EDITOR, The Tribune.
Opposition leaders daydream of a perfect storm that they could ride into power: a proliferation of crises, policy failures by the government, divisions within the governing party and scandals in the government.
They could exploit any one of these, harping on every opportunity until it is drilled into the minds of voters that it’s time for a change and that the Opposition is ready to govern.
When Hubert Ingraham packed his Georgie bundle and left the arena in 2012, a shell-shocked FNM put Dr. Hubert Minnis in charge. Minnis was supposed to be a safe pair of hands to hold the reins of power until a “real” leader could be installed.
Few in the FNM thought him up to the task but many with their Machiavellian dreams of manipulating the leader to their own selfish benefit propped him up and begged the party and the public to give him a chance; he’ll come around. Dr. Minnis has come around to sheer embarrassment and ridicule for the party.
His dreams were answered. An economic meltdown with credit downgrades, unemployment horrors, VAT and the unending Baha Mar saga and still he has not capitalized. We know what Izmirlian had to say, what Perry Christie had to say, even what d’Aguilar had to say, but can anyone remember what Dr. Minnis had to say about Baha Mar?
As to policy failures by the PLP, take your pick. Mortgage relief; BAMSI; the National Intelligence Agency; and on and on. Still no traction for Minnis.
There is dissension in the PLP ranks. It seems everyone has thrown his hat into the ring to take Perry’s job. Renward Wells and Dr. Andre Rollins crossed the floor to join the FNM with rumours of others to follow. From Minnis we got a grinning photo-op flaunting the fact that he had checkmated those MPs on his team who might have been plotting to get rid of him.
Now we have another scandal. This one could potentially topple a government led by Mother Theresa. Even the fertile minds of Hollywood screenwriters could not have invented a plot so full of land-mines for the government.
The current Nygard-Bacon imbroglio smacks of corruption and is spiced with tangos into potential illegal behaviour. This scandal is a gift for a leader of the opposition. But instead of being out front taking the heat to the PLP, Minnis is cowering in a Mackey Street bunker, hiding first behind his Party Chairman Michael Pintard. When Pintard took shrapnel and limped off the battlefield, Dr. Minnis was seen in full sprint running from reporters instead of standing in front of them deflecting the heat onto the PLP.
In the House, only the sometimey Dr. Rollins drew his oral sword to halfheartedly defend Minnis over this whole sordid matter with two billionaire foreigners at the epicentre.
You know you have sunk to a new low when the former best friend of the late Anna Nicole Smith, Shane Gibson, gives you lessons in ethics and responsibility. Shane unfurled his forked tongue to lash Minnis for his admitted familiarity with one of the shadier characters in the Nygard-Bacon soap opera. Minnis could not rebut.
In the past we questioned Minnis’ judgment. This episode has left us with no other choice than to question his character and his emotional intelligence. We know now that he can’t take pressure. Imagine if he had been Prime Minister the day the Cubans bombed HMBS Flamingo and killed our sailors.
We know that he is weak at making decisions. Taking too long to push Senator Lanisha Rolle to apologize for berating FNM colleagues showed poor judgment by Minnis. Inviting someone with alleged criminal proclivities to come to his home to “deliver fish” speaks to the nature of his character.
It is charming that he is always open to his constituents. But even the Police would have advised him against inviting a stranger to call at his home. Isn’t that why we give MPs money to staff offices in their constituency?
Perhaps Dr. Minnis had a certain familiarity with the fishmonger? Perhaps he had his groupers home-delivered by him in the past. Perhaps he has invited him to stay, have a few beers and wait for the fish to boil and the johnnycake to brown.
Minnis at first defended Pintard and only came around to applaud him for resigning because stink dredged up from the bay started to smell. But now that the fish harvested from that same bay begins to rot in his own home, Dr. Minnis sees no reason why he too must go.
Dr. Minnis cannot continue to have it both ways. In the name of all that is good and decent and as a mark of respect to the devoted supporters of the FNM and to all voters, Dr. Minnis must resign and pass the torch to a Leader with unimpeachable character.
After all, the volley of questions Minnis can expect from the government’s front bench will be softballs when compared to the hardball questioning he may get from those who have the authority to invite him to assist them with their inquiries.
April 2, 2016.