Compiled, edited and constructed by Russell Dames... Updated every Sunday at 2 p.m.
Volume 9 © BahamasUncensored.com 2011
|6thth March , 2011
Welcome to bahamasuncensored.com
|INGRAHAM'S REGIME LOCKING UP ITS OPPONENTS||PLPS RAP THE FNM GOVERNMENT|
|FRED MITCHELL'S PRESS CONFERENCE IN GRAND BAHAMA||THE LATEST FROM OUR SANDALS CORRESPONDENT|
|PHOTO SPREAD AT BULLA'S LUNCH BUNCH SERVICE||THE HORSE IS OUT OF THE BARN GOVT. ACTS|
|HAS THE MINISTER DESMOND BANNISTER SIMPLY LOST IT?||MID-YEAR BUDGET CONTRIBUTION BY ALFRED SEARS|
|PHOTO SPREAD ANSEL SAUNDERS HONOURED IN BIMINI||ALFRED SEARS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT|
|REPORT OF FNMS BREAKING UP BRANVILLE'S MEETING||MITCHELL ON URBAN RENEWAL TOUR|
|MARK FULFORD CALLED TO THE BAR||MISS FULL FIGURED BAHAMAS|
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...||IN PASSING...|
|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...|
|JeromeFiztgerald.org||Bahamas Government Website|
|KendredDorsett.com||Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links|
|FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES...||Bahamians On The Web|
|How & Why The PLP Lost in 2007 - The Greenberg Report...||BahamasIssues.com|
ANSEL SAUNDERS IS HONOURED: He is a boat builder of specialty, high end bone fishing skiffs. It is a skill which if it is not passed on to the next generation we will lose. He is a storyteller extraordinaire. He is a strong PLP. He used to introduce Sir Lynden O Pindling in poetic prose and dulcet rhythms at the PLPs annual conventions in the 1980s. He took Martin Luther King out on one of his skiffs into the flats of Bimini as Dr. King prepared his acceptance speech on receiving the Noble Prize for Peace in 1964. But in Bimini on Thursday 24 th March and Friday 25 th where he lives, grew up and finds his being, he was honoured for a record game fish by the Guy Harvey organization that has just taken over the Big Game Fishing Club in Bimini. There was a dinner in his honour on the Thursday as we reported last week. Fred Mitchell MP attended that dinner. On Friday, there was a parade in the streets of Bimini to mark the 40 th anniversary of the record catch of a bonefish, 16 pounds on a test line of 12 pounds or under. The representative for Bimini Obie Wilchcombe attended the parade and the people of Bimini turned out to cheer. Our photo of the week then is that of Ansel Saunders with his representative Obie Wilchcombe parading down the streets of Bimini in celebration of the record catch on Friday 25 th February.
ANOTHER DEATH KNELL FOR FREEPORT
It took Shane Gibson, the PLP MP, during his contribution to the debate on the midyear budget last week Thursday 3 rd March to tell the public that layoffs were coming to Freeport's Our Lucaya Hotel. Two years after the massive 1200 person layoff at Atlantis' Paradise Island, the company that said that its Chinese owners never sell and never layoff has laid off unceremoniously and in violation apparently of the union contract 200 or more people from the Our Lucaya a resort.
The announcement was first floated in the press, the Union heard it in the press. The company told the Union that it had the leave of the government to proceed with the layoffs. On Friday 4 th March, the blow came. 204 people were fired. No cheques were given. They are to pick up their severance pay on Monday 7 th March. Mouths to feed, mortgages to pay, wives and husbands to support, tithes to pay, communities to build and grow, all now on hold.
The hotel has been bleeding for years, with occupancies more likely than not in the teen percentages, in a Freeport economy that has been on a downward spiral with a combination of a fight by the owners of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, an inept and insensitive government filled with hubris and self congratulations, and a world economy gone south. But people believed the Chinese so that even the Prime Minister congratulated them for keeping everyone on during the recession.
Not now so. It appears that the ground has shifted with the tycoon and founder at 82 Lee Kai Shing retiring and passing things on to this 44 year old son. There has reportedly been a transfer of the property away from decision making in China to the Container Port Holding Company in Freeport. These new managers have decided that the company can be more efficient with less staff. It has left the hotel staff reeling and at 5 p.m. on Friday when the company's spokesman delivered the blow, fights almost broke out. Some had to be restrained from attacking the General Manager of the hotel.
We started out by talking of how it was Shane Gibson who told the country what the government knew and that they knew it from Monday 28 th February. The FNM is the government. The government said nothing. The government has five out of the six Grand Bahama representatives in the House of Assembly. Three are Cabinet ministers. None of them said a word either in the House of Assembly or in their constituencies. No word of sympathy no plan of action. Just silence. It was left for the PLPs spokesman on Foreign Affairs and the Public Service Fred Mitchell MP who was in Freeport on assignment to express concern for the people of the island.
The result: everywhere one walked people wondered aloud what is going to happen to Freeport. What is the government going to do? More people are leaving for Nassau and the young do not have confidence that they are living in a viable society any longer.
This is Hubert Ingraham's legacy: destruction and devastation and despair.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 5 th March 2011 up to midnight: 200,659
Number of hits for the month of February up to Monday 28th February 2011 up to midnight: 662,229
Number of hits for the month of March up to Saturday 5 th March 2011 up to midnight: 102,817
Number of hits for the year 2011 up to Saturday 5 th March 2011 up to midnight: 1,465,485
There is a way for the authorities to deal with an unpaid traffic ticket and the apparent refusal to turn up to court on a traffic summons. This is particularly the case when the person who has not paid the ticket is a high profile individual. You simply call the person and give him a friendly reminder and ask him if he would go and settle it or the police will have to take further steps. This happens routinely when the police want to do it. But when they wish to embarrass a citizen they do something else. We say this because of the backlog of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of unpaid traffic tickets and the inability of the police to enforce the warrants of the court.
What typically happens is this: you are given a traffic ticket which is really a summons. It says if you want to plead guilty, you go to the court office and pay. If you want to plead not guilty then you must turn up to the court on a date which is fixed on the summons to make your plea. Some people forget, others ignore it. When your name is called at the court and you are not there, the judge orders a warrant for your arrest. This more likely than not takes months and years to be enforced. But the police have a favourite trick and that is to find the person at a most inconvenient time, particularly if they are prominent persons and they come and physically arrest you until you pay or the magistrate orders your release.
It is designed to embarrass the person and it gets high profile publicity for the police involved. That is precisely what they appeared to do to Erin Ferguson, the television commentator , who has been making it his weekly duty to be a thorn in the side of everyone. The police showed him better than they could tell him and arrested him on a warrant for an unpaid traffic offence.
They paraded him down town with handcuffs. People could not help to compare this with that bit in his programme where he says that certain politicians and other public figures who are the subject of his ire that they “ lock up”. Mr. Ferguson seemed to take it in stride but for the public this was yet another sign of the Ingraham administration gone crazy, locking up its opponents. The arrest took place on March 1st. Photo taken by David Haynes
FRED MITCHELL'S PRESS CONFERENCE IN GRAND BAHAMA
None of the mainstream carried what Fred Mitchell MP said about the connection of the Free National Movement (FNM) to violence in elections in the past. Mr. Mitchell went to Grand Bahama and at PLP headquarters in Freeport issued the statement below on Thursday 3 rd March which follows about the FNM's allegations against the PLP and the protestors of the sale of BTC.. The protest took place on Monday 28th, February.
Mr. Mitchell was concerned that the police resources are being used by the government to spy on its own people at a time when crime is a major issue. His statement becomes doubly important in the face of an attempt by Tommy Turnquest, the Minister of National Security of the country in the House of Assembly on Thursday 3 rd March, to link the PLP with paying protestors and now he says rapists and murderers were found by the police in the crowd. This is from the old Ingraham playbook of 1997. Church Virgil as murdered during that campaign. He was an FNM Minister of the government and Sir Lynden Pindling, the then Leader of the Opposition did not attend the funeral of Chuck Virgil because he was afraid of being physically attacked.
The FNM has fomented the idea that PLPs had killed Chuck Virgil and had whipped up their supporters in that sentiment. It turned out that it was FNM supporters that killed him. But that all helped to defeat the PLP in 1997. Now they are at it again, desperate as they are to win at any cost. What people should remember is that the most violent episode in the history of The Bahamas was that of 1972 when the FNM and its partisans were connected to murder and mayhem in the electioneering. The statement of Mr. Mitchell follows:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STATEMENT BY FRED MITCHELL MP FOR FOX HILL
ON THE ATMOSPHERE ON INTIMIDATION IN THE COUNTRY
3rd March 2011
As a Member of Parliament, I was shocked on Monday 28th February to see the level of police presence in the public square for a House meeting and the barricades surrounding the House. Indeed on my feet in the House, I asked why the large police presence. It seemed ridiculous in the face of all the crime that is going on in our country that the senior manpower of the Force and of its intelligence unit in particular were tied up the whole live long day with not one thing to do. I believe that the government can now be accused of seeking to use the police against its own people.
I had a further cause for concern when during the course of the House meeting on Monday 28th February, from his Chair the Prime Minister continued what is the propaganda line of his party that somehow the people who demonstrated the week before in the public square were not sincere in their protest and dissent. He claimed to know who was paid and how much and said further that he had the pictures and he knew the buses and he knew the amounts. If he does, then be a man and publish and be damned, do not hide behind threats and innuendo. The PLP and Fred Mitchell have nothing to hide in this matter. I am also concerned that this might mean that there is some truth to the stories circulating in the country that the Governent has been misusing the Security and Intelligence Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
This is again an attempt to intimidate people who have legitimate complaints and dissent. I pointed out in my statement in the House at the time on Monday that one should not confuse what is done monetarily to mobilise peoole with paying demonstrators. And in any event, even if what the Prime Minister said was true, nothing unlawful occurred. I am convinced that the comments were designed to intimidate future protesters.
The final concern I mention today is the fact of the report that FNM supporters,of Mr. Ingraham allegedly interrupted and broke up the meeting of one of their own Members of Parliament on Tuesday 1st March because the discussion was perceived to be against the policy of the FNM on BTC. This is real bully boy tactic and Mr. Ingraham ought to dissassociiate himself from that behavior forthwith. The Prime Minister ought to publicly reaffirm that he believes in freedom of speech and the right to dissent. Further, he ought to publicly decry any attempt by those who support him in the FNM to return us to the era of violence that was associated with the FNM in the 1972 election which resulted in murder and executions.
I make this public appeal for him to do so and to do so now.
PHOTO SPREAD AT BULLA'S LUNCH BUNCH SERVICE
Tuesday is the day that the Lunch Bunch usually meets for their weekly luncheon. Political activist, former PLP Chairman and FNM candidate for Englerston Brenville "Bulla" Hanna who died week before last from congenital kidney disease was buried in his beloved Acklins Island on Saturday 5 th March. His funeral service was held in St. George's Church in The Valley on Friday 4 th March. The Lunch Bunch though was the setting he loved: people, the fellows who were his friends, the food, drink and comrades and camaraderie. Amongst them were Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill whom he got elected to his first position in the PLP as Chairman of the Centreville Branch in 1975; Perry Christie the Leader of the Opposition, Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister and former GGs Sir Orville Turnquest and Arthur Hanna. Ed Bethel, Garth Nash (H.O.), Cleveland Eneas ( Fritzi) and Henry Dean put together from the Lunch Bunch a service in celebration of the life and times of the man many knew only as Bulla. It was good send off. Athama Bowe took the pictures on 1 st March at St Mary's Church. Fr Andrew Toppin preached the sermon. Photos by Athma Bowe.
He was warned by his colleagues, fellow Ministers and the Prime Minister to leave well enough alone. You cannot win everything. The fact is that notwithstanding his hatred of Alfred Sears and Fred Mitchell the MPs for the PLP who exposed his lack of attention to the leadership of the Walter Parker Primary School in Freeport and his dereliction of duty in Grand Bahama generally, the two MPs were absolutely right. The headmistress of the Walter Parker Primary School Sheila Scavella is now gone. There was a mess left in her wake at the school. The Minister made a mistake putting her there. The teachers were in revolt. He has not gone back to those teachers and apologized. He has not apologized to Sandra Edgecombe, the local primary school Freeport superintendent who he has victimized because he thinks that she will be a candidate for the PLP in the next election. He is wrong. So instead of simply letting the matter rest since the principal is out of the system and presumably gone to school somewhere, he raised the matter in the House on Thursday 3 rd March and tried to be scurrilous in the bargain.
What one has the case of Andre Birbal and the sexual assault on two boys at Eight Mile Rock (which he raised) have to do with the fact that the principal of the school at Walter Parker Primary gave poor leadership at Walter Parker and the teachers were in revolt. Was this just the imagination of the public or was there really a problem? The Minister then went on to reveal he says with the permission of Ms. Scavella her annual confidential reports or (ACR). He did this presumably to show what: that she received excellent ratings even while investigations were going on at the schools that she served about money and how it was being spent. Indeed investigations are still going on about the school money in the school that she just left.
The Minister has questions to him on the House of Assembly's order paper which he has not answered. He ought to answer them not engage in a useless and idle rant against his political opponents real or imagined. We understand that he is trying in some back handed way by the use of the ACRs to get at Sandra Edgecombe, the superintendent that he is victimizing and blaming for a situation that is entirely of his own making. The facts are incontrovertible that Mrs. Edgecombe simply followed the directives of the Permanent Secretary in this matter. The Minister's performance was sorry. It was pathetic. It smacked of desperation. Here is the man who is supposed to be above the fray, so independent minded, so responsive notwithstanding political affiliation, thrashing about in the House like the standard political hack so many of his colleagues has turned out to be. Shame on you Minister. And then the biggest laugh about Fred Mitchell putting something on his website. Website? Is this what we have come to now? Get a life!
PHOTO SPREAD ANSEL SAUNDERS HONOURED IN BIMINI
The photo of the week is that of the MP for Bimini Obie Wilchcombe with bonefish record holder Ansel Saunders on parade in Bimini on the 40 th anniversary of the record holding 16 pound catch. The celebrations took place on Thursday and Friday February 24 th and 25 th in Bimini. We present additional photos of the celebrations. Fred Mitchell MP of Fox Hill attended the celebrations on the Thursday and posed with Mr. Saunders and other bonefish guides from Bimini and the representatives of the Guy Harvey group. There was a Junkanoo parade as well. Photos by Patrick Ford.
REPORT OF FNMS BREAKING UP BRANVILLE'S MEETING
The story first broke on Bahamas Press. It said that Hubert Ingraham's FNM had sent a squad of goons headed by Mavis Collie, the wife of the Blue Hill FNM MP, to break up the meeting of Branville McCartney on March. He town meeting had been called by Mr. McCartney to find out the views of his constituents about the sale of BTC. It is reported that despite the noises to the contrary, his appearing at the rally against the sale, Mr. McCartney intends to vote with the FNM on the sale. Nevertheless, he held the town meeting. He invited the Unions, Cable and Wireless, the government and the Utilities Regulation Competition Authority (URCA). Only the unions showed. The government said that Mr. McCartney could represent them. We give you the link to The Tribune story on the matter and the video of some of what took place from the Facebook page of Bran McCartney.
MARK FULFORD CALLED TO THE BAR
We congratulate our friend Mark Fulford, the former aide to Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Michael Misick, on his call to the Bar of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Here is a report on the matter from the local press in the Turks:
The brilliance and oratory skills of rising star attorney Mark Fulford mesmerized those who were in attendance to witness his ceremony of admission to the Turks and Caicos Islands Bar, including presiding judge, Chief Justice Gordon Ward. Fulford was admitted to the TCI Bar on Friday, February 18, with the ceremony held in the Supreme Courtroom in Providenciales.
A wide cross-section of the TCI society was in attendance to witness the event, including Former Premier Galmo ‘Gilley' Williams, former chief minister Washington Misick, business woman Sandra Garland, publisher Blythe Duncanson and former Physical Planning Department director Earl C. Handfield.
The young attorney, who said he was saddened that his grandmother – Emily Parker - who died on February 5, could not be in attendance, bemoaned the political situation it the Turks and Caicos Islands. Even while discouraging the rising star attorney from completing his acceptance speech due to its incisive analysis of the current political and economic situation of the TCI, Chief Justice Ward told Fulford that he admired his passion and tenacity towards the profession and urged him not to allow anyone to trample or thwart his efforts from attaining his desired goal, using his own action to curtail the young attorney's speech as example.
Justice Ward also reminded Fulford that he should be mindful of the forerunners of the profession, who have set the standard, and encouraged him not to allow circumstances make him function below those standards. In his acceptance speech, Fulford remarked that his call to the bar came at a time when his country was going through what he described as a very significant period in its history when the Turks and Caicos Islands' Constitution will be changed.
“I deem it a privilege to be joining the legal minds of my homeland at this time, where a lawyer's job does not only include prosecuting and defending, but now has to include advocating for the advancement, not retreat, of the Turks and Caicos Islander's way of life. “We all know too well that our Country appears to be like a sinking ship.
With holes below the waterline, punctured by those who care not for TCI; the helm, is now in the hands of those, who want to go to a different place from us, it's sails only hoisted by a captain, doing the bidding, of some far off Admiral. Are we once again, to be cast as the slaves in the galley, awaiting our fate, at the behest of those, whose interests hardly ever coincide with ours?” Fulford noted.
According to him, it has been the tradition of TCI lawyers to challenge the status quo in order to ensure that the rights and freedoms of the TCI people are protected. “Is it not our duty to see an immediate return to democracy; to negotiate for political and economic plurality? Is it not our duty, to free ourselves, of the shackles of neocolonialism?” Fulford asked.
Fulford added: “Should we not demand to know what areas of the 2006 Constitution failed, rather than submissively accept wholesale revision? Should we not demand to know, in the 21st century, what role the Governor plays? We should be under no illusion he is not our representative; to Britain he is their man in TCI. Should we not demand to know what is Britain's plan for our economy, rather than just be saddled with more debt and a whole load of strings attached to it?
“I, Mark A Fulford, Turks and Caicos Islander, lawyer and citizen ask you, to join with me, in demanding that the original promised date, of July 2011 be our election month return us, to the democracy, to which we are entitled, or will we be forced to riot in the streets, as in Cairo and Tunisia.”
Fulford was recommended to the TCI Bar by the organisation's Vice President, Wendell Swann, who told the Chief Justice that he had served his six months under his tutelage and supervision with distinction.
PLPS RAP THE FNM GOVERNMENT
It was like the FNM was in school as PLP speaker after speaker scorched the bad record of governance by the Free National Movement government during their so called mid-year budget statement. We have links to the addresses of Alfred Sears MP Ft. Charlotte, Shane Gibson PLP MP Golden Gates; and Ryan Pinder PLP MP Elizabeth. The debate was abruptly closed by the Prime Minister on Thursday 3rd March when Deputy PLP leader Philip Davis refused to yield to allow an FNM speaker to speak after the Prime Minister indicated that he was shutting down the debate. Mr. Davis led the walk out. The FNMs are all over the web saying that the PLP abandoned their responsibilities but the truth is the FNM are dictators and they are led by a dictator. He cannot take dissent and he will be crushed politically for it. There was a contretempt in the House when an FNM politician shouted from his seat at a PLP MP Shane Gibson that he was a thief. Mr. GIbson replied: Your pa is a tief. The FNM MP was shaken visibily and has threatened to " f up" Mr. Gibson. Hmmm! Those whom the gods destroy they first make mad.
4th March 2011
It is sad when we think about where our country is today. The exploitation and sad state of affair makes us wonder what the future will hold for our children and future generations. Why is it that we are not protected by the government and its agencies? We vote for members of parliament to protect our national interests, and allow us to be pride to be Bahamians. But while the Minister of Labour campaigns on the family island his department gives jobs away like sand in an hour glass. The Department of Immigration gives work permits out like a flea market sale and we are left with what?
Sandals expats at work with no work permit.
This week a Sandals' Manager was frantically giving out work permits to expats at Sandals who have been working without proper documents. It appears as if not all the expats at Sandals had the right to work in The Bahamas. Here's what we learnt. The Manager was applying for the work permits after the expats had begun working and hence when the work permit was ready and picked up only a few months was left on the work permit.
The wicked mechanism of Sandals
Reportedly, in 2001, Pam Pierre, Purchasing Manager was terminated. The reason given was her position was made redundant. The next day her responsibilities were given to her assistant. Pam sued Sandals and won more than $80,000.
Why is it that Atlantis, Breezes, Sheraton and Comfort Suites are pro Bahamian and Sandals is anti- Bahamian? Past former managers like Andre Newbold, Sherry Bastian, Herman Pyfrom, Domica Davis, Vanria Edwards and Urial Adderley can attest to this. While Andre Newbold was being fired, the woman who Sandals said was brought in to train under him was moving into his office. The reason given to him was the hotel was moving into a new direction. That direction was non Bahamian, anti-Bahamian.
Even strong FNM supporters got the hatchet: Andre Newbold, Uriel Adderely and then girlfriend to Byron Woodside (MP), Melissa Nichols.
Sandals GM who the Jamaican expats refer to as the Belgium joker told Bahamian butlers that they are overpaid and in Jamaica their salary could pay 6 butlers.
Every department is affected.
Employees have been robbed of commission. This was reported and Sandals claims it is under investigation. Now Sandals announced that commissions will be cut.
Employees were making $4.85 an hour for years and it wasn't until we went to the Labour Board and Hotel Association to compare the pay rate that we discovered that we should be making $7.01 an hour. Sandals gave us a retropay of 2 weeks after 7 years of being underpaid .
F & B
Keno Johnson, beverage supervisor was the most recent employee to collapse on the job due to being overworked.
Understaffed, underpaid and overworked in the dining room.
Room attendants are cleaning 15 – 16 rooms instead of the industry 13. We have to bring cleaning material and spray to work to clean Sandals' rooms.
Concierge and Front Office
Understaffed and treated poorly. We never have supplies we need to efficiently operate the department. While Sandals has 1 telephone operator per shift, Atlantis' Cove has more than 10 operators for the same amount of rooms.
Underpaid and overworked.
Underpaid and overworked. We have a cook who has been with us for 14 years and she takes home $5.85 an hour. Come on Labour Board what are you doing? This amounts to $234 a week for a 40 hour shift. So an employee in stewarding at $7.01 an hour now makes more than a cook. We have to bring our own utensils and seasoning to work. We have to use our money to purchase items to prepare meals and its always a problem getting reimbursed.
THE HORSE IS OUT OF THE BARN GOVT. ACTS
The MInister of Labour Dion Foulkes on Friday 4th March made the following announcement in Freeport: The Department of Labour in Grand Bahama, under the leadership of Deputy Director, . Tyrone Gibson has organized on one stop shop for the former employees of Our Lucaya to access the following assistances:
All recently laid off workers at Our Lucaya are invited to participate in this One Stop Shop on this coming Monday at the Foster B. Pestaina Center of the Pro Cathedral of Christ the King from 9 am to 5pm.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the constituents of Fort Charlotte for giving me this second consecutive term to serve them in the House of Assembly.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
This week Forrester Carroll from Freeport quizzes the government on the use of German Shepherd dogs in the public square during the recent BTC demonstration:
Isn't it just like Hubert Ingraham to use his boycotting tactics to piss all over events which would highlight Perry Christie's, sober and prudent, period of governance? He boycotted the Nassau International Airport's re-naming ceremony which honored Sir Lynden Pindling by the changing of the name to that of “Sir Lynden Pindling's Airport;” and yesterday (21st February) he failed to show up for the official ground breaking ceremony of Perry Christie's Baha Mar, cable beach re-development project. He did so, in my view, simply because Perry Christie and the PLP government initiated talks and indeed approved the concept of that landmark agreement. I say “concept” because Ingraham has made so many changes to Christie's original plan that it is now seen as only a shell of Christie's good idea. Will he also boycott the official opening of the new Stadium? And what about the Albany project; will he also piss on that? As I recall, he never attended any opening ceremonies either, while the PLP was in power (2002-2007). He is a terribly soar loser; can't stand being around when someone, other than he, is prime minister.
I've had it up to my esophagus with this house Negro. He made a mockery of the straw market project, where the bloody church-like monstrosity being built shows no vision for the future and, apart from being inadequate for our, right now, needs it certainly will not serve our future potential. Protocol (if only for the sake of respect and official Bahamian courtesies) in our system, dictates that the prime minister should have attended this function. He should not have detailed any surrogate to represent him barring, of course, any unforeseen extenuating circumstance. Christie opined, and rightfully so, that Ingraham's absence was yet another affront to the $3 billion investment and I concur overwhelmingly. What message has Ingraham sent, to the nation, by his absence? He has certainly sent a clear message, but exactly what it is we do not know at the moment. Was the message sent meant to give aid and comfort to the operators of the Atlantis Resorts? We wonder about this, while we ponder Ingraham's next asinine move.
Ingraham has been pussyfooting around with this Baha Mar project since taking office in 2007. The project has had four years of woes because the NINNY prime minister cannot make up his bloody mind whether he wants it to move forward or not. Here is a $3 billion investment which promises to revitalize the entire cable beach strip by injecting new life into the area, and all we get from this NINNY is a whole heap of shadow boxing. The ignoramus travelled to China, with an entourage larger than what the president of the United States would normally have travelled with; he said that his trip was to secure a better deal for Bahamian Building contractors. He returned bragging about the fact that he was able to get the Chinese to agree to doubling the amount of construction work, initially intended to be awarded, yet he boycotted the ceremony; why?
I, for one, am happy the loggerhead did what he did, because it shows clearly what kind of NINNY this fellow really is. I am so very sure that most of the attendees were extremely pleased, as well, that he didn't show. Look what they got as a bonus; they didn't have to subject themselves to this piss head's pitiful presence. If you ask me, I believe that the Baha Mar
principals were, as well, very pleased that Ingraham didn't show. I am convinced that what he put them through these last four years, they were pleased to break ground without the NINNY around.
Christie opined that “There is no better person than the prime minister, of a country, who could better symbolize the achievements of that country, and the pride of the country in its achievements; that is what I thought the occasion missed today;” really Mr. former prime minister? Although, like you, I condemn Ingraham for pissing all over our customary, traditional and age old protocols, I thought, quite frankly, just the opposite; I thought his absence, from the event, was a breadth of fresh air Mr. former, and soon to be again prime minister, Sir. Ingraham's excuse, for not attending, he said? “Having attended and spoken at Baha Mar's dinner, the Sunday evening, and meeting with the Chairman of the Export-Import Bank and the Chinese ambassador, at the office of the prime minister, on Monday morning, I am preparing the report to parliament of the mid-year government performance;” unquote; that is an ultra lousy excuse, for a prime minister, to opt out of his bounden duties, indeed.
By the way, what are the FNM government's national development plans and policies for the country? We certainly knew what policies and plans Perry Christie embarked on, after rescuing the country from the economic doldrums, to which Ingraham had driven it, by the time 2002 rolled around. The major thrust of his (Christie's) master plan was to spread the wealth to the major family islands by way of the anchor projects, while at the same time encouraging persons, living in crowded Nassau, to opt to return to their respective native islands to take advantage of the economic opportunities resulting from those development projects. I guess Kenneth Russell was right, after all, when he told the Parliament once, that the FNM's plans for the country's development were all in Ingraham's head and when he was ready to tell his cabinet what they were he, us and the rest of the cabinet, would know about them. Sounds very much like the way the nasty and dangerous dictators, of the past and present, operate doesn't it?
When all is said and done, however, it has to be that all of us will come to the same sad conclusion, that Hubert Alexander Ingraham is a total embarrassment to us all; a millstone around the neck of our country and the worse Head of State this country has ever known. To say the least, I am ashamed of the house nigger who seems to be a lunatic, and out of his cotton picking mind, most of the time.
Yesterday, 23rd February, there was a massive peaceful demonstration on Bay Street. The Negro had the gall to lock the doors to the parliament and in the process locked out many of the people's representatives. It can be said that he locked the people out of their own house, which no one (except the people) has a right to do. Can you imagine representatives of the people not being able to access the people's Hon. House of Assembly while in session? This is the first (god
awful) time this has ever happened, in our history, and it is not supposed to happen. As a matter of fact it is a worrisome breach of the rules and, while I stand to be corrected, I believe that the locking of the parliament doors, while in session, might have breached the Constitution. For me though, what was more worrisome was when the police to take attack dogs with them to Bay Street; what's up with that? At the very least Ingraham and Turnquest must answer who ordered the dogs, to Bay Street and was it for their protection, because the police would not have made such a decision without concurrence of the government and we all know that Tommy Turnquest will dare not go to the bath room without Ingraham's permission, hence my very logical question. Ingraham is totally out of control; he reminds me, very vividly, of Khadafy, of Libya, who summoned his gun ships to spray peaceful Demonstrators, in that country, with bullets from the air. And what's up with the police dogs? Why were they approved to be brought out on Bay Street? Why were those dogs brought to Bay Street? Police dogs are trained to attack, bite and mull people on command; was that the purpose for the dogs, I ask you Hubert Alexander Ingraham? The clubbing of the people, by the police with their batons, was not force enough Tommy Turnquest? Have we become, now, like that animal in Zimbabwe? The scene, vividly, reminded me of the measures taken by the police in the southern United States, during those times of slavery and race riots. It conjured up visions of South Africa, during the period of Apartheid, when they used high pressure water hoses and attack dogs to keep the niggers (they said) in line. The symbol of attack dogs, on Bay Street, will forever linger to haunt Ingraham and Tommy Turnquest, during the coming election campaign. Why, I ask again, were the dogs brought out on Bay Street if not to let them loose on those peaceful demonstrators?
Now the piss head wants to fool around with Steve McKinney again. Steve McKinney has a right to demonstrate if he wishes and tell that Edward Ellis fellow to desist forthwith from doing Ingraham's dutty work. Ingraham has never had any regard for general orders except, of course, when it suited his purpose. He has always engaged the services of civil servants, very blatantly, in his political campaigns, so tell him to go and take a hike. In any event I don't believe that Steve McKinney gives a damn what illegal actions are taken against him because he has reportedly only a month left on his contract which he felt was not going to be renewed anyway. He obviously is well prepared for whatever consequences Ingraham wishes to impose and I believe he (Steve) has the legal upper hand in this one, you sucker. And so what, Carl Bethel, if the PLP did provide buses for persons who wanted to go to Bay Street to march against the giveaway of our State owned BTC? And so what if we did give them $10 each for lunch; we didn't, of course, but so what if we did, Carl Bethel? The FNM does it all the time, during general elections; only you buy the votes by wrapping up the money in those red T-shits and the amount of money is usually more than $10 each. Get a life Carl Bethel and you had better learn to take your licks more gracefully, because there are more to come.
Ingraham has certainly taught us well, over the years, how NOT to govern.
Alfred Sears MP's Announcement
Alfred Sears MP PLP for Ft. Charlotte has officially communicated to the party Leader and to the PLP's branch at Ft. Charlotte that he is to retire from politics at the next election and will not be running for office when the general election is called. He remains a member and supporter of the PLP. Mr. Sears told his branch meeting of his decision on Thursday 3 rd March. We are sorry to see him leave but wish him the best. He has provided exemplary leadership in the House and as a Minister. No word on who is to succeed him.
Cheryl Grant' Victory Of Sorts
The Judge Snr. Justice Jon Isaacs ruled on Friday 4 th March in a 68 page ruling that the way the government and the Judicial Legal Services Commission treated Cheryl Grant Bethel in her quest for the job of Director of Public Prosecutions was unfair and shabby (our words). He said that her reputation had been unfairly sullied by the authorities. The judgment spoke up strongly for her reputation. She should have been pleased at that. However the judge did not go further and grant the relief asked for by Ms Grant including an award of damages. It left the litigants confused and it seems that the matter is headed to the Court of Appeal. The decision that was hoped for was to set aside the decisions of the authorities and have the matter remitted to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and heard according to law. That did not happen. The end result is that the actions of the authorities although wrong and unfair continue to stand.
Mitchell On Urban Renewal Tour
Fred Mitchell MP Fox Hill toured his constituency with the Urban Renewal office to plot out issues of concern for the office to address. The office is now headed by Kellan Russell. The photos are from Urban Renewal Fox Hill's Facebook Page.
Fred Mitchell On Keva Bethel
Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill spoke on the eve of the funeral of Keva Bethel in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 23 rd February. He said that Keva Bethel, the late President Emerita of the College of The Bahamas was almost iconic. Here is the video:
Fred Mitchell On The Mid Year Budget
Fred Mitchell spoke in the House of Assembly on the midyear budget statement of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham on Monday 28 th February. He scorched the government for spending money on roads while children could not get their school fees paid. You can click here for the full notes of the address and the link to the video of the presentation.
Al Dillette Returns Home
Al Dillette, the managing editor of the previous incarnation of this site and the former Director General of the Bahamas Information Services, has returned to the Bahamas following a stint in hospital in the United States. He was being treated for the effects of a stroke. He is now recovering at home. Welcome home.
Hotel Layoffs In GBI
The Comment Of The Week spoke to the devastation of the layoffs in Freeport's Our Lucaya, while the representatives of the FNM for Freeport were congratulating themselves in the House of Assembly on what a good job they were doing with the economy. Not even a word of sympathy. Everywhere you go in Freeport people are predicting that the FNM will be wiped out in Freeport as a result of it. We shall see. But there is more instability coming. The Port Authority is up for sale and a group out of Abu Dhabi is making a bid for the whole kit and caboodle. They do not want Hutchison involved, who are now co owners of the Airport and the Harbour. Further, while that bid is being considered, with both the Haywards and St Georges mulling it over, Jack Hayward, one half owner of a half of the Port, is tied up in court fighting with his children. Money has become tight for everyone. The Port itself seems to be suffering some kind of cash crisis with only the water company producing any kind of cash income. Some are predicting that within five years, the ability of the Port to service the city will collapse because its revenue base is so rapidly declining from service fees as a result of concessions by Jack Hayward and Edward St. George when they sold off the assets of the Port and took their money out. Then there is the container port itself in Freeport which is not doing very well at the moment, with only one customer and a fight going on between the 49 per cent owners MSC and Hutchison their partners over the revenue for containers passing through. This may be all solved if Chris Gray, the former executive of the Container Port, is able to get his Abu Dhabi deal through. Waiting in the wings is the government set to receive a windfall in real property tax in 2015 when the present exemptions expire. But the real issue at the moment is no one has a vision for where Freeport is to be in ten years.
|13thth March , 2011
Welcome to bahamasuncensored.com
|WHAT THE POLICE STAFF ASSOCIATION SAID||THE NEW ISREALI AMBASSADOR|
|THE PLP RESPONDS TO POLICE STAFF ASSOCIATION||STALWARTS HONOURED IN FREEPORT|
|THE URCA DECISION ON BTC STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN||PLP RESPONSE TO WSC CONTRACT GIVEAWAYS|
|FRED MITCHELL RESPONSE ON URCA DECISION||PROTESTS IN ABACO|
|THE PLP RALLY PICTURES CHRISTIE SAYS||A LADY WOUNDED BY THE PROTESTS AND NO APOLOGY BY THE POLICE|
|DEMO IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS MITCHELL SPEAKS||MITCHELL ANSWERS DESMOND BANNISTER FROM FREEPORT|
|MITCHELL ON CHREYL BETHEL||THE NASTINESS OF FNM FACEBOOK PAGES|
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...||IN PASSING...|
|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...|
|JeromeFiztgerald.org||Bahamas Government Website|
|KendredDorsett.com||Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links|
|FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES...||Bahamians On The Web|
|How & Why The PLP Lost in 2007 - The Greenberg Report...||BahamasIssues.com|
THE RED SPOKESMAN FOR THE POLICE ON THE FORCE: This is the photo used by The Tribune when it ran its story on Friday 11 th March about the Police Staff Association's Chairman Dwight Smith attacking politicians for their involvement in a political march to protest the sale of BTC. See our further comments below. Mr. Smith was completely out of order. He has no business as a policeman making political comments and it is simply none of his business or any policeman what the motives are for people who march. None of their business. They are there to prevent disorder and to arrest if necessary lawbreakers. He was on the scene by his own account and did neither of those things. He is therefore guilty of dereliction of duty if his own statements are to be believed. He claimed that people were terrorizing stores on Bay Street. Presumably that is a crime, did he arrest anyone? His answer, they were not technically breaking the law. Well either you are breaking the law or you are not. There is no in between. We are shocked to say the least that the Commissioner of Police has not acted against such a blatant political statement by the head of the Police Staff Association. But this is Hubert Ingraham's Bahamas. Indeed his former driver was next to the Staff Association Chairman as he spoke. When one looks back at the recent change in government in Trinidad and Tobago and the Prime Minister there discovering that the security services had tapped her phone and other politicians without authority when she was in Opposition and knowing the Ingraham method of doing business what is to stop people from thinking that the situation is not the same in The Bahamas. Now this lone policeman comes along and is blatantly political. For that we photo-shopped his photo and changed the colour of his tie to red which is what it should be, and we make it our photo of the week.
THE FNM WORKS THROUGH POLICE ASSOCIATION
Two weeks ago on Thursday 3 rd March in the House of Assembly, Tommy Turnquest, the Minister of National Security revealed information that came to him from the police in the House about the demonstrations on Bay Street on 23 rd February. He claimed that there were people in the crowd who were wanted for various offences including murder and some who were out on bail. This was explosive stuff and should not have gone unchallenged by the PLP while it was sitting in the House of Assembly.
The clear import of the Minister's remarks was to seek to say that somehow the PLP had brought murderers and rapists into Bay Street to protest against the sale of BTC. That is an egregious slur, a contemptible, damnable lie and a libel. Mr. Turnquest is to be condemned for it.
Perry Christie, the Leader of the Opposition, spoke to his party's at a rally at Golden Gates on Tuesday 8 th March and called out the Minister on is statement. He said it was an attempt by the FNM to muddy the campaign and to defame the PLP. The FNM rejected the criticism saying that Tommy Turnquest had done nothing wrong.
Of course, we know the playbook. We know that in 1997, the FNM accused the PLP of killing Chuck Virgil, their then Minister of the government. It later turned out that he was killed by FNM supporters. We also know that the most violent period in the history of elections in this country was done under the FNM in 1972 when an FNM supporter was murdered on orders from FNM higher ups and two FNM supporters later confessed to the murders and were executed as a result of it. That is the history of the FNM in these matters.
But they specialize in lying, and muddying up and nastying up and the PLP has so far proved to be such a tentative organization in defending its own reputation that it was left to the champions of Facebook like Mario Bannister who are PLP supporters to strike back at the FNM nonsense.
It does not end there however. We now have the spectre of a Police Staff Association Chair one Sgt. Dwight Smith who gave a press conference on Thursday 10th March. In that press conference he did two things. He made a statement which supported the statements of Tommy Turnquest. He also called on Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill and opposition' spokesman on the Public Service to apologize to the police for remarks made in a press conference about the use of SIB reports. Mr. Mitchell said and we quote: “ In any event, I have a view which I espoused as minister and I still hold and that is that SIB reports are often based on gossip and trivia and are elevated in the minds of the bureaucracy to too high a level.”
Mr. Smith claims that this has affected the morale of SIB officers. The superior at the Security and Intelligence Branch Superintendent Robert Young while denying that the reports are based on gossip said that he did not think that what Mr. Mitchell said had affected the men at SIB at all.
In a statement issued today Mr. Mitchell said that he will not apologize and in fact he repeats and stands by the statement.
We agree with him. He also issued an earlier statement in the immediate aftermath of Mr. Smith's statements as follows: “What I wish to say is that any and all of the comments made by me at any time are directed at politicians and policies and not at public servants. The comments are about public policy. That should be crystal clear from the content and context of the remarks. The police as a disciplined force are to be neutral in their responses and reactions to these matters. That is in the very nature of a disciplined force. I expect that the Security and Intelligence Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force will continue to conduct themselves in the same politically neutral and above board fashion as their training dictates. Police officers do not dabble in political matters. As a politician, I have tried scrupulously to avoid a tit for tat with public servants who must serve both PLPs, FNMs and in betweens. That is the nature of their jobs, to serve all without fear or favour. I do not intend to start now. Public servants are to be politically neutral since they serve all Bahamians. The Staff Association has met with us before and I am happy to speak with them again on any matter of public policy at any time of their choosing if they think it would be useful.”
And so the points are these about Dwight Smith. In the context and history of all of this, Mr. Smith is clearly an FNM front man. The only thing which he did not do on the day of his press conference was to wear his red tie. We have photo shopped the photograph on this site to give him that red tie like the leaders of the FNM wear. He has damaged the credibility of the Police Staff Association beyond repair. He has no credibility or ability now to speak with the PLP because he has attacked the PLP directly and sought to contradict publicly the words of the Leader of the Opposition. He ought to resign his office since he can no longer be effective.
This is the problem of policemen getting involved in politics. Policemen are supposed to have no views on these matters to be expressed in public. The PLP issued a statement on the matter with which we agree and which we publish below.
Mr. Smith ought to be thoroughly ashamed of his disgraceful behavior. The police commissioner ought to take the necessary disciplinary action in this matter. Mr. Smith ought to resign his office forthwith.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 12 th March 2011 up to midnight: 161,910
Number of hits for the month of March up to Saturday 12 th March 2011 up to midnight: 264,727
Number hits for the year 2011 up to Saturday 12 th March 2011 up to midnight: 1,627,395
The following is excerpted from a report by The Tribune of Friday 11 th March on what the Chairman of the Police Staff Association Dwight Smith had to say on the matter of the demonstration against the sale of BTC:
Mr. Smith said the police had a difficulty with participants in the protest who had "nothing to do with BTC," but were there "advancing political groups."
"We saw so many things that were going on. I, for one, wondered if we were dealing with a BTC situation or if we were dealing with a political situation. For the life of me I could not understand what was going on.
"I saw, along with other executive members, as we gone through the downtown area, persons walking around with political photos of individuals."
The demonstration was said to have been organized by the Committee to Save BTC, but Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) members made a strong appearance. Many of their members were dressed in yellow political garb. A group of Brave Davis supporters also carried life-sized "Be Brave" posters. They were dressed in custom-made designer "unity shirts."
Mr. Smith said downtown merchants called "left, right and centre" to complain about a group of young protesters who were dropped off in the George Street area. As they walked to the protest, merchants claimed they stopped in store after store "causing a disturbance."
"I walked there personally and saw them. I knew some of them and talked to them. I heard them say, if they did not get paid there is going to be problems. I had to encourage some of them to come out of the stores. They had no reason to go in the stores.
"They were just being disruptive," said Mr. Smith.
"My view is there were only a handful of persons there who were really dealing with BTC. If you were to speak to some of those persons, they did not know why they were out there. They did not know what they were out there for. If we were to really do the due diligence, we'll find a lot of them did not understand what was going on," he said.
When the morale, welfare and integrity of the force is under threat, Mr. Smith said, the association has a responsibility to intervene. Such is the case with debate around the BTC protest, he said, where comments being made in the public are "concerning." Mr. Smith said he was strictly speaking from the perspective of the PSA.
He said the police force stands for its integrity, and "we would wish nobody to interfere with that."
"If we see the type and caliber of persons coming out there. We know them. We have nothing to hide on that. We are the police. We know of those persons. Not saying that they are going to come out there and do something, but we have to make sure officers are there in case, and to actually deal with the issues," said Mr. Smith.
"It was strange the type persons I saw. Certainly being a police officer for over 21 years, we know our caliber of persons that were moving up and down. They had nothing to do with BTC, but they were advancing these political groups. The police had a difficulty with that," he said.
When pressed to explain what he meant by criminally-minded persons, Mr. Smith said: "From the perspective of the association, we know that these are persons who are known to the police. These are persons who are unsavoury characters and they would have been before the police on numerous occasions."
He said the PSA supports the public in their right to protest; however, they feel groups "must not let persons whose view is to cause a disruption interrupt what actually should be happening."
"The police are there for safety and to ensure control. (A demonstration of that nature) is a perfect opportunity for any crime to explode," said Mr. Smith.
"We live in a real world; there are persons who don't like this person; those who might have criminal motives; that is the best time for that kind of activity."So the police would have made sure all of its units were there to look out for those persons, who may have been of a criminal nature to make sure, because that was an ample time."
Progressive Liberal Party
March 13th, 2011
POLICE STAFF ASSOCIATION A POLITICAL TOOL OF THE FNM
On March 12th, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Staff Association made claims that ‘criminally-minded' individuals were paid to participate in the BTC mass protest of February 23, 2011. Its President, Dwight Smith claims that some demonstrators were advancing political groups and that the Police had difficulty with participants who had “nothing to do with BTC”. In the Tribune, statements attributed to the Association are that ‘criminally-minded people were overheard to say that they were paid to participate in the BTC mass protest'.
The Progressive Liberal Party is shocked that the Police Staff Association could issue such statements and condemns the action of the President and his Executives. It is evident that the Royal Bahamas Police Force Staff Association remains a tool of the Free National Movement Party and Government. It was certain executive members of this same Association who blatantly wore FNM t-shirts during mass rallies and motorcades prior to the previous election and now, they are making claims that are ridiculous and have no merit.
The actions of the Police Association leading up to and after the last General Election and beyond contributed to the state of affairs that the Country is facing. The general Bahamian public has lost confidence in the Association as they are supposed to be neutral but yet, they demonstrate and blatantly shows partiality. The Association has completely ignored its objectives and by their actions, continues to put a clear divide between the Police and the wider community.
Section 4 of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Staff Association Act, Chapter 206 provides:
“The objects of the Association shall be to enable members of the Association to consider and bring to the notice of the Commissioner matters affecting their welfare and efficiency, including pay, pensions and conditions of service, other than matters relating to discipline and promotion affecting individual members of the Force.”
Nowhere in the Association Act does it make provision for the Association to make such statements to the media or the general public as it was never the intention of Parliament that they should become a political tool. As a matter of fact, under section 11(2) of the Act, it states:
“The Executive Committee may make written representation to the Minister, Commissioner and any other appropriate authority and in matters of importance make oral representations to either the Commissioner, minister or any other appropriate authority”.
Other appropriate authority does not include the making biased statements in the media and to the general public. This is clearly outside the scope and ambit of the Objects of the Association. The PLP is amazed that a Police Officer in the person of the President of the Association could make such reckless statements having regard that he has been a Police officer for some twenty-one (21) years - What does he mean by “criminally-minded” persons? How could the Association conclude that persons had nothing to do with BTC?
Are these not Bahamians? Is not BTC a national asset? Every Bahamian – God-fearing or otherwise should be afraid of what is taking place in this Country under the FNM Government.
The PLP calls upon the Minister of National Security and the Commissioner of Police to immediately scrutinize the actions of the Police Staff Association. Every member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Association must be cognizant of the fact that when the President and/or Executives of the Association make such callous statements, whether the President and/or Executives are genuine and are honestly operating within the objects of the Association.
THE URCA DECISION ON BTC STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN
The following statement was issued by Fred Mitchell MP Fox Hill and one of the objectors to the sale of BTC, the phone company, to the British company Cable and Wireless: “I was informed today 10 th March by The Tribune that URCA has made a decision to agree to the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless. I record for the written record what I told The Tribune. I am a formal objector to the transfer of control of BTC to Cable and Wireless. I responded as follows:
I am not surprised at anything URCA does. URCA has a credibility problem. Its decision is not worth the paper it is written on. URCA is not an independent body. It can be directed by the government. Evidence of this is the fact that at a recent press conference, the Prime Minister admitted that URCA broke the rules when it hired a foreign national to be its human resources officer. The Prime Minister went on to say that he would cause a direction to be given to them to act in accordance with the government's policies. He had earlier said that URCA was an autonomous body. Clearly from that example alone, it is not independent. If the government can direct URCA on the hiring of its Human Resources officer what else can it direct URCA on? In this instance of the decision of BTC, we all know exactly what happened. The matter will now be studied and reviewed by the Courts.
I am one of the objectors that wrote to URCA to object to the change in control of BTC for reasons which were released publicly. URCA has rejected all of the reasons. I am not surprised. I issued a preliminary statement last week upon reading of the decision. I said then that the decision was not worth the paper that it was written on. I repeat that sentiment and make the additional points which follow.
THE SMELL TEST
The decision of URCA reads like a legal treatise. It is no doubt designed in that way to show that all matters have been fully and judicially considered by them in order to satisfy the legal requirements for fairness. The difficulty is that the decision is a sheep in wolves' clothing. It is all dressed up in legal clothes but is redolent of unfairness. It does not pass the smell test. In other words, no amount of legalisms or neologisms can deny the fact that the decision makers in this matter are too proximate to Cable and Wireless and cannot to the reasonable man dispassionately, fairly or judicially make a decision on any matter with regard to Cable and Wireless. The atmosphere at URCA is redolent of Cable and Wireless. Indeed, the whole legislative structure and communications policy and the fact of how Cable and Wireless was invited into this process smells to high heaven. In that regard the decision is fatally flawed. It reminds us of the logic and legal framework put up to support the apartheid regime in South Africa. The authorities there used to arrest Africans for violating those laws. But the laws were immoral. You cannot build a moral structure on an immoral premise so breaking those laws was acceptable. It is the same here with URCA. The history of the Communications Act, the URCA Act is such that those who designed it and now run it are former employees or consultants of Cable and Wireless. Who would in those circumstances believe that the decision made by URCA which involves Cable and Wireless in this regard to a fair and rational one?
THE QUESTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY
URCA rejected the assertion that it was bound not to be party to an unconstitutional result. It took note of a case from Dominica at the Privy Council saying that the Privy Council did not finally pronounce upon the matter. Unfortunately, they did not bother to ask for additional details. If they had, they would have seen how they missed the mark. The matter of this decision was made with such indecent haste that they did not bother to be informed properly about the law. No public body should be party to an unconstitutional result. In fact the public ought to review carefully whether or not URCA in making this decision was in fact motivated y conforming to the government's announced timetable for this deal as opposed to their legislative responsibility. I raised in my earlier statement a statement by the Prime Minister who indicated that he would cause the government to write URCA to tell them that they must conform with the policy on hiring foreigners. I said then if the Prime Minister can give a direction to URCA on that, on what else can he give a direction?
It is therefore very much a matter for URCA to have referred this matter to all the parties to address the issues before making a decision. They ought to have ordered an in depth investigation at the very least pursuant to the Communications Act, Section 78.
One needs only point out to URCA that in citing the case from Dominica and dismissing it out of hand, they ought to ask have themselves the question which follows on a counter factual basis. If they had found that the Privy Council pronounced definitively on the matter, and knowing that it was unconstitutional would they then still have come to the same result. The answer must be clearly no. It follows then that decision that URCA is not competent to determine this point is wrong in law.
THE AFFECT ON COMPETITION
It is here that the logic of URCA is also fatally flawed. They start off with a false premise in their decision. That false premise, one of many in the decision is that “the Acquirer (Cable and Wireless) is not active in any markets in The Bahamas… the transaction does not have, nor is likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in the market.” This false premise makes a mockery of the entire Communications Act and the policy behind the existence of URCA. It means that once someone has never been in this market before there is no chance of lessening competition in the face of an exclusivity provision which may be ultra vires the constitution. So having started on that false premise, it is easy then to come to URCA's lazy conclusion that there is no lessening of competition. URCA set the premise, limited their enquiry and then pronounced themselves satisfied, arguing in what lawyers call a “circulus inextricabilis”.
There are several ways to deal with this. One is the Court of Law by judicial review. The other is by an appeal to the UAT, a special tribunal set up under the Communications Act to deal with appeals. The other is an appeal to the Court of Public opinion. Fourthly a combination of all of the above. The matter is being studied by myself and the lawyers and party members who joined me in my objection with a view to taking the matter further.
THE PLP RALLY PICTURES CHRISTIE SAYS
The PLP held it last political rally before lent on Tuesday 8 th March in the South West area of New Providence. This will be an area critical to the PLP recapturing the government. It lost every seat in that area with the exception of Shane Gibson's Golden Gates seat. Now it is attempting to get them all back: Clifton, Kilarney, Golden Isles, Carmichael, Blue Hills, Pinewood, South Beach and Sea Breeze. The candidates Danny Johnson for Carmichael, Jerome Gomez for Kilarney, Shane Gibson for Golden Gates, Cleola Hamilton for South Beach, Leslie Miller for Blue Hills, and Michael Halkitas for Golden Isles all took to the podium. They were joined by Deputy Leader Philip Davis and Party leader Perry Christie. Mr. Christie laid down the parameters by which the PLP will operate its campaign. He warned the FNM about the nastiness campaign. You may click here to the full address of Mr. Christie. The photos are by Athama Bowe and Andrew Burrows. The video is by Andrew Burrows.
DEMO IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS MITCHELL SPEAKS
Fred Mitchell, the Opposition's spokesman on Foreign Affairs, commented on the demonstrations taking place in the Turks and Caicos Islands our neighbours to the south calling for the British to restore democracy in that country. The British suspended the democracy in the Turks and have resorted to direct rule through a British governor an appointed council. They promised that the suspension would last for two years. They have since reneged on that promise and are unable to say when they will restore democracy to the country. The political sides in TCI are not united on the question but it appears that finally the political leaders are organizing people to at least say they do not like what the British are doing. Here is a transcript of what Mr. Mitchell had to say as reported by The Tribune on Thursday 10 th March:
By PAUL G TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
WITH civil unrest brewing in the Turks and Caicos Islands, PLP MP Fred Mitchell called on the British government to restore parliamentary democracy and bring an end its two year stint in direct control of that nation.
For the past few days, protesters in the Turks and Caicos have taken to the streets demanding an end to the administration headed by the British governor, which has been in place since August 2009.
The islands are a British Overseas Territory, and the UK government disbanded the locally elected administration and suspended its legislature after a Commission of Inquiry found widespread corruption under the administration of the islands' former Premier Michael Misick.
Noting that the PLP has for some time been issuing statements on this matter, Mr. Mitchell reiterated his party's position that the British were wrong in taking away democracy in the Turks and Caicos.
"It is not an issue which we thought would go away given the disquiet on both sides about what the British has done. And the longer it goes on the more there is going to be internal pressure, particularly given the suspension of some of the rules of justice as it relates to the offences they are investigating and more importantly the fact that the British cannot say when they will restore democracy.
"Those who have talked to us from the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have said to them that it is important for them to get together and to publicly demonstrate their concern about the fact that direct rule still exists and there is no timetable for a return to democracy. And so we are not surprised. All that we say that it should be peaceful, they should continue to work to try to get democracy restored and we urge the British to restore democracy," he said.
Mr. Mitchell added that it is of paramount importance that the people of the Turks and Caicos remain united in this struggle, as a "one-sided" protest will not get the job done.
"The people of the Turks and Caicos Islands have to demonstrate together that they are concerned about this issue. There is the CARICOM meeting which just took place, or is coming up, and I haven't seen the results of the meeting; the inter-sessional that took place. I think our deputy prime minister went, and I was hoping that at that time the parties from the Turks and Caicos Islands would have both gone to the meeting and made some attempt to have CARICOM issue even stronger statements with regard to this.
"And we have undertaken with the parties in the Turks and Caicos Islands to do whatever we can to assist in trying to get them in contact with other governments in the Caribbean, and also the government here in the Bahamas to try and put some additional pressure on the British to resolve this issue," he said.
MITCHELL ON CHREYL BETHEL
Cheryl Bethel, former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, was wronged by the Government in the manner in which she was treated when applying for the job of Director of Public Prosecutions.
Consider this. When Hubert Ingraham came to power, he caused Cleopatra Christie, the then Solicitor General (forerunner of the now Director of Public Prosecutions) to be removed from job and made to sit in the library doing nothing. He brought in a Jamaican prosecutor Vylma Hilton. Mrs. Christie is the sister in law of Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie.
Now Mr. Ingraham is back again and this time he has removed Cheryl Grant Bethel from the job of Director of Public Prosecutions, the widow of a former PLP Minister, and brought in another Jamaican Prosecutor. In the law of evidence, we would call that similar fact. This is a pattern of behavior by Hubert Ingraham. In her affidavit to the Court which was struck out on the ground of irrelevance, Mr. Grant-Bethell claimed that the Prime Minister threatened to bloody her face.
The Prime Minister denied this in a defamatory statement made at a press conference last week. Her lawyers are studying that issue. Fred Mitchell MP and Opposition spokesman on the Public Service, held a press conference at the House of Assembly on Tuesday 8 th March. He defended Mrs. Grant Bethell against the Prime Minister's attacks.
There is a new Ambassador for Israel to The Bahamas. Her name is Dr. Rodica Radian-Gordan. She is non- resident and lives in Mexico City, Mexico. She presented her credentials to the Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes at Government House on Thursday 10 th March. In her remarks, she reaffirmed the ties between the two countries, said that her country was watching closely the developments toward popular democracy in the nearby Arab states and urged The Bahamas not to recognize a Palestinian state before genuine negotiations for co-existence between Israel and Palestine had been settled. She is shown with the Governor General Sir Arthur and with Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell MP. The photos are by Peter Ramsay.
STALWARTS HONOURED IN FREEPORT
Senator Michael Darville, the PLP's Candidate for Pineridge, was the host on Saturday 12th March in Freeport at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant where he honoured stalwart councilors of the PLP for the constituency. The photos of the first time event for the dynamic candidate for the PLP are by Allyson Smith. Congratulations to all the honorees.
Progressive Liberal Party
March 13, 2011
PLP RESPONSE TO STATEMENT READ BY MIN. EARL DEVEAUX WHICH REVEALED $332 MIO WSC CONTRACT GIVEAWAYS
The PLP is absolutely amazed that the Minister of The Environment's response to the serious allegation of corruption and improprieties surrounding the award of a $240 million (approx.) contract by the Water and Sewerage Corporation came in the form of his tabling a statement in Parliament that was issued by the Chairman of the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC). ( Click here to View the attachement of the Opening of Bid Winton RO Records Apr-27-07 )
The government's response has opened a ‘can of worms' that definitely shows that under the FNM's watch, insiders at WSC have been giving and continue to give away the Corporation's assets and profits, with the implicit agreement of the two responsible Ministers .
The press statement revealed that two contracts totaling $332 million (approx.) were clearly improperly awarded . We knew about the improper $240 million contract award to Consolidated Water but now know of a $92 million (approx.) contract giveaway to New Providence Development Company (NPDC).
The PLP notes with interest the FNM Government's attempt to hide behind the gown-tails of the Corporation's Board and Executives. It is inexplicable and unacceptable that WSC answers to the questions regarding their own inaction and lack of propriety were presented as an acceptable response.
The self-serving statement asserted that:
“The corporation's executive management and the board of directors “are satisfied that there was no impropriety in the bidding process, and the decisions taken were transparent and in the best interest of the Bahamian People””.
The PLP is in absolute disbelief of the FNM's wicked attempt to convince the Bahamian Public that there was actually a bid process and are insulted by the insinuation that the Corporation's Executives and Board arbitrarily awarded $332 million dollars of contracts, without Cabinet approval.
The Financial Regulations Act requires all awards of contracts for amounts in excess of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand to be made by Cabinet.
Under local and international procurement guidelines, the government was obliged to go out to public tender for these contracts, or utilize a shortlist of internationally recognized desalination experts.
The response further revealed that bids were solicited from three firms, Consolidated Water, NPDC and Reiss Engineering, in an attempt to ‘stage' a process. It is most interesting, however, that two of the firms are not even in the water production business.
The PLP has been advised that none of the firms, including Consolidated Water, have recently won any internationally-bid contracts in the Caribbean; and that Consolidated Water, who has actually competed in recent legitimate bid processes, lost out every time – on price. So the question has to be asked, what was the real reason for avoiding a proper bid process?
The government is rationalizing the improprieties, by stating that “competitive bidding normally takes 18 to 24 months, “but this time frame would have increased the risk to the Bahamian public of sustained water shortages during the transition period”” .
Even more ridiculous than this rationale that a proper bid process takes too long, is the red-herring statement “that despite its efficiency, the original water supply strategy for New Providence called for the eventual replacement of barging as it is more costly.”
The PLP wishes to remind the FNM of the plans left in place to discontinue water barging by 2007 and proactively address the water demands of residents of New Providence, Baha Mar and other pending projects. The FNM's stop review and cancel treatment of the Eastern RO Plant bid process (see attached) and most recent cancellation of its own Arawak Cay/ Perpall's Tract bid process, ranks of duplicity and hypocrisy and speaks to the real reason for their ‘self-created' dilemma.
The PLP also wishes to remind Minister Deveaux that the FNM Government actually set the agenda and timetable for the relocation of the port. Given the importance of potable water, if Minister Deveaux and his Jr. Minister Neymour were competent and diligent leaders, the bidding and production schedules would have been synchronized.
The Progressive Liberal Party also wishes to draw the public's attention to what is clearly an equally subtle attempt to give New Providence Development Company its own monopoly over water and wastewater services in the western part of New Providence. However, it is most interesting that they only choose to mention their ongoing discussions regarding water and not wastewater. NPDC's performance in this area has been abysmal – as the residents of Charlotteville and neighbouring areas can attest.
The release also stated that:
“NPDC was chosen because the corporation has been in discussions over the years regarding the corporation supplying NPDC and formalizing its present operations in the west”
This particularly revelation is cause for even greater concern because it is incomprehensible that the government would allow WSC to make an about-face and buy 2 million imperial gallons of water per day (migd) from New Providence Development Company, an entity that is not even in the business of building and operating reverse osmosis plants!
Furthermore, as Water and Sewerage Corporation records attest, NPDC was willing to ‘purchase' water at a price of $7.75 to $10 per thousand gallons from the corporation.
The fact that the NPDC giveaway coincides with the equally subtle and blatant giveaway to Consolidated Water confirms the PLP's contention that something is seriously wrong at WSC . Clearly these actions reek of corruption and incompetence, and if measured against the FNM's own ‘Seven Principles of Public Life”, would fail miserably on all accounts.
The PLP demands that in the Public's interest both award giveaways are rescinded. Failing this the PLP is prepared to seek a judicial review of the same.
The stench of corruption gets progressively worse when we compare the NPDC water purchase cost of $92 million over 20 years (“$6.30 per thousand imperial gallons”) to the profits that WSC would make if it sells water to NPDC, at prices they discussed “over the years”. The profits from such a deal would equate to $1,055,600 - $2,693,600 annually or $21,112,000 - $53,872.000 over twenty years.
This deal with NPDC will result in a heavily subsidized corporation losing $145 million in cash flow over 20 years and confirms our worst fears that something is horribly amiss at WSC.
Finally, the PLP also registers its contempt for the stated rationale of paying to construct a new five-million gallon storage tank at Consolidated's Blue Hills compound and now alerts the public to yet another attempt to fast track or approve a ‘smudgy' questionable deal.
The PLP wishes to remind the government that the current cost of RO water from Consolidated Water's Blue Hill operations includes the cost of water production and storage. The cost of a smaller (4 migd) without water storage should be significantly less than the stated $6.20.
The PLP views water as a national security issue and calls on the Government to invoke its now infamous ‘stop, review and cancel' process, to put an immediate halt to the proceedings relating to the questionable contract awards to Consolidated Water and NPDC. Such a review will force the Government to address the serious personnel and credibility issues at this corporation.
In the interim the Government is once again reminded to investigate the following:
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Forrester Carroll writes this week on Jeffery Butler, the man who wants to get the nod for the West End seat for the FNM and to run against Obie Wilchcombe PLP MP in the next general election. He predicts that Mr. Butler will lose if he gets the nomination but attacks Mr. Butler for revising the speech of Sir Lynden when he said in 1969 that the social order in Freeport must bend or be broken:
I am not a Psychiatrist but, for the purpose of this article, I wish now to pretend that I am. To this end I am submitting my diagnosis of one Jeffrey Butler, CEO of Butler's Specialty Foods here in Freeport, and say that it must be that he is suffering from an acute case of the “loose screw in the head” syndrome. To assume that he is free of that mental disorder-after his presentation at the recent Grand Bahama Business Outlook Forum coupled with a letter he wrote which was published in the Freeport News today (Tuesday 1 st March), would be giving him more credit than he deserves.
This guy (apparently more than anything else in his life right now) wants Ingraham to give him the nomination to run as the FNM candidate for the West End Constituency. To this end, it seems, he'll do anything, make any asinine statement and trash any ancient story which he feels will impress Ingraham enough into giving him the nod. One such asinine statement was when he made an “out of context” reference to Sir Lynden Pindling's July 29 th 1969 speech, which he (Pindling) delivered at the official opening ceremony of the BORCO Oil Refinery here in Freeport. The speech was branded and still today commonly referred to as Pindling's ‘Bend or Break” speech. Butler made the “out of context” reference to the speech, as I said before, when he derogatorily (but somewhat subtly) told his audience quote; “For those of you who were here in the late 60s early 70s, before the bend or break speech, would remember that Freeport was the fastest growing city in the western hemisphere…” unquote. The use of the phase, “before the bend or break speech,” was an absolute unnecessary reference, in my view. What this idiot was attempting to convey (by conjuring this myth from the distant past) was that Pindling”s speech delivered to this city (for good reason) which had no Bahamian Soul, 42 years ago, is still having an adverse economic affect on Freeport today and is still responsible for whatever ails this city-42 years later. This miserable human being seems to be residing so far up Ingraham's backside that he cannot see that, in fact, it is Ingraham's and his FNM government's policies which are directly responsible for Freeport's current woes as opined recently by Sir Jack Hayward.
The planning committee, for this year's forum, must have been desperate to have chosen Jeff Butler as one of their presenters. I am told, allegedly, that this guy gets along with nobody; not even his very own siblings. If this is so-and I am convinced it is-then I can't imagine that he would have had many friends, on the planning committee, who would have gotten him slotted in. We all know by now that he is on a quest to get as much publicity and exposure as possible. He thinks that if Ingraham sees him often enough in the new papers criticizing Mr. Obie Wilchcombe and giving the PLP hell, he (Ingraham) would recognize him as being worth his salt and would give him the nod, but don't hold your breath, Jeffrey Butler. Ingraham may very well do so as, I don't suppose, there are many other fools in the FNM who would want to squander their resources in that particular constituency where, it is an almost certainty, they wouldn't have a ghost of a chance of being successful. I have been living in Freeport since 1963 and I don't recall ever meeting anyone, in Freeport or anywhere else in the country for that matter, who would readily admit that Jeff Butler is their friend? There have been, in recent times, many rumors circulating around this small nosy little town to the effect that this character, who wants to represent the good people of the West End Constituency, has the greatest difficulty getting along with even his own siblings and vice versa. How then, pray tell me, would he represent a whole community with any degree of success?
Butler wants to be the FNM candidate for West End so badly, as I said earlier, that he was prepared to resuscitate the essence of a 1969 speech, whose author has long since been deceased, in an effort to castigate his political opposition and win Ingraham's favor. I really don't know why he is so eager to run for the West Grand Bahama seat anyway as the only thing that would be awaiting him, in that constituency, is a good cut behind. For being so stupid I might even be prepared to wager a bet that those folks, out in the west, will take all Butler's money; kick him in his posterior and send him packing back to Butler's Specialty, in Freeport, with patches in his behind. As a matter of fact Hubert will only give him the nod, I submit, if he (Hubert) can't find any other jackass who would come forward. Ingraham knows that the FNM cannot win West End; it never could do so even when the FNM had somewhat of a winnable posture. Ingraham really wouldn't care if Butler or any other FNM fool wants to wastes their precious resources on what he knows will be an exercise in futility.
If Jeff Butler indeed was old enough, 42 years ago, to remember the crisis circumstances which culminated in the need for Sir Lynden's speech, at the time as I did, he would certainly recall the fact that all Bahamians (both white and black) were literally despised by the Englishmen and women who dominated Freeport. They had no respect for “ignorant Bahamians” as they referred to us, and they discriminated against us, both in business; housing; socially and otherwise, on the grounds of nationality and ethnicity. If you were not European, for instance, you were not able to rent a store in the International Bazaar. This condition was plainly stipulated in the written lease agreements. If you were a black skinned Bahamian or a colored Bahamian as they referred to those of us who were of mixed race, you couldn't rent an apartment from them. Thank God I came here as a Customs Officer and as such the Port Authority was obliged, under the terms of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, to provide all civil servants posted here with housing. Sir Lynden told the suckers that they should either “bend or break. He said further in his speech that, “I have always been concerned about this lack of soul in Freeport; the absence of honest concern for the human and social needs of people. I was so concerned in the days when I stood almost alone. I had hoped that an early change would have been evident by now but I have been severely disappointed. It is a fundamental part of my basic political philosophy that people are more important than things; that men are more important than machines. In this city where, regrettably, almost anything goes, where promisingly, some economic opportunities have come to Bahamians.
BAHAMIANS ARE NEVERTHELESS STILL THE VICTIMS OF AN UNBENDING SOCIAL ORDER WHICH, IF IT NOW REFUSES TO BEND, MUST NOW BE BROKEN.” Unquote. These were powerful words, spoken in defense of a powerful cause; rendered at the right time and they remind me today of Martin Luther King's, “I have a dream.” What is there in this statement, Mr. Jeff Butler (son of Bernie Butler) that is so offensive to you that you quote it, 42 years later, seemingly with utter contempt and disdain? Don't you believe that, as Bahamians, we should stand up (no matter the cost) on matters of principal sometimes; or are you one of those who would sell your Bahamian soul and would piss on our national pride just to get your hands on a few lousy dollars? Maybe I should first ask you this question; are you proud or are you ashamed to be Bahamian? Had it not been for that speech and Sir Lynden's determination to correct those social injustices which were the norm 42 years ago you Jeff Butler, nor your father, would have been able to get into business in this town so please stop playing this back door racism game with us?
Instead of; “The cost, ease of investing, and doing business on Grand Bahama must be addressed,” being the topic of Jeffrey Butler's presentation, at the Business Outlook forum, he should have chosen instead; “Roadblocks, put in place by the FNM government which are causing havoc in the Freeport/Grand Bahama business community and which are major obstacles to doing business here, should be removed forthwith.” That would have been a far more appropriate and practical topic approach, by the businessman, in addressing the many problems being experienced by business persons right now in Freeport. Those Freeport businesses, whose doors are still open and which are desperately trying to weather the economic storms, are all in the doldrums and are being crushed, directly, as a result of foolish and unwise decisions taken against them by the “Hubert/ Laing” duo. I opine, in addition, that if Pindling's speech did in fact have an adverse affect (and I don't submit nor do I agree that it did), 42 years ago in 1969 Freeport, the damage could never have compared to what Ingraham's dastardly behavior has done to Freeport with his refusing to renew Hannes Babak's work permit (among other things) and his pissing Sir Jack off in the process.
Bear with me while I relate a story from that era, which happened to me in Freeport, sometime before 1967, and which depicts the kinds of things that Bahamians were forced to endure, on a daily basis, back then in 1969. The kinds of things which would have pissed off Sir Lynden prompting him to respond with his “bend or break” challenge. I was a Customs Officer, as I said earlier, and wanted to rent an apartment. A Real Estate company (Drummond realty, I believe was the name) had advertised a unit for rent and so I telephoned the company to find out if it was still available; “Oh yes Sir; it's available and the conditions are first, last and deposit,” the receptionist responded. “I'll be there with the money in five minutes” I assured her. In literally five minutes time, I was at the office which was located upstairs in the Savoy building. I greeted the receptionist, “Good afternoon madam; I am the one who telephoned a couple minutes ago about the apartment you said was still available; can you arrange for me to see it?” “Oh am so sorry Sir, the owners just now telephoned me from the U.K; just after I hung up from you, to say that they would be in Freeport in a couple weeks and that I should not rent the unit but keep it empty for their use when they arrive.” I knew she was lying; Jeffrey Butler but there was nothing that I could do about it because the government in power prior to 1967, when this incident happened to me, didn't give a damn about those kinds of social injustices. I assumed, at the time, that she must have mistaken my accent and thought that I was of European extraction and so the unit was only available until she saw me in person. Butler's inferences to the “BEND OR BREAK” speech suggests his condemnation of Pindling's decision to scold the movers and shakers, at the time, and his fighting for the rights of all Bahamians which, I submit, resulted in Butler himself being able to do business in this city today. Jeff Butler, I submit, by drumming up the past is suggesting, as well, that Sir Lynden Pindling, prime minister of the Bahamas, should not have interfered in the affairs of Freeport but simply sit back and allow them to continue their racist's practices. Whose side are you on Jeff Butler, I ask you? I wish to say to you Jeff, and to all the others who think like you to always judge decisions that people make in the context of the times and situations. Sir Lynden's decision, back there in 1969, to challenge Freeport to “bend or break,” paved the way for all Bahamians (white and black), who were told, at the time, that they needed not apply (including Jeff Butler's father and by extension Jeff himself), to enter Freeport and conduct business. Instead of pissing all over Sir Lynden's work, Jeff Butler, you should be honoring the man; our hero and “Father of the Nation,” for what he did for us, including you, boy.
Subtle racism is how I would describe Butler's statement and he ought to be ashamed of himself. As a nation of people, who have been plagued with this bogyman (racism) for much of our history, we should all be working, hand in hand, feverishly to put this divisive omen behind us; we should continue to work toward achieving harmony among the ethnic groupings and not settle for this continued division that Jeff Butler seems to want to perpetrate. We are trying to move forward with respect for each other yet this guy attempts to resurrect the bogyman, I say, for his own selfish political purposes. The man is obviously unprepared to move away from where he's at-stuck in a rot back in the 60s. I'll tell you one thing, my boy; you cannot represent the good people of the West End constituency, in the Hon. House of parliament, with that mindset and stinking attitude.
I wish to put a few questions to Jeff Butler and see what his answers would be; if you are claiming to know so much about Sir Lynden's “Bend or Break” speech, delivered back in 1969, does that mean that you've been around and living in Freeport all that time? If your answer to that question is “yes” then I ask you, how is it that you are just now realizing that Grand Bahama needs help? You grew up in West End, did you not? Then how is it that it was not until last year that you decided that West Grand Bahama was in dire straits for years and now desperately needs help? Is this because you suddenly decided that you now wish to walk the isles of the parliament as an elected member of that chamber and you've calculated that your chances of getting to parliament would be best if you offered for the west end constituency? Do you think that the only voters in the country who would foolish enough to support you would be those in the west end constituency? You had better think again boy because west end will shock you back to reality. They are not as stupid as you suppose. Where was your concern, I ask, for their welfare before last year when you decided that you would suck up to Ingraham for the nomination? Don't be stupid, boy, those people will take all your money, kick you in your behind and send you packing. The Hon. Obie Wilchcombe could never lose the West End seat (especially to an unfriendly fellow like you Jeff Butler) even if he wanted too. I am told by a West End lady, who said that she was a child when the Butler children were growing up in west end and that your father, Jeff Butler, never allowed you to mix with the west end children neither were you allowed to attend school with the other children; is that the truth?
Police Shooting In Bimini
While executing a search for the arrest of Ricardo Rolle wanted for attempted rape and armed robbery in Poggy Bay, Bimini the police shot and killed Mr. Rolle on Saturday 12 th March. Mr. Rolle reportedly pulled a gun on police during the search. Police shot him in the head and he died. There was some rowdiness but after community leaders intervened, the matter remained calm and there was no repeat of the riot that happened last year when a similar police shooting occurred.
Layoffs At Our Lucaya And Then FNM Finds Jobs
Former Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie flew to Grand Bahama on Monday 7 th March to hold a press conference at PLP House in Grand Bahama and to be briefed by the owners of the Our Lucaya Resort on why 200 people were laid off from the resort. The resort's owners Hutchison Whampoa said that they had no choice if they were to have a chance of saving the resort and indeed their container port project. Mr. Christie criticized the government for having five FNM representatives and them not doing anything to help the people of Grand Bahama as the city lurched from crisis to crisis. He reaffirmed the PLP's support for the people of Grand Bahama. He was joined by MPs Fred Mitchell, Obie Wilchcombe, Shane Gibson, and Deputy Leader Philip Davis, along with Senator Michael Darville, PLP candidate for Marco City Greg Moss and Party Chairman Bradley Roberts. You may click here for the full statement.
Protests In Abaco
The people of Abaco are up in arms, protesting again this week in Marsh Harbour because of the cuts to the power in that island. The Government has built a brand new power station but someone forgot to order the right size transmission wires to carry the power from the new plant. The result is there are still power cuts.
Fred Mitchell's Personal Safety
Some writers to this column have questioned whether given the comments of the police staff association chairman, it is now safe for Fred Mitchell MP to walk around unaccompanied by bodyguards. The feeling is that since the criticism was directed at the Security and Intelligence Branch that there is now special risk to life and limb given the crazy response of the Police Staff Association chairman. The correspondents have asked Mr. Mitchell to begin to take special precautions for his personal safety against guess who: the police.
Keenan Johnson, the Chairman of the Progressive Young Liberals was the speaker at the monthly branch meeting of the Fox Hill Branch of the PLP held on Monday 28 th February. He was joined by his colleagues from PYL at the meeting Jayden Miller and Randy Curtis II. Mr. Johnson is pictured being presented with a plaque and a copy of the Fred Mitchell book Great Moments In PLP History and Mr. Miller presenting the monthly raffle prize. Branch Chair Charlene Marshal appears at the right of both pictures. Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill is shown with Mr. Johnson and Ms. Marshall.
Condolences To Japan
On Friday 11 th March PLP Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell offered condolences to Robert “Sandy” Sands the Honorary Consul in The Bahamas for Japan on the deaths and injuries in Japan following the earthquake there on Thursday 11 th March and the subsequent tsunami.
A Lady Wounded By The Protests And No Apology From The Police
While, the police staff association was busy impugning the integrity of the protestors on the BTC march, not a word of comfort or explanation about the damage and injury caused to one of the protestors a female Marsha Antonia Curry whose collar bone was broken by the police when excessive force was used by them during the protest on 23 rd February on Bay Street. The photo of Ms. Curry is shown from Rodney Moncur's Facebook page.
Roadworks Cause Problems In Fox Hill
In a compelling presentation, the leaders of the Ministry of Public Works' project on the New Providence Road Project met with the residents and business people of the Fox Hill and Elizabeth Constituencies to talk about the changes to the road Prince Charles Drive and the Fox Hill Road. It appeared that the road would have be totally closed for eight weeks, as new mains are to be put for water as well. This caused a near riot on the first day of work on the project on Wednesday 9 th March. The Ministry delayed the work and met with the people and it appears that some compromise that is being worked on. But the interesting fact, they say that right now the average New Providence journey takes 45 minutes; they say that if the roads are left unaddressed, the average journey in 2017 will take 3 hours. Sobering.
Mitchell Answers Desmond Bannister In Freeport
Minister of Education Desmond Bannister launched a blistering attack on Fred Mitchell M.P. for Fox Hill and the Opposition's spokesman on the Public Service and Alfred Sears, the Opposition spokesman on Education in the House of Assembly on Thursday 3 rd March. You can link here to last week's comment. This week Fred Mitchell flew to Grand Bahama and there he answered Mr. Bannister. He told Mr. Bannister that he ought to admit that he had lost the battle on the question of who would be principal of the Walter Parke Primary School. He urged Mr. Bannister to stop victimizing Sandra Edgecombe, the Superintendent of Primary Schools in Grand Bahama because he thinks that she supports the PLP. You may click here for the full statement of Mr. Mitchell delivered at the Grand Bahama's International Airport's Domestic Terminal.
Rodney and Rhonda
Rhonda Chipman Johnson is the new Consul General for The Bahamas in New York. She is to take up her post this week. There was a service of thanksgiving and bon voyage at her St. Joseph Catholic Parish in Nassau and this picture with the political scallywag Rodney Moncur appeared in his website as being taken right after that service on Sunday 5 th March.
The Nastiness of FNM Facebook Pages
If there is any doubt that the campaign is on one has only to review the FNM's web pages. Leading the way with the nastiness is a site called Voices Bahamian, another individual who specializes in that kind of libel is Peter Carey (photo shown).
The Voices Bahamian site is connected to someone who was fired from the government for stealing under the PLP but seeks always to take a high moral tone. Then since the FNM who heads the police staff association issued his statement last week attacking the PLP, they have been excerpting passages from the statement to promote their cause. Perhaps it would good if people would simply delete their pages from the friends list if you are PLP.
Changes For FNM In Montagu
They say that Loretta Butler Turner MP for Montagu may be finding herself running for a new seat come the next general election. She has been asked to run in Long Island where her father ran unsuccessfully for the PLP and from which her grandmother Lady Caroline Butler comes. She reportedly met recently with Larry Cartwright now MP in the quaint settlement of Roses where he grandmother was born. The talk is that Mr. Ingraham wants to match the young white candidates that the PLP now has with one of D'Albenas sons (as in Donald who used to be Long island rep) to match what the PLP has in Ryan Pinder MP and Clay Sweeting the 25 year old from Spanish Wells who is to run for the PLP in North Eleuthera.
Commissioner Of Police Losing The Force
This latest salvo by the Police Staff Association into politics, see Photo Of The Week and Comment of The Week, has left one half of the force deeply concerned that the Commissioner of Police is losing his grip on the leadership of the Force. They still prefer his leadership but their faith in him is being sorely tested.
Government To Buy S G Hambros Building
Reports are circulating that the Government is to buy the S G Hambros Building on Cable Beach for 18 million dollars. Explanation please.
Call All BTC Supporters
We are all invited to a meeting on Wednesday 16th March by a Committee headed by former Parliamentarian Dr. Elwood Donaldson to save BTC. The meeting is to be held at the Hilton British Colonial beginning at 7:30 p.m. Make sure that you are there.
Daylight Saving Time
This morning Eastern Standard Time ceased at 2 a.m. and clocks in this country moved one hour head. It will remain so until until the first Sunday in November. Lousy decision. Why don't they stop fooling with the time?
|27thth March ,
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THE PLP VOTES NO: The vote to sell BTC took place on Thursday 24th March in the House of Assembly. The PLP’s Leader Perry Christie gave a stellar performance and defence of the party’s position that BTC should be saved for Bahamian ownership. You may click here for his full address. The photo of the week then is that of all PLP MPs plus independent Branville McCartney voting no in the House of Assembly on Thursday 24th March. The photo is by Peter Ramsay.
HUBERT IS A TRAITOR AND A LIAR
They say the Lord works in mysterious ways. That was only wry comment to make when at the end of a contentious debate in the House of Assembly last week over the sale of BTC, Hubert Ingraham as the yeas and the noes were being recorded voted no and after the hilarious laughter of the whole House, he recorded his proper vote as yes. The righteous said it was the Lord telling his inner conscience that what he proposed to do with BTC was wrong. The vote took place on Thursday 24th March at about 5 p.m.
Nevertheless, the legal steps to sell BTC are almost all over so unless there is some further action in the courts or unless the Utilities Appeal Tribunal intervenes, it appears that Cable and Wireless will take over for a song that bit of the national patrimony of The Bahamas named as BTC. So generations resisted the takeover from the southern Caribbean of the local telephone company by the worst telephone company that is known in the region and yet The Bahamas government simply gives it way.
We believe that the Hubert Ingraham administration is populated by liars and traitors. They will pay for all of this at the polls.
Mr. Ingraham’s no vote can be seen in the video clip in this piece.
He was all mixed up because Perry Christie (see photo by Peter Ramsay) had given a stellar performance accusing Mr. Ingraham of giving away the national patrimony and accusing him of denigrating the people who had a genuine interest in seeing BTC remain in Bahamian hands. He said that the difference between the PLP and the FNM was that we believe in people not things. He repeated that when the PLP comes back to power it will regain the majority control of BTC for the Bahamian people. The precedent is set in Belize where the company was taken back from the private sector by the government.
We want to congratulate the Trade Unions for their valiant fight to resist the privatization of BTC on behalf of a grateful nation. Thank you Bernard Evans and William Carroll.
Last week Thursday 24th March was a sad day for our country, when you have traitors at the head of your governments and they simply do not give a heck about the future of The Bahamas.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 26 th March 2011 up to midnight:168,256
Number of hits for the month of March up to Saturday 26 th March 2011 up to midnight: 673,688
Number of hits for the year 2011 up to Saturday 19 th March 2011 up to midnight: 2,036,356
ALLYSON GIBSON RESPONDS TO INGRAHAM’S LIES
The Bahamas does not have full time legislators and so each Senator or Member of Parliament who is not in the Cabinet has the right to practice their own profession. Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister, is a nasty man and in the platform at his party’s rent a rally on Saturday 21st March he attacked Allyson Maynard Gibson for the fees which she earned as a lawyer from the China Export Import Bank suggesting that there was some conflict on her part because the party of which she is a part did not support the work by Chinese labourers to build roads in The Bahamas.
The response of Mrs. Maynard Gibson:
THE UNDOING OF CANDIA DAMES
On Sunday last 20th March, the Progressive Liberal Party’s leader Perry Christie held a press conference to respond to what the leader of the Free National Movement had to say about the sale of BTC. The response was simple and straight forward. You may click here for that response.
All the press attended. You would have thought that the news then would be Mr. Christie’s response. All did go with that as the news except Candia Dames of The Nassau Guardian. She has been nicknamed the personal amanuensis of Hubert Ingraham for the way she simply appears to be a scribe for his words, uncritically and without any discrimination. When it comes to the Opposition PLP it appears she has no time for the PLP. This of course is not a complaint about her political biases in her personal life which after all are her business and she is entitled to that as a citizen of this country. But since she is the editor of a newspaper of record she has a responsibility over and beyond that for balance and fairness. We now say that she seems to have no sense of what those things are. Having been to school up to the master's level one wonders what on earth did she actually learn when you see what is produced? But then you cannot teach ethics. You cannot teach morals. You have be an ethical person and you have to bring morals to the table when you come to the journalism profession. The story for Ms. Dames became an e mail exchange and comment by Philip Davis, the Deputy Leader of the PLP in which he made certain comments about the PLPs strategy in the campaign. Photos of the Davis’ comment were seen all over Facebook on the pro FNM sites by the slime balls at Voices Bahamian and other sites. PLPs then began to get agitated about who leaked out things from the PLP. The next morning Ms. Dames led with the comment of Mr. Davis as opposed to what Mr. Christie had to say. It was deliberate and it was done with forethought to embarrass the party and its leaders. We are satisfied of that. Further, our investigations reveal that having been warned not to do it, she went ahead any way. Also we know that Sharon Turner, the Deputy Director of the Bahamas Information Services tried to get other news organizations to run the story having convinced Candia Dames to do so. Ms. Turner is FNM through and through, despite the denials that there is an FNM group at work in the Balsams Information Services. She came from Hubert Ingraham's campaign into BIS. The comment from Mr. Davis came at the end of an e mail which contained the remarks of the PLP leader. It was sent to the press, one of whose members asked for a favour to be done to send the text over so that the news with tight deadlines could get a jump on writing the story. The bottom of the e mail was not cleaned up and the comments were inadvertently sent out. We would have thought that any reporters, knowing the favours that are done by politicians all the time for reporters to get stories would not actually breach a confidence to make small brownie points. Ms. Dames was the only one to breach that confidence. She ought to be ashamed of herself and hang her head in shame. So when she defends herself as not being the personal amanuensis of Hubert Ingraham no wonder people look at her askance. The denials ring hollow. And people see with their own eyes how Mr. Ingraham coddled up to her in the House of assembly last week. What is worse is that we also know what the e mail was forwarded by someone to Carl Bethel and Zhivargo Laing one the FNM Chair and the other an FNM Minister. Even if the use in the press was not wrong, how does it get the business of a newspaper reporter to send confidential information from a source presumably to the leaders of the other political party unless you want deliberately to create mischief? The question we have to ask her employers is how is the PLP to trust someone like that again?
The Member of Parliament Branville McCartney up to Monday 21st March was a member of the Free National Movement. He resigned on that day just before the debate began on the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. in the House of Assembly. He is to sit in the House as an independent. This was headline news. Mr. Ingraham had lost an MP. So not only did he lose the bye-election last year when Ryan Pinder got the seat from him having orchestrated the departure of the PLP MP Malcolm Adderley but the traction that he thought he got by orchestrating the departure of Kenyatta Gibson from the PLP to the FNM was now effectively checkmated.
Interestingly Mr. Ingraham at a press conference reported on Saturday 26th March said that Mr. McCartney’s seat is an FNM seat and that Mr. McCartney should apologise to the people of Bamboo Town for having in his word quit them. Of course, he cried no such crocodile tears and had no such political ethics when it came to welcoming Mr. Gibson to his ranks. Mr. McCartney said that in all good conscience he could not support the sale of BTC and would vote against it. When the vote took place, he sided with the PLP. The FNM was so sore that they tried to stop him from speaking in the House.
You may click here for Mr. McCartney’s full remarks and the video. What we ask is what happens now? Mr. McCartney should do well to look at the history of independents in the House and know that if he is to have apolitical future then that future belongs with one of the major parties. He had John Bostwick, the son of the former Senate President in the gallery supporting him along with Lincoln Bain who is of Controversy TV fame. They are third party advocates most people believe that there is speculation that this is where Mr. McCartney intends to go. We say please do not go down that road. In our view you ought to make he psychological jump and join the PLP.
THE REPORT FROM THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
There was a strike in the Turks and Caicos Island on Friday 25th March which crippled the island's ability to handle air traffic. Flights to the island were cancelled. This is a good development as the people of the Turks And Caicos Islands take up their political battle against the unrepresentative British Administration. We provide you with a full report on the present political situation in The Turks. You may click here for that full report.
MITCHELL LOOK YOU HERE MARRED WITH TRAITORS
Fred Mitchell, the Fox Hill MP, spoke out in the House of Assembly against the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. He borrowed extensively from passages from the speech by Mark Anthony after the death of Julius Caser. Mr. Mitchell said “Look you here, marred as you see by traitors”. He said that the government of The Bahamas is giving away the national patrimony of The Bahamas to foreigners.
You may click here for his full statement.
We present a photo essay of the last march to save BTC which began at Ft. Charlotte in Nassau and ended up in Bay Street. Bay Street was like an armed camp with policemen everywhere and barricades chained down so they could not be moved. This time they kept the dogs out of sight. The Progressive Liberal Party supported the demonstration. Lies were told by the FNM about a fight taking place at PLP HQ when a demand was made for money by the protestors. The pictures that appeared on Facebook were taken from a building owned and operated by Aaron Kiki Knowles Jr. right next door to the PLP HQ and those pictures turned up on all the FNM websites on Facebook including in the House of Assembly on the Blackberry of the Minister of Education Desmond Banister Then Zhivargo Laing the Minister of State came running into the House saying that there had been a fight at PLP HQ over a demand for money from protestors. The newspaper ran with utter nonsense as well. Later in the week, a source told the press that an operative from the FNM had set up the whole thing. Anyway, the pictures of the rally are from Rodney Moncur’s website. Photos is by Joette Penn
The troops of Boy Scouts in New Providence held their annual march on Sunday 20th March. The march was up Bernard Road into the Fox Hill parade. The Fox Hill troop which is headquartered at St. Anselm's in Fox Hill was part of the parade. We present photos of the parade.
TO THE EDITOR
This week Forrester Carroll writes
Foreigners; foreigners; foreigners; foreigners all over the damn place since the FNM came to power. They say “Bahamians need not apply;” They say, “If you put Bahamians in charge, within two years they’ll destroy it;” They say, “To get fair decisions from URCA the majority members would have to be foreign;” They say, “Bahamians want to buy every damn thing;” They said “No” to awarding the cable TV franchise to Bahamians;” They say, “Bahamians can’t build nothing; can’t manage nothing; can’t do anything successfully;” They say, “foreigners are preferred.”
Foreigners in charge of Public Works; foreigners in charge of URCA; foreigners in charge of Public Prosecutions; foreigners in charge of all road building projects; foreigners to be appointed in charge of the Registry of Insurance; foreigners to be in charge of the collection of garbage; foreigners to be in charge of BTC; foreigners to take over BEC; foreigners to build the cable beach strip; foreigners to build the docks in Exuma and the docks in Abaco and the bridge in Eleuthera; foreigners; foreigners; foreigners; foreigners all over the damn place since the FNM came to power. Ingraham has a habit of preferring foreigners over Bahamians. The Hon. Shane Gibson keeps reminding us; don’t listen to what the FNM says but watch what they do. If my memory serves me correctly, when Ingraham first came to power he fired Mrs. Cleopatra Christie, a Bahamian, who was Solicitor General (now the DPP) in the Attorney General’s office at the time, and replaced her with a Jamaican woman by the name of Yvlma Hilton. He now attacks the same department and fires Mrs. Cheryl Grant-Bethel, another Bahamian, and gave her job to another Jamaican woman. What’s up with him and these Jamaican women; soft spot for them, hey?
Sandals Hotels are full of foreigners. No substantive positions held by Bahamians; they are all filled with Jamaicans, we are told; Bahamians need not apply, we are told. Bahamas Customs Department being managed by two British Consultants, from behind the scenes. The Comptroller of Customs is not the one calling the shots-the two English Consultants are. Under this FNM government Bahamians are advised to take off their Jackets and neckties; get out their brooms; mops; buckets; shovels; pick axes; cutlasses and get to work because that is all that the FNM government thinks we are capable of doing.
Magistrates are now being brought in from the West Indies. It is being talked around in FNM circles that it might be a good idea to begin importing West Indian police officers again. This government has no shame; it thinks that foreign is definitely better and don’t give a damn what we think about what they are doing.
No sane person, especially one holding the position of prime minister, would talk to a dog the way that mullet head, Ingraham; spoke to the press in reference to our “well qualified for the J.O.B” Cheryl Grant-Bethel. He besmirched her good name and pissed all over her glowing career, in the public service, all in one breadth. The PLP must move quickly to restore her good name and put this “well qualified for the post” beautiful Bahamian Lady back on her job. There are many things we must reverse when we take office on or before May 2nd 2012. We must bring back many, if not all, of the police, immigration and customs officers who were forced out of the service, prematurely, by this FNM Dictator, and allow them to complete the years of their careers in dignity.
The biggest issue in this general election campaign looks like it will be that of Bahamianization and empowerment. There are so many FNM wrongs that the PLP must, of necessity, undo. They have no shame the suckers. Foreigners can easily be approved to dig up Bell Island, off Andros and destroy the beautiful Exuma national park but Bahamians are arrested if they are caught fishing anywhere near the park and or cutting the tops from the top trees in or around the immediate area. Where are we Bahamians, in the FNM scheme of things, forty-four years after majority rule and thirty-eight years after gaining our Independence? Have we digressed to the bad old days of pre-1967? This is a vital question we must answer for ourselves as we line up on polling day to cast our ballots in the next general elections. We fought to regain our country’s assets during the years following majority rule and Independence but in 2011, under this Foreign National movement government, we find ourselves fighting tooth and nail to retain them.
China seems to be relocating to the Bahamas, without let up, big time. There are Chinese everywhere we turn in Nassau and now we see them beginning to flood the family Islands. Exuma, Eleuthera and Abaco will soon see an influx that will never leave this country. We know that Chinese people are ethnically racists but did you know that they are also color prejudice? I didn’t realize that they were, either, until a black Bahamian lady told me recently about an incident when she mistakenly brushed up against a Chinese woman who promptly told her to get her black hand off her and she (the Chinese woman) walked away hurriedly; if they need you, though, to help them achieve their take over goals they would suck up to you as if they are family, the bastards. We have a very poor record of monitoring foreigners, who come here to visit or work, and it seems the only reason many of them leave the Bahamas, when their time expire, is when they do it voluntarily and not because of any action on the part of the immigration department. The immigration department has not been able, as of yet, to find the Haitians who were let go, by Hubert Ingraham, just after the quake in Haiti, remember?
There is another matter that disturbs me greatly; isn’t it the policy of the government to advertise “public sector position openings” to ensure maximum Bahamian participation before foreigners are sought after? Is it not a requirement, by the department of immigration, for all jobs and or positions to be advertised locally to ensure no Bahamians are out in the workplace qualified and available to fill positions before applications, for work permits, for foreigners are entertained? Well then how is it that URCA could employ Marsha Lewis, a foreigner, as HR consultant without first the position being advertised to ensure no Bahamian was qualified and available? When confronted and questioned, by reporters, the only thing Ingraham could tell us was to say that, “It’s a standard policy of the government of the Bahamas that positions are advertised locally and it’s very annoying but it has to be done.” He need not have told us that because we know that much; potential employers in the private sector must do the same before the immigration department would entertain an application for a foreigner. In addition Ingraham said, “We certainly do not support that kind of thing;” now that I do not believe; I believe that Ingraham prefers foreigners over Bahamians; remember what the Hon. Shane Gibson say we should? Watch what the Negro does, not listen to what he says. The reporter should have followed up with two questions; (1) what is so annoying about advertising to make sure that these positions are filled by Bahamians? And (2) if you did not support the way it was done, Mr. Prime Minister, then why did you not correct the matter and undo it? Here is what I read into Ingraham’s responses: It’s annoying for his FNM government to have to advertise for Bahamians and his government was not prepared to dismiss the Marsha Lewis lady and employ a Bahamian. He certainly can do it to Bahamians though.
The disgraceful conflictive situation goes like this: Marsha Lewis was a former colleague of Usman Saadat who introduced her to URCA in 2009. Marsha is the wife of Mr. Philip Lewis who is Vice-President for business development for Cable & Wireless. Both Marsha Lewis and Usman Saadat worked as colleagues, at one time, for this C & W. Mrs. Lewis left C & W (Barbados) just months before being recommended for the consultancy position at URCA by her former colleague Mr. Saadat, now CEO of URCA. Ironically when Mr. Saadat applied for the position of CEO of URCA his resume and application had to be sent to Marsha Lewis for approval. It is abundantly clear (certainly to me) that this was a set up from the very beginning by the four parties (the government, C&W, Marsha Lewis and Usman Saadat) involved. URCA was being legislated and I levy the charge that the FNM government arranged with C & W to have their employee, Marsha Lewis, quit her job with the company in Barbados to go off and set up, on paper only, a consultancy company. This in preparation to receive Usman Saadat’s resume and application, when the time came, and have it speedily approved without question for him to become URCA’s CEO. By having this done C & W’s man (Saadat) would be in place to receive and approve C & W’s application to steal BTC, with the FNM government’s consent, from the Bahamian people; a very nasty and dirty piece of work indeed. Is it any surprise to anyone, therefore, that the application was “rubber stamped approved” and in a matter of a couple days? I don’t believe anyone in the country expected any different outcome. This is really too much to tolerate from this wautless FNM-Ingraham lead-government. Wayne Aranha had no satisfactory answers to the questions posed by Jeff Lloyd either when he appeared on Lloyd’s show recently. I am told, reliably, that certain serving hierarchy members of the FNM cabinet along with a former FNM governor general, two former FNM cabinet ministers, and a former governor of the central bank are all in collusion with C&W to incorporate, in the Isle of Mann, a phony overseas paper company to hold, in ownership, certain of BTC’s assets. Those assets, such as the $68 million undersea cable that the PLP government installed all the way up to Inagua, would be leased from this phony company, by C &W, for huge yearly sums of money and herein lies the scam for the kickbacks to be paid to these FNM government shysters. What these FNM Operatives are doing (facilitated by Ingraham’s, squeaky clean, FNM government big wigs) is in fact “stealing by means of employment” BTC’s assets and claiming them as their own. Someone should be going to jail for this unforgivable scam which is being perpetrated on the Bahamian people. We have been held up and robbed, in broad daylight, by this greedy and reckless Ingraham-lead FNM government, facilitated by these foreigners.
Forrester J Carroll J.P
Freeport, Grand Bahama
27th March 2011
Bahamian living abroad was moved by the events re the sale of BTC and wrote this from abroad:
Even in the end, the FNM Government was ungracious in victory. One of the point men in the ministerial team, the Hon. Zhavigo Laing was recorded in the media as saying that BTC was no national treasure. In short he was saying that there was nothing special about BTC that would make the State want to retain it as an iconic symbol of successful state enterprise. It was a sentiment that disregarded the human element in the entire saga – that the Government was playing around with people’s livelihood and their future and their children’s future.
No one was ever suggesting that BTC was a national treasure. The objection to the sale was the manner in which it was carried out, the divesting of majority interest in a “no count” company and the fact is that as sure as the sun will rise there will be retrenchment and uncertainty throughout the ranks of BTC staff. Regarding uncertainty, can you imagine a BTC employee of ten years standing who has saved long and hard to put his house up to belt course, now going to any financial institution and asking for a 15 year mortgage to complete his house? It is doubtful that his application will be entertained base entirely on the fact that his employment tenure is unsecured. This is among the practical downside of the sale of the company. The FNM Government must be accused of pushing down and pushing back middle class aspirations. And Minister Laing has the heart to make these and other callous statements.
The FNM Government plays loose and fast with human suffering. It is paradoxical that a Government with a Trust Agenda would show so little regard for the basic purpose of Government which is to protect and safeguard the welfare (in its classic sense) its citizens from all sorts of human sufferings. Especially when individually they cannot do so for themselves. The intent seems to be to put a stranglehold on the Bahamian people and subdue their aspirations.
But there is really no cause for triumphalism and the grins and smiles of the Government and their supporters will be short-lived. As Shakespeare wrote of Julius Caesar on his return to Rome: “wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?” (Julius Caesar –Act 1 Scene 1)
It is at best a pyrrhic victory. For those not familiar with classical mythology the reference is to King Pyrrhus who defeated the Romans in a battle in the third century BC. But even in victory he realised that he had lost the war. Plutarch, the ancient historian wrote that “Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits … On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.” – Plutarch
The PLP when it becomes the next Government of The Bahamas must remain resolute that among its first actions will be to roll back this stain on the fabric of the Bahamian political tapestry and put Bahamians back in control of its destiny.
Please sign me as
A Bahamian Abroad
Arguments Over The Numbers At The Rent A Rally
The FNM has a rally on Saturday 19th March n Clifford Park. Given all the money they spent they barely got two thousand people out there. The FNM said they had four thousand. Whatever, Hubert Ingraham did not get the crowd he expected. The old black magic aint working.
Why Kendal Wright Seconded The Motion
FNM sources are saying that Kendal Wright MP was one of the MPs that the Prime Minister believed was shaky on voting for the sale of BTC. So to make sure that he did not waver, he was asked to second the motion to sell the company and he did. No one could understand what he was talking about but it was a classic Tommy Tucker performance: singing for his supper. Later e mails circulated on the web saying that some friends in his barber shop were amazed at his performance given all the complaints he had about the sale before his speech.
Andre Rollins PLP On Facebook
The "god complex" was on display at the FNM rally a few nights ago when Mr. Ingraham said: "Only one man (Ingraham) knoweth the hour" of the next general elections. We need a fixed date for General Elections in The Bahamas.
Is Turnquest Carrying A Gun?
MPs questioned Tommy Turnquest, the Minister of National Security about whether he carries a gun on his person in the House of Assembly. He never answered the question formally but when pressed by PLP MPs from their seat about it, he raised up his cell phone presumably to show that that was the bulge showing under his coat.
Gunshots Around Mother Pratt
There was an exchange between the police and gunmen in the neighbourhood of Cynthia Â“MotherÂ” Pratt, the PLP MP and former Deputy Prime Minister where she lives in the Grove. Bullet holes were found in her house. Her grandchildren were at home at the time but no one was hurt. PLP MPs rushed to the home to visit with her and make sure that she was alright. She was unharmed and not home at the time of the exchange. The incident happened on Sunday 20th March.
Report That Robin Hood’s Computer Returned
We reported last week how Sandy Schaefer, the owner of the Robin Hood mega store felt the jack boots of the Hubert Ingraham administration because he dared to criticize what was being done on the road outside his store on Prince Charles Drive. Within hours of his criticism of the government’s road programme, the Customs raided his shop and took his commuters his lawyers sued. The press reported last week that the computers were returned to him. No word on what the Customs intends to do next.
Mitchell Responds To The FNM
Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister, announced at an unrelated press conference on Friday 25th March that the current register of voters will end in June. At that time only those who registered to vote on the new registration exercise will be eligible to vote. This is a routine event which happens every five years. The new register will determine the boundaries for the constituencies in the next general election which must be held by May 2012. It caused a twitter of excitement with all sorts of rumours going around of early elections and stopping PLPs from registering. No doubt this will give a fillip to the registration exercise which has been dragging. This happened every time people wait until the last minute to register.
Party Leaders Visit Abaco
The Deputy Leader of the PLP Philip Davis, the Party Chair Bradley Roberts visited North Abaco on Friday 25th March on a fact finding mission.
Andy Young Visits With The Wilsons
Former UN Ambassador to The United Nations for the United States Andrew Young is in The Bahamas this weekend on a private visit. He is part of a team of business leaders connected with Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton who are at the Atlantis Resort for a few days of relaxation. The group was treated to dinner at the home of Franklyn and Sharon Wilson on Friday 25th March. PLP leader Perry Christie and Mrs. Christie attended the dinner together with publisher Wendell Jones, Dame Marguerite Pindling, MPs Frank Smith and Fred Mitchell. We show a picture of Mayor Young with PLP media’s Andrew Burrows.
The Speaker And The Bohengy
Does the Speaker of The House Alvin Smith pay for the tickets on the Bohengy when he travels back to his home in North Eleuthera? Does the government pay or does he pay? Hmmmm!
Louis Farrakhan On Obama And Kaddafi
This is the alternative view put by the leader of the Nation of Islam in
The United States Louis Farrakhan.
Prince Edward’s Trip To Grand Bahama
he seventh in line to throne of The Bahamas Prince Edward was in The Bahamas last week to present the Governor General’s Youth Awards to the gold pin recipients. (The video speaks for itself)
Two More Murdered Early Saturday 26th March
Two men were shot dead when at a club in Lewes Street in the wee hours of Saturday morning someone fire gunshots into the crowd there gathered. Two are left in critical condition and are in hospital. This makes 35 murders for the year 2011.