Dame Joan: FNM eating its words


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE Free National Movement is “eating its words” on major issues it admonished the former Christie administration over, according to retired Court of Appeal President Dame Joan Sawyer.

In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, Dame Joan said she was shocked at how much the Minnis administration has “come around” on severa policies and strategies it criticised while in opposition.

Referencing to the recent passage of the Interception of Communications Bill (ICB) 2017, and the current run of success at Baha Mar, Dame Joan said the current government stands as evidence of why political organisations should “be careful of what they say while in opposition.”

In the lead up the last election Dame Joan railed against the Christie administration for its handling of the controversial legislation and its timing.

Calling the bill “suspicious” on several occasions, she at one point penned an open letter in which she questioned the bill’s intent and level of transparency place around it.

When contacted by The Tribune yesterday, Dame Joan questioned if anything had “really changed”.

“With (the PLP) we got them to slow down and come to us on this bill. This group was a part of that push and now, I can’t believe it, they jump right on it and push basically the same thing on us.”

She continued: “The government should have come to the people and consulted them. Like the last group, where is the green and white papers on this Bill? I mean, we haven’t seen anything but the reports that they were tweaking it and making changes.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

When asked if she was, at any point, consulted by the Minnis administration on the Bill, Dame Joan added: “Consult me? No, they never consulted me or anybody that I know of, on this. They came in and ran straight to this and forgot the promises they made.”

Dame Joan said she was of the understanding the bill would be completely overhauled and presented for consultation, prior to being tabled in Parliament.

“I don’t think that happened,” she added.

“I don’t know what happened. It’s like this government is all in the business of following the last. Where is the respect for the people?

“When you consider this and consider Baha Mar, they are eating a lot of the words it tossed at the last government. It’s shocking. But I have been around and I know better, this doesn’t shock me,” she furthered.

Dame Joan was referring to Aviation and Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar’s recent admission that his views on Baha Mar had changed - now publicly praising the resort he preivously criticised .

“It’s something to see these things play out,” Dame Joan said. “They say something today, and tomorrow they play forget. There is nothing new under the sun.

“They do what the have to do for the US, and they do what they have to do for the UN; but where is the effort for the Bahamians? That is what I want to know.

“The people deserve better.”

The ICB 2017 has now moved to the Senate for debate and passage.


proudloudandfnm 4 years, 8 months ago

The FNM just killed freedom of speech.

I'm willing to fight for my rights. Jail don't scare me.

Screw this FNM....


licks2 4 years, 8 months ago

There are 25 international accords we have signed onto for the last 40 plus years. . .the past governments played the fool and continued to drag their feet in implementations. . .the international community is now telling us to stop our crap and get the new laws done!! The PLP of last government and this current one have no choice in these matters. . .get them done or be penalized. I do take exception to the Dame's statement about "what about us". . .that kind of thinking is the root of the problem since dog days. . .THERE IS NO US IN THESE INTERNATIONAL ACCORDS. . .ALL THE US WERE WRITTEN IN OUR RESERVATIONS, DEROGATION AND EXCEPTIONS CONTAINED IN EACH ACCORD REGISTER!! Old Bahamians must get their heads out of the clouds and get with the modern world of international politics. . . they created this mess in the first place by singing onto those accords and did not intend to comply!! I also agree with her warning to opposition members. . .careful of what ya say. . . they don't know the particulars of the case. . .reserve ya talk!


Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 8 months ago

Two-Faced Minnis couldn't do anything for the Ministry of Health when he was Minister of Health under the last Ingraham-led administration, yet voters in the last general election allowed Minnis to con them into thinking he could take on the task of leading the government of our country. Yep, we got 'swing' real bad by Two-Faced Minnis, but only because we, the slim majority of total voters, foolishly believed this bumbling dimwitted doc.


birdiestrachan 4 years, 8 months ago

We March was a ploy. I was surprise as to how many people went along with it Including "The Dame" It was all about the FNM winning the election. and it should be easy to find out who funded that Group. I may be called by some a "D" student But I was not fooled by it'

The unemployed lawyer came out with his demands to close to the election, I was under the impression it was an FNM Movement. The unemployed lawyer has been rewarded and he has never uttered another word . All is well even the spy bill.


TigerB 4 years, 8 months ago

Let's put Brave dem back hehehe


sheeprunner12 4 years, 8 months ago

Dame Joan is so right .......... If an elite, respected former COA Judge is not being consulted - My God, what do you think about the other 99% of our society????????

But this political culture of "the politicians know best" is symptomatic of all modern so-called democracies ......... The PM can hide behind Cabinet collectivism, but every MP (e.g.Gibson, McAlpine, Chippie) has a responsibility to speak his/her conscience as a duly elected people's representative ....... But when MPs speak out, they are castigated, mocked and ridiculed by their peers, the public, and their constituents for being traitors ........ That is why the rulers can do as they please.


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