EDITOR, The Tribune
Many, if not most Bahamians, were shocked and disturbed at the outcome of the Shane Gibson case. This included quite a number of PLP supporters. The jury acquitted Gibson on 15 counts after deliberating for a very short period.
PLP leader Philip Davis came out afterward and very curiously called the verdict “a miracle”, which was a very strange thing to say. Does he think that God intervened or that a miracle was needed to acquit Gibson?
Except in PLP circles most Bahamians were quiet, the same sort of quiet Bahamians show when they are upset about a matter but say very little. In chat groups online and in private conversations many Bahamians expressed surprise at the outcome of the case.
Many at the senior level of the PLP went into triumphalist and bragging mode. Some were gloating and even obnoxious. Bahamians are taking note of the PLP’s reaction and arrogance and lack of humility. Many times it’s best to sit small and still.
Many in the PLP leadership are calling for all kinds of resignations. Since coming to office the PLP has called for just about everybody in the Cabinet to resign. Because they have been so indiscriminate in asking for ministers to resign, few take these calls seriously.
Some in the PLP have gone after the Commissioner of Police while others have gone after the independent Director of Prosecutions, and the career public officers who were just doing their jobs. They should continue to do their jobs and not be intimidated by the PLP.
We should not forget that the judge in the Gibson case ruled that he had a case to answer. Should she also resign because she was doing her job?
This case has left a bad taste in the mouths of many Bahamians but not in the ways PLPs think. Again, many, if not most, Bahamians believe that PLPs have a sense of entitlement and believe they are above the law.
Investigations and prosecutions for alleged wrongdoing by PLPs are met with the same playbook used by Donald Trump in the United States when confronted by allegations of corruption, bribery, abuse of power and other matters which may lead to his impeachment.
The playbook is first deny, then attack others, then play the victim and scream, “Witch Hunt!”
Most Bahamians perceive the PLP as a party that has tolerated all kinds of corruption over many years and that the party is still not committed to cleaning itself up.
Some PLPs may see the outcome of the Shane Gibson case as a victory. But ironically, given how many Bahamians feel about the outcome, it may prove to be a hollow and empty victory for the PLP and may help lead to its defeat once again at election time.
Many things have unintended consequences. What might look like a victory today can very quickly and easily become a defeat or set back. The final jury on many things in the country is the collective opinion and voice of the Bahamian people, which the PLP may be terribly misjudging.
December 4, 2019