Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, Q.C., M.P.
Leader of the Official Opposition
Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party
On the Occasion of
A Public Meeting
Thursday, 15th February 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Sir Lynden Pindling House
Mount Moriah Constituency
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
• To My Parliamentary Colleagues
• Party Chairman
• Party Officers and members
PLPs! Good Evening!
If you were looking for a house and someone took you to a house with a weak foundation, rotten beams, and a sagging roof, would you be inclined to buy it and make it your home? Probably not.
Even a fresh coat of paint would not change the fact that the house is not structurally sound.
Sooner or later, it will likely collapse.
The Speaker has put on a new coat! He has apologised and, if I am to go to God to ask forgiveness for anything, I must forgive him.
So, I forgive him, but I have to walk circumspect in that Place because under that fresh coat remains the weak foundation, rotten beams, and sagging roof.
While there is forgiveness, the Speaker must now sit down to his banquet of consequences because notwithstanding the fact that the Government has had its way, we brought our case to the High Court of Parliament, and on every single count, he was found GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!
On Count One
A statement made to the House on 7 February in response to we do not know what;
What is your Verdict?
On Count Two
The unlawful, wrongful, capricious, arbitrary and disproportionate suspension of the Member of Parliament for Englerston on 31 January….
What is your Verdict?
On Count Three
The wilful, malicious and personal attacks on private citizens in his statement of 7 February in the House
What is your Verdict?
On Count Four
Attacking the staff of the House of Assembly
What is your Verdict?
On Count Five
Disgracing the role and reputation of the Office of The Speaker of the House
What is your Verdict?
On every count Speaker Halson Moultrie has been found guilty on all counts in the court of Public Opinion.
So, we forgive him because he has asked for it, but we and the majority of right thinking Bahamians are perplexed and appalled by the fact that the governing members, save and except for McAlpine (who was not brave enough to go all the way) said that the Speaker was right in his actions.
Even the Speaker came along and said that he was wrong. Do those men have a moral compass!?
They made the debate about Hanna Martin when the issue was the Speaker’s behavior. Hanna Martin had already been sanctioned, even if unjustly. Her matter was not before the House. It was the Speaker, who has been found GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!
The difference between an apology and seeking forgiveness is profound and not to be taken for granted.
The Minnis regime is embarrassed by these developments. They were left confused. They silenced their members and across the front bench the face of defeat was clear!
They proved to the country that they are ill prepared, are unequipped, and lack focus on how to run the country.
The Minnis Government proved to the country that they are not prepared to uphold what is right, what is decent, what is just and fair for our people!
Just look at what happened. Speaker after Speaker on the side opposite were unable to refute any of the charges placed at the feet of the Speaker.
And what was worse was the fact that all of the Ministers like Brent Symonette, Dinosio D’Aguilar, and his friend of many years – Jeffery Lloyd all sat in silence after the charges were read.
….Unable and powerless to defend the claims brought against the Speaker.
What is worse that as you would have heard some seven FNM MPs, including the Member for Pineridge Fredrick McAlpine all left the Parliament and failed to support the government in a vote against the Speaker.
You know, victimization is real under the Minnis Government. And political victimization is indeed the feature deep inside the governing Party.
Look how they treated their own Mr. McAlpine yesterday. He came to speak for his constituents in Pineridge but the Government decided they wanted to stop him from speaking!
Why would they not want Pineridge voice heard?
Why is the Minnis Government seeking to silence the people sent to Parliament to speak for them?
I told you the other night that democracy in the Bahamas in under threat!
Let me get back to the Speaker, who has embarrassed the country.
You know, everywhere I go in this country, I am being told to continue to stand up against this FNM Government.
Yesterday, we placed on the record that the Speaker has disgraced the Parliament! He has crushed democracy, and, he has insulted the hardworking staff of the House.
His action represents much of disorder we saw yesterday even during the debate where the Government side did not even know how to amend the motion!
In the end it must be said that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis must learn how to lead!
And I hear they keep saying these things like; we need to get on with the People’s Business.
Parliament has been adjourned for next week Wednesday. And let’s watch and see what their business will be next week.
Oh, and I hear the Prime Minister talk about how he will be signing agreements. Ask him for me if he intends to lay these agreements on the table of the House of Assembly.
Remember how they love to describe themselves as the open and transparent government! Bring the Agreements to Parliament so all the people could see what deal you cut for the country!
That’s the first thing I wanted to deal with tonight.
Talking about the Prime Minister, this week Minnis has shown how poorly he governs our country.
This week a group of farmers from around the country showed up at the office of the Prime Minister for a meeting. The meeting I am told was to begin at 3:30 PM and confirmed by his office.
They wanted just to speak with their Prime Minister. But guess what? They were denied an opportunity to meet they leader.
I am advised after those farmers were ordered out of the building the PM fled through the backdoor ducking Bahamians!
What does all this mean?
Here is a man who serves in one of the most powerful offices in the nation. An office to which the holder is to defend Bahamians. A job, which requires one to support Bahamians. A job that requires one to protect the interest of workers, and empower all citizens.
But look at the disgrace now coming from the office of the Prime Minister?
We have a man occupying that office, who I am now convinced is failing to protect Bahamians!
A man who goes on the world stage and call Bahamians “corrupt”! Say he having an “Anti-corruption investment trips”
A Prime Minister who says nothing when a guest to the Bahamas calls Bahamians “dumb” and “corrupt” in the case of a Royal Bank employee!
We have a Prime Minister who cannot protect democracy in Parliament!
And these days rather than running to the assistance of Bahamians, is running from Bahamians!
Does that look like a leader to you?
Is this the kind of leadership Bahamians deserve?
Do you believe Hubert Minnis is anyway prepared or ready for the job?
Last week, while Hubert Minnis and the FNM were busy shutting down the voices of the opposition in Parliament, the Minister for Finance Peter Turnquest rose to his feet to seek approval of the Parliament to borrow 90 million dollars.
He – just like his boss – is running from people these days. He the one Minnis appointed to take on that IMF advice to downsize the public service and fire Bahamians.
Now I want you to examine what this is we have operating in Ministry of Finance.
Last year June, Turnquest came to the Parliament to borrow 722 million dollars in what he claimed to defy expenses for the ensuing year. The Central Bank issued said that the debt of the Bahamas was substantially less than that.
But a few months later after carrying out another round of firings at Urban Renewal, NIB, NHI, The Gaming Board, and at The Inland Revenue, this same Peter Turnquest came back to the Parliament to seek another loan for 800 million dollars.
What are they doing with all that money?!
Now, I am no accountant nor do I profess to be, but someone needs to explain to me why we in the Bahamas in these tough times do we need to borrow all that money while we firing Bahamians?
You see any major developments being carried out by the Minnis Government?
You see them opening any new agency to hire Bahamians?
You see them attracting any new investment like Bahamar or Atlantis?
Meanwhile, in their haste to fire Bahamians the results are taking a toll on this economy.
According to the Minister his department has delivered reduced revenue, more unemployment and a sense of “JOBLESSNESS” all across the country! Those are Turnquest’s results these past nine months.
People are going home and small businesses – the lifeblood of this economy – are closing their doors by the day under this Minns-led Government.
The FNM has no plan!
And I submit, they never had a plan!
They plagiarized material out of a Caribbean Island election manifesto, and now that it is time to govern they are visionless!
Bankrupt of ideas to deal with the People’s business!
They have no plan to uphold democracy.
No plan to create employment.
No plan to attract investment …and no plan to defend and protect Bahamians!
They have no real plan for the recovery of Grand Bahama!
No Real Buyer as promised on the campaign trail for Bahamar!
No delivery on the promised tax-free zone for inner city communities. And no strategy to create jobs in this economy.
Speaking about protecting Bahamians, you would recall it was your PLP Government, which began the work to step in to assist homeowners through a Mortgage Relief Plan.
Our goal in this was to keep Bahamians in their homes while arrangements were being met to have the loans restructured with the banks.
Just this past December, I am advised that the Financial Secretary met with staff upon the instruction of his bosses, to have the Mortgage Relief Department shutdown and all of the workers sent home.
My team on the ground have advised me that today the mortgage crisis is once again setting in and banks are moving in to take homes.
I call on the Minnis Government to step in and save these mortgages with the same energy he has to fire workers.
As I bid you good evening I want to be reminded of something.
We have pledged to be a party that has “dedicated itself to the service of all Bahamians, not a privileged few.”
We are the Party that has signed up to fight for the rights of workers.
Bahamians who have worked hard, who have pushed hard to get ahead to build a better country. We all have signed up to build a better nation one that will shine brighter in a world ripe with opportunity for our place in it.
Freedom, Justice, and Equality are no strangers to our chorus. But they are the threads that has woven the knit of our great organization.
And so I ask you are you ready to move this work forward?
Are you ready PLP? Let me hear you!
If you are prepared and ready then know that there is plenty work that lies ahead, and yes, our party needs you.
Our Branches need your energy!
Sign up and be counted as that voice for all our people.
Join us as our finest days and greatest achievements are still yet to come. The time is NOW!
PLP! PLP! PLP!
And May God Bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas!