or may not be exactly what has happened, to the viewing and listening public, that is exactly what has happened. The alternative belief is that Miller could have such a strong opinion and then change it in four seconds to the complete opposite thing, a story no one is really buying at this point.
So, on cue, the Bahamian people go: “My God, well you mean even Leslie Miller can’t talk no more? Dey shut the potcake up? The potcake?”
If the rest of the Cabinet, or the House of Assembly, or the Senate, or any politician or civil servant with policy-making influence was held by the crotch in the same way Miller has been, who is really and honestly going to stand for the Bahamian people? Or is this where we’re now at? Is this the “sign of the times”?
This recent Leslie Miller gaffe and the “management” of it is a throwback to old politics … to a time commonly referred to as the Pindling Era, something new/young Bahamians have minimal to zero knowledge of or interest in.
Young people of this country have enough exposure to other countries to know what works or is working from what doesn’t, will not, or can’t. They want a country that works, not one that hobbles along like a functional alcoholic. They care about the future, the environment, creativity, freedom of expression, transparency of government, worthy causes, making a real difference.
A COB (College of The Bahamas – yes, it still is) student saw the need recently to “break it down“ and explain the new facts of life to a panel discussing immigration, which apparently included (I was not there and missed this one) Hubert Chipman, the Member of Parliament for the St Anne’s constituency and QC/ attorney and human rights personality Fred Smith.
As it appears to the viewers of a video clip from the event, this young student found it necessary to educate the panellists, going so far as to illustrate the plight of the average Bahamian. The bottom line for him was that nobody wants to be uncaring, but when you’re trying to survive in your own country, barely scraping by with the little you have and the even less that’s available to you, your priority, your concern, your interest is not on the welfare of someone else, especially someone who is not your countrywoman or countryman, someone who chose to be here knowing full well what the outcome of their unlawful presence could be.
Bahamians have been spoiled for decades by the farce and fantasy that their jobs are secure and their dollar on par with the United States dollar, in the sun, sand, and sea. It was the epitome of mistaken identity, and now we get to witness just how mistaken they/we all were. Things change and nothing lasts forever, but, by and large, Bahamians believed they could be contained and insulated from any misfortune or loss of fortune, which was never real wealth to begin with … they just didn’t know.
While their leaders were busy loading up their reserves, the Bahamian people were content that tourism was always going to be booming, was always going to be there. They believed that tourism was a real and viable product. So they bypassed every other foundational element of growth in an economy and leaned entirely on something they were not actually producing. And today they can’t be bothered to take care of it.
How are you going to proclaim that this thing is the source of all your good fortune, but you dump on it with indiscriminate and negligent personal behaviour and the same indiscriminate and negligent economic development practices of digging up a forest to plant two trees that function like invasive species?
Some say that “the black man don’t wanna see his own succeed or prosper” and that this is a problem where predominantly “black” men govern. I don’t know how valid a point this is, or even that it’s a theory which has been observed in a sensible and reasonable way, but there are folks who feel strongly about it. And they are convinced our Bahamian people in power are plagued with the same affliction, with the question being, if it is not a valid point, why are these governing men (and women) who perform this way hell bent on oppressing their own people on the one hand, and then putting on their best Malcolm X, MLK, Lynden Pindling (God rest the dead) impressions on the other hand?
The reality is that if one person is “successful”, and 5,000 more are not, that is not success. Ask the young people where they see themselves and their country in the next seven,10, 25 years. If half of them want to be in The Bahamas that will be surprising.
And if they don’t stay in The Bahamas or return to it often, who will become the Bahamian people? Who is The Bahamas we’re fighting for?
• Send comments via Tribune242.com or nicole@politiCole.com.