Compiled, edited and constructed by Al Dillette Updated every Sunday at 2 p.m.
Volume 1 © Al Dillette
Welcome To bahamasuncensored.com
|CYNTHIA ‘MOTHER’ PRATT...||BISHOP NEIL ELLIS...|
|PASTOR CEDRIC MOSS IN HIS OWN WORDS...||THE TRIBUNE AT IT AGAIN...|
|THE MINISTER OF LABOUR & IMMIGRATION SPEAKS...||A WARNING FROM EDUCATION...|
|THE TRIBUNE’S PREOCCUPATION WITH FRED MITCHELL...||MICAL BYE-ELECTION...|
|POSITION ON 'NINETY' CLARIFIED...||UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE ON REAL ESTATE...|
|MAN CHARGED IN CUSTOMS OFFICER’S MURDER...||NO JUBILEE IN THE BAHAMAS...|
|MINISTERIAL NOTEBOOK...||LADY SYMONETTE DIES...|
|UPDATE ON ANTHONY SWABY...||UPDATE ON LEONA HENDERSON-GIBSON...|
|B.S. NOTES FROM GENEVA’S FREEPORT… PLUS...|
Everyone understands that the country is broke but some are saying that the PLP is taking too long to put in place the new people that they have been mandated to put in place.
Parliamentary Secretaries are yet to be appointed. Boards and board chairmen have not been appointed. This is a situation where although the country is broke, the Government is legitimately entitled to grant appointments. The announcement that boards were to stay on until 30th June brought a flood of e-mail to this site saying that this was not why they voted PLP.
We counsel patience. The PLP has a long way to go, and there is a difficult set of choices about those who will help to implement their plan. The time will come when changes will take place, and we know that the PLP has the fortitude to make the changes in systems and personnel that will make the country grow and prosper and be better managed. The PLP can’t be namby pamby about it. The time must come when they must act.
NUMBER OF HITS: - For the week ending Saturday 8th June 2002 at midnight
37,407 hits. For the month of June to date 39,696 hits. For
the year to date 1,523,221 hits. Ask your friends to hit this site.
There’s an American saying that goes something like this: never mess with mom and apple pie. And that surely must be the thought of Ivan Johnson, the editor of The Punch, the purveyor of lies and distortions on a weekly basis that is so eagerly sopped up by Bahamian readers. The marketing effect of The Punch has been so complete that The Tribune has been moving its paper in that direction in order to compete for readers, viz. a naked man in their advertising which when the protests came, they defended as an act of free speech instead of the naked commercialism that it was. The Tribune likes Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt. And they came to the defence with a story on the front page of The Tribune on Monday 3rd June. Mrs. Pratt, who is the Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas, was angry that The Punch told lies on her in one of its editions. The newspaper claimed that the police had to control an angry mob of persons waiting to see her looking for jobs. She denied that it happened. One wonders why even bother to refute nonsense. It is amazing that the public continues to read it and when people respond to it, credence is given to the lies that it tells. It should be clear from the last election that in the end it does not affect the choices of voters.
But ‘Mother’ Pratt is a special person herself. She announced during the week that she believes that God speaks to her and when God speaks to her she will advise the Bahamian people. She is a devout Christian. She is amongst the more popular Members of the House and the Cabinet. The only word of caution is of course that The Bahamas is not a theocracy, and the President of Trinidad where there is a strong Hindu population got into trouble when as he made his decision to appoint a Prime Minister when he said that he was guided by God and his Christian principles. No one would dare raise the issue publicly in The Bahamas. There is just a lot of grumbling behind the scenes. The same grumbling that came when she was appointed the Minister of National Security but which is easily defensible now that she has solidly taken command of the forces below her, the fact that it was the portfolio of the previous Deputy Prime Minister and that the Defence Force and the Police Force are self sustaining and running agencies.
Yes indeed: Don’t mess with Mother and apple pie. And in our case: Don’t mess with Mother Pratt. The Nassau Guardian showed a photo of Mrs. Pratt in another one of her high profile visits to facilities of the police published on Tuesday 4th June.
Bishop Neil Ellis is the spiritual leader of the Mt. Tabor Full Baptist Church in Nassau. But he is more than that. He is thought to be the religious power behind the throne of PLP Leader Perry Christie. Early in the campaign, Bishop Ellis publicly backed Mr. Christie. To his credit, he took considerable risks in doing so. It is a tradition of Baptists preachers to be forthright on political matters. But near the end of the campaign he went further and was quoted in the press of The Bahamas as giving the members of his church an ultimatum that they must support the PLP or they could go. Now one must consider who reported the story and take that with some caution. You guessed it: The Tribune! If those were not the words of Bishop Ellis that is the effect.
No comment came from Bishop Ellis when the howls of protests began, that The Bahamas is a secular state and about the appropriateness of making that commentary from the pulpit. No politician would dare make the criticism, even though there is increasing grumbling from various sources that The Bahamas is not a theocracy but a secular state. Into the fray jumped some of the ministers of religion.
First there was an unconfirmed report that Rev. T.G. Morrison of the Zion Baptist Union objected. He reportedly made an address that received no publicity but which questioned the propriety of a preacher making such an intervention. But Pastor Cedric Moss, who is FNM oriented and the son of former FNM candidate for Crooked Island Paul Moss, was even more forthcoming. At first there was a story in The Tribune about his remarks. But Pastor Moss wrote another letter to the press. He was incensed by the use of the first letter. See the next story.
CEDRIC MOSS IN HIS OWN WORDS
Cedric Moss is the Senior Pastor of Kingdom Life World Outreach centre. He wrote two letters to The Tribune both published on Wednesday 5th June about the comments of religious leaders on elections. He took issue with both the reported comments of Bishop Sam Greene and Bishop Neil Ellis. Here is what he had to say in his own words:
“There are two particular events that took place leading up to the general elections to which I would like to speak…
“The first is Bishop Neil Ellis’ reported directive to his congregation that they vote PLP or “haul hip” from his church and find themselves another Bishop…
“While Bishop Ellis has Biblical authority to give directives to members of his church in many areas of their lives, he has no authority to give directives to direct them how to vote…
[The second matter was a statement by the Christian Council on not opposing former FNM MPs Dupuch and Wells, subsequently elected as Independents] “My recollection of what I read is that it was said that the Christian Council felt it would be immoral to oppose Messrs. Wells and Dupuch. I thought this was amazing! It left me wondering whether the Christian Council also urged the PLP to not oppose their estranged brother of the CDR Dr. Bernard Nottage. If the Christian Council did not, this would be a classic case study on hypocrisy!...
“I am of the firm view that Church leaders can and should speak to areas of government and politics but they must do so in ways not to compromise their credibility and respect of our churches and the nation who look on us for impartiality”
[In another letter Pastor Moss took The Tribune to task for publishing a story about his letter instead of the letter itself] “I really have to question why The Tribune chose to write a subjective, opinionated story based on my letter instead of simply printing my letter in the letters to the editor section as I intended, hence the reason I wrote the editor... Further I told you that I was not interested in a war of words. I have no personal axe to grind with Bishops Ellis and Greene [Sam, President of the Christian Council] and I have no reason to personally attack or blast them as The Tribune’s story states.”
(Editor’s note: Pastor Moss will find that this is par for the
course for The Tribune. They editorialize within stories. They
add editorial notes that are often longer than the letters themselves contradicting
what a writer asserts. They are dominated by a political agenda that
will not be deterred. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the
case of Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell who they have such a thing about
that they pick every word apart and distort and twist it, even when they
have to admit that what he said is the truth. See the following story)
TRIBUNE AT IT AGAIN
The Tribune is in danger daily of losing its publisher’s credibility as its editorials become more and more strident and unfair. This is not surprising with Eileen Dupuch Carron, its publisher and author of its editorials. You may remember all the brouhaha over the commentary in the previous site about the slimy lies and distortions told by The Tribune over Mother Pratt’s photo taken at the prison with drug trafficker Samuel ‘Ninety’ Knowles. All the noise. They denied they had any hidden agenda to destroy the PLP. They denied the assertion in the column that they were acting in concert with FNM operatives to smear the PLP as drug tainted. But then get this. On Monday 4th June they published the following in their editorial:
“We can understand the PLP’s sensitivity to the whole drug question. The party has a reputation to live down.
“Fred Mitchell in a salvo fired at The Tribune on his website claimed that ‘The Tribune and the FNM were working hand in hand during the election campaign in an attempt to show that the PLP was accepting drug money and owed drug traffickers big time’…
“Nothing could be further from the truth. We do not for one moment believe that the PLP government condones anything to do with the drug trade. However, what we do know – and whether Mr. Mitchell wants to accept it or not – is that there are many in the evil trade who for some strange reason believe that a PLP Government will ‘wink its eyes’ on their fast-boat operations. This was not their perception of the FNM Government.”
The Tribune cannot get away with this wink and nod, sleight of hand
foolishness. This is a direct allegation against the PLP that it
is involved with drug traffickers. Let’s not waffle on this point.
The PLP is not involved with drug traffickers and no amount of repeating
this lie will pass muster. We ask The Tribune to cease and desist.
MINISTER OF LABOUR & IMMIGRATION SPEAKS
Vincent Peet, the Minister for Labour and Immigration has shared his plans for the department of immigration with the country. Among the major items on the Minister’s agenda are improved training and remuneration for Immigration officers. On labour, Mr. Peet hinted at the possibility of a productivity council to maintain the goodwill between management and labour. He was speaking in the House of Assembly in his contribution to the annual budget debate.
WARNING FROM EDUCATION
Minister of Education Alfred Sears has said that the Government’s scholarship programme under the FNM became a mess. The programme was opposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as too slack. It had no means testing and no requirement for persons to return to The Bahamas to study. It was a loan guarantee fund largely used by affluent Bahamians. Worse than that said the Minister speaking in Parliament during the budget debate, the money left in the fund cannot keep pace. The law allows the Government to guarantee up to 100 million dollars. There is only enough money for about 200 modest scholarships. The Minister has put a Committee in place under the act which the FNM refused to do and that Committee will now be charged with deciding who is to get the disbursements. This is the same FNM Government that The Tribune defends for fiscal responsibility.
TRIBUNE’S PREOCCUPATION WITH FRED MITCHELL
One wonders what exactly is it with the Tribune, its publisher Eileen Dupuch Carron, and Fred Mitchell, the Minister of Foreign Affairs? But boy! It is really a credit to Mr. Mitchell to be able to sustain the incredible onslaught by one of the country’s leading newspapers, its publisher and all of its columnists: Nicki Kelly and just this past week Andrew Allen, the son of former Finance Minister William Allen. Mr. Allen writing under the headline ‘ENOUGH POLITICS MR. MITCHELL’ says that Mr. Mitchell ought to “rein in the more mischievous side of his character”. This is an obvious attempt by various and sundry to isolate the Minister on the ground that he is on some personal frolic of his own. Interestingly, the party that has benefited the most from Mr. Mitchell has not come to the defence of their own minister. At so many times in the past, most recently in the ‘Mother’ Pratt photo affair, Fred Mitchell’s “isolated” voice rang loud in championing the party and its own. In any event we’re sure that Fred Mitchell can take care of himself. But where are his friends?
The FNM’s Leader out of the House Senator Tommy Turnquest and the Official Leader of the Opposition Alvin Smith have both confirmed that the FNM is to file an election court petition against the result in the MICAL constituency. This is represented by Minister Alfred Gray of the islands of Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island Acklins and Long Cay. The fellows can’t take a beating. Mr. Gray won the seat by four votes.
ON 'NINETY' CLARIFIED
Last week we reported that U.S. President George Bush had “sanctioned”, in the word of the U.S. law, Samuel ‘Ninety’ Knowles. That means he is cut off from doing business with U.S. Companies and entities. This worried Bahamians. Now the Nassau Guardian in its Monday 3rd June edition published a statement from the White House, which clarifies the situation. The statement said: “The law attempts to bar these individuals and their cooperatives from access to the US financial system while it does not target their governments.”
CONSEQUENCE ON REAL ESTATE
The Minister of Finance announced the Government’s intention to amend the law to allow for first time home buyers to get a break on stamp duty. The Government also says that real property tax will not be paid on houses under the value of $250,000. The market for real estate is already weak, and this should have had the response of causing there to be more home purchases. But not for the moment. Bahamas Real Estate President David Morley said that the market is waiting to see. He says that several prospective home buyers have put off their purchases in order to take advantage of the change in the law. He told The Tribune: “This is actually hurting the industry right now… I think in theory what they are proposing is an excellent idea, but the issue of real property tax is still unclear, and they would have to define what is deemed to be a first-time home buyer.”
CHARGED IN CUSTOMS OFFICER’S MURDER
The Royal Bahamas Police Force has gotten their man, at least the man who will be put to the jury. Jeffrey Neilly is accused of the murder in October 1999 of Sean Symonette who was at work in an undercover operation for the Customs Service. The 36 year old man was charged on Monday 3rd June and remanded without bail.
JUBILEE IN THE BAHAMAS
Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of The Bahamas. She has been our Queen for 50 years. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee and it was also supposed to be celebrated in other parts of the Commonwealth. What pray tell did we do in The Bahamas to celebrate our Queen’s anniversary? Our Members of Parliament, Senators and Ministers just a few weeks ago were busy swearing allegiance to “Her Majesty the Queen her heirs and successors in law”. No evidence of any official Jubilee in The Bahamas. No sentiments of republicanism here. This editor likes the monarchy and supports it as a useful institution to society, but why no celebration? The Royal Society of St. George (the real saint of the dragon slaying variety not Edward of the Port Authority) did light a bonfire on Paradise Island according to The Tribune on Monday 3rd June, but is that really enough for The Bahamas to have done? Tribune photo by Felipe Major of little girl waving Union Jack at bonfire.
The Minister of Financial Services and Investment Allyson Maynard Gibson along with Attorney General Alfred Sears returned to The Bahamas after leading a delegation to the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Bridgetown, Barbados. Mrs. Gibson signed a hemispheric treaty against terrorism on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas.
Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell returned to The Bahamas today following his annual physical at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Minister of Labour and Immigration Vincent Peet and a delegation of Bahamian Labour leaders are travelling to Geneva, Switzerland for the annual International Labour Organization’s conference. Mr. Peet participated in his first Labour Day Parade as Minister on Friday 7 June in Nassau before his departure.
The Minister of Transport Glenys Hanna Martin travelled to Greece for an annual shipping conference that is said to be the premier conference of ship owners and operators around the world. Mrs. Martin hopes to further raise the profile of The Bahamas that is the third largest register of ships in the world.
Minister of Agriculture Fisheries & Local Government
Alfred Gray is off to Rome for a conference of the United Nations Food
& Agricultural Organization (FAO).
To The Top
Canadian born Margaret Symonette, the widow of the first premier of the country Sir Roland Symonette died at her home Monday 3rd June. She is survived by her two sons Brent, the Member of Parliament for Montagu and Craig. She was buried following services at Ebenezer Methodist Church on Saturday 8th June. The Free National Movement issued expressions of condolence. She was a strong financial backer of the party. She had been ill for some three years according to her son, following a stroke. Our condolences to the family. Guardian file photo.
ON ANTHONY SWABY
Anthony Swaby, the basketball coach who was injured in a traffic accident in Florida which cost the life of his mother Joyce is said to be recovering in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Guardian photo.
ON LEONA HENDERSON-GIBSON
We reported last week that Leona Henderson-Gibson, handicraft artisan and promoter, was killed in traffic accident. The updated report is that she was indeed killed in an accident but it appears to have occurred in Tampa, Florida on the way to the airport there when a SUV in which she was travelling had a blow out and she was tossed from the car when the vehicle turned over. This is a sad occurrence. We send our condolences to her husband Kendal aka Panther. Guardian photo.
NOTES FROM GENEVA’S FREEPORT… PLUS
In this new format, the former News From Grand Bahama is renamed as above. This signifies the initials of our senior correspondent from the nation’s second city, with the ‘plus’ for the many other sources from whom contributions are accepted. Ed.
More Money For Tourism - Minister of Tourism and MP for West End Grand Bahama, Obie Wilchcombe told a gathering of industry leaders this week that Government would spend much more money in promoting Grand Bahama. Welcome news indeed for a tourism industry currently hoping to emerge from the doldrums. Minister Wilchcombe was speaking in Grand Bahama on the day before Labour Day.
Labour Day - News reports described the crowds of workers attending Labour Day in Grand Bahama as "disappointing". Many workers did take part in the traditional parade through the streets of the city (see Freeport News photo by Vandyke Hepburn) in addition to staging a motorcade. Labour in Grand Bahama has been under siege from the private sector for years and, only recently, have begun to see some gains in the tourist and industrial sectors with new labour agreements being signed at 'Our' Lucaya and long due overtime payments being won at the Grand Bahama Container Port.
Driftwood's Activities Director - As reported on this site, the Driftwood Group's Royal Oasis hotels has hired a foreign activities director. Grumbling continues from staff there that Bahamians who were qualified for the job were overlooked and the individual was already in place while the position was being advertised locally. Things that make you go, hmmm!
Local Government Elections - More than one hundred and thirty candidates have nominated for the various local government positions up for election in Grand Bahama this month. There are now concerns that the process, politicized by the FNM as reported last week, will now produce a lopsided result as known PLPs are thought to have nominated in large numbers. Despite appeals from both the Prime Minister and the Minister for Local Government not to politicize local government, each FNM branch in Grand Bahama was reported to have ratified two nominations for each district.
New Police Compound Unoccupied - The new multi-million dollar
police compound in Grand Bahama remains unoccupied almost a year after
its completion. Talk in the community is hopeful that the new Minister
will give an account to the public as to just what the real story is on
the complex. Inside sources say that there is no furniture in the
place and a web of failed "special" contract negotiations under the FNM
has left the building unable to be occupied. There are growing calls
for the police to share their large new headquarters with immigration and
in that way get some synergy of effort against illegal immigration as well
as budgetary help to outfit the building. We'll wait and see.
Welcome to bahamasuncensored.com
|HER MAJESTY’S A PRETTY NICE GIRL...||MOTHER PRATT'S PR MACHINE...|
|NEVILLE WISDOM’S STAR PERFORMANCE...||PRESSURE MOUNTING IN THE PLP...|
|THE TRIBUNE’S PORNOGRAPHIC COMPLAINT...||WHAT THE TRIBUNE REPORTED ON SEX...|
|DUPUCH HOOKS WITH HIS COLLEAGUES...||PRIME MINISTER’S PENSION...|
|DISPUTED WOMEN’S BRANCH ELECTIONS...||BASIL SMITH ON TOURISM...|
|ANTHONY SWABY RECOVERING...||THE INCREDIBLE SOUTH ANDROS MP...|
|MINISTERS TRAVELLING...||CHEF ELLIE’S GUAVA DUFF...|
|THE FLOOD OF 2002...||NOEL ROBERTS DIES...|
|ACCUSED TOURIST KILLER MCINTOSH CONVICTED...||B.S. NOTES FROM GENEVA’S FREEPORT… PLUS...|
In the House of Assembly this week, on Thursday 13 June, several MPs got hot under the collar. It brought some light moments to what has otherwise been from an excitement point of view a pretty dead debate. Members seemed to have lost the flair that they brought to their campaigns. The Member of Parliament for North Abaco aka Hubert Ingraham deigned to make an appearance. Shane Gibson who is now the Minister for National Insurance could not help noticing that with Mr. Ingraham in the House the putative Leader of the Opposition Alvin Smith was popping up and down like a yo yo.
Then there was Pierre Dupuch, the Independent member for St. Margaret, who asked some sharp questions about the Prime Minister’s Pension Act and whether or not the former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham would be able to collect a pension and his Parliamentary salary at the same time. The answer is yes. We report on that below. FNM MPs got hot under the collar and kept interrupting Mr. Dupuch, whereupon Mr. Dupuch told them if they could not stand the heat then get out of the darn kitchen. Hmm!
So at least that was some excitement. It reminds us of an e mail we got the other day from one of our readers. She was upset about the lightheartedness that she saw displayed on TV in the House. She said that she did not vote for PLP MPs to be so lighthearted about what she considered a serious matter like the budget.
This is a complaint of many people about Parliament. But remember Parliament is the highest forum in the land, the freest forum. It is not a classroom. And it is simply not possible to sit in a room for three hours at a time listening to an intervention and not interject some levity into the matter. It would not be humanly possible. It doesn’t mean that members do not take the matter seriously.
But we say at last some excitement. This softly softly approach doesn’t cut it.
HITS FOR THE WEEK ENDING Saturday 15 June: 6,456. HITS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE to Saturday 15 June: 68,552. TOTAL HITS FOR THE YEAR: 1,552,077
MAJESTY’S A PRETTY NICE GIRL
Paul McCartney, the former Beatle and now a newly wed billionaire, wrote a song on the Abbey Road Album the words of which said: “Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl”. That seems to be the sentiment of one of our correspondents last week who is a student at Cambridge University. He likes the monarchy and believes that it is a symbol of continuity in The Bahamas. But while we see nothing wrong with the monarchy and take the point as we said last week that it is our monarchy, one has to think of the other side.
As readers of this site’s predecessor would know the Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell is a dedicated republican with a small “r” and he has often made the point that in this way as Bahamian MPs swear allegiance to “Her Majesty the Queen her heirs and successors in law”… that while we might argue and accept that Elizabeth the now Queen and Charles, the Prince to succeed her may have some inkling of The Bahamas, it seems inconceivable that William, the younger to become king wakes up as he is eating his Cheerios for breakfast or its equivalent in England) and thinks of us in The Bahamas. He has nothing to do with us really and he has no connection.
And so as the generation of Mr. Mitchell asked when they were in high school and college and what this generation should now be asking is what is the relevance of this institution to The Bahamas and do we need it. Right now we have it, it seems, because it’s cheaper to keep it than to change to anything else. And after the fiasco of Hubert Ingraham's attempt to amend the constitution earlier this year, constitutional reform is a dirty expression. But some argue that we need to become a republic like they are in Trinidad or in Ireland. Let’s hear what you our readers think.
PRATT'S’ PR MACHINE
Someone, probably a fake name [some friends said it was probably Tribune editor Eileen Dupuch Carron in disguise—just joking] calling himself Harry Johnson wrote a letter to the press this week in which he took issue with the expression in the previous incarnation in this column about Mother Pratt and her calling the US Ambassador to explain the photo with Samuel ‘Ninety’ Knowles, the convicted drug trafficker. The poor bloke was outraged he said by the fact that Fred Mitchell, the Minister of Foreign Affairs would dare to tell Mother Pratt what to do. Lack of intelligence is a pretty sad thing and really when you don't understand something you ought to stay out of grown people’s business. The so called Mr. Johnson took issue with the fact that the column in its previous incarnation said Mother Pratt needed to give no one an explanation. (You may click here for the previous story). We stand by that. It was simply The Tribune up to political mischief. And it appears that poor Mr. Johnson has fallen for their divide and conquer tactic. But that’s not what this is really about.
We want to express our admiration for the public relations machine of Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt. As we said last week, it is heresy to mess with Mother. There was a moving photo and story of her visit to see Deacon Lou Adderley who is ailing. Mr. Adderley is a former President and Principal of St. Augustine's College. She said before the cameras that she wanted to visit while he was still alive to give praise to a man who had helped her develop into what she is today. He for his part said that he was proud of her. He called her “my girl” and said how she always listened. He said hers was a story that others could emulate that you can be a success. Deacon Adderley said: “I may be biased but I have never seen a Bahamian female do the things that you have done to this day. You always listened to what you were being told. I always knew that my little girl would become a role model for all Bahamians. It did not matter what background you came from.” He also spoke about the state of sports in the country and how sports administration needs to be more than just a power grab. The Tribune of Wednesday 12 June reported that Mother Pratt was moved to tears. We bet there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Nassau Guardian photo by Donald Knowles.
WISDOM’S STAR PERFORMANCE
The Prime Minister has pronounced himself over and over during the last week as especially pleased at the level of debate from his Members of the House of Assembly. He was especially pleased at the intervention of Neville Wisdom the new Minister for Sports. Mr. Wisdom was at his ministerial best as he revealed a possible pattern of improper contract awards in his Ministry granted by the former Minister Dion Foulkes to members of the FNM. Mr. Wisdom revealed that a company called Kanoo Productions was paid $246,285 for Junkanoo at the Bahamas Games in March of this year. He revealed that an FNM candidate and former Senator is the beneficial owner of that company. He said also that Five Star Travel received payments of $292,114.20. He said that the principal of that company was an FNM Member of Parliament at the time. It is believed to be Juanianne Dorsett, the former MP for Fox Hill. Mr. Wisdom’s address came on Monday 10 June. Guardian photo.
MOUNTING IN THE PLP
Last week, we adverted in our comment section of this column that there is pressure on the PLP by its supporters to begin making changes and the appointments to the various boards. The deadline for the resignations of the FNM appointed boards is coming up at 30 June. Appointments to boards and other Government jobs is one of the signs that change has come. And all around PLP's are complaining that they did not vote for things to remain the same.
TRIBUNE’S PORNOGRAPHIC COMPLAINT
You know that we have been saying on this site that The Tribune and its editors should be the last ones to lecture this country about morality and impropriety. We gave the example of their publishing a naked man with pubic hairs showing in the previous incarnation of this column. You may click here for that story and photo. Then we talked last week how their radio station 100JAMZ plays some of the filthiest, sexually suggestive lyrics without apology, pushing this garbage at young people. All of a sudden now The Tribune has a bout of conscience when they have a so called expose all week about Bahamian children on the web engaging in explicit sexual chats with one another, and explaining about how many people they sleep with and how teenage girls are shall we say liberal with their charms. They said that there were several Bahamian websites with naked girls pictured on the site. Now all of this should not shock The Tribune. They helped to promote that atmosphere. Remember when they changed from an afternoon paper to a morning paper, they used the promotion line "Get it in the morning". Get what? On the face of it The Tribune, but no one could miss the sexual innuendo. They used sexual innuendo to sell their paper. Just this week they did a whole expose on sexual relations between high school aged children. Then each week in their section for women, there is always something about how to keep your man, how to stay sexy and appealing, complete with pictures. A photo published in their INSIGHT section on Monday 10 June under the headline: ‘HOOK UP IN SCHOOL’ was obviously designed to titillate. The story about the porn sites itself is written in such a way as to grab headlines by some reference to sexually explicit material. It is designed to shock and to sell newspapers, not for any genuine interest in the morality of the country or its teenagers. In another story we will repeat some of what they reported. But we don’t buy The Tribune's genuineness on this. They are a bunch of fakers. What we have at The Tribune is two streams. Eileen Carron who hates the PLP and Fred Mitchell with a passion and who will twist a story to try and discredit the PLP no matter how intellectually dishonest. And then there is Robert Carron her son, who likes the titillation and thinks its good for business. Mother Carron can’t argue with Robert because his methods bring in the bucks. And that is as we said what The Tribune is all about: money, money, money.
THE TRIBUNE REPORTED ON SEX
We do not believe for one moment that The Tribune has any interest at all in the morality of Bahamian children. Their interest is only in selling papers and making money. So to appear to shed a tear and have angst over teenage sex by The Tribune is to shed crocodile tears. They interviewed six students and here is some of what they reported in their own words:
“An 11th grader Corey said he has been approached by some of the boys at his school who act as pimps for some of the girls. “I have been approached by quite a few guys, he said recalling his first encounter. “One of the girls came on to me one day and asked me for a dollar. I didn’t think nothing of it because she was one of my friends. So I was joking with her and I asked what she would be willing to do for a dollar.
“Corey said the girl told him that would not get much nowadays. He said he told her he didn’t understand what she meant until lunch time, when she came with two boys who are known to always have extra money on hand.
“The next thing you know one of the fellas then started naming off prices for different things that these girls would do.”, he said. “ Fifty dollars could get you a Moulin Rouge thing. Basically, that is what we call the worse, and from what I hear, those girls do more things in the bathrooms than what you could watch on RCA…
“[On oral sex] Some of the girls do it when the teachers are out of the class in five minutes. There is a girl who sits in the back of me who does it. One of the boys in my class asks who think they can do it best and then two girls try. I think that it’s nasty and dirty and I told my teacher one time, but when she asked the class nobody answered, so I guess she didn’t believe me.” [We wonder why—Ed.]
“Corey said the boys presented him and his friends with deals like weekly instalments and paid interest on the girls. They said the girls get about 60 per cent of the money that they make.
“He added that some of the girls who were involved in these high school hooker rings were as young as 13 and 14.
“My boy told him that the prices were too high for something that was
only happening in the bathroom at lunch-time,” Corey said. “The other fella
told him that he was getting a discount price because the men who are not
in school would pay them twice as much.”
HOOKS WITH HIS COLLEAGUES
The former Opposition colleagues of Pierre Dupuch MP (Independent) for St. Margaret were pretty upset. Mr. Dupuch kept peppering them with questions about the fact that under the Prime Minister’s Pension Act the Prime Minister will be able to get his pension and collect his MPs salary at the same time. (See story this page) The Leader of the Opposition kept interrupting him with inquires and points of order. But Mr. Dupuch finally had enough and told him that if they can’t stand the heat they had better get the hell out of the kitchen.
The question being asked by so many these days is what kind of pension will Hubert Ingraham get when he becomes eligible for a pension at the age of 55. He becomes eligible for the pension on his 55th birthday in August of this year. The trouble is he is still a sitting member of the House and will under the present law be able to collect both his salary as an MP and his pension. Those with a good memory will remember that it was Hubert Ingraham who made civil servants who continued to work in the Government service after their retirement stop taking their pensions as long as they got a salary from the Government. It was a particular act of meanness. We believe that the PLP must act to amend the law before the pension vests in Mr. Ingraham because after it vests we will not be able to change it. Mr. Ingraham must choose whether he wishes to stay on as a back bencher or accept the pension as Prime Minister. He must choose. If he wants the pension then he must retire from the House of Assembly. The more we uncover about him and the plotting scheming wicked way in which he tried by appointments and gifts to his friends as he was going out of office, the more we see him for the scheming politically dishonest man that he is.
DISPUTED WOMEN’S BRANCH ELECTIONS
Glenys Hanna Martin, the Minister of Transport was
out of town. She is the standing and duly elected Chair of the Women’s
branch of the PLP, an autonomous but affiliated body of the PLP.
While she was away a meeting was called and elections purportedly held
by a PLP official. There were loud protests that the election was
not properly held or called. Not to be deterred the elections went
ahead. Now some are saying that the result can not be upheld since
the election was not properly called or conducted. We will see.
SMITH ON TOURISM
Basil Smith, the executive vice president of the Bahamas Hotel Association, is one of those Bahamians thought to be a possible successor to the present Director General of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool Wallace. He gave an interview with The Tribune that was published on Tuesday 11 June. In it he warned that The Bahamas and other tourism destinations must address health and safety concerns that can spook potential travellers even though these worries may be based more on rumour than fact. The typical case in point is of course when a hurricane hits the Caribbean, the perception is that the whole Caribbean is under threat. Mr. Smith told The Tribune: “As reports of increasing crime, drug use, food chain related problems and health matters reach more travellers, their decisions regarding destinations in which to spend their holidays become more discriminating… The goal therefore, is not to try to control the free flow of information. It is instead important that destinations address the underlying problems which are the cause of many of today’s health and safety related problems… Whether or not health and safety concerns are supported by data the perception is what matters most to the uninformed traveller.” Tribune photo.
The coach of the Burger King Angels has returned home from hospital at Jackson Memorial in Miami. The Tribune of Tuesday 11 June says that Anthony Swaby had his right hand in a sling and his voice was slightly distorted because of the hole in his lung. Mr. Swaby told them that the physical problems are less than the emotional ones. The fact that he was driving the car when his mother got killed is a major issue. He said that he keeps thinking that it's a bad dream. And he does not remember exactly what happened. His mother’s funeral took place at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Saturday 16 June. His mother Joyce was killed in an accident in Miami when their van as hit by a Florida Power and Light truck on 31st May. We wish him a speedy recovery.
INCREDIBLE SOUTH ANDROS MP
The Member of Parliament for South Andros is Whitney Bastian. He is an independent, a former PLP who was refused a nomination it is widely believed because of a connection with drug trafficking. Mr. Bastian has denied any and all charges of a drug connection and recently told the press that the drug charges were totally untrue and part of a conspiracy by certain PLP's from preventing him from succeeding politically. Nevertheless, the label stuck but there is a certain grudging respect for him having defeated the machines of both major political parties. Notwithstanding all of that though MPs appeared stunned when Mr. Bastian got up in the House on Thursday 13 June and said that we have to defeat the problem of drug trafficking. He said that it could be done in five years. Mr. Bastian suggested that the United States become more active in its offensive against drugs and deploy military forces against drug dealers. He said that everyone knows where the drug traffickers are. Indeed! Well, things that make you go: hmmm!
The Minister of Foreign Affairs left The Bahamas on Wednesday 12 June for Cambridge, Massachusetts. He chaired his last meeting as head of the Alumni Executive Council of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. From Cambridge he left to make an official visit to the Mission of The Bahamas to the United Nations in New York and then on to the Embassy of The Bahamas in Washington. He returned to the country today, Sunday 16 June.
The Minister for Financial Services Allyson Maynard Gibson was in Europe during the week along with representatives of The Bahamas Financial Services Board speaking with bankers in Switzerland and Jersey. The Minster is trying to drum up business for The Bahamas and reassure the markets about The Bahamas commitment to a best practices regime while we review and amend the financial services laws that were passed by the FNM.
Minister of Agriculture V. Alfred Gray returned from Rome where he attended the Food and Agricultural Organization’s World Summit.
Minister of Labour and Immigration Vincent Peet returns
from Geneva today Sunday 16 June where he attended the International Labour
Organization's annual meeting along with Bahamian trade union leaders.
To The Top
ELLIE’S GUAVA DUFF
Chef Ellie Saunders was featured by The Tribune on Tuesday 11 June. He talked about his guava duff and the production of the duffs that he is preparing before he takes his product to the international market. He is an instructor at the College of The Bahamas. The duff is first class. Chef Saunders told The Tribune: “I remember giving it to a guest who was visiting from France, and she said that the duff could be served in any gourmet restaurant in France with a nice glass of champagne at the end of the meal. Good luck Chef Ellie.
FLOOD OF 2002
New Providence, the home island of the capital city of The Bahamas Nassau is now awash in water. It has been raining for seven days straight and it seems it will not stop. The reason: a low level surface trough full of moisture is stuck over The Bahamas. People are screaming as a result of the flooding in all parts of the island, not just Pinewood Gardens. San Souci was hard hit with some residents ankle deep in water in their homes. The Ministry of Works has been drilling wells but the rain is so extraordinary, the wells do little but delay the inevitable, the water keeps coming and coming. This Bahama Journal photo of a bus travelling through flooded Nassau streets is by Julian Reid.
The former Member of Parliament Mr. Noel Roberts has died. Mr. Roberts represented the St. John's (Eleuthera) Constituency for the FNM. Mr. Roberts who was the son of the late Sir George Roberts, was 64. He was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1972 as the MP for St. John's, when the FNM ran for the first time. He served until 1977. He was again elected in 1987 for St. Johns where he served until 1997. Our condolences to the Roberts family. Guardian photo.
TOURIST KILLER MCINTOSH CONVICTED
Tennel McIntosh, the accused killer of tourist Lori Fogleman, was convicted Thursday 13 June of the lesser charge of manslaughter after jury deliberations of just over three hours. Enraged relatives complained outside the court that McIntosh was the wrong man. Ms. Fogleman's body was discovered partially buried in bushes on Paradise Island. McIntosh was earlier acquitted of the murder of another tourist woman whose body was found in the same spot as Ms. Fogleman. The defence has announced it is to appeal the verdict. Guardian photo.
NOTES FROM GENEVA’S FREEPORT… PLUS
In this new format, the former News From Grand Bahama is renamed as above. This signifies the initials of our senior correspondent from the nation’s second city, with the ‘plus’ for the many other sources from whom contributions are accepted. Ed.
Lempke In Limbo at FCP - Workers at the Freeport Container Port (FCP) are watching and waiting as word on the street has it that Port Manager Gary Lempke’s work permit is up for renewal. The Container Port’s parent company Hutchison Whampoa was embarrassed by Lempke’s heavy-handed dealings with Bahamians and one former Grand Bahama FNM MP said publicly before the election that his work permit would not be renewed. Now, according to several sources, “Lempke is going around town saying he’s here to stay, but we can’t believe the new Government would do this to us.” Hutchison has changed several senior managers in Grand Bahama in an attempt to smooth local community and government relations and to refocus the local company’s attention on Whampoa’s global strategy. Our sources charge that in the pursuit of fairness and respect for Bahamians at FCP “This man Lempke is definitely an obstacle and everyone should see that.”
Resorts At Bahamia - The industrial unrest at the former Resorts at Bahamia, the former Princess Properties, now the Royal Oasis hotels on which we have reported for months finally erupted this past week in a work stoppage. As a ‘final straw’ employees accused the company of not paying out moneys deducted from salary to third party companies to which it was owed. Some employees report being contacted by banks and credit unions to which salary deductions should have been paid. Meanwhile, the company applied to courts to declare the work stoppage illegal. Employees, still furious, were ordered back to work. Sources now say that at the insistence of a Government Minister, payments have been made to the various institutions for which the deductions were authorised.
Police To Get Furniture - As if in answer to queries posed last week on this site about progress at the new Grand Bahama Police Headquarters, Minister for National Insurance Shane Gibson has said that furniture for the building should be in place by the end of this month. The building, which has been finished, but unoccupied for almost a year, was built with funding from the National Insurance Board.
Grumbling Over Dupuch - Independent MP and former FNM Cabinet Minister Pierre Dupuch was under attack this past week in FNM discussion groups around Grand Bahama. Loyal FNMs disgruntled by Mr. Dupuch’s pointed questions over the Prime Minister’s Pension Act (see story above) openly wondered why Mr. Dupuch did not question then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham when the act was up for passage and he, Mr. Dupuch, was in Cabinet?
Gilbert Morris In Town - Professor Gilbert Morris was home in Grand Bahama this past week. Dr. Morris visited as commencement speaker for St. Paul’s Methodist College, but later conducted an impromptu and spirited exposition of his learned position on the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). “Our thinking must be radically adjusted if we are to compete in the new world order”, said Dr. Morris, calling for “an awakening of the Bahamian entrepreneurial spirit”.
Liz Cromwell Dies - Well known local teacher and popular Freeport News columnist Liz Cromwell has died. Mrs. Cromwell was keenly interested and involved in the discussion of public policy in Grand Bahama. She will be missed. Our condolences to her family.
Customs Officer Kirk Scott Dies - The Bahamas Customs Department
in Grand Bahama is in shock and mourning at the death of Kirk Scott.
Mr. Scott, well known and liked was posted at the Grand Bahama International
Airport. He died this past week after a short illness necessitated
his airlift to Nassau. Mr. Scott was in his mid-thirties. Condolences
to his family, friends and co-workers.
Welcome to bahamasuncensored.com
|CRITICISM OF THE SITE...||INGRAHAM’S LOWNESS...|
|NICKI KELLY ON U.S. AMBASSADOR...||CLUNE TO EXIT?...|
|THE COURT OF APPEAL IS OUT OF LINE...||CABINET OFFICE RULES AGAIN...|
|WOMEN’S BRANCH ELECTIONS...||BEC’S PROMISES, PROMISES...|
|FOREIGN MINISTER’S BUDGET ADDRESS...||NOEL ROBERTS IN PRIVATE BURIAL...|
|WELLS' AND DUPUCH’S EVOLVING ROLE...||CAN INGRAHAM SHOW UP IN THE HOUSE AGAIN?...|
|BRENT SYMONETTE’S POSTURE...||CONGRATULATIONS LAW STUDENTS...|
|CONGRATULATIONS TO RICK FOX...||THE BOOBY PRIZE...|
|“EXAGGERATED” REPORTS OF SIR ORVILLE’S DEATH...||EUGENE “CHEETAH” KNOWLES DIES...|
|SAD NEWS FOR LESLIE MILLER...||MORE FROM PASTOR CEDRIC MOSS...|
|E-MAIL RESPONSES...||B.S. NOTES FROM GENEVA’S FREEPORT… PLUS...|
|BISX CLOSING PRICES FROM COLINA...|
Mr. Ingraham threatened to speak all night into the early morning if he did not get a chance to speak when he wished to speak. And then he ran out of steam at about 11 p.m. and started begging the Government to adjourn until 10 a.m. in order for him to continue. He promised to speak for two hours on the resumption of the House and said he would finish at 12 noon. The House restarted late because of the Government's tardiness so he went until 12:20 p.m. But what was amazing is that he tried to put on the table remarks that he did not actually speak by purporting to lay them on the table of the House of Assembly. Again Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell got up and objected to Ingraham’s attempt to get into the record privileged remarks through the back door. And the Speaker refused to enter them into the record until he made a ruling on the point. It was wicked. It was insidious.
But Mr. Ingraham met his match in Perry Christie, the Prime Minister, and Ingraham’s reputation for so called honesty is now in tatters, when Mr. Christie revealed that Mr. Ingraham had politically defrauded Prime Minister Lynden Pindling of some half a million dollars of pension money. We report the story below. Clearly the tail can’t wag the dog in this situation. And Mr. Ingraham having told his lies in the House turned tail like a dog and ran for cover. He packed up his georgie bundle and headed out of the House.
The e-mail traffic to the new site is getting up there. So encourage your friends to read and inwardly digest. Thanks much. (cb)
Number of hits for the week ending 22nd June at midnight: 8,247.
Number of hits for the month to 22nd June at midnight: 83,257. Number
of hits for the year to 22nd June midnight: 1,560,.324
OF THE SITE
One of our correspondents in Grand Bahama sent a message to us that the site is a little too soft for her. She said that she would give us one more week before she would give up on us. Well hang on, don't give up so easily. As the PLP likes to say, help and hope is on the way. The site has the same biting commentary except of course we are friendly to the PLP but there is enough FNM madness around to still go after them with a pick axe. So stay tuned.
Someone once said beware of a man who keeps telling you that he is honest. It may be a sure sign of dishonesty. What was that about by their works shall ye know them? When Hubert Ingraham the fallen Prime Minister got up to speak in the House on Tuesday night 18 June it was already late into the evening. The House had passed the resolution to allow it to sit past 7 p.m. Mr. Ingraham threatened the Government that he would keep the House in until 4 a.m. with his address. The Americans call it filibustering. He ran out of steam just before midnight and started begging for the PLP to agree for him to come back the next day. And he started off badly. He was reading from a lectern that allows the Member speaking at the time not to read from the desk that is quite low but from his standing position. The lectern apparently belongs to Mr. Ingraham but all members had been using it. Do you know that His Lowness told the House that he had only given permission to the Prime Minister to use his lectern and that he noticed other members were using it. That is what you call lowness of the first order.
But it got worse when it was revealed by the Prime Minister Perry Christie on Wednesday 19 June that Mr. Ingraham had unlawfully made it a requirement of Sir Lynden that he could not receive the pension due him in law until he (Mr. Ingraham) saw his resignation from the House of Assembly. But Mr. Ingraham himself is now receiving his pension of $86,000 per year plus his House salary so that he is being paid the same as the Prime Minister. He claimed that he would support a law that would take away the House salary. But Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell asked him to go further and agree that the law should be changed to choose between continuation in the House as an ordinary member with the salary on $28,000 or retire and get the full pension. Mr. Ingraham answered that he wasn't a fool. There are of course those who would doubt that. But it is clear that Mr. Ingraham is the lowest of the low.
The Pindling estate is now claiming in excess of $500,000 from the Government of The Bahamas. And the taxpayer is suffering by having to pay this amount from a broke Treasury. Mr. Ingraham does not explain his inconsistent behavior. Since he insisted that Sir Lynden had to give up his right to sit in the House, he should have no difficulty following that same principle as it applies to him today. Some are saying that if the Government has to pay the Pindling estate that it should then sue Mr. Ingraham for malfeasance and recover the $500,000 from him. Guardian photo by Farreno Ferguson.
KELLY ON U.S. AMBASSADOR
Nicki Kelly’s acid tipped pen has been at it again. This time she did a savage job on the U.S. Ambassador Richard Blankenship. Mr. Blankenship since he has come to The Bahamas has offended many Bahamians by his overbearing intervention in the affairs of The Bahamas. Said one observer: “He thinks he is doing good and means well but all he is doing is building up resentment amongst the Bahamian people”.
Ms. Kelly was angered by Mr. Blankenship’s comments about the conviction of Tennel McIntosh for manslaughter last week. She thought that his comments were inappropriate. Ms Kelly in her column of Tuesday 18 June in The Tribune said that since Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell has something to say about almost everything he should call in the U.S. Ambassador and have a chat with him.
Ms. Kelly might get a clue as to what the real story is on this if she reads carefully the Foreign Minister's remarks on the the speech from the throne. The Minster said that a protocol has been established about how diplomats are to behave and that at least one diplomat had been called in for discussions. She ought to learn to read between the lines and perhaps not be so literal. You may click here for that address. Tribune File photo.
In a possibly related story, there is a swirl of rumours going around the U.S. Embassy that Dan Clune the Deputy Chief of Mission is leaving because he is concerned about the outbursts of the Ambassador and would rather not have to defend them. Who knows but it is a source of serious concern for many Bahamians. File photo.
COURT OF APPEAL IS OUT OF LINE
For the second time in as many weeks, Court of Appeal judges have been attacking the Office of the Attorney General. It is interesting that these comments came only after the PLP has come to power. You already know of the criticisms in this column’s predecessor of the rudeness of Court of Appeal judges toward defence counsel and similarly, it seems generally unfair to attack prosecutors in a public in a forum in which they cannot defend themselves. The Attorney General Alfred Sears must defend his prosecutors in public.
The first attack came when the Court of Appeal on 10 June was seeking to deal with the case of one Murray whose appeal had come up and whose conviction had been quashed by the Privy Council. The prosecutors explained that the man had been freed some months earlier when on the oral advice of their lawyers at the Privy Council they were told that the conviction had been quashed. The written ruling spoke about a retrial. The AG immediately announced a new protocol that only written rulings will be used to release prisoners. But quite apart from that, it is simply unseemly for Court of Appeal judges to be involved in attacks on counsel in the court when they know that counsel cannot answer.
In the Murray case, the Director of Public Prosecutions Bernard Turner had actually been found in contempt in his absence and he was made by explanation to purge his contempt. The fault of the delay was occasioned not by him but by the previous Director Vylma Hilton who has since left The Bahamas. This also seems a little unusual. But if that weren’t enough, the Court of Appeal then proceeded to attack Prosecutor Albertha Bartlett who was faced with having to explain the long delay in bringing another matter before the Court of Appeal on Thursday 21 June.
The Judges made intemperate remarks that cast the AG’s office in a bad light. The newspapers reported that Prosecutor Albertha Bartlett wept at the dressing down. This is not what a Court of Appeal ought to be doing. If they have problems with the administration of justice, they know how to properly address them, not attack the prosecutors who have no responsibility for the things about which the court is complaining. And further, the Court of Appeal itself is known to have lost files and have been guilty of delay. They should stop these attacks.
OFFICE RULES AGAIN
Ever since 2 May 2002, the Office of the Prime Minister created by Hubert Ingraham in a fit of pique against the late Sir Lynden Pindling his predecessor, has been vacant. The suite of offices was created in what is now called the Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield Building. That is because the new Prime Minister Perry Christie uses the Cabinet Office for his headquarters located in Bay Street in the Churchill Building. That is where it used to be in the old days under Sir Lynden Pindling. The Cabinet Office was the centre of activity. Under Mr. Ingraham you had to go down to the building at Cable Beach and the only time that he came to the Churchill Building where the Cabinet Office is, was when it was time to see the Commissioner of Police and the Head of the Defence Force. The Office of Prime Minister should be scrapped. It was anomalous and it tended to detract from the power of the Cabinet Secretary in the work of the Government. So it is a good thing that the Cabinet Office rules again.
We have reported for several weeks on this site that there is trouble in the Women’s Branch of the PLP. A purported election was called some three Sundays ago to elect new officers by the central party even though the Chair Glenys Hanna Martin was not in Nassau. The call was made for the Party leadership to step in and set the mater right. Nothing was done and the purportedly elected Women's Branch Officers appeared in the newspapers in a press release. Now comes word that the party is about to step in to set aside the elections. The reason: a new women’s branch is being formed as the PLP Professional Women’s Association. So now you know what that means. Let’s see if we can get this together. (cb)
Bradley Roberts (not the MP) is the GM of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation. He gave a speech on Thursday 20 June to the Rotary Club of West Nassau. He promised that their maintenance programme was sufficiently ahead that there should be very little load shedding this summer. Well you know that’s what BEC says every spring, and then all you need is one thunderclap and the power is off. But they could always surprise us! Guardian photo by Farreno Ferguson.
MINISTER’S BUDGET ADDRESS
Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell gave his Budget Address to the House of Assembly on Monday 17 June. In it he dealt with his philosophy on foreign affairs. He spoke about how he developed an interest in Foreign Affairs and suggested that the criticism by Nicki Kelly and others about the website fredmitchelluncensored.com was misguided and unsophisticated. He also spoke about the plans for the Ministry of the Public Service and Foreign Affairs for the next year. You may click here for a full text of the Minister's address. Photo by Peter Ramsay.
ROBERTS IN PRIVATE BURIAL
Noel Roberts, the late MP for North Eleuthera was buried in a private ceremony on Wednesday 19 June. The Member of Parliament who died after a long battle with cancer was honoured by the attendance of Members of the House of Assembly in what is called a state recognized funeral. The service was held at Trinity Methodist Church where his father had worshipped before him and where his mother was the organist. We again express condolences to his family. We show a photo from the funeral booklet with the caption: GONE SHOOTING. Mr. Roberts was an avid hunter. Funeral photo by Peter Ramsay.
AND DUPUCH’S EVOLVING ROLE
Tennyson Wells and Pierre Dupuch are in a very interesting political position. They are independents politically but they appear for the moment it seems to provide a mostly friendly prodding role as MPs. Their friendly fire is directed at the PLP to give the PLP ammunition to fight FNM, the party to which they belonged and the party that tried to destroy them politically. We reported before how Mr. Wells keeps admonishing Leader of the Opposition Alvin Smith to not let any one tell him what to do. It is clear that Mr. Smith allows Hubert Ingraham to dominate what he does. Even the press has started making a distinction between the title Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Opposition’s business in Parliament. This is because the Leader of the FNM is in the Senate and not in the House.
Mr. Wells told Mr. Smith, you are the Leader of the Opposition and do not let any one tell you otherwise. During the Budget Debate when Mr. Ingraham showed up for his intervention, Mr. Wells and Mr. Dupuch sat in the gallery as he spoke. Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell pointed out the two sitting in the gallery to the laughter of the House. The reason: Mr. Ingraham had said before the election that he was so confident that they would lose their bid to be re-elected that the next time he saw them in the House of Assembly, they would be sitting in the stranger’s gallery. The stranger’s gallery is the parliamentary expression for where the public sits. Mr. Ingraham was ashen when Mr. Mitchell pointed it out. Mr. Wells made several interventions during the Committee stages of the appropriations bills criticizing Mr. Ingraham’s policies through his questions that appeared on the face of it to be innocent inquiries. One question enabled Public Service Minister Fred Mitchell to outline 9 additional perks that Mr. Ingraham gave himself as a former Prime Minister at a Cabinet meeting shortly before the election on 2nd May 2002.
Mr. Ingraham's reputation is in tatters. Mr. Wells and Mr. Dupuch are searching for roles, and they will decide in time how aggressive they will be towards the PLP and their posture toward the FNM. They are searching for roles, and the PLP should not let down its guard even as they are at present functioning as its allies. They are two good men but they will not stand for skullduggery on any side.
INGRAHAM SHOW UP IN THE HOUSE AGAIN?
Hubert Ingraham is so disgraced that the sheen of political dishonesty can be seen all over him. The story of his cheating Sir Lynden out of half a million dollars in pension money is one issue. But the more general point is that it has now been revealed that Mr. Ingraham is simply grabalicious as we say in The Bahamas. He talked one thing about how “he ain gat nutt’n, he ain want nutt’n” and would leave with nothing, but in the waning days it is clear that he was lining his pockets with public perks.
The funniest moment during the intervention of Mr. Ingraham in the House on Tuesday and Wednesday 18/19 of June was when he was saying how he planned to be where he is today. All laughed. He thought he was selling successfully the argument that he planned not to be PM beyond ten years or two terms. Instead PLPs started shouting at him that they were happy that he confirmed that he had planned for the FNM to lose and the PLP to win.
Another interesting thing about Ingraham's address was his pitiful lament that he could not understand why his whole Cabinet was rejected save one and he could not understand why all his candidates in Nassau were rejected save one. He just doesn’t get it. The word is arrogance and during the House of Assembly sessions last week, it was that arrogance that showed itself loud and clear. Having been embarrassed and exposed, can he indeed show up in the House again?
One is not quite sure where the fifteen million dollar man Brent Symonette the MP for Montagu is these days. He is nominally on the side of the FNM but every time the PLP scores a point in the House to show how despicable Hubert Ingraham or the FNM is, he gets up and goes to the Smoking Room for members or he joins in the laughter at his own party. As Bradley Roberts, the Minister of Public Works said on many occasion during the session: the circus has left town but some of the clowns were left behind.
To The Top
Michelle Fox is about to become (we think) a graduate of the Eugene Dupuch Law School of the Council of Legal Education of the West Indies. She and a committee of other law students has also been working like a beaver on a new publication for the school - a law review with interesting challenging articles from prominent lawyers and politicians on legal questions. The book is $30 and you should try and support it. You can call her at Gwendolyn House at 356-2038 Nassau for more details. The cover page of the book is shown.
TO RICK FOX
The Los Angels Lakers put away the New Jersey Nets in the American National Basketball League’s championships in four games straight. Bahamian/Canadian Rick Fox is now the holder of another basketball championship ring - number three. We congratulate him.
Ken Russell is the MP for High Rock. And there is story told by the old man of politics about the, shall we say, lack of perceptiveness there. He delivered a one-liner in the House during his intervention on the Budget on Monday 17 June. Mr. Russell revealed the startling fact that at night it is dark. The whole House was stunned before members broke into laughter. Guardian photo by Patrick Hanna.
REPORTS OF SIR ORVILLE’S DEATH
The telephone of Sir Orville Turnquest, retired Governor General of The Bahamas was ringing off the hook according to The Tribune of Friday 21 June. His secretary had been receiving calls during the Thursday that he had died and was in tears when he returned to the office. No one knows how the rumours started but Sir Orville told The Tribune that the phone was ringing all the day through. Sir Orville quoted Mark twain, the writer, and said in response: “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. I am very much alive… and in fine fettle”
“CHEETAH” KNOWLES DIES
He was 46 years old when he died. The old basketball men, now in their 40’s and 50’s and the former coaches all showed up to the funeral at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Fox Hill to pay their respect. He was said by many to have been the finest player that the Bahamas has ever produced in basketball bar none. He would have, had he come along in the right era, been The Bahamas first NBA player in the United States. Instead, he missed the opportunity and his skills and talents faded and now his life is gone. He is survived by his mother Maria Knowles and a host of sisters and brothers.
NEWS FOR LESLIE MILLER
We deeply regret to announce the death of Mario Miller 28 of Winton Heights New Providence, the son of Minister for Trade and Industry Leslie Miller. The younger Mr. Miller was apparently abducted from his home some time after 12 noon on Saturday 22 June 2002 and taken to a place off Yamacraw near the home of Louis ‘Stokes’ Thompson, there tortured and murdered. His body was then dumped shortly afterward in the area near the SuperValue Food store in Winton. His parents are devastated. The younger Mr. Miller was at the time of his death the Chairman of the Montagu Branch of the PLP and the Eastern Region of PLP Branches. Our condolences to the Minister and his wife Helen. The younger Mr. Miller is shown at left during happier times at the recent swearing in of new Government Ministers with Fred Mitchell MP (centre) and Larry Wilmott, Chairman of the Fox Hill PLP at right. Photo by Peter Ramsay.
FROM PASTOR CEDRIC MOSS
Thank you to Pastor Cedric Moss for his response re the report on his comments about the Christian Council and Bishop Neil Ellis. (Scroll up from this link to see other related stories) The only thing he took issue with was being characterized as an FNM oriented pastor and son of former FNM candidate Paul Moss. We think that Pastor Moss is a sincere man and the comment was not meant to detract from the seriousness of the message.
From Pastor Moss… "I feel that bahamasuncensored.com did a generally fair job of referring to my letter, except that I also feel that referring to me as "FNM oriented and the son of former FNM candidate for Crooked Island Paul Moss" seemed to attempt to reduce or temper my comments as an issue of an "FNM" church leader vs. PLP church leaders. Mind you, I am not put off by this reference; I actually found it amusing! I don't think my political orientation matters as it relates to my comments about Bishop Ellis and the Christian Council. My comments are either right or wrong…
I think more people, especially leaders (spiritual and political leaders included), in all sectors of our society need to communicate clearly their approval or disapproval about Bishop Ellis' voting directive and the blatant, biased, political involvement of the Christian Council (past ones and the present one). I would hate to imagine a country where all church leaders followed Bishop Ellis' coercive approach of linking church membership/affiliation to a particular political view. Also, just think about a country where employers tell their employees to vote a particular way or find themselves another job (not that they will fire them, but just that they are not wanted if they do not vote as directed). Surely this is not the kind of nation we want.
About my actual political orientation, I plan to speak further
about Church leaders and Christians and their involvement in politics (which
I am not against in principle). In the process, I will fully share
my political orientation. For the moment I would only say that my
political orientation is first to be loyal to the cause of Christ and His
Kingdom, and then to the good of our nation, not to any political party
that is made of imperfect people who generally kill the prophetic voices
in their midst because they are not willing to pay the price of the truth,
which generally is lost votes and sometimes a government…”
We want to thank a young student correspondent for his keen letter in response to our stories about the monarchy. He is from Abaco and says that the monarchy is particularly popular in Abaco, once the home of a secessionist movement at the time of The Bahamas Independence Day. The student asked whether or not we can open a chat room, and we are considering the suggestion…
From Everlyn who wrote to respond to the piece on The Tribune's sexposé in last week's column…. “Why do you blame The Tribune for the "sex problems" of the young Bahamian children? I think that their problems in this area as well as other "life issues" rest on the shoulders of their parents. Many of them don't bother to be "real parents" to their children. They think that as long as they give these children "name brand" clothing, shoes, money, etc, the job is complete. This is not correct. How many of these people really bother to talk to their children? Go to the schools and talk to the teachers? Check their homework? Help their children set goals and support them through each one? Check up on the friends they are keeping and getting to know the families of these friends? Discuss life issues with them in an open and honest manner? Respect them as human beings and not as accidents? By the way not only 100JAMZ plays "nasty music". It can be heard on all the radio stations at one time or another….”
And to Everlyn… We do not blame The Tribune for what is happening with
the kids today. We think that what is happening with kids today is
normal adolescent behavior that has to be disciplined and curbed by the
adults who supervise them. We have no quarrel there with your comments
then that it’s the parents who must take the fall. Our only point
is that The Tribune can’t complain since it helps to promote the very values
that it says that it is decrying by exposing the sex sites. Today's
kids looking at sex sites is really just the new form of our contemporaries
looking at the dirty magazines even while sitting in class and we are caught
by the teacher. Our point is that The Tribune should stop being sanctimonious
and confess to what they are: a commercial entity that is happy to use
the medium of sex to sell papers while pretending that they are against
NOTES FROM GENEVA’S FREEPORT… PLUS
In this new format, the former News From Grand Bahama is renamed as above. This signifies the initials of our senior correspondent from the nation’s second city, with the ‘plus’ for the many other sources from whom contributions are accepted. Ed.
Sunland Lutheran School Trouble - Accusations of bullying and tales of financial trouble at Freeport's Sunland Lutheran School broke into the public domain this past week. News stories have been circulating charging that the chairman of the school's board, the Lutheran pastor sent from the church abroad, is insensitive to local concerns. There is talk that the PTA is being bullied and that the whole administration, led by the principal and vice principal is up in arms at the high-handed treatment suffered from the leadership of the board. The Ministry of Education chief on Grand Bahama also got into the act, regretting that in some areas, things seem not to have progressed since Bahamian independence.
Pleasant To The Rescue - Pleasant Bridgewater, MP for Marco City is the parliamentary representative in whose district most of the school's in Freeport are located. In an exclusive interview with this site, Ms. Bridgewater says there is hope, and help is on the way. She intends to intercede with Government to increase Sunland's grant-in-aid... After all, she reminds that Sunland has secured some of the highest exam results in the country. As to the charges of bullying, Ms. Bridgewater has diplomatically suggested that perhaps Government may wish to cause the appointment of someone from the local community to oversee the disposition of its funds. Way to go, Pleasant!
Political Stars Visit For Regatta - Prime Minister Perry Christie and Minister of Works Bradley Roberts were both in town for the Grand Bahama Regatta being held this weekend. The duo of political heavyweights 'did the rounds' of the various political discussion groups, which meet regularly at the weekend in Freeport, with dramatic result. In one popular restaurant heavily frequented by FNMs, poor Dwight Sawyer, national chairman of the FNM was completely upstaged by the Prime Minister's entrance. Heretofore faithful party retainers quickly distanced themselves from Sawyer, deserting his table in droves to congratulate the Prime Minister. What a difference a month makes!
Christie's Big Tent - During this past weekend in Grand Bahama, politicos have been spreading the word that the Prime Minister has a message for Grand Bahama. To former PLPs turned FNM: all is forgiven; it's not too late to come back home. To former hardcore FNMs: the PLP is a 'Big Tent' with room underneath for all. Come in out of the storm. Word on the street is that well-known hotelier and former Ingraham confidant Kelly Burrows has been deputised to bring over as many refugees as possible. In a dramatic development, sources have reported that a major FNM General who hails from West End was seen kissing the Prime Minister's ring at a dinner organised by Mr. Burrows. The former FNM general is also reportedly being encouraged to bring over his politico brother, a senior official at Grand Bahama's Gaming Board who had drifted to the FNM.
Ingraham's Pension - An informal canvass of political observers in Grand Bahama over the pension to be paid to former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham is summed up in the quote of one: "I don't care what the law says, getting two sets of pay from the Treasury makes The Bahamas look like some backwater third world tribe... it is a shameful display of greed and double dipping..."
Crabs Crawling - Two weeks of heavy rain in Grand Bahama has prompted the biggest procession of crabs crawling seen for many years. The local daily warned motorists to be on the lookout for scores of people after dark with sticks and lanterns hunting for the delicacies. Crab stalls are popping up everywhere.
Welcome to bahamasuncensored.com
|THE MARIO MILLER CASE...||LESLIE MILLER’S RESPONSE...|
|NICKI KELLY’S ATTITUDE...||NICKI KELLY ON THE U.S. AMBASSADOR AGAIN...|
|NEW CODE OF ETHICS...||JONES TO GET NATIONAL LICENCE...|
|THE SHADOW CABINET...||PRESSURE ON THE PLP...|
|INGRAHAM'S STYMIED MOVE...||AIDS DRUG ACCORD...|
|ARCHBISHOP’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY...||ARCHDEACON’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY...|
|BUSH ON ARAFAT...||CASTRO ON SOCIALISM...|
|TOMMY AND SENATOR CYP CLASH...||WILL TOMMY TURNQUEST LAST?...|
|FOREIGN MINISTER ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE...||POLITICS IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE...|
|THE INDEPENDENCE QUOTE OF THE WEEK...||RICK FOX VISITS THE BAHAMAS...|
|MARIO MILLER BURIED...||INGRAHAM ON MURDER MOST FOUL...|
|B.S. NOTES FROM GENEVA’S FREEPORT… PLUS...|
The speculation began immediately about what caused this mindless and insensitive violence. Some said it had all the makings of a drug war. And then there is the suggestion that it was a lover’s quarrel. The father put up a $50,000 reward to assist in the effort to capture and convict the person or persons responsible. The father also launched into a strong campaign in support of capital punishment even breaking with cabinet confidentiality to reveal to the public that the majority of the Cabinet (according to Mr. Miller) supported the death penalty. On the floor of the House of Assembly he appealed to the Prime Minister who is the head of the Cabinet in which Mr. Miller sits and for whose policies Mr. Miller is also collectively responsible, to carry out the penalty for murder to the fullest extent of the law. Most people put it down to a father’s grief and stress. Not thinking straight.
The Opposition struck back though within days. The newspaper rag called The Punch carried a headline that the death after all was a drug hit over a rip off a million dollars worth of cocaine. Mr. Miller lashed back telling The Tribune that he would instruct his lawyers to sue for five million dollars. The law in The Bahamas does not admit to libel of the dead.
The Commissioner of Police got into the mix by issuing a statement calling on parents to speak to the police and to their children if they are aware of the activities in which they are involved. Curious statement connected to the death of Mario Miller. We report below on what else the police have been saying.
But at the end of it, this is a man’s son. It is the useless death of a brilliant and charming young man. We offer our condolences to the parents of the young Mr. Miller and we wish that Mario rests in peace. (cb)
This week our photo of the week is from the Nassau Guardian by Tim Aylen with the funeral of Mario Miller, son of Minister for Trade & Industry Leslie Miller who is shown helping to bear the coffin of his son.
Number of hits for the week ending 29th June at midnight: 15,922. Number of hits for the month to 29th June at midnight: 99,179. Number of hits for the year to 29th June midnight: 1,659,503.
MARIO MILLER CASE
You could hardly have met a more engaging young man. And for years he has been around the PLP with smiling face and a curiously carefree attitude. He was the apple of his father’s eye. But last Saturday 22nd June something went terribly amiss. The police think that they have gotten their sights on the person who did this. From inside reports it appears that there was one piece of the puzzle left before they can make an arrest and charge the person or persons responsible. But what disturbs them is that in the aftermath of the tragedy, the extent to which what they called in a private briefing a ‘who’s who of the drug culture in Nassau’ was hanging around and providing information.
The Commissioner of Police (pictured in a Guardian photo) in his early statement on the crime warned parents to turn their children in if they are aware of any nefarious activities. Then in the private briefing the police were indicating that the young rich kids of the country have this fascination with ghetto youth and they engage with ghetto youth and then become consumed by the culture. They said that everyone would be surprised at the names of the persons from prominent families engaged in this ring. There is even some suggestion that when the news ultimately comes out, the Government will have to make some firm decisions. This is all the more reason why a concerted effort must be made to get on top of crime in the country. It is absolutely essential to save the young. Miller photo from Tribune.
Leslie Miller has used the opportunity of the grief as a father to lead the fight on capital punishment. The president of the Christian Council Bishop Sam Greene has joined in the chorus calling for the resumption of executions. It is clear that many members of the Government do not support executions. It appears to be a bit of an unfair debate on the matter when the country is coloured by this particular killing and no dissenting voice can effectively be heard because of the confusion that criticism may cause. People now think because you are against executions that you do not share the grief of Mr. Miller. Nothing can be further from the truth.
The fact is executions have been stopped by the courts because of the requirements of review. And those requirements are excellent safeguards against executing innocent people. As the Privy Council has said, the death penalty is uniquely irreversible. In other words, once you have done the deed, you can't bring the person back to life. The Bahamas is once again on Amnesty International’s list of countries that have executions and that are engaged in unhealthy and unsafe practices in its prison. Mr. Miller also attacked the Punch for saying that the death of his son was over a one million dollar cocaine rip off. He said that it was all lies and that his family was completely upset. Someone has suggested that in circumstances like this, discretion is really the better part of valour. In other words, silence is golden. Photo from Bahama Journal.
Nicki Kelly was at it again on the U.S. Ambassador again this week. See the story below. Her commentary is fine as far as it goes. She represents a genuine Bahamian point of view. But many times she takes herself a little too seriously and one weakness is that it appears that sometimes research goes out of the window and she is overly literal. Viz. the criticism of a proposition by Gilbert Morris, now resigned from the Nassau Institute, who said that one way of dealing with the Haitian problem might be micro loans to Haitian artisans that can create an art market with Bahamian crafts. This might encourage Haitians to stay at home if the cash could stay in Haitian society. Ms. Kelly was livid. That’s fine but the tone of the articles is becoming increasingly frantic and they have a know it all character. She would do well to pause in future before jumping right in without fully understanding what she is criticizing.
KELLY ON THE U.S. AMBASSADOR AGAIN
The U.S. Ambassador was reportedly booed by College of The Bahamas graduates on Friday 28 June as he spoke to the graduating class. The students did not like his lecture to the Bahamians there about the use of drugs in the country and how the US had to protect the tourists here and that he would have to do something if The Bahamas did not get on top of crime and the drug culture. The students were not amused and he was reportedly booed. Those reported boos join the chorus of condemnation of the U.S. Ambassador in The Bahamas as evidenced by letters to the editor and of course the column of Nicki Kelly. Last week we reported how she savaged him and during this past week she was at it again. This time she was telling him to keep his nose out of our business and accusing him of trying to block the reconstruction for the straw market on the Prince George Dock. Here is some of what she had to say in her own words:
“… Ambassador Blankenship is not your average Jo Blow. He serves as the US Government’s representative in The Bahamas. Therefore, any opinion he expresses will be interpreted as indicative of his government’s position. For that reason he should weigh his words very carefully because of the ramifications.
“… Ambassador Blankenship’s expressed opinion on national radio about the Samuel ‘Ninety’ Knowles extradition case, despite the fact that the matter is still before the courts, may well have prejudiced his own Government’s case in the event of any appeal.”
Of course, Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell is being called upon to put the Ambassador in his place. Any public face down is unlikely unless the Government of The Bahamas decides that that is the only way to deal with a matter. There are several levels of diplomacy that are available before getting to a public face off. One reading between the lines of the Foreign Minister’s intervention during the Debate on the Speech from the Throne would seem to show that he has already called the Ambassador in and had a quiet word with him but obviously his advice on the subject was of no value to the U.S. Ambassador who goes along on his merry way. The next step, in diplomatic speak would be to have ‘formal consultations’ with the U.S. Ambassador on his public statements and then speak to Washington. The students of course have no such diplomatic niceties to worry about. Ambassador Blankenship is shown during his address to COB students in this Guardian photo.
CODE OF ETHICS
Prime Minister Perry Christie announced a new code of ethics by which Ministers of the Government will be bound. The Prime Minister brought the code as part of a campaign promise. He is also to follow up the Code with a Public Integrity Bill. There is not much new in the Code of Ethics and Ministers from previous administrations should have in fact been following the principles. The only exception seems now to be the requirement for shares in publicly traded companies to be put into a blind trust. You may click here to see how The Tribune laid out the provisions of the code on Thursday 27 June.
TO GET NATIONAL LICENCE
Wendall Jones is the scrappy fighter who was once a maligned reporter for publicly owned ZNS and who has now become a media tycoon. Mr. Jones is the owner and operator of Love 97, the FM station in New Providence that many people turn to for easy listening and for public affairs information. He is also the owner of the afternoon daily ‘Bahama Journal’. Mr. Jones was honoured on Thursday 22nd June by The Citizens Appreciation Award Committee for the work of the station during Hurricane Michelle in Nassau on 5th November. During the Hurricane, ZNS was off the air and could not broadcast to the nation for the entire hurricane. Love 97 stood in and kept the Island of New Providence up to date.
Mr. Jones was kept dangling on a thread by former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham when he asked for a national licence that would enable his station to be heard across the entire country. Mr. Jones is a supporter of the FNM. Perry Christie, the new Prime Minister, presented Mr. Jones with the award and in doing so promised him that before the next hurricane he could have a national licence. What was that they said about the PLP’s coming: help and hope is here. The Bahama Journal showed a photo of the award being presented with Gerald Strachan, president of the Committee at left, Mr. Jones and the Prime Minister.
There is nothing new under the son, and that is what you have to say about Senator Tommy Turnquest who as Leader of the FNM announced the Shadow Cabinet. This is the Cabinet, which in our tradition shadows the Ministries of the real Cabinet. He called the PLP’s Cabinet a gussimae Cabinet. This from a man whose Government at one time had with Parliamentary Secretaries a Cabinet that had 27 members. What a joke. Anyway you have to say something one guesses. You will see from the list that the former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has nothing to do in the Shadow Cabinet. Too busy collecting the public’s money on slack no doubt. And here is the group that he announced (a sad group indeed):
Alvin Smith, MP for North Eleuthera:
Leader of the Opposition - Education, Culture and the Public Service
Kenneth Russell, MP for High Rock:
Works, Transport, Telecommunications and Utilities
Neko Grant, MP for Lucaya:
Housing, National Insurance and Bahamasair
Lindy Russell, MP for Eight Mile Rock:
Labour, Local Government and Youth
Robert Sweeting, MP for South Abaco:
Agriculture and Fisheries
Brent Symonette, MP for Montagu:
Tourism, Aviation, Foreign Affairs and Attorney General
Senator Tanya McCartney:
National Security, Investments, Trade and Industry
Senator Desmond Bannister:
Health, Environmental Services and Sports
Senator Gladys Sands:
Social Services and Community Development
Senator Tommy Turnquest:
Finance, Financial Services and Immigration.
ON THE PLP
Tommy Turnquest, the Leader of the FNM in the Senate, spoke about it in the Senate just jokingly as he criticized the PM for the size of his Cabinet. He said that other jobs would be given out because the boys and the girls were getting restless. And so they are: in Grand Bahama PLPs reacted furiously to the big tent story last week (See Christie's Big Tent). (See story below) Many PLP supporters are openly beginning to grumble that two months have gone by and their FNM friends are laughing at them because things remain the same and they have nothing to show for their PLP support. The PM has announced that boards and committees are to be appointed this week. And despite all the talk about deficits, the demands for jobs in the public service continue apace. It is like no one hears that there is no money. The cry is we voted PLP now we need to get the perks for that vote.
The former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham turned up with his biggetty self to listen to the Speaker say in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 26th June that the document that he (Ingraham) tried to table when he was last in the House had been entered by the Speaker in error and that he had rescinded his order. The Speaker said in future Members could not table remarks that they are about to make but could not read at the time. This came after an objection by the Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell to Mr. Ingraham doing so when the House met on Tuesday 18 June. The story was carried on this site last week.
Instead of graciously accepting the Speaker’s ruling Mr. Ingraham got up and told the Speaker that he wanted the record to reflect that the document had already been tabled and the Speaker had rescinded that order. Mr. Ingraham did this because he wanted it to be known by his press friends that the document had already attracted the parliamentary privilege and therefore nothing that he said could be libellous. But Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell pointed out that the record would reflect that the Speaker before he rose had said that the matter of the admissibility of the document into the record had been reserved and that he would make a ruling. Mr. Ingraham sat down glum faced.
Minister of Health Marcus Bethel will join his other Caricom counterparts in Spain at the end of this week to sign an accord with the international drug companies that will result in a dramatic lowering of the price of the antiviral drugs that fight AIDS. This is a critically important act, having regard to how AIDS is wreaking havoc in The Bahamas. It is still very much the silent disease, with persons lying to themselves and their family and friends about how someone died. They refer to AIDs in The Bahamas as “the ting”. They go to all sorts of lengths to disguise how someone died and all they do is fool themselves. This interferes with the normal grieving process. In our country, how does one deal in part with grief? You talk about how the person died, the circumstances and what he died from. If we continue with this curtain of silence then we will continue to see our middle aged sons and daughters passing away in shame and agony and we will continue to lose our skills because it also does not alert the young how to deal with their sexual behaviour and lifestyles. Guardian photo by Donald Knowles of the Minister addressing a Caribbean Ministers of Health seminar on the price of AIDS drugs.
On Monday 24th June, the Anglican Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies celebrated mass at the Christ Church Cathedral to mark the 30th Anniversary of his consecration as a Bishop. The Service was attended by Prime Minister Perry Christie and Mrs. Christie. Congratulations to the Archbishop. Bahama Journal photo.
Today marks the 20th year in the sacred priesthood for Archdeacon Keith Cartwright. Archdeacon Cartwright is now the Rector of St. Christopher’s in Lyford Cay and he is the Archdeacon for the Southern Bahamas. Congratulations to him. Photo from Nassau Guardian.
President George Bush of the United States betrays a shocking ignorance of world affairs in his recent pronouncement that Yasir Arafat the Leader of the Palestinian people will have to go if there is to be Palestinian state supported by the United States. This is now a licence to the Israelis to kill Mr. Arafat. It is irresponsible for a world leader to make such a declaration. This is tantamount to the white South African apartheid regime declaring Nelson Mandela as being no longer the leader of the African people. It is ridiculous. His fellow members of the G8 group led by Canada’s Prime Minister Chretien this week at their summit in Canada came up with a new package of aid to Africa. They distanced themselves from Mr. Bush's rhetoric on Palestine. It is clear that the Israelis now have the green light from the Americans to wantonly kill Palestinians. It is unfortunate that the Palestinians are not strong enough to react but it is also clear that both Mr. Bush and the Israelis will be on the losing side of this equation. One is hard pressed to understand the morality of the Bush group.
To The Top
It appears that Fidel Castro is losing it. First it was that funny but strange release of the transcript of a private chat between himself and the President of Mexico designed ostensibly to show that Mexico lied about the nature of the pressure they were putting on Cuba to not have Castro come to the Monterey Summit earlier this year. And now the resolution to entrench the socialist system into the constitution of Cuba so that it is sort of socialism forever. The whole constitutional change was motivated by a small group of Cuban dissenters who presented a petition to the Government calling for more democracy and open dissent in the society.
The resolution by the Cuban Parliament of socialism forever is not worth the paper it is written on. Mr. Castro has a short time to be with us, now aged 74. He is in frail health and what do you think the young Cuban leadership will do as soon as he dies? The system will have to change. The present Foreign Minister for Cuba is just 36 years old. There is no way, having been exposed to the outside world, that he will maintain the kind of shut up system that Cuba has now. The country cannot develop under it. The system has outlived his usefulness and sad to say no one is strong enough while Castro is alive to change it, and so we wait until he dies.
AND SENATOR CYP CLASH
Senator Tommy Turnquest is known all about as a spoiled, rich guy who has a problem understanding that ordinary people (those born without silver spoons in their mouths) have a right in a democracy to serve in Parliament. And that got him into trouble on Monday 24th June when in an exchange on the floor of the Senate. In an exchange after an objection by Senator Cyprianna McWeeney he appeared to mutter under his breath that she did not belong in the Senate. If you know Senator McWeeney, she did not sit still for that and made him take it back. Poor Tommy was apologetic, he said that he did not say it and if he did say it he apologized. Senator McWeeney accepted his apology but added that she still thought that he said it. Hmmm!
TOMMY TURNQUEST LAST?
The bet is on that when the FNM holds its convention in October, he will not survive as Leader of the FNM. Several former FNM MPs say that the election defeat of the FNM in May was due to Mr. Turnquest and he must take the fall for it when the convention comes up. But the question: who will be leader?
MINISTER ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE
The Margaret McDonald Policy Management and Administration Centre has had its inaugural session. The School is founded by Albertha Byer and a number of retired senior public servants in honour of the first female Secretary to the Cabinet and former Ambassador to Washington for The Bahamas. The inaugural session for public servants was a seminar held at Sandals Hotel dealing with the public service and globalization on Thursday 27 June. In for the conference were a number of Professors from the University of Pittsburgh and Florida International University. The Seminar was officially opened by Public Service Minister Fred Mitchell. The Minister said that the public service is the key to proper delivery of services to the public and encouraged the education of public servants to better administer the advice to government ministers and deliver services to the public.
IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
One of the keys to effective public administration is the seamless connection between public policy as decided by the politicians and as executed by the public service. The assessment exercise for those who are middle managers in the public service is in training at the College of The Bahamas run by Ophelia Cooper of the Public Service Training Centre and consultant former Permanent Secretary Colin Deane. The Minister for the Public Service Fred Mitchell gave an address about the mix of politics and the public service and you may click here for that address delivered on Friday 28th June.
INDEPENDENCE QUOTE OF THE WEEK
The Independence Celebrations have been announced. The day of Independence is 10th July. And what a great time we are to have. Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt the Deputy Prime Minister said to a press conference on Thursday 27th June that the objective us to turn each community in The Bahamas into “a gay and festive environment so that everywhere the black, aquamarine and gold of our national flag will greet the eye.” Deputy Prime Minister Pratt is pictured with Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture Neville Wisdom in this Guardian photo by Donald Knowles. Minister Wisdom shares responsibility for the Independence Celebrations.
FOX VISITS THE BAHAMAS
Armed with a new National Basketball Championship ring from the United States Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, Rick Fox flew into town to charm The Bahamas again. All is forgiven for playing for the Canadian team in the Olympics in what some wrongly perceived as a denial of his heritage. Now he has announced that despite the threat of being released from his contract if he got injured while playing for our team, he will play for The Bahamas. He was hosted to a luncheon on Monday 24th June by Minister of Sports Neville Wisdom. He presented Prime Minister Perry Christie with a Los Angeles Lakers shirt at the P.M.’s office on Monday June 24th. We congratulate Rick Fox for showing the Bahamian flag. Guardian photo.
It was a sad and moving funeral. A young man was cut down in the prime of his life. Grace Gospel Chapel was filled and overflowing. Most Cabinet members joined their fellow Minister in his hour of grief. Mario Miller 28, son of Minister Leslie Miller was buried in Woodlawn cemetery. He was an engaging and popular young man and the death seems so senseless. He had everything to live for. He was the Minister's only son and so a hole is left in his life of unimaginable proportions. And in this connection, we remember Ronnie Pratt, 22 year old son of DPM Cynthia "Mother" Pratt who she found dead in his room, a death from natural causes but a shocker all the same. Kent Campbell, a former foreign service office, cut down in his prime while in service in London. Mark Beckford, a writer, cut down in his prime on the operating table. Richard Demeritte Jr, the only son of former Auditor General Richard Demeritte, tragically murdered, also in his 20s. Can there be any explanation: handsome, engaging, dynamic and talented individuals with their futures stretched out before them - all tragically gone. It happens often enough but we never get used to it, and as we try to rationalize it there is still that feeling that something has gone terribly wrong with nature. May they all rest in peace.
ON MURDER MOST FOUL
People are still trying to puzzle out what Hubert Ingraham was talking about the charging of a prominent figure on a murder or murder related charge. The police are said to be hush mouthed, but the whole matter has many PLPs very nervous. The police sources are now saying that the charge may be laid as early as this week but the matter seems too incredible to be correct. We just pray in this rumour mongering community it just ain’t so and that next week there will be nothing to report but another example of Ingraham wickedness.
In this new format, the former News From Grand Bahama is renamed as above. This signifies the initials of our senior correspondent from the nation’s second city, with the ‘plus’ for the many other sources from whom contributions are accepted. Ed.
More Trouble At Sunland - The Parent Teachers Association of Sunland Lutheran School was called into emergency session Friday night 28 June after the dismissal of the school's vice principal after twenty five years of service at the institution. It was the latest manifestation of trouble at the school (see last week's story), which is involved in a struggle between the administration, and the Lutheran pastor Heinz Gordon, also chairman of the school's board. A source says that the dismissal of Vice Principal Della Thomas along with the secretary at the school came as a surprise even to board members, suggesting it may have been a unilateral action on the part of the pastor. One informant said "The only way that the principal herself missed the axe was because she was absent at the time." Marco City MP Pleasant Bridgewater is attempting to soothe the situation with an attempt to get the Lutheran church in Nassau to intervene. Ministry of Education officials are expected to visit the school to assess the situation.
New FNM GB Power Brokers - A print ad appeared in the local press under the heading 'Team Freeport' featuring nine candidates for local government known to be sympathetic to the FNM and endorsed by outgoing Freeport City Council Chief Burton Miller. Eyebrows were raised. Miller is widely believed to have been concerned with Port Executive Barry Malcolm, a former FNM Senator in politically manipulating the local government elections. There is now widespread concern that the two intend to attempt to control the city of Freeport Council from behind the scenes. One new councillor told this site "Ain't nobody gon pull my string". PLPs heeded the call of the Minister for Local Government Alfred Gray not to politicize the local government contest, but one PLP general cautioned, "The PLP has not fallen asleep and would-be power brokers would be wise not to encourage those elected to pursue a political agenda".
Rear Guard Action Against Tommy - Two defeated former FNM MPs along with a former local government councillor and a former FNM Senator and Port Authority executive have reportedly formed an alliance against the FNM leadership of Tommy Turnquest. Sources say they have been calling around in their attempt sway support away from the leader-without-a-seat. No word yet on who the alliance is supporting. Sources further report that this alliance has embarked on a plan to take over several FNM branches in an attempt to control the branch's voting delegates before the next convention. Strategic shifts of certain FNM party members from one branch to another are anticipated in order to facilitate the plan.
Rumblings In The Ranks - There are now constant rumblings in the ranks of the PLP in Grand Bahama (see story above 'Pressure On The PLP') about Prime Minister Christie waiting so long to make strategic shifts in appointments to key positions. Some FNMs have even gone so far as to suggest that "Christie's soft... this shows we can win again in five years". They too should be cautioned not to misinterpret the Prime Minister's good nature and tendency toward magnanimity as weakness. The last politicians to make that mistake are now among the ranks of the underemployed and the unemployed.
Kelly Gets Cussed – FNM politico (former?) Kelly Burrows was
the target of many slings from his FNM colleagues in Grand Bahama this
past week after reports on this site that he had been instrumental in the
return to the PLP of several high-level former FNM operatives in town.
We had decided to give poor Kelly a break this week, after all, no one
is convinced that any of this is much more than idle posturing. Now
sources say that after several FNM operatives had accosted Kelly to register
their disapproval, at least four pulled him to the side: “You think
you could talk to the new man for me?”