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Insight: If I Was Running A Sham Like This I’D Avoid The Hard Questions Too

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

By Malcolm Strachan

IT HAS been almost 18 months since the Free National Movement became the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and many of us are still struggling to figure out just who this government is. What is their brand of governance? What will we remember them for? Will it be for taking a savvy campaign catchphrase and turning it into a punchline? Or as the government that unabashedly increased the tax burden on its citizenry?

Time will tell, but for now, with little to no understanding of what this government’s identity is, the parts we are able to piece together do not bode well for this administration’s legacy.

If we look to our American neighbours – whether you like, love or hate them – both presidents Trump and Obama had consistent messaging throughout their tenures. President Barack Obama, certainly the more widely favoured of the two, campaigned on change and a belief that if all citizens came together that they can make their country a better place. On the other hand, his successor, President Donald Trump, makes decisions on the premise of “making America great again”.

It is very hard to ascertain any decision our government has made that reflects it being “the people’s time”. Perusing any local social media, one can find comic relief using the government’s campaigned slogan. Whether the populace is determining that it is the people’s time to suffer, or questioning which people the government are referring to, neither assumption speaks well of this government.

Also, as disjointed as their self-perception may be, we can surmise that neither of these perspectives would align with how the government views itself.

We have all heard by now the dissenting voices from within Parliament on the government’s decision to increase value added tax, as well as renting space in the Town Centre Mall from Immigration and Financial Services Minister Brent Symonette. Members of Parliament for Pineridge, Bain and Grants Town, Centreville and Golden Aisles have echoed the wider community in this regard.

Interestingly enough, the Free National Movement conclave which took place on Friday and Saturday was organised with the aim of getting all party members “on the same page”. Although FNM chairman Carl Culmer insisted this exercise was not done to target dissenting voices from within the party, it is highly doubtful that some form of intimidation was not at play. Particularly with Culmer’s response indicating that freedom of speech is fine in certain forums and not others, one must wonder who decides these forums? And why, if you’re a backbencher whose obligation is to the people that voted you in, does there have to be a forum in which you can disagree with a decision made by the government in the first place?

Certainly, it doesn’t seem like any secret to the Bahamian people that certain individuals in this government are very insecure and sensitive to any form of criticism. The prime minister has gone so far as castigating the media at a press event for the way they do their jobs – which is not bestowing praise upon him every chance they get.

He, too, beyond firing three of the four MPs after they voted against the government’s decision to increase value added tax, executed his own attack on McAlpine, who has been his harshest critic.

The prime minister has also not been alone in cracking the whip on dissident voices within the camp.

Founding member of the FNM Maurice Moore has on multiple occasions lashed MPs Fred McAlpine, Travis Robinson, Reece Chipman and Vaughn Miller for views on government decisions.

Culmer says they want to be careful the Opposition cannot “twist” the message. But what message is that: “It’s the people’s time?”

That message would have been twisted a long time ago, but not by the Opposition, or any of the “Rebel Four”. Rather, it’s been twisted by the party’s very own shaky leadership.

Any organisation typically takes on the identity of its leader. From brands such as Apple and Tesla to countries like the US and Canada. Many US political commentators – the one’s worth watching, at least – would say the cause of the recent domestic acts of mass violence have occurred as a result of the hate-filled rhetoric from its leader.

Likewise, we are still struggling to understand what the government’s identity is because largely we have no clue of what Prime Minister Minnis’ identity is. Lacking in charisma and personality, we are unable to get a true sense of who he is and what he’s about. His most coherent speeches sound scripted, and any time he’s spoken off the cuff he’s given us his fair share of “twisted” messaging.

Moreover, without managing his own portfolio, he doesn’t report to the Bahamian people on a regular basis about anything of value. Luckily, he is able to hide under the cover of press secretary ‘Ace’ Newbold, who quite possibly has the hardest time earning a pay cheque in the country.

Surely, many people wonder what Dr Minnis does all day.

However, if you were to tune into his Facebook page, you can see that he spends the majority of his time travelling abroad and campaigning in the Family Islands in constituencies where he is comfortable knowing he won’t be made uncomfortable.

He has yet to hold a similar forum in the nation’s capital for what we imagine to be fear of being disrobed. Understandably, if I were running a sham on the Bahamian people, I would want to avoid the hard questions as well.

Nonetheless, one thing to know about the Bahamian people is that without you showing us who you are, we will not make any qualms about deciding who we see you as. And as of right now, for the prime minister and his government, they certainly aren’t who they said they were.

The time will come when the electorate holds a mirror in front of this government. Certainly, we hope they can bear the sight of what is reflected.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 4 days ago

The dimwitted Doc remains so confused, still trying to figure out whether he's going East or West. LMAO

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licks2 1 week, 4 days ago

Now you know what is confused. . .THIS PIECE!!! This convoluted, juvenile and antediluvian has no notion of "people's time". . . if I ponder from its reasoning prose. . . I don't know how to follow" this writer. . .except. . . "how you want us to see you is not how your reasoning skills is bringing you across"! It is a little hard to place his notion. . . except it is placed under reaction formation or a cognitive dissonance. . . Island myopic style . . . but however that writer cut it. . .he/she makes no sense!!!

This writer needs to go and read up on "writer's congruence" in thoughts! Commentary is not just jumbling up emotions on paper or e-paper. . .writing, if not cleverly engineered by some of the most cleverest word smiths can be easily reverse-engineered to revealed the "true" hue of the writer or shall I say the lack of hue of the writer! This writer word smiths like an ogga with Mitral. . .makes no sword's man!! Trace both sword and sword man's history and you will find one a lumbering pile of putrid flesh and the other a mystical sword made with the finest Elfin black smith's talen in the heart of a magical mountain and can endure it's wielder with the sword skills of King David as legend has it! The sword comes alive and vanquish. . .in the grasp of an ogga. . .cold and dead metal good for carving toad steaks!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 3 days ago

Dictionary please.... Basically what he said is Minnis has no plan and is substanceless

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 3 days ago

licks2 at least know where he headed.....to one day meet up with Big Bad Brad. LMAO

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

But ma comrades, wasn't it just I 543 days, 45 minutes and 15 seconds ago this same prime minister was favoured by the media to assume instruments governing... but since taking power has often mouthed he don't trust the fake news media carry his message to the PeoplePublic....not even stopping short Trump like calls to lock the opposition up... in fact Trump's justice people never orchestrated the actual arrest and prosecution senor PLP men's.carrout out by his politically appointed. { Can't just putting on face makeup to pretend the Imperial red shirts has undergone conclave makeover }.But thankfully ain't damn thing the PM can do to take away the constitutional 'firing power' of the Peoples Her Excellency Marguerite }.God save Queen.

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 4 days ago

The author is correct; Doc is a terrible PM. But I disagree about his comments on Trump. He is content to treat Trump negatively the way "fake news" CNN treats him, while glorifying Obama. IMO Trump is much better than Obama's second term in office, when he became ultra liberal and started having boys use girl's bathrooms. You seem to imply that Trump was responsible for those attacks. Nonsense. Further, you imply that Trump is racist. He is not. Just because he is against illegal immigration does not make him racist. He has nothing against legal American citizens of any race. He is against breaking the law. That's it.

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concernedcitizen 1 week, 4 days ago

My goodness , clean your eye glasses .Trump may or may not be racist but his supporter think he is racist ,and that's the whole point .Since the minute Trump came down the elevator saying "Mexicans are muderers and rapist " he has been using Lee Atwaters southern strategy .Look up a quote by Lyndon Johnson that begins "if you can convince the lowest white man ,,," and u have Trumps whole act .

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 3 days ago

Re:Concernedcitizen Fake News, but I respect your right to say it. President Trump is a business man. That's it. He is the opposite of Bahamian politicians that get nothing accomplished. America was becoming weak and soft under the fake guise of Obama's promised racial utopia. China, the real racist nation (the one you should have your hate directed at) was on the verge of taking over the world economic order. Trump fixed most of this and is the best president of my lifetime. Read this: In April, the black unemployment rate dropped to a historic low of 6.6 percent, followed by another record low of 5.9 percent in June, the first time in history it fell below 6 percent.

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concernedcitizen 1 week, 3 days ago

The last 21 months of Obama presidency he added more jobs than Trump has in the first 21 months of his presidency .The last time the deficit was as high as Trumps , a trillion dollars a year , was when Bush did TARP and Obama did the Stimulis to stave off a depression ..Trump b/c of his tax cuts for the wealthy is running trillion dollar deficits in a good economy ..These are neither Fox news or CNN bias they are numbers/facts ..Anyone can cut taxes ,super heat the economy and run large deficits , usually ends in a recession ..If u just go by numbers ,and the economy has more to do then just the president , when Trump moves the lowers unemployment rate about 6 points and grows the stock market from about 8000 to 22000 or if u prefer 14000 points like Obama get back to me .Until then read the quote from Lyndon Johnson about the lowest white man and study Atwater and u got trumps act

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 3 days ago

UMCA, European trade deal, tamed North Korea, two Supreme Court Judges, and now China wants to talk trade -- did all this while dealing with the Russia Hoax and muppet Mueller. Trump is a genius and a political beast the likes of which the world has never seen before. Can't figure out why Bahamians love FACTA Obama so much. Obama was a great public speaker but that's about it -- Ah that's why, Bahamians think with their ears not their brain.

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concernedcitizen 1 week, 3 days ago

UMCA is just NAFTA ,, The repubs would not even vote on Obamas supreme court nominee .Kavanaugh , hmm an angry white entitled guy w an alcohol problem .Trump is mental Viagra for angry old white guys that don,t want to face the fact that in about 25 years the Latinos ,Blacks and Asains will out number them even if not one more immigrant gets into the U S .Remember when it blows up Mueller is a life long republican .

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 3 days ago

More like in 5 -10 years. Hispanics already have a majority in California. Time to use the Dominican Republic model and revoke citizenships of countries that use procreation to invade. So many great countries will fall due to this covert "majority rule' invasion strategy, unless draconian measures are taken. Like it or not, race and culture determines 50% to 90% of our experience on planet Earth. Culture even more than race is the key factor. When the culture of American changes to South American, the liberals will morn the loss of things they now take for granted. Countries that have zero migration, such as China, will dominate and take over and freedom destroyed.

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Porcupine 1 week, 3 days ago

If you read the history on Trump and his father, you quickly realize he is a criminal, not a businessperson. A criminal, nothing more.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 3 days ago

LMAO. You could say the same about every real estate developer that ever worked in the NYC area or every politician that ever sat in parliament in the Bahamas. So what's your point? You don't get ahead in corrupt societies without being corrupt....after all, corruption is the dividing line between 'the haves' and 'the have nots' in any corrupt society. Just ask the Symonette family. What rock have you been living under?

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Ma Comrades, none us know for sure what's in heart another man's but both son Trump and his daddy Trump's actions speaks what we should be judging them on.... and all discriminatory statements uttered both during the presidential campaign and lots since assuming office of the president of the United States of America... right?.

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 3 days ago

The PM seems not to understand , he does not care, that Bahamians are hurting. The cost of living has increased but not incomes. There is VAT on everything our bills , our food our doctor and dentist bills. everything had gone up. while incomes remain the same.

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TalRussell 1 week, 3 days ago

Ma comrades, it is true that the pace of job growth under Trump for black Americans is good but so was it under Obama but relative rate of job growth for black Americans has slowed compared with white Americans since Trump took office. The daddy and son Trump organizations were not exactly known for fair and equal job opportunities and promotions senior positions for non whites. Let's not forget Trump is more comfortable with the Gary Busey smack type characters. Can you name a single black white House hire currently employed in the Trump white house? Closer home - name a 'white native' hired work in current PMO?

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 3 days ago

Bahamian politicians are 100 times more racist than Trump. They treat us like dogs. Steal our hard earned money. Refuse to give us freedom of information. I would rather be a black man under Trump than a black man under Minnis any day of the week.

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TalRussell 1 week, 3 days ago

Is it just my observation that Comrade BahamaPundit seems split which personality he/she blogs under from post to post... Thinking elevator might have issues which floors buttons were pushed stop at?

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ColumbusPillow 1 week, 3 days ago

How popular it is to do "Trump Bashing" as if nothing else matters. The thing that really matters is that the US unemployment rate is 3.5 % and that is largely due to Trump's efforts. Its almost 7% in Canada and 14% here...................Happy people are employed.

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concernedcitizen 1 week, 3 days ago

The unemployment rate has been dropping the last six years .Obama came to power during the height of the great recession when the economy was losing 4 million jobs a year , and brought the unemployment rate from 8 or 9 down to mid 4,s .Trump came to power in a good economy and lowered it a couple more points .The economy has more to do than just the president ,world economy ,oil prices etc ,or do you want to blame Bush and his tax cutting policy for the great recession.The unemployment rate in Canada is 5.8

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TalRussell 1 week, 3 days ago

The talking this comrade be hearing the consensus StreetPublic done reached conclusion the Imperial red shirts conclave is such that was no more than conclave to con-cock to formulate even wider scam on PeoplePublic that what even Sir Stafford's Bay Street Boys attempted pull off during the 1967 general election... at least Sir Stafford and POP Symonette, delivered on its promise a viable economy- even if it discriminated against masses...Basically, it didn't take secret concave to reveal Imperial red shirts party for who and what they really are.... bad attempt at returning UBPism...... And, it may just takes some colonialism interference by Peoples Her Excellency Marguerite - to deliver knockout blow Minnis and KP administration.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 3 days ago

No need to draw Trump into this discussion ............ It's the People's Time means that the FNM will ............ (1) Arrest the Treasury hemorrhage to the PLP friends, families and lovers aka PEPs (and steal less) ............ (2) That the FNM will invest more in providing better public services through the corporations and civil service (more accountability) .......... (3) That the FNM will try to correct the downward spiral of the economy by decreasing the debt burden aka pay the VAT12 .............. (4) The FNM will try to improve the health and well being of the country aka lower crime and improve PMH (NHI) .............. (5) That the FNM will breed life into the Out Islands aka PPPs and FDIs (Disney) ................. (6) That the FNM will protect The Bahamas for Bahamians by cleaning up the RBDF/ Immigration Dept and fighting Fred's RB cases ................. Hopes that helps Ace the next time he does a press conference ( I might as well apply for his job).

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 3 days ago

The whole point of the article is to expose the SHAM that is the FNM and Minnis administration Sheeprunner12. It does this nicely.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 3 days ago

Someone must try to help out the hapless PR for Minnis ........ smh

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