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Editorial | McAlpine: An error of selection that persists

Hubert Ingraham would never have run Rev. Frederick McAlpine in a winnable seat. Dr. Hubert Minnis did. Hence the problem facing our prime minister.

McAlpine is erratic and self-consumed. After the Free National Movement (FNM) victory on May 10, 2017, he expected a Cabinet post. That did not happen. Minnis made him chairman of the Hotel Corporation.

A disgruntled McAlpine became an irritant to the prime minister and the FNM. It culminated in him being fired after voting against aspects of the budget – a no-no in Westminster-rooted systems for elected members holding posts bestowed on them by the government.

Since then, McAlpine intensified his attacks. Just this week the Pineridge MP blasted Minnis after he failed to fully address calls for the resignations of two Cabinet ministers at an FNM event on Friday. He said the FNM administration seems to lack integrity.

Then there was yesterday in the House of Assembly. Marvin Dames and Dr. Duane Sands are the duo the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) want gone. The PLP thinks their conduct in the Frank Smith corruption trial was inappropriate.

After being publicly critical of Dames, who is a former policeman, McAlpine tried to smile in his face.

“I wanted to greet him and speak to him and say as a colleague no hard feelings, nothing personal, but of course it escalated to maybe something else,” McAlpine said.

The exchange, which quickly escalated, prompted fellow MPs to escort Dames off the floor of the House.

As Dames was being ushered down the stairs and into the nearby men’s restroom by Yamacraw MP Elsworth Johnson, an FNM colleague, he repeatedly shouted that he didn’t want to be “buttered up”.

Moments after his outburst, a calm Dames emerged from the restroom and explained he was tired of the “sideshow” surrounding his and Sands’ involvement in the case.

This is what McAlpine wants: a circus. And in this circus he intends to be the center of attention.

McAlpine’s political career is over. The FNM will not run him again. The PLP won’t run him. He is disloyal to his side.

Philip Brave Davis, the PLP’s leader, is an orderly man. He would never sanction McAlpine as a candidate while he leads the PLP.

Men like McAlpine are only loyal to their egos and ambitions. They are not party men. They are not team players.

We must not forget that this is the same Rev. Frederick McAlpine who publicly objected to people from our sister CARICOM country of Dominica coming here after the island was devastated by a Category 5 hurricane.

The FNM’s problems with McAlpine will get worse. Due to his bruised ego and anger, his main ambition is to make sure Minnis and his party lose the next general election.

The FNM should expel him, but that’s an overly complicated matter in Bahamian politics.

We hope Minnis has learned a lesson from this ongoing train wreck. When he and his party choose candidates for the next election, they should avoid the obvious no-nos such as McAlpine. They may have charisma and help you on the campaign trail but if they win and are part of your team, they will soon turn on you with the same ferocity they displayed against the other party as a candidate.

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