Note from the Publisher
Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister created a firestorm here at home by suggesting in an address before world leaders in Rio, Brazil that The Bahamas would soon abolish the death penalty on Monday 28 June. Given that the penalty is popular amongst nearly ninety nine per cent of the population, the radio talk shows erupted. Persons reminded him how he had come to Fox Hill and attacked this columnist during the 1997 General Election and told people that they should not vote for someone who supports murderers because this columnist opposes the death penalty. Now what is he doing? The Prime Minister's exact words will be printed below.
STUDENTS WHO ARE the most regular readers of this column have been arriving home from school since May and this has resulted in a fall in the number of hits on the system. However, we thank those who continue to visit the site every week.
LAST WEEK we had some technical problems so there were no photographs. We have corrected that problem this week. THIS WEEK JUST BELOW we show three quarters of the PLP's team in the Senate while in session two weeks ago from left Chairman Senator Obie Wilchcombe, Senator Melanie Griffin and Senator Fred Mitchell. Photo by Peter RamsayThe Senate meets again on 14 July when it will consider several bills which the Government is introducing to help reduce crime and to help solve crime. The debate should be vigorous. One is to give the police the power to hold suspects for up to 96 hours. The other is to allow the police to take intimate body samples from suspects. These Bills are opposed by the PLP.
WE ALSO PRESENT(CLICK HERE) a photo spread this week of the LUNCH BUNCH. This was an event hosted by this columnist on 21 June 1999. Young Carlton Seymour Jr., (pictured) nephew of this columnist was also one of the hosts of the Lunch Bunch in June. The Leaders of Lunch Bunch are Henry Dean, former trade unionist; H. O. Nash; and Dr. Cleveland "Fritzie" Eneas. the Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest who often attends and who himself hosts a lunch once a year at Government House describes the Lunch Bunch as a gentleman's lunch. It is a loose organization of men only that was put together by the late Dr. Cleveland Eneas and the late Dean Granger for men to get together over lunch and discuss the business of the day. It is held at a different person's home every Tuesday. The specialty of this columnist's lunch is boiled crab and dough. The tradition still continues today. Last Tuesday, Ed Bethel, the Journalist, hosted the lunch. This week Archdeacon William Thompson of the Anglican Church will host it. The lunch is by invitation only.
THIS WEEK WE PUBLISH THE BUDGET ADDRESSOF THIS COLUMNIST DELIVERED IN THE SENATE ON 2 JULY, 1999. BAHAMASAIR... FOX HILL... ROSTON MILLERíS REMARKS... FNM SELLING OUT THE COUNTRY... INGRAHAM DEMONIZING TRADE UNIONS... ROAD TRAFFIC OFFICE AT AIRPORT... THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS... POLICE VICTIMIZED... AGRICULTURE... CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM... FOREIGN AFFAIRS... FTAA... INGRAHAM AS THE EMPEROR JONES... CLIFTON CAY... LAND PRICE INFLATION... CUBA & HAITI... KALIK BEER TAX... HUTCHISON WHAMPOA FREEPORT... THE STORY OF OSWALD BROWN...
WE HAD 7468 hits on the system up to midnight 30 June for the month
ARCHDEACON WILLIAM THOMPSON TO RETIRE
The Anglican cleric who is much loved by his St. Agnes Parish announced last Sunday 27 June at the day's church services that he is to retire on 31 December 1999. Archdeacon Thompson has served as rector of St. Agnes since 1967 when he replaced the late Canon Milton Cooper, his predecessor. The Archdeacon will be 66 when he retires. There is much speculation about who will succeed the Archdeacon. The most prominent names are Archdeacon Keith Cartwright, Rector St. Christopher's, Lyford Cay and the Rev. Canon Ranfurly Brown, who is now the rector of Christ the King, New Providence.
THE PRIME MINISTER ACTUALLY SAID IN RIO
At the Latin America Summit, the Prime Minister answered the remarks of the Prime Minister of Sweden who said that Sweden was making the abolition of the death penalty a priority in its relations with the Caribbean. The remarks have gotten him into deep trouble with his people at home and with his Cabinet. It appears that the Government who campaigned on enforcement of the death penalty as a way to fight crime has shifted policy. The offending words are as follows: "It is likely that Caribbean states will, one day, abolish the death penalty in our countries as have you the developed and advanced societies of Europe and Latin America have done. Certainly, I look forward to the day not long from now when The Bahamas may consider doing so. Many of us today strive to be where Europe was in the 1950s...
"I believe that we shall in the future also choose to abolish capital
punishment. Hopefully, we will at that time also bring along our
largest and most developed neighbour to the north. If, indeed, the
position expressed by Sweden becomes the position of the EU, we then hope
that in the EU's relationship with that overwhelmingly influential country
to the north they will make and seek to maintain, the abolition of capital
punishment as top priority."
COMMENTARY ON PM'S REMARKS
For an experienced politician the remarks were patently stupid politically to make. It shows how the Cabinet is run in The Bahamas. The Prime Minister is able to make up Government policy without consulting his colleagues. Mr. Ingraham's personal opinion does not exist. When he speaks, he is taken to mean Government policy in the making. So what are we to make of "I look forward to the day not long from now."? Does that mean we are to expect legislation to abolish the death penalty?
THE PRESS RESPONSE
The press is amazing in The Bahamas. On the one hand, they all covered stories in their news suggesting that there was a shift in Government policy in the PM's statement. But their editors all sprang to the defence of Mr. Ingraham saying in effect that he did not mean that. One journalist called this columnist for a comment. No comment was the answer. Mr. Ingraham should stew in his own fat and stupidity. The Cabinet must be non-plussed. Here they have decided as a matter of policy that the enforcement of the death penalty is the way to fight crime but the headman goes to Rio and sends the wrong signal on their fight on crime. In other words, the criminal and the good citizen are both now entitled to think that the Government is not serious in its commitment to fight crime through the death penalty.
MR. INGRAHAM THE PRAGMATIST
People did not believe this columnist when he said that Mr. Ingraham would do and say anything to win an election. He is without scruples. So in 1997 knowing that he too was opposed to Capital Punishment he was happy to accuse this columnist of supporting murderers because he thought that would cause the defeat of Fred Mitchell. Now that he is going into retirement and looking at a legacy to be left behind, he wants people to think that he is intellectually and politically correct. You can't put a goat on a board floor, because it will prance. There he was showing off in front of those people down in Rio, trying to make them think that he was smarter than he actually is. Yes we know you can use big words Mister Prime Minister, but do you actually know what the words mean when you speak them? Of course, none of this will really matter it appears to the Bahamian people. So one is certain that he will come blithely along and do as he likes and say what he likes. The Bahamian people get the kind of Prime Minister they voted for - a pig in a poke.
LET THOMAS RECKLEY HANG
Some people won't believe what Mr. Ingraham is capable of doing, but when this columnist was his ally and during the fight against capital punishment for Thomas Reckley in 1996, the Prime Minister asked to see this columnist. At his office, he said:
"Mitchell why don't you all let this one (Reckley) go down." He said that after Reckley was hanged by the Government, then the edge would be taken off the public concern on the matter and the Government would not have to hang for a few more years until the pressure built up again. And so it is clear that the Government's view on capital punishment is a matter of politics and convenience. Hanging people to stay in office. Blood is on the hands of the Prime Minister for that. It is disgraceful. Now as a result of the Prime Minister's remarks, you can look to see a few more hangings take place this year, just to prove that there has been no change in the policy of the Government.
ARTHUR FOULKES, BASIL O'BRIEN
The British High Commissioner Peter Young has left The Bahamas for retirement in Wimbledon, England. He is to return to The Bahamas as a part-time resident, having rented lodgings in Port New Providence. Arthur Foulkes, the Bahamas High Commissioner to Britain, has returned to The Bahamas after a six-year tour of duty. He has been appointed The Bahamas non-resident Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
Basil O'Brien, the now Cabinet Secretary, is to leave for London to become High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for The Bahamas. Mr. O'Brien is a St. Agnes member. He will do well in his post and we wish him all the luck in the world. Missouri Sherman Peters who up to two weeks ago was the High Commissioner to Canada for The Bahamas returned home and was surreptitiously appointed Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She replaces Luther Smith who was unceremoniously dumped from his post by a false accusation against him by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has apparently offered him a post as the executive head of the new Airport Authority. No word on George Stewart. Both are said to have been asked to retire from the public service.
The speculation is that Wendal Major, now Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Public Personnel is to become Cabinet Secretary.
WEST END MP IN LOCAL GOVT. ELECTION BUST UP
David Wallace, the West End MP is a hyper individual, but he went too far for Stephen Plakaris, the PLP community activist and candidate in last week's local government elections in Grand Bahama. Mr. Plakaris asked the presiding officer to have Mr. Wallace remove his car from the precincts of the polling place because it was in violation of the law, which says no election paraphernalia is supposed to be within the precincts of the polling place. Mr. Wallace had stickers of the Prime Minister's head from the 1997 General Election campaign and a sticker which says Better Now and Better to come. That was the slogan for the FNM in the last General Election. Mr.Wallace refused and started to fight. He had to be restrained and was eventually persuaded to remove himself. Later on a talk show Mr. Wallace was told by an FNM supporter that he was wrong for what he did and that he should apologize to Mr. Plakaris.
WHAT DOES KELLY BURROWS HAVE TO SAY?
War In The FNM Camp In Grand Bahama - The Prime Minister came to Freeport and ordered his people there to vote for Greg Smith and Kay Smith. The FNMs ignored him and voted for the incumbent candidates. That stinging defeat shows that there is dissension in the FNM camp. There is also a bitter taste in the mouth of Earl Godet who was double-crossed by the FNM. The branch supported him but Hubert ordered the forces to vote against him. Well that's 'better better' for you. One wonders what Kelly Burrows has to say about all of this.
The PLP did not fare well at all. With the exception of West End, Mangrove Cay and North Andros, the results were disappointing for the PLP. Freeport was disastrous. A good candidate like Forrester Carroll was rejected for the toadies of the Port Authority and the FNM. It is clear that the people of Freeport want to continue to catch hell. Or does it mean that the people of Freeport don't believe in local government anyway. It was said that only 15 per cent of the voters turned out to vote in Freeport.
LOFTUS ROKER LOSES IN ACKLINS
Former PLP Minister A. Loftus Roker lost his bid to regain his seat in local government elections held last week in Acklins. The Prime Minister targeted the former Minister for elimination. He lost 13 votes to 36 for his opponent. The Attorney General Tennyson Wells went down to Acklins to campaign for the other party in the election. Apart from the propriety of the Attorney General involving himself in a political campaign, there is the disturbing news that the Government offered a third candidate a job as administrator for the island of Acklins in exchange for his dropping out of the race and throwing his support behind Mr. Roker's opponent. The man did so and took up his job, so it is reported, the 1 July, one day after the election results were decided.
FNM LEADERS IGNORE PROPRIETY
The FNM are an amazing crew of ill-bred men and women. All cobbled up together. They accused the PLP of lowering standards, but all propriety and standards have gone out of the window under them. There is no distinction between government and party any more. They use the treasury to shamelessly buy elections. Government House has become a partisan showcase. MPs either don't know or just don't care that it is inappropriate for them to use their cars with MP license plates and display election paraphernalia on those cars. When they become MPs they are MPs for all the people not just FNMs. The problem is that there is so much stupidity in that party that it is difficult to have a sensible discussion on any point about what is right and wrong. The PLP has to get its act together and remove these people from office.
THE SITUATION IN JAMAICA
This week at Setella and Georgie Cox's home, we had a wonderful dinner with her son and this columnist's godson John Cox. The younger Mr. Cox is a Bahamian painter of some note. Also there was Tribune journalist Erica Wells, special friend of John. The Coxes hosted the dinner for a visitor from Jamaica, the widow of a well to do businessman. She talked about the collapse of the Opposition in Jamaica and how the Government of P. J. Patterson has so much power and no authority. It sounded much like The Bahamas. There is a great threat to democracy this way. When the riots broke out in Jamaica over the rise in gasoline prices three months ago, the middle class who generally support the Opposition JLP in Jamaica were overjoyed. Even though the brunt of the violence may have been against their property, they cheered the mobs on and hoped that the Jamaican Prime Minister's property would be burned. That is the kind of feeling that people are now harbouring in this country against Hubert Ingraham. He has so hoodwinked the Bahamian people that they are at a slow boil. The FNM ought to learn the meaning of propriety.
CENTRAL BANK LOWERS THE PRIME RATE
The Prime Rate, the rate at which banks lend money to their best customers and at which the Central Bank lends money to the banks, has just been lowered from 6 per cent to 5 and three quarters per cent. Julian Francis, the Central Bank Governor, was crowing about the news. The reserves now exceed 400 hundred million. The Governor must now consider abandoning exchange control on the capital account. The Central Bank must allow the investment in equities without having to pay 25 per cent premium.
WHY THE RESERVES ARE HIGH
No one for one moment believes that the reserves are high just because of the so-called economic activity we are seeing in the legitimate economy. Every one including the Americans agree that drug activity is at an all time high in The Bahamas. This new generation of drug smugglers, however, is obviously more careful than the last. That is why the economy of The Bahamas appears buoyant. Many people believe that it is awash again in drug money. Wonder what the Central Bank has to say on that? In Eleuthera the bank run by Barclays closed down in Rock Sound and was taken over by Bank of Nova Scotia. Franklyn Wilson, the PLP businessman, pointed out on the Steve McKinney show the other day that there is no economic activity in that section of Eleuthera, yet the bank is awash with money. The answer can only be the drug money in the South Eleuthera economy. The FNM must be silent since they blamed Pindling for allowing drug money into The Bahamas economy. So who is to blame for this now?
LAKE VIEW CEMETERY
There is a new private cemetery in New Providence called Lake View. It is the competition to Woodlawn, which has had a free run for a decade or more. Lakeview is owned by a number of prominent Bahamians. The cemetery is located on JFK Drive at the entrance of Gladstone Road, near the lake. It is situated on a hillside. A standard plot costs $3,000. Burial services cost $1600. So for a total package of $4600, you can have a burial spot in Nassau's latest cemetery. The cemetery is located on seven acres. It is a good investment for young people to buy a plot now. It is a tradable investment. Right now some 1400 people die annually in The Bahamas. Some twenty per cent of that number go into a private cemetery. Most go into churchyards. Lakeview offers double depth vaults, above ground mausoleums, niches for urns, a Garden of Innocence for child burials and tombs for oversized burials or those who want to be buried alone and entombed. There are also family estates.
FOCOL GOING PUBLIC
The Freeport Oil Company that has a monopoly until 2054 on petroleum distribution in Freeport is going public. It is selling 2.1 million ordinary shares at five dollars a pop. The company is run by Anthony Robinson and Stephen Adderley considered some of the Bahamas' finest mangers. The company's shareholders include the Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest, Albert Miller, Port Chairman, Bradley Roberts MP and Franklyn Wilson. The offering is expected to be over subscribed. Anthony Ferguson of Colina Financial attended the press conference at which the announcement was made. We will be buying some shares. The Guardian photo shows from left: Marva Winter, Colina; Stephen Adderley, FOCOL; Anthony Robinson, FOCOL and Anthony Ferguson, Colina.
WHAT'S WITH DARREN CASH?
Darren Cash had to be stopped and corrected during his remarks in the Senate on 2 July by the Minister of Education Dame Ivy Dumont. He has a problem when he speaks in the Senate. He is not really an FNM but is accommodating his position to the FNM to survive in politics. Not unusual since many people do it. What is embarrassing however is the gratuitous attacks on the PLP. They are unbecoming and unseemly for some one of his intellectual acumen. The PLP is an easy punching bag, but the PLP is not the problem. The problem these days is the FNM and their inability to govern this country properly. Mr. Cash needs to formulate a public policy response to that and stop wasting time with the PLPs problems.
EARL DEVEAUX QUESTIONED BY NEC?
The National Economic Council, which approves foreign investment in The Bahamas, had some hard questions to ask one of its members, the Minister for Agriculture. This reportedly has to do with a deal to purchase some 800 acres of land for one dollar. The last name of one of the parties is also Deveaux. Further, the land is in North Andros, the constituency of the Minister. Things that make you go "hmmm".
POLICE SEARCH BAHAMASAIR PASSENGERS
Passengers arriving from Freeport early Saturday morning 3 July were shocked when they got inside the domestic terminal to find that they were to be searched by the police. Persons were told that they had to open their bags. Some irate passengers refused. Our correspondent said he refused when he saw a woman's underwear spread over the ground in the open when the police demanded she open her bag. There was no search warrant, and their only explanation was that they were looking for drugs and firearms. Police don't seem to realize that you can not lawfully suspect every one of committing a crime. You have to have a reasonable suspicion that the particular person you are asking to submit to a search has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime. Otherwise a search without the consent of the person is unconstitutional.
TEACHER ROBBED AT COLUMBUS PRIMARY
The press did not report it but a correspondent says that a teacher was robbed at gunpoint at the Columbus Primary School in Nassau last week. This is the school next door to William Gordon Primary where teachers had to walk off the job in order to get redress for their complaints on safety. The Prime Minister attacked the teachers then for their job action. The Headmistress at Columbus Primary next door warned her teachers not to participate in the job action. Now her school is a victim. We will investigate and bring more. It puts the lie to the PM's assertion that they are tackling crime successfully.
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From a political point of view, it is important for the PLP to show its flag elsewhere than in Nassau on Independence Day. People seemed to appreciate the fact that there was a visitor from Nassau. Sheep tongue souse and chicken souse was available for all after the show.
On Independence Day itself, there was an ecumenical service at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Mount Thompson. The preacher was a young pastor Danny Major. He was brilliant. There at the service were MP for Exuma Elliott B. Lockhart, Chief Councillor Godfrey Gray and Administrator for the Island Cephas Cooper. Next week, there will be a picture spread.
THIS WAS ALSO an occasion to see the Emerald Bay development on what used to be known as Ocean Bight, just to the west of Farmer's Hill in Exuma. The development is beautiful, and it is clear that the community is excited about it being there. There is a 250-room hotel going up, with a golf course. The development is situated on some of the most beautiful sand dunes and bluffs, and ocean sites imaginable. While the development raises some social issues which The Bahamas must face and with which we must deal, there is no doubt that Exuma is changing and the PLP has to come to grips with what is often known as a paradigm shift in attitudes. More next week, with a full spread on the development. Roy Bowe, the owner of Jiffy Cleaners is the Bahamian spearheading the development. He is a native of Rolleville in Exuma.
We have this week a full spread on the banquet held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel for the residents of the Fox Hill constituency, which this columnist continues to nurse for the next General Election. Click here for those photos. The pictures were taken by Philipe Major. The banquet honoured former Members of Parliament of Fox Hill and 16 other community activists.
We had 1857 hits on the site from 1 July to 8a.m. today. Thanks
In order to get to Exuma, one had to undergo the most horrendous experience at the Nassau International Airport domestic terminal. The airport is a mess with inadequate facilities, and repairs still not completed since the collapse of the lounge for outgoing domestic passengers. There is no air conditioning, and not enough capacity for the crowds, which use the section, particularly on a holiday weekend. The flights were all late. The departure time for Georgetown was 6:30 p.m. We left at 9 p.m. TOURISM MINISTER C.A. SMITH, dressed down in the latest three-button suit, had to sweat it out with the rest of us in the airport. He was later spirited away to be with the Chairman of Bahamasair who must have been hiding somewhere on the tarmac. He too could not travel to his Eleuthera Constituency because the flights were all delayed. The airline is simply not working well.
DOES C.A. BELIEVE IN CHAOS?
What was interesting though was the comment of one civil servant who voted against this columnist at the last election. He made the comment one supposes to ingratiate himself to the Minister. He claimed that the Bahamian people like chaos and that they like the mess that is at the airport and Bahamasair. The Minister appeared to agree with him. The Minister went further and said that the chaos at the airport provided a meeting point for people. This columnist could not contain himself and immediately debunked this self-serving nonsense as a rationalization of bad public policy. No one likes chaos of that kind.
FAREWELL ARCHDEACON WILLIE
The Lunch Bunch, the weekly gentleman's luncheon group, met at St. Agnes Schoolroom for a sumptuous repast put on by Henry Dean, St. Agnes Vestry member on Tuesday 6 July in a special farewell to Archdeacon William Thompson. The Archdeacon is retiring as Rector of St. Agnes on 31 December 1999. This is the first of a series of fond farewells. He will be moving to quarters in Chippingham where his wife's family resided. He will take up Christian education duties with the diocese when he retires. Amongst those at the farewell who paid tribute to the Archdeacon were this columnist, Anthony " Boozy " Rolle, Minster of State for Public Enterprises; Ambassador Sir Arlington Butler, Canon Dudley Strachan and Philip Turner, Superintendent of Her Majesty's Prison.
ON CRIME BILLS
Rodney Moncur is not only an activist, he is a photographer. He can be seen around town with his late model SLR slung around his neck. This week we use a photo of his with Denis Dames, another political activist at its centrepiece. The occasion was Monday 6 July when Mr. Dames signed a petition along with 1199 others to try to stop the expansion of police powers which is being proposed by the Government. The Bills come up for discussion in the Senate on Wednesday 14 July. What amazed us is that many people claimed that they had not heard of the Government's plan. The Government wants to hold suspects for up to 96 hours as opposed to the present 48 hours. Further the Government wants the right of the Crown to take intimate samples from suspects against their will. These Bills are opposed by this columnist and by the PLP. It's good to see Mr. Moncur back in the saddle on these issues. We don't always agree with him but his kind of action helps out the Opposition's effort.
The Pope John Paul II has appointed Lawrence Burke previously Bishop of Nassau as the Archbishop of a new province which will include the Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas and Bermuda. The press carried it as front-page news as well they should have. This columnist spoke to the new Archbishop on Tuesday 6 July, just after the news broke congratulating him. It is a plus for The Bahamas. Political pundits could not help but smile at the politics of religion. The Archbishop denied that his appointment had anything to do with one upmanship of the Anglican Church. You will recall that Anglican Bishop Drexel Gomez was elected Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies last year, with his residence in Nassau. We all know that the church is a master at politics. One could not help but feeling that there was no way that the Romans would allow that situation to obtain without a countermeasure. They have apparently done one better than the Anglicans. They have made this job in Nassau a permanent position. So it means everyone after Burke will hold the title Archbishop. So there! Anglican's let's see if you can top that. Our Tribune photo shows the new Archbishop.
BEC POWER OUTAGE
They are at it again. BEC power has been going on and off all last week. The Union released a document that showed that there will be load shedding for six hours each day for two to three hours at a time in some areas. As usual, BEC's management were full of excuses as to why the power was off, only this time they had the grace not to accuse the Union of doing the damage. They did say that the work to rule now in place does not help. The GM of BEC promised that power would be back on, to meet demand as soon as a new generator is installed in two week's time, and a factory made part is installed in one of their existing machines. But all in all the Bahamian people think that BEC is hopeless. There needs to be something done to make the power supply more reliable.
JACKASS OSSIE BROWN
The hardest thing is when someone does not know he is damn fool and won't keep his mouth shut. That is the response to Oswald Brown and his recent foray in the Nassau Guardian in which he attacks this columnist for violating journalistic ethics. He is talking about a letter which this columnist believes that Mr. Brown himself wrote to the press, to attack something about this columnist which Mr. Brown himself did not even report in his newspaper. Mr. Brown would not know ethics if he tripped and stumbled over it. One hopes that he will learn some manners, some sense and to know when not to venture into debates. The pity is that you have this powerful instrument in the form of the Nassau Guardian on which Bahamians ought to be able to depend for balanced information that is in the hands of a begrudgeful and spiteful man. It can only bring about disaster for himself and for The Guardian. You will remember that Mr. Brown has decided as a matter of policy that Fred Mitchell's name cannot be written in The Guardian unless this columnist commits suicide. Yet, Mr. Brown in responding to the comments made by this columnist in the Senate about him and in the process himself uses the name of Fred Mitchell in the newspaper. This is the sign of a dangerous man, and a fool. Those who know him should advise him wisely before he goes too far.
THE IRONY OF BLACK VS. WHITE
The irony of the decisions of Oswald Brown which discriminate against this columnist and the PLP is that The Tribune has come to be the example of how a proper newspaper ought to behave. They make a clear distinction between their editorial position and the news. The two are quite separate. Let us bring race into it. The Tribune is owned and operated by white people. The Tribune has a lot to hold against the PLP. Yet The Tribune reports what the PLP has to say because it is news. PLPs buy newspapers. It is to their credit that despite all the pressure to curb Niki Kelly, they have stuck to their guns. Contrast that to The Nassau Guardian. This is a newspaper that says it is run by Bahamians, all Black Bahamians. Yet these Black Bahamians engage in the most shameful discrimination against the nationalist party that is to a large extent responsible for where they are today.
GUARDIAN LATE AGAIN
Despite the promises of the new management of The Nassau Guardian to its shareholders that the paper would start to come out on time, it does not. Thursday of last week 8 July was the latest example. The press broke down and at one point they did not even think that they would be able to get a paper out at all. If The Guardian's management used to behave in a civil fashion they would know that they could call upon the Tribune in a crunch to publish a paper. That is how it used to be in the old days. The papers could call upon one another in a crunch. But this new management has been so divisive that it appears they are unable to call upon any one to help them. So let them sink or swim. The paper came out on Thursday, their busiest day at 7:30 a.m. when it should be out by 4 a.m. When the paper comes out that late it loses half the readers that The Guardian promises when the ads are bought in the paper. Piles of newspapers remain unsold. Further it makes The Tribune late on the streets because vendors want to sell both and often wait for The Guardian before going to the street. That is the irony in Black and White.
LIQUOR MORATORIUM PROPOSED
Algernon Allen, the Minister of Idle Poetry, aka the Minister of Housing and Social Services was at it again. You can always count on him for some kind of sloganeering or pop policy to get the attention of the media. This week, it was the announcement that he is supporting a moratorium on liquor licenses in the Over-the-Hill area. He also wants the drinking age enforced strictly and the law changed to allow drinking only after you reach the age of 25, not 18 as it presently stands. You can always tell when a fellow is getting to be an old man, suddenly he wants to change the rules. Mr. Allen had no such restriction when he was a youngster. Now he wants to restrict other people's rights. He had a parade of Over-the-Hill business people agree with him on the moratorium. But of course they denied that it had anything to do with eliminating competition. This columnist believes that any such moratorium under the present law would be unlawful and struck down by a court as being ultra vires the Liquor Licenses Act. Further Mr. Allen and his Government should concentrate more on monies to support the Bahamian family instead of thinking up these half-cocked public policy measures which grab headlines but that's the last we hear of them. Of course, anything is fair when you are running (God Forbid!) for Prime Minister.
PM BACKTRACKS ON HANGING
Many people think that this columnist is too cynical. Yet this columnist is proven right every time. This man Ingraham will do and say anything to save his political hide. The words were not set on the web site good last week when Mr. Ingraham came back into town after showing off in Rio and at the Caricom meeting in Port-of-Spain. He was catching hell in his absence because he predicted that capital punishment would be abolished in The Bahamas. Last week, we predicted that he would come back and have a few hangings to prove that he was not really stopping the penalty. And that is what he did. He landed at the airport on Thursday 8 July, said to the public that there will be many hangings soon and very soon. He said that he could not abolish hanging because it was enshrined in the Constitution. Now there's a new one. We are still searching for that Article. He said he could not abolish it because he was the one who started hangings. This goes from the sublime to the ridiculous But with a gaggle of Government Ministers grinning around him for the cameras at the airport, that is what our brilliant Prime Minister had to say. Praise God and pass the ammunition!
LICENCE FOR CHARLES CARTER
Congratulations to broadcaster, marketing man and former Senator, Member of the House of Assembly and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Hubert Ingraham who forced Mr. Carter to resign from the Senate in order to get a license, then reneged has finally lived up to his promise. Mr. Carter hopes to get his new station up and running by October 1999. The other news is that P. Anthony White, chief scribe of the FNM, is to get a license as well. He does not know it yet, according to him. But the money is to be provided by The Nassau Guardian. White is to hold the license. Maybe he can give Oswald Brown a job!
Ferryboat Operators are up in arms over the pressure being applied by Nassau Cruises for them to surrender their exclusive ferry routes in the Nassau Harbour. Nassau Cruises is being accused of ignoring a decision of the Port Authority that forbids soliciting by Nassau Cruises at the Prince George Dock for Ferry service to Paradise Island from Nassau.
British Consultants were in town over the past week again reviewing the PLP's election strategies.
Senator Fred Mitchell led a protest at the Fox Hill Post Office this week on Tuesday 6 July. The Post Office is in bad shape. It was closing at 2 p.m. because of no air conditioning. Further, there are no financial services offered at the Post Office. You can't buy a stamp there. Can you imagine?
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Note from the Publisher
This week's column is being written from Mangrove Cay, Andros. This columnist is hosting a dinner for the PLP workers in the bye-election campaign of 1997 where he worked. It was an interesting evening. Thanks again to Stella Greene.
While Independence Day was celebrated with some enthusiasm in Georgetown,
Exuma last week, there did not appear to be the same enthusiasm in Nassau.
At the official ceremonies at Clifford Park in New Providence, about 300
souls braved the heat and hot sun for the morning march past. The uniformed
forces outnumbered the people who attended, or so some people said. This
was a great embarrassment for the Governor General and the Prime Minister.
One wonders what it says about the people's view of the FNM Government.
Our photo shows the official representatives at the Independence Day service in Mt. Thomspon, Exuma at the Seventh Day Adventist Church there: from left Chief Councillor Godfrey Gray; Cephas Cooper, Island Administrator for Exuma; Elliott B. Lockhart MP (FNM) for Exuma; Senator Fred Mitchell. Just beyond camera range and not pictured is Rev. Albert Clarke.
We carry a photo spread of the activities in Exuma, including the Emerald Bay project. Below we speculate on some of the changes taking place in Exuma and what it means for the PLP. Click here for those photos.
We offer our expressions of concern to the Hon. Perry Christie MP whose father Gladstone is ill and to Linda Crawley Gibson, whose father is also ill. Peter Bethel, the former Member of Parliament, was in hospital last week. We wish him well.
WE OFFER OUR CONDOLENCES TO FORMER SENATOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAN MCWEENEY ON THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER WILLIAM, FOLLOWING A LONG ILLNESS. Mr. McWeeney, the older, was the former columnist in the now defunct Bahamian Times, the PLP's newspaper. He wrote under the nom de plume; The Sandfly.
We had 3742 hits for the month of July up to 8 a.m. this morning.
Thanks for reading.
ROBERTS SCORCHES ALGERNON ALLEN
The Member of Parliament for Grants Town was ferocious. Algernon Allen, aka, the Minister of Idle Poetry, in his quest for the Prime Minister's office sought to denigrate the MP for Grant's Town. Mr. Allen was hurt by Mr. Roberts remark that Mr. Allen practiced cronyism as a Minister, hiring his friends and cronies as consultants at his Ministry. To prove that he did not, the Minister produced a number of prominent private citizens and paraded them in front of the public in the Gallery of the House of Assembly. That was a shameful act on the Minister's part. He then cried shame on Mr. Roberts, saying that these people were not cronies but national heroes. Bradley struck back. He told Mr. Allen that it would be a cold day in hell before he became Prime Minister of The Bahamas. He reminded the public of the connections of Mr. Allen to drug dealer Kojak in the 1984 Commission of Inquiry. He told Mr. Allen that if he became Prime Minister he would ask for citizenship of another country. Poor Algernon Allen was too stunned to respond. His colleagues sat silently and did not rise to his defense. The Prime Minister was grinning from ear to ear.
BRADLEY ROBERTS PUTS SPEAKER IN HER PLACE
Italia Johnson, the Speaker of the House of Assembly is a changed person. The word that comes to mind is bumptious. It's as if the Office of Speaker has gone to her head. She walks around as though her head is in the clouds. That is fine, if that is the way she wants to be but there ought to be fairness in her conduct as Speaker of the House toward Members of the House from either side. No Speaker has been accused so openly by a member of bias to the extent that Bradley Roberts did this week. The Speaker tried to lecture Mr. Roberts on taking his role seriously in the House. Mr. Roberts told the Speaker that he would ignore here. He accused her of tendentious behavior. There was an uproar, and the Speaker suspended the House in a huff. It reminded this columnist of the story of a comment he made one day at Government House about the Prime Minister wearing a brown suit at an evening function at Government House. "I suppose," said Ms Johnson to whom this columnist was not speaking at the time, "that when you become Prime Minister you can do anything you like." Now you see the problem with our public officials. Because, as this columnist reminded the Speaker, that is certainly not the case. When you become Prime Minister you then become the protector of the rules and conventions to a large extent. You set an example. But perhaps that explains the tendentious nature of the behavior of Italia Johnson inside the House of Assembly.
BAHAMA JOURNAL DAILY'S FIRST BIRTHDAY
Wendall Jones is a tenacious fellow. No one would have guessed that it was a wise thing to go into a daily newspaper after the Tribune left the afternoon newspaper market in The Bahamas. He did, and went up head to head with a poor and inferior product from the Nassau Guardian. His paper the Bahama Journal celebrated its first birthday last week. Staff posed for a front page photo for the event. The paper does not yet have the circulation that it needs. It does now have its own printing press. There are still some technical problems with the colour photos. Often the registrations are off, so you see double and triple images. Generally, he tries to keep an even hand in its news coverage. Editorially, he supports the FNM. Mr. Jones has accumulated a good crop of writers. One difficulty is a kind of chip on his shoulder about his past struggles. It's like the Prime Minister for example who keeps bringing up the fact that he was born out of wedlock as an excuse for his present behavior. Well, the truth be known, each of us has stories of personal struggle. Where would life be without out them? The point of it all is that the society still allows some social mobility, more than in most others, so no one has an excuse for not being able to make it if he or she has the smarts. What Mr. Jones ought to consider, however, is whether his continued support of the FNM will help The Bahamas and him continue to have the social mobility that he requires. The FNM will soon make Bahamians an endangered species.
ATTORNEY GENERAL MUST ACCOUNT
In the Senate on Wednesday 14 July, this columnist raised several questions which demand answers from the Attorney General. The fact is that he campaigned in Acklins with and for someone who was charged before the courts with drugs. This columnist asked given that Tennyson Wells is AG and the nature of the position, was that appropriate behavior for an AG? PLP AGs stayed out of any political campaigns. Further, this columnist asked whether or not the Minister would tell the public about the job offered to a candidate in the Acklins local government election to drop out of the race in exchange for a government job. So far silence from the AG.
BEC STILL HAS PROBLEMS
They say that over at the Electricity Corporation, the Blue Hills plant was in a scramble because the Minister Frank Watson had had enough of the blackouts. Several engineers who had been displaced for handpicked cronies of the management were called back in to get the place running right again. This past week, knock on wood, there was no power failure in the city or where this columnist lives in the Eastern District. That is a minor miracle. Our informant tells us that the BEC management's story that a factory part needed to be installed was a red herring. It was a simple part, and further it should have been in stock in the first place. The problem, therefore, is bad management.
REAL PROPERTY TAX ON BCPOU HALL?
Just when the Batelco Union thought that its problems were settling down, after all the downsizing and loss of revenue comes a bill from The Bahamas government of $100,000 for real property tax on their building at Farrington Road. The Union lost 900 members over the last few months' downsizing exercise. The plan is reportedly to meet the cost of this by taxing each members retention bonus some $200. Some members are upset but the Constitution allows this to be done.
LAKEVIEW CEMETERY OFFICIALLY OPENS
The historic opening of the Lakeview Cemetery in New Providence overlooking Lake Cunningham took place on Friday 16 July at 5 p.m. This columnist was honoured to be the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Lots of friendly jokes about whether this columnist is one of the owners. No he is not, but proud of his friends who are. They are described by Board Chairman Michael Barnett as several old Bahamian families: the Barnetts (as in Michael), the Walkines (as in Dr. Frank), the Cleares (as in H. Campbell) and the Knowles (as in Conrad). It is a beautiful place. See the past story two editions ago which describes its features. Next week a photo. It is managed by Barbara Cartwright. The dedication was done by His Grace the Archbishop of the West Indies Province Drexel Gomez. Also giving prayers were Bishop Ross Davis and Fr. Patrick Pinder. Tommy Turnquest, the Minister of Public Works, was there as was Dr. Bernard Nottage of the PLP. Mr. Barnett announced a permanent fund to ensure that the gardens are kept in top shape even after all the plots are sold.
EMERALD BAY EXUMA
Our photo spread this week shows a couple of photos taken during last week's quick tour of the Emerald Bay development in Exuma at Ocean Bight. This is going to be a mammoth development for Exuma, and will change life there forever. Some 250 rooms, a golf course and casino are coming. This will be followed by the condominiums no doubt. Land price inflation is significant, and there is a shift taking place with taxi drivers moving into construction in Exuma. Further, new people are moving in. What is significant though is the change in attitude of the people of Exuma that one can detect. The PLP has to keep up with these changes if we are to succeed. People have a much less sentimental approach and a more pragmatic one. We must tune in. Clearly the representative of Exuma is vulnerable. He won by just over 100 votes. Fenton Neymour is the favourite of PLPs as the next standard bearer. We must act before it is too late.
CRIME IN NEW PROVIDENCE ALARMS US ALL
The FNM is now silent on their once-favourite cry that crime was the fault of the PLP Government. They will not admit that crime is the fault of the FNM Government. Instead, they say that it is not a political matter. That is the same thing the PLP said just before it left office in the face of FNM charges of the PLP being responsible for crime. There were three murders in one night in New Providence. Club Rock was the site of two deaths and another took place in Sandilands Allotment on Tuesday 13 July. All were done by guns. The number of murders so far this year already exceeds last year's total for the whole Bahamas. No one seems to know what to do.
REVEREND HALL'S HOUSE IS RANSACKED
The President of the Christian Council came home and found that his home had been broken into and ransacked, last week. There were front page pictures of the destruction. The president believed that the attack was somehow politically motivated in that he was a member of the Crime Commission. There was no evidence given to support that claim. Each week, homes in New Providence are routinely burglarized and vandalized just out of fun it appears. It seems difficult to support a political motive.
REVEREND HALL'S SOLUTION TO CRIME
The President of the Christian Council announced this week his support and demand for the closure of Club Rock. It is a favourite haunt of young Black men in New Providence of working class origins at Long Wharf, Bay Street. It has been the site of a previous shooting. The answer says Reverend Hall is to close the Club. That happened to Culture Club when there were similar security problems. One has to be careful how you close down a man's business, unless you find cogent evidence that the businessman is in fact responsible for the crime. The fact is the young men have to go somewhere for recreation and fun. If it's not there, then it will be somewhere else. Meanwhile, we could be working on the root of the problem like investing in our young men and boys to get them properly socialized and ready to live in a non-violent world.
MEANWHILE ANOTHER POLICE REVIEW
This time the Government has brought in Lord Imbatt, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner to review the manpower requirements of the police force. His Lordship met with the Opposition Leader and his colleagues on Wednesday 14 July. Mr. Christie, while welcoming the review, was skeptical that it will produce any results other than sit on the shelf. The review is to cost $700, 000 and follows a National Commission on crime which just reported and made recommendations. Then there was the report on Youth Development by Archbishop Gomez. Well, the FNM will go down in history as sponsoring a lot of reports. But crime continues to get worse. One thing Lord Imbatt said that made sense. He said that in London if you put the crime map over the areas of deprivation you will find that they are the same. Translation, the FNM has made poor people poorer, and it could be that it is that deprivation that has to be addressed before the crime problem can be solved.
THE STORY OF DARREN CASH CONTINUES
The PLP is concerned that the FNM may be trying to distance themselves from Senator Darren Cash. Is that the reason why in his addresses in Parliament he spends time picking through any little thing to attack the PLP and Fred Mitchell as if that is his role in life? Certainly someone as intellectually bright as Senator Cash can do better. The FNM is the problem, not the PLP. Tell all his friends.
SENATOR ROSTON MILLER TURNS 65
Happy Birthday to FNM Senator Roston Miller. He turned 65 with a big bash at Crystal Cay, the former Silver Cay off the north point of Arawak Cay, formerly known as Coral World. The party took place on Saturday 17 July.
JUDGES UP IN ARMS
The Chief Justice apparently wanted to take a delegation of herself and other judges to Malaysia for a judicial conference. She tried to get it done. The Ministry of Finance intervened. Too expensive they thought. Then the coup de grace: no judges can leave the country without the approval of the Cabinet. This story has been denied in official circles. But one judge was incensed enough to mention it in Court, reportedly. It begs the question: is the Judiciary independent? The Government is said to be planning to allow the Judiciary autonomy, so the Chief Justice will have her own budget without recourse to the present system. Translation, the Cabinet can't tell judges what to do.
FOCOL SHARES HALF SOLD ALREADY
The offer closes on 31 July and one shareholder reports that half the 2.1 million shares on the market have been sold. Some flak in the market, however. It is reported that one investment advisor says that the company's shares are not a desirable buy at this time because it concentrates on dividends rather than on reserves for future investment. That seems a strange comment since most shareholders are interested in two things; the capital gain and the dividends. Then, The Tribune did a funny thing - they published how much the individual shareholders stand to gain. The Governor General leads the list. That has this columnist worried, the Governor General surely should have his assets in a blind trust by now. The report seemed to indicate an accusation of shareholders getting an unfair windfall. But of course, that is what investment and development is all about. Ken Kerr of Colina Financial Services thinks it's a good deal and has been speaking at various fora. Other shareholders are Albert Miller, Chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Bradley Roberts MP, Franklyn Wilson, former MP and former Senator, Bismark Coakley, President of the Chamber of Commerce. FOCOL is a petroleum distribution monopoly in Freeport. Perhaps more seriously though is a lawsuit filed by Attorney Maurice Glinton which accuses the Directors of making a misleading statement in its prospectus on litigation in which the company is involved. Stay tuned. Most people still think FOCOL is a good deal.
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25th July, 1999 - TENNYSON WELLS MEETING
IN FREEPORT... GOVERNOR GENERAL AND A BLIND TRUST... MOTHER PRATT VISITS
THE HOSPITAL... ADVICE FROM DARREN CASH...SELLING OUT THE PORT AUTHORITY...
ST. GEORGE SURPRISED... NEW DIRECTOR OF WORKS...POLICE WHO MARCHED ARE
CHARGED... WATSON THROWS HIS HAT IN THE RING... MANGOES FOR CHILDREN IN
FOX HILL... PLANS FOR OZZIE BROWN'S MARRIAGE...THE CA / BISHOP ROBERTS
CONNECTION... SMUGGLING AT CONTAINER PORT IN FREEPORT... FAREWELL TO PAM
BRIDGEWATER... FNM MUSICAL CHAIRS IN GRAND BAHAMA... BAHAMASAIR BOARD TO
RESIGN EN MASSE?... KERZNER IGNORES PLP AT HIS PERIL... FOCOL SHARES...
WILLIAM ALLEN'S ILLOGIC - BEER TAX ROLLED BACK... CLUB ROCK LICENSE SAVED...
Note from the Publisher
As the FNM's Secretary General Roston Miller celebrated his 65th birthday party in grand style at Crystal Cay in Nassau Harbour, the FNM hierarchy turned out in full force. It was a great party, and they were there in all their glory. A Minister of the Government, feeling his oats, predicted to this columnist that the FNM will win all of the seats in the next General Election. In their dreams. It reminded this columnist of the claim of Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti just before he was ousted in 1986 that he was "as strong as a monkey's tail". The next day the media showed pictures of Baby Doc being driven to the airport in his BMW and into a lonely Paris exile.
THE FNM SHOULD ACCEPT this promise and this premise. If they win all the seats in the next General Election, this country will become more ungovernable than it is now. They will not have a moment's peace. They will be sorry the day it happened. War will be declared on them. There is no way that that can happen except through continued bribery and corruption by the FNM. No brag, just fact. We promise.
THIS WEEK AS PROMISED WE PRESENT A SPREAD ON THE OPENING of the Lakeview Cemetery officially opened on Friday, 16 July. Our photo below shows the peaceful scene that is Lakeview, built on seven acres of land overlooking Lake Cunningham on John F. Kennedy Drive. The photo is by Wendell Cleare of The Counsellors. Click here for more photos
WE WELCOME the web site of John Carey. He is a columnist for the Nassau Guardian and a member of the National Progressive Institute of the PLP. His web site can be found at www.johngfcarey.com.
THIS WEEK THERE is extensive news about Freeport. We have had 5149
hits on the site up to 8 a.m. this morning for the month of July. Thank
you for reading.
TENNYSON WELLS MEETING IN FREEPORT
Last Saturday 17 July at a private home in Freeport, the Attorney General Tennyson Wells and some fifty other Cecil Wallace-Whitfield style FNMs had a party to discuss strategy. Those gathered want to ensure that Hubert Ingraham fulfils his promise to the FNM and the country that he is going as Prime Minister. The second reason for the meeting was to put the rules in place and get the ducks lined up for the Tennyson Wells' victory as Leader of the FNM and ultimately Prime Minister. It was a sad group of have nots and wannabes. They complained that Ingraham had not delivered, and now it was time for a real FNM to become Prime Minister. They said that the rules of the transition must be put in place by the time of their convention in November. Among the MPs present were Pierre Dupuch, Floyd Watkins, James Miller and Neko Grant. Ingraham could not have shown up in that crowd that night or he would have been eaten alive. There is trouble in the camp.
GOVERNOR GENERAL AND A BLIND TRUST
The Governor General, judging from a headline in the Bahama Journal is upset that Members of Parliament did not attend the Independence Day march past at Clifford Park. One wonders whether or not this is an appropriate debate for a Governor General to enter by way of public commentary. Shouldn't this be said to the Prime Minister in the regular consultation sessions? The Governor General ought to be careful how he gets into controversy. The remarks were apparently made as he presented medals to winners of the Love Games, held on Clifford Park on 12 July. And talking about the Governor General, The Tribune and the public prospectus reveals that he is the holder of a large chunk of shares in FOCOL which now has a share offering to the public. Clearly, the Governor General's name is being traded upon to help the offering. Shouldn't he hold assets in a blind trust? Shouldn't he step down as Chancellor of the Anglican Church? All of these tend to put the Office of Governor General into public debate and potential conflicts. Things that make you go "hmmm".
PRATT VISITS THE HOSPITAL
Cynthia "Mother" Pratt, the Member of Parliament for St. Ceceila's (PLP) visited the Princess Margaret Hospital's dialysis unit for kidney patients on Thursday 22 July. The Unit was born in scandal. It is now finally complete. Mother Pratt was investigating complaints that poor people were being turned away from the dialysis unit. This was denied by Hospital Administrator Herbert Brown. Some fifty-four patients can be treated in a day. The Tribune photo shows Mother Pratt on her tour.
ADVICE FROM DARREN CASH
It was like he was reading the newspapers for last weekend 16 and 17 July, saw that there was a demonstration by the unions at BaTelCo and decided that he had better issue a statement, one that would please Hubert Ingraham, prove his FNM bona fides. So he did just that. He issued a statement calling upon the Unions to show restraint in their demands for the retention bonus that was promised to employees who were retained by BaTelCo after the murder of the staff complement by the FNM government. Restraint, he said. Enough is enough, he said. He was supported in this nonsense by the mealy mouthed Nassau Guardian. A sensible guy like that should be ashamed to be in the company of someone as stupid as Ossie Brown, Editor of the Nassau Guardian. Mind you this is the same Darren Cash who as a student leader in 1986 led the students at the College of The Bahamas into a public demonstration, brought the school to a halt, to force the Government to give work permits to foreign teachers working at the College. Things that make you go " hmmm"!
SELLING OUT THE PORT AUTHORITY
Each day in Freeport, the Grand Bahama Port Authority appears to be changing. Despite the protestations of Edward St George, the city is taking on a different look and feel. Neither he nor Jack Hayward has the visibility that they once did, nor it appears the control. The question is whether or not they are getting out. The sale of half the shares in the Grand Bahama Development Company is the clearest example of the change. Then there is no longer a Vice President for Licensing at the Port. So are St. George and Hayward liquidating their holdings?
ST. GEORGE SURPRISED
Perhaps the frustration of being an impotent Government is getting to FNMs. Anyway Edward St George reportedly showed up for dinner at Port Lucaya which he owns. He parked in a taxi spot because there was no parking available elsewhere. Up comes Pipe Johnson, reportedly, and orders him to move his car. He did not care who Edward St. George was. No report on what Mr. St. George did. Are things changing in Freeport?
DIRECTOR OF WORKS
Melanie Roach, daughter of Canon Neil Roach, is now the Director of Works. She has been acting for some time. She is the first Bahamian to have the post in years and the first woman ever. We congratulate her. However, we counsel her to help to Bahamianize her department. Further, she herself needs to become more patient in dealing with the public and with her subordinate staff. This is a high profile job which requires a public sensitivity in developing public policy. Often she comes off as too short of patience. Otherwise, she is quite a talented person. Good Luck! (BIS Photo)
POLICE WHO MARCHED ARE CHARGED
The Commissioner of Police appears to be engaged in a vendetta against the officers who participated in the march on Labour Day as part of the Police Association. Fred Smith, Attorney for the Association headed by Corporal Franklin Campbell, is to take up the case. The Commissioner transferred those who participated in the march to jobs which are below their capacity. Now he has caused complaints to be filed against them, and charges brought against them for failing to obey a lawful order. According to a disciplinary notice given last week, they failed to obey the Commissioner's order not to march in the Labour Day parade. The men could face dismissal from the Force. In this the Commissioner is at odds with the Minister of National Security.
WATSON THROWS HIS HAT IN THE RING
Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson has apparently decided that he wants one term as Prime Minister, when Mr. Ingraham goes. His friends are saying that in no way will he agree to serve under Tennyson Wells. Trouble in the camp. Tommy Turnquest has apparently decided to work as his Deputy Prime Minister.
FNMs claim that Mr. Watson has health problems and should retire.
MANGOES FOR CHILDREN IN FOX HILL
This columnist officially launched the Summer Programme for St. Paul's Baptist Church in Fox Hill last Friday 16 July. We did a quick survey with the children, ranging in ages from 5 to 13. What are their favourite fruits? Coming from Fox Hill, one would have thought that sapodillas would be the favourite. Wrong again! Mangoes topped the list, followed by guineps, followed by tamarinds. Way down on the list-- sapodillas, just behind benny cakes and coconut cakes. Dead last!
Things that make you go: " hmmm"!
PLANS FOR OZZIE BROWN'S MARRIAGE
Oswald Brown, the Managing Editor of the Nassau Guardian, is plunging ahead with plans to marry into the Turnquest (as in Governor General) family this year. Two years ago, he was in the throes of grief for the loss of a beloved wife. Now he is back in love again. What a wonderful thing love is?
CA / BISHOP ROBERTS CONNECTION
There is a new bonefish lodge in the east of Grand Bahama. As Minister of Tourism, C. A. Smith should have an interest in the lodge and its success. But of course interest has more than one meaning. Can the Minister explain his interest in the bonefish lodge?
SMUGGLING AT CONTAINER PORT IN FREEPORT
Police Authorities and the Immigration Authorities in Grand Bahama are concerned about the continued refusal of the container port in Freeport owned by Hutchison Whampoa to allow access to its personnel to check for guns, drugs, and smuggling. Warrants are not needed to check for guns and drugs. Yet when the police show up, they are routinely refused entry. Perhaps the Commissioner of Police ought to obtain warrants for a thorough search of the container port. Show them what police can do! The Port gives The Bahamas Government a measly 25 cents for each container entering and leaving the Bahamas. It is believed to be a potential source of smuggling of people, drugs and firearms. The company is hostile to any inquiries by our authorities. Hutchison are apparently a law unto themselves.
TO PAM BRIDGEWATER
The Deputy Chief of Mission Pam Bridgewater, US Embassy is leaving after three years in The Bahamas. She made a great impression and will be missed. Ms. Bridgewater who served in Durban, South Africa before coming to The Bahamas, will move on to the National War College in Washington for a year and then will be promoted into the super ranks of the service. Good Luck Pam. The Nassau Guardian took the photo.
CONGRATULATIONS TO KENDAL "JIT" CULMER FOR DETAILING THE ACTIONS OF DAVID WALLACE MP AND HOW HE ENTERED A SHOP AND BY WHAT MEANS AND WHAT HE TOOK. ALL KINDS OF ACCUSATIONS ARE FLOWING ABOUT WHO LEAKED YOUR LETTER, BUT WE BELIEVE YOU DID A SERVICE TO YOUR PARTY.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MIKE EDWARDS. ALL OF FREEPORT IS SHAKING THEIR
HEADS AND WONDERING WHAT THE REAL REASON IS FOR ATTACKING WATERWORLD. WE
AGREE WITH YOU THOUGH. THAT BUSINESS SHOULD BE RESERVED FOR BAHAMIANS.
WHERE IS THEIR LICENSE ANYWAY?
FNM MUSICAL CHAIRS IN GRAND BAHAMA
The latest report is that Lindy Russell, the FNM Member of Parliament for Eight-Mile Rock is to leave Parliament to become pastor of his church. He has decided to choose God over man. Congratulations! David Wallace MP for West End is to move to run for the Eight-Mile Rock constituency. Kay Smith is to run in David's place in West End. Let the music begin!
BAHAMASAIR BOARD TO RESIGN EN MASSE?
Bradley Roberts MP (PLP) started the ball rolling with an attack on Bahamasair. The Leader of the Opposition revealed that the Board may be resigning en masse. Anthony Allen, head of the Bank of Nova Scotia in The Bahamas and a board member, has already resigned. He was reportedly tired of the political interference, and the fact that the airline was going nowhere fast. Henry Wood, who the FNM fired after their ten million dollar Commission of Inquiry, is now back. He has written a scathing report about the state of maintenance of Bahamasair. Now comes a report that the company is spending money fixing up its offices in grand style instead of spending it on the airplanes. In the past month, the jets that are 30 years old have been grounded so many times they can't be counted. Mr. Woods discovered hairline cracks in the jets and they had to be repaired. The airline is in danger of being banned from flying into the United Sates because of safety concerns. The airline is so late and so often that it may as well not call itself a scheduled carrier. The Dash 8s which are the workhorses of the fleet will be ten years old next year, and they are beginning to cause maintenance problems. They have not yet been paid for. The airline has accumulated some 200 million in losses. The Board is frustrated that a new General Manager Paul Major has been hired without reference to them. As Mr. Christie said in the House: " the more things change the more they remain the same. "
IGNORES PLP AT HIS PERIL
There they were again, lap dogs of Sun International, at the feet of the master. Sol Kerzner held a press conference to announce his 200 million-dollar timeshare project on East Paradise Island. The Paradise Island airport is to close later this year. The Prime Minister and a bevy of Ministers were there including the Minister of Idle Poetry Algernon Allen, the Minister for Agriculture Earl Deveaux, who is apparently fighting a conflict of interest allegation in his Ministry, the Minister of Immigration Theresa Moxey and the Minister of Public Works Tommy Turnquest. They have no shame. At least we got Mr. Kerzner to get dressed up in a suit as a mark of respect for the Prime Minister. Bradley Roberts speaking in the House of Assembly on new timeshare legislation which the Government wants passed said it again: " Whatever Sol wants, Sol gets". The act is being passed just for Mr. Kerzner. The Tribune photo shows Mr. Kerzner teaching the Prime Minister and his Ministers a thing or two or three.
The latest is that in response to the public offering, there have been bids for 2.6 million shares by persons wanting to buy the shares of FOCOL, the monopoly oil company in Freeport. The Directors say that those who are small share bidders are likely to get all they want and the rest will be pro rated. 2.1 million shares are on the market at $5 per share.
ALLEN'S ILLOGIC...BEER TAX ROLLED BACK
Bill Allen, the hapless Minister of Finance, was at it again. He came with a bill to roll back the 133 per cent increase in taxes on locally produced beer. No word from the Prime Minister who by reason of logic only someone as smart as he could understand said that the Government had increased the taxes on the beer to force the price of beer down. Now Bill has gone to the House of Assembly and is quoted as saying that he failed to get the price of beer down. We are not surprised. He is a master at circumlocution. It is entirely possible that he sat in a meeting, said what he thought he saying to reduce the price of beer, but no one understood a word he was saying. Anyway, the brewery is now saved for the time being. But reportedly Bill has warned Bradley Roberts MP and one of the brewery's directors: " You all so f...ing greedy, you have one year to lower the prices or I will lower them for you." Bill! Bill! Language!
MORE ON BILL ALLEN
The hapless Minister of Finance also announced that he is raising the tariff on printed material like brochures, exercise books and printed forms. He is also making certain equipment duty free for printers locally. All of this is to support a local printing industry. This Government just can't make up its mind whether it is for an open market or not. Someone asked the question: which Minister has an interest in a print shop?
ROCK LICENSE SAVED
Despite the call by the Christian community leadership (misguided of course ) to cancel Club Rock's license, the Licensing Authority decided that its license could be retained at a hearing on Wednesday 22 July. Bradley Griffin, Club owner, was relieved. Some 34 people are employed there. The Club has been the focus of community ire because two murders took place there, week before last. The answer with everything in this country is to close it down. We seem to treat the idea of private property and someone's livelihood and investment in such a cavalier fashion. The Authority made the right decision. Now the police must ensure that the security measures are taken so that nothing like that will happen again. A man has been charged with the murder. He is Ricardo Lockhart, 21, of Quarry Mission Road in New Providence. He is a young black male. The talk around town is that the murder is gang related. One of the accused's friends was denied access to the club by the security people. In anger, he went home got his gun, a 9mm. It is alleged he threw it to the suspect who it is alleged then committed the murder. It is then further alleged that the person who threw the gun was beaten to death by the crowd, gathered outside. Well the FNM did say that once the PLP was gone, they would break the back of crime. Club Rock is located at Long Wharf on the former Oakes property that used to be the Drumbeat Club. It is frequented by working class, young Black males and their friends, and plays reggae music. The Tribune photo shows murder suspect Ricardo Lockhart being led to court.
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