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FRED MITCHELL HAD ONE HELLUVA WEEK

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viagra canada buy viagra times;”>I’ve been a puppet, viagra a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn & a king
I’ve been up & down & over & out
But I know one thing
Each time I find myself, flat on my face
I pick myself up & get back in the race

—Frank Sinatra Sings

photo of Fred Mitchell MP by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services
photo of Fred Mitchell MP by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services 

So the newspapers mainly have been having a field day with Fred Mitchell MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs and some people are worried.  Worried about what precisely we do not know.  The press notoriety of Fred Mitchell dates back to 1978 and is an occupational hazard of the kind of career Mr. Mitchell has chosen to embark upon and in which he is involved.  No need to feel sorry. In fact, if you were betting on which way the stock of Fred Mitchell was going, you would say that it is probably going to rise.

Here is what is going on for the younger ones who don’t seem to understand.  The same cast of characters who oppose him today, opposed him from the very moment he entered the scene as a public figure of sorts in 1976.  They are still around and they still oppose him. Eileen Carron of The Tribune is the most famous and obvious of the lot.  But she is characteristic of a type of racialist superiority complex that can’t stand who they consider to be an uppity Black man.

Within the PLP itself there is a cleavage.  Some of it is driven by personal jealousies and some spite  but some by genuine affection for no confrontation and because of close connections and affiliations professionally with the rich and famous and their wants and desires.

If you will, you can call them the accommodationists.  They sip tea with the Lyford Cay crowd; do their legal and financial work and are often in danger of becoming victims of the Stockholm Syndrome, where you identify like Patty Hearst, the millionaire heiress who when kidnapped identified with her captors.  It is important for all of us who support the PLP to remember our core principles.

That core principles are to stand with the poor at all times, the oppressed, the Black and White who are dispossessed.

Sometimes that requires a stand which will mean some tough facing off in public.  The least the accommodationists within the PLP can do when this necessary facing off has to be done is to be quiet until the storm passes over.  It will; it always does and the country is always the better for it.  The worst those who don’t like the confrontation can do is to make public statements which appear to denigrate intellectually the PLPs who take the public stands and undermine the tough stand which must be taken publicly.

Fred Mitchell was absolutely right on Emancipation Day to face down Sarkis Izmirlian of Bahamar and to warn him that he was crossing the line. This could not have been a private warning.  It had to be a public warning.  He embarrassed the leader of our country publicly not privately.  The leader of our country himself said that he had issues with the man’s mental health.

So all the fuss with the Opposition, the accommodationists in the PLP piling it on and others frightening the Leader of the Party about some putative economic consequences is not helpful. 

In 1967, when Pindling took over, they said all the white people would run and business would collapse.  It didn’t happen.  Those who left came silently back.  They said the same thing with independence, with the bend or break speech in Freeport, with the introduction of National Insurance.  At each juncture, some unspecified and general collapse was coming.  Didn’t happen.  The country is still here and those who were not conforming to our way of life simply conformed.

Mr. Izmirlian must conform.  He is not even revered in the community in which he lives.

Same thing they said at independence, the introduction of National Insurance and  Majority Rule in 1967.  The White people are going to run, they said on each occasion.  The business community will flee.  The economy will collapse. None of it proved true and it will not be true now.

Then you have a Guardian reporter  tied to the old guard by familial ties using words  about Mr. Mitchell’s speech on Emancipation Day in his story in Guardian Business, calling it an “outburst”  or a “diatribe”.  These are pejorative terms and the worst form of editorializing.  The speech was neither an outburst or a diatribe.  It was a carefully worded, well argued, written statement which is unassailable in its logic.  But that is a way to denigrate and dismiss  Mr.  Mitchell and his intellect in the same way Serena Williams is attacked because of her physique, as if they are both from Mars and belong in a zoo.

Young PLPs upset about the report of the Prime Minister’s statement about the position of the government not being from Shane Gibson and Fred Mitchell on Sarkis Izmirlian, should take a deep breath.  They claim in their closed discussion groups that the Prime Minister threw his minsters under the bus and saw contradictions in what he said and  the ministers speaking for the government. Don’t be concerned.  It just his style.  The truth about the matter is there was no policy statement made that required him or the cabinet to authorize it.  Neither was there any decision announced by the government. The press is the one who said there was a threat by Minister Mitchell not Minister Mitchell himself. Shane Gibson made it clear in the House that he was making a personal statement.  We must not allow ourselves to be manipulated or panicked by press headlines. Sometimes in politics, it is necessary to play good cop bad cop and the Prime Minister is the last court of appeal to smooth over any rough edges and feelings. 

In any event both Mr. Mitchell and Shane Gibson are experienced in public life.  We are sure their attitude is: “ That’s Life.  Up one day,  Down the next. Up the next”  So you youngsters don’t concern yourselves and don’t fret.  We have a country to run and an election to win.  Straight ahead and damn the torpedoes.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 8th August 2015 up to midnight: 389,222;
Number of hits for the month of August up to Saturday 8th August up to midnight: 426,874;
Number of hits for the year 2015 up to Saturday 8th August 2015 up to midnight: 14,969,771.