The FNM’s Plan For Freeport

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Within days of this new FNM administration, you will see Fred Smith Q C moving to reverse five years of protection for Bahamians in immigration policy.  He will get the FNM to reverse the ban on Bruno Rufa, a former resident of Freeport, who is not now allowed to enter The Bahamas except by special permit.   Brent Symonette, the Immigration Minister, does not care in any event, let the good times roll.  Bahamians in Freeport will be disadvantaged by the wicked FNM policies dictated by a political madman and his corrupt friends.  More generally, the FNM has no plan for Freeport at all.  The place is economically depressed in the worse way, with more and more people packing up each day and returning to Nassau or moving to other islands in search of work.  Meanwhile the Grand Bahama Port Authority has proven to be totally useless in promoting this city. The last Government tried but left a bureaucratic nightmare in place in terms of keeping the incentives in place for the remaining entities in Freeport to continue to survive.  Let there be no mistake about this, what happened in Freeport as in the rest of The Bahamas can be put down to one word, the economy.  People in Freeport are dead broke and frustrated and do not have food to eat, gas for their cars, power for their homes or water to bathe in without the most ingenious solutions.  Peter Turnquest, the new Deputy Prime Minister assembled his FNM Parliamentary team at a breakfast in Freeport early Saturday morning.  To be the fly on the wall in that meeting was probably to hear euphoria about how they won the five seats in Grand Bahama.  As they went to Ascension this morning to celebrate, they should know that there is nothing to celebrate in a broke, flat on its back town. They have no solution.  They have attacked the Chinese to whom they have to look to get that hotel open on the Lucaya strip.  But in one sense the PLP should be happy the problem is now the FNM’s and as the paid for singing musician Kirk Bodie sang, we have some jokey leaders in this jokey town.