February 11, 2016
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Today, I write that dreaded parting column.
By all accounts, in 2017 the major political parties will no doubt be conducting a scorched earth policy in the lead up to what will likely be a hotly contested general election.
Wow! It is amazing what a week makes in local politics.
In the wake of yesterday’s coup d’état within the Free National Movement (FNM), the political landscape in the Bahamas has shifted. The FNM is in a state of flux, it is in a state of alarm.
Black Friday was a wonderful day for democracy in the Bahamas.
ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson must be held to account for the number of ‘nolle prosequis’ being issued by her office.
The Bahamas’ electoral process and the parliamentary registration procedures are seriously flawed and are in desperate need of a complete overhaul.
There is lingering political fatigue that has contributed - in large part - to voter apathy.
The world was shocked early yesterday morning when it was announced that billionaire developer Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. The collective jaws of many across the globe hit the deck, flabbergasted by his thumping of Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton, a long-time figure in American politics who has clearly worn out her welcome with the electorate.
Move over Christopher Columbus, the Chinese have come to conquer us …. one island at a time.
THE Chinese Government, the China Export-Import Bank (CEXIM) and their co-conspirators, the Bahamian Government, all appeared to have “gooseyed” Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian, ripping his brainchild from his hands and ignoring him like the rude child in the room.
The goalpost shifting, public relations gaffes, wobbling ways and revisionist spin in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is on full display this week, with Prime Minister Perry Christie jamming his foot into his mouth and launching an avalanche of rebukes when he told The Tribune and ZNS that the Cabinet would consider, when they met yesterday, the introduction and implementation of a special tax to help finance repair and recovery efforts.
For the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Hurricane Matthew will either be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back in the minds of the electorate or the lifeline they needed to convince voters that they are worthy of another term.
The delayed Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Economic Impact Report is yet again demonstrative of the lack of transparency that has come to define this government’s term in office. Even more glaring, the voodoo economics and glaring mismanagement leaves one to wonder if the government, and the organisers of the event, collectively view us as chumps who they could intellectually insult without a resounding rebuke.
There were political fireworks in Long Island on Monday. The embers are still smouldering and the talk about what transpired has graced the front pages of the newspapers, revealing that certain politicians are more proficient political spinners than Rumpelstiltskin.
In April, it was revealed by Bahamas National Festival Commission Chairman Paul Major that the government would spend $7m to host this year’s Junkanoo Carnival.
In recent years, it appears that some unions are electing grubby little ingrates, position seekers and tunnel-vision headline hunters to front office positions. There appears to be little interest in the members, as these so-called leaders are not seeking solutions to labour issues but instead are contributing to the ongoing mêlée consuming so many unions.
OF LATE, the troubling trend of arresting and charging or threatening to charge people for criminal libel has been an ongoing exercise on the part of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and has set tongues wagging, with many Bahamians expressing dismay and disdain at what appears to be a steady regression towards becoming a totalitarian, fascist, police state.
Astoundingly, it seems that certain members of the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) appear to be mired in an apparent and actual instances of conflicts of interest.
Prime Minister Perry Christie’s “non-announcement” announcement on Baha Mar, where he asserted that construction at the stalled $3.5 billion resort will resume in September, was nothing short of insulting, vacuous and a political red herring meant to distract a disconcerted populace from yet another downgrade by the credit rating agency Moody’s.
The entire Bahamas paused on Monday night to cheer on our nation’s golden superwoman Shaunae Miller as she ran and captured the gold medal in the 400 metres final at the Games of the 31st Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
We are steadily becoming a country that is being ruled by persons who appear to have adopted the mindset of dictators, of the infamous Tonton Macoute of Haiti, which was a unit of the Haitian police force that was created in 1959 and used to disastrous effect by dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier.
As we march towards yet another hotly contested general election, it is clear that The Bahamas needs measured, resolute and insightful leadership.
If the Free National Movement (FNM) is to survive this next round of warfare between Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner, her flatterers and those who prop her up, the party must now decide to give her an ultimatum to fish, cut bait or get the heck out of the boat.
Based on the Prime Minister’s comments this week, it appears that the post-Perry Christie era within the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) will be interminably delayed.
Over the last few days, many Bahamians have pulled up a chair to observe the war of the travel advisories between The Bahamas and the United States.
WHILST WE have accomplished much since our Independence in 1973, we continue to be a country that celebrates “flag independence”, more so than what it means to be truly economically and socially diverse and self-determining.
The Bahamas is on the fast track to an economic downgrade.
It is clear that something funky has been going down at Bahamasair, given the government’s rogue - almost dictatorial and sneaky - advancing of $30m to the airline to purchase its new fleet from the French company Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) at a price tag of $100m to replace its aging Dash-8 300 fleet.
The Complaints and Corruption Branch/Unit (CCU) of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) should be disbanded and replaced by a Police Complaints Authority.
THE outcome of the higgledy-piggledy, directionless Constitutional Referendum on Tuesday demonstrably shows that the public believes that the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has unclean, “dutty” hands and, given its shunning and circumvention of the electorate’s repudiation of the gambling referendum, there was much distrust, suspicion and disinformation.
THE CHRISTIE Administration has lost its mandate to govern. It has lost two consecutive referendums in one term.
Adrian Gibson explains why his desire for equality in The Bahamas overrides his misgivings about some of the referendum bills . . .
THE STINK of rank hypocrisy engulfs the upcoming constitutional referendum.
In yet another filibusterous performance in the House of Assembly yesterday, Prime Minister Perry Christie opened the 2016/2017 budget debate with a prevaricating talkathon that, generally, lacked substance or radical reforms.
LAST week, former senator Lanisha Rolle resigned from the Senate after the publication of the content of recordings made by fellow Free National Movement (FNM) political hopeful Lincoln Bain.
EVERY time Auditor General Terrance Bastian and his team releases a damning report, I become more and more convinced that we live in a society where “tiefin”, in one form or another, has become the order of the day. To use a phrase I heard bandied about this week, “we don’t need no VAT, we need a moratorium on ‘tiefin’!”
THERE is a culture of criminality that is alive and well and pervasive in The Bahamas. It transcends the fabric of our nation.
TRIBUNE columnist and attorney Adrian Gibson yesterday launched a $3m law suit against the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police and two police officers who allegedly assaulted him after stopping him for a supposed traffic violation on Sunday night.
MUCH like in previous years, we see widespread lawbreaking by lawmakers who have yet again failed to abide by the law that mandates that they file annual financial declarations.
ON Sunday, I suffered a harrowing experience at the hands of two officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF). It opened my eyes to the abuses, disrespect and breaches of constitutional rights that so many Bahamians have been subjected to by rogue elements of the police.
IT IS clear that sometimes in life, the truth is much stranger than fiction.
THOUGH the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is not likely to scrap the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival (BJC) any time soon, this is one programme that deserves a stiff dose of stop, review and cancel.
THE Free National Movement is in a ‘quagmire of web’. The so-called Official Opposition has become the laughing stock of Bahamian politics … and the jokes aren’t even funny.
Callenders Managing Partner Frederick Smith QC told me last night that he is so disappointed with the Free National Movement and that the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is so corrupt that he has decided to run for election in 2017. Mr Smith stated that he is considering his options and will likely enter the political fray.
THE Free National Movement has failed in Opposition.
Over the last few days, I was attacked and/or maligned by two government ministers, one, a pseudo-intellectual and undiplomatic wannabe diplomat and, the other, a political bust who now sings for his daily political bread and is hanging on for dear life in his constituency.
This past weekend, I gave great consideration to whether I would respond to the lies being spread by faceless cowards on social media and other platforms. After many calls and messages from right thinking Bahamians of all political stripes, I have decided to do so.
LAST week’s exposé in court documents and videos of conversations between Peter Nygard and two gangsters, and the references made to high-ranking politicians therein, is a sad indictment of our politics and shady political dealings. What’s more, it demonstrates to the electorate that heard the utterances of Mr Nygard that such a circus can go on in the Bahamas without immediate or significant repercussions.
THIS week, the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) finds itself at the centre of yet another public relations disaster where apparent claims of medical malpractice are being levelled against the facility by an American man.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell has been demonstrating arrogant petulance, a disregard for divergent views and a penchant for attacking the messenger.
The tale of the death of Christopher Prescott Adderley, affectionately known as Scottie, in a prison in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, is a harrowing tale of negligence, a callous disregard for the pleas of a distraught mother by the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and has, in the aftermath, left a family grieving and in pursuit of answers.
THIS week, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson released a non-responsive, vacuous retort to my last column, where I advocated for the independence of our judicial process and dismissed her version of swift justice as nothing more than a farcical nightmare, a headline hunting, political scheme and catchphrase. I stand by that notion.
THE so-called Swift Justice Programme has yielded little and has, in all truth, the potential to negatively impact the public’s perception of judicial independence, undermines any notion of public confidence in the justice system and infringes upon the constitutional separation of powers.