By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA
In 2014 Dr. Minnis stated - “As long as I am leader of this country, the FNM would not support any pay increase with all the pain and suffering that is going on in this country.”
Forward the tape to November 2017, when The Tribune queried PM Dr. Hubert Minnis’ position in 2014, one where he was strongly against MPs receiving a pay raise, as proposed by the previous administration, and his recent about face in parliament.
Dr. Minnis replied, “If I am headed out east then somewhere I decide to turn around and head out west, am I wrong?”
For the uninitiated, this is Minnis speak for “I could change my mind right? All right then, now leave me be, and don’t bother asking me to explain. “Ace” ga show you the time shortly.”
And yes, valiant Press Secretary Anthony ‘Ace’ Newbold has tried to defuse the situation by putting the whole “raises for MP’s are dependent on an economic upturn” spin on things.
Too late, though. It was once again, for all to see, another prime example of our Prime Minister executing Trump- like double talk.
So why, now, is everybody all up in arms about the PM and Marathon MP Romauld Ferreira debacle?
Over the weekend, a document allegedly from the Cabinet Office, made the rounds on social media.
The document claimed Mr Ferreira is no longer responsible for relations with national and international organizations.
All environmental matters, the Bahamas Science and Technology Commission (BEST), reefs and blue holes, international conventions, treaties, protocols and agreements relating to the environment, the Plant Protection Act, wild animal and bird protection and natural history specimens portfolios would now be forwarded to the Office of the Prime Minister.
When questioned about the document’s contents, Dr. Minnis replied - “Fake news have said so many things about me, those things don’t bother me. I’ve told my entire Cabinet just to remain focused, just stay on the highway, you know where the goal, you know what to achieve, just head toward the goalpost. Don’t worry about the sideways and don’t worry about the exit terminals, stay focused. People have sent so many documents around… fake news. I know nothing about the document.”
Now it seems the alleged ‘Fake News’ document is actually legitimate.
I mean, “What you talking ‘bout Ace?”
As critics dissected the PM’s credibility, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold was quick to defend Dr. Minnis, claiming the gazetted document is real, but has several errors.
Sighting Ferreira as a frequent target by the opposition, on social media, resulting in numerous conspiracy theories spreading like wildfire, Mr Newbold said Dr Minnis had not seen the document when he dismissed it as “fake news.”
Rather he (Dr. Minnis) assumed the document claimed there was a complete transfer of portfolios from Mr Ferreira to him with the intent to demote (Mr Ferreira).
(Nice to know our PM does his due diligence before commenting. Maybe his Press Secretary should advise him on what happens when one assumes things).
Under the Constitution, the Governor-General, on advice from the prime minister, issues the responsibilities and functions to the relative ministers. So how did the error-ladened document get leaked in the first place?
And why was the PM so comfortable calling it ‘Fake News’ when he knew the truth of the document’s origin all along?
Most importantly, why did these particular portfolios need to be placed under Dr. Minnis directly?
Add this latest fiasco to the long list of previous “double talk” moments like FOIA, the Spy Bill, NIA, Over the Hill Tax Free Zones, Crime, and Jobs (for starters) and it makes one wonder what’s really “fake” and “real” with this latest group.
Even Dr. Minnis’ dubious analogy about driving East then heading west is remarkable because, technically, Dr. Minnis and the FNM told the people that it “their time” to head out “East.” You know, toward a new day, a new beginning, a sunrise.
In light of all these “misstatements,” the PM’s whole going East then changing and heading West with no explanation just sounds like misdirection to me.
Perhaps the good Doctor would do well to remember those lines from a great poem by the legendary Rudyard Kipling that goes, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment seat.”