January 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.
13th January
20th January
27th January
6th January, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
John Carey / PLP Carmichael...  
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
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Congratulations to the venerable Valley Boys, winners in Friday night's Junkanoo parade!  Saxons 2nd, Roots 3rd, One Family 4th, Barbabbas & The Tribe 5th, Music Makers 6th. Look for full details and a picture spread in our next update.


Last week, we ascribed the condition of the Prime Minister to a Shakespearean explanation – madness before destruction.Some have explained it as a gin inspired haze.Now comes Bradley Roberts, the Chairman of the PLP, who believes that following two historic postponements of Junkanoo because of inclement weather that Hubert Ingraham is simply cursed.

In the movie, The Crying Game, a story is told of the frog and the scorpion.Even though the frog is helping the scorpion across the river and at the peril of both their lives the scorpion breaks his promise to the frog and stings the frog.As both the frog and the scorpion are sinking to their inevitable deaths, the frog asks the scorpion, how he could do such a thing. The scorpion relied: “It’s in my nature”.

And so we watch with trepidation as our country’s Prime Minister bumbles and stumbles, and attacks and embarrasses himself and the country week after week, and we wonder when it will stop.Instead it just gets worse.And our explanation now is that he is like the scorpion.He just can’t help himself.It is in his nature.

Nowhere was that more evident than in his statement on Charles Carter’s Island FM radio programme Parliament Street on Sunday 30 December.We report some of what he said below.Included in his statements seemed to be an attack on Sir Orville Turnquest, the former Governor General; an admission that both Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes, his putative successors in office were guilty of wrong doing; and that his Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson also was guilty of wrong doing.

The newspapers carried all of the Prime Minister’s statements.And then the Bahamas Information Services the Government’s own public relations arm released a detailed statement of the Prime Minister’s words.It seemed that Mr. Ingraham was setting himself up to get rid of his successors from the Cabinet and then give the pretext for his staying on to head the Government again.

That seemed to be confirmed when the Nassau Guardian, normally quite mealy mouthed when it comes to the Government, called for the resignation of the two Ministers or for their dismissal.We report on that editorial below.

And so the story of the postponement of Junkanoo, the theory of the curse, and then the story of the scorpion.Bring it all together and we paraphrase from the current Woody Allen movie where Mr. Allen and the character played by Helen Hunt are immediately hypnotized to do evil things by a single word, and we have today’s theme: The Curse of the Junkanoo Scorpion.

We had 24,536 hits on this site for the week ending Saturday 5th January 2002.That makes a total of 107,007 hits for the month ending 31st December 2001.That makes a total of 1,086,604 hits on the site for the year 2001 compared to 612,182 hits for the year 2000.Unquestionably this site has enjoyed great success over the past year.Thanks for reading.Please keep reading.

by Nello Lambert, taken at 'Montrose' - Christmas 2000

by Kendal Demeritte
From: Sir Geoff 
To: Hubert Alexander a.k.a. Mr. Dream Merchant 
Hey, hey, Mr. Dream Merchant everything depended on you, and I dare say you came through. Hey, hey, Mr. Dream Merchant you have brought this country back to me and now my dreams are true. Hey, hey Mr. Dream Merchant you have given me Tommy and Dion... they will do, but nothing takes the place of you. Hey, hey Mr. Dream merchant, what can master do for you? Hey Mr. Dream Merchant, heaven knows how much me and the boys will miss you... Sir Geoff. 

From: The Corner 
To: Mr. Dream Merchant 
Shame, shame on you Mr. Dream Merchant, how could you award Geoff along the same lines as Sir Sidney Poitier when this same Geoff and his fellow oppressors the U.B.P. in the 1950's banned the showing of Sir Sidney's first film 'No Way Out' because Sir Sidney played the part of a doctor... and he being a black Bahamian Sir Geoff and the boys thought that would have sent the wrong message to the black masses, and that message being, that blacks can be 'somebody', because after all, in those days blacks were considered as nobodies. Can you imagine a black Bahamian doctor...? Even if it's in a film they could not stand for that! WELL MUDDO!!

Imagine Sir Geoffrey Johnstone a Knight, and January 10th cannot be a holiday? Shame on you Mr. Dream Merchant 

To Christie and the PLP 
From all sensible Bahamians 
"Oh if we had you the things that we could do"

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 Bahamas Information Services released a statement on the Prime Minister’s interview on Charles Carter's radio programme Parliament Street.The programme was aired on Sunday 30 December.The Prime Minister spoke about the following: (Guardian photo by Tim Aylen)

Frank Watson, Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Ingraham said that the allegation of corruption against Frank Watson was that there was a $135,000 payment to an agent for the purchase of an aircraft by Bahamasair.Said Mr. Ingraham: “It is clear that the Deputy Prime Minister got no personal benefit from doing that, but he made a mistake.That determination was made some time ago when Bahamasair was removed from Mr. Watson’s portfolio.”

Dion Foulkes, the Minister of Education

Said the Prime Minister: “Corruption is a term that is easily used by all and sundry in the political world from time to time.No information has been made available publicly or privately to me to suggest that there was any corruption on the part of any of the candidates who won the FNM leadership election.”The Prime Minister said that information has come to his attention that there was favouritism in the award of some contracts.He said that there is information which suggests that some of the contracts awarded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports might have been in excess of what the work scope would have required. “These matters are under active investigation, and determinations will be made in a reasonably short order.”The Prime Minister said that Mr. Foulkes would be told of the outcome of the investigations and would have an opportunity to comment upon them and then he, the Prime Minister would make a determination.

Tommy Turnquest, the Minister of Tourism
The allegation was that Tommy Turnquest awarded a contract to Smith's Air Conditioning against the advice of the Ministry ofWorks.The claim was that the figures in the contract were padded and that Mr. Smith paid for a party catered by Paradise Island at the cost of $31,000.Mr. Smith was a delegate to the FNM special convention for Leader elect and Deputy Leader elect and he is also an officer in the Free National Movement.Accordig to the Bahamas Information Services release, The Prime Minister said in response: “Insofar as the payment for a party that Mr. Turnquest had at his home, the Prime Minister said when the allegation was made, he spoke with Mr. Turnquest and told him that it was inappropriate for Mr. Smith to be paying for a party at his (Mr. Turnquest’s) house at a cost of $31,000.As it turned out Smith had not paid yet for the party and so Tommy Turnquest was required by me to pay for the party out of his own resources, not because there was anything corrupt about Smith paying, but it appeared under the circumstances that if Smith had gotten this contract under those circumstances and had this big party, that maybe there could have been an allegation of quid pro quo… I think that if there was a mistake, the mistake was for him to have agreed to allow Smith to pay for a party for him.Well, he could not have known, in my view that the party was going to cost $31,000.Generally speaking it is not outside the realm of acceptable political behaviour in The Bahamas or elsewhere in the world for a supporter to pay for a party for a candidate.That is quite acceptable.That was an extravagant party…And I also would like to say that if he was going to have that party, I don’t believe the Tommy Turnquest I know would have spent $31,000 of his money to have that party.So I think that he has been punished substantially.”

The Prime Minister is being disingenuous if not dishonest when he concedes in his interview that three Ministers were involved in favouritism, made mistakes.He cannot be judge and jury of his own Government.Ervin Knowles and Simeon Bowe, Ministers under the PLP resigned for similar “mistakes”.The FNM had a field day at the time.What is good for the goose is good for the gander.The only difference now is that Mr. Ingraham is in the seat of power and he knows that once one Minister goes, the Government is doomed.But it is doomed anyway because the Prime Minister has in fact conceded the argument.He is in the same position as Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal.He tried to ditch his lieutenants in the hope that this would satisfy the public but that was not good enough.Once the lieutenants were gone, the public saw that the emperor had no clothes and that is the apt analogy to this situation, Mr. Ingraham is all but stripped politically naked.Niki Kelly in her column of last week used the same analogy to the Hans Christian Anderson story.

The ever intrepid Candia Dames, the reporter for the Bahama Journal contacted the Minister of Education Dion Foulkes to ask him what his reaction was to the Prime Minister's statements on him and the awarding the contracts.This is an excerpt from Ms. Dames’ report in the Bahama Journal of Wednesday 2 January 2002 under the headline: ‘FOULKES DENIES PM’S REMARKS’.

“There are signs of a deepening rift in the Free National Movement as FNM Deputy Leader Designate Dion Foulkes and Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham are at odds over talk show statements made recently by Mr. Ingraham.

“Mr. Ingraham said Sunday on an Island FM radio talk show that favouritism was shown in the granting of school contracts.

“But Education Minister Foulkes told the Journal this morning from his Shirley Street office that “I categorically deny that any favouritism was shown.”

The rumours these days are flying fast and furious.As the FNM self-destructs and argues amongst themselves and in the public, the latest story has it that in fact Dion Foulkes has conceded that he will go.The Prime Minister seems to be setting the stage for Mr. Foulkes to get the sack by his interview on radio on Sunday 30 December (see story today’s column). The story is that Mr. Foulkes has said, I am prepared to go but only if Tommy goes at the same time.What a dream team!

On 16th December, we reported on this site that Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education Creswell Sturrup was sent on administrative leave in the wake of the education contracts scandal.Not so said Mr. Sturrup.The P.S. at Education said the fact is that he was simply on leave, vacation time that was due him.Mr. Sturrup responded to the Bahama Journal on Wednesday 2nd January.

The Nassau Guardian seems to have gotten it right on what should happen to the FNM Cabinet Ministers in the wake of the current scandal for once and no comment is needed so we provide excerpts of their editorial verbatim from their edition of Friday 4 January 2002: 

“Mr. Ingraham indicated that the allegations are being investigated and that when completed determinations will be made and that in the case of Mr. Foulkes, he will have an opportunity to respond to the outcome of the investigations.However, he said that Minister Turnquest had been punished substantially in being made to pay for the expensive victory party, rather than allow the tab to be picked up by a person who was involved with executing a government contract.

“But what is good for one should also be good for everybody and it should be seen to be so.The Prime Minister cannot say that his ministers exercised poor judgement, that he rectified the situation and expect the nation to accept those same persons as the next government and country leaders.Who will be there to tell them to straighten up when they become the top honchos.

“No one, except the electorate and then it might be along wait.

“No Prime Minister, there is a convention that goes along with the system of Government that The Bahamas practices and that convention prescribes that all men and women who occupy those high offices are honourable.And that means when it is perceived that they bring dishonour to those positions, they, of their own volition vacate them, or they are subsequently relieved of their public responsibilities.”

Bradley Roberts had a press conference this week in which he revealed that when the last Governor General left the official mansion on Mt. Fitzwilliam, he took the keys to the personal quarters because he had not finished moving his belongings.That meant that the incoming Governor General Dame Ivy Dumont could not get into the house.The outdoing GG also reportedly took two of the cars from Government house.The Prime Minister was reportedly furious and called Tiny.According to Mr. Roberts a bitter row ensued in which some of the foulest words passed between them.He sent the police to get the two Government House cars.The Prime Minister was asked by the Nassau Guardian about the report of the row.He denied it, and said that he did have a discussion with the former Governor General but there was no row and no bitterness.If you believe that, then you were born yesterday.That must be the explanation for the Prime Minister's words in the Charles Carter interview when he said that he would have chosen Tommy Turnquest to be leader of the FNM and his successor over his father because of Tommy’s attributes.He named them.It begged the question as to whether or not the Prime Minister was saying that theyounger Mr. Turnquest’s father lacked the integrity and strength of leadership that he saw in Tommy.Things, as they say get, curiouser and curiouser.What we know is that it is a curious world when Tommy Turnquest continues to sit in a Cabinet led by a man who insults his father and then insults him.Don’t you think that if Tommy were a real man, he would simply tell Ingraham: either you go or I go?It simply appears that the FNM is set on a course of self-destruction.

On Sunday 30 December, Hubert Ingraham told the public that he had nothing to do with denying Pierre Dupuch and Tennyson Wells their nominations by the FNM.That is a lie.The Prime Minister claimed that he wasn’t there for the vote and that it was their own colleagues who denied them.As we say in The Bahamas, matters makes no difference.Further, he said that these persons Wells and Dupuch were undeserving of being re-elected to Parliament.This fellow is a nut case you know!

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The Minister of Tourism Tommy Turnquest has a public explanation to give to the Parliament of The Bahamas and the Bahamian public.We are reliably informed that Resorts at Bahamia, owned by the Driftwood Group, has been given a government grant of two million dollars.The money is given to them in tranches of five hundred thousand dollars at a time.The company has received three such payments.The last such payment was just before Christmas when the hotels owners were almost out of money and desperate to get money to be able pay bonuses to hotel employees.We have over the last twelve months been expressing concern in this column that the Resorts at Bahamia, formerly the Princess Hotels is dangerously under financed and is in danger of collapsing.We have expressed our concern that the company has been practising racial discrimination against its Bahamian employees.The hotel decided to build what they called an artificial beach in the middle of the Sunrise Highway.It turns out it is only a large swimming pool and they have apparently now run out of money and lack the ability to finish it.Further, they put the thing in the wrong place, right over the sewer pipes and that has caused a problem.But what frightens us now is that this Government without any public announcement or authorization from Parliament is giving a private investor two million dollars of the taxpayers money of The Bahamas.There must be an explanation and the Minister of Tourism must give it now.

Just as we said, the Government has now confirmed Dame Ivy Dumont to be the GovernorGeneral.In doing so, the Prime Minister reneged on a declaration made to the Bahamian people that he would not confirm Dame Ivy but leave that to the next administration to choose a Governor General.Like so many of his promises, he has broken that one.The whole thing is about legacy building, not what is good for the country.He did it simply to say that he was responsible for appointing the first female Governor General.The choice is unpopular in the country.People think that Dame Ivy has gotten too much in the way of Government perks, without any commensurate service to warrant it.The Prime Minister in his discussions with the Leader of the Opposition has acknowledged that the choice was unpopular but he went ahead anyway.It was interesting seeing the response of Janet Bostwick, the woman many believed would retire from the House of Assembly and get the post.When asked by the Tribune on Wednesday 2nd January if she had anything to say about the matter she said she had no comment.That “No comment” spoke volumes.Dame Ivy now becomes the country’s fourth living Governor General, each of whom collects the full salary.Three of them collect them as pensions.They each have a detective and driver.The widow of one Governor General gets half the salary as a pension.This office that is a ceremonial one is getting to be terribly expensive.We do not support this appointment.It is totally inappropriate.With a general election to be held within three months in this country, the next administration’s hand should not be tied by the Prime Minister.It is a slimy thing to have done.

Each week in the past year the Haitian boats have been pouring into The Bahamas.As the political situation in Haiti deteriorates, the rising tide of refugees in The Bahamas has become a flood.The international community is offering us little help or assistance.The Americans have turned their eyes away from the Caribbean. For this week alone, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has captured 344 illegal refugees, all from Haiti.Last year, there was a record number of repatriations.According to the figures broadcast on Radio ZNS, some 5081 persons were sent back to Haiti by the Bahamas Government in 2001.

The Minister of Labour Earl Deveaux announced that the Employment Act, passed by the Senate just before Christmas has been brought into force.The effective day of the act is 1 January 2002.The provisions on the new work week of 44 hours kick in on 1 February 2002.The work week drops to 40 hours on 1 February 2003.The business community feels betrayed because it is being said in their circles that the Prime Minister promised them that this bill would not come into force at this time.The Prime Minister also admitted in Parliament when speaking on the bill that there would be significant new costs to employers because of the bill.The right wing think tank the Nassau Institute is concerned about the bill, its spokesman saying that the bill rewards workers in the Bahamas for failure.

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C.W.F. Bethell, the former House of Assembly Member and Government leader in the Senate, and Minister without Portfolio, died at the home of his daughter in New Orleans.He was airlifted there following a fall at his home in Nassau on 20 December.He was 92 years old.Mr. Bethell was a member of the House of Assembly and was later appointed to the Legislative Council and then the Executive Council.The Legislative Council was the forerunner of the Senate.The Executive Council, the forerunner of the Cabinet.He retired from the Executive Council in 1958 due to ill health.He served in the House from 1939 for 20 years as the Member for Grand Bahama.Upon internal self-government in 1964, he was appointed the Leader of the Government's business in the Senate and a Minister without portfolio.He is survived by his wife Brenda and his two daughtersJulie LeCorgne of New Orleans and Kristin Bethell of Nassau and a son Charles Bethell.Mr. Bethell retired as President of Bethell Estates Ltd., the company that incorporated the estate of his late father who was also a Member of the House of Assembly.I remember an interview with Mr. Bethell with the Tribune.In that interview he admitted that even though they owned the Savoy Theatre on Bay Street that discriminated against black people, he wasuncomfortable with that discrimination.Further, he said that his father had children with women outside his marriage and it caused him grief that those children could not come into the theatre because of their colour.A remarkable interview.A chapter has passed.May he rest in peace!
The information about the life of CWF Bethell was compiled from The Tribune 3 January 2002.

John Thomas Crawley died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 80.He lived in Imperial Park, New Providence but he started and lived most of his life in the Lyon Road area in the eastern end of New Providence.Mr. Crawley served on the police force for 30 years and retired as Assistant Commissioner of Police.He then went on to be a successful businessman as the owner of Bahamas Transport, the meter taxi company 323-5111.Mr. Crawley is survived by his wife Florene.Mr. Crawley was a part of a generation of self made men.He was born into a country with a strict separation of the races and succeeded from a childhood in poverty and deprivation to a life of wealth and comfort, and raising children of a professional generation.Mr. Crawley's success is not unlike another former Police Officer Sir Albert Miller who was recently knighted by the Queen, and is now Co-Chair of the Grand Bahama Port Authority.Mr. Crawley was my father's friend and the death struck me like a bolt out of the blue even though he had been ailing with prostate cancer for at least two years.My father Fred Sr. died in May of last year.Fred Sr., William Eneas, the father of Godfrey Eneas, and Sir Clement Maynard were a regular foursome at lunch. Now only Sir Clement is left.I am only sorry that after promising and promising and promising as late as just before Christmas to go see him before he died that I did not get a chance to fulfil that promise.But I think that he lived a great life and I thank him for the friendship to my father and our family. May he rest in peace.Mr. Crawley willbe buried in a semi-military funeral in St. Matthew’s Anglican Church on Tuesday 8 January at 10 a.m. and then to Woodlawn Cemetery.

Noel Roberts, the former Member of Parliament for North Eleuthera is said to be ailing and gravely ill.Geoffrey Johnstone, recently knighted by the Queen, is said to be considering heart by-pass surgery.

Buckingham palace announced as one of those who received honours from the Queen in the New Year’s honours list, Supt. Larry Ferguson who now heads the South Beach Police Station in New Providence.Supt Ferguson was honoured with the Colonial Police Medal and is now entitled to use the letters CPM behind his name.

This is supposed to be a warm country.But every once in a while during the months of December to late March, the weather plunges the temperatures to the fifties Fahrenheit and often lower in the northern reaches of the country.On Thursday 3 January, a wind blew in from the north and brought with it torrential rains, flooding low lying areas of New Providence.In the aftermath of that rain came plunging temperatures.Some predicted that the temperature was expected on Friday 4 January to plunge to 50 degrees. In any event, it gave people a chance to pull out their trench coats and gloves.It was quite a funny scene to see this in weather that is really quite temperate. Oh by the way, there was also a lightning storm.

John Rolle, President of the Bahamas Economic Association, has predicted that the economy of The Bahamas will contract by 1.5 to 2 per cent over this year. He predicts that there will not be a recovery in this economy until the year 2003.

Someone who did not sign his name, responded by e-mail to a line in this column last week.The column said that we might find ourselves at our election at the kind of impasse there is in the United States where according to the column fully half of the population believes that the election was stolen from George Bush’s opponent.The person wrote that this columnist should confine his remarks to The Bahamas.He goes on to say that he was happy that as a result of the reverses in the stock market, he did not invest in the purchase of a home in the The Bahamas.He claimed that there are other Caribbean destinations in which he could invest his money that are not hostile to US investment.The immediate response was one of sarcasm, like I wanted to say : “Sorry massa, I won’t do it again.” But I think this kind of arrogant nonsense by the writer is antithetical to anything that I understand about the United States as a country.The essence of the country is freedom of speech and opinion.Certainly, in my country I fight for and I have freedom to express my ideas and to impart and receive information.Just as this person, presumably a man and presumably an American citizen can come to my country and prescribe what he or she thinks must and can happen here, I can say what I damn well please about what happens in the United States.This is all the more so since what happens there influences what happens here. And further any investment American or otherwise is perfectly safe and there is no hostility to American investment or any other investment.To that person: get a life.

Perry Christie, the Leader of the Opposition is smitten. Theladies of quality have all joined in.What are we talking about?It is the latest Junkanoo group, in the group C category.Group C is otherwise known as scrap group.It is for those who simply want to put on some fringe and rush.We saw PLP Allyson Gibson in her costume.We saw Mrs. Wisdom, the florist in her costume. Then there was Jolton Johnson from the Archives Department.Gary ‘Super’ Johnson said that the idea was simply to have fun.All the rules are brushed aside.Their theme for Boxing Day:Heading Down to the Fish Fry.And to prove it along the route they gave out pieces of fried fish.The theme for New Year’s Day – Still at the Fish Fry.The crowd loves it.It is the tradition of old time Junkanoo, with the emphasis on revelry and fun.Mr. Johnson was interviewed with his fellow Sting members in a liquor store.And he said that while the other groups are in the shack, pasting and designing, they are partying.He said Junkanoo begins tomorrow so we start pasting our costumes tomorrow.The coup de grace has got to be the song commissioned by the group from Stevie S., the most popular musician in town these days.The song is called: We are the Sting.And it has its own dance as well.B.H. Hanna, the insurance man and M.C. extrordinaire leads the group on Bay Street, and looks like he is the lead dancer as well. ‘Who are we?’ says the song’s chorus. The answer: ‘We are the sting’.

Monday 7th January 2002 under the historic Fig Tree in front of the Supreme Court building in Nassau, this columnist will present his Annual Review Of The Judiciary at 9.30 in the morning.  If you are unable to attend, a full report will be available on this website by lunchtime on Monday.

We congratulate Jeanne Thompson who has joined us under the fig tree on so many occasions for the annual review of the Judiciary. We show the occasion in 1999.Ms. Thompson is to be sworn in as a Justice of the Court at Government House on Monday 6 January 2002 at 12 noon.

We have finally gotten the picture.  And it is a beauty.  The young doctor in training and his new wife appear here resplendent following their marriage on 1 December at Zion Baptist Church in Nassau.  The picture was taken on the steps in the lobby of the British Colonial Hotel, where the reception was held.  Congratulations again.

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Lowe Wants Pay - "If a man works he should be paid...." said Charlie Lowe, the FNM Council Member for Marco City, once described in the House of Assembly by Tennyson Wells as a mosquito for his receipt of a contract during the FNM special convention from Minister of Education Dion Foulkes.  Mr. Lowe was given the contract for work at the Freeport Primary School and is now complaining that the work has been done, the Ministry of Works has signed off on it and yet he cannot get paid.  Complaints have been made to Minister for Works Ken Russell, and to Mr. Lowe's MP David Thompson.  Mr. Lowe is known around Grand Bahama as a "special projects political officer" for the Prime Minister... All this and he cannot paid.  Mr. Lowe was warned against speaking with correspondents for this website, but friends said "He's under extreme pressure and a lot of stress and he needs his money now... He knows the whole story.  They better pay Charlie Lowe." We say, ah well.

Resorts at Bahamia & the Vietnamese - Officers from the Department of Immigration were visiting the Resorts at Bahamia on another matter when they stumbled on a number of the now infamous Vietnamese tile layers installing drywall and undertaking other construction tasks not included in the terms of their work permits.  As we have reported, the tile layers were called in and warned by Immigration to stick to laying tiles.  When the officers appeared, the men broke off running, some leaping from tall ladders in the process.  Residents of neighbouring south Bahamia said scores of the Vietnamese were seen scurrying across the golf course in full flight from Immigration.  None were caught.  Sources say that no reprimand has yet been issued to the company by Immigration.

Chef Deported - In another development at Resorts at Bahamia, a 39 year old American chef whom we reported was due to take over from a Bahamian to be fired was escorted off the premises of the casino and put on a plane out of the country for working without a permit.  News From Grand Bahama has learned that the FNM could not justify giving him a work permit on the eve of an election in the face of so many qualified Bahamian chefs who are out of work.  The company was told that they would have to wait until the FNM wins the next election, then they could bring the chef back.

Warning To All Resorts Supervisors - News From Grand Bahama has learned that anyone making more than $400 per week is to fall victim to a new policy that will try to terminate them with cause.  Insiders say this is a policy designed to get around the new labour bills and to get at monies left in escrow by Princess for severance pay for long-time employees whose employment changed from one company to the next after the buyout of Princess Properties.  This week the axe fell on young Dillon Burrows, son of senior executive Kelly Burrows.  We understand that the union is taking up that case, but in the meantime we warn all managers to beware.

ZNS reported on Friday evening that the public school system should brace for an influx of students from the private schools at both the primary and high school level.  St. Georges' high school was reporting an enrolment to date of some 1400 students at a school built to accommodate only 900 students.  The principal confirmed that there have been numerous additional enquiries for placement at that school.  The Bahamas Union of Teachers has an agreement with the Ministry of Education not to put more than 35 children per class.  This same trend seems to be taking place over at the Walter Parker Primary school.  Parents are having to take the drastic step of putting their children into the overcrowded public school system because of economic reasons.  This is a sign of the economic times in Grand Bahama with some people working only two or three days per week.

This week four people were charged in connection with the missing trailers from the container port, but as we predicted last week, these were low level people, incidental to the main plot and the central characters have yet to be brought to justice.  Word on the street is that the general manager of the container port is to be reassigned by Hutchison Whampoa, owners of the port.  We have also learned that the DEU, the Department of Immigration and officers of the Ministry of Agriculture must still call to get access to the container port.  Bahamas Customs is only allowed in from 9 am to 5 pm.  Meanwhile, the container port is left to police themselves for 18 hours each day while officials of the Bahamas Government are reduced to hiding in the bush to discover the true nature of what is going on inside.  Sources tell us that the container port's owners had anticipated that Government would require close circuit television for security reasons and have all the necessary infrastructure in place.  They couldn't believe their luck when no such instruction was made and were glad to save the cost of the cameras.  We now call upon the Government to govern and prevent more international sanctions brought on by slackness at a port of entry in this country.

13th January, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
John Carey / PLP Carmichael...  
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
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10 JANUARY 1967
Loftus Roker’s (Minister of National Security in the PLP administration) brother Leonard told me a story about an encounter that he had as a young man with H. Campbell Cleare I.  Yes not the third but the first.  I knew the grandfather of Campbell Cleare III the attorney and I know the father of Campbell Cleare III and of course the third is my contemporary.  Mr. Cleare the first sold and fixed bicycles for a living.  He had a shop on Bay Street.  Mr. Cleare III used to help out in his shop when he was a little boy.

But back to Leonard’s story.  He said that one day he visited Mr. Cleare I’s shop on Bay Street.  The shop was owned by one of the Bay Street Boys.  During one election, Dr. Raymond Sawyer and Stafford Sands were the members for the City constituency (now abolished). That was in the days of dual member constituencies.  Dr. Sawyer, a dentist, was the junior member and Sir Stafford was the senior member.  They came to call on Mr. Cleare I and Leonard Roker was present.  He watched as the story unfolded.

According to Mr. Roker, the politicians asked for Mr. Cleare I’s support.  He listened politely and told them that he had nothing against them but Gerald Cash, later Sir Gerald, was a candidate in the race.  His view was “as long as there was a Black man in the race” he was voting for that man.  Mr. Roker said as a young man he had never seen anything so amazing.  The hair stood up on his arms.  Mr. Cleare shortly after lost the lease of the premises for his bicycle shop.

One need only read Colin Hughes’ Race and Politics in The Bahamas to realize the extent to which race dominated the politics of this country as recently as 1977.  Many of us argue today that we are still dominated by the question.

Nothing has revived that issue today more than the official funeral held for the late Charles W.F. Bethell, who was the last Leader for the United Bahamian Party government in the Senate in 1967 when the UBP lost office.  He served in the House for 20 years and later in the Legislative Council and finally in the Senate.  He also served in the forerunner of the Cabinet, the Executive Council and then later in the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister and his Government seemed to bend over backwards to ensure all the pomp and flourish for C.W. F. Bethell’s funeral.  This is the man whom the PLP campaigned against on the grounds in part that when he was interviewed by foreign media on an official trip overseas, and he was asked how did the UBP manage to keep the black people in The Bahamas under control, who replied, “with careful planning”.

Yet upon his death in 2002, there was a police honour guard and gun carriage and the entire Cabinet arrayed with Members of the House and the Senate to boot.  No doubt in etiquette the proper thing to do but there is a fundamental irony to it.  A man, who was a racist, supported the ban against Blacks going into the Savoy theatre that he owned on Bay Street, being honoured by the descendants of the persons that he tried to keep under subjection and control.

This week, we celebrated 10 January 1967.  That was the day in our history when the descendants of the slaves took over the reins of the country for the first time.  Mr. Bethell and his kind were ousted from the Government.  They were returned some 25 years later in 1992, much older, in disguise and with one of us at the control.  We have suffered social reverses in the ten years that Hubert Ingraham, their agent has been in power.

Massive crowds (see Tribune photo by Felipé Major) turned up on Windsor Park to mark the occasion and to remember 10 January, 1967, the biblical tenth day of the first month when the Israelites would go free.  It was a time when PLPs and Blacks had no money but they felt that enough was enough and their pride in ancestry rose them up and broke off the shackles. This year more than any other, we must reclaim our country if only to safeguard the sacrifice of H. Campbell Cleare I and also if only to protect the future of his great grandchildren, the daughters of H. Campbell Cleare III, and the son and daughter of Philip and Hedda Smith (nee Cleare) and others of their cohorts.

This week we had 28,455 hits on this site for the week ending 12 January 2002.  That makes a total of 44,473 hits on this site for the month of January 2002. Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

by Nello Lambert, taken at 'Montrose' - Christmas 2000

by Kendal Demeritte
Majority Rule Day 1967 in Retrospect 
Some people think we don’t have the right to say “This is my country”, and before they give in they would rather fuss, deny, and fight, rather to have us say…”This is Our Country”. We have toiled 300 hundred years or more…in slave driving sweat and marks of the master’s whips on our backs……... “This is My Country”. Too many have died in protecting our pride, for us to remain simply “Second Class”. We have survived those hard blows of discrimination, bigotry, and in-equality… Now you must face us at last. So now we could live equal as a nation…. But it was not by your consideration….”This is My Country”.

From the Corner 
To Niki Kelly 

Here’s to the lady most worthy of journalistic praise
Whose objectivity and focus can not be swayed 
Here’s to the lady who has wrangled and raged on political wrongdoers
Even from the P.L.P days
Here’s to the lady who continuously reports the truth and stands for Justice
Even as Hubert rages
Thank you Niki Kelly for being COURAGIOUS.  HAPPY NEW YEAR.  This Corner is a "My-Turn-aholic". 

The Child Protection Bill
Well “Great Balls” are truly on fire!  So wake up all you fellas, no more sneaking in bed… No more outback hotel and motel rooms you have to do it home instead.  The Child Protection Laws has changed so very much from what it used to be.  There is now inheritance for little Sue, Tim, and EVEN little Tommy.  The country could not have gotten better if we had let those old laws be.  Imagine unlawful children but not unlawful daddies and mammies.  So wake up everybody be careful how you sneak in bed, take it from this Corner.  I am truly AHEAD!

          Hail to the Real Pit Bull in Politics Bradley 'How Much Rounds Left' Roberts, for The Real Knockout?  A heat seeking Pit bull unlike that other fellow who would Pit at any Bull, Roberts reacts only to intense heat wherever there is a stench of corruption, unfairness and dereliction of duty in public office.

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
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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


On Wednesday 9 January 2002, this Senator and other Parliamentary colleagues including the Prime Minister attended the funeral of the late C.W. F. Bethell (Peter Ramsay photo of this Senator arriving at the church) who died at the age of 92 at his daughter’s New Orleans' home the week before last.  He was buried in the Western Cemetery.
    It was a fascinating exercise in social history to attend the funeral.  Many of us, I am sure, had never visited the Presbyterian Kirk, where only the white and privileged have in the past been members.  The Blacks who are members are the family of the late Dr. Cleveland Eneas Sr. and the family of Tim Donaldson, the former Central Bank Governor are amongst the few Black families that attend today.  But in the main, the church is almost like a secret society to Blacks.  Dr. Jim Berger, an American who is its present church leader, has to his credit sought to mix with all sectors of the community.
    The old establishment of the minority UBP government turned out in force.  Godfrey Kelly, the former Minister of Education under the UBP; Geoffrey Johnstone, the last Chairman and last Leader of the Opposition of the United Bahamian Party; C.W.F. Bethell’s brother John, the former UBP Minister of Works.  They were on one side.  The new Black leaders of the country were on the other side of the church.
    Godfrey Kelly did an excellent eulogy and provided a peep into the life of that class that continues much today.  It was a life of fun and privilege, mixing business and Government.  Charlie Bethell, as he was known was an avid hunter and fisherman.  He also flew his own sea plane.  Mr. Kelly caused a stir by suggesting that the UBP ministers worked in the days when they did their public service for free.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While they received no salary for their work as Ministers, all of them had contracts with the Government.  Sir Roland had the contracts to fix Government roads for example.  He was the Premier.  So while they received no salary, they benefited from the positions in the Government.  No where was that clearer than in the scandal of the Port Authority consultancy fees paid to Ministers of the UBP Government that brought about casino gambling to Freeport and with it the downfall of the Government.
    Two things on the FNM’s agenda are dredging up the bitterness and racial divisions of the bygone era.  Their approach to this funeral and their seeking to amend the constitution of the country.  We comment on the latter below.

They swear it’s true.  But shortly after the House of Assembly adjourned on Tuesday 8 January, someone was passing the Western Cemetery.  They saw the Prime Minister's car parked outside the cemetery.  The Western Cemetery is where the family plot of the late C.W.F. Bethell is.  He was buried there last week. The informant peeped over the walls to see what was happening inside the grave.  There to his surprise he found Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and his bodyguard inspecting the grave site of C.W.F. Bethell.  This story brought up all of the stories about Mr. Ingraham as an Uncle Tom inspecting the grave of his master.  It seemed an inappropriate and insensitive thing to do.  Surely someone else could have inspected the grave.  And worse than that, the public service was all awash with the stories of the extra persons out on the job to make sure that the grave was spic and span and that the road sides were all cleared of debris for the funeral as well.  Of course on the face of it this was the proper thing to have done except the place should be kept clean as a matter of course, not pull out all of the stops for a special occasion. Peter Ramsay's Bahama Journal photo of Mr. Ingraham grieving with the Bethell family.

Not many people remember the interview.  But last week, we spoke of it and perhaps we shall try to get the full story from The Tribune.  But sometime in the 1980s Charles Bethell gave an interview to The Tribune in which he admitted that his father had children outside his marriage with Black women.  He said all of the children were girls.  There are many who disagree and say that there are at least two boys.  One of the girl children is the mother of Janet Bostwick, the now Minister of Foreign Affairs.  And so in terms of blood lines, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is the niece of C.W. F. Bethell.  Such is the role of sex in the history of The Bahamas.  It is not so unusual.  Societies like ours and the plantation societies in the Southern United States and the Caribbean are replete with stories of racial mixtures.  One has only to note the controversy over the Sally Hemmings liaison with former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson.  Ms. Hemmings was said to have been a slave concubine with whom Jefferson had several children.  And so it was in The Bahamas, the mixing of the races while officially unsanctioned did not stop the mixing under the sheets.  The story is told of how the women were specially treated. The homes of the Black concubines of white Bahamian leaders were a cut above the others in the Black neighbourhoods, with running water as an added and unique feature for the homes.  After the evening meetings at the House of Assembly the white members would repair to their sweetheart's places in the Black community.  Their wives were apparently aware of it and turned a blind eye.

On 10 January 2002, the anniversary of Majority Rule day in The Bahamas, The Tribune‘s editorial chose not to celebrate the diversity and success of The Bahamas as a model for racial peace and harmony.  Instead they chose to raise a specious and spurious issue about the PLP dividing families because they refused to give citizenship to the husband of Brenda Barry, Dr. Graham Barry, an Australian.  The Tribune claims that because the PLP refused to give citizenship to Dr. Barry, the Barry marriage broke up.  The decision not to give citizenship caused them to take up their bundle and move to her husband’s country Australia.

The FNM now proposes to amend the constitution to allow for the male spouses of the Bahamian women to apply and get citizenship on the grounds that they are married to Bahamians.   This is supposed to equalize the position where Bahamian men marry foreign women.  Except that the FNM does not seem quite sure.  All the Opposition forces in the Parliament have objected to the bills to amend the constitution on the grounds that the issues are being rushed and ill considered and that the referendum questions are not being properly and fairly put.
    The Attorney General has introduced a bill, which the PLP voted against in the House to shorten the period between the time when the proclamation is made and the referendum to approve the amendment to the constitution is held to 21 days down from 30 days.  The FNM claims that this will make it consistent with the period between the proclamation of dissolution of the Parliament and a general election.
    But the point is this; the PLP must oppose all of these bills regardless of the merits.  There has been no constitutional commission or constitutional conference with the people of the country.  There has been no green paper.  The mischief about which the Government complains on citizenship has been cured with the grant of a spousal permit for all spouses of Bahamians.  The Government itself appears to have backed off their first approach and has now changed their position and brought nine new bills to the House to amend the constitution, each on a separate issue.
    They want instead of granting citizenship to male spouses of Bahamian women upon marriage like with female spouses they now say they want to grant the right after five years of a spousal work permit.  This is a hodge podge and ill considered.  They don’t know what they want themselves.  It is not appropriate to treat a constitution this way.  The PLP must not agree to this and must urge the population to vote “no” to the whole package.
    We must galvanize public opinion on this and join issue with the Government on it.  Let’s have a showdown before the election, defeat them and finish them off during the General Election.  Given this Government’s inability to stand up for our sovereignty, what is to prevent the US Ambassador from giving our Prime Minister a call and asking him to amend our constitution to correct the ruling of Justice Anita Allen that the Financial Intelligence Unit cannot freeze a person’s bank account?  The FNM has the numbers to do so.  The question is not though what the FNM will do.  The question is will the PLP stand on its hind legs and defend the sovereignty of this country?
    What Mr. Ingraham proposes to do is bring up all of the old history and old bitterness and divide this country once again on racial lines if he is not careful.  And that will be his legacy, dividing the races.

The high point of the disrespect for the Parliament of The Bahamas by the FNM we thought came last year when the Senate was suspended indefinitely while we waited for the Government to draft financial legislation so that it could be passed.  The legislation was so badly drafted and rushed through and it was an insult to Parliament by the manner in which it was done.  In a few weeks because of the bad drafting, the Government was right back to correct mistakes made in the legislation.  Now they propose to rush through the constitutional amendments.
    We have said above that the PLP and all opposition forces should vote no to this abuse of the Parliament of The Bahamas.  Another example of the rush is something pointed out by the Employers Confederation to the Government when they brought into force the recently passed Employment Act that repeals the Fair Labour Standards Act.  The Government forgot to put in certain transitional provisions.
    The 40 hour work week is supposed to come into force on 1 February 2002 in the first of two phases.  In 2002, 44 hours and then in 2003, 40 hours.  Except that when you read Section 10 of the Bill upon the act coming into force on 1 January the work week immediately drops to 40 hours as a consequence of the repeal of the 48 hour work week set by the Fair Labour Standards Act.  So for one month employees will be entitled from 1 January 2002 to 1 February 2002 to a forty hour work week and then the week goes to 44 hours for one year.  That means that for that month over time claims can be made per the forty hour work week.
    No spokesman for the Government was able to answer the point. When raised by this senator, they were dumbfounded.  Rush! Rush! Rush!

On the same day that this columnist delivered the review of the Judiciary Monday 7 January, the Commissioner of Police Paul Farqhuarson and senior colleagues released the annual crime statistics over the past year.
    According to the Police, their statistics show that crime has dropped overall by some 17 percent.  Crimes against the person posted a 25 percent decrease with major crimes such as murder decreasing by 42 per cent. Armed Robbery fell by 38 per cent. These are all 2001 as against 2000 figures.  The number of murders reported and committed in 2000 was 74.  In 2001, the same figure was 44.
    The Commissioner said that this was due to the implementation of a policy for the management of crime.  Said he: “As a result of this initiative we are well on our way in bringing crime to more manageable levels than before.”
    Not so fast said criminologist and former National Crime Commission member Dr. Elliston Rahming.  Said Dr. Rahming: “The sad fact is that the glowing reports of a 17 percent drop in crime when placed under scrutiny simply means that the FNM has made no significant dent in crime since coming to power.  The deal was not to lower crime from the year 2000 to 2001.  The deal was to ensure that under the FNM serious crime would fall below where they met it.  That was the deal."
    Dr. Rahming said that for example in 1993 there were 35 murders but in 2001 there 44.  That is a 21 per cent increase.  He also compared arrest rates between 1993 and 2001 on crimes against property.  In all those categories the arrest rate is worse when compared to 1993.  The FNM came to office in August 1992.  An arrest rate is the rate at which the police catch the person who commits crimes.  The Police have admitted that their success in crimes against the property remains elusive.
    Dr. Rahming said that even though there has been a decline in crime against the property since 1993, this while due to some extent to the police can also be attributed to private security measures including security firms, fencing and welding firms and closed circuit TV and alarm companies.
    Ultimately, Dr. Rahming said that for 2002 the goal must be to raise the arrest rate for personal crime over the 50 per cent benchmark and up to 20 per cent for crime against property.  He encouraged the strengthening of the relationship and building of trust between the police and the public.


Jeanne Thompson is now a Judge of the Supreme Court.  She was sworn in as a Judge on Monday 8 January, shortly after the annual review of the Judiciary by this Senator under the fig tree in front of the Supreme Court.  I went up to Government House where we posed for this Peter Ramsay photo shortly after Ms. Thompson’s swearing in.  She was sworn in by Dame Ivy Dumont the new Governor General.  Despite my opposition to the appointment of Dame Ivy as Governor General, I greeted her with the proper respect and even a kiss on the cheek.

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Yvonne Johnson served as assistant clerk of the Senate for over two decades.  She was a friend to all sides.  She died tragically from cancer two years ago next month.  The Senate passed a unanimous resolution to mark the occasion of her passing and thanked her for all the work that she did in assisting senators.  You may click here for the remarks of this Senator on Ms. Johnson.  The Senate President J. Henry Bostwick presented the resolution duly framed to the family.  The presentation was made on Monday 8 January.  Her children Marlon and Nadia were there as was her mother Winifred Johnson.  Senators posed for this Peter Ramsay photo to mark the occasion with the family of the late Yvonne Johnson.

Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall shown in this newspaper photo (B.I.S. -
Derek Smith) shaking hands with the U.S. Ambassador Richard Blankenship spoke at the opening of the court year on Wednesday 9 January.  The Attorney General Carl Bethel also spoke.  It is fascinating how they all respond to what is said by this columnist but refuse to acknowledge who made the criticism.
    As you know the annual review of the Judiciary for 2001 was made by this Senator on Monday 8 January under the fig tree in front of the Supreme Court.  The photo by Tim Aylen shows the toast to the legal year outside the court.  Pictured from left are: Jamal Davis, Attorney, Gwendolyn House; Calvin Brown, PLP Stalwart Councillor; this columnist; Ron Pinder, PLP - Marathon Constituency; Stan O. Smith, Law Clerk, Gwendolyn House; Koed Smith, Attorney.
    The review has become a point of interest to the media because it gives an input into the inside workings of the Court. You may click here for the annual address.  But for me the response is what is most fascinating.
    The Chief Justice said the following: “I join my predecessors in declaring that in The Bahamas the political directorate has never attempted to subvert or direct the judiciary in the exercise of their judicial function.”  One must remind the public that in 1993 Justice Ira Rowe of the Court of Appeal who lived in Jamaica was denied a ticket to enter The Bahamas to hear a case before the Court of Appeal at the direction of the Janet Bostwick who was acting as the Minister of Justice at the time. The Judge resigned and in his letter he said that the Government had interfered with his work as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
    Further the Chief Justice went on in his address to agree with every criticism made by this Senator about the state of the courts, the lack of manpower and equipment and money.  But he disagreed with the Court getting control of its own budget. The fact is that the Government does not have to undermine or direct the Courts what to do, it simply has to refuse to give it the resources it needs to do its job.  That is enough to undermine and subvert the judiciary.  We expect to discuss this issue at length when the issue comes to the Senate for amending the constitution to increase the age of retirement for Judges comes to the Senate.
    But what really got us was the comment by the Chief Justice that he does not believe that the Bench of The Bahamas should be fully Bahamian.  Left to me there would be a constitutional amendment to prevent anyone who does not have citizenship from being a Judge of The Bahamas.  Remember that in order to be a member of the House or Senate you have to be Bahamian.  The Court is another branch of Government and the same requirement must be there.  Now if we concede that point on Judges, maybe, just maybe we can give Margaret Thatcher a work permit to be Prime Minister of The Bahamas for a couple of years.

Carl Bethel is a junior to almost every lawyer in the Office of the Attorney General both in terms of years of call and in terms of actual experience before the Bar.  Yet as he says as a result of a political decision, it falls to his lot as the Minister of Justice to defend the Government and its policies as they subvert the courts.  It seems to have escaped the poor Attorney General that the Chief Justice did a good job defending the Courts himself on the same day of his speech and therefore needed no help from the Attorney General.
    The Government does not provide the resources and personnel to support the courts.  It plays musical chairs with the appointment of Judges.  In his address to the Court on Wednesday 8 January, the AG claimed that he had to respond to the attacks on the Court in the newspapers.  He meant responding to me about the criticism that the Government subverts the Courts.  He claimed that this is not so, and that the attacks have been malicious and slanderous.  Nonsense Attorney General!  The facts speak for themselves.
    On the day that Cassius Stuart and Omar Smith were arraigned as a result of a purely political decision by you, the Magistrate refused at first to arraign the men because the case was brought before her at the last minute.  She pointed out that she is unfairly singled out for the allocation of cases and that she agreed with this Senator's report about the state of the Magistrates' Courts. Perhaps the A.G. should visit the Magistrates Courts' and see the appalling conditions.  There is no justice in those conditions.
    Further, the Attorney General has injected himself into another row by seeking to line up his political friends as Queen’s Counsels before the FNM gets tossed from office.  The list includes Claire Hepburn and Michael Barnett of Peter Graham, the former UBP Minister's law firm.  To try and confuse, he has added PLPs Philip Brave Davis, Paul Adderley and Sean McWeeney.  Of course Paul Adderley will refuse it.  But the Attorney General would have us believe that there is no politics involved.  Yeah pull my other leg!
    The problem with this Attorney General is that he does not have the standing in the legal community, or the respect of the Prime Minister to be able to restrain or influence the Government in its unlawful and unconstitutional behaviour in so many areas.

The editorial of the Nassau Guardian on Thursday 10 January read as follows: “Regardless to whether the government wants to listen because of who the messenger is, the message that Fred Mitchell continues to bring concerning the courts and the judiciary is relevant today as it has been in past years, and it needs to be positively addressed… Senator Mitchell may not be everyone’s favourite person but he does speak to an issue that should be of concern to everyone because at some point what transpires in the courts will have an effect on the total fabric of the society.  There are innocent persons going through the court system who invariably are steered toward criminality because of a let down for them in the administration of justice.  These problems will not go away and they will not solve themselves.  The sagacity of the message should not be ignored because of personal differences with the messenger.”

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Stan O. Smith is a law clerk at our firm, Gwendolyn House and an attorney in training.  Stan was with us under the fig tree and was struck by a reporter's question as to whether the annual Review of the Judiciary is useful to the public.  The Tribune of 10 January 2002 published a letter on the matter from Stan under the heading 'Why fig tree address is important' and we republish it here.  It stands on its own. Please click here.

The Government has moved to apply to the Court or Appeal for special leave to overturn their decision in the case of my brother Matthew Mitchell (click here for previous story).  The Court of Appeal is to be asked to give special leave to appeal the overturning of the conviction.  The case is to be heard on 23 January.  I believe that this is a personal and politically motivated spiteful action by the Attorney General and his political colleagues. Our family is deeply distressed that the Government would do this when persons convicted of murdering people have been set free by the Court of Appeal and no action of this kind has been taken.

The Central Bank Governor Julian Francis went a begging on behalf of the Clearing House Banks because they are unable to comply with the reporting requirements of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act.  The deadline was supposed to have been 31 December 2001.  As a result of the inability to make the deadline, the Government had no choice but to extend the deadline to 30 May 2002.  Paul McWeeney who is the Chair of the Clearing House Banks Association, and Managing Director of the Bank of The Bahamas could not say that even then the act will have full compliance.  But he told The Tribune on Thursday 10 January that by now the high risk accounts - those over $10,000 - have been dealt with.  Thank God! I have no account over ten thousand dollars.


Lady Marguerite Pindling, the widow of former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, laid a wreath at the grave of her late husband commemorating the day that Sir Lynden came to office 10 January 1967.  The photo is by Peter Ramsay.

Cassius Stuart and Omar Smith were charged before Magistrate Marilyn Meeres on Tuesday 8 January. They were charged with causing a disturbance in the House of Assembly.  A constitutional motion was filed by this Senator on their behalf claiming that the offence was unconstitutional.  The matter will therefore have to be determined by the Supreme Court before the Magistrate can hear the case.  The Nassau Guardian photo by Farreno Ferguson shows the pair after their release from Court. Bail was set in the sum of $2000 with one surety.  Mr. Smith’s wife stood bail for him and Bishop Ross Davis stood bail for Mr. Stuart.  If convicted, they can be fined $600 or sent to prison for six months or both.  The charges arose out of a political act when the pair shackled themselves to the Speaker’s mace on 3 December 2001 to protest the gerrymandering of constituency boundaries by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

Last week on this site we reported a contretemps aka bust up between the Prime Minister and former Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest re the keys to Government House.
    On Tuesday 8 January the Bahama Journal published a reply of Sir Orville.
    The reply from Sir Orville in his own words: “This entire story is a brazen lie, concocted by a malicious mind with the obvious intent of making prejudicial character smearing a factor in the forthcoming General Elections, rather than dealing with national issues.”  Sir Orville also defended the Prime Minister’s remarks in the radio interview on Island FM on Sunday 30 December.  The Prime Minister listed a number of attributes for Tommy Turnquest son of Sir Orville and said that when he compared them to the father he would still chose Tommy.  The words were interpreted to mean that Sir Orville did not have the qualities of integrity, strength of character, which the Prime Minister found in Tommy.  Again Sir Orville struck back: “If the Prime Minister’s remarks are taken as inferring [sic] that Tommy’s qualifications and personal attributes when compared with mine make him more suitable to become a better Prime Minister than I might have been then I most certainly agree with this also because otherwise his mother and I, as his parents, would have failed to train and prepare him to attain a higher level than I have done.”
    Now he said that not us.  Unbelievable!


As promised, some photos of the belated New Year's Junkanoo parade, held Friday 4 January and won by the Valley Boys.  The photos are by Patrick Hanna of the Nassau Guardian.  Best Costume, entitled 'Bird Watching' and a horn player helping to provide the Valley Boys 'Best Music' award.  Congratulations again to the venerable Valley Boys for their overall win.  The Saxons were second, Roots third, One Family fourth, Barbabbas & The Tribe fifth, and the Music Makers sixth.


Thelma Williams, a former nurse and the wife of Alfred Williams, attorney at law, was buried in Nassau on Wednesday 9 January from St. Barnabas Church.  Mrs. Williams died of cancer.  She had a long struggle.  This Senator was privileged to be a speaker at the funeral.  She lives in the Fox Hill constituency.  In addition to her husband she is survived by her daughters Stacie and Tami and a son, Mark.  She is pictured.

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Bahamian Business In Danger - News From Grand Bahama has learned that BHICAM, a Bahamian engineering firm in Grand Bahama is in danger of being put out of business by the Chinese conglomerate owned Grand Bahama Container Port.  BHICAM, under Bahamian engineer Larry Russell constructed and maintains the giant cranes, which lift containers on and off ships at the container port.  Sources say that the firm has been given notice that its contract is not to be renewed.  Meanwhile sources say that workers at the firm who have reportedly benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars of BHICAM training for the container port job have been secretly courted to work directly for the container port.  Friends of Mr. Russell tell News From Grand Bahama "Larry is a faithful FNM and a true blue Valley Boy who was lured back to The Bahamas from a good job in the States by the FNM and now they're stabbing him in the back... If this is how this Government treats its Bahamian loyalists, then God help the rest of us." Meanwhile, Grand Bahama's FNM MPs and Government Ministers remain mute, apparently more concerned about the fate of their potentially large election donations from the container port than looming disaster for this Bahamian engineer and his family.

Store Closings - Colombian Emeralds, the Freeport based jeweller that is one of the largest in the Caribbean has closed a store in the Freeport International Bazaar leaving fifteen people out of work.  Easy Drug mart, a significant retail pharmacy has closed two stores in Freeport one in the new RND plaza and another in the Freeport International Bazaar, putting ten more people out of work.  Unconfirmed reports have it that the Big Game Fishing Club in Bimini has laid off 45 of its employees in what would be a major blow to the economy of that island.  Big Game was bought from the Bacardi Company by new foreign investors who have reportedly run out of money and are looking for additional investors.  Signs of the dying days of the FNM administration in the northern Bahamas.

"This is not right."- FNM politicos at breakfast Saturday 12 January at Geneva's in Freeport were scolded by a noted local attorney and branded as "weaklings" for allowing the proposed "rush job on the constitution" and the confirmation of Dame Ivy Dumont as Governor General.  "To confirm Dame Ivy flies in the face of every conceivable convention of an outgoing Prime Minister... The constitution is supposed to be the collective will of the people and we only find out what that will is through dialogue, debate and consensus... It should never be the imposed will of one man... " We say, amen.

FNM General Bargaining - Former and unceremoniously dumped FNM Vice Chairman Mike Edwards has been all around town threatening not follow a directive to report to the campaign trail in his native Mayaguana.  Friends of the outspoken FNM contractor report that Mike "says he ain' going unless they get rid of the bad mailboat, promise to fix the airport in Mayaguana and promise the people a clinic and a morgue... He gatta have something to tell them after all this time."  We say, too late now, my brother!

C.A. Smith Again? - Communications have been flooding into News From Grand Bahama for the nomination of FNM Pineridge MP and Minister C.A. Smith for Jackass Of The Week.  We have reported for weeks that the Driftwood Group's Resorts at Bahamia was in money trouble and courting danger with the slow pace of its renovations.  Now, after our last powerful series of reports on this point last week Sunday 6 January, Minister Smith appeared in the press Monday 7 January advising Resorts at Bahamia to hurry up with renovations or miss the 2002 winter tourist season.  The trouble is they have already missed the season, given the state of the property at this moment.  This is nothing but political and disingenuous grandstanding by the Minister who must also knows that the engineering staff is to be cut by 50 percent and that the company's real estate and residential management arm, Bahamia Realty is to be shut down at the end of the month.  The Minister's actions are insincere and nothing short of playing on the emotions of the staff many of whom face looming unemployment.

20th January, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
John Carey / PLP Carmichael...  
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
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It is definitely getting to be that time again.  The hard internal political decisions are being made and along the way there is blood on the floor and a few bodies.  Politics, like the rest of life can at times be a mean and brutal business.  It can also be an exhilarating and kind business.  And when it is brutal, it is very very brutal.  And when it is kind, it is very very kind.  Nothing demonstrates that fact more than at nomination time, when the boundaries have all been cut, and the 40 prizes have to be given out, who makes the final cut is very often a matter of chance, choice, personal whim and connivance.  Henry of Anjou, played by Peter O'Toole in the 1968 classic The Lion in Winter says it best: “Power is the only fact.”

Just a scant two hours after this site goes up on Sunday 20 January, the Leader of the Opposition will be announcing a series of political decisions about the nominations for the upcoming general elections.  Those who have accused Mr. Christie of being a waffler, now have the decisiveness for which they craved.  Speaking to his Council on Thursday 17 January, Mr. Christie said that he had put in place the resources to obliterate anyone who was not PLP in the upcoming general election in the seats of Farm Road, Grants Town/Bain Town.  The gasps in his audience were audible.

Mr. Christie will announce that his Council has decided that he is to contest the Farm Road constituency.  The change was necessitated when the Prime Minister destroyed the Centreville seat held by Mr. Christie and the Shirlea seat, held by Pierre Dupuch of the FNM, to create a new seat called St. Thomas Moore.  The Farm Road seat holds Mason’s Addition from his old Centreville seat and much of the old Grants Town constituency of Bradley Roberts, the party’s Chair.  Bradley Roberts is to run in the Grants Town/Bain Town seat, a new seat out of the rump of his old Grants Town constituency and the Bain Town seat of 1997.  The result is the Rev. C. B. Moss, the previous nominee for Bain Town, is without a seat.  Rev. Moss has not announced what he will do.

Frank Smith (right), who ran in 1997 for the PLP in Blue Hills, is to run in the new St. Thomas Moore seat.  Glenys Hanna Martin (centre) is to move to Englerston, following upon the withdrawal from politics of Philip Galanis, the incumbent for the PLP in the seat.  Mrs. Hanna Martin was previously the nominee for Holy Cross against the incumbent Attorney General Carl Bethel.  Mr. Christie admitted a partiality to Arthur D. Hanna, her father, who he said had been at his side through his every political crisis.  Rev. C.B. Moss was not offered the Englerston seat.

Sidney Stubbs (left) has been withdrawn as the candidate for Bamboo Town and no one from the PLP will contest the election against Tennyson Wells.  Mr. Wells has pledged to support the PLP’s candidates throughout The Bahamas except for the seats of his erstwhile allies in the Free National Movement.  A similar move is expected with regard to the St. Margaret’s seat and Pierre Dupuch who is to run as an independent.  The talk is that the same thing will be done in Long Island, where Larry Cartwright, a former teacher is to run as an independent in that constituency against the incumbent James Knowles.

There are two other seats whose candidates are being reviewed, one in Nassau, the other in the islands.

And so the horses are headed to the starting gate.  The tensions within the party are there as a result of the blood letting on Thursday 17 January but nothing could rival the so called night of the long knives in 1977.  We remind ourselves about that below.  But this writer, invited by the Leader into the room, sat at the back and watched it all.  So this was the proverbial smoke filled room, where the decisions got made and unmade; the power to appoint and disappoint.  Time to watch, analyse and inwardly digest.

This week we had 35,179 hits on this site for the week ending Saturday 19 January at midnight.  That makes 79,673 hits on this site for the month of December.  Please keep reading and thank you for reading.

by Nello Lambert, taken at 'Montrose' - Christmas 2000

by Kendal Demeritte
Frank ‘The Bouncer’ Watson
Currently Frank ‘The Bouncer’ Watson has me in a truly complex state of mind. I can’t seem to get a fix on all his different personalities.  Sometimes he acts like Frank James (Jesse James’ brother), and sometimes he reminds me of Harry Hippie. You know Harry, who never worries about anything in particular. He would attempt to write a check for sweet rest on Sunset. But you know Hubert and The Boys like to help a man when he is down. But how could they justify clearing Frank when he has bounced cheques all over town. I’m sorry boys I think you gonna have to put Frank down. But then again, Frank reminds me of Ben E. King, and that song he sings Stand by Me. “When the night has come and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light you’ll see... No I wont be afraid, no I shed a tear, because I know Ingraham, The Tribune and Z.N.S will stand by me. And he also reminds me of Percy Sledge, ‘Cover Me’, spread your precious, protective, political arms all over me. Hide me, Hide me, where Bradley Roberts can’t find me. God knows Ingraham I need you so! 

From This Corner
To The Pan-Handler at ZNS
Please stop distorting the truth, remember this…The Bouncer was not cleared of anything, so Pan- Handler get a life or you will be “ROLL OUT!”

From The Corner
To the Tribune Editor
How many times must a man turn his head and pretend he just doesn’t see…. Beware Madame Editor…The answer my friend is blowing in the Wind. How many times must Hubert Ingraham do foolishness. And you support the same. How many times Madam Editor must they misuse and abuse public funds? And you Madame Editor pretend that you don’t see. Oh Madam Editor my dear friend, the answer is blowing, “Freshly in the Wind”.

From this Corner
To a true PLP Stalwart Ezra Bond Thompson 
A gallant political warrior with strong fortitude and true grit. Whose loyalty to friends and his political party the PLP will go unmatched in the political history of the PLP. A good and caring husband and father and a provider of sort, to friend and foe. Well done brother Bond. Remember I’m still younger than you are. AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!!

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 Government has with the votes of the Opposition passed ten additional bills that if approved by the Senate and in some cases the electorate will amend the constitution of The Bahamas for the first time since it became the basic law of the country in 1973.
    It is time that the changes come.  But this Senator when he is asked at the referendum whether to vote or yes, will vote no.  We should not support anything that Mr. Ingraham proposes at this time.  The process is fatally flawed.  The legislation is rushed.  The ten bills were advanced at this last minute after nine years of promising constitutional reform, and after promising in his 1997 Manifesto and speech from the throne that reform would come.  He even appointed the then Geoffrey Johnstone to head a Commission to review the constitution.  He was the only commissioner ever appointed.  Now the Prime Minister has come with changes without the report of a commission and without the public discussion, white paper or green paper that it requires.
    The Opposition, with the exception of one dissenting vote on one of the Bills by Coalition for Democratic Reform (CDR) Leader Dr. B. J. Nottage, voted for the Bills.  But the Leader of the Opposition had this to say in his intervention before the vote on Wednesday 16 January: “We are headed for general elections. Those of us in the Opposition have a view of what is fair.  If we regard the process [of the referendum] as unfair, then this is what will happen.  We will criticize and go to the country on the basis that this is an illegitimate course of action being advocated and you should not participate or you should vote no.”
    We applaud the statement.  It sets the pretext for a no vote.  In the view of Mr. Christie, fairness will mean that those who oppose the referendum and the amendments will get a fair opportunity at the expense of the public to air their views throughout the country.  If that is not done, then Mr. Christie says that the process will not be fair.  This senator believes that the entire thing is fatally flawed and should not be supported in any way.
    I urge you to vote no to anything put forward by Mr. Ingraham.  No constitution of The Bahamas should be amended in the fashion in which this is being done.  Leave the document alone!

The Government proposes eleven amendments to the constitution.  The Bahamas Constitution Amendment Act is the title of all of them.

[Code: * to amend you need three quarters of all the members of each house on the final voting thereon, plus a fifty per cent plus one majority in a referendum;  *x, there are two types of amendments in this bill in one case there is a requirement for a two thirds majority of all the members voting in each house on the final voting in that house for it to pass, plus the fifty plus one per cent majority in a referendum and in other cases it requires a three quarters majority as stated before plus the fifty one per cent  majority at a referendum; + these are not entrenched provisions and so can be changed by a simple majority of the Parliament.]

The swirl of political rumours have been in the air for at least two years.  Philip Galanis, the Member of Parliament for Englerston (PLP) and one time candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Liberal Party, has had a hard time of it within the last five years. He lost his position as head of the accounting firm Ernst and Young.  And then he was engaged in a strange and bitter lawsuit arising out of it.  The suit and other matters apparently were too much to handle in conjunction with running an election campaign and representing a constituency.  Mr. Galanis announced after consultations with the Leader of the Opposition that he is withdrawing from the race for this election and throwing his support behind Glenys Hanna Martin as the candidate for Englerston.  Mr. Galanis told the House of Assembly: “It is my desire for my party to become the government of The Bahamas following the next general elections, as indeed I believe they will. If I am unable to give all to this effort, it would be wrong for me to hinder the campaign in that regard.”  We regret this turn of events but accept that this was the best of a bad situation.  We wish him well.

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Assembly has reported on the conduct of the Deputy Prime Minister.  Mr. Watson had last year been accused by Bradley Roberts of bouncing cheques to the public treasury as a signatory to a customs brokerage firm Nassau Transfer in which he was a shareholder.  Further, that when it came time for the money to be replaced, the money was reimbursed to the Treasury from funds paid to contractors of the Ministry of Works where Mr. Watson was the Minister.  Further, it was alleged that the Prime Minister knew about the improprieties.
    The Tribune’s headline on the report: ‘WATSON IS CLEARED BY PAC’.  This was the worst form of editorializing and a complete lie.  If you read the report, you will find that Mr. Watson was not cleared of anything.  In fact the report shows that there were abundant irregularities that should lead to the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister.  The record shows that Mr. Watson’s company collected some $66,000 from the Public Treasury.  This was a rebate cheque due to the Holiday Inn for customs duties paid to the Government on goods imported under the Hotel Encouragement Act.  The company used the funds for its own benefit to reimburse the Treasury for the bounced cheques.  The funds were never collected by Holiday Inn.  The attorney for the Holiday Inn said that it appeared that Nassau Transfer had gone out of business.
    The Committee said: “The Committee finds it regrettable that in the circumstances, an investor in The Bahamas who was entitled to rebates under the Hotel Encouragement Act has been deprived of funds that are legitimately due to them and which they are still expecting to receive… Based on the evidence available to it, the Committee finds it regrettable that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance and Planning all of whom were aware of the pertinent facts and circumstances surrounding the dishonoured cheques also appear to have acquiesced to the unusual and irregular ‘resolution’ of this matter”.
    The Public Accounts Committee is headed by Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie.  The Opposition has the majority of members on this committee.  The members are in addition to Mr. Christie, Bradley Roberts (PLP); Philip Galanis (PLP); Elliott B. Lockhart (FNM) and Anthony Miller (FNM).  All members signed the report. Notwithstanding The Tribune’s erroneous headline, a few days later The Tribune published a story including reports of man on the street interviews.  According to the story written by Rupert Missick Jr. on Wednesday 16 January, eight out of ten persons believe that Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson should resign. One 56 year old resident of Winton Estates said: “What is good for the goose should be good for the gander.  Every time the PLP was guilty of corruption the FNM was quick to speak out.  If Mr. Watson resigned I think that it would go well with their policy of transparency and accountability.”

The National Co-ordinator for Information Technology Charles Knowles announced last week the launching of the new Bahamas Government website.  It can be accessed at www.bahamas.gov.bs. Mr. Knowles said that it was decided to embark upon a “friendlier” approach to interaction with government.  The website is also a timelier means for disseminating information, as well as letting people know that we too are operating in the electronic world.

The Comptroller of Customs John Rolle is pictured here in this Tribune photo by Felipé Major.  He held a press conference on Tuesday 15 January.  Beside him in the photo is Renee Symonette, the widow of the late Sean Symonette, a customs officer who was gunned down in front of his son just over two years ago as he was about to become a witness in a case in which he was an undercover operative.  The Government promised Mrs. Symonette to provide for her but they have so far failed to do so.  Yet she was there being presented with an International Humanitarian award to honour her late husband.  But the real deal behind the press conference was for the Comptroller of Customs to set up a pretext for the Government’s poor revenue performance.  Mr. Rolle said that there has been a 20 million dollar decrease in revenue collections over last year.  He said that this can be blamed on the 11 September attack.  We always find that this 11 September attack is being used to explain all ills.  The fact is that the revenue had begun to fall long before the 11 September attack.  It is also a bit strange that the Minister of Finance who has political responsibility for these matters is silent and is letting a public servant who has no responsibility to the Parliament and the people of the country do all the explaining.  Mr. Rolle got himself into public trouble last year when he urged the Government to cancel the present 300 dollar twice a year exemption for the travelling public.  It was widely believed that he was put up to do it as a trial balloon by the Prime Minister.  Later the Prime Minister publicly rebuffed Mr. Rolle's advice.  Everyone saw it as a ploy by the Prime Minister to make himself look like a hero.   It is inappropriate for Mr. Rolle to be involved in these matters and he should cease and desist.

John Rolle, the Comptroller of Customs wants to retry the case of Ralph Munroe that he lost in the Court of Appeal and at the Privy Council.  In a press conference, he made certain statements that obviously revisit a matter that has already been decided by the courts.  You may click here to read the full text of the statement by this Senator on Mr. Munroe’s case.  Mr. Munroe was represented by this Senator in the courts.  Mr. Rolle said that he dealt fairly with Mr. Munroe.  Unfortunately the Court of Appeal did not agree.  And the fact that there was a minority judgment is neither here or there.  The ruling of the Court of Appeal is that he did not deal fairly with Mr. Munroe.  It appears that Mr. Rolle is smarting over the fact that he lost the case and the fact that he did not act properly toward Mr. Munroe.  In the result, he will have to pay a damage award to the customs officer.  In the meantime, it would do the Comptroller well not to comment on these matters.  He has lawyers and they ought to have advised him to leave well enough alone.  Mr. Munroe is now looking into whether or not the comments of the Comptroller were libellous.  Mr. Rolle’s comments came at a press conference on Wednesday 16 January 2002.


The Golden Girls sensation Chandra Stirrup brought her training partner the world’s fastest female runner Marion Jones to The Bahamas last week for a week of training.  It brought out crowds to the Tommy Robinson stadium in Nassau to see the pair. Also with them was sprinter Tim Montgomery and Debbie Dunn, a U.S. quarter miler.  Coach Trevor Graham was also in town.  The US runners are all part of the Sprint Capital.  Ms. Jones had little to say according to The Tribune but Chandra took the visitors back to her alma mater R.M. Bailey High school.  She encouraged the students to work hard and achieve.  Said she: “I think education is extremely important and let that be the first thing on each of your agendas… stay in your books and make sure you get good grades.” Each of the visitors were presented with an R.M. Bailey T shirt and were made honorary captains for the day for the R.M. Bailey Track and Field meet of the various schools houses.  The kids were thrilled by the visit. The Tribune photos are by Felipé Major.

Back To The Top


Bishop Neil Ellis has gone out on a limb and is backing Perry Christie for Prime Minister of the country.  See Nassau Guardian photo.  It was an extraordinary service at the Mt. Tabor Full Gospel Fellowship Baptist Church.  The PLP was making an official visit there to mark Majority Rule Day 10 January.  Present and leading the delegation were: the Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie and Mrs. Christie and Lady Marguerite Pindling, widow of the founding Prime Minister of The Bahamas.

Bradley Roberts (pictured), the PLP’s Chair, tabled four documents that he alleges links the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham as a confidential informant to the U.S. Government in the run up to the 1987 general elections.  Mr. Ingraham was known as confidential informant CI 1622, according to these documents. You may click here for the full report. Mr. Ingraham refused to return the calls of The Tribune to get a response to Mr. Roberts' allegations.  Friends say that he was moping alone at the fish fry one night last week. When teased about the CI 1622 status, he said he did not have time to chase after foolishness.  His priority was the referendum and amending the constitution.  The Nassau Guardian in its editorial of Thursday 17 January called for Mr. Ingraham to answer the allegations made against him.  The word treason is being used around town in relation to this allegation about Mr. Ingraham.  The question is: did he sell out his country in order to ruin his mentor Sir Lynden Pindling?  The United States Embassy's spokesman Brian Bachman issued a statement on Friday 18 January about the documents.  He said that they were fakes. Bradley Roberts, the PLP's Chair said that notwithstanding the Embassy's position an investigation would continue.

The Government used its majority to pass a new Wills Act, an Administration of Estates Act and an Inheritance Act.  The last of the acts is the most far reaching.  It allows the will of a person to be interfered with by a court if no provision is made in the will for the care of minor children, including children born out of wedlock.  A companion piece of legislation the Status of Children’s Act was also passed that purports to remove any difference between children born in wedlock and out of wedlock.  The Government says that this will help end discrimination against children born out of wedlock.  In debate in the Senate on Wednesday 16 January, Senator Melanie Griffin of the PLP pointed out to the Government that the bill was flawed in that it did not provide for the separation of a man's estate from that of his wife and himself when it came to the claim of the children of that man born out of wedlock.  She believed that she could not support the position that a child of a man alone could claim on the after acquired property of a man and his wife.  Janet Bostwick, the Minister of Foreign Affairs had promised that an amendment would be moved in the Senate to deal with the matter but in the rush of the Government to get the bill passed, they made a mistake and it never made it into the bill.   Mrs. Bostwick said that she was surprised that the amendment had not been done.  It serves the Government right. They are too disgusting.  They believe they are all knowing.

This week it was variously reported the following facts:  hotels in The Bahamas have lost ten million dollars in revenue since the 11 September attack in the New York; Customs Revenue is down 20 million dollars also blamed on 11 September; Government revenues have fallen by 100 million dollars in a year.  All we need now is for the Government to publish the real unemployment figures.

Back To The Top


U. S. Ambassador Richard Blankenship at last paid a call on Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie on Tuesday 15 January. The Leader was joined by this senator who is the Opposition’s spokesman on Foreign Affairs.  Mr. Blankenship said that one of his goals was in the area of a small air force for The Bahamas.  Would that we had more time to discuss it.  That is what we need to help the effort against the smuggling of people into The Bahamas from Haiti.  The words had hardly left his mouth when one of the few planes that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force owns crash landed on Thursday 17 January into Lake Killarney on its approach to the Nassau International Airport.  There were five persons on board.  No one was seriously injured.  The plane was reportedly flying from a routine patrol of the south-eastern islands and missed its first pass at the airport. Its engine was sputtering.  The pilot reported a mechanical failure.  But immediately people speculated that the plane simply ran out of fuel.  Tribune photo by Felipé Major of the crashed marines in their rescue dinghy.

The Nassau Guardian reports that Creswell Sturrup, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education has denied that he was fired or placed on temporary administrative leave for leaking confidential information two weeks ago.  The report was written by Lindsay Thompson and published on 14 January.  Mr. Sturrup’s Minister Dion Foulkes, Minister of Education, has been at the centre of a corruption scandal and it has been alleged that Mr. Foulkes gave out contracts for political favours from his Ministry.  When Mr. Sturrup appeared before the Public Accounts Committee it is reported that he filibustered.  He was then told to take a break from the proceedings and admonished not to lie for anyone.  The rumours circulate around town on a daily basis that he is going to be made the fall guy by the Prime Minister for the contracts scandal. Guardian photo.

Someone like Sean McWeeney who was there ought to recount for the present what happened on the night that Sir Lynden Pindling and A.D. Hanna resigned their positions as Leader and Deputy Leader of the PLP on the night that nominations were being decided by the PLP for the 1977 general elections.  On that night that Paul Drake, the PLP propagandist called “The Night of the Long Knives” from the World War II saga, Sir Lynden decided that he did not want a number of PLPs to run again for office.  The Council was resisting him.  He resigned telling them that if he could not get his way, he was not prepared to stay.  The Council capitulated.  And so with Hubert Ingraham as his Chairman, Oscar Johnson, Carl Francis, Edmund Moxey, Lionel Davis, Arlington Butler, Cadwell Armbrister and Franklyn Wilson all incumbents lost their nominations for office.  The reasons were varied.
    In Mr. Johnson’s case, he had been accused as Chairman of BEC of the unauthorized use of company assets.  The same was true for Cadwell Armbrister as Chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation. Mr. Moxey, Mr. Davis, Mr. Francis and Sir Arlington all lost their nominations because they joined with the Opposition in defeating the Government's Public Disclosure Bill in August 1976.  Franklyn Wilson lost his nomination because he signed a Select Committee report of which he was Chairman that condemned the Minister of Works Loftus Roker.  Mr. Roker offered to resign.  The Prime Minister refused the resignation.  Sir Lynden had requested that Mr. Wilson not present the report.  Mr. Wilson refused.  Sir Lynden reportedly told Mr. Wilson upon his refusal: “If you chop off my hands, I will chop off your legs.”  Only two persons spoke up for Mr. Wilson’s nomination in that long and tense Council meeting, Garret ‘Tiger’ Finlayson, the liquor merchant, and the now Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie.
    Of all of the persons, only Mr. Wilson remained a PLP and of course later became Sir Lynden’s Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.  He is now a wealthy businessman and Chairman of a number of powerful and important companies.  It only goes to show for persons now in the position of Rev. C. B. Moss, losing a nomination is not the end of the world, although it is a very bitter thing.  It could very well be the beginning of something else that the Lord has in store for you.  That was the way that the late Archdeacon William Thompson responded after he was defeated in a bitter and scurrilous campaign against him when he was nominated for Suffragan Bishop in the Anglican Church.  The young clergymen thought he was too PLP and they went after him with a vengeance.  Persons whom he had supported and helped turned on him.  He told the congregation after he lost the vote, the congregation was in tears: “Well, it looks like the Lord does not want me to be a Bishop.”


They are my close friends from my days as a college student at Antioch College Yellow Springs, Ohio.  Fond days indeed. Clarence Stukes and Diane Stukes née Castro have two beautiful daughters.  The family now resides in the Washington D.C. area. Their youngest daughter Sabriya is now a freshman at Virginia Tech and this is her freshman photo.  Congratulations to the family.

Foreign 'Waiters' at Resorts - Patrons could hardly believe their eyes.  Two senior expatriate employees of Resorts at Bahamia - one from the accounting department, the other from sales and marketing - serving meals to diners a restaurant at the Tower at Bahamia.  The shocking story is not only in violation of the terms of the expatriates' work permits, but also comes at a time when hundreds of the hotel's line staff are either still laid off or working only one, two or three days per week.  "It's a sad, sad day for our industry," said one Bahamian waiter, "but this is what the FNM Government has brought to us to."  The situation is said to be an attempt by Resorts at Bahamia to save money.  We shall be waiting to see whether the two expatriates put in for a fifteen percent gratuity cheque.  Hotel union executives are said to be aware.

You'all Eat In The Back! - In a move said to be a retaliation for not being allowed to use employee pension money,  Resorts at Bahamia has instructed all Bahamian staff that they are henceforth to take their meals in the kitchen.  From time immemorial, Bahamian staff above a certain level at the hotels had been allowed to sign for and consume meals in the various restaurants.  No more.  Now the word is "All you'all eat in the back!"  As the waiter said in our previous story: "this is what the FNM Government has brought to us to."

BHICAM Letter - Originally intended for publication in The Freeport News, this letter concerns the scandalous situation at the Bahamian engineering firm BHICAM, which the Grand Bahama Container Port is currently attempting to put out of business.  (See our story last week) The letter writer has asked if we would publish it, because insiders at the Freeport News have said that publication is "under orders not to publish anything that would affect the Container Port - you'all know what happened to the last fellow who tried that."  The last is a veiled reference to a senior journalist no longer employed at the Freeport News after running afoul of the power structure in the city. Please click here for the letter.

C.A. Under Threat - Underground informants tell News From Grand Bahama that H. Rudy Sawyer intends to run as an independent candidate against the FNM incumbent for Pineridge, C.A. Smith.  Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of Sawyer's campaign generals advised Minister Smith to "Pack your georgie bundle, C.A. - you're gone!"  Already wary of the challenge from the PLP's Ann Percentie, the Minister's top aides are shaken that one so well-connected to the FNM would contemplate a run in Pineridge.  Sawyer is brother to key campaign aides for former FNM Minister Algernon Allen in Marathon and Senator Pauline Cooper-Nairn in St. Thomas Moore.  Currently the Deputy Chief Councillor in the city of Freeport, Sawyer has a history of eking out victories against the FNM party machinery having defeated FNM nominees twice in his runs for the city council.  Sawyer and most of his supporters on the Freeport City Council seem partial towards renegade FNM Tennyson Wells.  Things that make you go hmmm!

'Our' Lucaya Casino Deal Falls Through -  Confirming reports that we made on this website months ago, Hutchison Whampoa, the mainland Chinese owners of 'Our' Lucaya announced that they are searching for a new firm to open the casino there.  The financially troubled London Club has pulled out of the deal.  Again, we ask, what about the Government's "due diligence' search on these people.  We were able to report their financial problems months ago, and a full-fledged Government investigation couldn't find this out?  Perhaps the Gaming Board and Hutchison should read this website more closely.

Who Has Registered - Interesting insight this week from the Parliamentary Registration Department in Grand Bahama.  A spokesman revealed to ZNS Radio News that contrary to widely held opinion, young people are registering to vote; typically showing up on their eighteenth birthdays or the following day.  The Parliamentary Registration spokesman said that it is the older, professional and more affluent Grand Bahama residents who are unwilling to come forward.  These are the same people who at one time called Freeport "FNM country".  Is this major trouble for the FNM in Grand Bahama?

27th January, 2002
This Week on fredmitchelluncensored.com
John Carey / PLP Carmichael...  
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Pauline Cooper-Nairn is a Senator for the Free National Movement.  She is the daughter of the late Lofton Cooper, a man of some prominence and a hero of the Lewis Yard affair in Grand Bahama.  He was tragically shot down in a robbery gone badly over a decade ago.  His daughter has his same feistiness.  The FNM has chosen her as a candidate for the St. Thomas Moore constituency in Nassau.  The Centreville constituency that Mr. Ingraham dismantled was Perry Christie’s seat and he replaced it with St. Thomas Moore.  It was a low down dirty trick.  But that is Ingraham for you.

It is clear that Hubert Ingraham is trying to promote Pauline Cooper Nairn.  She is married to Permanent Secretary Archie Nairn for the Minister of Transport.  She led off the debate on the proposed amendments to the constitution.  She is a faithful soldier and cheerleader.  She says that she has read this site once and she thought the site was trash, and that this writer was too intelligent to be associated with such trash.  In that respect she lives in ga ga land.  Her brown eyes are dazzling as she talks this claptrap, and she could not possibly believe it.  She is a lost cause.

But she is typical of the unthinking foot soldiers that Hubert Ingraham has in the FNM.  Notwithstanding all the evidence around that the Government is consumed by corruption and nepotism, she still manages to find redeeming qualities in the FNM.  There is of course, the hatred of Pindling because of perceived wrongs to her father.  No forgive and forget there.  Again, this is typical of so many.  And it is that hatred that will drive the Free National Movement through the next election.  They intend to try and stick the message that this is the same old PLP.  I don’t think it is going to work.

This Senator believes that the Government of The Bahamas has serious money problems.  It cannot meet its bills.  There was a report this week that Bahamasair couldn’t meet payroll on the regular day.  And as Bradley Roberts and I tried to get to Exuma for a meeting on Friday 25 January, we could not because Bahamasair’s planes had all broken down.  They could have sent us later if the lights were working in Georgetown but the lights have not been operational at the airport in Georgetown for some time.  By the time we found this out, we could not charter a plane because official dark did not allow us to land in Georgetown without permission.  And so a whole day was wasted in Nassau.

That is typical of what is happening in The Bahamas today.  We have the foot soldiers of the FNM like Pauline Cooper-Nairn and yes even the Trust lady Lynn Holowesko singing the praises of a corrupt Government.  Things are collapsing about them, but they think it’s all wonderful. They think that people could not be possibly fed up with a biggety, disrespectful Prime Minister who simply makes up things as he goes.  From our point of view that is why he has to be defeated.

This week we had 36,091 hits on this site for the week ending 26 January 2002 at midnight.  That makes 115,762 hits on this site for the month of January.  Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

by Nello Lambert, taken at 'Montrose' - Christmas 2000

by Kendal Demeritte
Well Good morning this Mornin’
We are coming to you live on the Out Island you asked for it  ‘Request Show’.  Our first request reads like this: “Please play for me that song by Sam Cooke, ‘Chain Gang’.  This goes out to the F.N.M dream team.”

I hear something saying ooh ahh, ooh ahh
Well don’t you know that’s the sound of the men,
Working on the chain…….. Gaaaaang.
All day long they work so hard,
Until the sun is going down,
Working on the High Ways and By-ways,
And wearing a frown.
You can hear them moaning from miles away,
And then you will hear somebody say….
That’s The Sound Of The Wrong Men Working On The Chain Gang!

From this Corner
To the People Of Bain Town
Look what the C.D.R.  and the F.N.M have sent you as candidates in this upcoming election…A fork-tongued Union boss…well I guess that’s kinda alright cause we all can be fork tongueish sometimes.  But look at what the F.N.M has sent, a Now and Then Christian preacher, now that’s kinda scary when you playin with my manso up there, that’s not easy business.  But despite it all, isn’t God wonderful….? Look at what the P.L.P has sent…A Good and Christian Gentleman, A Fair Minded Businessman, A great Philanthropist, A Bearer Of Good tidings, A great Husband and Family Man. Truly A Brother’s Brother…..
Bain Town ..,this Corner Presents To you……..Big…..Good…Brad Roberts.  Vote for Brad and Bain Town would be a Happy Place. God really Hears and answers Prayers!

To Sonny The Dreamer
To Sonny Russell The F.N.M Candidate and temporary wanna be, who’s up and down this town and claiming to be the King of Collin’s Wall, well Sonny I’m sorry for you buddy. When the Chief Perry Christie finish annihilating you and obliterating you. That so called search and rescue F.N.M dream team, just might be able to find you somewhere standing on the great Chinese Wall, grinning like a chessy cat, and crazy as a bat.  Sonny: Funky, Christie and the Boys Never came easy. 

To the M.P. for Fox Hill
Just a Small Reminder
 Sometime early this year, you and your bad representation of Fox Hill will be gone in the Political graveyard of Fox Hill. For long, long, long………..!

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


    On Wednesday 23 January, the Senate met to consider ten bills that will amend the constitution.  You may click here for last week’s story on what the Bills are about.  All of the Bills passed the Senate with the requisite majorities so that they must now go to the people for a referendum.
    This Senator was the lead speaker for the Opposition.  It was pointed out that the Bills were unnecessary and that the referendum that will follow is an expense that the country does not need at this time.  The Government did not listen.  For example, Article 13 of the constitution gives the Government the power to pass a law to give anyone citizenship of The Bahamas that it wishes.  No constitutional amendment is therefore needed to extend citizenship rights to the spouses of Bahamian women and the children of married Bahamian women born outside The Bahamas.  You may click here for the full address of this Senator.
    It is clear that these bills are simply a smoke screen to create confusion in the minds of the public.  The Prime Minister wants the PLP to be saddled with the reputation of being anti-woman by opposing the amendments.  The country is clearly in an anti-FNM mood, however.  At a town meeting on the constitution on Wednesday 23 January at the British Colonial Hilton, Carl Bethel, the Attorney General made a total ass of himself.  He confirmed what most people thought that he appears not to know the law of The Bahamas.  This is a disgraceful state of affairs for an Attorney General of The Bahamas.  Paul Adderley, the former Attorney General under the PLP, who appeared on the ZNS sponsored panel, treated him like a little boy.
    To show how this stuff works, Senator Pauline Cooper-Nairn and the other foot soldiers and yes persons of the FNM thought that the forum was stacked against them, even though their FNM supporters at ZNS put the panel together.  Further, they said that Paul Adderley was rude to the Attorney General.  It is absolutely amazing.  This group of people who called Pindling every name in the book now has the nerve to say who was rude to whom.  We are going to vote no in the referendum and we are encouraging all who are voting to vote no.

   Henry and Janet Bostwick really have it in for Hubert Ingraham or so it is being said around the political community.  There is a sense of a double cross by Mr. Ingraham.  Janet Bostwick was supposed to be the first female Governor General of the country.  It was not to be.  Instead Hubert Ingraham made the unpopular decision of appointing Dame Ivy Dumont to the post.  The friends of Mr. Ingraham said that Mr. Ingraham was prepared to offer the post to Mrs. Bostwick, the first woman elected to the Parliament of The Bahamas, but he thought she wanted too much.  According to Mr. Ingraham's friends, in the laundry list were a knighthood for her husband Henry, the President of the Senate; Mrs. Bostwick wanted to be made a Dame, the female equivalent of a knighthood and one of her daughters was to succeed her in the Yamacraw seat.  Mr. Ingraham reportedly thought that was too much and balked.
    And this week Mr. Ingraham attacked Henry Bostwick with a vengeance.  Said Mr. Ingraham on Wednesday 23 January in a response to a charge that he likes to bend the rules and that he was stopped from doing so by Henry Bostwick when the Government attempted to introduce a Bill in the Senate that had already been introduced in the House of Assembly: “The President of the Senate is quite aware and has acknowledged that he was wrong when he refused to permit the government leader in the Senate to table the Constitutional Bills in that place.  The President of the Senate was misinformed on the matter and seemed to have believed that the Bills had been previously introduced in the House of Assembly which they had not been at that time and constitutionally the Government is quite entitled to table in the Senate for the first reading and passage any bill for the first time other than a money bill – that is clear as day in the Constitution of The Bahamas.”
    Senate President Henry Bostwick took umbrage at the Prime Minister’s remarks in the House. In the Senate on Thursday 24 January he said: “I want to say unequivocally that this President, your President, Henry Bostwick, at no time, in no place, to any person whatsoever made any such admission namely that I had acknowledged that I was wrong or that I was in error by not placing the Bills on the Senate agenda, that statement is untrue.”

    There is a saying that we have about Hubert Ingraham that we haven’t used in a while.  The saying is: “You can’t put a goat on a board floor, because it will prance.”  That is what came to mind when according to The Tribune’s Gustavius Smith in a report on Thursday 24 January; the Prime Minister attacked Nicki Kelly, The Tribune columnist.  In her column of 22 January, Ms. Kelly wrote the following:
    “With three Ministers under a cloud, and not even the Prime Minister immune from scandal, the FNM finds itself in an invidious position for a party that made clean government a cornerstone of its 1992 election platform.  And the position is complicated by the fact that the ministers in question represent the top most echelon of the FNM’s political hierarchy.”
    Said Mr. Ingraham in response in the House of Assembly on Tuesday 22 January: “Having made a career out of attacking me, she (Nicki Kelly) would be lost for what she would do following the next general election.  Because she says this morning even the Prime Minister is not immune from scandal.  But this is really all I want to say about her and I want to say it now that she ought to leave that alone.  Um hello Nicki, don't go there Nicki, don’t go there.  Talk about scandal, Nicki, don’t do that.  That is not good for you.”
    Mr. Ingraham also commented on Ms. Kelly’s assertion that Foreign Minister Janet Bostwick was surprised at Dame Ivy’s appointment as Governor General.  The columnist wrote that Opposition leader Perry Christie had an understanding that there would be no final appointment until after the general election.  Said Mr. Ingraham: “She is also confused about the appointment of Dame Ivy Dumont as Governor General.  She suggests that I had an understanding with the Leader of the Opposition that there will be no formal appointment until after a general election.  Well why do I need the understanding of him?  That is my constitutional right not his. ”
    As we said, you can’t put a goat on a board floor, it will prance.

    The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and the Bahamas Employers Confederation sponsored a seminar for the business community on Wednesday 23 January at Buena Vista Hotel. The idea was to educate the employers on the new labour legislation rushed through the Parliament by Hubert Ingraham's government.   Brian Nutt, President of the Bahamas Employers Confederation, said major changes were made to the Minimum Wages Bill without any dialogue with employers.  Said Mr. Nutt: “After the 11 September attacks in the US, the Prime Minister agreed to put the labour legislation on hold for the time being and promised to give notice of when he intended to proceed.  Without any advanced warning the Employment Bill was passed by Parliament on 20 December 2001 and enacted on 1 January 2002.”  Mr. Nutt said that major changes were made to the Minimum Wages Bill without any dialogue with employers.

    Bradley Roberts MP had the Prime Minister on the run all last week.  There was one bombshell after another.  The last was a series of documents tabled by Mr. Roberts that showed that Mr. Ingraham may have been a confidential informant for the US Government.  The US government in Nassau denied it and said that the documents were fake.  No one believes that.  Mr. Ingraham was righteously indignant and called Mr. Roberts a liar.  Mr. Roberts stood by the allegations.  These allegations have been circulating for some time and Mr. Ingraham has just now bothered to refute them.
    The most peculiar thing about Mr. Ingraham’s response was the fact that he said that he would “deal” with the Mr. Roberts.  In our contribution in the Senate on Wednesday 23 January, we pointed out that he certainly could not mean by dealing with Mr. Roberts that he intended to fight him physically.  That could only mean a good cut behind for the Prime Minister.  But in the middle of the Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Ingraham abandoned his legislative agenda.
    The PLP voted against the amendment to the Constitutional Referendum Act on Tuesday 22 January on the grounds that shortening the period between the writ for the referendum and the actual vote to 21 days was too short and did not give sufficient time for a campaign of public education.   The Amendment to the Public Holidays Act that would have given us a National Heroes Day was abandoned.
    The House adjourned to 11 March and Mr. Ingraham said that the next time that he appears in Parliament it will be after the next general election.  The Senate adjourned on Thursday after completing a compendium of bills sine die.  And so the stage is now set for the general election.  If the referendum is held at the end of February, look for a general election in late March or early April.  Please be sure that you are registered to vote.

    The taxi drivers at the Nassau International Airport led a demonstration outside the quarters of the Department of Road Traffic.  They were demonstrating against the ineffectiveness of the Department when dealing with hackers at the Nassau International Airport.  The demonstration took place on Tuesday 22 January.  The taxi drivers called on the Prime Minister to intervene because the Road Traffic Authority and the Road Traffic Department has let them down on several occasions.  The hackers are said to be Haitians picking up their compatriots that fly between Nassau and Haiti every day.
    The problem at the airport is complicated by the fact that revenues in the country are way down as a result of the lack of tourists.  Some drivers complain that they have to wait five hours for a job and some make no money the whole day long.  The Haitian drivers are using the airport illegally and the authorities are loath or unable to crack down.   The General Manager of the Authority Idris Reid denied that they were being ineffective. He said that he needed names in order to act.  But the hacker's problem is just one of a number of instances where The Bahamas continues to keep its head in the sand on the growing clash of cultures between Haitians in The Bahamas and Bahamians.
    The Bahamian community seems put upon by the onslaught of the uncontrolled access of a Haitian underclass in the country.  As the economic competition gets tougher, the issues are exacerbated.  Again this week, there was a startling and tragic headline.  Fourteen Haitians died when their boat capsized just 13 miles south of New Providence.  The official version is that the Defence Force patrol craft HMBS P43 was on routine patrol when it intercepted the 35-foot green and white sailing sloop, with over 93 refugees on board.  A second Defence Force boat was sent to assist with transporting the refugees.  The statement from the Force continued: “While transferring the immigrants from the overcrowded sloop, the immigrants rushed to one side of the already unstable vessel, causing it to capsize and sink in the rough seas.”
    Something must be done to stop this.  The Bahamian Government, the US Government are not doing enough. Defence Force officers are shown carrying one of the victims ashore in this RBDF photo by Leading Seaman Jonathan Rolle.

    The US Government has finally gotten its way with The Bahamas.  After threatened economic retaliation against The Bahamas, Hubert Ingraham's Government has capitulated and signed a tax information exchange agreement with the United States Government.  Finance Minister William Allen travelled to Washington to sign the agreement on Thursday 24 January.
    Without the exchange agreement, The Bahamas would not get the Internal Revenue Services Qualified Jurisdiction Status.  That would be a disincentive to Bahamian banking institutions who would have to withhold tax moneys for persons who invest in the United States in advance, rather than be able to simply pay the monies earned in the US on the basis that the persons were non US tax payers.
    The Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) is something that the US has been pressuring the Government of The Bahamas for twenty years or more since the days of Sir Lynden Pindling.  He refused.  And the result was that The Bahamas lost the right to have US conventions here that could write off their convention costs as a tax benefit.  Sun International and the Grand Bahama Port Authority wanted the Government to enter the agreement because it will help tourism.
    The convention benefit kicks in on 1 January 2006 and the criminal exchange of information will begin on 1 January 2004.  Either Government can withdraw from the agreement with three months notice.

Back To The Top

    We reported on this site 16 December 2001 that M. Teresa Butler, the Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister for the entire period of his Prime Ministership is to retire early from the public service, taking advantage of the early retirement package specially passed into law by the Prime Minister and his Government.  It will avoid her having to undergo the indignity of working for a new Government.  Now we have the news that Ms. Butler is not really going into retirement but is to be offered a new position; that of Chairman of the Public Service Commission.  She will be following in the footsteps of Dame Ivy Dumont who left that job to become Governor General.  Pundits are saying that a pattern is now developing as the Prime Minister leaves office.  He is seeking to tie the hands of the next administration by putting in place his trusted lieutenants who will carry out his orders and keep him informed long after he is gone.

    The Catholic Church is said to have been greatly disturbed by a picture that appeared in all newspapers by Tim Aylen, a free lance photographer of FNM candidate Senator Pauline Cooper-Nairn (see editorial) attending church at St. Thomas Moore’s Catholic Church on Madeira Street in Nassau.  The church lends its name to the new constituency specially designed to defeat Pierre Dupuch the FNM dissident and Perry Christie, the now Leader of the Opposition.
    The picture showed Senator Cooper-Nairn shaking hands with the Catholic priest Fr. Glen Nixon as she exited a Sunday mass.  The priest shakes hands with everyone as they leave church.  The caption described Senator Cooper-Nairn as having discussions with the priest.  The photo was totally inappropriate, particularly after the Catholic Archbishop Lawrence Burke warned that Catholic Priests should not be drawn into partisan politics. Nothing wrong with the picture in and of itself but to give a photo caption from a public relations firm that says she was having discussions with the priest is inappropriate.
    Senator Cooper-Nairn has been criticized by her opponents for allowing her husband to accompany her on campaign rounds in the new constituency.  He is a Permanent Secretary and therefore should not even have the hint of political involvement.  Senator Cooper-Nairn has denied that is what he is doing but the reports continue.  The church photo of Senator Cooper-Nairn is yet another example of this cabal of new people brought in by Hubert Ingraham who are totally insensitive to the difference between what is political and what should be kept out of politics.
    Under Mr. Ingraham all propriety has been lost and his followers act as though all the rules have gone out of the window.  Hopefully, a PLP government will restore the sense of propriety.


The Cornerstone of the new St. Anselm’s Church is Fox Hill was laid on Sunday 20 January.  This Senator attended the service and is pictured with the architect, engineer, priest and builder.  From left Lambert Archer, quantity surveyor, this Senator, George Cox, engineer and Dwight Higgs, builder.

    The US embassy in Nassau has announced that effective immediately all Bahamian males between the ages of 16 and 45 will now be required to fill out a new application form when applying for a United States visa.  This is according to a report in the Nassau Guardian 26 January.
    Officials from the Public Affairs Section of the American Embassy, Queen Street said due to last 11 September’s attack on the World Trade Centre in New York further information is required.  The Visa Section Chief Irma Hopkins told The Guardian males were targeted because it was believed that they are more likely to be involved in negative incidents.  The old application from will not be accepted for males within that age category.  Otherwise the process for the visas will not change.  These actions seem clearly discriminatory.
    One wonders whether the US is not going into overkill on these matters.  However, it is their country but all of this seems to fly in the face of a Free Trade of the Americas Agreement that is pushing in the direction of free flow of people.  It should be made easier for Bahamians not more difficult for them to travel into the United States.  We think that when the US. Secretary of State visits The Bahamas to meet with Caribbean Foreign Minister on 7 February they ought to make the case against these restrictive US visas polices.  All of our countries allow their citizens into our countries without visas.  The policies should therefore be reciprocal for any member of a Caricom country.

Back To The Top

    Barclays Bank has been talking to its unions about the merger between itself and CIBC in the Caribbean.  The new bank is to be called First Caribbean.  Barclays has been representing that all the union contracts will be transferred to the new entity and that the talks were progressing well.  No so fast, said Tyrone Forbes, the President of the Bahamas Financial Services Union that represents the Barclays' employees.   Mr. Forbes said despite the announcements of Barclays there is a fear that some staff will have to be let go from the operations of the two banks.  Staff at CIBC report that this is already happening, with employees walking on eggshells.  They are fired for the least infraction. The report on the matter was made in The Tribune’s business section on Monday 21 January.


The Attorney General tried to get special leave to appeal to the Privy Council in the case of the Commissioner of Police against Matthew Mitchell.  Matthew is my younger brother.   Earlier in the year, he had been convicted of fraud by false pretences.  He was sentenced to three years in prison.  The Court of Appeal freed him on appeal after serving seven months of that sentence.  In an act of political spite, the Attorney General said that he would appeal.  The Court of Appeal heard the matter on 23 January and decided that they had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.  The Attorney General must now go to get special leave directly from the Privy Council.  Our family continues to believe that this is an act of political spite by the Attorney General.

    PLP Candidate Kenyatta Gibson stunned his colleagues this week when he issued a statement to the press in which he accused a powerful group of foreign moneyed interests of seeking to have his candidacy withdrawn so that Dr. Bernard Nottage, the breakaway PLP MP who heads the Coalition for Democratic Reform (CDR) can be unopposed in Kennedy.
    Said the statement: “For the last several months, I have been the subject and object of vicious and untruthful propaganda designed firstly to destabilize my campaign in Kennedy as the PLP standard bearer and to embarrass my beloved leader the Hon. Perry Christie for his confidence and support.  Mr. Christie personally recruited me and he has said on many occasions I am the true personal PLP representative of the good people of Kennedy.  I am happy to call Mr. Christie friend.  It has become apparent to me that those hitherto sleeping enemies of Mr. Christie who wish to now deny him the Prime Ministership of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas are mounting a rear guard action to cause mischief and discontentment as regards the Kennedy election and the good people thereof.  I have been advised that there are certain powerful factions backed by foreign moneyed interests who want Dr. Bernard Nottage unopposed by the PLP in Kennedy and are using sophisticated and highhanded methods to besmirch my name and to extort from our grand party.  Again I say that they shall not prevail.  Long Live Perry Christie. Long Live the PLP.”
    The newspapers reported that an anonymous source had said that the foreign element was Mohammad Harajchi, the owner of Suisse Security Bank that was closed down by the Central Bank at gunpoint last year.  Mr. Harajchi admitted a small donation to the PLP.   The source also said that the money was being channelled through Philip Smith the New Providence Campaign Co-ordinator of the PLP.  PLP leader Perry Christie was furious with the statement.  Said Mr. Christie: “I am not aware of any moneys whatsoever or of any agreement that would enable Philip Smith to receive any funding on behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party.”  And he denied that Mr. Harajchi had given any ultimatum to him about pulling the candidacy of Kenyatta Gibson.   The candidate’s statement was not helpful.


Bahamian Mark Knowles and his Canadian partner Daniel Nestor have won the tennis doubles title at the Australian Open Tennis Tournament.  It is the first 'Grand Slam' win for Knowles and a milestone for the Bahamas.  The pair won their first title in four Grand Slam finals when they defeated Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro 7-6(4), 6-3.  Reports say that Knowles, known in tennis circles by the nickname '4B' (Biggest, baddest, blondest, Bahamian) and Nestor have been rewarded richly for joining forces again this year after playing the past three seasons with various partners.  They had been one of the world's premier pairs before parting company, and had reached Grand Slam finals at the Australian Open in 1995, and Roland Garros and the US Open in 1998.   Said Knowles, "Work hard - it pays off."  Photos are courtesy of www.atptour.com with actions shots by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images.  Knowles is at right (top) with trophy.

    Eileen Dupuch Carron has been at it all week on this senator.  First there was an editorial called 'Senator Mitchell like a dog with a bone'.  Then she wrote another editorial in which she said that this Senator was impertinent for criticizing her and asked the question: Who does Senator Mitchell think that he is?
    All of this arose out of a press release about the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and its inability to keep the power on in Nassau.  The Chairman of BEC is J. Barrie Farrington who is also a senior executive at Sun International. When the power goes off in Nassau, the lights are always burning on Paradise Island.  This senator asked how it was possible for the Chairman of BEC to work for Sun and keep Sun’s lights on but could not keep the lights on in Nassau.  This incensed poor old Eileen Carron, thus the editorials.  These were the second and third editorials responding to my statement.  I responded to the first by saying that she has a knee jerk response to defending Sun International.  And further, she should disclose all the commercial contracts and links between Sun and The Tribune.  This would not be an unusual thing for The Tribune since earlier in its history the father of Mrs. Carron who preceded her in the Editor's chair accepted a consultancy fee from the Grand Bahama Port Authority for doing nothing, but the result was his opposition to casino gambling stopped in the columns of his paper at a time when the Port Authority who paid the fee was campaigning to get a casino licence.
    So it was important for us to know, why the Defence of Sun?  What contracts do they have with The Tribune?  Further, Ed Fields of 100 JAMZ, The Tribune owned radio station, is also an employee of Sun International.  It is conceivable that every time someone attacks Sun, Mr. Fields gets on the phone and asks Eileen to respond by defending Sun.  He got into the act himself by going on the radio and issuing a challenge that this Senator must say one time that I was not influenced when I was Director of News at ZNS by a Minister of the Government.  What has all this got to do with the price of cheese?  Not a darn thing.
    The fact is that J. Barrie Farrington as Chairman of BEC has been unable to keep the lights on in New Providence.  The lights are on at Sun all the time.  If he can keep the lights on at Sun, he must be able to keep the lights on in Nassau.  That’s all.
    As for who Senator Mitchell thinks he is. The question itself is impertinent.  Eileen Carron knows exactly who I am.  We know each other well.  The fact is that what she wants is this senator to apologize for being an uppity Negro.  If she were to have it her way, we would all know our places.  She, after all, is a Dupuch.  Unfortunately the difficulty with her is that she is uncomfortable with her Negro heritage.  She can’t put it to one side as simply as she ought.  Race should be irrelevant, but like many in her position, it eats away like a sore and the result is that no one who is Black can do anything right or should dare to contradict her.  Oh well!  We feel sorry for her.


Condolences to the family of Kendal Moss, a well-known businessman of Fox Hill who was buried at St. Mark's Native Baptist Church Sunday 27 January.  He is survived by his father, the Reverend Curtis Moss of Fairfield, Crooked Island and seven sisters: Yvonne Smith, Francita Ferguson, Naomi Lloyd, Mavis McKenzie, Eleanor McQuay, Cindy Petty and Olga Greaves.  He is pictured.

I'm Voting Against All - The morning after the ZNS-sponsored Town Meeting in Nassau on the proposed amendments to the constitution, FNMs in Grand Bahama were long in the face.  "We must go into damage control", said one.  Another advised his party "No way can we consider a rebroadcast of that town meeting and we definitely shouldn't dare go over the hill to sell this to the people - they don't like how it is being done and they don't want it."  Still a third FNM moaned, "We need to put this behind us... it just ain't worth it... I'm an FNM and I'm voting against all of them."

Minister Rebuked - It was another sign of the FNM times in The Bahamas.  Minister of Transport, Aviation and Local Government C.A. Smith was rebuked to his face in public by a senior official of Resorts at Bahamia for the Minister's comments about the slowness of the renovation project at the Resorts.   Observers said the ministers could say nothing but hang his head.  A Minister of The Bahamas Government.  Is this worth the 'free' lunch?

More Contempt From Resorts - Resorts at Bahamia this week continued to show contempt for the Government and people of The Bahamas this week by advertising in the local Freeport newspaper for someone to train a trainer in food and beverage.  No problem with that, but the problem is that the Resorts at Bahamia have over the past months fired at least two such qualified Bahamians for no demonstrable reason.  Even now, reports have it that the resorts are continuing to attempt at bringing in an expatriate to fill the position.  The same expatriate has been deported once already by the Department of Immigration.

Money Moves - Contractors working on the renovation project at Resorts at Bahamia were incensed.  Several report that at 4.55 Friday afternoon, Resorts at Bahamia finally released the cheques to the contractors, knowing full well that they would not catch the bank that day.  By 5.30 Friday, News From Grand Bahama was inundated with calls of complaint.  Informants tell us that Resort at Bahamia is hoping for a good weekend in the hotels and casino and by Monday they hope to deposit enough money to cover those cheques.

Charlie Lowe, Still Unpaid -  Earlier this month, we reported that local contractor Charlie Lowe, also the FNM Council Member for Marco City, had yet to be paid for a job received from FNM Deputy Leader elect and Minister of Education Dion Foulkes during the now infamous run-up to the FNM's special convention.  Please click here for that story.  Now reports have it Mr. Lowe has told certain FNM higher-ups that if "you'all want to see why lobster red, don't pay me my money." One Government Minister said that since 11 September, the Government has had to reorder its priorities and that Mr. Lowe is now down on the list.  The Lowe family is now reportedly threatening to make voting for the FNM a low priority for them all.

Ministers Battle - The two Government ministers from Grand Bahama are said to be engaged in a fierce tug of war over the contract to repair the Grand Bahama post office and a local contractor has been caught in the middle.  A friendly warning for the contractor.  Make sure you get everything in writing.  In a short while, these Ministers will be Ministers no more and all the underlings may forget the orders they gave you.  A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Who is Better, Better? - An informal chat amongst FNM generals in Grand Bahama revealed that of all their number, they could think of only two who are better off now that they were in 1992 when the FNM Government came to power.  Out of their own mouths.

Congratulations -  News From Grand Bahama offers congratulations to the troublesome expatriate manager at the Grand Bahama Container Port who was obliged by the Department of Immigration to leave the country.  Well, we can now report that he's back on the job.  Newly married to a Bahamian girl.  We say, welcome home.