A COMIC'S VIEW: What kind of clown show are we running?


REMEMBER last year when the folks behind the “Holiday Carnival” spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to bring in their equipment, transport it to the Fort, set up their rides, hook up the (BPL?) power, secure temporary housing for their staff, and pay for work permits? All while crossing their fingers that the government would grant them approval to operate?

Me neither, because that didn’t happen.

Yet, for some reason, the Office of the Prime Minister would have us believe that the same folks who have mastered the art of skewing the odds in their favour so well that I once spent thirty bucks to win my kids a five-dollar stuffed animal did just that this time around.

Let’s just say that’s a hard sell.


Even harder to sell is that the many arms of government went about whistling and approving their specific areas of oversight without one person stopping to say, “Hey, are these guys even allowed to hold this carnival event this year?”

I’ve seen the videos circulating where the carnival operator insists the “Prime Minister’’ approved their coming here. I also watched Press Secretary Clint Watson deny that ever happened. According to Watson, PM Brave Davis has “never spoken directly to anybody on this matter”.

Well, did he speak indirectly? Because the circus surrounding this carnival isn’t making sense.

Events like the ‘Holiday Carnival’ should and do fall under the purview of health officials. What’s hard to square is that until former Prime Minister Dr Minnis brought the issue up in parliament, everyone, including our current health minister Dr Darville, was “playing crazy”.


WHO could answer how the Carnival arrived here and started setting up without having been given approval? Not press secretary Clint Watson, not Health Minister Dr Michael Darville and not Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis.

No one questioned why they were setting up on ‘‘carnival grounds.” Darville kept on about protocols and approvals pending when the former PM’s main point (made quite convincingly) is that the carnival’s primary demographic includes young, unvaccinated Bahamians.

It remains to be seen whether the carnival operators will ultimately gain approval to operate this year by adjusting their target demographic to exclude younger persons. However, one clear thing is that it would be business as usual without the much-maligned former Competent Authority’s intervention.

It seems up to that point, neither the Minister of Health nor the Prime Minister thought it wise to deal with the carnival chaos “directly”.


Mere days after dealing with the public relations fallout from increasing VAT to ten percent on breadbasket items, I was surprised to hear the latest suggestion from the “New Day” government to pull a few more dollars out of Bahamians’ pockets.

Minister of Public Works, Alfred Sears, floated what I assume was a trial balloon surrounding more new taxes. He didn’t call it a tax, mind you, but road tolls for the pleasure to freely travel the congested, pothole-filled streets of the capital would be precisely that.

I won’t get into the weeds on how ridiculous a road toll on this tiny island would be. And I won’t bother to answer the apples to oranges comparison of how “Bahamians pay them in Miami” without batting an eye. Because, do we have Miami roads?

Instead, I would just remind the new government that their “Blue Print” for change didn’t mention that most of the change would come out of our wallets.

Licencing fees are already expensive, and until every ministry, including Road Traffic, is running in tip-top shape and showing accountability and transparency in how our already burdensome taxes are spent, maybe put a pause on trying to squeeze more blood from stones.

I would love smooth roads, and overpasses, and traffic that moves faster than a snail’s pace after 5pm on weekdays. Were we getting a “bang for our buck”, most would happily pay extra. But what most Bahamians don’t like is the bottomless bucket that is “more taxes” on which politicians with limited imagination have come to rely.

There’s a big deal being made these days about a global minimum tax rate, particularly on multi-national corporations. Here’s a suggestion; perhaps start there, and get back to Bahamians after that.


ThisIsOurs 1 year, 5 months ago

The weird thing is I think we have all the money we need to fix roads every year. The problem is the money keep dropping in the hole into somebody pocket... ok they say that dont happen cuz someone have eagle eyes on the treasury and no money is go out without them knowing. .. in that case.. dropping in the hole and falling into somebody overinflated and outrageously priced and poor quality delivered contract


themessenger 1 year, 5 months ago

But isn’t the hefty tax on gasoline/fuels levied on us for the last fifty years supposed to be dedicated to the maintenance of our roads?


John 1 year, 5 months ago

Not only was the carnival premature considering that the Covid-19 pandemic still looms, but it would have been an unnecessary drain on the Bahamian economy when recovery is barely underway. If the carnival spent $1/2 million to transport here and set up, how much would it have netted over its 1 to 2 month stay here? And all profits leave the country. Will someone now have to dig deep in their pockets to help cover the ‘not approved’ carnival’s cost? And one must give kudos to health officials who stood their ground and denied tge carnival permission to operate. . .

And there is an idiot in every group of politicians, regardless of how small the group is. And the hat fits Alfred Sears perfectly well in this instance. Can you imagine trying to implement toll booths in already congested roads where no one is driving at the speed limit? Not only will this reduce traffic to a slow crawl, especially doing peak season, but imagine the numbers of additional accidents that will be caused. The long exhausting wait for the police to come investigate. With the number of vehicles on the streets of the country and each one being taxed an average of $195 a year to be licensed, that should be sufficient taxes to maintain the roads. And subsequent to that, if there is a need for additional btax revenue from Road Traffic, more than the average Bahamian would rather see a $10 increase to their vehicle license or a $2/3 increase to their drivers licenses rather than bear tge inconvenience if tool booths, which will lead to even more driver frustration and road rage.


Bobsyeruncle 1 year, 5 months ago

With the number of vehicles on the streets of the country and each one being taxed an average of $195 a year to be licensed, that should be sufficient taxes to maintain the roads.

John, you're assuming that all those Bahamian vehicle owners actually pay the $195, when we all know a good proportion of them don't. Tolls can be an effective way of getting all those unlicensed vehicles off the street, thus reducing the congestion.


JokeyJack 1 year, 5 months ago

We're not allowed to have Junkanoo, so THEY not allowed to have carnival. That's good for the suckers. Americans are no better than us. Tell them go home and suck teeth like us. All open or all shut. Only a communist Bahamian would spend a nickle at the carnival. But this new Bah generation likes to pay for their own foot shackles.


ohdrap4 1 year, 5 months ago

Can you imagine trying to implement toll booths in already congested roads where no one is driving at the speed limit?

I can. Put one on tonique williams and sirmilo highway.

Then we all escape to JFK.


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