BRIAN SEYMOUR’S REPORT CARD ON MPS

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Brian Seymour

May 10th 2017, was first thought  to be a disaster to the PLP with a 35 to 4 defeat at polls. Two years later, the defeat has turned into a blessing.  A blessing because it has allowed the PLP to regenerate, and return to its core values, that is, being the party that defends the least of these amount us. The party of the ordinary man. The party that believes in the Bahamian people. 

Today begins a four-part series of reporting on the government ministers since their election to office, and MP’s where applicable.

Renward Wells, Minister of Transport and Aviation. Leader of government business in the House of Assembly, Wells has turned out to be a major disappointment.  He has brought no value to the table of ideas as a minister.  As leader of government business in the house, he is clumsy. As for his general grooming ( rough dry) it leaves a lot to be desired. He would do well to have a word with our friend Kelly Burrows on proper dress code. Burrows has found it necessary to rebuke MP’s on grooming standards publicly.  A recent photo taken with Wells and the Prime Minister shows him in a most unflattering groveling position, that tells us, who he is. This man is happy to hava a job. His grade is C-. 

Picewell Forbes, leader of opposition business in the House of Assembly, and Member of Parliament for South Andros.  As a senior member of the House of Assembly, given the opportunity of a lifetime to distinguish himself, he  has given lackluster performances so far.  He can do better.  He also is just making the grade. His grade C-

Minister of Education, Jeffrey Lloyd, as a radio talk show host, and a lawyer in the run-up to the 2017 general elections, Lloyd had all the answers that plague the public service, and the youth of our nation. On day one, as Minister of Education, he started off wrong with wholesale firings of minimum wage workers in the school system . He then became embroiled  in a no bid school renovation contract with a controversial contractor, the result of the contract still unknown to the public. Minister Lloyd should have improved upon the template his forward-thinking predecessor, Jerome Fitzgerald left in place but instead, he wasted precious time reinventing the wheel.  Two years later, the good Minister has run out of steam and seems to be out of gas.  Politics has not turned out to be his cup of tea.  It now appears that he is only trying to make it across the finish line, and and finish his term as Minister, and be done with politics. Politics seems to have bested him.  In Grand Bahama, and other Islands, not one school  has being completed after two years.  As Minister, he has been photographed napping on more than one occasion. As for free tertiary education, fees will be increased at UB in the Fall.  Under his leadership, education has not improved.  His dogmatic personality has caused his ministry to digress, Lloyd’s grade D. 

Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs. This ministry has amongst its cadre, some of the most competent and well-trained staff in the public service.  It takes years to develop these skill sets as Foreign Service professionals, and as civil servants.  They serve the government of the day. So, all that is required of this minister, is sound judgement on the advice he receives from these specialized  technocrats. The clumsy handling of the hurricane relief to Dominica demonstrated poor judgment. This was his first failed the test.  The scapegoating  of Permanent Secretary, Rhoda Jackson, was unfortunate, underutilizing her talents, throwing her under the bus demonstrated weak leadership, on his part. The OAS vote onVenezuela again demonstrated poor judgment. Finally, shrinking in the face of adversity by refusing to stand up and warn  Bahamians traveling to South Florida of the potential of hate crimes after the attack of Harold Williams in Pembroke Pines, Florida, is another demonstration of his lack of courage. The passport office seemed to have fallen into chaos, with no end in sight.  Hendfield, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, has not been very effective.  So for these reasons, he receives  grade D-.

Minister of Social Services and Sports, Lanisha Rolle, she is also known as, stand when I enter the room Rolle. 

Simply put, Minister Rolle should never have been appointed a minister, in any government.  Her role, as Social Services Minister, was a disaster: it appears she lacks the milk of human kindness, and is no friend to the poor.  Simply put, she lacks the requisite skills to be any minister of government at all.  She dresses well. That being said, it would be unfair to grade her.  No grade. 

Minister of National Security”If in the process of winning, you have lost the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing.”  Paul Elvstrom.

Minister of National Security, Marvin Dames, as Minister, he has demonstrated that he lacks discipline, temperament, vision, maturity and the acumen to hold such an important office. In fact, he has given little or no attention to the Prison Service or Defense Force.

 His first order of business was the premature departure of his nemesis Commissioner of Police, Ellison Greenslade. Then he became the de facto Commissioner of Police followed closely by the arrests of Deion Smith, Frank Smith, Shane Gibson, Kenrick Dorsett, and Michelle Reckley.  All of them being his political opponents: these are the traits of a would-be dictator.    


Wrecking ball Dames has dismantled  the following proactive youth programs, Citizen Security Program, Violence Breakers, Urban Renewal Marching Band, and the after school homework centers, and Shock Treatment.  All of these programs were youth interventions introduced by the PLP.  These programs have either been stopped  reviewed or, in the process of being cancelled.

At the beginning of the 179 years celebration since the establishment of the police force. Dames unceremoniously dismissed eight (8) ACP’s , senior ranking police officers which represented almost 300 years of institutional knowledge of the police force in one month. This impetuous Bull in a china shop actions completely overshadowed the celebrations; he did not appreciate in performing one’s duty it must always be done in decency and in orderly fashion. At the end of the Frank Smith’s trial, Dames was rebuked by Crown’s Counsel, Jenkins, and also, by Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.  Since then, Dames seems to have difficulties keeping his emotions in check; he has had to be restrained on two occasions in Parliament. He truly has become a slow-moving train wreck. He will no doubt fall into the pit that he has dug for others and become the author of his own destruction.  It is our hope he will be replaced by Ellsworth Johnson, as minister.  He gets a grade of D-.

Dionisio D’aguilar

Minister of Tourism and Aviation

Minister D’Aguilar from a public relations perspective has been a success. For the most part, he has a pleasant personality. The Minister has been the beneficiary of harvesting the crops he did not plant.  Prior to his appointment, he was praying for crop failure and pronouncing gloom and doom on Bahamar.  Today, he has skillfully taken ownership for the success of the project from a PR perspective and, it was a good balancing act. 
The Minister, however, must take responsibility for the catastrophic failure with the cancellation of the World Relays.  It was said at the time that the Bahamas did not have five (5) million dollars to host the World Relays and showcase the Bahama.  As a businessman, and Tourism’s minister, he must take responsibility for this failure.  Prior to the 2017 general elections, most of the Minister’s colleagues were unemployed:  they had no appreciation of the immensity of their short-sighted decision. Japan  was granted the rights for the World Relays and paid 55 million dollars  for that opportunity  to showcase their country. The tourism Minister dropped the ball big time .
The port of Nassau has been owned and  operated under  the control of our people for over three hundred and one (301) years.  This band of merry men, headed by the tourism minister, is prepared to turn over this gold mine, up 50% to foreign interest, operations and control.  When you see, otherwise, intelligent men making illogical decisions, it must be for a reason.  Given the BTC experience, I smell a rat, and see only narrow self-interest profiting from this deal.  Why are we so lacking in self-esteem?  Unless we have foreign interest, the value is less.

Minister D’Aguilar, also, dropped the ball on the purchase of the Grand Lucayan for 65 million dollars, along with the staff separation liabilities, it is widely believed that all the properties were not included in the sale.

On the aviation front, he has held the line and, not canceled any of the projects started by the PLP government.  Grade C-.

Social Services

Frankie  Campbell

The poor people of this country has suffered greatly since the coming to office of this FNM government. The night and day differences between the FNM and PLP has become clear for all to see in the area of Social Services.

Frankie Campbell has had to take over the Ministry of Social Services after one year.  He took over the Ministry from a child Minister who wanted to have her own way.  In this area, he has stabilized the ministry. This was good, and is commended for his achievement. 

From a public policy perspective, every initiative started by the PLP, from the RISE program, Emergency Food Assistance, Debit Card Assistance program, School uniform, and School feeding program, have all been severelyimpacted by deep cuts in their budget of the people’s time government. 

It is with a deep sense of regret that collectively this group of individuals comprising a cabinet seems to have lost their moral compass and humanity.  History will judge this grouping harshly for trampling the poor.  Lord have mercy on us.  Grade collectively and shamefully, D-.