Fred Mitchell Responds To John Pinder

08/20/17 1 AM

Statement by Senator Fred Mitchell

Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Labour and Immigration

On Remarks By John Pinder Public Service Union President

On Steve McKinney Show 15 August

For Immediate Release

16 August 2017

One of my former constituents reported to me that on the Steve McKinney Radio show yesterday, John Pinder, the President of the Bahamas Public Services Union described the decision to hire 200 immigration officers as a “stupid” decision” and blamed the Minister for it. That minister was me. Mr. Pinder was being engaged in the telephone talk show by someone whose family member is apparently one of the recruits and complained that the recruit had not been paid for six months.

The facts as I recall them are these:

The Cabinet agreed to the hire of the 200 or so immigration officers.

The first permission was obtained in April 2013, the second in September 2016 and the final in late 2016 or early 2017.

The demand for immigration officer jobs was substantial with over a thousand applicants.

The demand for immigration officers services are substantial with several ports in The Bahamas with no immigration officer at all, and with the incursion of irregular migrants to The Bahamas increasing.

I had promised as minister to increase the force to 900, three times its present size.

There are several steps that had to be carried out: financial clearance and vetting are two major steps that are usually obstacles to progress in hiring.

There were also arguments over qualifications, and the ability of the Department of the Public Service and human resources at immigration itself to process applications.

If the political directorate waited on the public service to get these steps done within its term, it would never have gotten anything done.

The Cabinet therefore indicated that vetting in advance would be waived with the understanding that each person hired would know that if the vetting came back negative they had to be redeployed elsewhere in the service.

Financial clearance was obtained for everyone.

The police routinely take nine months or more to do the vetting. That is the single biggest obstacle to progress of applications.

The caller to the show and Mr. Pinder should not be expressing surprise at the delays in payment. Mr. Pinder knows that routinely new teachers take anywhere from three months to six months to get their first pay cheque. Our systems are simply that bad. It has nothing to do with the decisions to hire people being a stupid decision.

Since Mr. Pinder is well aware of how the public service works and as head of the Union for three terms, he should have used the occasion on radio to educate citizens on the problems of public administration in this country which have nothing to do with who the minister of the government is.

Perhaps Mr. Pinder should use his time left as Union President to urge a reform of how the government pays its new employees.

Perhaps his failures are why he no longer represents Immigration Officers.

Since he is so interested in their welfare, he should check into reports that the Government intends to fire some of those hired and is one month behind in the salary payments to officers,

Instead, he used the occasion of the radio show to turn a matter of systemic poor public administration into another political hatchet job against me Fred Mitchell, someone who he inexplicably hates.

As for the use of the word “stupid”, it seems to many in these circumstances, it is a word deserved for the man John Pinder in his home when he wakes up with morning and looks in the mirror.


Mitchell Responds To Candia Dames

08/13/17 11 AM

On 9th August, the Nassau Guardian wrote a piece in their National Review opinion section which is really the rant of the week by Candia Dames, its Managing Editor, which claimed that Fred Mitchell was “unhinged”.

Mr. Mitchell issued his own statement but we think it is important to add to it.  Ms. Dames has a problem which she and her employer refuse to understand or acknowledge.  That problem is the understanding of the ethics of journalism. You have to understand what self-dealing is and know when to step away from it.  You have to also understand that you don’t on the one had argue for women to be treated like men in the business but then seek use your physical assets to get the story which often leads to people feeling used. The real problem though is that jiggling ones breasts doesn’t make everyone go cross eyed.

Here is Mr. Mitchell’s full statement:

9 August 2017

Someone pointed out to me this morning that Candia Dames has written a piece in The Nassau Guardian using my picture with the headline “Unhinged”. I am happy to collect the Nassau Guardian’s money for this clearly libellous assertion about me.

When this lady, who refuses to accept that there is something improper about her being the Managing Editor of The Guardian and shamelessly promoting her brother the Minister of National Security on its front pages, finally understands that this is a fundamental conflict of interest and unethical journalistic behaviour, then she might be able to talk to me about my views.

Her irrational response to me, her obvious bias and hatred, clearly shows that when sawdust was being given out for brains, in her case, it was not in short supply.


Mitchell In Tarpum Bay

07/02/17 2 AM

Senator Fred Mitchell with Senator Clay Sweeting and Commodore Butch Scavella in Tarpum Bay Eleuthera 29 June at PLP Branch meeting in South Eleuthera.

Mitchell At The Golden Isles Branch

06/25/17 11 AM

Senator Fred Mitchell speaking at the Golden Isles branch of the PLP at Gerald Cash Primary School 22 January. Michael Halkitas is the PLP’s caretaker for that branch. Branch Chair Greg Smith is standing next to Senator Mitchell.

Mitchell With The GG

06/25/17 11 AM

Senator Fred Mitchell with Dame Marguerite Pindling at her 85 th birthday celebration at Government House 23 June

Senator Fred Mitchell with Elaine Williams Pinder at the 85 th birthday celebration of the Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling at Government House 23 June

Family And Friends Turn Out To Remember Fred Sr. and Lilla Mitchell

06/04/17 12 AM

Senator Fred Mitchell with Sterling Wilkinson from Bimini, St Agnes Rector Ranfurly Brown, Rev Dr James Moultrie and Paris Cartwright at the service for Fred Sr and Lilla Mitchell at St Agnes Church in Grants Town 29 May

Senator Fred Mitchell with former Prime Minister Perry Christie at the end of the memorial service for Fred Sr and Lilla Mitchell at St Agnes Church 29 May

Senator Fred Mitchell welcomes Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling and Bradley Roberts former Minister of Works at the Memorial Service for his parents at St Agnes Church in Grants Town 29 May

Senator Fred Mitchell with Sir Orville Turnquest and Rev J Carl Rahming at the Memorial Service for his parents Lilla and Fred Mitchell at St Agnes 29 May

Carla Mitchell Seymour looks on with her children Carlton Jr and Celine and a friend Anabelle

Robert Ian Mitchell looks on at the reception in St Agnes Church Hall

Senator Fred Mitchell with Senator Sharon Ferguson Knowles at the Memorial Service for Fred Sr and Lilla Mitchell at St Agnes Church in Grants Town 29 May


05/21/17 12 PM

Former Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell Pastor Barry Morris of Church of God of Prophecy in Eight Mile Rock. The pastor was passing the Anglican church where Mr Mitchell was visiting for a service and he stopped by for the selfie

Former Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell with Elvardo Bartlette, Rev Kirkland Russell and Mrs Russell after mass at St Stephen’s Anglican Church Eight Mile Rock in Grand Bahama 21 May


05/14/17 12 PM

I have read a lot of rubbish over the past few days since the election from the FNM leadership and its supporters.

My take on it is this. The FNM and its supporters should not believe their own propaganda.

The objective reality is that they simply have a mandate to govern for five years.  There is nothing revolutionary about their victory or far reaching.  They were able to manipulate a population suffering from the ill effects of the economic recession which was never overcome and the turn of clever phrases plus the money of foreign interests to accomplish what they have and the failure of the PLP to correct the problem.

Michael Manley said in Jamaica when he was at his darkest hour: we routed them before; we can rout them again.

I say that to PLPs.  Let us not get caught up in silly sentimentality, and believe the FNM’s propaganda about ourselves.  It is simply rubbish.  This is not the second coming but a simple election victory which can be reversed in five years. Emphasis on “can”. We have got to move quickly though and put this past behind us.

The problems are glaring and obvious but we will need professionals to guide us through the process.

The road will be difficult because these people in the FNM are especially vicious and vindictive. They have no moral or ethical underpinnings which will prevent them from doing anything that they can get away with.  That is the reality.  If we get into boo hoo and  woulda, shoulda, coulda then we are lost ourselves.

Politics is not a crying game.  It is a competition for power.  Power is the only fact.  They have it, we want it and need it to govern and protect the poor in this country.  The rich are now in charge.  Eileen Carron, Louis Bacon. Fred Smith, Sarkis Ismerlian. That is the fight now against rich and powerful monied interests.

The rats are guarding the cheese.

It was an honour working with all colleagues.  I thank those in Fox Hill who voted for me. I have no special analysis to offer. We lost.  We can win again.

Please don’t bore me with too much analysis and crying.

There is nothing else to say.  Let’s get to work and defeating these people.


Statement By Fred Mitchell MP Fox Hill and PLP Candidate for Fox Hill FM

05/07/17 1 PM


7 May 2017
I have waited for several days now to hear the Free National Movement publicly repudiate the statements made by the former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham on the stage at the FNM’s rally on Tuesday 2nd May. In my various addresses from if the public stage and through social media, I have asked whether the FNM intends to follow through on the various threats to end employment summarily in the public service if (god forbid) they become the next government. There has been stony silence and contempt from the FNM. It means they mean to fire people if they come to power.

The attack by Mr. Ingraham is particularly egregious and worrisome since he was the author of similar policies from the public platform as far back as 2007.

This is a new low even for Mr. Ingraham and it reminds us of the adage that we employed against him in 2002: Don’t put a goat on a board floor because it will prance.

It is embarrassing for a former Prime Minister of this country, a country that wants and expects an elder statesman, who can speak to issues of national import without vitriol and nastiness and partisanship, and who can be comfortable and respected in his retirement by all sides. Now he comes back into the public fray and attacks the Governor General, threatening her post, in a move which violates all traditions and norms. He is attacking someone who he knows cannot defend herself. She can say nothing but be subject to nastiness and filth from man who ought to know better.

He also knows that the PLP came to office with two Governors General who were former FNM politicians. In each case, their tenure was secure until they themselves decided it was time to leave. The PLP believes in protecting our national institutions, not prostituting them.

Finally it is advisable for the former Prime Minister to give it a rest. Bitterness over his dismissal by Sir Lynden Pindling, the Governor General’s late husband back in 1983, is something he ought to let go. As a retiree himself, he ought to be preparing for Jesus and leave his bitterness to the Lord.

Is his revenge on Sir Lynden in 1992 not complete enough? He is reminded that he said when he took over as Prime Minister on the night of 19 August 1992: “the maid gone, the dog gone, the car gone.” He was speaking of the official support given to a Prime Minister. He ordered them unceremoniously stripped away from Sir Lynden.

That night he showed how spiteful and hateful he was as a person. Twenty-five years later Sir Lynden has gone on to his eternal reward and now he turns on the man’s wife. What type of man does that? It is time for him to let the hurt of being fired go.

Since Independence we have only had three prime ministers. That office carries with it public responsibilities even in retirement. It would be a sad thing if the post script on Hubert Ingraham were to record he left the public gaze a bitter and angry man.

I again call on the FNM to repudiate these threats, separate themselves from the former Prime Minister and say whether public service jobs will be protected when should they prevail.



Mitchell Attends The Garcia Karas Wedding

05/07/17 1 PM

(photo essay)

Ray and Lisa Garcia ( nee Karas)

Fred Mitchell MP, Nikos Karathanassis, Calvin Brown

Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell with friends James Pryor and Barbara, his wife to the left of the Minister.

With Mr. and Mrs. Ofer Jonasoff  of Isreal

With Carmen, the mother of the bride

With friends James Pryor and wife Barbara, Attorney Barry Resnick and Stephen White

Ray and Lisa exchange vows with Rev. Dr. J. Carl Rahming

The father of the bride Nikos with Lisa

Nicholaos Karathanassis ( contracted to Karas) came to The Bahamas almost twenty years ago.  He loves it.  He is the Honorary Consul for Sierra Leone in The Bahamas. His daughter Lisa came to The Bahamas to get married in The Bahamas where she met her husband Ray Garcia.  The wedding was presided over by Rev. J Carl Rahming of Fox Hill.  Fred Mitchell MP Fox Hill, a friend of Mr. Karathanassis, attended the wedding. The wedding in photos.

Fred Smith Attempts To Bribe Fred Mitchell

04/23/17 12 PM

Fred Smith QC has once more gone over the top.  He circulated a video tape on Saturday 22 April where he is seen speaking and a black man shining his shoes.  Mr. Smith is so mentally obtuse that he probably does not realise how patently offensive his conduct is.  It is purely racist.  The more important point from the statement however is that he confesses that he is supporting the Free National Movement financially.  This means that he is confirming that the Save The Bays money is actually going just as we thought to help the FNM.  Secondly in the video tape, Mr. Smith offers the Minister for Immigration Fred Mitchell money.  Mr. Mitchell said speaking at a meeting in Exuma on 22 April that Mr. Smith has a client before him and a request of the Minister for Immigration to make a quasi-judicial decision.  He questioned the crowd as they re-joined that this was bribery.  Mr. Mitchell said he would be asking the Attorney General to investigate this as a possible bribery offence.

Mitchell Says Farewell To Freeport Staff

04/02/17 1 PM

Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell said goodbye to the staff of the passport office in Freeport on what was his last day in official work in Freeport.  The Minister started the practice in March 2013 of going to Freeport very Friday to conduct immigration and passport business.  The Minister explained to the staff that there is a beginning and an end to everything.  With elections coming this means the end of the present term and so he thanked them for all their work and wished them well in their future endeavours. To mark the occasion, he took a photograph with them.

Mitchell Speaks For Moore’s Island

04/02/17 1 PM

In his last statement to the House of Assembly on 27 March in this term, Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell spoke out for the resolution conveyancing lands with poor title to the various residents of Moore’s Island in the Abacos. The video was captured by C Allen Johnson.

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