Editorial: Leaders Must Make The Hard Decisions

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis used a word yesterday that you don’t expect to hear from a government in power.

He said the government was “afraid” to make the decision to prevent Bahamians from travelling.

Afraid? Did they think it was the right thing to do but were afraid to do it? They felt the action – stopping people going out while letting visitors in – was not just unpalatable politically, but unconstitutional.

“What would have happened had we done that?” asked Dr Minnis, “The opposition, the people, the media, etc, would have lambasted us for doing that.”

That might be the case, Dr Minnis, but did you ask? Did you lay out your case and say to the people this is what needs to be done to stop people from dying? Did you call a conference with the press so you could explain and be questioned about what you felt you needed to do?

Having not even gone past the court of public opinion, you also didn’t test it in the court of law – where you might have felt a victory was not certain in the hands of Attorney General Carl Bethel, but would taking it to the courts have given the delay that you needed?

No one pretends these are easy decisions. These are literally matters of life and death. Unprecedented is a word that is used too often, but it absolutely describes the times we are living through.

The FNM has the numbers in Parliament to push through the laws if needed, and we have heard time and again the importance of stopping this virus.

Yesterday’s surge – 55 new cases – shows us exactly why that is so important. Grand Bahama is going on lockdown, and other islands are getting cases for the first time. Flights are being halted, hotels are postponing their reopening again and we have the worst possible combination of a surge in cases and a frozen economy, not one or the other.

Leading the nation is a choice. Each individual in Parliament chose to offer themselves for election. Each party leader has put themselves forward to be the person in charge, the one who makes those hard calls. The decisions that have to be made should be made, even if there are political consequences.

The leader of the PLP can take no credit in this situation either. Asked to attend a Cabinet briefing on COVID-19, Philip ‘Brave’ Davis declined because it was “such short notice that it is not possible for the Leader to attend”.

What happened to pulling together in the face of this disaster? Had he really been concerned for the nation, one would think he would drop everything and show up and ask what he could do to help. Not Mr Davis. Apparently, he had something better to do.

Fear must not be our guide as we fight this pandemic. If there is a right thing to do, we must find a way to do it. That must be guided by what will keep our people healthy and encourage our economy. It must not be guided by worry over what people will say. People will have their say. If they disagree with you, they’ll have their say at the ballot box. They may have their say in the court too. But for all our sakes, don’t let fear lead the way. If our leaders are guided by fear, then they are not leaders at all.

We must expect honesty. We must expect forthrightness. We must expect the ability to question our leaders and get answers. But we must also expect that those who wanted to lead are willing to make the hard decisions. There must be no room for consideration of political legacies or future elections – what matters now is saving the nation.


WETHEPEOPLE 4 months, 1 week ago

How u figure you would allow tourist in but no Bahamians out. Even the thought of it is laughable. PM Idiot knew better.


moncurcool 4 months, 1 week ago

The leader of the PLP can take no credit in this situation either. Asked to attend a Cabinet briefing on COVID-19, Philip ‘Brave’ Davis declined because it was “such short notice that it is not possible for the Leader to attend”.

This cannot be correct. Not Davis who blaming the government about dialogue and now when offer comes he runs?

I agree with the editorial however, that if the PM would talk to the media, he could have tested the suggestion on not letting out Bahamians there. Even though if you had listened to some of the media calling the lockdowns stupid you know they would have blasted the PM. But at least now the blame would be off him.


IAmOne 4 months, 1 week ago

I agree. PM need to get the communication together.


tribanon 4 months, 1 week ago

Nasty arrogant people do not communicate. They bully.


WETHEPEOPLE 4 months, 1 week ago

I think you think american airlines flies here just to bring tourist here. This thing go with sense.

If i cant take ya bahamians then i cant bring ya tourists.

Now what you ga do boss


truetruebahamian 4 months, 1 week ago

I only hope that when property tax comes time that the buildings on Bay Street and Woodes Rogers walk will not be charged as there has been no rent coming in, only meager savings to cover maintenance and some limited lighting in the public areas


birdiestrachan 4 months, 1 week ago

doc has no fear . He is only looking for something or some one to blame. Where was his fear when he closed the borders to international flights . then have Bethel come out with an excuse as to why he was wrong to do it.

Where was his fear when passengers from GB were taken away by the police while their family members waited for them..

He insults Mr: Davis and the PLP every chance he gets. doc does not want any help. doc is King, King alone and there is no other.

A big bully, no heart, no soul and no humanity.


Sign in to comment