Archive for the ‘Back in the Day’ Category

Elder Statesman George Knowles Breaks it all Down

During the late 1960’s and early 1970‘s Sonny and Cher Bono, the American pop duo had a popular song entitled “The Beat Goes On”.  The words were written by Sonny Bono but they were sung by his wife, Cher .  It was one of those sort of mild American social commentaries of the times.  It actually spoke about the more things were changing the more they remained the same.

I note with some amusement the continuing pattern of cronyism and political patronage that the FNM government in persisting in engaging by appointing senior civil servants after sending them out to pasture by bringing them back and appointing them to a substantive position.  This is the party that talks about how much they are interested in the young people, yet they block every opportunity for advancement for the young people by entrenching their retired cohorts.  The FNM claims that their bench is so deep yet they have to recycle the same old faces.

LIke a cockroach, Reg simply won't go away

According the current buzz soon to be retired Commissioner of Police, Reginald Ferguson, is to be appointed to head the Financial Intelligence Unit.  It does not matter that Mr. Ferguson has no banking or financial experience.  I could understand  it if he was joining the team to provide some forensic knowledge in investigating financial crimes, but no, the FNM government has decided to kick Mr. Anthony Johnson, the current holder of the office, to the curb.  Mr. Johnson is a career banker and have spent many years working in the Central Bank and other banking institutions before moving to the FIU.  He is well qualified and suited for the position, but qualifications and suitability for the job is not the FNM style — political cronyism is.

To find a position for all their henchmen they throw a qualified person like Mr. Johnson under the bus by not renewing his contract  to appoint a 64-year-old retired Commissioner of Police who has spent more than 40 years in the civil service.  There is nothing significant to distinguish his career except the unauthorized sting operation to entrap baggage handlers at LPIA and his mishandling of the Lorequin affair, yet for all his work in carrying out the FNM bidding and agenda he is rewarded instead of being punished for his wrong doing.  All the charges against him have now been dropped.  This is nepotism and cronyism at its highest.

The same pattern was basically followed in appointing Anita Barnard as Secretary of the Cabinet.  She had retired at the age of 65 but was brought back as a Permanent Secretary and within months promoted to head the civil service.   Paul Farquharson was the former Commissioner of Police who with Reginald Ferguson forced 24 policemen in 1992 to retire from the force without a by your leave.  He was rewarded for his good deed by being appointed High Commissioner to London. Vernon Burrows as Ambassador to Cuba, Mike Smith is appointed High Commissioner to Canada and Brensil Rolle, the former Road Traffic Controller is approved as a candidate for the FNM party and holds his position in the civil service up to the eleventh-hour.

From AG to CJ in the blink of an eye

Michael Barnett (now Sir Michael), the defeated candidate for Fort charlotte was appointed Attorney General and within months promoted to Chief Justice and knighted over the protestations of many.  It does not matter that there is a substantial potential for a serious conflict of interest when it comes to Graham Thompson & Co. providing representation before the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court.  I guess the appearance of bias as set out in the Pinochet case means nothing to them.

Brent, the Baron of Bay Street

Brent Symonette, the Deputy Prime Minister who is a major stakeholder when it comes to property on Bay Street not only chairs meetings of the relocation of the port to Arawak Cay but is a major contributor in making decisions affecting the port both in the Cabinet room and in his position as Chairman of the relocation of the port.  I guess that is “small things” as far as they are concerned.  It was really a slap in the face when the appointed  High Commissioner to the UN (Joshua Sears) under the PLP was a candidate for the Exuma seat after serving almost up to the date for nomination without communicating his intention to run the government as a FNM candidate, and we wonder about the polity in some of our government offices and the attitudes of our civil servants.  And of course we have Frank Watson and Sir Arthur Foulkes and Zelma Dean.  The beat goes on as if they are in the prime of their lives and it seems as if no one is pointing out what is happening here.

Senior civil servants who have retired should not be appointed to a substantive position in government unless there is no one else to fill that position.  In the case of senior retired policemen they can be hired as an advisory group to advice the police force on matters of crime or act as a disciplinary body for a small stipend but they should not be hired as heads of departments and in other emanations of the State.  The one exception to this would be the Airport Authority because of the constant threat of terrorism and we need to keep our borders as safe as possible with the manpower and experience that we have.

But what can you expect from a corrupt, inept and insecure government that is filled with incompetent and arrogant adults that are acting like spoilt children.  I say “adults” because a man takes care of his business in spite of the odds.  I refuse to accept that there is no one capable enough of holding the post as Secretary of the Cabinet; or High Commissioner to St. James’ Court or Director of the FIU who is under 55 years  .  Again I say, if their bench is so deep why are they recycling these old faces.  Where are the “young people” that they brag about?  The FNM this time is turning back the hands of time by ensuring that the UBP-ization of all of the institutions of government is complete before they demit office by loading up these offices with their die-hard supporters.  Do not be surprized if foreign policemen, secretaries and the like are imported and granted work permits, and within a few years granted citizenship.  We already seeing it happen in the construction and hotel industries.  As far as they are concerned the UBP beat goes on.

In a rally held in the parking lot of K. C. Cartwright car lot on Elizabeth Avenue the then Chairman of the UBP, Mr. Reginald Lobosky, fully endorsed the sentiments of a speaker when he said, referring to the British Union Jack, “we will never let the old flag fall, for we love it the best of all.”  That is where we are at in this country today.  The time has come for our voices to be heard and we need to devise strategies that will send a clear and unmistakable message to this government that enough is enough.  Apply pressure to public protests; engage your Member of Parliament to make stronger representations in the House of Assembly on your behalf; offer to speak at civic groups and make your views known.

Political patronage should be a thing of the past and one should be promoted based on merit and suitability for the job.  But why should anyone be surprised about this.  Mr. Ingraham himself gave us an indication of what he was going to do when he was speaking on the straw market project when he said that none of the major construction companies were selected (Mosko’s, Cavalier, Carl G. Treco – notice that they are all white) and he could not understand how Wolsee Dominion got the contract because he was not “qualified”.  In other words he was saying, the UBP beat goes on and I am here to ensure that UBP drums keep beating in our minds.

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by Fred Moss, Bahamian patriot, PLP and Freeport's own straight talker

With little fanfare, and barely  a word spoken save for a public meeting in Fox Hill, the anniversary of the formation of the Progressive Liberal Party (Nov,23,1953 ) has come and gone. The party that gave ‘life’ to the modern Bahamas is now being subjected to the rewrite of F.N.M. historians .

Lost are the political aspirations, high ideals and principles of its founding fathers Sir Henry Milton Taylor Kt, Cyril St.John Stevenson,M.V.O.K.M., and Mr.William Cartwright.
Three men, from both races Black and Caucasian, that came together under a common purpose , that being the uplifting of ALL Bahamians .
Their purposes were:
The abiding belief that; a) ALL people was created equal.
b)To foster good relations between ALL races, employees, and employers.
c) To stamp-out discrimination where-ever it exist.
d) To build a country in which every citizen could obtain a higher standard of living with the promise of greater social and political freedom.

Under the leadership of the Rt.Hon.Sir Lynden O. Pindling , the dreams of the party founders came to fruition. Additionally , the vision of Sir Lynden allowed for the prosperity of the Bahamas via the intergration of foreign direct investments as a part of his plans for a modern Bahamas. He spoke with passion, and acted with a sense of urgency in respect to the relevancy of education for our people.

To Sir Lynden, if we were to succeed as a country, education was key .

As I read up on parts of the P.L.P.’s history, it’s now laughable that remnants of the racist U.B.P. ( F.N.M. ) were able to ‘fool’ the Bahamian people into thinking that the P.L.P. and not them, was a racist party . Fifty six years to date, after two and a half years of F.N.M. governance, the Bahamas is on the verge of returning to pre-1953 conditions.To the F.N.M.’s credit, they are equal opportunity victimizers .

Wanted: Stolen Conch. Suspect Was last seen wearing RED

Bahamians from both races can rightly ask the question “Who Tief My Conch”

As I said this morning to a son of Churchchill Knowles, his Father’s curse was not only being ‘white’ but being Bahamian. Under this administration, if you are Bahamian, your luck sucks.
The F.N.M. idea of a stimilus package is to employ as many foreign nationals as possible.

What will they take next from Knowles? His name off the softball stadium?

Here we go again, first they take the Batelco contract away from Churchchill, now it’s being alleged that they will bring in more foreign mechanics to replace Bahamians.

What’s next? The rip-off of National Insurance? Poor Churchill had better pray they don’t stoop so low as to take his name off of the stadium in his honor. I wouldn’t put it past them.