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Editorial: Leave No Room For Doubt - Explain These Decisions

NATURE abhors a vacuum. So once said the philosopher Aristotle – and just as it is true in physics, so it is true that human nature also abhors a vacuum.

Why did Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis decide not to allow Exuma, Eleuthera and San Salvador to resume commercial activities?

It’s a simple question – but one for which we have been provided no answer.

Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros had restrictions eased on Sunday. In each of those, there have been no cases of COVID-19, so lifting the restrictions makes sense if the islands are virus-free, but no cases have been diagnosed in Exuma, Eleuthera and San Salvador either.

Indeed, Dr Minnis took time out to criticise Eleuthera residents for a motorcade that took place there. Was this the reason the whole island – despite no confirmed cases – didn’t have restrictions lifted? Is it because some of these islands have PLP MPs as their representatives? We don’t know. Dr Minnis didn’t say.

It certainly would have been a question asked by reporters had Dr Minnis taken questions at his national address. He did not, and he has not been present to answer questions at the previous Ministry of Health press conferences since the resignation of Dr Duane Sands as minister.

Human nature abhors a vacuum – so with no explanation for such actions, people speculate. Indeed, without explanation, the Opposition are free to tell people whatever they think might be the reasons. Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper accused Dr Minnis of acting like a dictator, and said he wasn’t explaining the “nonsensical decisions he is making to the people whom he serves”.

The Tribune sought answers from health officials – but as we went to press, there was still no response.

Speculation rather than definite answers serves no one. Indeed, to turn to another quote, by Jonathan Swift, falsehood flies and truth comes limping after it.

Dr Minnis has spoken a number of times through this crisis of the importance of avoiding fake news – so why create the environment in which fake news will thrive?

Don’t leave people in the dark – or they’ll go looking for illumination elsewhere.

Game about Bethel’s future is over

The long drawn-out game over the future of Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Tellis Bethel is at an end.

Acting Commodore Raymond King will take command formally on Thursday.

This change has been on the cards of course for some time – even if National Security Minister Marvin Dames kept saying Commodore Bethel was simply on leave.

Commodore Bethel has been on leave since October – just last week, Mr Dames said he was still on leave for a few weeks.

We sincerely doubt that Commodore Bethel was last Thursday reported to be on leave for a few weeks and suddenly everything has been resolved and the new Commodore King will take over this Thursday in a military ceremony.

Commodore Bethel’s scheduled three-month leave ended back in January – but there was no sign of his return. Having seen what happened with a number of police officers shunted off on leave and returning to find themselves reassigned or retiring, it comes as no surprise that Commodore Bethel is not returning.

Each time we were told he was still on leave, we expected this was where we would end up – and we’ll expect the same next time Mr Dames says an officer is simply on leave.

We thank Commodore Bethel for his service. He has led the force since 2015, helping in the wake of disasters such as Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew, and working to secure the borders against illegal migration and drug smuggling. It has been no easy task, and we thank him for all he has done.

Regardless of the manner of the change, however, we of course wish incoming Commodore King luck in his full role. We all face tough times ahead – may he and his force rise to the challenges to come.

Comments

Economist 2 weeks ago

The PM doesnot know what 'transperancy' means.

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OriginalBey 2 weeks ago

Very well written article. Kudos!

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realitycheck242 2 weeks ago

What about the Berry Islands ??

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Honestman 2 weeks ago

The PM's failure to explain his decision on not opening these COVID free islands reflects a lack of leadership. Likewise, his approach of failing to take questions from journalists reflects poorly on him. If you want to be a PM you have to accept the responsibility that goes with the territory. That means making yourself available to answer legitimate questions put forward by the media who are in effect the spokespersons of the public. People will conclude that our PM's refusal to engage the media is either due to arrogance or a fear that his actions will not stand up to scrutiny. Either way, for a PM who campaigned on a platform that his government would herald a new era of openness and transparency, his attitude smacks of the hypocrisy. If the PM continues in this vein then the FNM will lose the next election and then the country will be governed once more by a party that will take hypocrisy and deceit to new levels. The clock is ticking Dr. Minnis.

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licks2 2 weeks ago

Ah my. . .here we go again with dumb commentary. . .void of common sense as usual!! Now let me ask yinna: "what one think those three islands have in common economically?" Something those other opened islands don't have collectively? High volume travel from hot spots in America, Europe and other lux destinations around the globe. . .including China!! Some of those places still don't have zero increases of new cases. If Abaco was up and running as she was before Dorian. . .she too would have been in the stay shut category. Opening those destinations unwisely can see a drove of second home owners fleeing those places to escape COVID19. . .waiting out the global lock downs in paradise. . . inevitably bringing a ever present possibility of bringing something other than just their bags!! Keep in mind that we in NP don't have to same open status as them other islands. . .them shut one are just like NP too. . .our risks are huge so we too remain under lock down!!

In a little time those places will be accessed by local travel. . .I think they are being careful with how and when they open those islands because of the high outside threat those rich global hot spots hold for high economic activities islands.

I hope the government is not listening too much to yinna sidewinders on this site. . .some of yall een gat a dang clue. . .or some er yall are just plain political sidewinders them!! So people please learn to use common sense or leave this thing called public commentary alone!!

Now this may or may not explain what the government is doing. . .but it holds more damn sense than these nonsense rants posted here!!

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licks2 2 weeks ago

Ah my. . .here we go again with dumb commentary. . .void of common sense as usual!! Now let me ask yinna: "what one think those three islands have in common economically?" Something those other opened islands don't have collectively? High volume travel from hot spots in America, Europe and other lux destinations around the globe. . .including China!! Some of those places still don't have zero increases of new cases. If Abaco was up and running as she was before Dorian. . .she too would have been in the stay shut category. Opening those destinations unwisely can see a drove of second home owners fleeing those places to escape COVID19. . .waiting out the global lock downs in paradise. . . inevitably bringing a ever present possibility of bringing something other than just their bags!! Keep in mind that we in NP don't have to same open status as them other islands. . .them shut one are just like NP too. . .our risks are huge so we too remain under lock down!!

In a little time those places will be accessed by local travel. . .I think they are being careful with how and when they open those islands because of the high outside threat those rich global hot spots hold for high economic activities islands.

I hope the government is not listening too much to yinna sidewinders on this site. . .some of yall een gat a dang clue. . .or some er yall are just plain political sidewinders them!! So people please learn to use common sense or leave this thing called public commentary alone!!

Now this may or may not explain what the government is doing. . .but it holds more damn sense than these nonsense rants posted here!!

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birdiestrachan 2 weeks ago

No Games seems to have a vendetta against certain Officers and he is all about destroying their careers. Vengeance is mine said the Lord I will repay you. How does he expect them to feel. They matter.

Hypocrisy and deceit is FNM add mean spirited, vision less and dumb. Every thing they touch turns to poop.

There are no blessings there. None at all,

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