Archive for the ‘General Delivery’ Category

Ghost of the Past Reappears

Posted: October 7, 2013 in General Delivery

SuppPage11_SirWilliamAllen_1_t180Most Bahamians hold Sir William Allen in high regard and thank him for his many years of service during all three terms of Hubert Ingraham’s FNM administration. While Mr. Ingraham was the Minister responsible, William Allen offered much of the technical advice that led to the fiscal mismanagement.

When the FNM was kicked out of office in 2002, the Treasury and government finances were in the worst state ever; William Allen had every opportunity to effect change to our revenue collection and did nothing. He has no authority to speak on VAT for he blew his chance and left a poor legacy. That being the case, how is it the William Allen now dares to resurrect himself to comment on the implementation of VAT and the state of the Bahamian economy? Has this man no shame? Have we ever heard him take responsibility for creating the greatest fiscal deficit in our country’s history?

Before William Allen comments about VAT he needs to address the FNM’s economic mismanagement that made the recession worse and its recovery unnecessarily protracted and painful for thousands of Bahamians.
It is acknowledged that William Allen did not say that VAT was a bad strategy, rather, he said not now. “Not now” is the typical response by the FNM: Not now to Independence; not now to National Insurance; not now to the Defence Force and not now to amending the constitution. Whenever the PLP moves ahead for the sake of the country’s progress, the FNM has been on the “not now” run. In each and every instance the FNM was ”dead” wrong. They were dead wrong then and they are dead wrong now.

The truth of the matter is that our current system of taxation is failing and the Christie Administration recognizes that we must venture into a new direction to save our country.
All of the international credit rating agencies have praised the Christie administration for being courageous enough to chart a new course to financial prudence and economic prosperity. Standard and Poors said that the recent budget “hit many of the right notes.” Whenever leaders take on a trail blazing role, there will always be uncertainty, but if your cause is just, your plan well thought out and your actions sound, only greatness will be the outcome.

Under the FNM, the government on average has spent over $400 million more per year than it collected in revenue – for five years and counting. The government cannot continue to borrow $400 million to $500 million every year as this is unsustainable because at some point the economy will go over the fiscal cliff, crash and burn. Somebody has to demonstrate the leadership and strength to make the tough and unpopular decisions to put our fiscal house in order and the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie is doing just that. His cause is just and his plan is well thought out and sound.

We support the Christie Administration for being innovative in implementing VAT. We are confident that he is making the right decisions in the best interest of all Bahamians and we salute him.

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Belinda Wilson and BUT TeamThe public notes with great interest that the President of the Teacher’s Union has taken the position that the union should govern the schools, by demanding that principals be removed from their jobs. This is amazing because the union’s role is to protect the rights of the workers not manage the schools. This means that we must ask ourselves what is the agenda of the union’s president?
Anyone with a half brain knows that Ms. Wilson has been pushing to get the nod into politics via the FNM for some time now, albeit unsuccessful at this point. In fact, union insiders often talk about the time when the current Teacher’s Union President served as Secretary General and the union executives met with the former Prime Minister (Hubert Ingraham). It was said that she boldly sat on the Prime Minister’s desk (Sharon Stone style) asking for a nomination, much to the dismay and embarrassment of her union colleagues. So what we see now is plain and simple: political auditioning.

Sadly, education in our nation must not be used as pawns in her game; rather, we must analyse and assess each situation on its merit. In this instance the Teacher’s Union president has not laid out any substantive facts only personal views about the principal at the Anatol Rodgers High School.

In the role as a unionist, it is incumbent upon the Teacher’s Union President to take action where the bargaining agreement has been breached. The Teacher’s Union President says that the Union has been denied entry to Anatol Rodgers High School to meet with teachers. What she failed to say is that the bargaining agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Union require that the union must have the approval of the Principal at a school to have a union meeting during school hours.
Governments cannot give in to bully tactics by rogue unionists and must stand their ground.

Incidentally, the educators who followed their president in the walk-out should ask themselves if the Teachers Union President will also take a pay cut with them as a sign of solidarity. Again, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to answer that question. She will not because she is covered on leave under the terms of the bargaining agreement.

We must appeal to all educators to be vigilant in addressing the educational crisis in this country by working hand in hand with the administrations. We must not allow persons with political agendas to derail our resolve to properly educate our children to serve the nation by producing a more productive and educated work force.

The Teachers Union President should hang her head in shame to be acting in such a manner in the presence of the nation, intimidating and disrespecting the office of the Minister of Education and making inflammatory statements. What example of respect is she setting for our nation’s youth?

1009857_10151848313868055_1537044646_nDr. Hubert Minnis was again in the media on Friday Aug 30th 2013 seeking to frame the public debate on the Cuban detainees as a government cover up.

“This shows that there was a cover-up,” said Minnis after the media published contents of what it called an investigation report into allegations of abuse at the Carmichael Road Detention Center.

The record showed that the government said that it was not its policy to abuse detainees or wards of the state and claims of abuse would be investigated and “the chips will fall where they may.”

To date the government has informed the public of an allegation of abuse at the center; the government informed of an investigation into these allegations and recently Foreign Affairs Mitchell has advised of a timeline for a conclusion on the same.

To date there is no evidence of a government cover-up as alleged by Dr. Minnis. Just as he was unable to produce evidence to substantiate his claim that a member of the House was corrupt, a baseless claim that led to his suspension, he is currently unable to produce evidence of a government cover – up.

When one cuts through the rhetoric, frenzy and sensationalism, the charge by the FNM is simply this: The government did not discuss the specific contents and details of the ongoing investigation, therefore they are guilty of a cover – up. This is a bogus charge that the FNM hopes to succeed with by creating mass hysteria and confusion in the public domain.

Had this investigation been a case before the courts, Dr. Minnis would be called in contempt of court. The government refused to comment on this ongoing investigation for the same reason the judiciary strictly prohibits commentary on matters before the courts. Lurid, sensational, uninformed and biased commentary could contaminate the jury pool and prejudice the case. There is a good, valid and legal reason NOT to comment on an active investigation.

The people defending Dr. Minnis and the FNM are the same people who attacked HE Picewell Forbes for publicly commenting on a case before the courts.

The government has the law and reason on its side.

“This government has been consistent to date on the Cuban detainee issue. This is a law enforcement issue; the government of The Bahamas does not condone the abuse of detainees or wards of the state and will investigate and take appropriate actions where specific claims of abuse are made. The laws of the country will be enforced with regard to illegal migration and due process during an investigation will protect the rights of all involved.” To date the government has complied on all of the above.

For all of its posturing, political bluster, craziness and diatribe, the FNM, its operatives and political pundits have failed to point to one Bahamian law, constitutional responsibility or investigative convention that the government violated or abdicated.

brent-symonetteHas Brent “Silent” Symonette, a character who as a minister in the former FNM government was silent for five years, suddenly and conveniently found his voice?

As the Minister with responsibility for the detention center, he was silent when the detention center went up in flames in 2008 and silent when allegations of poor conditions at the detention center were made in 2009. Further, he and his cabinet colleagues conspired together to “silence” the findings of the abuse investigation and refused to rebuild the dormitory. Why then should anybody now listen to him on any issue?

I do not recall Mr. Symonette as being particularly interested in the reputation of the Bahamas, protecting its image or standing up for this country and its people.

I recall him as a character who used his position and influence as a cabinet Minister to enrich himself, his family and friends through both the Bahamas Hot Mix and the container port relocation. He was roundly criticized for his apparent conflict of interest on both accounts.

Additionally, I know of no foreign policy initiative he advanced or philosophy he crafted to amplify our standing in the world while he served as Foreign Affairs Minister with additional responsibilities for immigration.

His idea of diplomatic relations was to say that since he and the US Embassy charge were neighbours, The Bahamas somehow enjoyed better diplomatic relations with the United States. In my view he never demonstrated an understanding of diplomacy or international relations.

Under his watch the policy of the FNM government was to release detained Haitian nationals from the detention center in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti with no apparent mechanism in place to account for or manage their movements.

His department, the department of immigration, was accused of the indiscriminate granting of huge amounts of citizenships in the run up to the 2012 general elections to bolster the re-election chances of his party at the polls.

These events collectively define Mr. Symonette’s brand as a politician – malfeasance, self-serving and indifference are a few of the adjectives that come to mind.

So Brent Symonette can return to the back stage of political irrelevance, as he never made a meaningful impression nor did he seem to care when the Bahamian people placed him on the world stage to represent their interests.

Mr. Symonette and the FNM can remain in lock step with the Miami protestors in spewing hatred and contempt for Minister Mitchell and defaming The Bahamas all they want, but it is clear that the Minister is enforcing our laws and standing up for The Bahamas

A TALE OF THREE HUBERTS

Posted: August 29, 2013 in General Delivery
Hubert Ingraham in Parliament May 23 2012 last day there

Hubert Ingraham

This Tuesday past, on a very popular Radio Talk Show, the airwave crackled with FNMs and PLPs, calling in with disdain to talk about the rushed and disloyal behaviour of the Opposition, led by now by one Hubert Minnis. Any Hubert is not a good name in Bahamian politics.

All the three Huberts have in the past weeks sided with others who certainly threaten the economic lifeblood of all Bahamians.

Waiters, waitresses, taxicab drivers, hotel maids ,hairdressers, food store operators, to name a few, are having their livelihood destroyed by FNM MPs who have no stomach for hard work in Parliament, but jumped for joy to rip our beloved Bahamas and to hold court and hands with others, who are dead set on doing the Bahamas, right in!

How could anyone see benefit from becoming allies with your economic destroyers; which land is the FNM covering? Whose flag do they salute and what language do they understand, best?

The newest Hubert, (Chipman) appeared brighter than the others, until he too pulled out the disloyalty card … what is the FNM up to? It appears that the FNM and their Huberts are up to nothing other than to destabilize the Bahamas, cause chaos, loss of jobs, closure of Bah Mar and the emptying of Paradise.

Now, it is understood that the FNM through their cloaking might have contributed to those others, who now send veiled threats to the life, limbs and safety of our many relatives and dear friends serving our country in consulates.

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Hubert Minnis

How disgusting that a supposed Foreign Minister in the shadows, could not do better. How is it that the Hubert (Chipman) being the newest of the Huberts could not display his youthful talents differently?

If the FNM had the real interest of their Bahamas would they have not cooled the temperature and not continue to fire it up? Firing it up and putting the lives of hardworking Bahamians in our consulates at security risk?

Lets see … could the FNM be seeking to cripple the Bahamas blame the PLP and force an early, early General Election? Not a bad idea; however, how could such a scheme work using insiders and outsources?

But lest we forget, it has happened before. Remember the other “Papa” of all Huberts telling illegals to “sue the Bahamas Government”?

Whatever ills befall our beloved Bahamas and its peaceful people the FNM will bear the blame! And for that they will pay a high political price.

1009857_10151848313868055_1537044646_nThe Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal (well not so loyal these days) Opposition seems hell bent on leading his party (the FNM) into a deep dark ditch. Dr. Minnis has made questionable statements to the press before, when he admonished the Commissioner of Police to do his job in regards to the number houses. Dr. Minnis stated that the fact that the number houses had appealed the previous ruling of the court was “no excuse for the Commissioner not to carry out the law.” Then there was the entirely unnecessary brouhaha that Dr. Minnis caused in the House of Assembly recently when he adamantly stood behind statements that he made against other Members of Parliament alleging corruption but could not or would not corroborate his statements with evidence. The Speaker of the House rightfully named Dr. Minnis and had him removed from the confines of the House of Assembly. Minnis then called a rally of his followers and yet still DID NOT provide evidence to prove the statements that he so vehemently stood by asserting that he was protecting democracy. HUH?!?!

Now the latest antic of the FNM leader is to release a statement against the government at the most inopportune time, alleging a cover up of the mistreatment of Cuban detainees. This statement has a very unpatriotic tune to say the least. Dr. Minnis should by now, having been the Leader of the Opposition for the past year and a half almost, know that country ALWAYS comes first. While we may all argue internally and try our hardest to gain political mileage, as he has been doing, when it comes to defending the Commonwealth of The Bahamas against those who would try to ruin our reputation it should ALWAYS be one for all and all for one. Dr. Minnis’ statement while he must have thought that he was throwing a blow at the government of the day in asking for the resignation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs actually shows how out of his league he his. It shows how Hubert Ingraham threw his support behind Dr. Minnis for leader knowing full well that he was throwing someone into the deep end who rightfully should still be in the political kiddy pool.  According to the government an investigation into the matter is still ongoing.

Minister Fred Mitchell rightfully responded to Dr. Minnis’ statement with the exasperation of a parent who had repeated the same thing to many times to a child who would not listen. He also did the right thing by calling on the Almighty for patience because it would seem that this is the line the FNM has decided to take with their public relations strategy. Dr. Minnis antics of late are not the actions of one who wants to be taken seriously as a contender for the role of Prime Minister, he shows himself to be one who is desperate and misguided in his quest for political relevancy and attention. I will not even mention the fact that FNM Chairman Darren Cash outright defended the rights of the US congresspersons over The Bahamas in a statement that he released.

Remember These Two Gentlemen's Stint at the Helm of the FNM......LOL

Remember These Two Gentlemen’s Stint at the Helm of the FNM……LOL

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a leadership struggle within the ranks of the Free National Movement. It cannot be that all of those within the hierarchy of that organization condone what is coming of out Mackey Street under the guise of a party on the move. Those who follow the Free National Movement and have any influence on their public relations strategy should really go back to the drawing board and quickly. If these antics are suppose to be showing Dr. Minnis as a fearless leader it is an epic fail. I do not support the Free National Movement but I do support dialogue and the opposition being able to hold the government accountable for their actions and decisions. The Progressive Liberal Party did a stellar job of that during the last term but this FNM leadership is just plain ridiculous. I’ll bet those “people” who Hubert Ingraham says came looking for him in 2005 have already started making their calls and visits to him.

If Dr. Minnis has proof of all of his recent allegations would not showing that proof, releasing it to the public be more effective than making a fool of yourself over and over again? The FNMs members and supports had better take their leadership in hand and give them a good talking to because their actions are not endearing anyone to their party or their message, which is a great thing for the government actually. On second thought never mind my last sentence. Carry on smartly Dr. Minnis it would seem that you are on track to becoming the FORMER FNM leader.

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What is apparent is that the Queen’s Loyal Opposition is withholding its loyalty to the Bahamas and Bahamians, against those entities that appear committed to dragging the Bahamas down.

The ring of betrayal of a People and a Nation, in the name of selfish political grandstanding, provides us with cannon fodder, to heap up on the FNM.

Are they for Sale? Who bought out the FNM to betray us?
Is this a case of since we can’t win, then lets sink the Bahamas and all in it?!

Just a thought stimulated by the actions of political despots.

I just love this excitement. Gold Rush, all over again!