(This letter originally appeared in The Tribune)
EDITOR, The Tribune.
While it is becoming an increasingly trite and depressing exercise to judge which of the members of this government is least competent, Duane Sands continues to exert every effort to claim the prize.
After repeatedly defending the underpayment of Bahamian health professionals on the grounds that poor Bahamians are not paying enough fees for their medical services, the health minister suddenly discovered this week that it just might be a revenue issue (you don’t say!) that is afflicting our health system. True to form, he then dismisses any fair and reasonable resolution of the issue by inferring (through either mendacity or ignorance) that resolving the issue by broadening revenues would involve a 50 percent income tax, citing the UK and Canada.
He does not explain what happened to the 49 percentage points between the present zero and fifty. Nor does he address how a government that could find $65m to purchase a defunct hotel could not find $30m to resolve the primary health issues of its tiny population. FNM philosophy on sickening display.
On a broader level, Sands’ only real answer to legitimate gripes with the health system he is mismanaging is to attempt to delegitimise the PLP messenger, telling the party to “sit small” and “shut up”.
The crass arrogance of this man does not permit him to consider that in saying that to the official opposition, he is displaying his true attitude to the wider public. It is the same attitude displayed in the wake of the OBAN scandal, the BPL crises and every other mess that this crew has inflicted on the Bahamian people. Meanwhile the media does its best to cover or ignore the obvious unfitness for office of the FNM in its entirety.
On a related note, I am personally aware (in the directest of senses) that the person writing under the pseudonym Simon (Front Porch) is not in fact a person at all, but a number of people. This should be obvious from the fact that the column has ranged in tone and intellect over the years from the elegant to the asinine. Since May, 2017, the latter has proved dominant. My advice to any elements of the former category that continue to contribute is to disassociate themselves from a brand that will continue to shed respectability as it becomes ever more a defender of an increasingly indefensible FNM.
2 October 2018.