By Inigo ‘Naughty’ Zenicazelaya
It’s now nine days post-election and the nation is settling in with both eyes on the new government and with eager anticipation of better days to come.
I, on the other hand, reflect daily on the previous administration, faced with the sobering fact that the jokes would no longer be writing themselves.
I miss ‘Cool PC’, ‘Brave’, ‘Dread Fred’, ‘Jeromie the Homie’ and - last but not least - my favourite sounding board and easiest target (thanks to numerous dim-witted statements and callous antics) good old ‘Vergineas’ already.
Alas, no more freebies I guess!
Now don’t get me wrong, I remain apolitical. Yes, I may have been critical of the past government (as thousands of Bahamians were in their own way), and that may have helped the FNM with ousting the PLP, but I remain apolitical. I’m on ‘team Bahamas’.
The FNM was the only viable vehicle at the time, to drive the nation to positive change. It was obvious the entire voting populace got the memo - Perry and the PLP had to go.
Moving forward, I want the FNM and my FNM politicians to realise that, with almost zero opposition, just as I did with the previous administration, I will hold you accountable to what you promised during ‘silly season’. Objectivity and fairness remain very high on my list.
Nothing personal; I’m only ensuring that transparency and accountability will be the order of the day while young MPs are given a chance to serve and grow as leaders as promised.
I’m quite sure this new breed of ‘swing voter’ will remind the FNM at the polls in five years if they fail to deliver on their election promises.
I, like the citizenry of the Bahamas, also know that it will take time to assess, strategise, organise and mobilise the plans and solutions designed to create positive change and lead our nation forward, efficiently and - most importantly - beneficially for all Bahamians.
We must support and encourage the new government as well. When they are to be commended, we must give them the credit they deserve; with the same conviction we will criticise them for whatever their shortcomings may be.
However, all politicos, please be reminded, I am a professional comedian of over 19 years; if you put something humourous out there in the public domain, free material remains free material.
Alright, now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s the good, the bad and the ugly that caught my eye this week.
Not a good look
For the record, if possible, I want Sarkis Izmirlian to have his property returned to him through the proper legal channels. It’s his brainchild and no one can see his vision to fruition like he can. Period.
However, I must agree with the sentiments expressed by the majority of my peer group in regards to Izmirlian attending the swearing in ceremony of new Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.
I understand Izmirlian had several associates in attendance who are now MPs (Dionisio D’Aguilar in Free Town, Jeff Lloyd in South Beach and Marvin Dames in Mount Moriah.)
Izmirlian seems to be straight up, so I feel his attendance was a genuine act of support for his associates.
None the less it wasn’t a good look for the FNM and the perception left a lot to be desired. As innocent as the congratulatory photo ops seemed at the time, they screamed a totally different message when released to the masses.
Once again here is the ‘influential foreign investor’, (the same one who was posing for photo ops and running full page ads in the dailies congratulating the new government circa 2012.) posted up next to the nation’s Chief Executive on day one!
The image is eerily similar, if not as boastful, as the infamous ‘Nygard Cay’ video, with influential Canadian billionaire and PLP financier Peter Nygard, meeting the entire new PLP government post elections in 2012.
Basically sending the obvious message, “I come for my tings first.”
Again Izmirlian’s intentions may have been sincere; however, the fact remains it was an optics fiasco. Easy attack points for a focused opposition.
You are now the hunted FNM, you must be focused and aware at all times. The PLP will only be immobile for a short period of time, and one thing I can say unequivocally, the PLP has proven to be a failure in a leadership role but are very powerful and effective as an opposition.
Silence is golden
The best thing for the PLP to do at this time is distance itself from the old guard and political one-shot wonders that remain in its ranks. And remain silent, until it has regrouped and realigned itself and ready to begin regaining the government. (Chester Cooper would make a bright, visionary young leader.)
Let the pitiful departure by the former PM and PLP leader remain as his legacy. He lacked the intestinal fortitude to face the nation and concede on election night; instead he reappeared on Monday to ‘give up the ghost’ at PLP headquarters, with one final rambling, finger-pointing rant.
Just as he lacked the backbone to discipline his ‘rouge filled’ scandal ridden cabinet, the core of which must never return to frontline politics in this country, he should have no problem clearing the way for the new government.
And that silence goes for you too, Fred Mitchell. We’ve heard enough of your racial visceral, your time has come and gone. So follow Mr Christie’s example and just exit stage left already.
• Inigo ‘Naughty’ Zenicazelaya is the resident stand-up comic at Jokers Wild Comedy Club at the Atlantis, Paradise Island, resort and presents ‘Mischief and Mayhem in da AM’ from 6am to 10am, Monday to Friday, and ‘The Press Box’ sports talk show on Sunday from 10am to 1pm on KISS FM 96.1. He also writes a sports column in The Tribune on Tuesday. Comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org