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Volume 9 © 2011
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The site is compiled and edited in The Bahamas by Russell Dames, with writer Claire Booth

January 9th, 2011
16th January, 2011
23rd January, 2011
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2ndJanuary, 2011
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Fred Mitchell Launches 3rd Edition of 'Great Moments In PLP History... Fred Mitchell's 56th Birthday Party In Support of the 'Mission Fund'...
The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement... Interesting Places... Bahamas Government Website  Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
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How & Why The PLP Lost in 2007 - The Greenberg Report...
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JUNKANOO is the subject of our national life and culture at this time of year: the Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s holidays.  It consumes us.  The leaders of the Junkanoo groups are like rock stars.  The leaders in the heavenly firmament are Gus Cooper of the Valley Boys and Vola Francis of the Saxons.  All the other groups have a psychological also ran position, though not to diminish their importance.  Erin Ferguson, who is the arch television critic from Citizens’ Review and Gerrino Saunders, the sportscaster from the Jones Television network also a third party advocate seemed a bit peeved when before the Colours Junkanoo group had left the Rawson Square stage on Boxing Day, the fans started shouting for the Valley Boys.  Mr. Ferguson said that is just like this FNM/PLP foolishness.  In the movie, the Lion In Winter the king says: “Why complain about the air when that is all there is to breathe?”  The Original Congos of Fox Hill say it this way: “Just shut up and rush!”  Our photo of the week is Gus Cooper and the triumphant Valley Boys on New Year’s morning 2011 and later in the column we have some pictures from Boxing Day, high winds and all but still resplendent.  The Valley Boys won the contest on New Year’s Day with the Saxons coming third.  Photo/Peter Ramsay


The New Year’s Day Junkanoo preliminary results are out and the winners have been declared but no doubt there will be the typical cry from Junkanoo leaders that the losers were cheated.  The Valley Boys won the New Year’s Day contest.

This business of claiming cheating is quite inexplicable but expected.  Every year, someone protests that they were cheated.  It is summed up in the expression: “Dey Rob Us!”

It was interesting and predictable.  The Saxon Superstars, rooted in the African traditions of Mason’s Addition won the Boxing Day parade by just about 30 points.  It was obviously a close contest and a difficult one to judge.  And the contest, its rules, the judges are all approved by the Junkanoo groups themselves, yet despite all of that, you still had one losing Junkanoo leader after the next, including the head of the Junkanoo Corporation which helps to manage the parade saying that there was something wrong.  Silbert Ferguson who heads the Corporation was of course one of the founders of One Family, the group that is perennially an also ran, simply because of the psychological advantage which the Saxons and Valley Boys have in the Junkanoo firmament.  Theirs is a much larger problem.  Mr. Ferguson ought to consider whether it was appropriate for him to have commented at all given his connection to One Family.

One day, we would like to hear someone say that they simply congratulate the winners; that the fight was a good one and we go on to the next parade.

Instead, one group leader after the next; Darren Bastian from One Family, Anthony Smith from Roots (they were disqualified altogether when they failed to get into the parade at their appointed time at the start.  Later the Minister for Junkanoo Charles Maynard said it was because their costumes were in bad shape after the high winds of the day destroyed them).  We did not hear from Gus Cooper of the Valley, but it came off as generally bitter.

We think: do the best we can in Junkanoo and then go onto the next parade.

But there is always rooms for improvement.

And so we await the official results, which may or may not confirm what happened on Boxing Day last year or what happened on New Year’s Day this year.

But what we add to this is that the complaining is part of the culture and there is probably nothing you can do about it.  There was even a complaint about the high winds which are God sent and which the rules permit, even in the face of 30 miles an hour winds, for the contest to advance.  The rules say the winds must be sustained at 20 miles per hour and not just gusts. Oh well! Time to write a new rule.

We want to thank them all though for a good show; all the hard work; the beauty and pride which they display in helping to support our Bahamas.

Happy New Year to everyone!

A late note: As we go to upload, the founder of One Family Junkanoo group Jackson Burnside had an interesting take on Facebook on the New Year's Day result 2011.  We thought this was interesting with reference to our comments above, about complaining in Junkanoo.  Said Mr. Burnside:

“Congratulations to the declared winners of both the Boxing Day and the New Year's Day Junkanoo parades and congratulations to The People's Champions, One Family for two spectacular presentations. Our dignity gives us our victory."

This is what we're talking about.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 1st January 2011 up to midnight: 163,818.

Number of hits for the month of December up to Friday 31st December 2011 up to midnight: 694,879.

Number of hits for the year 2010 up to Friday 31st December 2010 up to midnight: 8,124,492.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week there were a fair number of complaints, more than usual about errors in the text: spelling and grammatical.  We take the unusual step of apologising for that.  We pride ourselves on seeking to be correct in both spelling and grammar.  Perhaps you can help since this goes into the permanent record by simply sending us note about these errors and we will seek to correct them.  Thank you for reading and best wishes in the New Year.]


    We have had cause to comment before on the fact that the FNM people who run the various parastatals and other lesser FNM mortals have taken on the nasty and highhanded disposition of the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.  In Bahamian parlance, they think that they can talk to people any old way.
    The last time we had occasion to make the comment was when Michael Moss, who is the Chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, called a criticism of a decision by the Corporation’s Board by Bradley Roberts “asinine”.  We told him then that he should govern his tongue accordingly or someone would govern it for him.  Now comes the news that Julian Francis, who is the Chairman of the BTC board and one of the protagonists in the sell out of the national patrimony that is BTC, the phone company, has gone to press to challenge the heads of the Unions at BTC to a debate on the sale of BTC (See The Tribune 28th December).  He said that he would like the opportunity to publicly shame them.
    The Unions ought to have told Mr. Francis that they don’t play with children.  That they will debate his boss Hubert Ingraham.  Unfortunately, the Unions have fallen into that trap and propose to accept the debate with their Board Chairman.  We just don’t see how that makes any sense.  Mr. Francis does not make any decisions in this matter and so such a debate could only end up making it better for Mr. Francis without doing anything to solve the problem of how to stop the sale.

    The last day of the year saw another stupid, irresponsible and illogical decision made by the FNM government through the Chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas Michael Moss.  Mr. Moss has a penchant for foot in mouth disease.  We commented at another point in this column about his taking on the personality of Hubert Ingraham and thinking that he can talk to people any old kind of way.
    The latest now is the announcement that ZNS 3 in Freeport will no longer air its local news on the national station.  This means that the country at large will not see the news as it is seen in Grand Bahama but will be confined to some spot within the national news.  We think that this is a mistake.  Our point is that the Broadcasting Corporation's mandate is to educate inform and entertain.  It does so in the context of a country that is fractured geographically.  We must go the extra mile then to make efforts to hold and link our country together.  The newscast is just one way of doing so which has nothing to do with costs but everything about making and promoting a whole and seamless country.  We oppose this and think that the PLP should pledge to reverse this situation if it comes to office.


    Fire razed a Haitian village in the Carmichael Road area of New Providence on Boxing Day, 26th December, burning homes and leaving hundreds homeless.  It is called the Mackey Yard.  It is complete with illegal electricity hook ups and clapboard structures that were built without approval from the authorities.
    Suddenly everyone in authority has developed amnesia about this.  The Immigration people say they will not be rounding up the illegals who live there and there will be an amnesty for them.  The building people led by the Permanent Secretary Colin Higgs say they can’t imagine how all those structures got there without proper building code authority.  Hmmm!  The power people say they don’t know how the power got hooked up when there is a need for an occupancy certificate in order to get a power supply.
    Scores of people have rushed in to provide clothing and emergency food and aid.  A lot of talk about Christian charity.  But the question must be asked: how long will we as a country allow this to continue without taking some effective measures to stop the invasion of the country by a group of illegals who then get the sympathy of the country when their wounds are self inflicted?  Kendal Major who is the PLP candidate for the Garden Hills constituency in which the fire took place was on scene trying to help, as was the PLPs leader of House Business Obie Wilchcombe.
Photos/Athama Bowe

    Race for the Cure - Marathon Bahamas!  As a show of support for this effort to find a cure for breast cancer, we carry this e-mail that has been doing the rounds:
    Have you heard about Marathon Bahamas?  Well, if you haven't, you should check it out and register.
    It is chiefly sponsored by the Sunshine Insurance Group and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, along with many other corporate sponsors.  Register and tell a friend to register and then tell them to tell a friend.  Whether they are in The Bahamas currently, or looking to come to The Bahamas in the near future!
    You can run the single "Komen Bahamas-Race for the Cure" course on January 15, 2011, or you can run the relay and/or the half marathon on January 16, 2011-- all up to you!
    Marathon sponsors are also encouraging local charities to use the initiative as a means of raising funds; that is, persons would participate with a view to seeking sponsors the way charities use Walkatons.
    Support this worthy initiative!

    We think that the expressions of our national culture in Junkanoo keep getting better and better each year and Peter Ramsay was there to prove it.

Forrester Carroll on Wikileaks...
    “Sucker; take that,” was the first thing that came to my mind when I passed by the Mary Star of the Sea, all purpose hall, on Saturday morning (18th December) past, around 10:30 am. I expected to see hundreds of cars parked, lining the street on both sides, and I certainly expected to see the auditorium’s parking lot filled to capacity but it was not so; I saw nothing of the kind.  There were about (I estimated) seventy-five cars, in total including the police vehicles.  There was no flurry of activity but, rather, what I saw, instead, reminded me of the sombre mood at the funeral I attended that morning.
    The FNM leaders announced this grand “pre-Christmas get –to-gather,” they labelled it, with the Grand Bahama troops, for Saturday morning the 18th December from 9am-1pm.  They announced that Ingraham (the dictator) and all his other Grand Bahama members of parliament would attend.  They advertised that it would be a free pre-Christmas breakfast (not a prayer breakfast-mind you), with their leader, on television, radio and in the newspapers but nobody, other than the few “piss on me all you want but I ain’t going nowhere FNMs,” showed up.
    The message was clear and very obvious; Grand Bahamians are fed up with Ingraham and his lying Administration.  Why would they want to sit and listen to this mad man run on with his usual, stale crap and lies anyway? ...and that he surely did.  First of all he insulted all Grand Bahamians by even thinking that they would attend, in great numbers, simply because they are hurting and (he thought) many of the families would have been inclined to take full advantage of the FNM’s free breakfast/lunch.  Zhivargo Laing had the same thing in mind when he, a few weeks before, tried to entice his constituents, in Marco City, to show up for the “FREE” Lemonade he promised to give them; they didn’t show up to that event either.
    According to the news reports coming out of the breakfast gathering (with respect to the economy) Ingraham told suffering Grand Bahama that….”if his government could have done something about it; his government would have.” In other words, he admitted to failing Grand Bahama even with his high powered team of five members of parliament, three of whom are cabinet ministers and one the deputy speaker of the House of Assembly and three Senators. He admitted, as well, to not knowing what to do to get some economic activity going here. He didn’t have a damn thing to tell us that was positive in nature except for rambling on about what his government did, fifteen years ago. The question that was being asked around town, shortly after the failed event, was “so why in the hell did he come here?”
    He went on to regurgitate his usual old stale line of what the FNM did and what the PLP didn’t do in bringing business to the Island. He talked about the shipyard, the container port and he even bragged about the failing Our Lucaya resort. He tried to claim ownership, as well, for the “change of ownership” at the BORCO Oil Transhipment Facility for the sale to Vopak by the Venezuelans, as if that change initiated some kind of blockbuster, intensive job creation and employment exercise.  So what if they changed ownership, Hubert Ingraham? Did the change have a positive or negative affect on the employees and or small Bahamian sub contractors? I recall, very vividly, that the affects were negative in both cases. Employees’ benefits were immediately withheld and cancelled-their salary increases; their Christmas bonuses and all the others. Small Bahamian contractors were all, immediately, excluded from the bidding process for contracts. Some very prominent FNM supporters, I recall, who had contracts and worked in the compound for years were suddenly excluded from working in the area; needless to say they were angry as hell. It was a stinging letter that I wrote, against the new man at the helm, which was published in the Freeport News that resulted in the intervention of the bigger boss man from Houston Texas, which eventually helped to restore all the employees’ benefits, which were withheld, prior, by the racist manager. Ingraham sought, further, to belittle and bring the “Ginn Sur Mer “project into public ridicule only because they have had some financial set backs, due primarily to the world recession which has resulted in an ownership squabble. He never mentioned that, notwithstanding the ownership questions, they are still functioning well and employing Bahamians both as workers and sub-contractors; just as in the name changing process case at Borco/Vopak.
    What he said worst of all; however, was when he spoke to the BTC goings on.  Among all the other nonsense, he told the BTC unions and their umbrella counterparts’ quote: “But the truth of the matter is that for those who are employed at BTC and elsewhere in the public sector-I wish to caution them (meaning threaten them) not to follow the current plans of the president of the NCTU and BCPOU; Ms. Dobson and Mr. Evans-because when you walk off your job, if you do, there is no guarantee that you can come back to that job-no guarantee.  Jobs are scarce; jobs are hard to find and no one is able to stop you from cutting off your nose to spite your face; that is your face. But at the end of the day, you won’t have a nose-that is the judgment you can make” unquote.  A clear threat, indeed.  Who does he think pays his inflated salary? Who does he think will be the ones paying his unearned, inflated pension when his behind is kicked to the curb after the next general election?
    If you don’t know who your Benefactors are, let me tell you; they are those same members of those same unions you’ve been cussing and threatening.  At this point, I wish to go on record as supporting the unions, in this fight, two hundred per cent. I support them in what ever action (within the law) they deem necessary to achieve their goals even to the shutting down- yes I say shutting down-of the country, totally, for a week. Ingraham, with his brassy self, needs to be taught a good lesson and it seems to me that, that lesson has to take the form of very draconian, Burma Road Style, measures, so bring it on. I know we would all suffer some more pain but Ingraham and his FNM cabinet/government are totally beside themselves and must be given a lesson.
    Ingraham wanted to know, as well, why the Unions and the PLP seem to be married in their efforts to kill his BTC sales deal with C&W.  Well I would wish to volunteer to answer that question, on behalf of the Chairman of our party by asking you, Hubert Ingraham, a question: “why were you and your FNM party -government complicit with Bay Street in killing (delaying/postponing the implementation) the National Health Insurance scheme, put in place by the PLP government, which ninety per cent of the Bahamian population are so badly in need of more today than ever before?”
    The man insulted the integrity and made light of the Ginn project; the Harcourt group and the Grand Bahama Port Authority while promising Grand Bahamians just one thing and that was that he would return, in the new year, for the purpose of talking with the residents of Pinder’s Point/Lewis Yard/ Hunters about the prospect of their re-location which, I am told, most of them oppose. It was sickening to read all his other ramblings in the Bahamas Press’ report.
    Stop the press!!! Stop the press!!! It has just been reported that the prime minister, of the Commonwealth of these Bahama Islands, may have accosted Mr. Leon Williams in the John Bull store, on Bay Street, in downtown Nassau. The act reportedly occurred while Mr. Williams was shopping for Christmas gifts for his family, on the eve of Christmas. The report says that Mr. Williams, being the gentleman that he is, took the high road, ignored Ingraham’s outbursts and left the store.
    It is said, by some wise old philosopher, that “Whom the gods destroy; they would first make mad.”
Forrester J. Carroll J.P.
Freeport, Grand Bahama

Harley Simms Dies
He was a passionate believer in the cause of the PLP.  He was a hardliner.  He was a hard worker.  On the web, a correspondent wrote this: “Wednesday past I had the occasion to politic with Harley Simms; he was consumed with South Beach matters.  At the end, he felt that all would be well and that there must be a coming together.  Today, I was saddened to learn that Harley had passed.”  That was written on Friday 31st December.  Mr. Simms died on the 30th December.  He was a PLP Stalwart Councillor.  Yet another soldier has gone on.  Rest In Peace

We Told You So On City Market Pensions
We on this site have perhaps followed the developments at City Markets most closely.  The Fitzgerald/Finlayson Team through their company Island Traders have a job on their hands to bring that company around.  They have started with trying to restock the shelves.  Mark Finlayson who appears to have the day-to-day running of the company in his bailiwick says that he is trying to increase the product lines up to 18,000.  Reliability and consistent stock will in the long term solve the problem.  Two stores have been closed because the landlords wanted exorbitant rents.  Staff have been redeployed.  Now Mr. Finlayson reports that the “bad end of the stick” is for the pension fund.  No word why but our guess is the decision by the trustees of the pension fund of the employees to lend the ill fated Neal and Massy effort the money to  keep the company afloat with disastrous results.  Mr. Finlayson says there is a forensic audit and although he is not accusing the trustees of anything illegal or unethical, he would not have made the decisions they made.  Amen!

Da Dilly Tree

Perry Christie PLP Leader, Shane Gibson and Ryan Pinder PLP MPs have developed a favourite haunt as a watering hole on weekends.  The name of the place is Da Dilly Tree.  It sits right in front of the Mario’s Bowling Palace run by Leslie Miller.  The Tribune reports that the club had a soft opening complete with a chef led spread of foods.  The owners say that they wanted to develop a club for mature people, in other words no hats and plaits crowd need apply.  They say that it is already a success with the politicians, accountants, lawyers and doctors.  So let’s hear it for them and wish them success.  Dillon McKenzie is one of the partners and he described his club and a club for “Grown folk”. The photo is by The Tribune and shows Chef Deyon Hall. The article was published on Friday 31st December.

Public Holiday On Monday 3rd January
Just in case you missed it.  There is no official work required on Monday, tomorrow 3rd January.

Grand Bahama In The Doldrums
The way to describe what is happening in Grand Bahama, Freeport in particular is a crime.  You have five FNM Members of Parliament in the city and the place is in the absolute doldrums, with nothing in sight to improve the situation.  There is simply no political leadership being offered.  The brightest spot in their firmament at the moment is the head of the Chamber of Commerce K. Peter Turnquest who makes an intervention to try and get things going.  Chris Lowe of Kelly’s is so peeved with the government and their customs policies that he has also taken to making public interventions against them.  The latest anti business effort by the government is customs is now requiring all bills, licences and fees to be paid up in full before you can get your bond renewed for the year.  The people in Grand Bahama are simply waiting for the elections: even though the drunken talk about Hubert Ingraham is that his party plans a massive gerrymandering of the boundaries to save Zhivargo Laing’s seat in Freeport.

Getting Rid of Jackson McIntosh
The same manoeuvre that Hubert Ingraham pulled on Leon Williams, the former BTC President fired by the FNM, Mr. Ingraham has pulled on Jackson McIntosh.  Mr. McIntosh is a former ally of Mr. Ingraham, a former administrator in the Central Andros district and who happens no longer to support Mr. Ingraham.  He got a contract under the PLP to be an administrator and the contract came to an end.  Mr. Ingraham did not renew it.  Reason: Mr. McIntosh may end up being the candidate for North Abaco against him in the next election.  Mr. Ingraham’s people have also been doing their best to sully Mr. McIntosh’s name by rumour and innuendo.  Mr. Ingraham allegedly confronted Mr. McIntosh while he was still a public servant in Andros, just after Mr. Ingraham had come off a fishing trip and started accusing Mr. McIntosh of all and sundry and a connection to a church in Abaco on one such occasion in Fresh Creek before the end of Mr. McIntosh’s contract.

Bahamian Complaints About Baker’s Bay, Abaco
Bahamian artisans and craftsmen and contractors are complaining that Bahamians cannot get jobs that Baker’s Bay project on Guana Cay in Abaco.  According to the talk around town, American contractors have the jobs and are paying wages below market price and Bahamians are unable to bid to get jobs there.

Taking Care Of Cooper’s Town Only
Up in Abaco, they say if you ride through Cooper’s Town, the Hubert Ingraham led administration has paved the roads and built new sea walls and put lights throughout the town.  This is the town where Mr. Ingraham grew up and where he still maintains a home.  He has therefore taken care of himself.  There is a stark contrast to the other towns that have been left behind.  People are waiting for the PLP to put a credible candidate up against Hubert Ingraham so they can send him a message.

Building The Abaco Government Building In A Hole
There is loud criticism of Hubert Ingraham’s decision to build the new government complex that is being put up as a showpiece in Marsh Harbour, Abaco by the FNM government.  The news is this was a PLP project that Mr. Ingraham stopped reviewed and cancelled and moved to the new site where it is down in a deep valley and in a cavernous area that he was reportedly warned would add to the costs to fill all the holes.  It is on flood plain and when it rains the building will be subject to substantial flooding.  But Mr. Ingraham reportedly put it there just so he could say that it was the FNM who did it and not the PLP.

Dad a funny picture from Simeon A Rolle’s Facebook page

We thought to share with you this funny picture that says a lot about men and their responsibilities to their children.  Justice Austen Thorne (retired) said once that in The Bahamas it is far too easy for men to walk away from their responsibilities to their children.

Ingraham’s Old Story Time To His Cabinet
The fellows in the Cabinet 1997 to 2002 tell this story, reportedly told by Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister then and now, to them and it was we thought a window into the kind of man we have running our country today.  It was the last day of school, primary school in Abaco.  A girl took a rock and threw it and hit young Ingraham in his head.  He has a short leg and could not run and catch her up.  She got away.  He picked up the rock and put it away.  When school reopened at the end of the summer, he spotted the girl and walked up to her and said: “You see this rock.  This is the rock you hit me with before school closed.” He had saved it all summer long.  Thereupon he hauled off and smacked her with the rock.  Need we say anything else?

Who Is Behind VoicesBahamian.Com?
The PLP has done a search to find out who is the owner of the site  The site at first appears to report that the name is registered to Brent Symonette, the Deputy Prime Minister.  A closer investigation reveals that this appearance itself may in fact be subterfuge on the part of the site's owners to conceal their identity.  We are continuing to investigate.  The site is the nastiest of the FNM propaganda sites.
[An earlier version of this story gave the wrong suffix to the Internet address in question.  It is VoicesBahamian.Com. - Ed.]

The National Stadium

The Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, which is being built by the Chinese Government, is nearing completion, expected in June 2011.  We thought you would like to see this update of the site under construction from Iram Lewis’ Facebook Page.  Mr. Lewis is the consultant hired by the Bahamas Government to coordinate the project.  The project was negotiated by former Prime Minister Perry Christie of the PLP when he visited China in 2004.

Gwendolyn House Luncheon

The staff of Gwendolyn House hosted a lunch at Chef Chea's for Christmas on Thursday 23rd December.   The photo shows Fred Mitchell MP in his role as attorney and head of Gwendolyn House with the staff and guests from left:  Altamese Isaacs, Joel Seymour, Lashanda McPhee, Theo Moss, Fred Mitchell MP (seated), Charlene Marshall, Branch Chair, Ellamae Collie, Deidre Rolle.
Photo/Fox Hill PLP media

Voter Registration
The Parliamentary Registration Department has commenced its Voter Registration Drive, which will culminate in the National General Election during 2012.  To this end, the Department is offering its mobile services to companies with a minimum of twenty (20) eligible voters.  Interested persons may take advantage of this service by contacting Ms. Isadelle Howells at Parliamentary Department, 397-2000, 397-2008 or e-mail at for an appointment.

9thJanuary, 2011
Welcome to
  How do you do today?  It's great to have you as a reader.  We have the most incisive political news about and from The Bahamas!
Please tell all your friends about us.


Why “The Government” Cannot Sell BaTelCo
Fred Mitchell Launches 3rd Edition of 'Great Moments In PLP History... Fred Mitchell's 56th Birthday Party In Support of the 'Mission Fund'...
The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement... Interesting Places... Bahamas Government Website  Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES... Bahamians On The Web
How & Why The PLP Lost in 2007 - The Greenberg Report...
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl + home to return to the top of the page.

THE RED MASS: Roman Catholics offer prayers at this time of the year for justice in our country.  The Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder was the chief celebrant at the Red Mass held to pray for those who work in the judicial system.  The Prime Minister attended the service as well.  The mass was held at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.  The legal year officially kicks off on Wednesday 12th January at 10 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral when the lawyers led by the Chief Justice will process to the Anglican Cathedral for a service to launch the legal year.  Our photo of the week shows the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic faith at the Red Mass at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Sunday 9th January 2011.  BIS photo/Peter Ramsay



For the second time in as many months, we have to use the line from the poem by Sir Walter Scott: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.  We use it this time to describe the editor of The Tribune and the editorial that she wrote last week on Thursday 6th January, the day of the Holy Epiphany no less.  But instead of enlightenment, Eileen Carron persists in writing tangled information, which can only be deliberately designed to deceive.

In writing the editorial, Mrs. Carron relied on the slogan of The Tribune, which is ‘Being bound to swear the dogmas of no master’!  According to Mrs. Carron, The Tribune is the fearless defender of the truth and The Tribune answers to no one but to the facts.  That is the biggest lie that she has told and she has told some whoppers in her lifetime.

The editorial was written because a letter writer to The Tribune accused her of attacking the trade unions unfairly and of representing the interest of the FNM unqualifiedly in supporting the sale of BTC to the British company Cable and Wireless.

Of course, Mrs. Carron believes that the sale is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  There is not a single occasion when Hubert Ingraham has done something as Free National Movement leader with which she has disagreed.

We also know that she follows in the footsteps of a father, Sir Etienne Dupuch who railed against casino gambling coming to The Bahamas and who, for the price of $10,000 paid as a consequence of the advice of the late Sir Stafford Sands, the UBP’s Minister of Finance and Tourism, went silent as the then UBP government granted a certificate of exemption for a casino to operate in Freeport.  So Mrs. Carron’s tangled web comes naturally.

Her father tried to cover up his wrongdoing by suggesting that he was at a loss for why he was getting the $10,000 and he wrote a letter saying so but said that since Stafford Sands insisted on his keeping it, he would keep it and give it to charity.  That did not change the fact that he accepted a benefit and was silent in the face of his previous opposition to casino gambling.  We know then that The Tribune’s services can be procured by money.  He who pays the piper calls the tune.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

So anyone who knows this about The Tribune would also know that Eileen Carron could not and will not ever support anything that is of trade union origin; that is of black origin this country; that is PLP in this country.  She like Ivan Johnson of The Punch because of their embarrassment about their mixed ancestry (and God knows why they should be embarrassed but they are) have a terrible problem about their own self image, and this self hatred causes them to have skewed judgment about life that is far from objective, and causes them to be incapable of objectivity.  They construct a tangled web and practice every day to deceive.  And yet Bahamians in their numbers keep buying these lies every day God sends.

How long, oh Lord, how long!

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 8th January 2011 up to midnight: 141,186.

Number of hits for the month of January up to Saturday 8th January 2011 up to midnight: 159,851.

Number of hits for the year 2011 up to Saturday 8th January 2011 up to midnight: 159,851.


    Poor Julian Francis, he is now on his own.  Mr. Francis is the Chairman of the BTC Board, the telephone company that the FNM government is intent on selling in the face of popular and widespread opposition to its sale.  Mr. Francis two weeks ago publicly called on the unions to debate him about the sale of BTC.  He said at the time that he made the challenge that he wanted the opportunity to publicly shame the unions about the sale of BTC.
    Now it turns out that the only person that he has shamed is himself.  Mr. Francis last week ducked out of the debate.  The unions accepted his challenge.  We disagreed with that because we thought that they ought to challenge Hubert Ingraham to debate, since he is the only one making the decisions.  Mr. Francis can make no decisions.  But the unions obviously knew Mr. Francis better than us and called his bluff.  He went scurrying into the tall grass.
    The reason for Mr. Francis’ change of heart is quite apparent: Hubert Ingraham told The tribune and it was quoted in The Tribune by none other than their unofficial propaganda mouthpiece Eileen Carron in The Tribune on Thursday 6th January as follows: “Prime Minister Ingraham has now made it clear that the only debate that he will undertake on the matter will be in a public place -- the House of Assembly.  The government, he said, does not intend to have a debate outside of the House with the union, and if Mr. Francis chooses to debate them, he will not be speaking for the government.”  Well that pushed Mr. Francis right under the bus.  In other and plain words, Mr. Ingraham told Mr. Francis that if he spoke, he spoke for himself.
    As for the trade unions, they had some choice words for Mr. Ingraham.  Unionist Denise Wilson, Secretary General of the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union: “The Prime Minister is belligerent and arrogant enough for this to be a done deal, but ultimately Bahamians own BTC and Bahamians own the government.  Bahamians determine who sit in the seat of power and we are approaching a very critical time.  I would admonish politicians to be mindful of the time that we live in because as far as we know, Bluewater was a done deal too and they done finish.”
    William Carroll who is the president of the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union added this about Mr. Francis: “What is Mr. Francis afraid of?  Is he afraid he will lose the debate?  Is he afraid the Bahamian people will find out the truth about the bad deal with Cable & Wireless?  Mr. Francis must either debate or resign.  If we, the people, cannot accept his word as reliable and true then the government should not have any confidence in his leadership.”


    If you were with Bradley Roberts, the PLP Chairman, during the week, you would know firsthand what the people of Grand Cay in Abaco are enduring with their water supply.  The water reeks of the foul smell of sulphur gas, a naturally occurring substance in the swamps from which the water supply in Grand Cay comes.  Mr. Roberts (shown in this file photo) issued a statement warning about the water and the fact that it is making people sick, but, as usual, the government responded with its head in the sand, insisting that the water is safe.  Mr. Roberts has been carrying around a jug of the water from Grand Cay and the smell is foul indeed.  You may click here for Mr. Roberts’ full statement.


    Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill has visited the islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama and Bimini during the New Year’s holiday.  While in Bimini, Mr. Mitchell spoke at a rally for students at the Bimini Primary School and then visited the school’s greenhouse, a part of the agriculture class at the school.  The photos by James Pinder of the visit with Shureen Butters who runs the agriculture programme.  The programme is a great effort by the teacher there. The visit took place on 3rd January 2011.


    The PLP gathered this morning at a special prayer breakfast at the Crystal Palace Hotel to mark the occasion of Majority Rule Day.  It marks the time that the PLP first came to power and remained in power for 25 years.  The day should be made a public holiday, but the PLP has so far refused to do so while in office.  Perhaps this year, it will announce a commitment to do so.  The party’s remembrances also took place in Freeport with the Deputy Leader as the chief speaker.  In Nassau, PLP leader Perry Christie led the remembrances and the preacher was Rev. Tanya Colebrooke of St. Paul’s Baptist Church on Bias St. who is pictured above at right.

    Former Prime Minister Perry Christie described the days in the run up to majority rule day in 1967 as the glory days of the ideological fight for power in The Bahamas.  He was speaking at the prayer breakfast sponsored by the PLP at the Crystal Palace Hotel.  In an impassioned speech to hundreds of supporters, he appealed the crowd to get ready to govern again.  He said that the PLP is the organization that people will turn to for help.  You may click here for the remarks by Mr. Christie.


    Also speaking at the breakfast was MP Fred Mitchell for Fox hill who spoke of the history of the fight for majority rule.  Mr. Mitchell said that the work of economic empowerment still needs to be done and that this was the one regret of the late Sir Lynden Pindling.  He spoke of the situation at Scotiabank in The Bahamas where 50 years after Sir Milo took Sir Lynden by the hand to fight for equality in the banks in Nassau, the decision making for Scotiabank is now in Canada and Canadians have been allowed to work in the banks in The Bahamas as a result of the policies of the FNM in immigration.  He said that only the PLP can fight for the workers at Scotiabank.  You may click here for the full address by Mr. Mitchell.

    Party Chairman Bradley Roberts in addressing the Prayer Breakfast, issued a ringing call for the Party “never to forget the promises of Majority Rule Day as we continue to shape the modern Bahamas. Where ever there is injustice, be it social, political or economic, we have a responsibility to speak out and to correct it. Where ever freedom is being stifled and replaced with dictatorship and oppression, we have a responsibility to fearlessly stand against it.”  You may click here for Mr. Roberts’ remarks.


   A service was also held in Exuma where PLP MP Anthony Moss attended and in North Andros, where PLP MP Vincent Peet attended.  The Bain Town Association is to hold remembrances of the day at St. John’s Native Baptist Church at 7 p.m. on Monday 10th January.
Photos/Triom Media



    Monsignor Alfred Culmer described her in his homily as a humble woman but a woman who was very accommodating to all.  Her legacy though, was the training that she left in her daughters and son.  The daughters have all gone on to make their mark in the society.  The service led by the Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder was held at St. Joseph’s Church on Friday 7th January.  Mrs. Williams was 92 when she died one week shy of her 93rd birthday, which was the day of her funeral.  She was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery.
    Mrs. Williams is survived by daughters Ethelyn, Albertha (Attorney at law), Daphne (Mrs. Malcolm Adderley), Elaine (the owner and founder of La Rose Boutique and Bamboo Shack), Sharon (Mrs. Rev. Timothy Stewart), Veronica (Dentist), Janet (Mrs. Peter Kemp) and son Devard (Attorney at law).  PLP leader Perry Christie attended the service along with a number of other MPs, including Fred Mitchell of Fox Hill and Dr. Bernard Nottage of Bain and Grants Town and Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett.
Photos/Peter Ramsay


    These are the results from the New Year’s Day Junkanoo parade.  Unofficial New Year's Day Parade results:
Category A groups: Photos/Peter Ramsay


    Shane Gibson  MP has issued a statement labelling claims by Senator Dion Foulkes that “there is evidence that the economy is rebounding and less people are laid off” as outrageous.  Unemployment claims at National Insurance, said Mr. Gibson, are “by no means, an accurate method of measuring the unemployment rate nor the state of the economy.  The absolute truth, based on this 70% drop is that 70% of the unemployed are now destitute, frustrated and desperate.
    “The 70% will now have to find creative and sometimes unconventional ways to sustain themselves and their families.  While these persons cry out because they have lost their dignity, the FNM government remains unapologetic and continue to feed them false hope with bogus and erroneous statistics which further insult their intelligence.
    “It is painful to see heads of households weep in desperation as they describe their present situation.  Many have no choice but to lower themselves to beg friends and family for loans just to keep their heads above water, knowing they may not be able to repay.”
    You may click here for Mr.Gibson’s full statement.

    So confident it seems that Cable and Wireless is of the deal to buy BTC, the Bahamian telephone company, that they are advertising for high level staff.  The text of the ad below, which the company later withdrew from the web, was circulated by Bahamians opposed to the sale.  At the rate advertised, PLP Chair Bradley Roberts said that the salary would translate into 500,000 pounds sterling.  We think that Leon Williams should apply for the job since later C & W claimed that this was an ad to get a Bahamian person to assist them with the sale. There is a report of a second ad that has appeared looking for an IT specialist position to fill.

Interim Head of Communications
Employer: Telecommunications 
Location: Bahamas, Nassau 
Salary: £650/$975 per day 
Our client is a leading telecommunications organisation in the Caribbean. They have just acquired another organisation and currently seek an interim Head of Communications who knows the Caribbean region well to develop communications strategy both internally (employees) and externally (press, government, unions) around this acquisition.


  • Define the company’s value proposition and marketing communications strategy internally and externally (press government, unions) to support the integration of the newly acquired organisation.
  • Prepare the marketing plan, ensuring the effective promotion of the company through the appropriate mix of product promotion, brand advertising and sponsorship.
  • Own the brand strategy to ensure regional consistency and brand equity growth.
  • Held senior level Head of or Director level Communications role in a large, multinational organisation
  • Strong experience in developing communications strategy in post acquisition, high change / transformational environments 
  • Strong media network and cultural understanding in the Caribbean region
  • Degree qualified with a minimum of 10 years experience in communications


    Excitement is building for Race for the Cure - Marathon Bahamas, coming up this weekend 15th January.  Sponsored by the Sunshine Insurance Group and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, along with other corporate sponsors the event offers the ‘Komen Bahamas - Race for the Cure’ as an effort to help the fight against breast cancer on Saturday 15th January, or you can run the relay and/or the half marathon on Sunday 16th January.
    Marathon sponsors are also encouraging charities to use the initiative as a means of raising funds.  You may visit the Marathon Bahamas website by clicking here.

Why “The Government” Cannot Sell BaTelCo
    The reason why the Government cannot sell BaTelCo assets is that ‘the Government’ has no title to them.
    Who or what is the Government of The Bahamas?  It is not a person; it has no personality.  The Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas by its preamble declares that “the people of this family of islands recognise that the preservation of their freedom will be guaranteed by inter alia an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of Law” and Article 1 declares that the Commonwealth of The Bahamas shall be a sovereign democratic state.  It seems to me therefore that the Government of the Bahamian State is of law and not of men.  Nowhere in the Constitution if the Government defined or is such an entity created.  Executive Authority is vested in Her Majesty and the principal is the Bahamian nation.  Government, it is submitted, is a term used to describe collectively all those persons who are employed by the State to enforce the Laws which rule.  The Government is a non-entity it cannot acquire or hold property, there is however Public Property.
    A Parliament consisting of Her Majesty, a Senate and a House of Assembly is established by Article 52 empowered to make Laws for the peace order and good government of The Bahamas.
    In 1958, there was a ‘General Strike’, which was precipitated by members of the Taxi Union, a group of non-employee independent business owners forming themselves into a union, blocking the entry to the newly built Windsor Airport.  Before this event, The Bahamas had been a peaceful nation, having a police force of less than three hundred officers who also served as a primary defence force.  The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colchester Whymms, realised that he was in no position to deal with any uprising, there were not a sufficient number of officers and he, most importantly, lacked the ability to communicate with the officers who were deployed and by secure means with the Governor and the Colonial Office.
    After the strike, steps were taken urgently to remedy this security deficiency: the number of officers was increased; a Riot Squad organised; Special Branch and a Radio Division created.  I became Technical Assistant to the Force Communication Officers and in that position was privy to discussions relating to the need for a secure Telecommunication system serving the entire Bahamas capable of providing communication for the national security of The Bahamas.
    The Government of the day and no doubt the Colonial Office, which was responsible for the national security and defence of The Bahamas, decided that a telecommunication system operating as a department of government was inappropriate, that it would be vulnerable to strike action and sabotage; that a system part of the sovereignty of the State capable of being taken over and operated by the Police and Military during an emergency and providing secure communications internally and externally was necessary.
    A Statutory Corporation called Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation, having no shareholder, not limited; a sovereign asset, perpetual existence and no provision made for its liquidation or winding up, was incorporated.  The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation Act also provided that any person who without authority acquires any knowledge of the contents of any communication with intent to prejudice the rights or interests of any other discloses the contents therefore would be guilty of a criminal offence and any person engaged in any capacity whatsoever at a Telecommunication Station, contrary to his duty, discloses or intercepts any information would be guilty of a criminal offence, also that in an emergency the Governor was empowered to assume control and make emergency appointments including temporary operative engineering staff.
    The sovereign nature and national security aspect were so predominant a consideration that in 1974 (after Independence) the Act was amended to provide that no person other than a citizen of The Bahamas could be appointed any officer in the Corporation without the prior approval of the Minister responsible to Parliament for the affairs of the Corporation.
    As a corporate person BaTelco is protected by the Constitution against expropriation of its property and since Parliament is not empowered to expropriate property for a private purpose or to alienate sovereignty, it is submitted that Parliament cannot authorise the sale of BaTelco’s assets.  Furthermore, when the corporation was incorporated in 1966 it purchased the assets of the Telecommunications Department out of its own earnings so “The Government” cannot now sell that which it previously sold to the Corporation; what it proposes to do is to unlawfully expropriate BaTelco’s property.
    The Rule of Law requires that everyone, including officers of the State, are subject to the Law.  If anyone in The Bahamas took another person’s property with the intent to sell it to another such a person would have been arrested and charged with stealing.
    In the premises it seems that the only possible way to sell BaTelCo is to be authorised by referendum.
R. Rawle Maynard


Dupuch Sets Brensil Rolle Straight
Calls for Government to withdraw Bell Island dredging permit
    Many have asked when I planned answering the three column "Response to article by Mr. Dupuch" published in the December 13, 2010 issue of The Tribune, and written by Mr. Brensil Rolle. Frankly, this is planting time for us farmers and I have been busy planting my gardens.
    Before I get into Mr. Rolle's letter let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy Prosperous New Year.
    It is amazing how some people bring up half truths in order to hide the real issue. Mr. Rolle said that he had "challenged him (Dupuch) to speak the truth about the dredging that he alleged was taking place in the Exuma Land and Sea Park." The fact is that I was not alleging anything. I was disagreeing with the fact that the Minister had given permission for dredging in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which involved an area fifteen feet deep and covered an area of several acres.
    Whether it had started or not was completely immaterial to the discussion. The point is that permission was granted for dredging in the Park. Being an old farmer at heart I believe that one should start hollering when the barn door is open and before the horse bolts, not when the horse has already bolted. And if the barn door is simply pushed closed one continues to shout until the barn door is closed and locked. It may be true that dredging has not started, but the barn door is still unlocked and as soon as you turn your back the horse will bolt. The Minister's permission to dredge the area has not been rescinded.
    The fact remains that if the proposed dredging takes place in the park, it will destroy much that makes it a park, the reef, the sand dunes, the nursery for young conch, crawfish and fish. Some have said that I dont believe in the development of the Park. This is not so. But at this stage "development" must be defined.
    A make up artist goes into the studio of a beautiful starlet, and administers make up to the starlet's face. This enhances her beauty and helps develop her career as a starlet. We applaud this. But if the same makeup artist entered the room with a sledgehammer and proceeded to smash the face of the starlet, he/she would then be destroying the very essence of the starlet. We would condemn this.
    The Exuma Land and Sea Park is a Bahamian star. It is a thing of beauty, a nursery where the mothers of the sea raise their young. We should enhance it and develop its beauty, not sledgehammer it and destroy its very essence.
    Mr. Rolle suggested that I should have resigned from Cabinet because during my term as a Member of Cabinet dredging had been allowed in the Land and Sea Park. Firstly, I dont recall any proposal such as the one signed by Minister Deveaux ever coming before Cabinet.
    Secondly, if Mr. Rolle would recall, The Prime Minister created the BEST commission and appointed an Ambassador to the Environment who was directly responsible to the Prime Minister. Environmental Impact studies were done by BEST, and the Ambassador to the Environment did not have a seat at Cabinet.
    Instead of condoning this type of dredging in the National Park, the BEST Commission, the Bahamas National Trust, the Ministry of the Environment and the Prime Minister's Office should all show respect for the natural assets of The Bahamas, and in particular for our shining star -- the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
    I would like to call on the Prime Minister, and the Minister of the Environment, to stop the irresponsible destruction of our natural assets that is taking place throughout The Bahamas, to immediately reverse their decision to allow dredging at Bell Island, and to establish and enforce strict preservation guidelines for the National Park and the entire Exuma Cays chain.
Pierre V.L. Dupuch
January 6, 2011


A letter from Dale ‘Happy’ Knowles of BTC in response to an article on
    We often tend to look at the world from our limited self served vantage point so we have no public opinion on the sale of BTC as it is a multi-dimensional discussion of which many don't have the facts but only a perception, thus we would always be misunderstood.
    Our goal is not to defend or align with any particular position but to get us off the Plantation and to think about what is before us.
    After having a good laugh, we gathered ourselves to reflect on a teaching that states "don't let other peoples ignorance of your temper yourself worth or attitude".
    “Your Attitude, not your Aptitude, will determine your Altitude.” ~ Zig Ziglar
    What is our (Bahamas) attitude?
    If you take the time to read the article, assuming this fallacy has a credible basis, ask yourselves, why and what next.
    The author gives his perception of BTC history but we put it to you, to live life forward one must understand life backwards.
    "Life must be understood backwards; but... it must be lived forward." ~ Soren Kierkegaard
    To help us live to our potential, we must get and understand the facts.
    The author paints a dismal picture of incompetence but ask yourself, where is BTC positioned today in the global (not limited to Bahamas) scope of things. Many reports have been generated by credible industry analysis.
    As our valued intelligent friends in building this awesome nation, we encourage you all to get the facts and don't just join on the bandwagon and following blindly the; *for or against the sale *foreign or Bahamian *this bidder or another *49 or 51 *all or part, *$210M or $2.1B *any of the unfounded accusations *etc.

Fact 1: It is undisputed that BTC is a multi-service, multi-dimensional Telecommunications Provider of the magnitude of no other in this country.  For ease of reference I have listed a few of the major categories of services that are found as standalone companies; * Wireless (Fixed & Cellular), * Fixed Line (Voice & Data), * Broadband (High Speed), * IP, * Internet Service Provider, * International, * Domestic, * Local, * Operator, * Residential, * Enterprise, Note we would suggest that Atlantis (Hotel, Theme Park & Casino) is the next significant multi-service provider in this country.

Fact 2: Though it all, BTC has championed all of the global trends the author speaks of even within the confines of its public governance criteria, when 1,000s if not 10,000s of less restrictive and possibly more profitable private companies around the world that focused on one niche service are no more. Its Financial reports tabled will prove such.

Fact 3: Yes some rates are higher than the regional or global benchmarks but as many or more are too low. A review of the comparative reports of the region and global would prove such.  What next?  Ask yourself, is CBL, a private company, monopoly in Cable TV and dominant Provider in Internet Services in every market their license required them to be in even after 15+ years?  Why?

Fact 4: BTC has amongst others, a Universal Service Obligation to provide the same service, price and quality in every settlement of 10 or more households, anywhere in the Bahamas. To the best of my knowledge, it is compliant with such.    ....................

    We pause to let that sink in.
    If the Bahamas market is too small to share, then ask yourself why are the Digicels, CWCs, CBLs, Indigos and IPSIs so eager to enter or expand to be multi-service providers in this sector?
    If BTC buying power is too small, then ask yourself, why CBL (reportedly 100% Bahamian owned) which incidentally BTC has the financial magnitude to buy, is so eager to expand and enter the full Telecom Sector?
    Would not they be committing business suicide?
    Ask yourself if the Bahamas market is too small for BTC (the more financially stable and attractive company), to be profitable or survive, then what about the others like CBL, Indigo or IPSI?
    Review BaTelCo/BTC numbers throughout the years and particularly during of competitive environment since CBL and Indigo has joined the sector. Note the latter BTC subsidised through "wholesaling" service.
    Most importantly, ask yourselves, why we always believe we need someone to come into our country to save us from ourselves and not us go in others country to expand and develop our wealth.
    We have had at least one Prime Minister whose advice was widely respected and sort around the world.
    Others like Dr Myles Munroe, Dr. Duane Sands, Dr. Colin Bethel, Sir Sidney Poiter, Jackson Burnside, Davidson Hepburn, Pauline Davis, Elisha Obed, T-Connection, Blind Blake, George Symonette, Joe Spence and we can list many more of all strata of our 300K+ natives who are highly talented, respected or whose council sort.
    Even the financially strapped BahamasAir and our Air Traffic Controllers who are often belittled, have a safety record par excellence.
    A review may prove they are near the top if not at the top (in various categories) in this region which includes the USA and Canada.
    We are constantly praised by the foreigners for producing highly talented persons for a country this size but when it comes to our own, we are the ....
    These are but few of the facts and we do encourage you to get the others as the divestment of shares is bigger than the Unions/PLP/FNM or any other special interest group. It will have a profound effect on each and every resident bar none for more years than we have been independent. Do we want the Bahamas to maximise its benefit?
    We put it to you that the Telecom Sector is the heart and soul of the Bahamas economy (and not Tourism: Marketing as often purported) and presently, how BTC goes, so does the Bahamas economy. There are global forces that dictate the confines of our economy but we put it to you that it is BTC as the significant player in this sector that determines how we oscillate within. If you don't believe us, ask any sound business man what was going through their minds on Aug 6, 2010. If BTC has such an impact on crippling the economy on that day, it has the same impact on its growth every other. Ask yourself, if BTC was so deplorable as the author suggest, then how is it that we have grown so vibrantly as a country over the years or even not a fallen country during this global recession?
    This divestment will be the most significant event since Independence as it will change the whole face of our way of life.
We note there is always good and bad with any change so let’s get educated so as nation builders, we can tailor the change to optimise the benefits the Bahamas will receive for the generations to come.
    Sumtin Ta Tink Abou
Dale ‘Happy’ Knowles

Of Investment Projects PLP and FNM - Forrester Carroll...
    In his speech to the handful of FNMs left on Grand Bahama the, stressed out-lame duck, leader of the Free National Movement, on the 18th December 2010 at Mary Star of the Sea Auditorium, singled out the Harcourt group in Freeport and the Ginn Sur Mer project in West Grand Bahama for public ridicule. You may be asking yourself why would Ingraham single out these two projects and not focus, as well, on the failed “Our Lucaya Resort” or “the Container Port,” (which has yet to account for the deaths of those three young Bahamian men, during the latter part of 2010), and or the Grand Bahama Shipyard which has had its many labor issues during the years since its establishment on the Island. Well the simple answer to that question is, because Ginn and the Harcourt projects came to the Island during the time the PLP government’s regime and Ingraham’s modus operandi is to always find a way to belittle whatever the PLP does, notwithstanding the fact that the only projects (the Albany; Baha mar; Lynden Pindling Airport; the Re-development of downtown Nassau and moving of the Port) he has had to save his behind during the past forty-three(43) months, have been PLP initiated projects.  He could have had even more if he hadn’t ignorantly and stupidly “stopped to review and cancel” many others, approved by the PLP, when he came to office in 2007.
    He said, of them both, quote: “while we are on that point, let me say that as you know the GINN project down in West End has gone into bankruptcy, the bank has taken over its part of the property.  The owner of the other part-who is not Mr. Bobby Ginn that we thought it, was; we thought Mr. Bobby Ginn was the owner-he is not the owner. I saw the owners last week. They are making plans for the development down in West End. I don’t want to make any announcements for them, but they do not want to be known as GINN anymore. They are going to call themselves Old Bahama Bay. We still have not been certain about the Harcourt property, as you know Harcourt is an Irish company. Both of these are products of the PLP government-they are the two things that I can credit them for: GINN in West End and Harcourt here in Freeport and you know what’s happening with both of them. Nothing has happened with Harcourt yet.”
    Have you ever heard of such utter hogwash; nonsense; rubbish emanating from the head of a supposedly sane leader in all your born days? He seems to be obsessed with stupidity. Did he give any thought to how these two well-meaning foreign investors may feel about his disparaging remarks about them? Isn’t this the same kind of crap, which came from this same man that caused the Bahamar project to fail in the first place? Remember when he went to parliament and cussed Baha Mar’s partners (Harrahs) out, saying all kinds of uncomplimentary things about them; things like they being broke and couldn’t afford to fund the project? This ticked the Harrahs’ people off and made them so angry that they pulled out of the deal, immediately, and left town?
    They had no intentions of dealing with this and it left Bahamar in such a bind that they had no alternative but to get the funding, for their project, from wherever they could. Bahamian construction workers will now end up losing because the price of the Chinese money is that their countrymen- all 8150 of them- would have to be permitted entry into the country to do all the work. Ingraham must now approve 8150 work permits or more; who is there to keep tabs or how many come or how many leave?
    Lest we forget (and that is exactly what Ingraham is counting on-that Grand Bahamians would forget how Harcourt got here in the first place) It was Ingraham and his FNM government who made the rotten deal with that broke and busted “Budimyer group” and who approved them to purchase the Princess Hotels and the Bahamia housing sub division. They came with no money and no plans to do any improvements. Immediately, after taking over, they began to dismiss long serving employees, requiring them to come each week to collect a week of their severance pay at a time. They couldn’t even afford to pay all of what was due to employees on terminating them and so the employee(s) were required to return week after week to collect a cheque. Some of the employees, let go, had as much as two years of benefits; can you imagine the stress of having to go each week to collect a week’s pay? Finally, though, the hurricanes, of 2004-2005, came and damaged the hotel properties so badly that the operation had to close its doors for business and, of course, all employees terminated. The hotels never reopened and when the scoundrel operators settled with the insurance companies (we were told) they took the $70 million, they received, and left town overnight, leaving 1500 employees stranded. Perry Christie’s PLP government had to find $5 million to pay half the employees’ benefits which were due them.
    This is the FNM’s legacy regarding their involvement with that hotel property and those are the kinds of hoteliers Ingraham brought into Freeport to purchase and manage the Princess hotel and casino operations. He thinks that we have forgotten but we have not.
    Prior to absconding with the insurance money and the hurricanes of 2004-2005, the suckers (Budimyer group) increased the service charges, in the housing sub division (Bahamia), by sixty per cent causing uproar. They performed no services before they increased the fees and neither did they after the increase. Thank God for Perry Christie and the PLP however who, during their period of governance, were able to facilitate the bringing in of the Harcourt group which, in retrospect, saved both the Princess Hotels and the Bahamia housing sub division from a totally disastrous end. They (Harcourt group), unlike Ingraham’s broke and busted Budimyer group, bought the properties and have done a remarkable job since assuming control. We are getting our money’s worth in terms of services performed in the subdivision, and I can confidently say that 90% of the property owners are extremely pleased with the level of services rendered by Harcourt.
    With respect to the hotel, I am told they’ve had financial difficulties with their investments in Ireland, due to the world recession (which Ingraham likes to use for his problems here at home) and have had to put a hold on pumping any monies into the hotel sector, at this time, which is quite understandable. He was so consumed with his diatribe in his castigation of the Harcourt group that he failed also to mention their commitment to the construction of their six phases of multi-story, high priced condominium complex on the canal across from the Princess Isle project.
    They completed two phases before the world crises, in the economy, and they had to put the others on hold. However, all this said, in the final analysis, we are not looking to Harcourt to bring relief to Grand Bahama-we did not elect them –we are looking to our elected government to do so.
    With respect to West End and the GINN project, we thank God Almighty, once again, for bringing the PLP to power in 2002. West Grand Bahama was dying a slow death under ten years of FNM misrule, 1992-2002. They didn’t do one damn thing to bring relief to the area but the PLP, during its term in office 2002-2007, caused the Heads of Agreement to be signed with GINN for a 20 year, $5 billion development project. Call it Ginn; call it Old Bahama Bay; we don’t give a damn or do we care what the hell name it is called by (Hubert Ingraham); but we do know for sure that Ginn/Old Bahama Bay will transform West Grand Bahama into a Mecca in the years to come. And guess what, box-fish head, we don’t care whether it be Bobby Ginn or some other person, who heads and or owns it so long as the work continues, Bahamians are employed and the whole area from Sea Grape to West End benefits in more ways than one. There is no denying it; because of Ginn Sur Mer, the property in the area, from Sea Grape to West End, will sky rocket in price, in the years ahead.
    Why didn’t Ingraham explain those facts to his small audience?
    I am going to give Ingraham the benefit of the doubt here, though; I am convinced, after reading enough (I couldn’t stomach reading all of it) of Ingraham’s speech, that the small group which showed up for the free breakfast took him by surprise. It shocked him into a state of lunacy (“lunaticism;” my word-not Webster’s) where it caused him to revert to his old real self which caused him to start rambling on like a drunken sailor. His handlers need to replay the tape for him so he can, at least, hear how silly and disgusting he sounds.
Forrester J. Carroll J.P.
Freeport, Grand Bahama


Golden Gates Christmas

Mr. and Mrs Adderley of Leeward Isles off St. Vincent Rd in Golden Gates Constituency continue to light up the lives of thousands of Bahamians annually  through the decorating of their house.

New PS For National Security
The government of openness and transparency is not so open and transparent as to let us know why there is a new Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security.  We wrote weeks ago on this site that former PS A. Missouri Sherman Peter had resigned in a huff over a protocol spat with the government.  Despite requests, the Minister and the government have refused to answer the queries on the point.  Now Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest says that Carl Smith is to leave his post in New York as Consul General to become Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security.  Still no word on why these changes are necessary.  The country is in the dark with the sunshine government.

Hiking Bank Fees
The Royal Bank of Canada’s decision to charge a fee for banking Bahamian dollars over $10,000 in cash and other fees shows how usurious the banks are becoming in The Bahamas.  The small business association has said that they are concerned, and a petroleum dealer raised the alarm in the press.  RBC defended the fees saying that this is an industry standard and that it has been the practice to do with US dollars for some time.  Some people link this to the fact that the banks are not making any money on loans, a fact that James Smith, the former Minister of State, has said is in fact their own fault.  Observers also say that the government’s fees have gone up so the banks are finding ways to pass on these costs to consumers by hiking other fees.  There are also fees for counting coins as well.

ZNS & URCA On Political Interference
The Utilities Regulation Competition Authority (URCA) has released its report on public broadcasting, and most interestingly, it confirms that there is political interference at ZNS in the dissemination of the news.  While the report seeks to say that the interference is institutional in the sense that it has applied to all governments, we are not concerned with the past; what we are concerned with here is the rank interference in news dissemination over ZNS by the FNM.  The latest salvo is that of Michael Moss, the FNM Chairman of the Corporation, issuing a statement carried on ZNS that the PLP’s statement on ZNS was wrong when it said that the news service at the northern service would be cancelled.  The PLP statement was not wrong.  The broadcasts to The Bahamas at large have been cancelled.  The public, however, never heard the statement of the PLP on ZNS.  URCA says that the law ought to be changed to stop this.  No law will change that.  The FNM is lawless.  What is needed is to get Hubert Ingraham out of office.

FNM Pastors Intervene With The Unions
Five FNM Pastors; known FNM pastors led by Bishop Simeon Hall of New Covenant Church have written a letter to the trade unions saying: “The claims and issues which the leaders of the Trade Union believe to be legitimate must not be allowed to descend into lawlessness or any perception of the same.”  They reportedly offered their services as mediators between management and the Unions.  The letter was signed by Bishop Simeon Hall of New Covenant Baptist Church; Bishop John Humes, Church of God National Office; Bishop Gregory Minnis, New Jerusalem Kingdom Ministry; Bishop Edward Missick, First Holiness Church of God and Pastor Randford Patterson, Cousin McPhee AME Cathedral.  We have a problem with this.  It really takes a lot of nerve to make the claim that the trade unions are threatening lawlessness.  Where is the evidence of it?  This letter by the Pastors should be consigned by the unions to the wastepaper basket.  It is simply part of the FNM’s propaganda machine to sully the names of trade unionists, union supporters and ordinary people, and of course promoted by The Tribune and the arch racist who inhabits therein.

Trade Union Rally
The National Congress of Trade Unions will stage a rally at the RM Bailey Park on Monday 10th January to mark Majority Rule Day and to rally support for BTC workers in order to save the company from sale to Cable and Wireless

Phenton Neymour To Run In Exuma
With the PLP having announced Cleola Hamilton, the Union leader as its candidate for the South Beach seat, and with their polls showing that Phenton Neymour, the MP (FNM) for the area, is unpopular, the FNM has decided that they will try a neat trick.  They are set to move Mr. Neymour to run in Exuma and find a new candidate for South Beach.

Police Deny Press Reports On Marvin Dames
We reported on this site weeks ago that Marvin Dames, the Deputy Commissioner of Police had agreed to take a job as the Chief of Security at the Lynden Pindling Airport.  The story was ignored when it appeared on this site but a more sensational story appeared in the down market Punch and has been denied by the government.

Ryan Pinder Staying In Elizabeth
MP Ryan Pinder has responded to tabloid chat about running in North Eleuthera, saying “I have absolutely no intention of running in North Eleuthera! …and am fully committed to the good people of Elizabeth and have every intention of again offering myself in the next General Election to serve the good people of Elizabeth.  I am fully committed to using all of my influence and ability in ensuring that the PLP candidate for North Eleuthera will be elected as the next Member of Parliament for the North Eleuthera constituency.  I have been campaigning for the PLP since I was elected in many islands to ensure that the PLP is the next Government of The Bahamas.

Duane Sands Harassing Ryan Pinder
The Tribune reported in its Saturday 8th January edition of the paper that Ryan Pinder PLP MP Elizabeth is the subject of the interest of the defeated FNM candidate Duane Sands.  Dr Sands is a cardiologist.  Instead of mending hearts, he is busy trying, he says, to make Ryan Pinder the shortest term MP.  He claims that Mr. Pinder has too national a profile and is showboating, a favourite word of the Ingrahamites; their leader uses it too often.  We think that Dr. Sands would be well served to return to mending hearts and leave politics alone.

The Business About Rohan Rolle
The Tribune becomes more and more like The Punch in the struggle to get readers.  The Friday morning paper 7th January carried a story about an executive in the PLP Rohan Rolle, not sure in what position, ousted from his office by the Chairman of the party Bradley Roberts.  The story said that this was because Mr. Rolle was outspoken at a Council meeting of the PLP about the nomination for the Kennedy seat.  This smacks of a put up job.  Who would have an interest in leaking such information to the press?  The story itself is of little consequence and will not change the fact that Dion Smith is the putative nominee for the PLP, but what it does is feeds into the FNM and by extension the FNM’s propaganda about there being dissension in the PLP.  Mr. Rolle and his supporters appear to be the ones feeding this perception.  The Chairman of the Party Bradley Roberts told The Tribune that he does not comment on foolishness.

Derek Ryan To Run As Independent
On Friday 7th January, The Tribune carried a front-page story in which it quoted a press spokesman for Derek Ryan the PLP’s NGC Member for Kennedy and one vying for the nomination, that if he is not chosen as the nominee for the PLP in the next election, he will run as an independent.  If this is so, does this not prove what many have said about Mr. Ryan that he is not loyal to the party?  Where we are now is that Dion Smith has been chosen by the Candidates Committee of the Party and the National General Council as the candidate for Kennedy.  The Party’s constitution says that where there is a disagreement between the Branch and the Party’s council, a committee must be formed to seek to get agreement and if there is no agreement, it comes back to the Council, which then decides.  This likely means that where there is a disagreement Mr. Smith is the nominee.

Late Prime Minister’s Wife A Candidate In Barbados
Mara Thompson could not resist it.  In the style of American politicians, the widow of the late David Thompson, the Prime Minister of Barbados, is to run in the bye-election to fill her husband’s seat.  Wonders never cease.

The Quality Of Policing
The headlines in our country are filled with one report after the next of the police beating people in custody or to get convictions in court.  The police have tried to address this by the implementation of a complaints unit but in the country there is culture violence in law enforcement, by this we mean that people in their heart of hearts believe that beating some people who are alleged criminals is an acceptable way to behave.  It infects all aspects of our lives: that systems don't work and so you have to take short cuts.  The police are no different from the rest of the community and are infected with this culture of violence.  But we think that more must be done to eliminate this random and rogue behaviour from law enforcement.  The latest was an incident reported in the papers of the country on Friday 7th January in which it was alleged that an off duty police officer took a tourism guide off a Segway mobile and beat her.  This caused an uproar in the straw market and other people had to be called to quell the disturbance so that it did not get out of hand.  The incident happened on 6th January.

Congratulations To Ken Perigord

Ken Perigord who hosts and produces a radio show on Star 106 called KP’s Golden Oldies each Saturday evening has won an award.  At the 7th Annual DJ Awards 2010 held by FUTURE ENTERTAINMENT. KP'S Golden Oldies Show hosted by Ken Perigord, WON BEST RADIO LATE NIGHT SHOW.  Award Winning Ken is pictured in studio.

There Has Been No Drop In Unemployment
Dion Foulkes, the Minister of Labour reports that there has been a 70 percent drop in the claims for unemployment.  He touts that fact as evidence that unemployment is dropping and that the economy is improving.  Not so.  That is simply evidence that less people are applying because they no longer qualify for the benefit or the newly unemployed do not qualify for the benefit.  There is a rush at the start of the benefit but now that the time has run, they no longer qualify.  This is the likely story and no one should accept the government’s propaganda at face value.

What They Are Saying On Facebook
We thought that this exchange on D’Angelo Peet’s Facebook page on the FNM government as instructive of the times.  It was posted on 8th January:
D'Angelo Peet: they don’t care about the small man I worked for some Greeks down town they had no business license and the bathroom was next to the kitchen when I wanted to open my business they put me through hell but the Greeks paid off the license board and then I went to the health department and they did nothing so I said to myself if you can get away with it go for goal cuz the white man could so why can’t the black man?
Ian Clarke: Boy Peet you said it all hell with this Free National Mess

16thJanuary, 2011
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LEGAL YEAR OPENS: The year in law has officially begun.  The list of promises is endless about what is to happen: new Supreme Courts newly fixed up, new Magistrate Courts and new civil practice rules.  Sitting in the church all properly coiffed at the official service and next to her boss in the long wig was the Director of Public Prosecutions Vinette Graham Allen, apparently unashamed that she cannot appear in the courts because she is not yet called to the Bar and unashamed that she is not welcome in The Bahamas given how she came here.  The rumours abound of her husband being fixed up with a job with the police.  But the Chief Justice Sir Michael was able to speak about justice in The Bahamas.  This is interesting indeed.  Prayer changes things.  The photo of the week is that of the public officials gathered in their robed finery at Christ Church Cathedral to pray for justice during the year to come.  You may click here for the full speech by Sir Michael Barnett Chief Justice.. BIS photo/Peter Ramsay


When 2nd May passes this year, it will be one year before an election will be held.  The time has gone quickly.  The Prime Minister is running out of time to call an election and he is running out of options.

Here is what they have decided in the FNM.  The boundaries have to be fixed in such a way that as many seats as possible are made marginal.  They decide this based on the results of the last election: this suggests that those who voted FNM or PLP last time will largely stick with their choices but the people who are new voters who have no loyalty will be easily influenced

The FNM has decided that 10 seats will be so tightly wound that they will be in a position to buy those seats.  They are now piling up their war chest so that the ten seats can be bought.  Here is an example of what they will try.  They will go to people, suspected of being PLP voters and say: “…Look, you don’t have to vote against your party, but you could go on a shopping spree in Miami all expenses paid.”  That was what was used in the Elizabeth bye-election to suppress the vote.

The PLP cannot compete with money.

When Perry Christie, the Leader of the PLP spoke at the Majority Rule day radio programme by Jeff Lloyd on Monday 10th January, he referred again to his view that 10th January 1967 was a time of the glory days of idealism in The Bahamas.  He said that money has now replaced that idealism and that is what the PLP will have to fight.  He pointed to George Smith who was able to win in Exuma in 1968 for the PLP against the odds of money arrayed against him.

George Smith wrote the Leader of his party a note saying that it was done before and it can be done again.  The view is that the PLP will never be able to fight the FNM on the money plane.  It requires an appeal to that same idealism: to say to our people there’s more than money in this game.  There is the quality of life issue and building a better Bahamas.

To be sure, money will remain the mother’s milk of politics.  We are not even talking about buying votes.  Logistics cost money: simply moving up and down this country is expensive.  So the PLP has to find some money to fight the election.  But it must also appeal to the larger purpose in our people: we are fighting to regain The Bahamas from the devil: he has had it for three times of out the last four times.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 15th January up to midnight: 154,449.

Number of hits for the month of January up to Saturday 15th January 2011 up to midnight: 331,456.

Number of hits for the year 2011 up to Saturday 15th January 2011 up to midnight: 331,456.

PLPs appearing on a Jeff Lloyd radio show about Majority Rule are shown at Party Headquarters in the Sir Lynden Pindling Centre at Gambier House: Photo Andrew J. Burrows



    This is Bahamas Race Weekend with the second annual Bahamas Marathon starting this time from the Western Esplanade on West Bay Street and going throughout New Providence.  The winner of the race was woman runner Simone Maissenbacher of Germany in a time of 3 hours and two minutes, three minutes off last year's pace.  Ms. Maissenbacher is pictured at the finish with Mrs. Sharon Wilson.  Congratulations to Franklyn Wilson the organiser of the race, pictured at right below with race supporters, including Golden Girl Pauline Davis Thompson.

Photos/ Winner: Edward Russell III; Group: Derek Smith

    The Progressive Liberal Party has called for the resignation of BTC Chair Julian Francis after accusations of conflict of interest.  Said the statement:
    “FNM special interests have yet again been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  Offences may have been committed under the Prevention of Bribery Act.  (Francis) has violated the FNM so called Code of Ethics.
    “The PLP calls for Julian Francis’ immediate resignation as Executive Chairman of the Board of BTC.
    “The October 2010 report of Providence Advisors Limited shows that as of September 30th 2010 the company had over $55 million of BTC’s Employment Retirement Pension Plan under their management.   Julian Francis is the Chairman of this Providence Advisors.
    “The PLP has seen no evidence of any bidding process nor has the PLP seen any evidence of any proper bidding process for this company to assume the management of over $55 Million of the employee pension fund.
    “As a result of this contract that Julian Francis awarded to himself, he positioned himself and Providence Advisors Limited to be paid in excess of $400,000 per annum for the past 3 years.  This is a total of $1,200,000 in fees that Julian Francis awarded to this company and from which Julian Francis benefited. The PLP calls upon Julian Francis to make public the entire process by which this Company of which he is Chairman got $1,200,000.00 of the BTC employees’ money.
    “The PLP reminds the public that during Julian Francis' Chairmanship of BTC, Cable and Wireless did not participate in the established bidding process to acquire shares of BTC.
    “Julian Francis is apparently exhibiting a pattern of behaviour whereby he directs or causes to be directed millions of dollars in business to himself and or companies in which he has an interest or over which he has control.
    “The PLP calls for Julian Francis’ immediate resignation and for the police to commence investigations into this pattern of behaviour and whether any offences have been committed under the Prevention of Bribery Act.”
    As this site went to upload Sunday afternoon, the PLP issued 'part 2' of its release on the BTC Chairman's conflict of interest"
    “Julian Francis has admitted that while he was Chairman of BTC, the company awarded a contract to Providence Advisors Limited, a company of which he was also Chairman. Providence Advisors Limited will have been paid large sums in fees of the Bahamian people’s money over 3 years. Julian Francis has also not denied that the contract awarded did not go out to tender as is required by the FNM declared policy.
    “Julian Francis has also admitted that he is a shareholder in a local entity called Mango. Julian Francis has not denied that while he was Chairman of BTC he instructed the Executive Management Team of BTC to meet the company called Mango with a view to utilizing their services in a Profit Sharing/Partnership Agreement with BTC.
    “Julian Francis has admitted that he is Chairman and a Shareholder of Mango. Julian Francis also did not deny that Mango had not participated in the bidding process, as is required by the FNM declared policy.
    “Julian Francis has been caught in a blatant conflict of interest, offences may have been committed under the Prevention of Bribery Act and Julian Francis has violated the FNM’s own Code of Ethics as is outlined in their seven (7) principles of public life on page 36 of 2007 FNM Manifesto.
    “Additionally, our sources have disclosed that Julian Francis has a business connection with Reuben Rahming, who heads the Public Transportation Association of The Bahamas (PTAB) and also runs a complementary advertising company called Bahamas Fleet Management Solutions (BFMS) which handles all of the BTC mobile ads on buses under contract and also have BTC listed as a client on their website.
    “PTAB also is the bus company who is linked with the mango card initiative. PTAB and BFMS we are advised have the monopoly with BTC’s BUS ads and related business. Was it the Acting President or the Executive Chairman who gave the instructions to BTC’s Marketing Vice President to issue an exclusive contract to Bahamas Fleet Management Solutions? How much monies have been paid by BTC to Bahamas Fleet Management Solutions from the commencement of the agreement to December 31st 2010?
    “The PLP supports the view of Editor of the Nassau Guardian which stated in its editorial on Friday 14th January, 2011, ‘…the public has a right to expect the same level of corporate governance that is applied to and required from the private sector should also obtain when it comes to managing the affairs of the Bahamian people.’
    “We also agree that the best course for Julian Francis is that he should resign from BTC.
    “Since Julian Francis cannot restrain himself from intermingling his personal affairs with those of BTC, the PLP calls for Julian Francis to be fired immediately.
    “This latest episode by Julian Francis is a continued pattern of corruption, breaches of the Code of Ethics, and possible breaches of the Prevention of Bribery Act by senior FNM political appointees.”

    The family in Bain Town was watching television, not really paying attention to the news.  The Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was on the TV running on about something on Wednesday 12th January.  It turns out that it was the Bahamas Outlook Seminar.  This is the conference that supposedly reviews the economy of the country and predicts what will happen over the next year.  It is a forum sponsored by The Counsellors Ltd, headed by Joan Albury.  While business leaders all have their say and civil society has their say, no one from the Opposition PLP is invited to say anything.  Their opinion does not matter, we suppose.
    But suddenly in the middle of the Prime Minister’s speech, the youngster comes to his dad and says: “Daddy the Prime Minister cursed on TV”.  What did he say?  Mr. Ingraham simply lost it.  No doubt under a lot of pressure from giving away the national patrimony in the sale of BTC, he attacked the owners of the Nassau guardian, two Bahamians Emanuel Alexiou and Anthony Ferguson because in his words they want to buy every damn thing.  Very good!  He should keep it up.
    Here is what he had to say in his own words:
    “We are absolutely satisfied that we will reduce cost to people, that we will provide opportunities for more Bahamians to own shares in BTC, not like the two owners of The Guardian who [are] beating the drum every day saying that they want to buy it.
    “They want to buy every damn thing.  The reality is we want broad-based ownership by the Bahamian public, and the Government of The Bahamas, a strategic partner with international muscle and capability, that's what we seek to do.”
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham with Central Bank Governor Wendy Craigg at Bahamas Business Outlook 2011 in this Nassau Guardian photo by Tony Grant Jr.

    The Prime Minister accused the Nassau Guardian’s owners of wanting to buy every damn thing at the Bahamas Outlook seminar on Wednesday 12th January.  Here is what the Nassau Guardian had to say in response:
    “We were of the view that this conference was established to promote business and investment in the country, so we find it surprising and, frankly, ironic, that the prime minister would use this platform to denigrate in one fell swoop both the concepts of a free market and freedom of the press characteristics which successive governments have touted as decisive advantages to The Bahamas as an investor-friendly jurisdiction.
    “Yet the prime minister scoffs at the wide and diverse ownership of the Bahamian shareholders of the publicly-held Nassau Guardian and its cadre of professional journalists, preferring to single out, as he put it, ‘the two who beat the drum’.
    “On the contrary, the newspaper is the oldest not only in The Bahamas but the Caribbean.  It owes this longevity to its journalistic independence and integrity.  The paper's editorial board sets overall policy guidelines consistent with its motto since 1844 to be at peace with all mankind but at war with their vices.'
    “The Guardian reports the news.  The matter of the sale of BTC to Cable & Wireless is of significant interest to all Bahamians.  It is incredible that the prime minister would attack The Guardian’s shareholders and summarily attribute the paper’s investigation of the transaction and its publication of the questions of the Bahamian people as part of some plot by the shareholders to seal their own deal.
    “The Guardian is part of a group of Bahamian-owned companies that employ more than 700 people, benefits more than 2,800 shareholders and contributes millions of dollars to the Bahamian economy.
    “Shareholders in the newspaper hold interests in a diverse group of financial services institutions, including a local investment firm which advised a consortium of New York Stock Exchange-listed telecommunications companies, including the world's largest, in a bid for BTC.
    “Is Mr. Ingraham suggesting that Bahamians be narrow in their ambition?  Or that Bahamian involvement in such a transaction and partnership with global telecommunications players is beyond the reach of the local businessman?  We were not aware of any limits on success for any Bahamian either in business or politics
    “Many would believe that the ability for Bahamians to sit at the table with global players and to be heads of companies themselves is a realization of what is possible in The Bahamas.  The country should celebrate this ambition. Mr. Ingraham, however, dismisses it as uppity Bahamians who just want to ‘buy every damn thing'.
    “What is painfully obvious is that there is no clear policy or philosophy directing the divesture of large-scale Bahamian assets.  The shareholders of the paper cannot make the issue go away just because it has become an irritation to the prime minister.
    “Belittling the Bahamian success story in the press and crying foul when newspapers apply their democratic freedoms are attempts at diversion and misdirection tactics upon which magicians, and now it seems politicians, must rely.”

    Here is what we assume Bran McCartney is up to.  He is building up the courage to stick Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister and leader of his party in the eye.  By degrees, he is turning up the heat.  The idea is to provoke Hubert Ingraham to do something silly and it is almost certain that he will.  His behavior is predictable.  Viz: the report that he attacked the owners of the Nassau Guardian for wanting to buy every damn thing at the Business Outlook seminar on Wednesday 12th January.  Bran McCartney, the FNM MP for Bamboo Town showed up on 10th January at the rally called by the Trade Unions to attack the sale of BTC, the telephone company, and he told the press that he is not sure that he is going to vote for its sale.  Here is what he told The Tribune’s Paul Turnquest in his own words:
    “By being out there, I won't say I'm with the union.  But I can't make a determination unless I have all of the facts.  I don't have all of the facts.  I'm not going to say I am going to vote for something I don't know all the facts about.
    “I would like for the government to be right in this issue; but I will not be going blindly and say my vote is predetermined.  Of course not!  My vote will be based on what is good for the Bahamian people and the good of this country.  Yes, party is important, but The Bahamas and Bahamian's welfare comes first.
    “I went out there as a representative of Bamboo Town.  I went out there with persons who are for the union, and I went out there with persons who are for the government.  And I meant to do that you know, because I will be talking with my constituents on this matter.  I did not go out there in support of the union.  I went out there to get information.
    “Don't be fool now, other MPs were out there now.  They were in their car.  From senior MPs, senior members of the government were there.  But I went out amongst the people.  I wanted to hear it for myself.
    “But this being dangerous for me politically, that did not cross my mind.  If that is dangerous for me politically, are you telling me that persons in my party would be very vindictive?
    “Are you saying that they would, as I heard, 'chap my head off' like I hear constantly?  I would hate to believe that we have such a leader that would take such an approach.  But if we do, then so be it.
    “I do understand party politics.  But that should not be paramount to the best interest of the Bahamian people and our country.”
Photo: Andrew J. Burrows


    On Tuesday 11th January, the Nassau Guardian carried a startling headline that Tommy Turnquest, the Minister of National Security claimed that the trade unions are a threat to national security.  He claimed that the security forces were on alert with regard to the BTC sale to ensure that the country is secure.  It was simply a stupid thing to say.
    The PLP issued a statement in response to the statement by the Minister:
    “It is apparently not bad enough for the Minister of National Security to be unable to cope with the rising tide of crime which threatens to drown him and the reputation of the government of which he is a part.  Now the Minister has become so desperate as to have to invent enemies.  According to Mr. Turnquest, the latest enemies of the state are the trade unions  because they dare to oppose the will of the Free National Movement in seeking to sell BTC and with it a sacred part of the national patrimony.
     “The PLP strongly deplores the characterization of the trade unions in this country as a security threat.  Indeed, we would not be surprised if this is not all political theatre in a desperate attempt to win favour with the public for the bad sweetheart deal which the FNM now proposes with regard to BTC.
     “Mr. Turnquest ought to hang his head in shame for demonizing legitimate citizens of this country for exercising their free will in a democratic society. He would be well advised to go out and find real crime and real criminals to fight and  bring to Justice as opposed to making up enemies and chasing after ghosts.  The evidence is there of real criminals: last year 95 people lost their lives because of murder.  This year so far three have already lost their lives but instead of fighting that crime, the Minister is seeking to both demonize and make criminals out of trade unionists.  His comments ae typical FNM diversionary tactics. These tactics are designed by the Minister to hide his abject and shameful failure to fight crime in our country.
     “The Minister's statement was silly and irresponsible.”
    Bernard Evans, who is the President of the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) representing the line staff at BTC, responded the next day in The Tribune.  Here is what he said in his own words:
    “I would hope that the Government is not using the armed forces to use its advantage against law-abiding Bahamians who have their right to be in opposition and the right to the process.  What kind of government are they heading towards, a tyrannical one?
    “The only threat here is the Government insisting in going ahead with the sale to Cable & Wireless, a fledgling company that Bloomberg reports is eying BTC to prop up its ailing business.  This is the real threat to the Bahamian people.  The Government insisting in going with Cable & Wireless to the detriment of a public entity that has been a benefit and an asset to the Bahamas for over 50 years.
    “We know they are spying, so maybe we are saying some things and we taking him (Mr. Turnquest) for a ride.  We know they listening, maybe we are saying some things intentionally.
    “If the Bahamian people are against this (sale), not only us but the majority of the people, why would they run the risk of a threat?  What you promise these guys at Cable & Wireless to the detriment of your own people?  Why, if the majority of your own people don't want it?
    “It's good when you can make these decisions but when the majority of people get wind of certain things and don't want it they should say 'Hold on' and do what's best for the country.  We are not children, we read, we get information, it's not primary school.  We know we elected them but we elected them to do right by us.
    “He (Mr. Turnquest) may as have well have saved his breath and his words.  We are going to take this all the way to the end.”
Photo of Bernard Evans: Andrew J. Burrows


    Darron B. Cash now works for himself so he has no restraint on his tongue.  He hardly had one before.  He was an arch critic of the PLP’s regime under Lynden Pindling and frequently criticized the Ingraham administration in the 1997 to 2002 period.  Now he is at it again while serving as the Chairman of the Development Bank for the FNM and one of their Vice Chairs.  He wrote in the Nassau Guardian on 10th January that he opposes the sale of BTC as announced by the Prime Minister.  You can read the full article here.


    Majority Rule day was celebrated throughout The Bahamas on 10th January.  This was the day when the people of African descent became the masters of their fate, the most important day in that calendar since the emancipation of slavery in 1834.  We showed the celebrations in Nassau last week.  This week the photos from Grand Bahama where PLP Deputy Leader Philip Davis was the keynote speaker and Arthur Hanna, the former Governor General and  a survivor of the 1967 Cabinet of the PLP were featured speakers.  The photos by Andrew J. Burrows are from Allison Smith’s Facebook page.



    They say that Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister, passed secretly by himself to check it out.  The police said there were only 500 people there and the FNMs on Facebook pronounced the rally a failure.  The fact is there were 2000 people there.  What the police should do in future is simply stand up and count those who were there.
    Branville McCartney, the FNM MP was there.  This was a rally called by the trade unions on 10th January at the R.M. Bailey Park to stop the sale by the government of BTC, the phone company.  But Mr. Ingraham is going full steam ahead.  He told his buddies in Grand Bahama that it is a done deal and there is no turning back and that he is going to drop it on the PLPs for fooling with him over BTC.  The only one he will drop it on is himself.  His behaviour is becoming increasingly bizarre.  The photos by Andrew J. Burrows are from the Facebook page of former GM of BTC Leon Williams.


    Chief Justice Michael Barnett has announced that Roy Jones is to come back to The Bahamas to take up a position as a Supreme Court Justice.  Mr. Jones is married to a Bahamian, a former Hollingsworth, whom he met while serving as a Magistrate in Grand Bahama.  He is an Acting Court of Appeal Judge today in Jamaica.  Mr. Barnett also announced that he hopes to bring the new rules of the Supreme Court into force later this year.  He announced several administrative changes, including making Senior Justice Jon Isaacs responsible for the co-ordination of the crime side of the bench.  One supposes that will stop him hearing judicial review applications.  You may click here for the Chief Justice’s full statement.
    The service opened the legal year on Wednesday 12th January at the Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau.
Photos/Peter Ramsay


    We present more photos from last week’s Red Mass celebrated by the Catholic Church on Sunday 9th January.  The mass was celebrated by Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder.  The Roman Catholics do the service every year to offer prayers for justice in our country and the judges and lawyers attend.

Photos/Peter Ramsay


    If you read the story above, you will find that our theory is that Branville McCartney, the FNM MP for Bamboo Town is working up the political courage to stick the FNM’s leader Hubert Ingraham in the eye.  He showed up openly at the meeting of the trade unions who oppose the sale of BTC, the telephone company, on R.M. Bailey Park on Monday 10th January.  Now from his Facebook page photos of his high profile tour last week of the Haitian Shanty Town in his area, with the press in tow.  Keep it up.  The shanty towns or ‘Haitian Villages’ are in the news because of a disastrous fire which took place in the Carmichael area two weeks ago leaving hundreds of illegal Haitian squatters without homes.

    The matter of the fate of Sheila Scavella, the principal of the Walter Parker Primary School in Freeport is in the news.  You will remember that a dispute broke out last year in Freeport when teachers protested the transfer of the head teacher to their school Walter Parker Primary because of a previous history of confrontation and mismanagement at other schools.  This brought a visit by Fred Mitchell MP and Alfred Sears MP from Nassau.  Mr. Mitchell is the Opposition spokesman on the Public Service and Mr. Sears on Education.  They warned the Minister of Education Desmond Bannister that there were problems brewing.  Instead of heeding the warning, the Minister dug in his heels and resorted to seeking to sully the name of the Superintendent of the Primary Schools Sandra Edgecombe by transferring the superintendence of the school to the superintendent for senior schools.
    Now word leaked out last week that Ms. Scavella has been rewarded with an award to pursue her doctoral thesis abroad.  She has been replaced by Angela Burrows, the Acting Principal at Walter Parker Primary School, who walked into the school and found an absolute mess.
    Minister of Education Desmond Bannister continues to dig in his heels on the matter and started making personal attacks on Fred Mitchell saying while Mr. Mitchell was Minister he took care of his boys and that he left the Ministry under the cloud of a visa scandal.  Mr. Bannister says he intends to deal with the matter fully in Parliament.  We wait with bated breath and hope that Mr. Bannister is ready indeed.  We believe there will be a hot time in the House of Assembly that day.
    You may click here for two statements issued by Mr. Mitchell on the matter last week.  Alfred Sears is away on leave.


    Bahamas Telecommunications Executive Marlon Johnson has announced BTC’s Starmaker 2 with prizes for talent of one thousand dollars to the winner.  The announcement was made on its Facebook page and to the press.  Details are available on the Facebook page for BTC.

    The President of The Grand Bahama Chamber President Peter Turnquest  spoke at the Bahamas  Business Outlook seminar on Wednesday 12th January.  The Nassau Guardian published this from what he had to say in his own words:
    “Diversity of the Bahamian economy has been the topic of conversation for most of my professional life, with various opinions on what constitutes diversification and whether we have achieved that, are on a path to achieve that, or have even recognized or understood the concept in the first place. For my part, unfortunately I believe we are stuck in the latter mode, having not yet understood what diversification of an economy in our context means, or should mean, and how or why we should seek to achieve it.
    “In my opinion, there can be no true diversification of the economy until we have established or encouraged a more diverse and broad spectrum of ownership of the economy by Bahamians in the first instance. By that I mean, tangible ownership of the major revenue producing elements of the institutions that make up the GDP of the country; not by a few old wealthy family names and a few post-independence groupings, but by a broad spectrum of Bahamians from differing backgrounds and from various settlements and islands throughout our country.
    “I believe the current mood of the country today reflects this position as various debates rage on with sympathetic ear, not because of any particular percentage ownership issue but because there is a general feeling and burning desire for ownership in this country, which seems to be moving further and further away. Such ownership stakes that will help to create real diversity in this economy, concentrate wealth in the hands of many private citizens and not predominantly in the hands of government as presently structured, which has resulted in entirely too much power being placed into the hands of a few to rule over rather than govern the majority, to decide who will succeed or fail, who will receive public support and who will not. The tangible result of our current situation is lack of creativity, motivation or innovation, political interference and increasing taxation to support extremely outdated models.”


    The Annual police service took place at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday 9th January.  The service was led by Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd.  Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade led his men and women to the church and they were joined by the other service chiefs from the Defence Force, Customs and Immigration and the Prison.
    Brent Symonette who was acting for the Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest announced an additional 8.5 million dollars of assistance to the police to fight crime.  A day late and a dollar short!
    Also at the service were South Andros PLP MP Picewell Forbes, Fox Hill PLP MP Fred Mitchell and Senator Michael Halkitis PLP.  Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett is in the foreground.
BIS Photos/Peter Ramsay

The Origin of Bahamian Political Parties - Forrester Carroll...
    As we approach, what is sometimes called, “the silly season,” and having just celebrated one of the two or three greatest events in our country’s history (“Majority Rule Day”), I feel it important to educate the “Bahamian Baby Boomers” on the origin of organized political parties in the country; how they begun and the reason or reasons for which they were formed.

There was a time; in our land-in case you didn’t know it-when there were no formalized political groupings. What we had, as our Legislature, was a mercantile group of individuals who were throw over’s, in my view, from the era of piracy and many of whom were no doubt, actual, descendants of Pirates although I don’t make that claim here and now as ultra factual. These few families, (later known as the infamous “Bay Street Boys”) inherited the iron control of the country’s resources and by that I mean both human and financial.

The Bay Street Boys claimed the public’s purse as their very own and did as they, bloody well pleased with the country’s resources. They had no regard for the well being of the 85% black population, neither did they care about the well being of the 10% white Bahamians who they considered as being an underclass group who had no influence, financial or otherwise, in the country. They cared very little for any one, black or white, who were not in their elitist group.  They managed a Colony (at the time) where the 95%, poor, needy and oppressed, danced to their drumbeat; did what they were told and who enjoyed none of the benefits of belonging.  They governed at a time when blacks and poor whites were not permitted to remain in school after the age of fourteen (14) years while they created, what I would term as, a privileged schooling system for their kids to an age when they determined that they would send them, out of the country, off to an elitist boarding school somewhere in the British Isles and or Europe. They governed at a time when there was no “one man; one vote” rule and when women (black or white) couldn’t vote at all. That period was when one could only vote if one could prove one’s ownership of property in the Colony.  It should be noted, as well, that one could only cast that vote in the area (constituency) of one’s property location. Needless to say, most of the black males would have been eliminated from participation in those elections.  This was also the time when those men with property, all over the Colony of the Bahamas, could vote multiply times, all over the Colony, meaning that if they owned land, and could prove it,  in ten of the Islands in the Colony then they could fly to all ten of those Islands, on election day, and vote.

These were the days when sponging was a main industry and fishermen and sponger men worked their backsides off for the little they were given, at the end of the seasons, for their catches. Usually one of the mercantile bastards, who had the exclusive for supply of groceries and other provisions, would advance the seamen their supplies for their fishing and or sponging trips on credit. When their sponges and other catches were sold to one of the other bastards, the cost of the supplies, advanced to them on credit, would be deducted and the little (if any) that was left would be their take home amount.  I should tell you, as well, that in most cases the Bay Street Bastards were the ones keeping the only records of what was owed, as well the tally of the catches, and they were the ones who determined what they would pay the fishermen. Formal slavery was abolished but the Bay Street Boys(lest we forget, Brent Symonette is one of the living inheritors of the proceeds of the blood, sweat and tears of those whose labour was worth only what his forbears felt like giving them on any given day) had a way of getting around the terms and conditions of the abolishment.

The constituencies were represented by individual “independents” who, as a rule, fixed the outcome of elections, which were fought primarily between rivals from among the 5% “Bay Street Boys” Elitist.  The spoils went to the one who could influence, with bribery, the electorate more impressively, and that’s the way it was prior to 1967.

In August of 1953 a group of white citizens, primarily, from among the ordinary underclass folk, who had no influence (financially or otherwise) with the infamous Bay Street mercantile group, decided that they had had enough of the crap and that they would begin to do something about the subtle slavery practiced in the Colony. The group, lead by Mr. William Cartwright, began to organize and to shorten a long story, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was eventually birthed with Sir Henry Milton, a Clarence town Longer Islander, being elected as its first leader. He was later replaced by Lynden Oscar Pindling (later Sir Lynden) and the rest is history. The struggles of the PLP, on its journey from 1953 to 1967, were many and varied; too many to be recalled here in this four page article. The tossing of the Mace and Hour Glass from the window of the parliament building onto Bay Street; the uphill battles for majority rule and one man-one vote; internal self-government and the female vote, among many other issues, are all well documented in the annals of Bahamian History, written or otherwise. It is sufficient to tell you-and you will have to trust me on this-that when the apostle Paul talked about the “Fiery Trials” which would come to test us, and that we should prepare ourselves for them; the PLP certainly  learned well what the apostle was talking about.

The fight for the Bahamian soul was on and the PLP quickly  realized that “The Bay Street Boys,” who held the reins of almighty power and might, politically and financially, for several hundred years, were not about to just lay down; play dead and give it up, so easily, to a bunch of poor, oppressed and needy former slaves. The stories-if you would take the time to hear and learn about them-would make the strands of your hair stand upright.

Sometime after the formation of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) the “Bay Street Gang” formed themselves into a political unit, as well, calling it the “United Bahamian Party.” The contest then began in earnest for the very soul of the Bahamian people. In 1967, however, the PLP won a very narrow victory, facilitated by Sir Randol Fawkes, who won his seat representing Labour and Sir Alvin Braynen an Independent candidate. These two gentlemen threw their lot in with the PLP, whose winnings tied with that of the UBP; each winning 18 seats. In my view Sir Randol Fawkes and Sir Alvin Braynen were the real revolutionaries. They refused huge sums of potential bribe money, from Stafford Sands and his “Bay Street Boys Gang,” to stand with the PLP thus ushering in the first coalition government in the country and, finally, “a government of the people; by the people and for the people.” Motivated by circumstances the PLP was obliged, in 1968, to dissolve parliament and schedule another general election, which they won handily.

The new government inherited a Bahamas, as I said before, which was a dependent Colony of Great Britain; which was steeped in corruption and where 90% of the population was marginalized, to say the least; a population, for the most part, that was illiterate. I detailed, above, some aspects of the Colony during those years before majority rule came in 1967. The racist powers (including Brent Symonette’s family) were content to govern and rule a Bahamas that would remain a faithful “dependent territory” of Great Britain; one where they could keep the 90% population, illiterate; subservient; poor; dumb; uneducated; suppressed; beholding to them (for the stale lard; grits full of weasels; “O.K” flour and all the outdated handouts with which they bought their election victories) and enslaved. Yes they were quite content with just the way it was, back then, but the PLP wanted release of potential for our people. They wanted all human rights, justice, equality, the freedom to pursue dreams; respect for human dignity; a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and a wide range of educational opportunities. The PLP wanted all these and more for our citizens. If the Progressive Liberal Party were to be blamed for anything it would have been for wanting too much, too soon for the 90% deprived.

The subsequent years, of PLP governance, brought changes that we could only dream of, prior to 1967, if in fact we knew what to dream for. The PLP believed that advancement for our citizens would only come by way of a good education system and so they embarked on a vigorous effort of laying the foundation for such a system. What we had prior to 1967 was absolutely an excuse. The Bay Street Boys’ government made it quite clear that it was their desire to keep-quote; unquote-“The Niggers” dumb, uneducated and stupid. The PLP’s attitude was quite the opposite and today we can see the positive results, all around the country, the results of that policy. Sadly, thousands who have benefited from the ascendancy to governance, of the PLP, today fail to give it credit for its policies; I wish to thank them for caring.

In signing off I wish to pause and pay tribute to those great warriors, whose blood sweat and tears, built the foundations on which this modern Bahamas stands. Those initiating the process were: William Cartwright; Charles Rodriguez; Henry Milton Taylor; Cyril St. John Stevenson; Samuel Carey; Holly Brown; Clement Pinder; F.W Russell and those who continued the fight to complete the journey, through the parliamentary process, were  Lynden Pindling; Preston Albury; Clarence Bain; Milo Butler; Clifford Darling; Elwood Donaldson; Arthur Hanna; Arthur Foulkes; Carlton Francis; Warren Levarity; Curtis McMillan; Uriah McPhee; Maurice Moore; Edmund Moxey; Jimmy Shepherd; George Thompson; Jeffery Thompson; Cecil Wallace-Whitfield and many others who were behind the scenes. I salute them and thank them all for deciding that enough was enough. I thank them for rescuing this nation of suffering people from the iron control of those Bay Street tyrant slave masters.

Forrester J. Carroll J.P.
Freeport, Grand Bahama


Delroy Meadows responds to Ingraham on buying very damn thing:

The Mental Oppression That We Must Overcome
    In the summer of 2006, a man by the name of Frederic Rouzaud who’s the managing director of the company that produces Cristal champagne made some comments during an interview with the Economist magazine where he was asked if the then association of their product with rappers in the hip-hop industry would be detrimental to their business.
    Rouzaud replied by saying: "We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business".
    These comments by Rouzaud were viewed as being racist and immediately triggered a boycott on Cristal champagne. The boycott which was led by Rap Industry leaders like Jay-Z who in return pulled the product from the shelves in all of his bars and clubs in New York.

“They want to buy every damn thing”
    The above comments were made by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham during an event which core purpose is the advancement and establishment of Bahamian businesses in this country. His comments were directed at a group of Bahamian business owners who were showing heavy interest in the purchase of BTC.
    However innocent the intention may have been the Prime Minister’s underlying belief as to what Bahamians are deserving of shone through like the sun on that day. Like Rouzaud, the idea or fear that the quality of one’s product would be hindered if it is associated with those deemed of a lower class is nothing new in the Bahamas. Our entire history has been based on the struggle of our people to have equal access and opportunity to everything within our nation. As you can see from the comments of the chief of those who should be carrying on the struggle—we have a long way to go.
    It should be a celebration that after 37 years of independence a Bahamian owned company can “beat the drum” and “want to buy every damn thing”.  I say we deserve it!

Class Segregation
    It seems as if the lines are drawn only when an interest is made within an area that has been set aside for the Extra Elite. I say this because today even the elite among us seems to have been placed on hold and create uproar by the Prime Minister himself at the audacity of their ambition. Even their money and all their achievements are not sufficient to merit as much as an interest in what has been reserved for others.
    What then can a man do if he lives in an environment where even his greatest accomplishments are not enough to qualify him for more?  Even if he tries to gain more and stretch further he is then labeled as greedy—wanting “every damn thing”.  What then may I ask is the view of the small man if not even the elite of his own class can go beyond the limitations that oppression has fixed on his society?

Who Has Everything?
    It is our God given right to have dominion and rule over the earth which He has given to us. We are commanded to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth. There is nothing wrong with the desire to want it all as long as it is good. Every man should have this desire to go beyond their expectations and remove the illusion of limitations that were placed upon us by other men.
    The evil in wanting everything and true greed forms when a man oppresses another from exercising his right to launch for a common goal.
    There are many in this country that has “everything”. There are those who were born with “everything” and still gaining more even today without interference or comment. I say this sarcastically as the truth of the matter is that it is impossible to have everything. Man has the ability to create more and over where once existed nothing so the idea of everything goes as far as one deems satisfied.

The Byproduct of Oppression
    I believe that if a man is grown in an environment of lack, where resources are limited and there are many in need, even when he is taken from that place, if he does not renew his mind his view of the world would be the same—A limited place where we have what we have and that’s all that we have.
    The truth is that we have the ability to do more than we could ever dream possible. I refuse to have any leader tell me that I cannot go beyond this invisible line drawn to separate us from all that is within our reach.
    Our children are look to leaders as a guide or an example of what is possible for them. The more people who look like us are seen to own more within our country will in turn remove the stigma of lack among our people.
    We should view this comment by the Prime Minister as an indicator that the wealth in this nation is shifting and that those of us who have it should not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let us take the initiative to create markets that are open to all of our people. If our money can’t buy it then let us create it.
    Oppression can only be cured by its opposite which is Freedom. The freedom to go into every area we choose for the advancement of ourselves, the betterment of our children and the full prosperity of our nation.
Delroy Meadows
January 15, 2011


Yamacraw Majority Rule Meeting

On Monday, January 10th, 2011, Melanie Griffin MP and the Yamacraw Branch of the Progressive Liberal Party commemorated the 44th Anniversary of Majority Rule at its monthly meeting by holding a  panel discussion on the topic, “Majority Rule:  Where to From Here?  Please click here for the report and more photographs.

Congrats Lauren Bodie

Congratulations to Lauren Bodie, daughter of Nicole Roberts and granddaughter of Mr.& Mrs. Bradley B Roberts, for being chosen out of hundreds of hopefuls to be in a photo ad campaign for a major clothing store with stores across Britain.  Lauren is studying Math and Financial Math at the University of Kent in England.

Malaria In Harbour Island
There has been no formal or official report but we have it on some assurance that a Haitian national was diagnosed with a case of malaria in Harbour Island last week.  If this is so, the Ministry of Health must answer and answer quickly.

US To Ease Travel Restrictions To Cuba
Bit by bit the silly US Embargo on Cuba seems to be crumbling.  The US President has now indicated that in three weeks there will be a further relaxation of travel restrictions on US citizens going to Cuba.  One of the ironies of the situation is that while the US says they have no relations with Cuba, their interest section in Cuba is larger than any embassy there.  You go figure.  The link to the BBC story:

Anglican Diocese Celebrates
A mass of celebration to mark the establishment of the Diocese of Nassau and The Bahamas will be held on Monday 17th January at the Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau at 7 p.m.  Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd will celebrate the mass.  The diocese was formed out of the diocese of Jamaica in 1861 and the town of Nassau elevated to a city.

Trade Unions File A Writ On BTC
Maurice Glinton, the Freeport based attorney, has filed a writ against the government, which seeks to block the sale of BTC, the telephone company and its assets.  The writ was filed on behalf of the trade unions at BTC on 11th January in the Supreme Court.  Read last week’s letter by Rawle Maynard, which explains the rationale behind the suit.

Perry Gomez Out As AIDS Director?
Word has been circulating for some time that Dr. Perry Gomez who founded the AIDS/HIV programme in The Bahamas is out as its director.  People say he has been fired.  Having checked the matter, we understand that Dr. Gomez reaches the mandatory retirement age of 65 shortly and the public service has given him the notice that he must exhaust his vacation leave before he retires and so was given one day’s notice to take leave and proceed to retire.  It is not the intention of the government to extend his tenure in office.  If this is so, The Bahamas will lose a valuable fighter in the fight against this dread disease.  An appeal to the Minister of Health has so far fallen on deaf ears.  Dr Gomez has ignored the directive even though the government went so far as to give someone else his office.

Tax Windfall From BORCO Sale
Hubert Ingraham is licking his chops because all he sees now is dollar signs that can help in winning re-election to office.  The sale of BORCO, the oil company in Freeport, is promising to bring in a tax windfall of 70 million dollars to the government and he expects that selling the BTC assets will bring in 210 million dollars.  Look to him to load up the next annual budget with goodies as the FNM tries to buy the electorate in 2007 as it did in 1997.

Is The Bahamas Ambassador Ever In China?

Take a look at the picture at the Christ Church Cathedral for the start of the legal year.  Look past the Attorney General John Delaney, the one in the long wig and look just before PLP MP for Fox Hill Fred Mitchell two rows behind him.  In between is Elma Campbell Chase.  She is our ambassador to China.  The question inquiring minds want to know is whether or not she is ever in China.  It appears that every time we look around our Ambassador, who is supposed to be resident in China is actually in Nassau.  What gives here?

The Chief Justice Is A Grandfather
On the eve of the opening of the legal year, Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett became a grandfather for the first time.  His daughter and her husband who were married last year are now the parents of a brand new baby girl born on 11th January 2011.  Congratulations, sir!

The Chinese Are Coming Say The Americans
The Wikileaks documents on The Bahamas now number seven.  The latest came out on Friday 14th January in the Bahamian press.  They show American diplomats writing home to express their worries about the Chinese economic presence in The Bahamas.  Much ado about nothing, really.  All the press led with it.  Former Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell told the press in answer to their queries about the report that said a Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy was pressing about the details of a trip the government made to China when he was Minister in 2004 and he reported that The Bahamas was being deliberately ambiguous, the following: “…it was not uncommon for the US officials to request information about trips overseas, The Bahamas is not mandated to brief them.
“The US has a very aggressive diplomacy.  They, and every country, wants to know what the other country is doing in its diplomatic missions, to find out what another country is thinking, what its plans are.
“The Bahamas is a very transparent country but we are under no obligation to tell them (anything).  So I’m not sure what the bit about ‘ambiguity’ means, certainly Ms. Rodgers was under no obligation to (disclose anything to the US)”.  Mr. Mitchell added that there was nothing sinister about the Chinese presence here.  China published a paper last year, which said that they are in this region for the raw materials in Latin America and the support of the Caribbean for their one China policy at the United Nations.

Sarah Palin A Bigger Twit Than We Thought
Every time, we think that Sarah Palin, the former Vice Presidential candidate for the US Republican Party, has gone over the top, she does something, which shows she is a bigger twit than we thought.  She claims that those who accused her of helping to foment the climate of violence that caused the shooting of a US Congresswoman and the death of six others by a nut case were in fact guilty of a blood libel.  This brought the wrath of the Jewish community against her given the reference ‘blood libel’ the term in the old days by Christians to refer to a lie told about Jews sacrificing their children.  A twit is a twit, and even when she uses twitter.  She made the comment on 12th January.

Service For Earthquake Victims
Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill and the Opposition’s spokesman on Foreign Affairs along with Picewell Forbes, MP for South Andros attended the service in commemoration of the victims of the Haitian earthquake, which took place on 12th January 2010 and killed some quarter of a million people.  The service took place in Nassau at St. Francis Xavier’s, the Roman Catholic Cathedral.  Monsignor Preston Moss and several clergy concelebrated the mass.  The mass was convened by Antonio Rodrigue, the Haitian Ambassador.  The Ambassadors of China and Brazil also attended the service.

Judge Rules In Cheryl Grant Bethel Case
Justice Jon Isaacs has acceded to the request of the Attorney General John Delaney to relieve him of having to fight the allegations against him in his personal capacity for damages alleged by Cheryl Grant Bethell in her case of judicial review on her not being properly considered for the post of Director of Public Prosecutions.  The Judge said that he would not strike out the action altogether as the lawyer for Mr. Delaney wanted him to, but he would order that the proceedings be severed from the judicial review action and proceed as if by writ.  This means that the action becomes a separate action in the courts.  You may click here for the full ruling of Justice Isaacs.  The Judicial Review application continues.

New Board Of Bank Of The Bahamas
The Bank of The Bahamas has some new directors.  They replace outgoing directors Robert Sands of Bahamar, Marvin Bethel of J.S. Johnson and Patrick Ward of Bahamas First Insurance Company.  The new directors who are in for three years are  Khaalis Rolle of the Chamber of Commerce, Craig Gomez of Baker Tilly Gomez and Algernon Cargill of the National Insurance Board.  Congratulations.

Obama Outdoes Himself At Memorial Service
The speech by US President Barrack Obama on Thursday 13th January was an excellent one on the occasion of the memorial for the victims of the shooting by the nut case in Tucson, Arizona that led to the maiming of a US Congresswoman.  Mr. Obama, speaking at the University of Arizona, seemed to hit the right chords when he called for a return to civility in the discourse of his country.  Not to be outdone, the US national twit Sarah Palin former US Republican Vice Presidential candidate called those who accused her of being uncivil and contributing to the atmosphere of violence in US politics as being guilty of a blood libel.  That went over like a wet blanket.

Barry Griffin Head of Law Body At University of London

Barry Griffin, one of the up and coming of the next generation of Bahamian lawyers, is finding success at University.  He has been elected to head the student law body at his University in London.  Mr. Griffin is shown in this photo at the dinner with Lord Neuberger who is the Master of the Rolls in the UK.  That is the name of the Judge who heads the United Kingdom’s Court of Appeal.  Lord Neuberger is a former Privy Council judge and has visited The Bahamas in that capacity.  Congratulations to Mr. Griffin.

New Chief Of Protocol?
Without any fanfare or announcement, it appears that the government has replaced the Chief of Protocol Melvin Seymour after barely a year in office.  His replacement is Eulease Delancy who was until recently an Under Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

New Secretary To The GG
It appears that Melvin Seymour after barely a year as Chief of Protocol has been assigned to Government House as the Secretary to the Governor General.  He replaces Diana Lightbourne.  Ms. Lightbourne is now said to have been moved to the Ministry of Environment as Under Secretary.

Miami Consul General Leaving Office
Word is that Gladys Johnson Sands is now back in The Bahamas without a post.  Mrs. Sands until recently served as the Consul General in Miami for The Bahamas.  No word on who is to get the post or why she was moved or if she is to get another post.

Bacon To Flee The Bahamas?
Louis Bacon, the rich man involved in the dispute with another rich man - although, apparently, a little less rich - Peter Nygard, threatened this site with law suit if we did not pull an article posted on this site about him from the Mail of London.  We complied.  He has not been feeling comfortable in The Bahamas of late says the Lyford Cay crowd and has apparently decided that he is going to leave The Bahamas.  Friends say his wife is not feeling safe here and believes that this fight with Mr. Nygard and the adverse publicity will get worse.  Mr. Bacon has reportedly put his home up for sale in Lyford Cay for thirty five million dollars.

Arnold Cargill Buried

He was the same age as Sir Lynden O. Pindling, if the latter had survived to the year 2011.  He would have been 81.  In the times when the PLP was the PLP and Lynden Pindling was the man, Arnold Cargill was his man.  At Party conventions, he was fond of saying “The word is down” to announce who then Prime Minister Pindling was supporting for Chairman of the Party.  Those were the days now described by Perry Christie, the PLP’s leader as the glory days of idealism in the PLP.  As time went on, they (Arnold Cargill and Sir Lynden) had a falling out and in the end, we are not quite sure whether he was PLP or FNM given his closeness to Hubert Ingraham, the new Prime Minister.  But having helped to give Hubert Ingraham (Prime Minister) and Perry Christie (PLP Leader) and Philip Brave Davis (Deputy Leader PLP) their start as lawyers by giving them his then considerable business from the contracting world, they were all there to pay tribute at his funeral on Saturday 15th January.
Photo/Peter Ramsay

Charles Donaldson Dies
Charles Donaldson, the older brother of former Central Bank Chair, Ambassador, Senator T. Baswell Donaldson and musician Dennis ‘Froggy’ Donaldson, passed away 14th November at the home of his daughter in New Jersey.  He was a dual national, having served as a naval officer in the Second World War for the United States.  He served The Bahamas as its Registrar of Insurance.  He was 85 years old when he died.  The service took place on 15 January at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk, Nassau.

Happy Anniversary Jan and Derek Davis

Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill attended a party to mark the Christmas season at the home of Janet and Derek Davis, a well-known business couple in the Fox Hill area and friends of the MP.  During the season, they celebrated their wedding anniversary and Mr. Davis’ birthday.  Mr. Mitchell is shown with Mrs. Davis at the anniversary party in this photo by Kevin Williams.

23rdJanuary, 2011
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150 YEARS: The city of Nassau became a city in 1861 when the Church of England was issued letters patent on 4th November of that year, which created the Diocese of Nassau with the parish of Christ Church as the seat of the new diocese.  Thus, said the Anglican Bishop of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands Laish Boyd, the city of Nassau and the history of the Anglican Church are intertwined.  He was speaking on Monday 17th January at the concelebrated mass to mark the event.  A few years later, the Methodists were in charge of the House of Assembly and they had had enough of paying priests from the public payroll.  The result was the disestablishment of the Church of England in The Bahamas and the Church was then fully on its own and had to fend for itself.  Today, the Church is just that, self-sustaining, with over 96 congregations in the country and in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  The Bishop said where congregations cannot afford to keep a priest the diocese provides one.  He added that education has been one of the great contributions made by the Church to the development of the country.  In the Church were children from the diocesan schools St. Anne’s, St. John’s, Bishop Michael Eldon in Grand Bahama and St. Andrew’s in Exuma.  Our photo of the week is the Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes and other civic leaders attending the service on Monday 17th January to mark the beginning of celebrations for 150 years of the Anglican diocese.  BIS photo/Peter Ramsay (more photos below)


Peter Gilcud, the former athlete and now businessman, says it as a joke but it has a serious message.  He claims that the price of what men look for in the Over The Hill area of New Providence after they have finished working has risen because of the high demand from Chinese workers in the country.  He asks the question: what will happen when 8,000 Chinese come to town, all male and what do they do when the sun goes down?

The conventional wisdom is that the Chinese are so disciplined that they will work 24 hours a day and when they are not working they will be sleeping.  But people will tell you that is conventional bunk because today, you can see Chinese workers up and down the streets over the hill looking for what they did not put down in the afterhours.  It’s only natural.

The Prime Minister admitted that there would be no way for him to stop all Chinese men who come here as workers from staying here after the project is finished.  What happens if they marry a Bahamian woman?   The issue of mixed ancestry for a new generation of Bahamians is a real possibility.

The country is just now in a mild panic about this.  Every day public officials get phone calls from one Bahamian citizen after another with Chinese sightings.  We saw them here.  We saw them there.  The latest calls come with the hoardings going up on east Shirley Street where the Chinese government is building its brand new embassy.

The serious message behind all of this is that there are going to be social impacts upon the population because of the large influx of Chinese workers into the country.  There must be preparations made for their coming and what this will mean.  The government as usual is doing nothing to help prepare the population for what is to come.

This then is to sound a warning that we cannot leave this situation unplanned.  The government must do its part and the NGOs and civil society must do its part.

Indeed, the effort made by Wendall Jones to host a round table discussion with Chinese Bahamians about their ancestry was a great first step to ease what will be some racist reactions to Chinese coming to The Bahamas.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 23rd January 2011 up to midnight: 160,706.

Number of hits for the month of January up to Saturday 23rd January 2011 up to midnight: 492,162.

Number of hits for the year 2011 up to Saturday 23rd January up to midnight: 492,162.



    Wendall Jones who runs the Jones Communications Network (JCN) which includes the Bahama Journal, JCN TV Channel 14 and Love 97 FM Radio station, has chosen their person of the year 2010.  They have chosen Sarkis Izmirlian (standing at centre), the lead developer of the Baha Mar Project on Cable Beach.  Mr. Izmirlian has to get A for effort and patience in dealing with a difficult and hostile government in order to get his project off the ground, now said to be the only game in town.
    The awards were given at Government House by Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes on Friday 21st January.
    JCN also honoured other men and women for their contribution to civil society.  These included Rev. Dr. William Lloyd Thompson, Elma I. Garraway, William Cash Sr., Brian Wong, Frank Hanna, Charles W. Thompson, Velma Marie Ferguson, Hilbert B. Pinder, Gilbert Pinder, and Gregory Conrad Burrows.
BIS photo/Peter Ramsay

    The case of Cheryl Grant Bethell who was denied her chance to become the Director of Public Prosecutions is finally before the courts for the substantive arguments.  The arguments began on Monday 17th January before Justice Jon Isaacs.
    This case could get lost in the technical mumbo jumbo of lawyers, but in summary it is that the Judicial and Legal Services Commission denied her the chance to become the Director of Public Prosecutions because of information that they say they received from the Security and Intelligence Branch of the Police Force, so devastating that they cannot even reveal it to her or the court.  Thomas Evans QC said that the information was privileged which the police gave the Commission.  This appears to be the problem then and the Judge will have to decide whether it is fair for you to be denied a job in the public service with regulations gazetted under the constitution without having an opportunity for the matters to be put to you and you having an opportunity to answer the allegations made against you.
    If this matter stands, it then means that anyone can come and make up stories against you and you will be helpless to defend yourself against it.  The government is insisting that to reveal the information would be to reveal the methodology of the police about how they got the information.  But this on the face of it is a ludicrous argument because the SIB does no more than go around your neighbourhood and to your neighbours, enemies and friends and ask them what they think of you or have they heard anything - no more or less unless they are illegally tapping your phones and that is a whole other matter.  So the public awaits the outcome of the arguments and the judge’s decision.  Maurice Glinton and Wayne Munroe represent Mrs. Grant Bethell.


   He has announced that he is running for the office of Chairman of the Progressive Young Liberals, the youth arm of the PLP and he has an ambitious agenda for what he wants to do and needs to be done. We support his candidacy and wish him well.


    Carl Bethel gave a good a laugh during the past week when he wrote the following on his Facebook page, referring to the photo above:  “I would like to thank all Residents of Sea Breeze, Union Officials and all guests who attended our resoundingly successful Town Meeting to discuss the proposed privatization of BTC this evening”.  That was what Mr. Bethel wrote.  The meeting took place at the Sadie Curtis School on 17th January.  We counted 28 people in the audience.  You may count for yourself, but half of them seemed to be trade union members.  Mr. Bethel says it’s not the numbers that count, but the fact that there was a meeting.  Resoundingly successful.


    The Anglicans were out in their full glory and pageantry; the robes, the hats, the music, as they celebrated the 150th anniversary of the establishment of their diocese, which came in 1861 on 4th November.  The now Bishop is Laish Boyd.  The sermon was preached by Bishop   Reid of Jamaica out of which the Bahamian diocese was created.  The service was attended by the Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes and other civic leaders.

BIS photos/Peter Ramsay


    A story with the photo above appeared in The Nassau Guardian on 18th January.  The headline was preparing for Bahamian leadership.  The story went on to say that the new President of the College Dr. Betsy Vogel-Bose was preparing the College for Bahamian leadership of the institution.  We found this a curious comment since the College has had Bahamian leadership before and it does not now have Bahamian leadership simply because the FNM government does not want a Bahamian leader.  What is more important though is that the new president appears to have committed the College back to the university track which was abandoned by the Free National Movement under Carl Bethel as Minister for Education.  She said that there are certain benchmarks that had to be met.
Nassau Guardian photo of Minister of Education Desmond Bannister and COB president Dr Betsy Vogel-Bose


    Last Saturday the funeral service took place of a man of quiet dignity and grace who was typical of the families that raised the generation that runs the country today, having raised themselves from poverty to become middle class families under the late Sir Lynden O. Pindling.  His children are well placed throughout the country and in the public service.  His name was Delegal Seymour.  He was a chef by trade and was married to Merona Seymour who was a teacher for all of her professional life.
    The funeral was attended by politicians of both sides including Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie; Fred Mitchell, MP Fox Hill; Shane Gibson, MP Golden Gates; Health Minister, FNM MP Hubert Minnis; and PLP Chair Bradley Roberts.  He is survived by his children Stephen (Chief Superintendent RBPF), Verona, Marvie, Michael and Carlton.
Pictures of the funeral service from the Facebook page of Leon Williams

    Byran Woodside’s first foray into politics was as an activist at the College of The Bahamas in the 1980s.  He and two others came to Bay Street to protest against the treatment by the PLP and the police of a group of Haitians who had landed illegally in The Bahamas.  Arthur Hanna who was then the Deputy Prime Minister of the country made fun of them because he said they were in college and could not spell the word ‘Haitian’.  Indeed, they had misspelled it on their placard and left out the first ‘I’ in the word.  Not an auspicious start, but it’s the thought that counts.
    Fast forward now to mistake numbers two and three and four all on the same day.  The day was Wednesday 19th January and the House of Assembly was meeting.  This time, Byran is a part of the establishment, a member of the Cabinet, a minister of state for local government.  His performance is less than stellar in the post, but we forgive him that; the staff says that he is terrified of Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister and mainly hides out in his office only surfacing when summoned.  Mr. Woodside claimed in the House of Assembly that Bahamianization is a failure; he said it not once, but repeated it ad nauseum.
    His evidence is that no major hotel is owned by a Bahamian.  But the statement is so stupidly broad that he could not possibly mean it.  For if Bahamianization is a failure, then we all have to pack up and go home.  Indeed, he himself would be a failure.  And the more he was asked to correct himself, the more he dug a hole for himself.
    Then the minister of state proceeded to attack Alfred Sears who reminded the House that he is a descendant of a slave.  He said that was a fact and it had nothing to do with being racist.  He said that he struggles with his children every day in the face of Eurocentric images to encourage them that they are beautiful in their own skin.  Mr. Woodside took umbrage at that and suggested that Mr. Sears has a chip on his shoulder about slavery and he needs to get that chip of his shoulder.  My! My! My!  This is who we have to lead us in 2011.  Uncle Tom is alive and well in a new guise.
    Then the minister thought he was being clever.  Too clever by half.  He thought that he was insulting the PLPs who were teasing him from across the room and telling him to back off so he said that he was not talking to the blind, the deaf and the dumb.  Whereupon, the PLP’s Obie Wilchcombe rose and said, what did he (Byran) have against blind, deaf and dumb people that he could not speak to them and their issues.  That set the cat amongst the pigeons and during the break Tommy Turnquest, the FNM’s leader in the House, came to Bryan’s rescue.  He explained some political facts to Mr. Woodside - sotto voce - and it appears that this caused Mr. Woodside after the lunch break to seek to explain that he really did not mean to attack the disabled community by what he had said.
    Frank Smith, the PLP’s representative for St. Thomas More began to tease Byran mercilessly to the point where Mr. Woodside, misguided and clearly frustrated, got up grumbling that Mr. Smith must not fool with him today and walked out of the House without bowing to the Speaker.  Whereupon he was summoned by Mr. Turnquest to come back and he apologized for not bowing to the Speaker.
    This was not a good day for the minister of state Byran Woodside.  One mistake after another: first the memory of couldn’t spell Haitian on his first foray out, then “Bahamianization is a failure”, then he does not speak to the blind deaf and dumb and then walks out of the House without the permission of the Speaker.  LOL!

    The Progressive Liberal Party made the following releases with regard to the Memorandum of Understanding which is to be the basis of the sales agreement to sell BTC, the telephone company.  There were two releases: the second one came when the Minister responsible for privatization of BTC announced that the MOU that the PLP released was bogus.  Except that the press was able to verify independently that what the PLP had was in fact close to the final document.  Herewith the releases:



    On 15th January Deputy Leader of the PLP Philip ‘Brave’ Davis hosted his annual party for the season for the people of San Salvador.  He took some of his colleagues with him including Ryan Pinder MP for Elizabeth and Bradley Roberts PLP Chairman, Danny Johnson, PLP candidate Carmichael, Greg Moss PLP candidate Marco City, former Senator Audley Hanna, and PLP Vice Chair for Family Islands Randy Rolle.

Photos/Athama Bowe


    We now have the full range of pictures with Derek and Janet Davis as they celebrated the Christmas season, their wedding anniversary and Mr. Davis’ birthday.
Photos/Kevin Williams


    She has been awarded the status of Meritorious Councillor in the Free National Movement (FNM) for which she has battled and in which she has served as an MP and a cabinet minister.  Carl Bethel Party Chairman presented the award last week and posted this photo on his Facebook page.  Congratulations to Teresa Moxey Ingraham for a well deserved award.  This award is one that allows the councillor sit for life on the FNM's council and is the equivalent of the award given by the PLP known as Stalwart Councillor.

Asinine Dion Foulkes - Forrester Carroll...
    Dion Foulkes declared in the Nassau Guardian’s Friday January 7th edition that there is a 70% drop in unemployment and that job layoffs have ceased.  Tell me Dion Foulkes, what happened to you over the Christmas holidays; too much merry-making and libations?  You couldn’t be that damn naive and stupid as to believe that unemployment could drop that drastically and not have an instant, dramatic and positive impact on our economy, could you?  On the contrary, things are getting worse and worse, each day, and not better.  It may not be so for you FNM ministers and other privileged minions, Mr. Foulkes, but things are certainly bad, bad, and getting worse for a very large percentage of the rest of us.

Foulkes thinks that because “the number of people applying for unemployment benefits have dropped, by 70% last month” (December) he said, it follows logically and automatically that those people have gone back to work somewhere, but not so, Sir.

Foulkes thinks, as well, that coupled with the fact that the trend seems to be that less people are being laid off from their jobs, this is clear evidence that the Bahamian economy is rebounding and things are getting better.  Why are you so dumb, Dion Foulkes?  Or are you just playing dumb?  Could it be that the reason for the drop in the amount of applications for unemployment benefits, in December, was because all of the unemployed persons have already applied for and received their maximum thirteen (13) weeks?  And could it be that the reason for the slow down in layoffs is because the few businesses which have survived your government’s reckless policies have already cut their staff to the bone, as much as they could, without risking cuts in services which could result in possible loss of clientele, and they can’t cut any more?  Could it be Mr. Smart Ass Dion Foulkes, could it be?  If you continue to insist that these factors could only indicate increased employment and not what I have suggested, as the real reasons, then I challenge you to tell us where, in God’s name, did these unemployed thousands find employment?  What projects have happened in the country, within the last two months, which would have facilitated the reduction in the unemployment rate by 70%?  Pray tell us.  We must be stupid and only you and Ingraham are the smart ones, Ha.

The article which referenced Foulkes’ comments quoted Hubert Ingraham, as well, trying desperately to make a case, for the FNM, that the economy is showing signs of improvement.  He said, “Now there are distinct signs that the worst is over and that the tide is beginning to turn;” unquote.  This is plain nonsense; “distinct signs that the worst is over” Hubert Ingraham?  I ask you, as well, what are those “distinct signs and where, in the sphere of the economic activity, should we look to find them?”  I’ve been in and around business; in the hub of business dealings, in this country, for forty seven (47) years and I don’t see what you’all are seeing.  What I see is misery, pain and woe, for an uncertain period of time, which will continue to affect at least sixty five (65%) of the country’s population.  There are no major projects in the works, anywhere in the entire country, except for Baha Mar and the few other projects that the PLP left, in place that Ingraham didn’t ‘stop to review and cancel’, but they are winding down.

Ingraham attributes the anticipated capitol inflows, connected to the Baha Mar and (I suppose) the seven miles of, Nassau’s airport to town, road projects as the impetus for achieving his projections, however he didn’t tell his audience that both these projects will have a seventy per cent (70%) foreign (Chinese) labour component which automatically reduces, by seventy (70%), the achievable benefits from the proposed projects.  He didn’t mention, either, that most of the capital, which will be spent on these two projects, will remain in China and will not reach any of the banks here in the Bahamas; why you ask?  Because the labour and material will all come from China and so will be paid for right in China.  There will be no need to transfer the bulk of those funds from China to The Bahamas because very few bills will be generated in The Bahamas and so the need for large sums of money coming here will not be necessary.  Salaries, for the 8350 Chinese, who will work on the two projects, will be paid to their relatives right in China.  They will not pay them their salaries here in The Bahamas and for two reasons (as I see it); (1) they work for the State of China and as such, the Chinese State will feed and cloth them while they are here but will pay the meagre sums for salaries, to their families in China (2) they cannot pay them their salaries here in The Bahamas because the fifty ($50) dollars per week the State pays them would breach our labour laws which dictate a minimum wage of $150 per employee, per 40 hour week which includes a daily one hour meal period.  Based on what I’ve put to you, therefore, the anticipated $3 billion which is proposed to be spent will benefit the country little during the construction stages.  Hubert’s contentions that these foreign direct investment inflows, will improve our financial position is bogus indeed.  He was dramatizing and overreaching for political reasons, but he should be reminded that we are not stupid.

I am amazed though; how is it that Dion Foulkes could just simply, on his own and without any official data from government statistical department, decide that the unemployment rate has dropped by 70%, when in fact the department of statistics, themselves, have been unable to gather the data necessary to be able to release, with any degree of accuracy, the data for 2010?

The country is in bad shape and Foulkes knows it.  I understand the need for the FNM to have something positive to tell the Bahamian people, but to resort to deliberately lying (yes I say deliberately lying) is really not a good practice for a minister.  They are telling us that things are getting better but, when challenged, cannot tell or show us where these improvements are taking place in the country.  The FNM has succeeded in actually convincing many of their supporters, who have lost their all and who are in fact unemployed and catching hell that things are improving and are getting better.

It amazes me how persons could be so politically polarized that they could reach a point where reality is no longer reality for them; that what is real is what their political masters say is real and no more; that if Ingraham tells them that things are good and getting better, they are good and getting better, no questions asked and not withstanding their own bad and worsening conditions; it simply amazes me.  This country is going downhill faster than a rollercoaster and Ingraham, Foulkes and the FNM government are responsible for our dilemma.  They took us down this road before; don’t you remember?  In case you have forgotten let me remind you.

On assuming office in 2002, the PLP found a country broke and busted.  You would recall that prior to the 2002 general elections the PLP were only speculating as to how bad we thought the conditions were in the country.  The FNM government hid the facts, as to the country’s real condition, from the public.  It wasn’t until taking office that the PLP came to know the real situation and it was beyond anything we dreamt.  There was no money available to pay local vendors’ bills and so $125 million had to be borrowed to pay struggling Bahamian business owners what the government owed them.  Many of the government’s accounts with these small businesses were in arrears in some cases by six months.  They took advantage of these business owners by crediting their merchandise and not caring when they were paid.  Petroleum dealers in the Family Islands were forced to discontinue credit to the government and for the Defence Force that was a tragedy.  I am aware of a situation where a Defence Force cutter pulled into Bimini for fuel and was refused service.  They were told that the reason was the FNM government’s failure to pay them for months and that they simply could not extend them further credit.  That was the situation the FNM left when they were kicked out of office in 2002.  The PLP borrowed the $125 million to pay off our local debts but it should be remembered that it was the FNM who introduced the bill to parliament to borrow the money, in the first place, before leaving parliament in disgrace.  Everybody was paid off and the PLPs successful five years, which followed, are in the history books.  It appears that it will be our job again to get the country out of the mess that the FNM has again created.

How many times do we have to go through the same FNM created messes before we learn our lesson?

Forrester J. Carroll J.P.
Freeport, Grand Bahama


Delroy Meadows: The Secret Places - Uncovering the Real Root of the Problems We Face
“Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught… And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.” - Luke 5:4-6

Like Simon, the idea that if we are to find what we are looking for we must then such the obvious places where men would assume it would be. This is not a new form of thinking. This teaching by Jesus was not given solely for the purpose learning how to attain wealth but one of the greatest lessons we can acquire from this is where best to uncover the root of the problems we face in life and as a nation.

For years Master we have been fighting crime day and night to no avail. We cast our nets into the Ghettos and on its streets only to catch fourteen. What about the Gated Communities?

Like wealth, I also believe that our enemy and the source of all calamities are hidden in secret places.

The Church
The willingness of parents to leave their kids unattended at churches hasn’t gone unnoticed by paedophiles (males and females) that are attracted to such places because of the “trust” factor that comes with the name.  Many of these persons would also pursue leadership roles as youth leaders, instructors and the like within these institutions as a way of gaining greater access to impressionable young men and women.

Recently we have been awakened to this reality when a local pastor of a very prominent church was brought before the courts for charges of raping a minor who was placed under his custody by her parents.

International attention was also focused on a similar case involving Full Gospel Baptist Church Leader Eddie Long who, after backdoor negotiations managed to have his case swept under the rug.

Many of these cases of molestation go unreported and are dealt with among parishioners who in their “forgiving” nature would reinstate those accused and confirmed perpetrators back into their assembly in a lower or previous role. Parents need to understand that if the shepherds can do it then why can’t the flock?

Why God?
The damage that such offences inflict upon the minds of young people is extreme. The offence does even greater damage when it is brought upon by those who fabricate themselves as representations of God. This then results in a violent and open rejection for any symbolism of Christianity.

Things which were once foreign to us are now becoming the norm. Places of worship are now being vandalized and desecrated on a daily basis in this country.  Many on the outside would look and ask why God would allow this. I believe that a better question should be: Why have we allowed this?

Migrant Exploitation
Many Haitian migrants who have been poorly treated by our society are being easily taken in by foreign religions who offer them gifts, acceptance and protection. The masses of these being children (many not yet in their teens) whose parents lack the proper education needed to understand the nature of the beliefs that these people carry and their true motives.

Many are also adopted into street gangs where the culture of violence is all too common.

Regulation Needed
To solve these problems I believe that it is very important for us to move in the direction of including all religious organizations in the Bahamas under a regulatory commission as we do with entities in such as Securities, Insurance and public companies.

The current freedom that exists has opened doors allowing for the exploitation of our citizens and the Government itself. Exemption from strong Government regulation has been proven to lead to Money Laundering, Ponzi schemes, Cult activities and also Terrorism in other countries. We must not allow the same to happen here.

The Schools
It’s a common saying that the majority of problems begin at home and that parents should bear the full responsibility of their children. This is not necessarily true.  What then is the fate of the orphans and whose responsibility are they? For thirteen years of their lives (from childhood to adolescence) children spend on average of seven hours a day in school.  Children in-fact live most of their crucial years behind the walls of educational institutions during peak learning times when knowledge is absorbed the most.

The tremendous impact and influence of teachers on our young people should not be looked at casually. Moral values should form the foundation of our educational process before academics. I say this because it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to teach a class of unruly children. It is insane for us to even attempt to first place academics in the mind of a child who is not aware of basic manners and respect for those deserving of it.

It is also equally insane and a disservice to this country for its teachers to not be equipped or refuse to educate their students in areas of morality because they deem it as a role for the parents. The old saying is true that it takes a village to raise a child.

It should be the Government’s mandate to restructure the educational system that it may lean more into teaching morality, core values and the founding principles of our society above everything else.

The hiring practices of teachers in Government and Private schools needs careful review.  Proper and thorough screening needs to take place before any teacher whether local or foreign is accepted into any of our institutions.  Clear moral standards needs to be set as the primary factor needed to qualify as a teacher and not academics alone.

We must understand that it’s the Government that bears the main responsibility for creating the best environment needed for the growth of all of our children. This responsibility should not be one to be taken lightly as citizens because the failure of these systems will negatively affect us all.

If we are to solve the issues that plague us today we must cast our nets on the right side, without fear and enclose the common enemy seeking to destroy our land.

We must understand that the root of our problems lies in the deep and unseen places where most dare not to search.
Delroy Meadows
23 January, 2011


Marathon Bahamas On TV
The 2011 Sunshine Insurance Marathon Bahamas is to be aired on Cable 12 today, Sunday 23rd January at 7 pm.

FNM's Latest Plan To Buy Votes
The word on the street is that the FNM's Ministry of Finance is busy planning a 1200 dollars lump sum payment to all civil servants this year and shotly thereafter call a snap general election.   Buyer beware.  This was the same vote buying strategy used in 1997.

Buggery Case Begins In Freeport
With all the sordid details in the newspapers of what the teacher Andre Birbal allegedly did to two male youngsters at the Eight Mile Rock High School when they were under age (they are now adults) the trial of Mr. Birbal has begun in Freeport.  Last year the country was in an uproar over the allegations made against the teacher who later fled to New York and had to be brought back in handcuffs.  The evidence given by the two males seemed compelling and the cross examination did not seem effective, at least by way of what you read in the press.  But the trial continues and there is no way to know what the outcome will be until you have heard two sides of the story.  The story as it now unfolds seems to reek of shocking abuse but also tells a story of the vulnerability of poor kids whose poverty and most of all ignorance were preyed upon to their detriment and ultimately to the shame and disgrace of the school system.  Mr. Birbal is now in the witness stand giving sworn testimony and is being cross-examined by the prosecution.  The case is closed against him.  The cross examination continues on Monday.  Essentially then the case is simply a case of his word against the two men.  He has denied all of the allegations.

The Killing Of A Lesbian
Into the mix of murders and mayhem in this country from week to week comes a story that stands out.  That is the case of Inderia Barry whose murder was particularly sordid.  She was found half-naked having been sexually assaulted then shot in the head.  Interestingly though, it was her father, Paul Barry who made the news by saying of his daughter that she was lesbian and lived a life that could have led to her death for any sort of reason.  What a strange thing for a man to say about his daughter.  She was found last weekend at the public dump.

A Man Of The House

Fred Mitchell MP Fox Hill arrives at the House of Assembly for the session on Wednesday 19th January.
Photo/Peter Ramsay

PLP Meets With Police Staff Association

In a sop to those who thought that the police are not putting enough pressure on the streets to get control of the crime situation, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade unleashed a small army of officers with guns drawn and with boots thumping the ground.  That took place on 20th January.  The result: 14 arrests.  The police are trying to regain control of the streets by this action.  Many say this is not the way and here needs to be a more nuanced approach using the social powers of persuasion and improving education and the environment.  The communities in which the raids took place gave mixed signals according to the press.  Meanwhile the new Police Staff Association headed by Sgt. Dwight Smith paid a courtesy call on the Leader of the Opposition on Friday 21st January at the PLP’s HQ Gambier House.
Tribune photo/Felipe Major

Baby Doc Back In Haiti

No one can quite figure out what he is doing there and theories abound.  The former dictator of Haiti Jean Claude Duvalier who succeeded his father as President for life of Haiti back in 1971 at the age of 19 and who was thrown out by a revolt in 1986 is now back in Haiti.  He says he came back because he was moved by the plight of his people from the earthquake.  Many people think that the US and France are working with him to destabilize the political climate already in flux because of  a bad election held on 18th November to replace the now President Rene Preval.  He was arrested in a high profile operation as he was taken from his luxury hotel and to court.  He was charged with corruption offences then bailed out to hold a press conference where he said that he was home to help his people.  Meanwhile in lonely exile from South Africa, the former President who was overthrown in February 2004 Jean Bertrand Aristide expressed the wish that his South African hosts and his home country would allow him to return home as well.  Troubles a brewing for that unfortunate country.

Divisions In The FNM Say The Web
On Facebook, Carl Bethel was reported to be opposed to the sale of BTC and that there were rumblings in the Cabinet about what was to be done with BTC.  The PLP’s leaking of the document to the public put the FNM on the back foot and the country was stunned at the massive sell-out by the FNM of the national patrimony.  Up to press time, Carl Bethel had not published anything to contradict the assertions made on Facebook.

Obama and Wife

We can imagine how pleased the President of the United States Barack Obama must have been as he was giving a state dinner for the Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington this past week.  Mrs. Obama was beautiful in a stunning red gown, fit for a Chinese Emperor.  We thought to share the photo.

David Thompson’s Wife Wins In Barbados
The result is in, one day before the national holiday for the first Prime Minister in an independent Barbados Errol Barrow Thursday 20th January, Mara Thompson, widow of dead Prime Minister David Thompson won his seat for the Democratic Labour Party governing party by 4613 to 553.  The seat is a safe seat for the DLP and the BLP of Owen Arthur had no chance to win it.

Keith Olbermann Out At MSNBC

On Friday night 21st January, the liberal champion of television who helped to whip George Bush’s Republican party in 2008 Keith Olbermann has resigned his job at MSNBC.  This comes a month after being suspended for two days for paying money to a political party in violation of the rules at NBC.  He gave no reason for his departure and it seems to have taken everyone by surprise.

Desmond Says Not A Word In Defence Of Sheila Scavella
Last week, we published a story about the intervention made by Fred Mitchell MP about the removal of Freeport’s Walter Parker Primary School Principal Sheila Scavella.  You may click here for last week’s story.  The Minister of Education Desmond Bannister was righteously indignant and promised that he would deal with Mr. Mitchell and his PLP colleague Alfred Sears when the House of Assembly next met.  Well, the House met on 19th January, with both Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Sears present and accounted for and great was the anticipation but not a word from Mr. Bannister.  Some friends say he was warned of the trap he was walking into.  The Beatles had a song: ‘Desmond had a barrow in the marketplace; Molly was a singer in the band; Desmond said to Molly girl I like your face and in the evening you could hear it in the band: Oh bla di! Oh bla dah! Life goes on. Bla! La! La! how that life goes on!’  Yes indeed, life goes on and we shall see if the Minister has the courage of his words.  The PLP is waiting for him.

Dennis Gomez Attorney-At-Law Shot And Is Gravely Ill
News started getting out about midnight on Saturday 21st January that Attorney-at-law Dennis Gomez had been shot five times and seriously wounded.  The details are sketchy and the motive is unknown.  It is said that he was shot around midnight on Friday evening/Saturday morning as he was leaving his law office. As we go to upload, the press is reporting that Mr. Gomez succumbed to his injuries and has died in hospital.

Adam Stewart Should Butt Out

We thought that he was different from his father who did not support the PLP in The Bahamas in the last election.  Mr. Stewart senior is quite an abrupt guy and takes no prisoners.  Adam, the son, who runs the former Four Seasons property in Exuma, now Sandals, seemed a softer face.  He did, after all, thank the PLP’s MP Anthony Moss for helping their business get off the ground.  Bahamians are unhappy about pay and conditions at Sandals but hey, life has changed, not ended.  Now though, when you start to interfere in our political debate that is a whole other question.  The Tribune (you’re not surprised) quoted Adam Stewart as saying he thought that BTC, the telephone company, being bought by Cable and Wireless was a good thing.  First question; is that any of your damn business?  The fact is this is an internal debate, a Bahamian question, not one for Adam Stewart thank you very much, but butt out.  This is the second intervention in our political debate by investors in the country: Sol Kerzner blamed the PLP for bringing in Chinese workers at Cable Beach when the PLP had nothing to do with it.  But this is Ingraham’s Bahamas right now.  The younger Mr. Stewart’s remarks were reported in The Tribune.

John Bain To Speak At St. Kitts and Nevis Conference
Bahamian forensic accountant John Bain is to lecture on Ethics and Governance.  He was recently elected to the ACCA International Assembly to represent the Americas and the Caribbean.  The meeting will be held in St. Kitts and Nevis on 25 January.

30thJanuary, 2011
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IN THE HEART OF THE BEAST: Fred Mitchell as he addressed the Abaco crowd spoke about the great pleasure it was too be in Abaco to start the campaign for the next election.  He recalled that following the election, the PLP had largely abandoned Abaco and he saw his role as the limited one of being a facilitator of the party’s interests, trying to keep spirits up until the party could organize itself on the island.  The meeting on Monday 24th January was a huge success with hundreds turning up to hear the party’s leaders as that they were in the process of choosing the candidates for the field in North Abaco.  Fred Mitchell described North Abaco as the heart of the beast and the PLP had to strike at its very heart, where the Prime Minister was if it wanted to be successful.  Our photo of the week is that of the PLPs delegation headed by the Leader of the PLP Perry Christie in North Abaco at the Central Abaco Primary School.  Photo/Jeffery Cooper.


Jeanne Weech Gomez has buried her husband Dennis, gunned down in the early hours of Saturday 22nd January in Nassau as he was leaving his office.  We offer our sincerest and deep felt condolences.  The gutter press tried to make it something other than it was which regardless of circumstances was a cold blooded and calculated murder, too many of which are happening in this country.  The society is plainly helpless to do anything about it.

The criminals have no fear or respect for the law.  The people who are charged with the responsibility for law and order are weak and ineffectual.  The politicians are hopeless, more concerned about form than substance.  Indeed, (see IN PASSING) the Attorney General John Delaney should get down off his pompous high horse and get his white gloves dirty and do some work to stop crime.  Instead, his latest hopeless foray in the crime fighting effort was to say that they are going to start a gun court, a discredited idea from the Michael Manley era in Jamaica, which may even be unconstitutional.

What is frightening though is how hopeless in fact the situation actually is.  The police held a press conference last week and confessed that they solve only 10 percent of all crimes committed in The Bahamas.  That is the equivalent of the D grade, which the schools deliver to our students.

They solve 74 percent of the murders they say but the stats say that that figure from last year was a drop from the year before.  What they did not say is that when the cases go to court though only 38 percent of them result in convictions, which means that 60 percent of the time you get clean away from any crime committed in The Bahamas.  So to repeat only 38 per cent of the ten percent are solved.  This is hopeless.

Meanwhile the public in its denseness and frustration on this matter keeps calling for hanging.  Rodney Moncur had another one of those hanging rallies where people may as well bay at the moon for all the good it does. That was Thursday 27th January.  The press did not even cover it, which means that even that is losing its appeal. There is simply no future in it. Wasting time.

What we know is that Dennis Gomez is dead.  He is one of a string of high profile murders, which shock the élites but pretty soon they move on to their next brandy or their next cup of tea until they shocked again.

We know something must be done and can’t say what save that the underlying causes of crime must be addressed together with a vigorous campaign of short term measures to apprehend the crooks.  The lady who now sits as DPP will not help us either but then when the politicians have their heads up in the clouds and their noses above the stink what more do you expect.

Crime does pay in The Bahamas and it is better for criminals in The Bahamas. That much is pretty clear.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 29th January 2011 up to midnight: 131,119.

Number of hits for the month of January up to Saturday 29th January 2011 up to midnight: 623,281.

Number of hits for the year 2011 up to Saturday 29th January 2011 up to midnight: 623,281.

Photo of the funeral of Attorney Dennis Gomez at Christ Church Cathedral Saturday 29th January by Peter Ramsay


    In the closing address at the mini convention held in Freeport, Grand Bahama on Friday 28th January, former Prime Minister and now Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie said that the PLP opposes the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless.  In his address he outlined the specific policies that the party will pursue if it comes back to office on BTC. Here is the full statement:
    “I wish to announce that the PLP holds the following position with regard to the sale of BTC as announced by the Government of the Free National Movement.
     “We do not agree and will not support in the House of Assembly and the Senate the sale of any of the shares in BTC to Cable and Wireless.  We do not believe that it is a trustworthy, reliable and capable strategic partner for The Bahamas and BTC.
    “We call on the government to cease and desist in pursuing the sale as they have announced it.
    “If the FNM administration proceeds against the advice of the PLP and sells to Cable and Wireless, we put Cable and Wireless on notice of our central position that the sale to Cable and Wireless is not in the national interest and when we return to Government we will re-examine all of the provisions of the deal and we will aggressively renegotiate the terms of the agreement that we deem repugnant to the national interest.  There is precedent for this because the PLP when it came to office renegotiated the terms of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement because it found the delegation of the powers of immigration control to a private company to be repugnant to the national interest.  The PLP negotiated that change which came into effect in 1969 which saw the Grand Bahama Port Authority return immigration control to the Bahamian people where it rightly belonged.  The PLP told the owners of the Port in advance that it would do so and it did.  We made the same principled point to the developers of the then proposed Clifton Cay and when we came to office we changed the deal in the national interest.  We are doing the same now with Cable and Wireless.
    “Amongst the items which we now find repugnant is the notion that the Free National Movement administration has agreed that the Government of The Bahamas is to become a minority shareholder in BTC but will still have to fund part of the pension liabilities of the company in the first instance by advancing the sum of 39 million dollars from the Public Treasury, with a continuing obligation to fund future losses.  This is simply a bad deal which is not in the best interests of the Bahamian people.
     “We assert, as a fundamental principle, the commitment to build a true share owning democracy in The Bahamas.  In pursuance of that principle, we propose, when we win office again, to aggressively explore lawful ways and means by which Bahamian ownership of BTC can be enhanced, through the offering of shares to the Bahamian public, with appropriate controls to prevent the concentration of shares into the hands of one group or family, whether Bahamian or foreign.  We believe that BTC should then be opened to competition and the telecommunications market liberalized as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter.  A BTC, owned by a wide cross section of the Bahamian community, could purchase the best management expertise and technology to provide the Bahamian and foreign business community a competitive world class and affordable service like the Bank of The Bahamas.
     “We believe that this course of action is in accordance with the wishes of the country and is consistent with our Party's core values and constitution which states: ‘To obtain and maintain for the Bahamian people, a fairer and more equitable distribution of the wealth of The Bahamas so as to provide more security and dignity for the less fortunate.’

    The people in Grand Bahama turned out in their thousands to listen to the Leader of the PLP on the final night of the Convention in Freeport.  On Friday 28th January at the Hilton Outten Auditorium.  The Leader was surrounded by thousands of PLPs but more importantly by scores of leading FNMs some of whom confessed to the local paper that they would be switching sides and voting for the PLP in the next election.  Mr. Christie told the crowd that when Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham spoke at the pre Christmas breakfast in Grand Bahama in December he was wrong for saying that he will not talk to the Port until they get their house in order.  Mr. Christie said the PLP would talk to the Port and would be forming a group before the election to have talks with the Port and Civil Society to determine its position on the tax exemptions that expire under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement in 2015.
    The Leader’s statement on Grand Bahama:
    “The Prime Minister spoke here in Freeport at a pre Christmas breakfast on 18th December.  I think that the speech was remarkable for what it did not say.  As usual, the Prime Minister sought to blame the PLP for issues and failures which are entirely of his own making.  What we now know as “the stop, review and cancel” programme was invented by him and helped to plunge this country and this island into the deepest recession that we have known in modern times.
    “What particularly concerned me about the Prime Minister’s address is that after three years in office in what he likes to call his third non consecutive term, he still does not get it.  Quite frankly neither do his FNM Members of Parliament.  How is it not possible for the Prime Minister to come to Grand Bahama and at least get some basic understanding and appreciation for all the human suffering which his government and his policies have wrought on Grand Bahama and its people.  Everything that he said in the speech seemed to be blaming the PLP mantra.
    “The Prime Minister spoke about the fact that certain tax exemptions will expire under the provisions of the Hawksbill Creek agreement.  He said that the Grand Bahama Port Authority has asked his government to begin discussions on the question of what the position of the government will be on those exemptions and whether they should be renewed.  In a style that has become all too familiar, he said that he did not even want to talk to them until they got their house in order.  Presumably, he meant the dispute between the groups of shareholders.
     “The PLP holds a different view and a different approach in this matter.  The thing is it is simply bad manners not to talk to someone who is a major investor in your country.  But I am sure that you are not surprised at that.  That is the FNM’s way: talk to people any kind of way and any kind of how.
    “The PLP would, if it were the government, at the very least begin discussions with the Grand Bahama Port Authority at least at the technical level so that we can understand the issues, the revenue implications and the implications to the future for investment in Grand Bahama.
    “My initial thought is that the potential real property tax revenue that would come from the expiry of the exemptions would be a great benefit to the Public Treasury and to the Bahamian people.  These therefore have to be studied carefully.  But the economic structure and system in Freeport have benefitted our country greatly and we must be careful not to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
    “In short order, we in the PLP will be organizing a  group at the Parliamentary level to begin informal discussions with interested parties in Grand Bahama about these tax exemptions and I would encourage all of you here to form your views and let us know what you think ought to happen.  Our Committee ought to speak with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and also the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce and other groups including church leaders and civic organizations.  We need to hear your views.  When we come to government, I intend to hit the ground running.”


   St. Agnes Anglican Church, the largest in the Anglican diocese by numbers, marked its annual patronal festival with evensong, sermon and benediction on Sunday last 24th January at the Church in Grants Town.  It included the traditional procession through the streets of Grants Town.  The hats were out for the ladies and the ceremony was colourful and solemn.  Peter Ramsay captured the images.


    Augustine Roberts has retired as a Captain of the Bahamasair 737 jet.  His last day was Monday 25th January, what would have been the 28th birthday of his dead son.  He told ZNS news that he chose that day because he wanted to convert a sad day into a happier day.  Captain Gus A. Roberts, just plain Gus is a happy man.  He was lauded and feted by his former colleagues for his dedication for 37 years to Bahamasair.  He leaves behind a company that has the affection of the Bahamian public but has a difficult future.  It is using old planes and the government that owns it has no vision of where it ought to go and what its mission ought to be.
    The government is allowing the private airlines to swallow up Bahamasair's domestic routes but not offering any business plan for its expansion or development.  It can't even make decisions on what new planes to buy to replace the aging 737s that cost more to make airworthy than they are worth or the Dash 8's which are going on thirty years old now.  In Trinidad, Caribbean Airlines has signed as 200 million dollar deal to switch to 9 French made ATRs, the planes which American Eagle uses.  While the board here has made some recommendations, no word on choices.
    Patrick Manning when he was Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago had reportedly made an offer to the Bahamian Prime Minister to buy Bahamasair just as he bought Air Jamaica.  So the real question on Captain Gus’ retirement is whether or not there will be a Bahamasair in 37 years from today.  The affair which was held in the VIP lounge at the LPIA was attended by Minister for Bahamasair Neko Grant and Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell who was the President of the Student Council for Mr. Robert’s class at St. Augustine College and also attending was Sir Michael Barnett, the Chief Justice.  The photo is by Sgt. Dean.  You may click here for Mr. Mitchell’s full remarks.

    This statement was issued by the PLP on Tuesday 26th January about the power situation in Abaco:
    A PLP team headed by the Leader, Deputy Leader and National Chairman visited Abaco recently where various concerns were expressed by the residents of the Abacos.
    The people of Abaco are extremely unhappy with BEC and the Government over its failure to provide uninterrupted electricity after some many promises was made by Jr. Minister Phenton Neymour and the Corporation.
    The new Power Plant and Generators are currently not providing any electricity to Abaco; but instead the old gas guzzling Abaco plant is still providing power that is resulting in periodic load shedding during the present winter season.
    The facts as we understand them are:

    Work has yet to begin to install poles and transmission power lines over some eleven (11) miles, which includes the clearing and grading of the pathway. Has these works been tendered which we understood will cost some $3.5-$4 million Dollars? Will these works be completed before summer begins?
    We understand if the mentioned transmission lines are not installed before the summer the new plant will not be capable of meeting the summer demands of 24 MW utilizing the existing transmission lines.
    This New Power Plant and the people of Abaco were big time victims of the failed FNM Policy of Stop Review and Cancel. Clearly, the Planning was badly botched as the building of the new 11 miles of transmission lines should have been competed to coincide with the completion of the Power Plant.
    The handling of the Power Plant by MP Edison Key, Jr Minister Phenton Neymour, Minister Earl Deveaux and PM Hubert Ingraham is a classic example of deplorable and despicable mismanagement of a straight forward Government project resulting in much pain and suffering being inflicted upon the residents of Abaco and the chasing away important tourists. Will the summer of 2011 be a repeat of 2008, 2009 and 2010?
    The PLP vows to fully investigate and to lay bare all the facts surrounding the irresponsible and embarrassing mishandling of the new Abaco plant and will let the chips fall where they may.  The residents of Abaco deserve much better.


    The Original Congos, the Junkanoo group from Fox Hill, began its community outreach on Saturday 29th January with a walk from Freedom Park in Fox Hill to the Eastern Road, up Village Road and then back to the park.  The idea is to get the younger ones more committed to the idea of community. Fred Mitchell Fox Hill MP joined some of the Junkanoo leaders for the walk.


    Each year at great inconvenience to Members, the House of Assembly is asked to suspend its regular hearing so that the Bahamas Christian Council can host a service which is to launch the year in politics in very much the same way as the legal year is opened with a church service.  The legal year's service is not more than forty minutes.  The Parliamentary Service stretches into an hour and a half.
    The business of the House was duly suspended again this year when it met on 26th January to go to church at the Salvation Army Citadel on Mackey Street… suspended to 7th January which shows that this FNM government simply has nothing to do.  It would be great if what was heard was inspiring but the problem is that the religious message tends to be so encoded as to be a mystery to even the most discerning; it is like the preachers even though they are unhappy about the state of affairs in the country simply can't tell the government what they want to say without speaking in code.  The result is in this year's homily, the preacher the President of the Council Patrick Paul who is supposed to be PLP came off as a supporter of the FNM and gave them a potent campaign theme by saying what great things the FNM had done for the country by building roads.  On the other hand he argued that people were afraid to speak their minds.  Hmmm!
    To add insult to injury the Prime Minister who agreed to suspend the House of Assembly’s business and presumably would have been in the House for the full day had there been no service, could not take the time of day to attend the service.  He sent his regrets and the Deputy Prime Minister in his stead.  So the question is why any member of parliament should show up to this official service if the Prime Minister is not going to come?  Let him go to hell where he deserves and let MPs stay in the House and do their work.  After all the chaplain had already prayed for them for the day.
BIS photo/Peter Ramsay


   This was the scene at the meet and greet in Freeport at the Hilton Outten Auditorium as the PLP held its mini convention.  The crowd was huge and enthusiastic which shows the hunger in Freeport for the PLP to pay some attention to a city where people are abandoning the FNM in droves.  PLP Leader Perry Christie gave the keynote address as the convention closed on Friday 28th January.  The photo is from Allyson Smith’s Facebook page.

    Those who drive around New Providence, the island which plays host to the city of Nassau will have noticed that there are now three maybe more electronic billboards up around the island. The largest of them is the sign that announces Robin Hood the mega food store on the Tonique Williams Darling Highway.  One also can be seen on Prince Charles Drive and the Fox Hill Road and another at the corner of Mackey Street and Shirley Street.  In no other country would this cause a stir in today’s world but The Bahamas.
    The Bahamas in the name of the tourism look has always resisted electronic signs.  The idea was to keep the place in the quaint way that it looks for the tourists.  Obviously the new business models don’t have time for such overly sentimental nonsense (not our view).  So up have gone the signs and it appears that no permission has been granted for them.  The Minister of the Environment Earl Deveuax whose job it is to regulate these signs has put his foot down last week and said that these signs are up in violation of the law.  Sandy Shaffer of Robin Hood whose sign is the biggest “offender” says that it is a matter for the lawyers and intends to fight it in court.

    Olivia Saunders caused quite a stir at the Bahamas Outlook Seminar when she spoke about the economic model of The Bahamas and the oppression which she compellingly argues that it has wrought for most Bahamians.  In one context she described it as economic apartheid.  Strong stuff.  Dr. Saunders who is a lecturer at the College of the Bahamas has the view that the model that we have today should not be called the Stafford Sands model because he was really copying something which has existed in one way shape or form since the 19th century.  We agree.  It is a compelling address, which we will post in our second edition at 7pm but at the end of the day it still leaves you with what now?

    It was the fastest cave-in you have ever seen.  Before you could say Jack Spratt, the Attorney General threatened the Bar Council to make a decision or else about Vinette Graham Allen being able to appear before court and  without so much as a by your leave, the Bar Council simply threw in the towel.  What a shame.  It shows how pusillanimous the institutions of the country are.  This is sentiment that was echoed in statements made by Fred Mitchell Fox Hill MP and one of the objectors to the granting of the call to the Bar of Vinette Graham Allen.  Here is the decision of the Bar. Please look for Mr. Mitchell's statements in our second edition.


    Golden Gates MP Shane Gibson knows how to throw a party and on Thursday 27th January, he threw a party at Al Collie’s Club Luna for his campaign workers and he invited PLP MPs to come by and party with them.  Fred Mitchell MP Fox Hill, Picewell Forbes MP South Andros were amongst those who attended.  Photos/Triom media [More photos in our second edition]

    "Fellow delegates, when we emerged from our 'ruined past' in 1973, there were almost no black managers.  The colour bar effectively had cut Black Bahamians out of the mainstream of everything until they were forced in by our Bahamianisation policy.  However, the Bahamianisation policy, which was both social and economic at the same time, presupposed a massive secondary and tertiary education programme which did not at that time exist.  We, therefore, started from scratch and devised one to raise the levels of education and economic performance of our people and to promote personal responsibility, and we implemented it with vigour.
     "While we educated and trained thousands at home and abroad, their parents had to be kept in jobs and assured decent levels of income to sustain their children abroad and maintain themselves at home.  And, as life still had to go on, we had to carry on and make do with the limited management skills we had.  In so doing, we made some mistakes, and we have learned from them, but the principle objective of the exercise was to put as many Bahamians as possible on their feet in the shortest time possible.  We were striving to develop an economy that would generate jobs that would lead to a middle-class standard of living for Bahamians; and we did it.
    "Some may have forgotten, while others may never have known that before 1967 there were no black manager and no black heads of Anglicans, Roman Catholics or Methodists or Church of God, and no black engineers or large building contractors.  There were precious few black managers of anything, and there were only a few white Bahamian managers.  White foreigners ran the hotels, banks, insurance companies and Churches and the white Bahamian owners of businesses engaged white foreign managers to run their businesses for them.
    "Today we have Bahamians trained in business, finance, banking, accounting, property valuation, quantity surveying, computers, etc., ninety five percent of whom arrived on the Bahamian scene since 1980 and while complaining about the lack of competence of those who worked hard to train them to be competent, they have been gaining their experience ever since in both the public and private sectors.
    "In 1967, there was not a single Bahamian partner in a major public accounting firm. Today, I doubt there is a single major accounting firm that does not have a partner who is a Bahamian or a member of a Bahamian family.  In 1971, when the Bahamian Institute of Chartered Accountants was formed, there were eleven members of whom six were Bahamian.  In 1981, the numbers of expatriate accountants greatly outnumbered Bahamian; but, by the end of 1993, there were 204 Bahamian members of the Institute and only 65 expatriates.
    "Now I can proudly say that we have professionally trained managers today.  I know, therefore, the next PLP government cannot and will not make the mistakes of yesterday.  I also know the new PLP government will be a modern, experienced, well-balanced government managed by people who now have the technology to do so, thanks to the PLP."
Keynote address at the 39th Convention of the Progressive Liberal Party, November 4th, 1994


   The Deputy Leader of the PLP Philip Davis was spotted with former basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson at the Executive jet centre Nassau and later in his constituency at Cat Island for the annual party for the Cat Islanders.  Mr. Davis pledged that he will be running for Cat Island again.  The photos are from his Facebook page.



Forrester Carroll... - They Want To Buy Every Damn Thing
“They want to buy every damn thing;” who would make such a damning statement about Bahamian entrepreneurs in a society where all of us are supposed to be free to pursue our dreams and ambitions-no matter what they are-in a, supposedly, free enterprise system? Only a damn fool, is my answer. It was Hubert Ingraham who made this statement when he referenced the apparent ambitions of two of Nassau Guardian’s owners who, we are told, made overtures to buying the interest, being put up for sale, in BTC. Can you fathom the “Chief Executive” of this country making such a damning statement about Bahamians who wish to pursue unrestricted, unlimited, business opportunities in the Bahamas, in preference to his defence of foreigners to do so? Before I go further I’ll tell you (and I know that you don’t need much convincing) that if Perry Gladstone Christie had made such a stupid statement, especially at a venue such as the Bahamian “Business outlook” forum, he would have been minced meat (politically) by now; no doubt about it. I’ll bet you, any damn thing, that Carl Bethel, Charles Maynard and Frederick McAlpine are right now preparing to defend this foolish, hater of Bahamians (Hubert Ingraham). I am convinced that this Uncle Tom hates his own ethnicity.

Several Bahamian groups indicated their interest, several years ago, in being granted the license for TV cabling in the country, but this same “Bird Brain” prime minister made sure to put every obstacle, possible, in their way in an effort to discourage them from applying, including the condition of having to submit a $10,000.00, non-refundable, deposit along with all applications. What he was saying in essence was; “Bahamians need not apply, but if you are a jackass and do so, you would have to risk losing your $10,000.00 deposit,” that’s what the sucker was telling us, in fact.

The statement (“They want to buy every damn thing”) has a number of implications, for ambitious Bahamians who are endeavouring to empower themselves under this FNM regime; not the least of which is that Ingraham’s FNM government, really has no confidence in the ability of Bahamians and their enterprises to achieve anything great; that, yes, we can operate “mom and pop” stores on side streets; and we can operate liquor depots right smack in the middle of residential areas; and yes we can sell phone cards; and we can operate car wash stands; and we can operate back yard garages, but when it comes to real businesses, where we can really be empowered those, as far as Ingraham is concerned, are reserved for foreigners. Another implication in this statement is Ingraham’s view that we shouldn’t be allowed to have too many irons in the fire at one time; that the state should curb our ambitions and not allow us to go too far, too soon and that, really, his government never had any confidence in the ability of Bahamians to achieve anything, by pulling up their own boot straps. At this juncture, I am reminded of the time when the FNM introduced legislation in the parliament for cable TV in the country. The PLP was in opposition at the time and tabled a Resolution which, in effect if agreed to by the parliament, would have obligated the government to grant the license to Bahamians only. With the exception of two of Ingraham’s cabinet ministers (Pierre Dupuch for sure and Tennyson Wells, I believe) who voted with the PLP, the Ingraham government voted against the PLP’s resolution and they (the suckers) granted a fifteen (15) year monopoly to that broke man (Mr. Keeping or whatever his name was). That action told me and should have told all the Bahamian people, right there and then, that Ingraham and his FNM government were against real advancement and empowerment of the Bahamian people. It really doesn’t at all surprise me that he would make such a belittling statement. It is believed that when a man is drunk (and that could mean drunk with POWER as well) is when he speaks TRUTH.

Thanks to the PLP, we were able to secure a copy of the MOU signed between Ingraham and the nine-month old C&W Communication Co. I am flabbergasted at some of the crap that I have read in the document. One is able to recognize Ingraham’s signature all over it pages; his inferiority complex is distinguished above all else and comes glaringly through all the pages in each and every one of the very important sections and subsections. For instance let us examine, just one aspect of the Document;  section 5.5 which reads: “The government shall undertake that no external process, to the extent controlled (directly or indirectly) by the government, for granting the second cellular license (including but not limited to the government’s determination of the method for allocation of the premium spectrum band, any public consultation by, or on behalf of, the government with respect to the licensing process or bidding charter or guidelines and the issuing by, or on behalf of, the government of any prequalification documentation to any third party) shall be launched prior to the third anniversary of completion. The government shall further undertake that any third cellular license shall not be issued prior to the fifth anniversary of completion.” What Ingraham has committed here is that no government of the Bahamas would be able to communicate, directly or indirectly, before the expiration of three (3) years after a C&W take over, with any individual or entity, even remotely, on the prospects of the granting of the second license, after the three year period of monopoly. Should a Bahamian government be found doing so in violation of the above provision then Ingraham is authorizing C&W, in section 6(2.4), to impose fines on that Bahamian government (it will be the PLP in power and not the FNM) as prescribed in the schedule under section 6(2.4). For easy reference it reads as follows: “ Any damages for breach of the undertaking in paragraph 5.5 shall be limited to a maximum amount of B$100 million in respect of any breaches occurring in the 12 month period, ending on the first anniversary of completion of the transaction, B$80 million in the 12 month period ending on the second anniversary, B$40 million in the 12 month period ending on the third anniversary, B$20 million in the 12 month period ending on the fourth anniversary and B$20 million in the 12 month period ending on the fifth anniversary.  In reading the document you must, of necessity, analyze what kind of Jackass prime minister this could be who would, voluntarily, obligate a government, of a Sovereign State like the Bahamas, to paying what amounts to one tenth of the total revenue, it projects to collect in its current fiscal year, in penalties. To booth, he empowers a private foreign entity with the right to impose these fines on our sovereign state. This is simply not acceptable. Should a Bahamian government be put in a position, by a foreign private entity operating in the country with this sovereign government’s permission, where it could be penalized for talking with whomever it wishes? I don’t think so; this man has to be out of his cotton-picking mind.

Here is how I see all of this; I see this puppet of a prime minister, who lacks national pride, in my view, giving away an asset that we have controlled for more than one hundred years. He is prepared-and feels comfortable doing so-to allow a foreign concern to come here and assume control of this national Institution, in preference to allowing a Bahamian group or Bahamians at large, to do so. To booth, the puppet prime minister seems very comfortable in allowing this same foreign entity to restrict this government’s behaviour for the entire five-year monopoly period or be penalized up to B$100 million, by this foreign private company no less, if the Bahamas’ sovereign government dares to even talk with another, like entity, for any reason. This cannot be right; it cannot be the right thing for any sovereign government to commit and or subject itself to. How can it be that a private company, Bahamian or foreign, be intentionally empowered and put in a planned position where it can levy fines on the government in an amount of one tenth of its current budgeted revenue projections for just talking to whomever it wishes?

But this same puppet, prime minister, could tongue lash prominent, ambitious, Bahamian Businessmen and accuse them of being too ambitious saying that, “they want to buy every damn thing.” What a sucker; “Give it to Bahamians to manage, he said in another place, and in a few years you’ll have to take it back;” “Bahamians need not apply; “he said. “They want to buy every damn thing;” he now says. Do these statements sound like ones that would come from the mouth of a prime minister, of this country, who desire to see Bahamians empowered and excel? Hell no; yet this is the FNM’s claim every day; that they are feverishly working toward the empowerment of ordinary Bahamians. The two most lucrative enterprises in the country, this man was/is hell bent on making sure that no Bahamian get their hands on them i.e. Cable TV and BTC; “Bahamians need not apply” remember?

Ingraham is a damn shameful disgrace and a poor excuse for a patriotic Bahamian.

Forrester J. Carroll J.P.
Freeport, Grand Bahama

Keva Bethel Gravely Ill In Hospital
The former College of the Bahamas President Dr. Keva Bethel is reportedly in intensive care in hospital.  She has been battling cancer during much of the past year.  We wish her well.

Gun Court Silliness
The Attorney General John Delaney and the Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest held a press conference on Friday 28th January to announce that as of tomorrow 31st January there will be a court in the magistracy which will be dedicated to hearing gun cases alone.  No doubt this is the bright idea of the new DPP Vinette Graham Allen who is to break the backlog of criminal cases.  The fact is the gun court as it is being called is a discredited idea from Jamaica, which failed there and will fail here.  It is not the court that is the issue but the underlying social problems that are causing this proliferation of crime.  You can do all you want to deal with this but unless you deal with the underlying causes you are simply wasting time.  If that is the best that the new DPP can come up with then God help us.

Sparkman’s Organ Recital

The organist at Christ Church Cathedral Dr. Sparkman Ferguson displayed his enormous talent as an organist in recital on Thursday 27th January at the Cathedral.  The range was good.  The choice of music interesting from Bach’s Toccata in Fugue in B Minor to the more traditional All People That On Earth Do Well arranged by Diane Bish to the more contemporary When You Walk Through The Storm by Rodgers and Hammerstein to the finale which gave a sample of the use of the foot pedals with Bach’s Toccata in Fugue in F Minor.  The donations collected at the concert were given to St. Johns College, the Anglican High School.  The Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes attended with the Anglican Bishop Laish Body and Mrs. Boyd.
Peter Ramsay photo

A Passing Observation About Protocol At The Recital
There are small signs around the town about the breakdown of order in Bahamian society.  There was a time when people seemed to know that when the Governor General stands to speak, we all stand until he says to sit.  When he is finished as he takes his seat we stand until he sits.  When the event is over, the people are to remain in their places until the Governor General and his wife leave.  That did not happen at the organ recital by Sparkman Ferguson.  You would think that particularly in that crowd which counted amongst them the elites that they would know that is how you are supposed to behave.  Just another sign of disorder or is the comment an overreaction.

Kelly Says
Our friend Kelly of Freeport says we can quote him on the fallout for the FNM in Grand Bahama.  His explanation for why there were so many FNMs at the PLP convention on Friday 28th January.  He says they were simply hungry and were looking for food.  We thought figuratively but he thinks literally they were hungry and went to the convention looking for something to eat.  He says that the PLP should not hold on to that too tough because Papa will straighten them all out next week and his guess is that when BORCO, the oil company, starts to rehire and starts renting all the empty apartments, all will be well again with FNMs.  He also said that SIB, the special branch of the police were there so they would be able to report to the Prime Minister who the FNMs were who were there.  Things that make you go hmmm!

Birbal, The Eight Mile Rock High Teacher Found Guilty
With predictable finality, the jury of nine people in Freeport convicted André Birbal on Thursday 27th January of buggering two boys when they were in their early adolescence and students of his in the Eight Mile Rock High School.  He was convicted of six of eight counts in a divided verdict.  He was acquitted on two charges.  That suggests that a significant number of jurors were not convinced of the stories of the two boys.  In each case there were split verdicts but in six of them they were split in favour of convictions.  Mr. Birbal was carted off to jail to await later sentencing which is likely to be several years given the gravity of the offences.  The offences are vile if true and ought to be punished severely.  His lawyer Carlson Shurland gloried in the limited success he had and said that Mr. Birbal plans to appeal.  He said that he will not be doing the appeal.  That must have been a source of comfort to Mr. Birbal when your lawyer says “I’m out”.

Melissa Sears Emerges On Bodie Talk Show Thursday
The former Vice Chairman of the PLP Melissa Sears who left the party’s office last year in the midst of public speculation and recrimination appears to be remerging on the scene.  The report is that she was a guest on the Orthland Bodie Show on Thursday 27th January.  No word on what she plans to do but you can bet the PLP will be watching very closely.

LPIA New Terminal Opens 2nd March
The P.R. blurb is now out that the Lynden Pindling International Airport’s new US departure terminal will be up and live on 2nd March with Vice President Vernice Walkine saying that the two flights that will depart from the terminal will be Jet Blue and American Eagle on the morning of 2nd March.

The Attorney General’s White Gloves
Last week, Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill reminded the country that the Bahamas and its judiciary would be a fitting subject for a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera.  The Attorney General would seem to fit right in.  The present Attorney General is in love with the trappings of office that of being a Queen's Counsel complete with full bottom wig and silk gown and get this -- white gloves.  A scene fit for the opera.  As he appeared at the Red Mass at the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Sunday 9th January.

Changes In The Bahamian Diplomatic Corps
No announcements have been made about it but Gladys Johnson Sands, sister of former Speaker of the House Italia Johnson, has left her job as Consul General in Miami reportedly after a major falling out with Brent Symonette, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Rhoda Jackson is in from Washington as the new Consul General in Miami.  Word is that the FNM has promised Rhonda Chipman who they gave the toss for the job as President of the College of The Bahamas and who is cooling her heels doing nothing in Nassau, the job as Consul General in New York to replace Carl Smith who has been promoted to Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security.  The latest version of why the former PS Missouri Sherman Peter resigned from the post of PS is that she wanted to be appointed to the job of Ambassador at the UN and is not pleased that Paulette Bethel who was sent there by the PLP was not dismissed.

Robin Hood Opening
The Robin Hood mega footsore has a new location in Nassau in addition to the one on the Tonique Darling Highway.  They took over the old Pepsi building on four acres of land on Prince Charles Drive and refurbished and remodeled it.  Its official opening was Friday 28th January.  Leslie Miller who partners with Sandy Shaffer the store owner in the other property was here for the opening.  Fred Mitchell MP and Ryan Pinder MP both PLPs attended the opening.  Look for expansion to come.  Mr. Shaffer plans to build a shopping centre with an upscale restaurant for people who live out east and a Scotia Bank is going in the complex and a high end gymnasium for the health conscious.

Vaughn Roberts on $100 million On City Of Nassau
Interesting seeing Vaughn Roberts who heads the redevelopment effort for the city of Nassau boasting on TV on Wednesday 26th January about how the FNM government has spent 100 million dollars improving the city.  He listed the Straw Market that is slowly going up as one of the projects.  If the government has indeed spent 100 million dollars, we would like to know where it is.  He is counting the new port a part of that one suspects but the city still looks pretty much like a dump.  Mr. Roberts says that when the new straw market opens that the present market will be turned into a green space for the city.

Street Light Lament From Facebook
Ethric Bowe on Facebook:  26 January:
The street lights at Wulff Rd. and East St. are not working.
The street lights at Wulff Rd. and Collins Ave. are not working properly.
The street lights at Montrose Ave. and Wulff Rd are not working properly.
Come on Neko Grant - fix the lights before someone gets killed! We pay you well! Do your job. Help make it better in the Bahamas again.

Double Taxation Treaty With The Japanese
Brent Symonette, the Foreign Minister and Ambassador Hioshi Yamaguchi signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) in Nassau between The Bahamas and Japan on Thursday 27th January.  The Minister said that this brings to 17 the number of TIEAs signed between The Bahamas and other countries.  He said the unusual feature of this one is that it contains a provision to avoid double taxation of the citizens of each county resident in the other country.

Hotelier Of The Year

The Cacique Award for Hotelier of the year went to George Markantonis who is the head of Atlantis.  We would have thought that medal should have gone to Sarkis Izmirlian for his hard work in bringing the Baha Mar project in.
Photo/Peter Ramsay

Derek Walcott Wins T.S. Elliott Prize
Caribbean poet Derek Walcott of St. Lucia has won this year's prestigious TS Eliot Prize for Poetry for his latest collection, White Egrets.  This was reported by the BBC.  Mr. Walcott, 81, was up against several other well-known poets including Simon Armitage and Seamus Heaney.  Judges' chair Anne Stevenson said the judges had found it difficult to choose a winner.
But they concluded White Egrets "was a moving, risk-taking and technically flawless book by a great poet."  The collection includes two poems written to Barack Obama.  Mr. Walcott wins £15,000, while his fellow nominees pick up cheques for £1,000 each.  The writer's previous collections include In A Green Night: Poems 1948 - 1960 and his epic work, Omeros, which draws on Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.  He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1992.  The TS Eliot prize was inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday and honour its founding poet

The Situation In Egypt
It appears that the government of Hosni Mubarak who came to power 30 years ago following the assassination of his predecessor is about to fall by revolution.  The young people are out in the streets demanding that he goes.  This is like the overthrow of the Shah of Iran again.  Then it was the portable audio tape recorder, the long distance telephone lines and the copying machine that did it.  This time they say it’s the internet, social websites, texting and cell phones that spread the news.  The government sought to shut down those things but it appears that it is too late.  The Americans seem to have a tentative response to the whole thing urging Mr. Mubarak to open a dialogue with his people and not have a violent response.  The problem is that it is only a violent response that will put a lid on this.  Anything else will lead to the fall of the regime.  We shall see whether the leader will have to flee the country like his ally in Tunisia a few weeks ago and like they do in Haiti our friends next door…