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‘Mcalpine Quarrel Damaging Party’

Pineridge MP Rev Frederick McAlpine amongst the Enough is Enough March Protestors. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

Pineridge MP Rev Frederick McAlpine amongst the Enough is Enough March Protestors. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE public war of words between Free National Movement Chairman Carl Culmer and Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine has portrayed the party as one shrouded by “division,” making it easier for the public to withdraw its support for the government, former FNM Cabinet minister Frank Watson told The Tribune yesterday.

Mr Watson, who served as deputy prime minister in a previous Ingraham administration, insisted yesterday a party should never air its differences in public, adding there are sufficient mechanisms present for grievances to be addressed.

Given the “disruptive” nature of the backbench MP who has repeatedly chided the government – the latest being when he joined last Wednesday’s march against the government outside Parliament – former Cabinet minister Tennyson Wells believes Mr McAlpine’s fate with the FNM is already sealed.

He crossed the line, Mr Wells said, which will ensure he is a one-time member of Parliament.

The former MPs spoke out the day after Mr McAlpine fired back at the FNM chairman, suggesting Mr Culmer was not a real leader, adding the FNM was hypocritical because it has gone contrary to its campaign promises.

This was his response on Sunday to Mr Culmer who last week said the Pineridge MP was a hypocrite for standing with demonstrators and sharing their views. Mr Culmer has also criticised the protest from Baillou Hill Road to Bay Street as poorly organised and deemed it a Progressive Liberal Party event. The PLP has denied this.

photo

FNM chairman Carl Culmer.

“It’s bad that they - the chairman and a member of Parliament – are airing their differences in public. It’s not good for the party. It shows division, which no party wants to publicly disclose at any time and at any place,” Mr Watson said. “Its easy to lose support now. There ought to be a mechanism and there is the council and many other opportunities for them to resolve their difference.

“McAlpine apparently has the position that as an MP he has the right to speak out about things he feels are not right in society. I guess that is a right, which he has, but normally these things are resolved behind closed doors and not necessarily in the public as is happening now. But he may feel like he has the right to say what he wants to say.

“Obviously if he felt so aggrieved that he couldn’t discuss it in party circles, I think that somebody should call him in and get him to explain why is he taking these actions. What he feels may be right, the party may feel otherwise, but at some point somebody in the party should call him in ask him where he stands.

“The things about parliamentary democracy is you try to fix what is wrong inside the party rather than public discord,” Mr Watson said. 

For his part, Mr Wells told The Tribune yesterday Mr McAlpine has never given the governing party a chance to get its ducks in a row.

Mr Wells believes the MP may now have an agenda or may be upset because he hasn’t gotten something he wanted.

If this is the case, Mr Wells, who is BAMSI’s president and chairman, said Mr McAlpine may never get what he wants.

He said: “It would appear to me that Mr McAlpine has made his mind up to be disruptive because if you look and you analyse what has happened since the last election, he came out immediately. He didn’t give the party any time to put its ducks in a row and he was critical from day one so he must have an agenda that is not in accordance with what the FNM seems to want to do and like he said he has been consistent.

“Now whether he wanted something that he didn’t get I don’t know but I believe he has crossed the Rubicon now and crossed the red line because the way he is behaving he can’t expect to get anything anymore.

“So he probably maybe decided that he’s going to go on his own or go to the PLP and be a one-time member. Because from what I know of the people in Grand Bahama they have been consistently FNM for many many years. I don’t see them going with them or supporting him in what he’s doing, at least that’s the report that I am getting from there. That they do not support him.”

In an interview with this newspaper on Sunday, Mr McAlpine insisted he was not a hypocrite or anti-FNM, but maintained it was only right that he stood with those who marched on Wednesday as both he and they held the same views.

He said if the party could not understand this, then it was hypocritical for refusing to see why many Bahamians are angry having voted for a government that has now gone contrary to what it promised.

And he’s sure that’s he isn’t the only FNM member who feels the same. However he said he has not been afraid to speak publicly for voters because he doesn’t have to “sing for his supper” as others do.

Asked if Mr Culmer’s rebuke was a testament of his standing in the party, Mr McAlpine said he remains a member of the FNM, but admitted there are many in leadership and others in Parliament who have shunned him for his opposing views.

Comments

birdiestrachan 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The part damaged itself when the PM spoke out against VAT and the first chance he had he increased it by 60%. They continue to lie about everything. They have made life for poor people very hard.

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 3 weeks ago

consistently FNM Grand Bahama Mr Wells?? take a good look at Grand Bahama. what is there to be proud of, I say very good for Grand Bahama very good indeed,

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Just look at politics in other mature democracies - USA, Canada, Australia, Britain etc. ......... No one is afraid to speak out ........ Look at Britain right now, the PM is fighting for her life because her party/coalition is not on board with her version of BREXIT ........... Why do we want a glorified dictatorship in The Bahamas that is masquerading as a "Westminster democracy"???????????

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SP 2 months, 3 weeks ago

EXACTLY!!....One of the main reasons our country is in the mess we find ourselves in is because party members were not allowed to disagree with stupid "supreme leaders"! Mr. McAlpine is on a good wicket and I hope he stands his ground!!

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jamaicaproud 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The same glorified dictatorship that kicks out "Haitians" on a whim. You can't have it both ways, you shameless bigot.

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Observer 2 months, 3 weeks ago

So,.............what is Tennyson Wells' legacy? Does anyone know? Or have we forgotten him too?

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Um. No. Minnis, Turnquest, Thompson and D'Aguilar are destroying the FNM. All of them are entirely useless... Mac is the ONLY bright light...

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TheMadHatter 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"Mr Wells believes the MP may now have an agenda or may be upset because he hasn’t gotten something he wanted.

If this is the case, Mr Wells, who is BAMSI’s president and chairman, said Mr McAlpine may never get what he wants."

HERE is the problem. It is not possible for Wells and too great a portion of our society to even believe that there exists someone like McAlpine. In his view people do things to "get something" not because they want a better world.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Tennyson Wells should never open his mouth ........... he and Watson got their share of the spoils while in Cabinet as well .......... especially Crown Land.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

BTW ............ how much is Wells being paid as BAMSI President & Chairman??? ...... 6 figures?????? ............ He doesn't do anything for free ......... If UB Smith is making $400K, Wells must be making at least half of that ............. What a sham and tax burden on our country!!!

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Godson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I appreciate your outlook "In his (Tennyson) view people do things to "get something" not because they want a better".

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bogart 2 months, 3 weeks ago

KUdos ...to the Pineridge Rev.... MP....McAlpine.....for rushing to meet the .....cavalcade of oncoming..... sea of Bahamian flags..... an the Bahamians proudly holding the flags.... marchers.....all proudly waving Bahamian flags.... plenty plenty...real..big....size... Bahamian flags....proudly waving dere Bahamian flags....plenty...plenty....real...real big....Bahamian flags....proudly ...waving in the breeze....mus confess ...always touches my heart....to see Bahamian flags flying so proudly......!!!!!!!!!

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John 2 months, 3 weeks ago

McAlpine is to the FNM what Leslie Miller is the PLP. The both have a tendency to become loose cannons from time to time and shoot their mouths off, firing from the hip. But they mean their parties no harm. They both experienced what ordinary Bahamians are experiencing are feel the need to relate their message to the top. To allow McAlpine to continue to express himself as the voice of the people that elected him demonstrates tolerance and political maturity. To silence and disband him will raise a question of democracy.

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CatIslandBoy 2 months, 3 weeks ago

McAlpine should resign from the FNM and be an independent voice if he feels as though that is his calling. The recurring theme of the recent March was that Minnis has got to go. If McAlpine believes this he should "Man-Up" and say so. He cannot have it both ways. I see nothing noble about his act of defying the police in breaking through the barriers. He is suffering from a Napoleonic complex for which neither the PLP nor FNM party has the balm. The people do, and they will certainly vote him out in the next election.

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geostorm 2 months, 3 weeks ago

What Mr. McAlpine is doing is counterproductive. He does have a right to express his concerns however, I agree with Mr. Wells, there is a mechanism in place to air his grievances.He should use that avenue. His behavior last week was unacceptable and appeared more like grand standing than anything else. Why on earth would someone in such a charged political environment choose to defy the orders of the police? That could have gotten out of control real quick. Hopefully, if he continues to feel the way he does about the party, he will resign. After all, if an employee is unhappy with his employer and does not subscribe to the vision, he resigns and finds a new employer.

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John 2 months, 3 weeks ago

What McAlpine is doing is making sure the people know that the government knows what their concerns are and also that the government is constantly reminded of what its promises and commitments to the people are. So when the mustard meets the catchup government and they find themselves in hot sauce, the government cannot say, 'we didn't know."

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Godson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The audacity of Mr. Wells to hold himself out as being the conscience of the electorate.

It shows the light in which he, and Mr. Watson, grades the intelligence of the Bahamian people - as though we cannot think and assess for ourselves.

In time, the electorate of Grand Bahama will assess the performance of Rev. McAlpine for themselves (not through the scope of Watson & Wells); and God's willing, three or so years from here, they will make their choice as to whether or not to return Rev. McAlpine as their Parliamentary representative.

Furthermore, they do not believe we can apply ourselves to a task without cause for reward or monetary gain. Their comments describes themselves. They were only in public life for what they could gain.

Others, like Rev. McAlpine, are bent on leaving The Bahamas in a better state than what it is in. Mr. Wells and Mr. Watson, cannot appreciate altruistic motives because it is an altogether foreign experience for them.

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TigerB 2 months, 3 weeks ago

McAlpine reminds me so much of a fella call Dr. Andrae Rollins, very out spoke, I loved his stand, but often MP's like that will stand alone, looking outside the political arena. Point is you get nowhere without a party backing.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

True .............. we are in a system where the Party is Almighty ......... sad

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DWW 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Funny how the words democracy and closed-doors are used in the same statement. *Scratches head

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TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Does believe comrade MP Mc - done sits on opposition benches side House, so no need take the 19 steps cross House floor- just needs stand up and make it official to the Speaker - who he self would be understanding - having he too been publicly dismissal Minnis and KP's governing ways.

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realitycheck242 2 months, 3 weeks ago

McAlpine, Chipman, Miller and Travis should join the DNA and if Bran Mccartney becomes leader again, there is a real chance for a third party to win. Throw Leslie Miller and Loretta Butler in the mix they could have a landslide with the majority voting population switching to the under 30 year old voters in the next 2022 election.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Jokes!!!!!! ............ You will not make a good political advisor!!!!!!!!

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TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Some us long held view that had comrade Prime Minister Pindling, not sent the electorate to the polls during summer 1992 - Ping would have had better shot of retaining governing power. The PLP may have met with defeat because his poor timing holding general - during the end summer period when voting age students studying abroad had not yet returned to school.

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licks2 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't move Mc and he is powerless. . .and if he is true to his God and self. . .HE WILL WIN. . .we will see soon!!!

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CaptainCoon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This administration and the FNM chairman conduct themselves like a band of baboons throwing feces everywhere and calling it good governance. This is Christie 2.0! Are we as Bahamians even capable of running a country?

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realfreethinker 2 months, 3 weeks ago

McAlpine is nothing but grandstanding. What of substance has he done for his constituents?. He is in a perfect position to affect change as part of the gov. Being an antagonist gets him nothing for his people. A real good politician would hold his/ her colleagues to account but still work within the system.

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