PLP leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis faces a problem – his own past.
Mr Davis was, of course, Deputy Prime Minister during the PLP’s last term of office – and has shown little inclination to distance himself from the events of those years.
In today’s Tribune, he has the chance not once, but twice to be more forthright on events from the PLP’s past – and fails to do so.
With regard to the oil exploration deal, his response to criticism of the PLP government for the potential royalties and the approval of the deal is to tell the Minnis administration to stop “pointing fingers”.
“We’re not the government, they are,” he says, “This project and the activities are being executed under their administration.”
Nothing to do with you at all, Mr Davis? The groundwork wasn’t put in place, deals weren’t signed under your administration’s tenure?
Mr Davis studiously avoids saying whether or not the oil drilling should go ahead, so all we are left with is the legacy of the government of which he was a part and his non-committal today to understand his view. Presumably, he’s happy with the deal the former PLP administration got and that’s all he’s going to say about it.
More worryingly is his failure to engage with the legal action surrounding Peter Nygard in the US. On this, he seems even more dismissive.
“I’m not concerned about a foreign action that has been brought against a foreign person who may have had an interest in The Bahamas,” he said.
May have? May? You know very well he did have an interest, Mr Davis, and to try to distance yourself as if you’ve barely heard of Mr Nygard does you no favours.
Perhaps you should ask some of your own former Cabinet colleagues about Mr Nygard’s interests if you need to refresh your memory – some of those pictured shaking hands with Mr Nygard at his property after the election should suffice.
Mr Davis talks about “lies going to be spun by the FNM and their surrogates” but there are no lies in the details of links between the PLP and Mr Nygard that have been reported over the years.
Mr Nygard himself bragged that he gave the PLP $5m in the 2012 election lead-up.
What’s most worrying about this is that Mr Davis seems to show no interest whatsoever in the other allegations surrounding Mr Nygard – those of corruption and bribery.
If he is unwilling to even acknowledge the influence that Mr Nygard had in The Bahamas, describing him merely as “a foreign person who may have had an interest” then what confidence are we to have that the PLP would reform to prevent a connection to another such donor? What indeed is being done to get to the bottom of those claims that have been made?
Instead, Mr Davis seems to be trying to shrug off the PLP’s links to Mr Nygard – and given the severity of the claims surrounding the billionaire and how he reportedly ensnared his victims then ensured their silence, that’s not good enough.
Mr Davis cannot escape his own past if he doesn’t face up to these matters – or else he stands as the face of the same old, same old party that voters got rid of in decisive fashion in 2017.