April 2002


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Volume 3  © Fred Mitchell 2002
While material on this web site can be used freely by other sections of the press, as a courtesy, journalists are asked to attribute the source of their material from this web site.
14th April
21st April
28th April
7th April, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
Bahamas Government Website www.bahamas.gov.bs Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte
John Carey / PLP Carmichael... Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
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The Progressive Liberal Party launched its campaign for the next General Election on Thursday 4th April.  Parliament was dissolved by the Governor General on Wednesday 3rd April.  Those who are on the rolls as of the 2nd of April will be eligible to vote. The PLP  launched  the campaign on Clifford Park, the home of the Independence celebrations.  Why did we go there?  Because the FNM has unfairly booked all the slots at the R. M. Bailey Park, prohibiting any other party from using the park.  But never mind.  The choice of Clifford Park seems a good one. There is adequate parking and by the geography of the place, it is a natural amphitheatre.  The Tribune estimated the crowd at over 15,000.

The turn of the Free National Movement at R.M. Bailey Park came on the night of Friday 5th April.  They claimed larger crowds but PLP partisans were busy saying that the crowd did not match the PLPs on the Thursday.  The game of the crowds continues.  But crowds don’t vote.  The people who make them up do vote, and one must remember that there is a huge entertainment draw to these rallies.

The musicians K.B. and Stevie S. were at the PLP's rally.  The crowd did not disburse until well after 12 midnight.  The Vendors must have made a fortune.

Many PLPs were wondering how the party’s fortunes could have turned around in such a short time.  From talking to many people, it actually amazed me that they did not believe up to a year ago that the PLP was going to win the Government.  Now they seem convinced by the crowds.  When you walk around Nassau, the talk is PLP.  It appears that the young people have come back to the PLP.

We think that the PLP must not be fooled by crowds.  This is about the process of getting those votes into the ballot box.  The constituencies in New Providence are small with 3500 electors each more or less.  Each of those voters expects to see you once, sometimes twice and three times.  At this point, many people feel that they have leverage over candidates asking for rent, more money, even cars.   Election time in The Bahamas.

The PLP must identify its voters.  Get them out to the polls and ensure that they mark those ballots correctly and that the ballots are counted and in the PLP column.  Anything else including counting crowd numbers will not help.  Losing the election will clearly be bad for The Bahamas.

This week we had 30,052 hits on  the site up to midnight Saturday 6th April.  That makes a total of 23,854 hits on this site for the month of April.  Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

PLP rally photo by Felipe Major. Photo by Nello Lambert, taken at 'Montrose' - Christmas 2000

by Kendal Demeritte

I Gatta Go Home!
Well hoist up the John B sail, see how the main sail set, hurry hurry send for the Captain ashore, I got to leave this town I gotta get out of this town. Many self-respecting religious persons sitting in the Kendal Isaacs gym would have been singing this tune during the FNM’s recent ecumenical service.  “Get me outta this place!” Hollywood’s greatest, Rev. Simeon “Tom Sawyer” Hall trying to make Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid appear to be Holy? Those who could stomach it, sat in the audience to hear this “Christian but not righteous" man admonishing how the FNM should correct the wrongs of this society. While completely ignoring the matter at hand sitting before them… Cassidy and Sundance (Dion and Tommy)… they are the wrongs of this society, and to see Rev. Tom Sawyer Skidding and shuffling all round the issue of corruption in high places…

For the record, for those who may or may not understand that Algernon Allen is a friend and brother to this Corner. Maybe I don’t understand, and I guess it’s not for me to… But a man’s choice is a man’s choice. And I’m not going to attempt to question a friends decision on certain matters, I trust that all decision made by a friend is always in the best interest for self and conscience. My friend Tango, as he is called, is a friend of Great heart and humane compassion. His decision to reconcile with his FNM leaders is simply that… His decision . . Standards set by political conventions written or otherwise may not approve. Do well my friend …Your friend the Corner…. “I’m lost in wonder”

12th Review of the Judiciary
11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral

e-mail timbuktu@batelnet.bs

Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton
http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/2477/index.html Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
http://members.tripod.com/~xtremesp/wolf.html Bahamian Cycling News
http://www.bahamiansonline.com/ Links to Bahamians on the web
http://www.bahamanet.com/JujuTree.cfm Politics Forum
http://www.briland.com/ Harbour Island Site



    The Parliament of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has been dissolved by a proclamation by the Governor General Dame Ivy Dumont.  The announcement was read by the Provost Marshal Paul Farqhuarson on the steps of the House of Assembly on Wednesday 3rd April.  The new Parliament will convene on 22nd May 2002.  Forty members of Parliament are to be elected on 2nd May throughout The Bahamas.  There are some 140,000 eligible voters that will go to the polls on that day. Nassau Guardian montage by Patrick Hanna shows Mr. Farqhuarson reading proclamation surrounded by police officers while a guard lowers the House of Assembly Flag.

    Last week as went to press, we heard rumours that Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister who has virtually disappeared into thin political air since Algernon Allen came back to the FNM, is to re-enter the political fray.  We checked it with one of our sources within the FNM.  The source told us that no such thing could happen.  Under no circumstances could that happen said the source.  If that happened then Maurice Moore, the founding FNM former MP, would not remain in the campaign.  He would leave immediately.  Just for the heck of it though, we wish he would get back in.  It would only be a matter of time before he puts his big foot in his mouth.
    Mr. Ingraham is virtually a pariah with no one wanting him on an FNM platform and having been given a gag order by Tommy Turnquest.  He has been telling PLP friends that he will stay out so long as we don’t mess with him in Abaco.  That of course is an idle hope since the PLP's leader launched the campaign for Abaco on Saturday 6th April.  Who the hell is afraid of big bad Hubert?  No one is. Stan Burnside's 'Sideburns' cartoon is shown from the Tribune of Saturday 6th April.


    Perry Christie’s address at the launching rally in New Providence on Thursday 4th April included his vision of what an administration under his leadership would be like.  He had strong words against victimization saying that any minister under his leadership who engaged in such a process would be fired.  Mr. Christie also pledged to renew hope for the dispossessed and the poor.  You may click here for the full text of the address.

    Former FNM Member of Parliament and founding member of the FNM is now back in the FNM party full time.  Mr. Moore became disillusioned after the leadership race that saw Algernon Allen defeated and Tennyson Wells and Pierre Dupuch run out of the FNM.  But with the return of Mr. Allen it appears that all is well again within the party ranks.  Mr. Moore has plunged back full time into the business of trying to get Kenneth Russell re-elected in the High Rock constituency in Grand Bahama.  It is a pity that the person he is helping is Ken Russell, who has got to be the slowest and dullest of any Members of Parliament ever elected to office in The Bahamas.

    Twice this week the newspapers carried reports of persons who have been murdered in The Bahamas.  One was a jet ski operator Francisco Faubert of Balls Alley off Shirley Street, New Providence.  The other was the death of a man in Freeport.  The death of the jet ski operator came on Thursday 4th April.  Then in Freeport there was a murder again when the bullet ridden body of a man believed and then later confirmed to be Myron ‘Donkey’ Mortimer who is said to have been responsible for the death of Bahamian Nurse Joan Lunn at the Princess Margaret Hospital last year.  The PLP does not believe that crime should be a partisan political issue.  But one remembers Janet Bostwick arguing in 1992 that if you got rid of the PLP, you would get rid of crime.  So what have these people to say now?
    As for the police, at the official level they have been arguing that the crime stats have been going down and that there is less crime than before.  They argued for example that some of the murders in 2000 when 73 people were murdered had to do with the fight between drug men over turf.  But they said that the figure in 2001 improved because they put all the drug men in jail including Samuel ‘Ninety’ Knowles.  Mr. Knowles is in jail, unable to get bail.  The question now is what accounts for the spate of deaths at this time?  The fact is the killing is continuing.


    They were all there.  The FNM had a church service to launch its campaign officially at the Kendal Isaacs gym.  News photos in both the Tribune (left) and the Guardian (right) clearly showed that the gym was nearly empty.  The usual cast of FNM preachers was present.  Rev. Simeon Hall was there, using his poetic talents to some effect with the cry:  Run Tommy Run.  Not an original one.  There was  “Run Jesse Run” re the American preacher Jesse Jackson.  But the FNM has a problem just getting people to turn up to their meetings.  Their latest tack is to try to smear Perry Christie with the business of drug corruption.  It is an idle charge and one easily refuted.  Perhaps Rev. Hall who called for a clean campaign should have a private chat with Tommy and ask him to cease and desist the slander of this candidate in Fox Hill.

    Newspapers and the Bahamian public, like publics everywhere it seems, love to know gossip on the details of the private lives of well known figures.  And so it was that The Tribune joined the tabloids in reporting the charging of Picewell Forbes, the ZNS Radio Programme Director and personality before the courts on Wednesday 3 April.  Bahamians profess that they think that The Punch is a scandal sheet and that what it does is tell lies on people, but that does not stop them from reading about the scandals.  The Nassau Guardian was forced this week to condemn two composite photos that showed up in a newspaper called The Source that is believed to be bankrolled by the embittered financier Mohammad Harajchi of Suisse Security Bank.  One had Algernon Allen, the reunited FNM MP, with his head on the body of a female strip dancer and along with the photo the word “junglist” which is a Bahamian colloquial expression for a prostitute.  The other was Tommy Turnquest's head on the body of a baby sucking at the nipple.  The Guardian called the publication of those two composites despicable.
    Mr. Forbes who appeared on Wednesday 3rd April in the Magistrates Court pleaded not guilty to assaulting his wife.  His attorney Kenyatta Gibson explained to the court that the matter should not have proceeded since the wife intended to withdraw the matter.  Mr. Forbes himself is said by friends to be furious at all the publicity because the matter should never have become public.  The magistrate refused to accept the undertaking and took the not guilty plea and adjourned the matter to the next day.  On that day, the wife as promised withdrew the matter.  But the damage was done.  All the press outside the court, the embarrassment.
    The problem is this: sexual offences, domestic violence offences are easy to report and hard to refute, and difficult to overcome even if you are innocent.  It imposes a special obligation on the police to proceed carefully before charging someone in these circumstances, the more so because he is a public figure.  In Mr. Forbes’ case, some say that the matter was actually withdrawn by his wife at the police station but that higher ups in the police force, at the direction of politicians ordered the file be proceeded with even though they knew that the wife had withdrawn the matter.  Our source tells us that people think that Mr. Forbes is a PLP so it appears that this was a deliberate effort by the Government to discredit Mr. Forbes and perhaps have a pretext to dismiss him.
    The problem is that when a public figure is involved in a potential criminal matter, one sees readily how in all cases it is necessary for sensitivity in dealing with these matters.  But can you then imagine how the ordinary person feels when he or she is paraded through the public areas of downtown Nassau, sometimes in shackles, in full view of the press and the television cameras only to be released at some later stage, having been found not guilty.
    Last week, we talked about prosecutorial abuse with the charge being brought against John Brown in circumstances that suggest a political motive.  One remembers also the case of Damian Gomez, our now candidate for North Eleuthera and the former Senator.  Mr. Gomez was forced out of the Senate after a conviction for an assault on his wife.  All of the lawyers knew that the conviction could not stand.  It was later overturned on appeal.  The press never reported the fact that the conviction was quashed by the Supreme Court.  The damage was done.  Neither Mr. Gomez nor Mr. Forbes appears to have a remedy to redress the damage.  That is unfortunate.

    Information has come into the hands of this Senator that I intend to make widely known that suggests that the Government has been misrepresenting the position of the reserves in the country.  You will remember some three weeks ago, the Prime Minister announced in Grand Bahama that the reserves of the country then stood at 349 million dollars US.  He was boasting that this showed how strong the economy of the country was.  We released a statement on behalf of the PLP that showed that the level of the reserves in this first quarter of 2002 bought ten weeks of imports less oil, the same level of imports less oil that the 200 million dollars US bought in 1992 when the PLP left office.  We stated the position that we were therefore no better off in the final quarter of Mr. Ingraham’s term of office.
    Minister of Economic Development Zhivargo Laing came to the rescue of his master by saying that the economy was strong and that we were misrepresenting the position.  Now comes a copy of a document written it appears under the hand and signature of the Governor of the Central Bank that demonstrates that the position under the FNM is actually worse than the position in 1992 under the PLP.  It appears that in late 2001, the Central Bank allowed Citibank to import some 50 million US dollars to pay off its Bahamian dollar debt.  Citibank has to repatriate those profits.  The Central Bank said that as of December 31st, some 38.6 million US dollars of that had still not been repatriated.
    The Bank must now say whether or not the bank is in a position to allow that repatriation.  It appears therefore that the reserves were temporarily inflated by the import of the cash by Citibank and are quite unrelated to productivity gains during the year.  This is gleaned from a letter and its attachment by the Governor of the Central Bank dated 28 March 2002 to the Financial Advisor to the Ministry of Finance Paul Feeney under the headline: IMF QUESTIONS ON FISCAL ISSUES.  We have said that we believe that if the PLP wins one of the first things it will find is how seriously the FNM has been lying to us about the state of this economy.  There is going to be a credit crunch the likes of which the country has never seen.  We must brace for the problems.

    Maurice Glinton, the Freeport Attorney, has now begun to flesh out his legal challenge to the compendium of acts passed by the Government of The Bahamas to regulate the financial services industry.  The nub of Mr. Glinton's argument is that the bills were passed not in accordance with the constitution of The Bahamas for the peace and good order of The Bahamas but at the behest of foreign interests.
    According to The Tribune of Wednesday 3rd April, Mr. Glinton was able to exhibit a letter in his supporting affidavit written by William Allen, the outgoing Finance Minister to the Chairman of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  It was a grovelling letter in which the Minister of Finance admits that the changes being made by the Government were far more than were being demanded by the OECD.  Mr. Glinton also raises the question of whether or not the Government ought to have been passing laws at the behest of foreign interests in the first place.  He argues that the Prime Minister and William Allen knowingly subjected The Bahamas to the foreign laws and influences, rather than abide by the country’s independent constitution and polices.
    Mr. Glinton also asserted that he had discovered that there are foreign nationals working within the Central Bank from OECD countries.  The agents he said had a dual role as technical advisors to the Government of The Bahamas but also as agents of the OECD.  This he said led to the conclusion that the financial services legislation served foreign, rather than Bahamian interests.  We hope that Mr. Glinton is successful in setting aside all of these Bills.

    Maurice Glinton, the Freeport Attorney has challenged the provisions of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act.  According to The Tribune’s Business Section of Wednesday 3rd April, the new act forces lawyers to betray their client's private business.  The act requires lawyers to keep records of the moneys deposited to their care and the account holders.  It also requires the lawyer to report any suspicious transactions that he knows about or suspects are suspicious, under pain of criminal sanctions.
    Mr. Glinton in a supporting affidavit to his action filed against the Government deposes that this is a violation of the lawyer and client privilege undermining the relationship between the lawyer and his client.  He says that this undermines the relationship in perpetuity because even if he succeeds in the courts people will permanently fear that the Government will try again to have some means of compelling lawyers to disclose information to the Government.  We share this concern.
    The Bahamas Government has abjectly surrendered to the dismantling of our way of life: an abiding respect for the privacy of the individual and the absence of regulation.  Now The Bahamas routinely intrudes on the privacy of the individual and has over regulated its banking affairs to the point of the ridiculous.

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    The campaign of the Progressive Liberal Party in Fox Hill was officially launched on Friday 5th April at the Faith United Church of God, Fox Hill.  In attendance were scores of persons from the Fox Hill constituency.  A reception followed afterwards.  Speakers from the church community in Fox Hill appeared including the Reverend J. Carl Rahming of the St. Paul's Baptist Church, Fox Hill.  The sermon was preached by Bishop Austin Saunders.  The theme of the sermon was fighting a good fight.  The text was taken from the epistle of St. Paul to Timothy.  The theme was in conformity with the vision statement of PLP leader Perry Christie who has asked all PLP candidates to keep all dirty tricks and nastiness out of the campaign.  This candidate promised the  Fox Hill constituents that he will clear down all political paraphernalia once the election is over within two weeks, no matter the outcome. He challenged all other candidates to do the same.  You may click here for the full address.  The photos were taken by Al Dillette, the editor of this site.

    The Governor General of The Bahamas Dame Ivy Dumont is to travel to London to attend the official services for Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.  The Queen Mother died two weeks ago at the age of 101 in her sleep.  The death passed with scarcely a notice in The Bahamas where she was once Queen.  It shows how irrelevant the whole institution of monarchy has become to The Bahamas.  But for many and without regard for her political connections to The Bahamas, she was a widely admired public figure, a patriot for her country when it was time to stand up and be counted.  One remembers the irreverent piece by Chris Hitchens of Vanity Fair about her penchant for drinking gin and orange juice, which some credited for assisting her to long life.  A book of condolences was opened at Government House.  The Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham signed the book and sent the official condolences of the Government and people of The Bahamas to the Queen.  The funeral takes place on Tuesday 9 April in London.

    This morning Sunday 7th April, the country switched from Eastern Standard Time to Eastern Daylight Time as of 2 a.m.  This is an abomination.  I simply wish they would leave the stupid time alone.  It is an irritant.  When my mother was alive, she hardly ever spoke or discussed politics.  But when my brothers and sisters and myself were children, the one issue that she spoke out against was Daylight Saving Time.  Every year part of her ritual was to write then Prime Minister Lynden Pindling and ask him to leave the time alone, citing the fact that it was difficult to rouse us out of bed when the time changed.  Perhaps that stuck with me, but it just appears to me such a bloody stupid thing.

    Michael Craton, the author of History of The Bahamas, has announced that his biography called ‘Pindling’ will be out in the fall.  The book will be published in hardback by Macmillan and available at a launch party just in time for Christmas.  The book is based on independent research and interviews.  He has 26 hours of taped conversations with Sir Lynden himself before his death.  Mr. Craton calls it a “warts and all biography”.  It is said that some members of his family were concerned about the fact that the special relationships of Sir Lynden were also talked about.  Mr. Craton is a former history teacher at the Government High School.  He then became a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.  We look forward to it.  The story was reported in the Tribune Saturday 6 April.

    The Free National Movement has tried through its official newspaper the Torch to sully the name of George Mackey.  They claimed that he did not develop Fox Hill during the time that he was the representative for the constituency.  This is an outrageous lie.  Mr. Mackey, in his weekly column in the Tribune of Saturday 6 April, reprinted some words from a Bahama Journal editorial at the time that praised him as a “model MP”.  We agree.  Mr. Mackey is now a retired politician and the attack is a sign of the absolute desperation of the FNM as they go down to defeat.  Mr. Mackey was the lecturer at this year’s Sir Lynden Pindling Memorial Lecture at the College of The Bahamas.  We present his lecture here.

    The Taxi Drivers who ply their services at Sun's Atlantis Hotel have a deal now it appears that will allow them to have taxis waiting at the door.  Some three to four years ago, Sun arbitrarily decided that they would remove all taxis from the door on the grounds that the taxis were too unruly.  The taxi drivers have been picketing and protesting, and the ineffectual Ministry of Transport in the total control of Sun International did nothing and could do nothing.  Now as the general election comes upon us, the Minister of Transport C.A. Smith, Ed Fields, the FNM's undercover public relations man who is on Sun's payroll who also is the brother-in-law of Tommy Turnquest leader designate of the FNM, and Albert Brown, the President of the Taxi Union who supports the FNM, all announced that there is a deal to have the taxi's back at the door.
    Forgive us if we have a jaundiced eye on this whole announcement.  The fact is it was a bad decision in the first place and taxi drivers have suffered because of it.  This is a typical example of FNM strategy.  You create a problem where there was none before, then after creating a mess, you announce that you have cleaned up the mess and pat yourself on the back for solving the problem that you created.  The sooner we are rid of them the better.

    About two years ago, there was industrial action by lecturers at the College of The Bahamas.  Several students demonstrated against the College.  Five were arrested.  They were jailed by the police. We have lost track of where they are.  A friend of theirs is trying to get in touch with them and has asked us to put a message on this site, asking them to contact us.  So if anyone knows the whereabouts of the COB Five please contact them and ask them to contact us or contact us and let us know their e mail addresses or telephone numbers.

Dedicated this week to Bahamians who believe that help is on the way….

PLP West End Rally - A vast motorcade Friday night to an equally massive PLP rally in West End showed that the PLP is indeed 'Ready Now'.  Sources tell news from Grand Bahama that the report to the FNM MP for the area from his spies was that "David: this thing big!"

FNM 'Extravaganza':  FNM High Rock MP Ken Russell also held a rally on Friday; this one at the Seahorse Plaza.   FNM leader designate Tommy Turnquest was there with a full supporting cast of Grand Bahama FNMs.  The party took a big gamble by calling the rally an "extravaganza",  but reports are that it was a flop, with hardly anyone showing up.  Sources say that one reason is dissension and hard feelings within the High Rock FNM team.  Apparently a certain group of Russell's functionaries is "running people away from the team".

FNM Campaign Flounders - Saturday night 6th April saw the FNM return to its traditional rally ground at the Sunrise shopping centre with what was billed as the joint opening of the Marco City and Lucaya constituency campaign headquarters.  The size of the 'crowd' led one old-time FNM to say "They don't want Hubert, but it looks like they need him!"  Disappointed and disheartened FNMs were told by Algernon Allen that there is no such thing as an independent FNM, or free FNM and that anyone running without the FNM label was an enemy.  This was an apparent reference to Marco City Councillor Louise Ewing, a supporter of Tennyson Wells who is running as an independent in Marco City.  Mr. Allen predicted that the FNM would win all but six seats in the country.  Meantime, supporters were attempting to convince News From Grand Bahama that the attendance at the rally, or lack of it, was not a true reflection of the FNM's support in Grand Bahama.  Things that make you go: hmmm!

Too Little, Too Late From C.A.  -  Saturday night's FNM rally was also addressed by FNM Pineridge MP C.A. Smith who spoke directly to foreign investors in The Bahamas, saying that if they cant speak to Bahamians with dignity and respect, then the doors is there for them to go through.  This brought jeers and shouts of condemnation from the crowd: "These people been mashing us up for years now and you just remember to talk?... "The rope already pop and we had enough!... "When you'all lose some seats in Grand Bahama it's because you abandoned the workers...  "Three weeks before election and you want to stand up now? You'all hear this fellow?"

Rolling Blackouts - Grand Bahama has been hit by rolling power blackouts from Grand Bahama Power Company which has been unable to produce enough power for the island's demands.  At the opening of a new generating plant last year, Grand Bahama Power Company boasted of having sufficient power to supply the community for the next ten years.  Right now, residents only want enough for today.  Load shedding on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this past week resulted in the loss of hundreds of man-hours with some businesses forced to send staff home.

Seething Unrest at Resorts at Bahamia - Sudden industrial action brought business to a halt Friday night at Resort at Bahamia.  Food and Beverage Director Charles Golf is reported to have had an altercation with a function supervisor after the director had sent an employee off the job.  Bartenders, waiters, busboys and eventually casino staff quietly stopped work in protest until the matter was resolved and apologies offered, reportedly as a result of the personal intervention of the hotel owner.  The owner is said to have called his Food & Beverage Director in the following day and asked "You don't read News From Grand Bahama, eh?"

Ship Care Lament - Bahamian workers at the Grand Bahama Ship Care Facility have complained in the newspapers that the only jobs they get at the facility are those shunned by the foreign workers.  This is the state of labour relations in Grand Bahama.

Strike Vote at CDI - Colombian Emeralds International, said to be the largest group of jewellery stores in the region is under strike vote by its Bahamian employees.  At issue again is ill treatment of employees.  This is the state of labour relations in Grand Bahama.

Teacher's Deadline - Teachers in the Government schools on Grand Bahama have given the Government until Tuesday of this week to settle long outstanding pay issues or face industrial action.  This is the state of labour relations in Grand Bahama.

What's The Difference? - One political observer offered this to News From Grand Bahama:  "The obvious difference between PLP and the FNM is that PLPs are social activists, always fighting for rights of the downtrodden.  That is what brought them to power before and that is what will bring them to power again.  On the other hand, the FNM has never known a social struggle, only political struggles.  That is why they are not concerned with the plight of the downtrodden."

14th April, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
Bahamas Government Website www.bahamas.gov.bs Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte
John Carey / PLP Carmichael... Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl+home to return to the top of the page.

  Search   fredmitchelluncensored.com


The race for the General Election on 2nd May in The Bahamas is now officially on.  Nomination Day was Thursday 11 April and according to The Tribune some 133 candidates paid the $400 deposit to the various returning officers in forty constituencies throughout the country and are now officially candidates for the general election.  That deposit is returned to the candidate if he or she gets more than one sixth of the votes cast.  According to The Tribune there were two persons from the Coalition for Democratic Reform (CDR) that did not nominate as expected, and the CDR had one surprise nominee.  That surprise was former Unicomm head Francelia Lockhart Bosfield.  Mrs. Bosfield had not been heard from for years and it had been assumed that she had given herself up exclusively to the gospel, but politics has obviously come a calling.  She is running in the constituency of PLP Leader Perry Christie called Farm Road.  It is believed that Dr. Nottage, the CDR leader, was trying to send a message of discomfort to the PLP’s leader who refused to pull the PLP’s candidate Kenyatta Gibson out of from the race against Dr. Nottage in Kennedy.

All of the Leaders of the Parties nominated. (See Tribune photos by Felipe Major of Christie and Vision Photography of Turnquest).  The Free National Movement is led of sorts by Tommy Turnquest, the Leader Designate.  He was accompanied by his wife Shawn to the returning officer and a crowd of well wishers.  Similarly Perry Christie, the PLP’s Leader, was accompanied by his wife Bernadette and a crowd of well wishers.  The CDR's Bernard Nottage was said by the Nassau Guardian to have slipped in past the press and through the crowd of PLP supporters and Kenyatta Gibson his opponent at the nominating site.  It appears that Dr Nottage was on his lonesome.  Interesting move!  The Leader of the Bahamas Democratic Movement (BDM) Cassius Stuart has nominated for the St. Margaret’s constituency.

The battle of crowds continues with each side claiming tens of thousands of people.  True crowd counters say that the PLP’s crowds have generally been larger.  The claims of both sides have been excessive.  And certainly the claim by the Free National Movement at its rally at the site of the old Oakes Field Hangar, now the Carnival site at Oakes Field could not have held the 20,000 persons that they claimed.  The maximum they had was five thousand and the number was more likely 3000.  The PLP held its rally at A.F. Adderley School was said to have had some 7,000.  But you know it’s a numbers game.  We keep saying, however, that the only number is that number that is delivered into the ballot box.

Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister, who we thought had fallen into a deep Rip Van Winkle like sleep has arisen from the political grave and is in the campaign again starting with nasty dirty innuendoes.  Poor man!  He is watching the FNM run away from his record so he is back trying to say what a good job the FNM has done.  ‘Fraid it ain't so.

We think that this is the best chance in a decade for the PLP to win the next general election and we shall be working diligently toward that result.   It is an exciting atmosphere in the country.

Thank you for reading and please keep reading.  We had 31,514 hits on this site for the week ending Saturday 13 April at midnight.  We have a revised total of 169,455 hits for the month of March that ended on Sunday 31st March.  We now have a total of 55,305 hits for the month of April.

PLP rally photo by Felipe Major. Photo by Nello Lambert, taken at 'Montrose' - Christmas 2000

by Kendal Demeritte

Just Ghostly
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.  I’ve seen lonely days that I thought would never end, and I’ve seen lonely times when I couldn’t even find a friend, But I never thought I’d see an ungrateful house negro as Hubert Ingraham... 
Listening to Hubert Ingraham as he addressed the FNM rally the other night (which incidentally means Finished Next Month), when he tried to impugn the good name of the Old PLP’s according to him, such as Hon. George Smith, Hon. Darrel Rolle, and Hon. Philip Bethel for assisting their party in this current election campaign.  Unless Mr. Ingraham’s memory has eclipsed him, these are the men who over the years in the PLP, especially in the year 1976, saw the emergence of an unknown Hubert Ingraham to the Chairmanship of the Great Progressive Liberal Party.  They were the men who supported Mr. Ingraham politically and financially, in bringing about the defeat of the past chairman Mr. Otis Brown.  It is suspiciously interesting why Mr. Ingraham would think the support of those men in this election campaign is not accepted, but see NO wrong that he as Prime Minister and Leader of the FNM could use Geoffrey Johnstone, the last chairman of the dreaded UBP along with Durward Knowles, the Symonette’s, and the other UBP clan.  Unless we forget the likes of Geoffrey Johnstone and others of his ilk in the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, and a meager part of the 1960’s, who thought that black people of the Bahamas had no more human value than the value of their fathers Model T’s Ford automobile’s if you were PURE black, but if you were light skin, you had the worth of the cattles.  In total the black man of the Bahamas was worth one fifth (1/5) of a human being to these people, but this same house negro Hubert Ingraham sees no human wrong in the assistance of these people in this current election campaign assisting the FNM as they always did financially, morally, and other wise.  What manner of black man is this, he has truly earned the name Prince of the House negroes, commonly called (Oreo) and to add fuel to the fire, he had the unmitigated gall to Knight Geoffrey Johnstone and name him the acting Governor General of this country…  Shame, Shame!!!!

A reminder to Tommy Turnquest-
Stop your foolishness, you know better, like my leader said the other night, “Ya pa know better, Ingraham know better, Bulgie know better, Dwight Sawyer know better, and it seems to me that I have to force knowing better on you.  This is your one and only warning from me, this Corner, Stop trying to impugn the good name of Perry Christie to unsavory characters and things.  Hard head dough don’t make good soup, I am going to be compelled to tell that man where you carry his things…  Remember, by the time he get to Phoenix she may not be sleeping….
This Corner

12th Review of the Judiciary
11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral

e-mail timbuktu@batelnet.bs

Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton
http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/2477/index.html Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
http://members.tripod.com/~xtremesp/wolf.html Bahamian Cycling News
http://www.bahamiansonline.com/ Links to Bahamians on the web
http://www.bahamanet.com/JujuTree.cfm Politics Forum
http://www.briland.com/ Harbour Island Site


    It was hard to tell whether PLPs were amused or infuriated by the fact that Hubert Ingraham was back in the race.  It was no surprise, said the inside FNM operatives, that he came back to open the headquarters of “his girl” Pauline Cooper Nairn, the FNM’s candidate for St. Thomas Moore.  ZNS, violating their own misinterpreted rules, suddenly had the FNM’s candidate for north Abaco on the stage.  Remember that candidate Mr. Ingraham is not the Leader of the FNM and only the Leaders, say a perverse ZNS, are entitled to news coverage.
    Mr. Ingraham told the FNM audience there and on television and radio that while he personally did not believe that Perry Christie would victimize anyone, he did not think that Mr. Christie could control “Big Bad Brad”, meaning Bradley Roberts PLP Chair and Fred Mitchell.  Mr. Ingraham can of course kiss our collective you know whats.  That was Monday 8th April.  Then on Thursday 11 April, at the FNM’s rally at Oakes Field he was on the platform again saying that the FNM rescued the country from corruption, drug trafficking and complacency.  This of course is only in his imagination, since the facts obviously show that what he was saying is not in fact correct.  It is amongst the myths perpetrated by the FNM.
    The fact is the economy is today in worse shape than it was in 1992.  The fact is that drug corruption and trafficking is up beyond 1992 levels.  The fact is that the Government cannot meet its labour bills, since everywhere one hears the cries of nurses, teachers and uniformed branch officers for pay increases.   Mr. Ingraham's return begs the question: who is the Leader of the FNM?  Clearly, he has gone nowhere and he is the man in charge of the puppets Turnquest and Foulkes that he will have working for him if this country makes the mistake of electing Tommy Turnquest to the Office of Prime Minister.  No word on the hard mouths who said if Mr. Ingraham returned they would quit the campaign.


    Perry Christie decided to make integrity the issue of the campaign since Tommy Turnquest continues to talk about it.  He went directly in his face at the PLP's rally on Thursday 11 April at the A.F Adderley Field.  He accused Mr. Turnquest of being corrupt. You can click here for the full text.

    PLP Chair Bradley Roberts was right in Hubert Ingraham’s territory last week.  He flew up to Abaco for a rally in Sandy Point on   April.  While there he scorched Hubert Ingraham for going back on his promise to quit.  He listed the victimization of PLPs by the FNM in Abaco.  You may click here for the full address.

    The pundits will be watching to see what happens in South Beach, the New Providence constituency in which there is no incumbent running.  FNM incumbent Mike Smith is retiring and is replaced by Senator Tanya McCartney.  She is opposed by the PLP’s Agatha Marcelle (pictured).  Senator McCartney is bankrolled by the Prime Minister’s big buddy and confidant Alphonso ‘Bugaloo’ Elliott.  She is a rich girl relying on her old man’s money.  Smart, but inexperienced.  Agatha Marcelle is a self-made woman who is a motivational speaker.  She has pulled herself up by her bootstraps and is waging an under funded but valiant campaign against money and might.  We expect her to prevail.
    Then there is the battle of the female giants in Pinewood in New Providence between Allyson Maynard Gibson and former PLP Gaynell Rolle.  Ms. Rolle is another one relying on her old man's money.  Last time she ran against Pierre Dupuch of the FNM.  As for Mr. Dupuch, he is today running as an Independent.  The PLP has announced that it is not running candidates in Long Island, Bamboo Town (New Providence) and St. Margaret’s (New Providence).
    In St. Margaret’s, the PLP supporters were none too happy when the candidate brought them out to the National General Council meeting on Wednesday 10 April to ratify the party’s withdrawal decision, the candidate having the day before voluntarily withdrawn before the PLP's Leader Perry Christie.  The next day, he had a change of heart and brought out demonstrators to Council.  But despite his change the decision stands.
    In defending the position, the PLP said that it had made no deals and had come to no understanding with any of the men: Tennyson Wells for Bamboo Town (who is the incumbent opposed by the FNM’s Calvin Johnson), Mr. Dupuch for St. Margaret’s (who is opposed by the FNM’s Loretta Butler) and retired teacher Larry Cartwright for Long Island (who is opposed by the incumbent FNM James Knowles).  The PLP said it was simply a strategic decision in the best interest of the PLP.


    This Candidate nominated just after nine o’clock in a scene reminiscent of 1997 before Returning Office Patricia Collins.  There was an enthusiastic crowd of scores of persons from Fox Hill, and a short address was given after nominating.  You may click here for the full address.  The photos of nomination day were taken by Kenneth Love.  A few hours later the FNM’s candidate Juanianne Dorsett nominated accompanied mainly by cars.  The supporters faced off in the streets of Bernard Road in friendly and loud rival revelry.
    There were some reported mishaps.  PLP candidate (Pineridge) Ann Percentie was said to have included a $US 20 dollar bill in her nomination money.  The rules call for Bahamian dollars.  Of course, US dollars are routinely accepted by everyone in this country including the Treasury.  She got a valid receipt from the Treasury.  The FNM is jumping up and down over that.  Seems like they will stoop to anything in order to get their person elected.  Doesn’t seem to be much in that.  Then the more serious report was that Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson was not nominated within the appointed hours and at the appointed place because he forgot to have his papers notarized in time.  It is said that he nominated at the Parliamentary Commissioner’s office in Farrington Road after hours.  PLP Lawyers are looking into both cases.
    The nasty dirty campaign is on in earnest, being led this time by a man who calls himself a good Christian family man, namely one Zhivargo Laing, the Minister for Economic Development.  It is of course a sign of the FNM’s desperation.  Poor fellow.  He is smarting from the fact that he does not understand basic economic principles.  He can’t respond with principles and with facts to the attacks by this Senator so he has to engage in slander and nasty dirty tricks.  We say again, he was better trained than all this.  We are sorry for him really.

    Despite the best endeavours of the previous PLP administration to enable persons of modest means to run for office in The Bahamas, it appears that the race is definitely to the well off, rich by our standards.  Not by the standards of the U.S. but definitely well off.  The Tribune listed thirteen of the candidates in the General Election who have a net worth of more than one million dollars.
    Brent Symonette, son of the late Premier Sir Roland Symonette is by far the richest with a net worth of $15.5 million dollars.  The Tribune says that his income is 100 times that of a person on a minimum wage.  Perhaps that's why Mr. Symonette is all through Montagu walking into houses asking people what he can do for them.  The Tribune identified the others as: Tennyson Wells, Bamboo Town -- $9.75 million; Whitney Bastian (Independent South Andros) $9.5 million; Perry Christie, PLP Leader $2 million; Bernard Nottage, CDR Leader $5.6 million; PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts $4.4 million; Allyson Gibson (nee Maynard) $5.3 million; Juanianne Dorsett (FNM Fox Hill) $3.4 million; Yamacraw MP Janet Bostwick $2.3 million; James Knowles (FNM Long Island) $2.8 million; Algernon Allen (FNM Marathon) $2.2 million; Elliott Lockhart (FNM Exuma) $2.4 million; Tommy Turnquest (FNM Leader designate) $1.05 million; Dion Foulkes (FNM Deputy Leader designate) $1.3 million; Italia Johnson ( FNM Speaker) $1.2 million; Robert Sweeting (FNM South Abaco) $1.03 million.
    Now for an interpretation.  Most people put very little stock in these figures.  If you examine them, many of them include a valuation of securities, which allows for a lot of latitude.  Further, the assets include those of spouses in the declaration.  There is thought in many cases to be considerable over valuations and in many cases the true value of assets can be hidden in companies.  So for example, many people believe that Brent Symonette's true wealth is not reflected in the declaration.  But we hope those people in Montagu know what to ask for.  Just kidding!  And finally this story from the past: an MP who declared a net worth in excess of 23 million dollars in one of his declarations was unable to get his car out of Customs because he could not write a negotiable cheque for $10,000.  It only goes to show.

    The Tribune ran a full colour, full page ad of a naked man, pubic hair showing, face not showing, and his genitals covered by a hand bag.  The ad was a promotion of Harl Taylor who designs handbags.  The catch line: It’s A Harl Taylor Bag or Nothing at All.  The ad was clearly in bad taste for a mainstream publication like The Tribune.  The ad appeared on Monday 8th April.  The words hadn’t gotten out of the mouths of some critics yet when the Christian Council, whom many call the Bahamian version of the morality police, weighed in calling the ad immoral.  Immoral no, bad taste yes!  The public effect is of course the same whether immoral or in bad taste.  The ad should not have been run in The Tribune.
    The Tribune’s publisher Eileen Carron, who is always busy mouthing off about the ethical standards that have fallen in The Bahamas, had nothing to say about the decision to run the ad.  You know: Money! Money! Money!  She left it up to her son Robert Carron who manages the business side of the paper.  He tried to dress it up in fancy dancy words about the line between sensitivity to the public and freedom of expression.  This has not a damn thing to do with freedom of expression as a value that people in this country support.  He said it showed that The Tribune was the place to sell ads since the ad created such a fuss.  If we want to look at porn magazines there are plenty of them to buy, but in a mainstream paper it just was inappropriate.  This is a free country and if we want to see naked people that is our right but there is still such a  thing as good taste.
    Letter writer Crystal Moss in The Tribune of Saturday 13 April wrote: “Kudos to The Tribune who has the gumption to publish the ad.” Another writer to The Tribune, Eileen Farmer on 11 April said it best about Mr. Carron's idle defence: “That is very cheap publicity and unworthy of The Tribune”.  That said I’m sure the women rushed out to buy the bag and of course find out who the model is.  E mail us if you want to know.

    Pat Bain, the President of the National Congress of Trade Unions (NCTU) one of the umbrella trade union groups in the country has spoken out against alleged acts of victimization by CIBC against persons in their bank who want to join one of the unions of the NCTU, the Bahamas Financial Services Union (BSFU).  The BSFU is the bargaining agent for Barclays employees and is trying to get recognition from CIBC.  CIBC is fighting tooth and nail.  Mr. Bain said that CIBC is trying to intimidate those who want to join the union and in some cases there have been dismissals and suspensions.
    Not to take it lying down, CIBC’s Terry Hilts denied that there was any victimization.  Of course, that is like the FNM claiming that they don’t victimize people for taking a political stand.  Mr. Hilts’ language can be quite shifty.  In typical employer double speak Mr. Hilts told the Nassau Guardian: “We have proactively and publicly voiced our view that our employees have a right to choose to be members of any union or alternatively to choose not be members of a union.”
    CIBC and Barclays are to merge throughout the Caribbean under the new name First Caribbean.  CIBC no doubt wishes to prevent a union being in their bank, since effectively the so called merger really means CIBC is taking over Barclays' business in The Bahamas.  Barclays already has the union.  We support the workers at CIBC and Barclays.


    Some months ago on this site, we reported that subject to regulatory approval, Colina Insurance Company, owned by a group headed by Attorney Emmanuel Alexiou and Global Life Assurance, a Jamaican Company, were to merge.  It appears that the merger is about to come off.  Meetings were held with employees over the last week, addressed by the new President of the Operation James Campbell and the new Chair Mr. Alexiou (see Tribune Business Section picture).  The meetings were held to reassure the staff on the merger, and there are aggressive ads running in the newspapers about the financial security of the company.  The announcements say that on Monday 9th April, the Colina Financial Group purchased a 52-44 per cent stake in Global Life of Barbados and Barbados Mutual. The company has a combined asset total of $175 million and more than 35,000 individual polices.  We wish this group good luck and hope that they do stand by the Bahamian employees.

    Michael Anderson, a Director of the Board of the ill fated Bahamas Stock Exchange (BISX), has written in the March newsletter of British Fidelity where he serves as chief financial officer that BISX should abandon plans for international listings.  This advice flies in the face of the plans announced by Ian Fair the Chairman of the Board that sees international mutual fund and security listings as the salvation for the stock exchange that has so far lost 1.8 million dollars since it launched two years ago.
    In a bid to rescue itself, a new plan was mapped by Mr. Fair.  It included shareholders pitching in with more money and asking the government for some corporate welfare to the tune of two million dollars.  Mr. Anderson told BISX, it ain’t gonna happen, forget Government money.  He also argues that the exchange has no unique attraction for international securities and mutual funds.  He thinks that BISX would do better to readjust its priorities and get the Government to follow through on its commitment to add Government paper and privatized Government corporations on the exchange for sale.
    The Government’s privatization effort stalled with a massive kick up over BaTelCo.  Government paper is not available through the exchange.  We can’t say the whys and the wherefores but we oppose any Government bailout of this exchange.  If it fails it fails.  The argument is being advanced by so many who love the free market that the country can't afford for this to fail.  It will be too embarrassing.  These are of course the same people who say that our people should tighten their belts and not depend on hand outs from the Government.  The story was reported in The Tribune Thursday 11 April.

Back To The Top

    These international multilateral financial agencies are in the Bahamian expression “something else”.  You remember when or I seem to remember when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the international group of blackmailers that have ruined the Bahamian offshore sector, came up with this blacklisting business that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seemed to be on our side.  The OECD criticized our offshore sector for not being sufficiently regulated.  It said that we were too loose with who we allowed to do business in The Bahamas and accused us of harbouring drug traffickers and money launderers in our country’s financial services sector.  Hubert Ingraham then jumped through their hoops and ran the sector out of town.  At the time, some people touted the IMF as our friend, because the Fund’s reports said that OECD was being unfair to our economy.
    Now comes some advice from the IMF again.  This time according to The Tribune Friday 12 April, the IMF is telling us that we should consider exiting business areas where regulatory changes that have been forced on us have raised the costs to make retaining the business too expensive.  Things that make you go: hmmm!  So now the IMF is telling us that we must live with life as it is and just go into another business.  One supposes that’s the right thing to say but it just sounded a bit too pat.  Almost as if the whole thing were a set up.  Not so implausible since the same people who control the IMF, control the OECD.


    Doongalik, onomatopoeia for the sound of the Bahamian Junkanoo cowbell, is attached to a studio and business as in Doongalik Studios.  It is headed by artist and architect Jackson Burnside.  They now say at their facility in Village Road that they have a bush tea bar, offering as many as fifty flavours.  It includes love vine tea and even pigeon pea leaf tea.  Marketing Manager Althera Gibson told Monique Forbes of the Nassau Guardian that you should always visit the doctor for your ailments first but then a little Bahamian bush tea might help once the ailment is diagnosed.  She is pictured having a sip of her own brew.

    Rick Fox has told The Tribune in an exclusive interview published  on Thursday 11 April  that he intends to play for The Bahamas in the next world championship  in Basketball for the 2004 Olympics.  He gave an extensive interview to Julian Lockhart, The Tribune’s young writing star in sports.  He talked about why he cut his hair, his wife actress Vanessa Williams and making Ebony Magazine.  He is looking forward to a third straight title for his team in the U.S. the Los Angeles Lakers.
    Mr. Fox has a relationship to The Bahamas much like Sidney Poitier, the actor.  He was born in Canada in 1969.  His father is Bahamian and he went to school in his early years here.  But when he played for Canada in 1994 in the World Championships, Bahamians were aghast.  He sought to make amends for that when he returned to the country to visit schools and give a basketball clinic last year.  Like the situation with Sidney Poitier, most Bahamians glory in another Bahamian having done well but many think that he's not done enough to help his fellow Bahamians.  It probably infuriates both Mr. Poitier and Mr. Fox to have it said.  After all, they are in the business of entertaining, not politics.
    Perhaps we ought to just leave it at that.  They have done well.  We glory in their success, and not try to put more on these people than that.

    It was good to talk to Cedric Scott, the Bahamian director and producer and actor by telephone on Friday 12 April.  He lives in California.  He is the brother of Insurance Executive Allardyce Scott Fitzgerald and uncle to Jerome Fitzgerald of RND Cinemas.  He is a regular reader of this column in California.  We are grateful and thank him for his encouragement.

    Pamela Harris and her husband Louis are good friends of mine.  Together with Clarence Stukes and Diane Castro (Mrs. Stukes), and Kathryn Leary, we formed a friendship at Antioch College in Ohio where I did my undergraduate studies up to 1974.  The friendship has endured from the first day of school in 1970 .  I have been there to California to visit with them where they live and they have been to The Bahamas.  The Stukes live in Washington and I have been there many times as well; have spent many times with them.  They have been to The Bahamas as well.  Kathryn Leary now an executive with Essence Magazine has lived here in The Bahamas, her grandfather having been born in Eleuthera.  Now comes the report that Pamela Harris is in hospital and been feeling poorly for several weeks.  I called her during the past week. It looks like she’s on the mend.  I hope to visit soon and wish her a speedy recovery.  Congratulations to daughter Nia on her wedding day.  We think of you all the time.

    One of the most infuriating things about running my small law business is the inability to produce the work of the firm in a timely and efficient and accurate manner.  The information is all in my head but translating it into competent service is quite another thing. But we keep trying.  How do you communicate to staff for example that their behavior as small and insignificant it may seem to them connects to the larger profits of the firm that keep us all alive?  It is a problem throughout The Bahamas, where the Registry cannot produce documents on a timely basis, where probates at the Supreme Court now take routinely 15 months to be processed, where recording documents routinely takes a year or more.  Amongst the worst offenders are the clearing house banks: inconsistent policies and sloppy paper work.  This is made worse by the stupid laws passed by the FNM which the banks and their employees don’t seem to be able to interpret.   BaTelCo services are getting worse, with delayed dial tones, all circuits busy signals, disconnections and no connections in the cell service.  But the beef this week is about newspapers.
    This writer likes to buy newspapers off the streets, rather than a subscription service or from a store.  But starting one’s day at 6 a.m. is a drawback in the newspaper business.  Inevitably the newspapers are not available.  And if you miss the papers in that morning rush, you don’t read them at all.  You miss them all together.  One wonders how advertisers of these papers continue to put up with this kind of sloppiness.  Most times, it is the fault of the Nassau Guardian, a perennially late newspaper.  Just can’t seem to get their act together.  The Tribune is also sold by the same vendors.  They get The Tribune most days on time and then head down to The Guardian wait for the slow boat to China.  The result is that neither The Tribune nor The Guardian gets on the streets on time.  A morning paper should be on the streets by 5 a.m.  The PLP can’t solve that problem, only The Tribune and The Guardian can.

    This Senator and the Hon. Darrell Rolle, former Minister of Immigration spoke at a political rally in South Andros, the seat of the late Prime Minister Lynden O. Pindling.  The economic situation is dire in that area.  FNM Ronald Bosfield, its representative, has been a failure in the constituency.  The PLP’s candidate is Vince Symonette.  It is important for the team to have South Andros in the win column for the PLP.  The meeting was held on Thursday 11April.
    It was good to meet so many of the citizens of South Andros who read this site.  We thank them for reading.  I want you all to know that I am greatly distressed by the level of economic activity in that area.  I am distressed that there is virtually no money in the economy.  It is a sure sign of the lack of leadership by the now representative.  It was also an honour to meet Carl Kemp and his wife Una, the former Una Major of Long Island.  Mr. Kemp is a retired officer of the Royal Bahamas Police Force who decided to cast his fortunes down in his home island.  It is the kind of talent that the islands need to develop.  I believe the country and the island is better off for the decision of himself and his wife.  I hope they are able to stay.  Hopefully, a new Government will have the opportunity to deal with issues that are near and dear to you like health care, proper educational facilities, and improvements to the roads and bridges.
    A major issue for South Andros is Bahamasair or more correctly the lack of Bahamasair.  The people of South Andros have no reliable transportation.  On the morning that we left, Bahamasair had at least ten passengers on the ground waiting.  The flight was to have left at 7:30 a.m.  But there was no sign of an aircraft when we left at 8:10 a.m. by charter and no prospect of an aircraft.  No information even.  This we were told is typical of the situation over the last two years.
    Thanks too to the Rev. James Pratt and to Sister Leta Davis, Rev. Daniel Rahming and all the many supporters who turned out.  Win lose or draw this PLP is humbled and grateful for your support over the years and it is time for some reward for the sacrifices of all of our people.

    Quinton ‘Barabbas’ Woodside of Bain Town has officially unveiled what he calls a state of the art Junkanoo shack.  It is built in Finlayson Street, the former Three Peas Corner.  The ceremony took place on Friday 12 April before 200 guests including other Junkanoo leaders like Percy ‘Vola’ Francis.  Mr. Woodside said that the facility is a permanent one.  It has a huge door that rolls up electrically so you don't have to break the shack down to get the costumes out.  It is air-conditioned.  There are computers for the children of the area to work on.  There are bathrooms and an office.  His main sponsor is Anne’s Cafe and Polo Lounge Sporting Club.  Congratulations to them all.

This week we dedicate News From Grand Bahama to the busboys, and maids, the waiters and the waitresses, the bank employees and others who toil… There is hope.  Help is on the way!….

Quote of the Week:  “It would be a good thing for some of these Grand Bahama MPs to lose their seats… For far too long they have taken the people of this island for granted… You cannot ignore the cries and concerns of the people and then ask them for continued support."  Canon Harry Bain  We wonder if he feels the Fresh Wind Blowing through Grand Bahama?

FNM In Grand Bahama In Disarray – FNM and PLP rallies in Grand Bahama Friday night 12th April saw the PLP audience up to five times that of the FNM.  In Grand Bahama!  Supposed FNM country.  One FNM general said “We gatta stop this sh.t and go back to door-to-door, it’s embarrassing.”  Reports say that the FNM has a hard time giving out t-shirts in some areas.  We can confirm that the discontent is all over labour issues, largely ignored by the FNM, which have plagued workers in Grand Bahama.

Work To Rule At ‘Our’ Lucaya – Workers at ‘Our’ Lucaya this week staged a massive work to rule, giving the lie to the ‘Our’ in the hotel’s name.  A representative of the Bahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Workers Union said the union and the workers wanted to be partners with management in the successful operation of the property but that the workers are treated with “disrespect and disdain” by the hotel.  The industrial action caught resort managers completely off guard.  One supervisor saying “senior management believes that Bahamian supervisors don’t know anything and only when the foreign managers run into problems that could have been avoided do they consult us for advice”.

“Pinder Point Gal” – Senator the Honourable Pauline Cooper-Nairn was the featured speaker at the opening of the FNM’s Eight Mile Rock headquarters Saturday 13 April.  Mrs. Nairn, a local lady and described that evening as a “Pinder Point gal” is the FNM’s candidate in Nassau’s St. Thomas Moore constituency.  It makes you wonder why she couldn’t have run at home in Grand Bahama.  Is the FNM bench that weak and shallow?

Vicious FNM Attack On Investors – Hard on the heels of FNM Marco City incumbent David Thompson belatedly vowing to stand with employees at ‘Our’ Lucaya, FNM Pineridge incumbent C.A. Smith again launched a vicious attack on foreign investors doing business in Grand Bahama inviting them to leave the country for mistreating Bahamian workers.  We say Governments legislate not demonstrate.  Too little, too late, C.A.

Tommy T & $2 Million – Win, lose or draw, Tommy T. as Minister of Tourism will have to explain to the Bahamian people how Resorts at Bahamia got $2 million of the people’s money out of the Public Treasury.  How about it Tommy?  Did the means justify the end?  We already know the Minister’s feeling on the importance of ‘due process’ from his stand on the losing end of the referendum.  Do we now have an equity interest in the Resorts at Bahamia?  The Bahamian people want to know.

PLP’s Best Campaigner – Politicos in Grand Bahama are saying that Tommy T just doesn’t have it and now that the return of Algernon Allen has failed to deliver the crowds to FNM rallies, they have fallen back to Hubert Ingraham.  Ingraham is in fact the best campaigner for the PLP and we say, bring him on.  As it now stands, the FNM in Grand Bahama is in the midst of re-evaluating its rally strategy in the wake of dismal performance against the PLP.

See Ya’ll Later! – A gathering of FNM insiders beat a hasty retreat from a recent conversation in a local Grand Bahama eatery when the subject turned to drugs and drug dealers.  One PLP who joined the talk threatened to call the names of senior FNMs who are drug dealers and trying to clean up their act.  Cheques were hurriedly called for and paid.  We gon see ya’ll later!  The stunned FNM supporters dispersed with no other response.

The Difference - The difference between the FNM and the PLP:  The PLP is a nationalist party that has encouraged the Bahamian people to become owners and true participants in our economy.  The FNM’s philosophy says that we should be content to have a job and turn a blind eye when qualified Bahamians are passed over for less experienced foreign workers “in the national (read foreign investor’s) interest".

21st April, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
Bahamas Government Website www.bahamas.gov.bs Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte
John Carey / PLP Carmichael... Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
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Perry Christie, the Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, must feel like Mick Jaggar of the Rolling Stones or Michael Jackson as he walks out onto the stage of a PLP rally.  There is a sound and light show, the likes of which The Bahamas has never seen and the crowds are on the verge of hysteria as he walks up.  Gone is yesteryear’s sound of the theme from the movie ‘Chariots of Fire’ and in are the dulcet tones of R. Kelly who sings ‘The Storm is Over Now’, the theme song from the movie HARDBALL.  The crowds sway back and forth.  If it weren’t blasphemous to say so, you would think that it’s messianic.  Mr. Christie tells the crowd: It ain’t long now, help is on the way.

We try to give in words and pictures some idea of the feel of what is going on in The Bahamas.  There appears to have been a huge shift away from the FNM.  Not just a swing but a huge shift.  The air around the rallies is absolutely electric.  It is at once a big party, a celebration, a social occasion for meeting old friends.  And each has a comment to make about who they were surprised to see, former FNMs in PLP Tee shirts.  Each has a question for the candidate: how are things in Fox Hill or Blue Hills or Kennedy?  As the candidates walk through the crowd, they are pulled at and pushed and questioned and admired.

People embrace each other, in rare displays of physicality.  It is almost unbelievable.  Even one of our British consultants who is normally quite sanguine about these things commented: “This is an amazing crowd.”

The picture by Donald Knowles of the Nassau Guardian shows a panoramic view from the hill at Clifford Park where the rally took place on Thursday night 18 April.  The PLP has captured Clifford Park as its own.  And people compare that PLP rally on Thursday 18 April 2002 to the day the Queen came to town in 1965 for the first time or the night of Independence in 1973.  Some of the political pros told us that they had never seen a rally so large.

And now for the numbers:  Some said 30,000; others 40,000; some said 50,000.  As we stood on the duty grounds of Clifford Park, the numbers became larger and larger, if not the crowds.  It was a source of playful amusement for me.  Suffice it to say that it was huge crowd.  And the actual number that I believe was there will remains with us.  The Tribune said that the police estimated the crowd at 40,000 even though said The Tribune, the police at first said that they had been ordered not to give crowd numbers.

Not to be a naysayer, we must still remember that the crowds at rallies must convert into support at the ballot box.  That is what we want.

Let me say it was a total event.  The fireworks, the music, the speeches, the candidates and the people.  The PLP is on fire.  And to mix the metaphor using the theme of the campaign:  A FRESH WIND IS BLOWING.

This week we had 36,503 hits on this site for the week ending 20 April at midnight.  That makes 91,833 hits for the month of April. Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

Nomination day photo by Eyes of Love

by Kendal Demeritte

A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Someone must have missed a step in the fandango; some even turned cartwheels across the floor… I felt really sick to hear some members of the FNM denying that the FNM leadership in the late 80’s didn’t invite Mr. Perry Christie to be their leader.  This denial again demonstrates the lack of credibility that exists in the FNM.  It is really astonishing to hear Maurice Moore, Algernon Allen, and Tommy (Butch Cassidy) Turnquest in this tag team denial.  But what is more amazing to this corner is that Hubert Ingraham made no denial and this Corner knows why, Ingraham wouldn’t dare to be so bold faced.  But to hear my friends denying what we all know to be the truth really disappoints me.  Why Lie?!  We all know that the FNM leadership was wooing Perry, as this Corner knows parallel to that, the PLP through the late Everette Bannister, the Honourable Philip Bethel, and others was wooing Hubert Ingraham back to the fold of the PLP!  Back then, in the late 80s, it was considered classified information, but maaaan that was back then, we could talk the business now.  We can tell the whole truth of those in the FNM who wanted to get back into the PLP.  This corner has nothing to hide or lose, if you want to be Honourable, let’s be honourable, because honourable men speak the truth and speak it clearly.  This corner will go no further than that…
See you next week… I am off to the Rallies!

12th Review of the Judiciary
11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral

e-mail timbuktu@batelnet.bs

Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton
http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/2477/index.html Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
http://members.tripod.com/~xtremesp/wolf.html Bahamian Cycling News
http://www.bahamiansonline.com/ Links to Bahamians on the web
http://www.bahamanet.com/JujuTree.cfm Politics Forum
http://www.briland.com/ Harbour Island Site


    An informant called this writer on Friday 19 April.  It was early morning.  They were asking whether or not I had gotten my suit made.  He meant the suit for the House of Assembly.  He said to make sure that I wear a fancy hat so it can be properly described on radio and television.  Such is the ebullience of the supporters of the PLP in every corner of The Bahamas.  The Prime Minister who tends to count like a spirit was in Acklins on Wednesday 17 May.   He told his audience that the PLP would win 10 seats in the General election and the FNM 30.  Now remember this is the same man who said that whoever won the referendum on 27 February would win the General Election.  This is the same man who was saying at the early stages of the current campaign that he was afraid that the FNM would win all the seats in the Assembly.
    Of course if Mr. Ingraham concedes that there will be ten seats for the PLP you know the FNM is in trouble.  Mr. Ingraham is terribly mixed up. He is busy trying to fix all things around him but it’s too broken to fix.  He has allowed ZNS to engage in what is unlawful coverage of the election.  The rules say that only the Leaders of parties can receive news election coverage, but Tommy Turnquest, the Leader designate and the Prime Minister have been amply covered by the FNM dominated ZNS news.  The FNM gets on average ten minutes to three minutes for the PLP.  This should be legally challenged.
    Another informant told us that they saw Dion Foulkes driving up Bay Street on his lonesome in the official car on the Thursday night 18 April rally PLP rally night.  He had his hand under his chin.  It was late at night just after the PLP’s rally of Thursday 18 April broke up.  He looked terribly lonely and depressed.  The rally of the FNM on the same night (so called) in Mason’s Addition, the heart of Perry Christie territory drew less than 100 people.  The FNM rally (so called) in the Kennedy Constituency on the same night drew less than a thousand.  As a matter of fact as another informant was driving to the FNM’s rally in Kennedy for Ashley Cargill the FNM candidate, he saw scores of people waiting for buses to go to the PLP's rally.  Clearly the FNM could not even draw people from the neighbourhood to the Kennedy rally.  This is all impressionistic evidence but such is the atmosphere in The Bahamas from Abaco in the north to Inagua in the south.
    Poor Hubert has been (as the Leader of the PLP said) picked up, dusted off and raised from the dead in order to save the FNM.  He flew into Acklins with his bagmen in tow ten minutes after Perry Christie took off.  Some say that the FNM has in reserve 30,000 dollars to give one thousand dollars to each of the 30 voters in Salina Point, Acklins on the night before election.  But Salina Point has something in store for them.  The Nassau Guardian’s photos by Donald Knowles gave some idea of the level of enthusiasm in The Bahamas and the size of the crowd.  Clifford Park has turned out to be the only site that can accommodate the kind of crowds that the PLP has been drawing to these rallies.

    It appears to us that something happened to Perry Christie following his visit to Acklins.  It appears now that he has a true and grander appreciation and sense of the country and of where we ought to go.  At a public meeting to officially launch the campaign of Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt the Deputy Leader of the PLP, he told his audience how he had just come back from Acklins and Crooked Island and the conditions that he found there.  He talked about the isolation from the rest of The Bahamas; that he could not use his cell phone and could not in fact make a telephone call out from Acklins at all.  Such is the state of the modern Bahamas under the FNM.
    Mr. Christie said that ten minutes after he left Acklins, the Prime Minister landed.  And during the Prime Minister's address, he promised to solve the mail boat problem for Acklins and Crooked Island before he left in accordance with Manifesto II.  Now what are we to believe; we thought he said he had only one more promise to fulfil from Manifesto II?  Is that it?  Then the Prime Minister also said that he would solve the cell phone problem in Acklins and Crooked Island after the election. Well we know he won’t have anything to do with it because he and his Government will be gone.  Mr. Christie took a tour of Long Cay that has less that two dozen residents.  Long Cay at the turn of the last century had over 1000 inhabitants that were taken on as stevedores for ships loading and off loading on the way to Panama to Europe and back again.  He lamented the lack of development and pledged that he would do his best to help resolve development issues.  Not a moment too soon.
    The story is told to us of an old lady from Colonel Hill, Crooked Island who against her family’s wishes was dispatched to Nassau for medical treatment.  The lady is 94.  Despite knowing that she was on the way, no ambulance was at the Nassau International Airport to meet her, no bed was ready for her entry into the hospital.  She sat in accident and emergency without treatment by a doctor for 12 hours before she was finally admitted at 3 a.m.  That is what people in our islands have to put up with.  The FNM said that they would solve those problems.  They have done nothing.  Except last week they were in the newspapers, the Prime Minister with his minions in tow opening a new Orthopaedic Ward in honour of Dr. Granville Bain. That's fine except neither that ward, nor the renovated Accident and Emergency Ward provide the kind of health care that is desirable in a properly run hospital.  That is the FNM’s legacy. Continued and utter incompetence.  One hopes that this new sense of the country pervades the administration of a new PLP Government, that our younger members come to understand the nature of the country that they are in and act in those roles accordingly.

    A gentleman of well known political repute in the PLP put the whole thing in perspective for us about the future leadership of The Bahamas.  It comes down to this.  Hubert Ingraham has two weeks left to be Prime Minister.  And bad as he was, he now proposes to hand this country with all the attendant problems over to the likes of Tommy Turnquest, Dion Foulkes and Zhivargo Laing. That, the man described as a national nightmare.  We agree!

    In the last few weeks of this campaign, there is desperation in the FNM's camp.  Nothing shows this more than my opponent Juanianne Dorsett having her husband bring his tractor in at the last moment onto the park in Eastwood, trying to make a walking track around the park.  She has had five years to do so.  Mrs. Dorsett also had her husband Porky spray the basketball court with black paint to make it look like it was paved.  Of course, the youngsters on the park see through this.  No one is fooled for a minute.
    Kendal Demeritte and I saw a tractor and steamroller and a dark figure on his lonesome trying to fix this.  We stopped to see who it was and have a chat with the group on the park.  Next thing we know Porky Dorsett, turns out to be the man on the tractor and he comes over like he wants to fight demanding to know whether it was true that I was taking credit for his tractor work.  Of course we are.  Without PLP pressure the worthless representative wouldn't be doing these half-hearted measures.  Then he brought my mother into and that's when I started to curse.  And I told him carry his Black you know what over to his tractor and drive.
    I told him the fellas need another coat of paint on the court because he painted the lines crooked, and that he ought to get some light and garbage tins for the park.  Stupid and uncivil man. As soon as he started losing the argument he started with the scurrilous remarks.  But when he was reminded about certain family matters he kept quiet and went back to his tractor.  Somehow, these people think that I was born yesterday.  I told him go get back on his tractor and finish what he was doing.
    I believe he might have thought that he could swing a blow.  Of course, that would have been the last blow he ever tried to throw at me.  I have one simple philosophy, if you throw your blow you had better not stop because I will not stop.  One thinks that people who enter public life ought to be prepared for it.  This is  a civil exercise, not an exercise in crude behaviour.  Perhaps Mr. Dorsett might take a page from his wife and I know from the many things that she told me, and simply behave himself.

    An informant inside the FNM has told the editors of this site that the atmosphere is so desperate within the FNM's camp that they are about launch an unprecedented blitz of negative campaigning.  Amongst those targeted is Fox Hill.  They have been funnelling money to newspapers to buy their co-operation.  Our informant tells us that they are attempting to manufacture information designed to stop several PLP candidates including Fred Mitchell in Fox Hill and Alfred Sears in Fort Charlotte.  The claim is that this is the only way to win in the last week.  In 1997,  the FNM planted an untrue story in The Punch on the day before the election in an effort to affect the outcome in Fox Hill.  PLPs should be ready for this kind of stuff again.

    The letter came from the Ministry of Public Works.  The letter said that the Cabinet had decided that before 19 April, they wanted it to be known from MPs what they wished to do with the $50,000 the Cabinet had allocated for each Member of Parliament to spend for works in their constituencies.  This amounts to some 1.75 million dollars for FNM.  MPs. Perry Christie has said that no PLP will take the money.
    The PLP’s view is that this is a misallocation of Government resources.  Any MP who takes the money will leave themselves liable to civil and possibly criminal penalties if they use money that is misallocated and not authorized by Parliament. Perry Christie, the Leader of the PLP, called it vote buying at his rally on Thursday 18 May. You may click here for the full address.  The question comes down to this.  After the dissolution of Parliament there are no Members of Parliament.  In fact, some of the constituencies do not exist.  There is a Government but all Members of Parliament cease to perform their functions.  In fact, their pay as MPs is stopped by the Public Treasury as of the dissolution.  The pay does not resume until Members are elected again on 2 May.  So on what basis are non existent Members of Parliament in a legal position to exercise such authority?  Persons like Philip Galanis of the PLP, are not evening running for the House, yet he got such a letter.  What the FNM proposes is out and out bribery and the use of the money from the Public Treasury in order to bribe voters.

    We have all breathed a collective sigh of relief for our colleague Philip Galanis, the retiring PLP MP for Englerston.  The Tribune’s Business Section on Friday 19 April quoted the Associated Press as saying that the law suit filed in Arizona involving Mr. Galanis’ former accounting firm Ernst and Young has been dismissed.  The suit was settled without admission of wrong doing by a 3 million dollar payment by the firm.  Mr. Galanis was Managing Director at the time some investments went bad and the suit alleged amongst other things that there had been a fraudulent promotion by Ernst & Young and its partners Mr. Galanis and Paul Clarke of an investment scheme called Passport International.
    Mr. Galanis confirmed to the Tribune that the lawsuit had been settled.  He said that he was happy the matter was behind him and that he wanted to move on with his life.  Mr. Galanis stepped down as the candidate for the Englerston Constituency to fight the allegations.  This writer has always expressed his reservations about responding by stepping down to civil suits, since paper can always stand still for anyone to write on; even write nonsense.  Nevertheless, it is good that this matter is now put to rest.

    The Organization of American States (OAS) is supporting the democratically elected Government of Caesar Chavez, the President of Venezuela.  Mr. Chavez has not been popular with the United States, despite the U.S.’ promoted support for democracy.  He has made pacts with the Cuban Government on oil and has been using radical and highhanded means to restructure Venezuelan society.  He is not a very skilful man and is clearly not a democrat himself.  But sometimes the devil has to be protected to uphold the principle.
    Mr. Chavez should be impeached by constitutional means for engaging the army in putting down a legitimate civil protest against his Government, exacerbated by an oil strike, which shut down the oil industry in Venezuela, its main source of income.  The result was shots were fired at protesters and one hundred people were killed.  The army then refused to follow any further orders to quell the civil protest.  But some went too far and decided to overthrow the Government.  They had Mr. Chavez under arrest for three days at the start of last week and it was unclear what would happen.
    The United States, which says it supports democracy, was equivocal in its response claiming in a statement that Mr. Chavez brought the matter on himself.  They quickly had to back pedal when the OAS finally got some testicular fortitude later in the week and said that the coup should not stand.  The revolt collapsed and Mr. Chavez is back in power, a little more contrite.  We were really exercised over this American position.  It seemed so contradictory to every thing they say they support.  It smacked of that awful time when the US Nixon administration helped to overthrow the legitimately elected Government of Chile and replace it with a bloody dictator who has not yet accounted for the deaths of thousands of his people.
    One wonders then about the ethics of a major power or more properly some of the people that plan the policies to engage in this kind of double speak.  It also applies to the kind of vice grip that they have allowed Ariel Sharon of Israel to impose on the Palestinian people.  The Palestinians are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, left the Middle East last week without anything to show in his hand for his so called efforts. It just seems that the starting point on all of these issues must be a recognition at the intellectual level of the principle of self-determination and non-interference in the affairs of other countries.  The Egyptian President said that he was indisposed when Mr. Powell tried to call on him on his way back to Washington.  It was a fitting response to the mixed messages coming from the major power about peace in Israel.  The dispossessed may not have power but they do have the right to withdraw their contact.

    On Tuesday 16 April the Government threw in the towel in its defence of the Status Of Children Bill.  You will remember that this Bill became an issue during the referendum campaign when the Government of The Bahamas argued through the Prime Minister that all distinctions between children born within wedlock and those born out of wedlock would disappear.  The Bill passed by the Parliament had a clause, which exempted the citizenship provisions as they apply to children.  The FNM gazetted a bill, then presented a bill to the Governor General for signature that was not passed in the Parliament.  The Bill they took to the GG’s desk did not contain the provision.  This appeared to be a fraud on the country.  The fact of the false bill being sent for signature is one thing.  But the more serious thing at the time of the referendum was that the Government’s whole argument over whether or not a single woman would lose the right to pass on her citizenship to her child born outside The Bahamas turned on whether the version of the bill that was signed was the proper version.
    The fact that the proper version exempts changes in the citizenship laws vindicates the PLP’s position that the FNM in its referendum proposal was taking away the right that single females had to pass on their citizenship of The Bahamas to their children.  The Government did not fight the case.  They agreed by consent that they had made an administrative error.  Yeah right!  But get this; they had the Governor General sign the right version of the Bill on 6 April with the date 31st January, not 6 April.  In Court, the Government’s lawyers exhibited a letter from the Secretary of the Cabinet, which showed that the Secretary of the Cabinet advised her to back date the signing of the Bill.  Things that make you go: hmmm!  The Governor General, no doubt to cover herself and being the good old former Deputy Permanent Secretary that she was, wrote when signing the bill  “as advised”.  Need we say more?


The National Congress of Trade Union’s executive headed by Pat Bain met with the Leadership of the Progressive Liberal Party on Thursday 18 April.  The reason for the meeting was to discuss matters of mutual interest and the labour agenda.  Perry Christie, Leader of the PLP, pledged the party’s support for the labour agenda and said that if the Party won the Government it would review all of the recently passed legislation.  The PLP is committed to housing for workers and to health and safety matters in the work place, a productive and cordial labour relationship with all the partners in the workplace.  Among those in this picture by Peter Ramsay from left are Secretary General Robert Farquarhson, Frank Carter, Airport Workers Union; PLP Deputy Leader 'Mother' Pratt; PLP Leader Christie, NCTU President Pat Bain and Senator Fred Mitchell.

Back To The Top

    The FNM’s forte is this: create a crisis of its own making where there is not one.  Then after you create a crisis, you solve the crisis; then congratulate yourself on a good job done at solving the problem of your own making.  That is how one has to look at The Tribune’s lame attempts over the past week to engage the PLP in its smear campaign about drugs.  The latest salvo is some anonymous businessman who claimed, according to The Tribune, that drug dealers are saying in the islands that if the PLP wins they will not be extradited to the U.S.  This is part and parcel of the FNM’s desperate campaign to smear the PLP.  They were even at Nicki Kelly, Tribune columnist this week, saying that because she criticizes the Prime Minister she has no objectivity.  The fact that she is a columnist and it is her opinion and she has a right to an opinion seems to escape these critics in the free society that they like to tout.  The PLP’s leader has made an unequivocal statement on drugs and drug matters.  We are anti drugs and we will uphold the law of the land with regard to drugs and all international obligations with regard to drug issues.

    BaTelCo put in a new computer a couple of months ago.  They were warned by some of the staff that before discarding the old computer system they should keep it on so that it operates parallel to the new one.  No!  They got rid of the old computer and now the new one has so many bugs it can’t produce the bills on time.  So people are complaining that they have not received a bill from BaTelCo since February.  BaTelCo admits there is a problem but won't say when it will be fixed.

    The Post Office published a photo of Avard Moncur the winning Olympic Athlete on one of its stamps honouring Mr. Moncur.  It turned out that The Tribune owns the rights to the photo.  They made a fuss and stood up for the principle and got the Post Office to agree to pay royalties by way of a block of new stamps being donated to YEAST, the NGO dedicated to the training of young men.

    Just in case you are wondering what the follow up act would be to the Bahaman anthem ‘WHO LET THE DOGS OUT’, the answer is in.  The Tribune in its magazine section DA VIBE Friday 19 April reports that Bahaman has a hit record on the World Music Charts of Billboard, the American music industry magazine.  The song “Move It Like This” is now number one on that chart.  The group’s leader Isaiah Taylor told The Tribune from New York that he felt good about the number one record.  He said that the single is number six in the area of sales and the album from which the song comes is now at No. 54 on the chart.  Mr. Taylor said that the group has just finished a version of the single for the half-time anthem for the NBA playoff games.  They are doing a shoot for the U.S. TV programme Soul Train and they leave on tour on 4 May, following a brief visit to Nassau.  What an exciting life.  Wonder who they’re voting for on 2 May?

    The Bahamas National Trust, dominated by FNM operatives, has just held its annual general meeting on Thursday 18 April.  We did not hear from supporters of reform of the Trust this year, so all must have gone quietly at the meeting.  The Prime Minister announced by video tape, 13 days before the General Election that the Government has created 10 new national parks in addition to the expansion of the “no build” area around the north coast of New Providence.  Get this: included amongst the sites that the Government says it will develop for public access is Clifton Bay.  This is the site the FNM wanted to sell to make a golf course and gated community until the howls of public protest stopped them dead in their tracks.  The new national parks: Harold Pond, New Providence, Wilson Pond, New Providence, the Island of Little Inagua, Walkers Cay Marine Park, Pasture Cay, Exuma, O’Brien Cays, Exuma, areas of Central Andros, Bonefish Pond, New Providence, The Primeval Forest, New Providence.  We suppose better late than never, but one always has to wonder what is the hidden agenda behind this late move.

    The Tribune reported on Friday 18 April that there is a group called Save Our Sea Turtles.  They are seeking to ban the commercial hunting of sea turtles.  The turtles are an endangered species.  We agree that there ought to be a ban.  There is no need to hunt for turtle meat as a necessity, and these ancient creatures should be preserved for future generations.  The sale of turtle meat is not a significant contributor to the economy of the country.

    The Inter American Development Bank is financing a plan with the Ministry of Public Works to look at alternative methods of Transportation for New Providence.  A Ministry of Works Project engineer Herrol J. Saddler say that unless we take steps now to look at a proper transportation strategy, the road works now being done to alleviate traffic in New Providence will be for nothing by the year 2015.  This was released by The Bahamas Information Services and published in The Tribune on Friday 19 April.

This week we dedicate News From Grand Bahama to the people of High Rock Grand Bahama who turned out in unprecedented numbers to hear the messages of hope and help….

MASS PLP Rally In High Rock – The settlement of High Rock in east Grand Bahama Friday evening was the setting for the largest rally ever seen in that area.  People turned out in massive numbers to support Dr. Marcus Bethel, the PLP’s candidate for the area and to hear Party Leader Perry Christie scold the Government for attempting buy votes.  The following day, Saturday 20 April, FNM operatives were all over town trying to gather intelligence on the rally, hoping to learn something about the PLPs election machine.

Tommy T Just Don't Have It - Finally, some numbers for the FNM in so-called 'FNM Country'.  The "dusted off, raised from the dead" Grand Bahama born Hubert Ingraham was the main drawing card to the FNM's Friday evening rally in Eight Mile Rock.  Old time Freeport FNMs yearning for one last hurrah after their party's recent lacklustre rally performances in Grand Bahama turned out in some numbers.  Said one, "This crowd shows that Tommy T just don't have it".  In a display of his new-found role in the FNM, Ingraham told the crowd that he was tired and would be leaving for his hotel after he spoke.  He left and took most of the audience with him.

Split Ranks? – Tensions within the FNM were plain to see amongst the leadership elements at the FNM’s Eight Mile Rock rally.  The Tommy camp, the Allen camp and the Ingraham camp didn’t speak to each other. Amazingly, once they ascended the stage it was peaches and cream, hugs and kisses.  We wonder if this coalition can stay together until Election Day.

What Happened To Accountability? - Prime Minister Ingraham told FNMs at Friday night's rally that he wanted no nonsense from them in the General Election and that if they didn't like their MP and thought that the MP had done a bad job of representation to  "put their hand over the name and vote for the torch".  Well!  This could not possibly be the same Hubert Ingraham whose FNM came to power on promises of accountability.  He is now the PLP's best campaigner.  In another shocker, Mr. Ingraham told the crowd that there is no such thing as an independent.  This from a man who ran and won an independent campaign for Parliament.

More Trust Business Warnings - This past week a banker spoke with News From Grand Bahama concerned that the Trust and Banking businesses in The Bahamas are on the verge of collapse.  Said he, "Tommy T was a banker before he became a minister of Government and if he could allow the collapse of the trust and banking business in The Bahamas, it means he can't stand up for his own industry.  So how can he stand up for others?"   The people of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas should consider this.

Promises, Promises - Informants tell News From Grand Bahama that FNM Pineridge MP C.A. Smith Friday was circling the streets surrounding his campaign headquarters trying to see who was waiting there before he pulled in.  The problem is that Minister Smith has been all over his constituency making promises of assistance.  Friday was grocery day, wash house day and rent day, but the bag didn't come.

Senator Dashwell? - FNM operative Dashwell Flowers hosted a $500 a plate fundraiser Friday at a local hotel and was said to have raised $50,000 for the FNM.  Inside word is that this puts Dashy at the head of a short list for Senate appointments, win or lose.  Things that make you go hmmm!

Don't Do it, Kelly! - Overheard at the FNM rally... Faithful FNM Kelly Burrows to hopeless candidate for Bamboo Town Ambassador Calvin Johnson.  We paraphrase... You gatta win that seat because I want your job!  If in fact Mr. Burrows is jockeying for a diplomatic appointment should the FNM win, our advice is don’t leave you good job, because they won't.


ELECTION UPDATE:  The PLP has won a landslide victory in the General Election of 2002 unprecedented in the party's history.  While the official recount is underway at this hour 9am EDT 3rd May, 2002, the final results appear to be PLP 28 seats, FNM 8 seats Independent 4 seats.  The Progressive Liberal Party has won all seats it contested in New Providence with the exception of Montagu.  In New Providence, independent candidates Tennyson Wells and Pierre Dupuch won their seats unopposed by the PLP.  In the Family Islands, independent candidate Larry Cartwright won in Long Island, also unopposed by the PLP.  In South Andros, the independent candidate Whitney Bastian was also victorious.  Senator Fred Mitchell won Fox Hill in a crushing defeat of more than a thousand votes over the FNM incumbent Juanianne Dorsett.

PLP Leader and Prime Minister Elect Perry Christie said that the PLP was humbled by the trust of the Bahamian people and that the FNM obviously underestimated the ability of Progressive Liberal Party to capture the imagination of the electorate and win.

The eight FNM candidates who won are Johnly Ferguson in MICAL, Alvin Smith in North Eleuthera, Neko Grant, Kenneth Russell and Lindy Russell in Grand Bahama; Brent Symonette in Montagu, Robert Sweeting and former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in  Abaco.

The FNM's leader elect Tommy Turnquest was defeated in Mount Moriah by the PLP's candidate Keod Smith and the FNM's Deputy Leader Elect Dion Foulkes was defeated in Blue Hills by the PLP's candidate Leslie Miller.

This site will be further updated with full election results and comment at the regular time of 2pm EDT on Sunday 5th May, 2002.

28th April, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
BISX Closings From Colina... The PLP's Plan...
Bahamas Government Website www.bahamas.gov.bs Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte
John Carey / PLP Carmichael... Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
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The first of the election ballots have already been cast in what is called in The Bahamas “the advance poll”.  No one knows the result.  The advance poll, held one week before the full poll, is when the police and the defence force officers together with workers for the Parliamentary Commissioner go to vote.  That is because they are working on Election Day in places that may not be near their home districts.

The excitement on the day of the advance poll Thursday 25 April was palpable.  There were moderate lines and steady voting.  If the Fox Hill vote was typical, some 108 voters cast their ballots out of the total of 132 on the list; then there was a high turn out all around.  Outside, PLP supporters in brand new yellow golf shirts and FNM supporters in white shorts faced off, well they were side by side, shouting out encouragement as the voters went in.  The Bahama Journal showed a photo.  The PLP side predicted that they defeated the FNM 2 to 1 on that day.  The reason they say is that the uniformed officers are thoroughly cheesed off at the Government for putting their back pay and raise partly in order the night before the election.

Perry Christie, the Leader of the PLP, told his supporters at a rally at Golden Gates on Wednesday 24 April that it was a disgrace that officers of the defence force and the police were held hostage to the Government for pay which was long due to them and only released to them the day before they were due to vote.  It appears to have backfired badly.  The civil service has been in an uproar since the pay cut.  On the day that the advance poll took place; the ports in New Providence were all closed, as there was a massive sick out by the Customs Department over pay and working conditions.  The day before, the postal workers were on the streets protesting their pay and working conditions.

It is against that background that the FNM predicts that it will sweep the PLP in the General Election.  The Leader of the PLP Perry Christie was more sanguine in his predictions with the Nassau Guardian on Friday 26th April.  He simply said that he expects the PLP to win 21 seats.

The odds against the PLP are overwhelming.  All of the media has stacked up against the PLP.  There is an unprecedented blitz of media and money being thrown at the PLP.  And yet the crowds keep coming to PLP rallies.  The predictions are there that the momentum is in favour of the PLP.  Some are saying that there is no doubt in their minds that the PLP will win and that the FNM will be defeated decisively.  To tell you the truth, that is how it certainly feels.  But a word of caution, the ballots must be marked for the PLP, the votes counted.  You can’t win by boasting.  We must continue to work.

This week we had 28,753 hits on this site for the week ending Saturday 27 April at midnight.  That makes a total of 120,624 hits on this site for the month of April.  Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

Nomination day photo by Eyes of Love

by Kendal Demeritte
Due to a demanding political schedule the Corner cannot produce a full short Corner this week, as you know there are only 4 days left before the great change takes place this week.  I am in the battlefield preparing for the arrival of the occupying forces, led by the leader himself Perry Christie.  Thus my daughter Kemia, a twelfth grade student at St. Anne’s High School will hold the Fort for this Corner. Bye now, from the Field.

Oh how I wish I could Vote!
If this were at all possible the PLP could have been assured of another vote in the May 2nd General election.  In all honesty I was inspired to write this column based on a debate I had with a few contemporaries who were completely ignorant of the Great things done by the PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party during their reign as the Government.  Thankfully (especially after the death of the nation’s hero The Late Sir Lynden Pindling) I had the opportunity to learn more about this party and their accomplishments.  Inspired by my father and his passion for politics.  I was fortunate not to have been Brain Washed by the FNM.  Unfortunately my peers were not spared, however they are only partially to blame.  Since like myself we were all small children when the FNM took office in the summer of 1992.  Consequently they see the Free National Movement as the Sole Architect of the economic stability and the initiators of our modern social developments.  My History says otherwise, as I recall the PLP made the greatest improvement ever in the history of the Bahamas’ Number 1 Industry Tourism.  In addition they also brought about the once great Financial Services and other industries with emphasis on Bahamianization.

In all due respect, the FNM government, for the greater part of their term, has done some good for the past ten years.  In regards to their efforts it cannot be compared to the PLP according to my History.  Ironically in 1992 to the annoyance of my father, my eldest sister Rukenya, my only brother Kemuel, myself, and youngest sister Kendrea, wouldn’t have known the difference because we were singing a time for a change.  Now 10 years later we all joined this choir in their melodious selection… It Is Time For a Change….

Kemmie and Rukenya are voting for the first time…They ready now!  I COM’IN NEXT TIME... ALL THE WAY


By: Kemia Demeritte

12th Review of the Judiciary
11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral

e-mail timbuktu@batelnet.bs

Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton
http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/2477/index.html Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
http://members.tripod.com/~xtremesp/wolf.html Bahamian Cycling News
http://www.bahamiansonline.com/ Links to Bahamians on the web
http://www.bahamanet.com/JujuTree.cfm Politics Forum
http://www.briland.com/ Harbour Island Site


    We are setting up a system for updating this site on Wednesday 1 May at 3p.m. for any breaking news and to respond to the negative campaign that we expect from the FNM and the anti PLP media in the last three days.  We plan to give you the election results as soon as they become final on Thursday 2nd May or at 9 pm. and midnight (EDT) on 2nd May if they are not final by those times.  Please check this site then on Wednesday 1 May at 3p.m. and Thursday 2nd May at 9 pm. and at midnight.

    Sir Lynden O. Pindling threw the Speaker's mace out of the window of the House of Assembly in a public demonstration against the then government's proposed boundary changes on Tuesday 27 April 1965.  The anniversary of that date passed quietly this week.  But that was one of the most dynamic moments in our history.


    The Progressive Liberal Party released its party platform for the 2002 General Election on Monday 22nd April at a launch reception at the Crystal Palace.  The platform contains some 56 pages of promises and plans for the future under the PLP.  The Leader of the PLP Perry Christie summarized the document in his press statement and you can click here for that summary.  The Free National Movement released its manifesto 2002 on Sunday 21 April.  The Coalition for Democratic Reform followed the major parties on Wednesday April 24th.  No one is quite sure whether this has any impact, if any one reads the darn things.  But like T-shirts, golf shirts and mudslinging, it appears to be an accepted part of the process. Guardian photo.


    The huge rally at Clifford Park had a great, shining moment.  Edison Key and a contingent of 35 people, all white Bahamians flew into Nassau for the rally.  He addressed the crowd.  He then called FNM Senator Michael Bethel from Abaco to the podium.  I went up to embrace him.  I did.  This was a fantastic, historic moment and the crowd roared its approval as Senator Bethel said: PLP?  The crowd roared back: ALL THE WAY!  The PLP is the party for all Bahamians.  Senator Bethel and Mr. Key show that point clearly and they are predicting victory for the PLP in South Abaco.  They are even saying that Hubert himself may be gone.
    We welcome Senator Bethel's support and I take some comfort in knowing that it was a resolution moved by me in the Senate on the issue of Constituency Boundaries that gave the first indication to the country that there was a shift on.  Senator Bethel voted against his (then) party and with the PLP on that issue.  Welcome again Senator Bethel.  You may click for a previous story on the vote by Senator Bethel in the Senate (October 2001) and the story announcing his pullout as the FNM candidate in South Abaco (December 2001). Top photo shows FNM Senator Michael Bethel with PLP Leader Perry Christie and Senator Fred Mitchell.  Photo by Kenyatto Johnson.  PLP photo of previous week's 180402 rally at Clifford Park.  260402 rally was even bigger.

    The answer to the headline is obviously no.  The ballot in the Bahamas is not secret.  And civil rights campaigner Gladstone ‘Stone’ McEwan has been single minded in this matter.  He says that he objects to the voter’s number being written on the back of the ballot paper because it means that the voter can later be identified.  He is correct.
    The fact is that the ballots come in lots of 25.  Each ballot matches up with a number on a stub, like in a chequebook.  Then when you get a ballot, your voter’s card number is written by the presiding officer on the stubs and on the back of the ballot.  This said Mr. McEwan is clearly an infringement of Article 23 of the constitution, which is the protection of the right to freedom of expression and opinion.  He asked the court through Dr. Peter Maynard for an interlocutory injunction to prevent the advance poll from going ahead on that basis.
    On Tuesday 23 April to everyone's surprise the Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall whose decisions normally support the status quo ordered the interlocutory injunction.  Mr. McEwan’s joy was short lived.  The government roused the Court of Appeal from their evening meals and at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday 24 April, the Court overturned the injunction so that the advance poll could go ahead with the voter's numbers being written on the back of the ballot.  Most people of course don’t care because they have decided to vote the FNM out anyway.  But Mr. McEwan should be congratulated for his tenacity and the PLP should eliminate that provision in the law to allow for a truly secret ballot.
    The Government’s defence is that the number is needed to identify which vote to throw out if there is an election court that nullifies that particular voter.  Bull you know what.  If a vote was cast by a disqualified voter and that would have affected the outcome of the election, hold the election in that constituency over, that’s it.  The Court heard the substantive arguments on the matter on Friday 26. Mr. McEwan made the point that it amazed him that our court system is generally so slow but the Court of Appeal could be roused out of their beds to deal with a matter just to stop a private citizen fighting for a constitutional right.  Hear! Hear!

    Last week we reported the aggressive tactics of Porky Dorsett, the spouse of Juanianne Dorsett, the FNM's candidate in Fox Hill toward this candidate for Fox Hill.  Now this week, desperation has taken another twist and turn.  Mr. Dorsett was on the basketball court in Fox Hill on Saturday 27 April giving away free basketballs.  He also told the fellows that he would be back the next morning to change the rims on the court and paint the court.  But the fellows on the court asked him where his wife the candidate was, to which he replied: "I told my wife not to walk around Fox Hill".  Curious we thought, until we heard one constituent say that she, when she walked to greet an FNM campaigner in Fox Hill was told: "Its a good thing that you keep your gate locked because Fred is telling all the boys in Fox Hill to break into people's homes."  Now you could hear some...?!

    The stories get more lurid and ludicrous as time goes on.  The intervention in the prurient details of the private lives of both public and private persons goes on unabated and the owner of the paper is unapologetic.  Long ago we made a decision not to buy it or take notice of its content, so the purposes of this comment is for those readers who have asked.
    What amazes is why grown people who profess not to agree with the way the paper destroys the characters of individuals continue to lend aid and comfort to this kind of destruction by reading the stupid rag.  It is one of these conundrums that people have this curiosity for gossip and personality destruction that can’t override their logical sense that supporting someone who simply enjoys taking the wings off butterflies without any moral scruples is wrong.   But the interesting thing about this is the fact that it gets more nasty every day.  It will probably even get nastier but this time; we think that the nastiness shows the extent to which the paper is simply out of ideas.  So now there is not even an attempt to link any thing to the truth.  They simply make up any lie that comes into their heads.

    The interesting thing about Election 2002 is the economic benefit to many as a result of the rise in rallies and public activity.  You don’t quite know how the vendors know but like hawks they seem to key in on any site for rallies.  Indeed they begin arriving long before the official set up at the site begins.  With the thousands of hungry and thirsty people on the site, they do quite well.  Both the PLP and the FNM rallies are covered with vendors around the perimeter.  If the figures are to be believed about the tens of thousands of people who are present at these rallies, the vendors must be laughing all the way to the bank.  One vendor in the Fox Hill area says that he and his wife make about double their money on a night at one of the PLP rallies.  He just wishes they had more to invest, they would really do well.
    The other persons who appear to be making out well are the musicians.  They are on every stage.  I told the President of the Bahamas Musicians and Entertainers Union: Percy Sweeting (just jokingly of course) that perhaps we ought to pray for a general election every year.  The musicians are part of the political show, which is what most of the mass rallies turn out to be.  You have Bishop Lawrence Rolle the Singing Prophet, Geno Davis, Sweet Emily, K.B. (Kirk Bodie) and Visage.  Fantastic shows.  We ought to find ways to incorporate musicians in all of our presentations and the PLP appears to have concluded that is the sensible way to go forward in its platform.

    The Acting Airport Manager Idris Reid gave a press conference during the past week in which he announced the beginning of the upgrade of facilities at the Airport, to improve the departure terminal at U.S. Customs and Immigration and the departure terminals and the Bahamian Customs facilities.  This was announced as part of a joint venture with the private sector.  Stephen Sawyer, GM of Radisson Cable Beach and one of the members of the private sector on the committee to upgrade the airport compared the efforts in Nassau to what happens and has happened in Bermuda and saw no reason why the same could not happen here.  Wishful thinking without a complete change in attitude of our people toward their surroundings.
    There appears to be something culturally ingrained that makes us insensitive to the filth around us.  What boggles the mind is how we can continue for example to come to work in an atmosphere where the place is not kept clean and properly maintained and no one from the Prime Minister on down feels compelled to say enough is enough and maintain our public areas in clean and good repair.  We do it for six weeks at best then it starts to deteriorate again.  It baffles the mind.  Nevertheless, we wish Mr. Reid and his team luck in their upgrade.


    Some people say that God will surely have been on the side of the PLP if we pull off the victory in this general election.  You have never seen such an unprecedented bias by all the media.  Every single newspaper predicts doom for the PLP.  The radio says where you put me.  The worst offender is 100 JAMZ with its mixture of borderline obscenities and bawdy humour from at least one person who has no apparent respect for man or beast.  That’s all fine one supposes.  The people who talk most about getting rid of the PLP because they say PLP was unfair, have themselves been exercising the most unfair attitude toward their opponents.  There is no sense of balance at all.  Stan Burnside of The Tribune put it best in his cartoon of Wednesday 24 April.  The news is all about what the FNM has done in every newspaper and on radio.  There is no analysis of the false claims that they make.  But what elections in the past have shown is that newspapers do not accurately or necessarily reflect, nor do the radio and TV news reports, the truth of what is happening in the country.  And so the surprise will be on all of them when the PLP wins the next general election.

Back To The Top

    Well you guessed it: the Roman Catholic Archbishop Lawrence Burke speaking to the media in The Bahamas on Monday 22 April told the press that the church had complaints of persons on the staff abusing children sexually.  The Archbishop would not at first say whether that included any clergy or staff presently serving the church.  Then the next day, he clarified the issue saying that there were no allegations against current staff and clergy.  The Catholic Church in the United States is in an uproar over the way the church handled cases of Catholic priests sexually abusing children.  Pope John Paul II summoned all the U.S. Cardinals to Rome to deal with the matter.
    There are all sorts of suggestions that don’t add up to a solution but seem to be an attempt to water down church doctrine while the Pope is at a weak point: end priestly celibacy and allow women into the priesthood.  Nu unh said the Pope.  Neither of those things addresses the issues.  It is clear that married men can sexually abuse children and so can women.  But in the U.S. everything is overkill and one does not wish to trivialize matters such as these but there really needs to be rational discourse on this whole matter.  Hopefully, now that the criminal law is involved as the way forward, some of the criticism will stop and allow the core problem of a minority of persons in the Catholic priesthood to be dealt with by sensible policies. Tribune photo of Bishop Burke.

    Here we go again.  The U.S. is busy extending its territorial legal jurisdiction when an Appeals Court in the United States ordered the reinstatement of a lawsuit by a tourist who suffered an injury at the hotel property at Atlantis Paradise Island.  The usual rule is that the court where the tort took place is where the matters should be tried.  The Federal Judge in Miami at first threw the thing out on jurisdictional grounds but now a U.S. Court of Appeal has reinstated the matter.  Seems a little strange but then that's the U.S. for you.

    The Jamaican Observer reported this week that the Labour Government of Tony Blair is planning with the airlines to implement a system where a plane can’t take off destined for London unless all the passengers have been screened and precleared before they land in London.  This is to stop the landing of asylum seekers and other ‘undesirables’ into Britain before they get there.  So now does that mean we will have preclearance now for British Customs and Immigration in The Bahamas?  If it would help to have access to the continent what I would really like is preclearance for one of the Schengen countries like France.  Then we can get into Europe directly from The Bahamas without all the bloody hassle we now have to go through.

    They say confession is good for the soul.  Janet Bostwick was on a public platform says The Tribune of Tuesday 23 April and she confessed that she was amongst those who sought to get the Prime Minister to stay on against his wishes for third term.  Boy I'll bet that was the easiest task she ever had.  Wicked deed indeed!  And in the course of that discourse from the platform she revealed that there were Caribbean countries that wanted to have the retiring Prime Minister of The Bahamas Hubert Ingraham come to their countries to be a consultant to show them how to turn their countries around.
    Good gospel!  Send out a message quickly to those people in the Caribbean.  They must have their heads examined.  But of course, that might be Perry Christie's secret weapon.  We can encourage the people of Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Guyana, Trinidad and St. Vincent and St. Kitts to take him on as a consultant.  Then when their economies are ruined, as they surely will be if he is a consultant and they follow his advice, all the tourists will have only The Bahamas to which to come.   Things that make you go: hmmm!

    On Tuesday 23 April, we received an e-mail from the Cuban Embassy in The Bahamas that had a remarkable statement by Fidel Castro, the President of Cuba.  In it was a blow-by-blow transcript of a private conversation with Vicente Fox, the President of Mexico.  Mr. Castro was invited by the U.N. to a conference the week before in Mexico.  The U.S. President did not want to be seen with Mr. Castro and the Mexican President did not want to disinvite Mr. Castro.  And so Mr. Fox called Mr. Castro and asked him to arrive early at the conference and leave early before the U.S. President came.  Mr. Castro played bo peep.  I laughed the whole way through.
    There was Mr. Fox trying to get Mr. Castro not to attack the U.S. from the podium.  Mr. Castro telling Mr. Fox that he had 43 years of political experience so he wouldn’t do that but in his statement he says that he decided to drop little hints in his speech that he had been asked to leave early.  Mr. Castro got up and left before lunch.  The Mexican Government had been denying that they had pressured Mr. Castro not to come or to leave early. The transcript showed it was a lie.
    What is also a little amusing is the fact that according to Mr. Castro, he was to leave Mexico before President George Bush of the U.S. arrived.  But, claims Mr. Castro he got carried away in lunch and talks with Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela and stayed too long.  Meanwhile Mr. Bush was cooling his heels in Texas waiting to hear that Mr. Castro had already taken off.  But he got tired of waiting so he jumped on his plane and came to Mexico anyway.  Mr. Castro says that Mr. Bush was afraid that he would be late for dinner if he delayed his departure any longer.  Mr. Castro’s motorcade met Mr. Bush's motorcade.  The thing reads like a comedy of errors.  Can you believe that this is serious public policy?  Really the United States must get over this preoccupation with Cuba and Castro.  That is the leader of the Cuban people for good or ill.  Clearly neither the U.S. nor Cuba can do without each other.

    Last week when we wrote about the lack of success of Colin Powell’s mission to the Middle East we didn’t want to go too far.  Quite frankly, we were concerned that Mr. Powell was embarrassed by his President for not sticking to the demand that Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel, withdraw his troops from Palestinian territory.  It appeared that the statement was half hearted and was being done with a wink and nod to make it look like they were helping the Palestinians and Yassir Arafat but really letting Mr. Sharon do what he wished, essentially allowing his army to destroy the Palestinian Government, culture and kill thousands of people with impunity.
    The U.S. press is now onto it with a report in the Washington Post of Friday 26 April in which it says that our analysis is correct.  The post reported that the people at the U.S. State Department are totally demoralized by a policy being driven by hawks like U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney.  Their position is to allow Mr. Sharon to do whatever he wishes on the false premise that he is fighting terrorism.  Notwithstanding the fact that it has been shown time and time again, the shallowness of that analysis and the fact that it backfires on the U.S., the policy continues. These are of course the ruminations of a private citizen but surely the moral principles of right and wrong must be brought to bear on the foreign policies of the United States.  One has only to look at the Reagan position on apartheid and see that it was morally wrong and eventually they were forced to do the right thing.  We hope that Colin Powell is not forced out but that is the way it looks like it is headed, and then of course you know what Black America will say.  See we told you!

    The picture in the paper was Tim Donaldson’s usual smiling visage.  But there is no doubt that he has cause (if you will pardon the pun or is it the irony?) to be laughing all the way to the bank.  Mr. Donaldson is the Chairman of Commonwealth Bank. They lend to the poor over the short term for all kinds of emergencies and non emergencies and their rates are relatively high.  They say this is justified by the greater risks they take with shareholders' money.  They also have an aggressive collections policy if you don’t pay.  They are known to take your dining room table away from you even while you are eating if your refuse or are unable to pay.  But whatever they are doing, the bottom line is nice and healthy and this publicly traded company should please its shareholders.  The Chairman said that they had record earnings of 22 million dollars for the first quarter of the year.  They have nearly 8000 Bahamian shareholders.  They declared a dividend of 14 cents per share for those shares.  This is a return on equity of 39 per cent.  Net income for the first quarter was six million dollars.  Assets now stand at 684 million dollars.

    This Senator spoke at a PLP rally for Ron Pinder the PLP’s candidate for Marathon at a meeting on the Lou Adderley Park, New Providence on Thursday 25 April.  Amongst the topics was the fact that the Royal Bank of Canada is secretly downsizing its staff complement reportedly from 300 persons down by a third to 200.  The manner and method is said to be rough justice for employees of longstanding. You may click here for the full address.  Interesting experience with CIBC.  As you know they are in the process of downsizing themselves in anticipation of regulatory approval for the merger of CIBC with Barclays.  The unions have accused them of union busting.  But we need as a society to look at the rates and fees that banks are charging which seem usury.  Amongst the terms in a CIBC letter to potential clients, if your quarterly financials are late there is penalty of an additional one per cent interest on your loan for the time that it's late, in addition to a 500 dollar per month minimum fee.  Well we suppose it’s their money but how about consciences.  No place for them in business, I guess.

    Let’s all jump for joy.  Sol Kerzner, ensconced in the United Kingdom where he is reportedly being treated for prostate cancer must feel happy after this bit of good news.  The Tribune’s business section reported on Wednesday 24th April that the company saw its best profits ever in the first quarter of the year through what The Tribune says were cost controls.  The company made 51.3 million dollars.  This is good news since 11 September wobbled them.  Of course cost controls is a euphemism for in some cases wrongfully (morally if not legally) terminating the Bahamian staff as soon as the hard times came.


    He was wounded but he won in Wales.  That is the report of The Tribune sports about Bahamian super middleweight Freeman Barr. The fight was at the end of a title bout between Charles Brewer of the U.S. and Joe Calzaghe.  Mr. Barr’s victory over Ojay Abraham was on points 79-71.  He won all but one of the eight rounds.  It was meant to help him get a shot at the champ Mr. Calzaghe.  No word on that.  The fight should have been before the title bout but it came on afterwards and all the media were gone.  Mr. Barr’s coach says it was a deliberate slight because the champion is afraid to face Mr. Barr.

    Condolences to the former Mary McWeeney on the death of her husband, His Excellency Nejmeddin El-Fituri, who died of cancer at his home in the Dominican Republic on Monday past.  He was 64.  Survivors include his wife, Mary (nee McWeeney); their daughter Halima; a daughter from his previous marriage, Moonya of New York City; a brother, Saleh, of Geneva; and a sister in Libya.  Funeral services took place in Tripoli, Libya, this past week.  He was also a long time resident of Paradise Island, but the family’s principal home was in the Dominican Republic.

    If you wish to read the entire 2002 platform of the PLP, please click on the link at the top of this page for Bradley Roberts website, then click on Progressive Liberal Party.  The link to Our Plan For A Stronger Bahamas and A Brighter Future is there.

PLPs Blanket Eight Mile Rock - In a tour de force unequalled in the history of political campaigns in Grand Bahama, Eight Mile Rock supporters of the PLP blanketed the Harbour West shopping centre Thursday night 25 April, where a week before the FNM had also held a rally.  "They only thought their's was big" crowed a PLP supporter, "we covered not just the parking lot, but the road itself stretching back to the church of St. Stephen".  In what some say was an attempt to thin the crowds, the electricity remained off for some time at the rally.  In the absence of music, the crowds chanted instead "We'll stay here until the morning light".  The majority of the impressive crowd was in that 18-25 year old group so coveted by politicians in The Bahamas.  When the music finally started the massive audience erupted.  Eight Mile Rock candidate Caleb Outten, West End candidate Obie Wilchcombe and Party Leader Perry Christie addressed the rally.  Bahama Journal photo of part of the crowd.

Shell Shocked FNMs Gather in Freeport - The following night Friday 26 April, shell-shocked FNMs gathered for a rally in the downtown Winn-Dixie parking lot.  Speaker after speaker apologized for the dampened mood of the rally.  "We're all tired," said one "the troops are exhausted," said another.  The plain fact is that the expressions of dejection and the suspicion of defeat in Grand Bahama were evident on the faces of the speakers and the rallygoers.  The signs are all there that the FNM is facing the largest shift against them in Grand Bahama in twenty five years.  They have lost serious ground in what was once "FNM country".  Hubert Ingraham again told the rally Friday night to put their hands over the names of the candidates and vote for the torch.  One observer told News From Grand Bahama "There is a rage against the Government, something has happened in the ranks of the grass roots in Grand Bahama... they no longer have any patience with the FNM."

Caleb's Own - The PLP candidate for Eight Mile Rock Caleb Outten held his own mini-rally this past week.  Reports say that more than a thousand young people from the area turned out.  In a shocker for the FNM, six former top generals of the FNM incumbent Pastor Lindy Russell addressed the crowd.  One of the former FNMs apologized for the error of his ways, saying about Russell "...the man did nothing for us.  He didn't stand by us and he won't stand up for us."

Marco City's Bridgewater - "Pleasant has been working hard with the people of Marco City for years and she is about to be rewarded for her labour," said an informant for News From Grand Bahama.  The race in Marco City is crowded with two independents and a CDR in addition to the incumbent FNM David Thompson and Pleasant Bridgewater as the challenger for the PLP.  "The independents will cancel out each other and the CDR is still seen as the third party" said our informant, "and David's generals have all deserted him.  All he has now are disgruntled FNM refugees from C.A. in Pineridge who don't know anything about the people in Marco City.  It looks good for Pleasant."

Bethel In Seahorse Village - The residential area of Seahorse Village in the Freeport part of the High Rock constituency was once considered bedrock territory for the FNM.  The entry of the PLP's challenger, the former Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Dr. Marcus Bethel has changed all that.  One seasoned observer of politics in Seahorse Village couldn't believe his eyes.  "There was Dr. Bethel being hugged and encouraged by the most staunch FNMs in the area... I think Russell is in trouble in High Rock."

Labour Unrest - Workers at 'Our' Lucaya walked off the job this past week in disgust over the long stall in negotiations for a new contract between their Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union and the hotel.  "These people are not serious about working together as a team".   The six FNM incumbent MPs turned up immediately at the site belatedly to defend Bahamian workers' rights there.  Line staff was enraged and hurled insults from the picket line: "These fellows only remember us now?"

More Labour Unrest - Customs and Immigration officers, not to be outdone, called in sick with others who stayed on the job operating a 'go slow'.  The officers are owed overtime pay.  Police reserves were also complaining this week that their pay for the last three months has not yet been received.  Sources tell News From Grand Bahama that the Government had the money for these departments but it had to be redeployed to pay off the teachers.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Now word is that the FNM is scrambling to renegotiate the Government's overdraft higher to find the money for these people by Monday.

Major New FNM Split? - A senior Grand Bahama FNM has given word of an impending new split inside that party.  He tells News From Grand Bahama that top party officials are just beginning to believe that "all may not go well" for the FNM in the upcoming election.  Our informant says that FNM operatives loyal to Hubert Ingraham are taking around a petition to ask Ingraham to stay on as leader.  Algernon Allen loyalists are canvassing FNMs for support to make him leader of the FNM in the aftermath of an election defeat.  It seems that none of the various camps feel that Tommy T has what it takes to keep the party together.  There is also plotting from the camp of the deputy leader designate Dion Foulkes.

Of What Profit - is it to Bahamians for The Bahamas to have one billion dollars in foreign investment when the average man is unable to make his car, rent or mortgage payment?  Our principal Grand Bahama correspondent this week promises on Wednesday to make the detailed call on numbers of seats to be won or lost in Grand Bahama and offers this preliminary rationale:  "It is now plain to see that the FNM in the north will suffer massive casualties.  The reasons include the perception of the present FNM administration as serving the 'foreign investor' to the exclusion of Bahamians.  For example, the Grand Bahama Ship Care facility where Bahamians are given last preference in the selection of job tasks; the Freeport Container Port where Government is perceived to have given away the whole store with royalties of only fifty cents a container and where Bahamians are being grossly underpaid and overworked compared to their counterparts in other jurisdictions and where there is blatant disregard for Bahamian labour laws.   On the hotel front, the FNM will suffer casualties because they have allowed new foreign investors to displace top Bahamian managers and replace them in some instances with less qualified expatriates who don’t know the market or the workforce. Line staff has been treated with disrespect and contempt, while the six FNM MPs on Grand Bahama have remained largely silent despite desperate pleas for help.  Finally there is a general feeling by most young Bahamians that if this administration is allowed to continue we could all find ourselves as strangers in our own land."


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