SO, barring a catastrophe at the polls in the new election, we are almost certainly in line for a second Minnis administration.
The hundreds cheering the re-election of ‘Brave’ Davis and Chester Cooper at the opening session of the PLP convention yesterday must be among the very few who don’t realise the party’s decision consigns them another long period in opposition.
To be frank, for the health of the PLP that’s probably not a bad thing as, since it was humiliatingly chased out of power two years ago, it seems to have learned very little from the mistakes which caused virtually the entire voting public against it.
The fact that Brave Davis remains leader when he was one of the chief torch bearers in the Christie government shows the party – from top to bottom – has learned little.
How can the PLP expect voters to turn away from the FNM – for all its stumbling faults – and put its faith in someone who helped oversee years of Christie’s calamitous administration?
Chester Cooper has seemingly been told to bide his time and let Brave lead the charge to the next election. Chester can only hope a second PLP defeat with him as Brave’s deputy doesn’t have any long-term affect on his own future leadership ambitions.
A brief examination of Brave as Leader of the Opposition doesn’t provide much evidence that under him the party offers anything different to what came before.
It’s not as if the Minnis government has been on top form, letting its guard down from Oban to the Town Centre Mall, little progress in improving education, industrial unrest bubbling loudly in many corners, VAT and the spectre of all that comes with accession to the World Trade Organisation all providing glaring opportunities for the PLP to shout from the rooftops at government failings and seriously taking a bite out of the support the FNM gained in the 2017 “protest” election.
Instead half the time we saw Brave leading his small band out of the assembly leaving Minnis and Co. chortling in their seats. The real opposition has come from outside the assembly, from unions, commentators, lobby groups – we’ve all rightly been on the government’s case to deliver what we voted it into office for.
Another example of how detached Brave is from where the PLP should be was seen in his determination to avoid any contest in the leadership position. The members played the game as far as he and Chester were concerned, but for chairman Fred Mitchell it’s another case with former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe breaking ranks.
This is where we think the current PLP has gone astray and why more years in the wilderness could help.
Brave is yesterday’s man, so is Fred Mitchell and so is Obie, another Christie cabinet member. Why would we want them back after all the Christie government’s failings?
Chester isn’t tarred with the same brush and is in his first term in the assembly. It will be interesting to see over the coming couple of years as he follows Brave to the ballot box how he plays out.
Brave, Mitchell, Minnis - they are all of an age when most of us are looking to sit back and enjoy our ‘autumn years’ - Brent Symonette’s just done exactly that.
The time’s coming when whether they like it or not a number of our current leading politicians will have no choice but to pass the baton to a new generation, one which has only lived in an independent Bahamas.
Maybe Chester in a few years will be that man, maybe not. Only time will tell and only he can convince the PLP’s supporters.
Beyond the call of duty
IT’S the nature of news that very often the events we report are of a serious and somewhat depressing nature.
In a country where our news agenda is driven by politics, the economy, health, education and crime reading The Tribune or listening to the news sometimes makes you think we live in a dark, unforgiving world.
Every day our staff strives to balance what we put in the paper and, when it presents itself, we seize on stories where we can smile and say – well done.
That’s the case for us today for more than 400 men and women in the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Too often RBPF officers make the news for some foolishness filmed and circulated on social media; for an allegation made in court by a suspect who claims mistreatment; for a claim by witnesses to a police-involved shooting that matters aren’t as we would be led to believe.
These stories mask the true nature of the RBPF and the work they do, every shift they clock on to throughout the year.
When there’s a break-in, an assault, robbery, a row at home, an accident on the road who do we ring? The police.
When there’s the all-too-common shootout with bullets flying who are the first to respond, putting their own lives on the line to protect the public? The police.
So yesterday, quite rightly, our new Governor General proudly pinned medals to the uniforms of those officers who have gone beyond the call of duty, who have served many years in our service with little thanks or reward.
They should wear them with pride because they deserve them.