WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH ANDRE?
Tameka Thompson who is a writer at The Tribune posted on her Facebook page on the evening of Wednesday 20th August just after Andre Rollins, the MP PLP for Ft. Charlotte sat down that it was a good thing that Perry Christie was out of town because he was going to get the worst present in his life for his birthday the next day in the form of a Tribune headline. That was a revealing post because it shows you just how the media works in The Bahamas. Mr. Rollins unleashed a bitter and vituperative attack on the Prime Minister, buy viagra telling him that he was sick of hearing scripture and when he wants to hear scripture he will go to church. He called for new leadership in the country. He attacked the PLP as building up the government of dependent workers so that they could hold it over their heads.
Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis who was Acting Prime Minister at the time told Mr. Rollins that he crossed the line and advised him to do the honourable thing and resign as Chair of the Gaming Board. When he refused Mr. Rollins was dismissed on Friday 22nd August.
The Prime Minister spent his birthday 21st August in Las Vegas with his wife. He returns to the country today. The substantive reason for the trip was the new gaming regime that is expected to come and an inspection tour of the facilities and the manpower and software connected with that new regime.
That is the bare bones drama of it all. What has the country in frenzy is the whys and wherefores.
First the message. Mr. Rollins clearly sought to tap into all of the stuff that has been going on in the back halls and back chat about the inability of the PLP to decide the leadership question and when a transition is going to take place. The narrative pedaled by the press and which has some currency in the country is that the party notwithstanding all the issues of the economy on which it has had to work, pilule has developed into a listlessness and lethargy with no new ideas and the same old people. That is the narrative fed every day by the press and the social media. The younger PLPs themselves have unfortunately adopted the narrative and Mr. Rollins is one of them. We have been warning about the tipping point in this matter in this column. No one paid any attention.
Secondly, Mr. Rollins is in trouble with his district
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. His branch has separated itself from him and has been chomping at the bit for some time about the level of his representation. They issued a statement quickly disassociating themselves with his remarks in the House that suggested that he did not support the leadership of Perry Christie.
Thirdly, the men who appeared to be his fellow travelers in the anti-Christie blitzkrieg seemed to abandon him when they refused to join him in the condemnation of Mr. Christie. That is Messrs. Greg Moss PLP Marco City and Renward Wells PLP Bamboo Town. Mr. Moss explicitly said the next day to the Nassau Guardian that he still supported Mr. Christie.
Mr. Rollins is very angry that much is clear. The question is why. Here is a man who could have led a charmed life. Just had to sit back for the ride. Given a seat on a platter. All the work was done for him. Given a chairmanship of the Gaming Board. The future was his to see. Instead he chose to pick a fight with the very man at the top who provided him with these opportunities. On the face of it, this seems like political suicide.
What provides a clue perhaps, and this is all conjecture since he has not spoken to any of his previously close allies to say what he is doing, is that if you look at his bio, he has always led whatever organization he is in. This is no second fiddle guy. So to play second banana and all the competition of being in the PLP is a bit much for such a fellow. He wants to be top dog and some speculate that in his calculations the way to do this is to go straight for the jugular of the man at the top and if you get that man, you find a path to the top in the way the Hubert Ingraham did against Pindling. Further, as his national stick rises by tapping into the popular narrative, it takes all eyes away from any issue about his representation.
Its only speculation and it’s all we have. You have to assume that people act rationally and in what they perceive to be their best interests. So obviously this is a man who sees what no one else does.
The path to political power is only in part prescriptive. Most of the times, it is made up as it goes. It is fortuitous. So you have a young fellow, who thinks he can duck bullets, who simply decides he is going to take the full plunge for good or ill. To some it seems like a mental case, to others it is an act of bravery.
The PLP for its part must perform the acts of a sensible, reasonable and rational party. Those who offend its rules must be disciplined and asked to tow the line. It is part of the compact of joining a party. Once you cannot do that then you have a decision to make and if you fail to do so, the party must do it for you.
Sir Lynden Pindling once said: “You must fish or cut bait. And if you can’t cut bait, get the hell out of the boat.”
One thing we know in time, we shall all find out how it unfolds.
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