EDITOR, The Tribune.
IN Constitutional Law, it is generally accepted that there are four estates in any civilised and democratic country. The church is often referred to as the “first” estate. The legislature as the second estate. The executive as the third estate and, of course, the media is known as the fourth estate. The demarcation between these “estates” often overlap and may be difficult to separate. It is no different here in our wonderful nation.
At a recent doll house event sponsored by the so-called Bahamas Press Club, our erstwhile Prime Minister, obviously, must have strayed from the script presented to him by his political handlers. The mainstream media, inclusive of The Tribune and The Nassau Guardian, fully supported the Free National Movement (FNM) and Dr Minnis. The PLP and its now defunct leader were literally hated by the average voter and, indeed, Bahamians across the board.
It was commonly accepted that the then governing PLP and its bumbling and disconnected leader had to go into forced political retirement. The mainstream media hammered them without mercy for years leading up to the general elections of May 10th, 2017 Mind you, what little ‘good’ the PLP may have done (and it was hardly visible to the naked eye), was grossly out weighted by the bad, which was voluminous and pervasive.
It is a spectacle of national proportions to have seen and heard the PM’s tirade against the media at that “doll house” styled event. He, a medical doctor, with little to no communication skills, lit into those in attendance and accused them of being everything except a child of God. He condemned the press for becoming tabloid in nature and accused the media of ignoring public policy initiatives as espoused by his administration. The attendees sat right there with their mouths wide open and, possibly, catching flies.
The venue and time were wrong and the PM should have been more graceful and temperate in his disjointed and convoluted bogus accusations. Minnis and crew have been in power for a little over six months. Apart from moving a Bill to amend The Pensions Act, so as to pay out former Commissioner of Police, Elliston Greenslade, a reasonable pension as he “retired’’ from that position, what other significant Bills have been brought to parliament of a public policy nature? Not a single one.
Minnis has an apparent aversion to questionings by the media and talk show hosts. He has long sought to dismiss most of us as distractions and obstructionists to what he calls “public policy initiatives”. This man, obviously, is a resident of the Twilight Zone 2.0. A Bill has now been introduced erroneously titled: “The Commercial Enterprise Bill”. This so-called revolutionary piece of legislation is designed, in my view, almost 95% for the benefit of foreign investors and their corporate shells.
This Bill will allow foreign individuals and corporate structures to set up shop in our nation with the minimum of red tape. In fact, these foreign people and entities do not even need to first apply for a work permit before starting a commercial enterprise. The unwashed Bahamian masses, especially the black ones, will not be “taken cared of, at this time” as, clearly, ‘It is the people dem time...’ Massive red tape and massive inability to access the smallest amount of business capital continues to literally plague the people of this wonderful nation, more than 44 years after our so-called “Independence”.
The Minnis administration appears to have absolutely no public policy plans and initiatives for Bahamians. Grand Bahama is still on its economic knees despite sweeping all of the parliamentary seats. The DPM is from Grand Bahama. The Minister of Sports is Freeport based. The Minister of State for Grand Bahama’s Prime Minister’s Office (a soft job for one of the boys) is also based in Grand Bahama. In six months what has Minnis and crew done for the long suffering people of Grand Bahama, generally, and Freeport in particular?
Minnis crowed a few months ago, in tandem with the erstwhile Minister of Tourism that Our Lucaya, or was it Memories, would be up and running for this winter season! This is an impossibility and was designed to bull skate the people of Grand Bahama and to buy political solace for Minnis and his motley crew.
And, therefore, beloved, because this political and economically destitute administration never had a real plan of action, it has had to wing it, so to speak. When and where this fails, Minnis and crew have resorted to attacking the media and journalists, inclusive of talk show hosts. Minnis and them will live to regret this blatant and undemocratic attack on the Fourth Estate. If he and they were only to do their jobs with accountability and transparency, most things will work out for all Bahamians. To God then, in all things, be the glory.
ORTLAND H BODIE, Jr
November 22, 2017.