EDITOR, The Tribune.
I always send my draft letters to a dear friend before I publish them. We graduated high school together in the late 1970s, and have remained close all these years.
After my last letter he told me to pause. He said to give the poet-comedian leader of the FNM, Michael Pintard, a chance. He rightly observed that Mr Pintard is unschooled in the arts of high politics and leadership. He has much growing to do.
My halt in writing ended when I read the ridiculous, offensive and incorrect remarks last week by the poet-comedian, attacking former FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis. Mr Pintard went too far.
Mr Pintard decided to attack an FNM out of nowhere. Every FNM I talked with was shocked. Dr Minnis has not criticized Mr Pintard. Dr Minnis has not criticised an FNM, or the party.
In fact, all Dr Minnis has done is go to the House of Assembly well prepared and focus his criticism on the PLP and Philip Davis. Dr Minnis has done his job.
The only other times Dr Minnis speaks publicly are when reporters ask him questions on the steps of the House, or if they call him to respond to what the PLP said about his administration.
Dr Minnis has been a gracious team player.
Mr Pintard’s attack on Dr Minnis was petty, childish and unbecoming of a leader.
The people of the Killarney constituency elected Dr Minnis to represent them under the FNM’s banner. He is paid by the state to be their representative in the House.
Dr Minnis has an obligation to speak on behalf of his constituents. No one can muzzle him – especially not a poet-comedian, who appears to be in a haze of anger.
When the FNM lost in 2002, Hubert Ingraham, a dear friend of mine, won his seat. He stayed in the House as an MP while Tommy Turnquest was the leader of the FNM.
Mr Ingraham came to the House well prepared. He made his contributions as the Member for North Abaco, as he should as their representative. Dr Minnis is doing the same thing. Nothing more.
Mr Pintard’s unwarranted attack on Dr Minnis showed how insecure he is in his position. Dr Minnis has good political instincts. His critique of the PLP is aggressive and well considered. The media follows Dr Minnis’ interventions because they make sense and are timely.
Mr Pintard, surprisingly, is boring. I thought he would be more exciting due to him being a poet-comedian. But that has not been the case.
Mr Pintard is stiff. He does not have good political timing. He loves bureaucracy, having to run simple ideas through a maze of “committees”.
Because of that, Mr Pintard has not gained any national momentum since becoming FNM leader.
Most Bahamians, anecdotally, still think of Dr Minnis as the FNM’s real leader.
That infuriates the poet-comedian. It enrages him. That’s why, in my opinion, he attacked Dr Minnis, in a haze of anger.
FNMs were not impressed by what the poet-comedian did. We want him to attack the PLP and its leader, Mr Davis. We do not want our leader publicly attacking good FNMs.
It is an act of disloyalty for an FNM leader to attack another FNM in good standing who has done nothing to deserve that attack.
The poet-comedian must be careful. The FNM is a party of open-minded freedom fighters who believe in party democracy. We have no maximum leader who can do as he pleases.
We expect our leader to treat all FNMs fairly. It is offensive for our leader to unjustly attack one of our own. We will not keep a leader who keeps doing this.
The poet-comedian needs to focus his fire on the PLP. Leave good FNMs alone.
May 22, 2022.