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EDITORIAL: Is the PLP ship veering off course?

IS EVERYONE in the Davis administration on board the same ship?

A well-run ship should have everyone headed in the same direction – and yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case in our government at present.

The latest example has been the three-day saga involving Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Myles Laroda, as captured on the front pages of The Tribune this week.

Day one saw him talking about the parlous state of NIB finances, which might only last six more years unless something is done urgently.

Day two saw Mr Laroda suggest that increases to NIB contribution rates were coming soon.

And yesterday, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis quashed such talk, saying there will be no increase – at least until the hardships affecting Bahamians have been tackled.

Given the effects of the COVID pandemic are still with us, both physically and economically, that probably won’t be the “soon” that Mr Laroda was suggesting.

In fact, Mr Davis bluntly said: “It’s not going to happen, not now, not until we have brought the relief to the Bahamian people and we have put to bed some of the issues that can’t make them sleep when they go to bed”.

There was no mention of what that might mean for the junior minister, who let his statements wander so far forward that it took the Prime Minister to make a statement to correct him.

He’s not the first minister the Prime Minister has had to intervene with, however.

Also, recently, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe managed to suggest that sex with a 14-year-old girl by a 40-year-old man was not rape, in a matter prompted by a court case, and that the sentence of four years was too harsh.

The public backlash was so much that, again, the Prime Minister had to step in, saying on Twitter: “Let’s be clear: grown men should stay away from children. The law is designed to protect children, who cannot meaningfully offer consent, and it should be enforced to the fullest extent.”

He later said that Mr Munroe had no need to resign, saying: “He has already expressed his regrets in my conversations with him and if you hear what he has to say it appears to be more about his personal view and he has to come to learn as a young politician that when he holds the post as he does, his personal views may be best kept to himself.”

This isn’t Mr Munroe’s first unwise moment either – having previously gotten into a tangle over the Prison Commissioner being placed on leave, and concerns being raised about Mr Munroe having represented two deputy commissioners in a lawsuit seeking to quash that commissioner’s appointment. That prompted Mr Davis to say he did not know Mr Munroe had represented the deputy commissioners – and the handling of that probe is now being placed in independent hands.

It is not just ministers, however. Elsewhere, we have seen decisions announced, and then rowed back.

The Water and Sewerage Corporation was going to resume disconnections, and now they are not.

Bahamas Power and Light announced a proposed increase in electricity costs due to rising fuel prices, and now they are not. In that case, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell said that “heads must roll” for the announcement being made “without leave of the government”.

BPL now seems to be saying it will absorb the cost of rising fuel prices – which some are pointing out might be breaking the law.

There’s a pattern here, of course – trying to keep citizens happy by saying oh no, we won’t disconnect you, we won’t put the bills up, but the costs are rising all the same, and those bills will come due one day.

It seems Mr Davis is at the wheel of the PLP ship, but a number of those on board have no idea of the direction they are going.

Is this a communication issue within the government? Or are some simply not signing up for Mr Davis’ agenda?

Something certainly doesn’t seem quite right, and if the Prime Minister steps in to clean up your statements, that ought to be a matter for some serious self-reflection, at the least.

As for Mr Davis, these disruptions are of no use to him as he tries to keep the party on course. Perhaps some shuffling in the ranks might be in order.

Comments

Kofi 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Laroda and the BPL Managers are trting to do the right things. It is the PM and his foreign minister who are being political.

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moncurcool 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, don't forget the PM saying how he broke quarantine and Watson saying he not in quarantine and Darville saying he on his way there.

Everyone on the ship doing their own thing.

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birdiestrachan 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Mr: Davis can not continue to contraindicate his cabinet members They will turn against you then what.? You all have to meet and come forth with one story and a united front.

What you are doing is what the enemy loves. They are happy to see it. You are falling into their trap. it appears as if you all do not discuss these matters.. .

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Davis is no Pindling or Ingraham ...... Hope he gets some advice from HAI about how to keep the troops in check

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birdiestrachan 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Apparently Mr: Laroda blurts out his statement to reports on his way to a meeting.

They should all refrain from speaking to reports on the sideline about such an important matter.

It seems all went into a spin and they are all still spinning.

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birdiestrachan 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I meant reporters wait until matters are finalized. and then present the facts to the Bahamian people.

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themessenger 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Just what Davis needs, sage counsel from”stalwart ” counselor Bird Brain.

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The_Oracle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Ingraham would be the last to consult with, unless the objective is a crash course in micromanagement. Christie could consult on the opposite, in letting them all run amuck. Any elected official given a portfolio, and who delves into his responsibility in a diligent way would have to taken aback by the disorganized messes they face. Few would be capable of anything beyond keeping their heads above water. kicking the can down the road is the only path to self preservation. We are an orchestrated mess without a conductor.

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Maximilianotto 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Sugarcoating for the masses. When will our beloved country hit the wall? The New Day will be a short day.

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SP 5 months, 3 weeks ago

You people swallow anything hook, line, and sinker! When will people learn the PLP and FNM couldn't be trusted with a bag of rotten fish.

Myles Laroda was simply told to float the information in the media to get a public response and the response was so negative the PM put a short-term end to the initiative.

However, the purpose of Larodas' announcement was just to plant a seed, which was done. So we can expect Davis to follow through with a bombshell announcement on increasing NIB taxes in the medium-term.

It's called the game of "politricks" underhandedly used by the PLP and FNM to mismanage the country's affairs and mislead the electorate for decades with the blessings of so many brain-dead loyal followers!

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tribanon 5 months, 2 weeks ago

For the PLP ship to veer off course means it had to have been on course at some time in the past. But that has never been the case, even under the easiest years of SLOP's reign, so the headline to this editorial is misleading to say the least.

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