Diane Phillips: Mr Pm — You Are So Right, We Are Not In This Alone, But The Future Will Be Built On What We Alone Do

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis addresses the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Photo: Eduardo Munoz/AP

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis addresses the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Photo: Eduardo Munoz/AP


Diane Phillips

ON September 25, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis addressed the General Debate of the 76th Plenary Session of the United Nations. Still in the victory lap of his party’s win at the polls and assumption of the reins of governing a country with more needs than money to meet them, he spoke for 16 minutes and some seconds with real conviction, delivering a message that should not be lost on the Bahamian people.

We are not in this alone, he said. He talked of climate change, a problem that has the potential to rattle the entire world and shows no respect for political borders. He spoke of fighting COVID and zeroed in on what he called misinformation and disinformation, saying it “flowed across borders, undermining public health and public trust.”

The pandemic, he pointed out in words that sounded almost like a plea, “has been very difficult for countries like mine.”

You are so right, Mr Prime Minister. It has been difficult and it is true we are not in this alone, but given that no one is pushing down our doors to help, we are going to need to prove ourselves. We need to stand tall, show imagination, exercise critical thinking, demonstrate innovation in solutions and cripple even the faintest blush of corruption in order to be respected by friends who partner working side by side for mutual benefits, not offering patronising, condescending assistance that comes with a price tag that threatens our sovereignty – a theme I will keep repeating.

So how do you go about doing the different thing so you don’t regurgitate the mistakes of the past and expect a different result?

Start fresh. Learn what you don’t know. I didn’t know until this week that there is a new profession called carbonate accounting, the people whose work adds legs to blue carbon registries. It’s a small part of an exploding field that could make The Bahamas one of the richest resource countries in the world, standing up to fight climate change with what exists in our own oceans if we wisely preserve and monetise our sea grass.

Look to the thinkers, the marine scientists, the aviation experts who see The Bahamas as a central hub, the new financial enterprises who envision not just brick and mortar and high interest consumer loans but payment solutions, the developers who have a vision for the Family Islands, the manufacturers who have know-how but not who-how because productivity is such a challenge. We created a university but have not yet attracted an international student body. As the question, why not? Ask what are the steps needed to make The Bahamas a medical research player, an example for the world to follow in renewables? Why are we spinning our wheels and not our windmills? Why, why why. Keep asking how do we move forward, do the thing that is different. If others are looking at cannabis and we are not there yet (though who knows why), why aren’t we looking at the health benefits of certain mushrooms?

Mr Prime Minister, you and the DPM and a few others came out of the gate running. Please do not let the past slow or drag you down. We may not be in this alone, but the future will be built on what we alone do.

Thanks to Bahamianology, we get this 60-year-old jewel

“If they [The Progressive Liberal Party] should win, they’ll behave more cautiously and with a greater understanding of responsibility. Naturally, we feel we can run things better. But under every tombstone is another guy the world is getting by without.”

 Sir Stafford Sands, The Miami Herald, Thursday 29 June 1961

Anyone know this statue’s story?

For years, the origin of this headless figure has intrigued me and finally on a somewhat overcast day, I stopped, dashed across a busy West Bay Street and captured it, hoping someone could shed light on its history.

As for location, it’s right across from the Goodman’s Bay Corporate Centre.

Partially hidden by bush and surrounded on the ground by trash including discarded beer bottles, it really is a hidden treasure and up close it was the figures of the turtles that took me by surprise.

There’s tremendous detail throughout. If you know the story, please share it.


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