Dames hits back at McAlpine
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames yesterday hit back at Pineridge MP Fredrick McAlpine over comments during his contribution to the budget debate, insisting that McAlpine needs to stop drinking his own Kool-Aid.
During his contribution last week Thursday, as he once again criticized the government over its management of the country, McAlpine accused the government of treating Bahamians differently based on their skin color.
He also noted that despite all the successes the government touts about crime being down, there seems to be very low morale in the police force, defense force, prison and the entire public service throughout the country.
Dames took issue with these comments and addressed McAlpine directly as he contributed to the debate during the evening sitting of Parliament.
“Before I begin my substantive contribution, I just want to get a few things off my mind, especially given the contributions of last week, as a matter of fact, the contribution on Thursday past, but more importantly this whole question of race [which] was touched on Thursday by the honorable member for Pineridge,” he said.
“…I believe that we are at a very important junction in our development.
“That the time has come for us to do just that because this has been weighing on my mind for some time and has been spun especially by the side opposite for decades and has become the central theme in their worn out and obsolete political play book.
“The shelf life of these political talking points have long passed and there is no place for this kind of rhetoric in a modern day Bahamas.
“Not only are they falsehood and propaganda, but they continue to divide us as a people and paint a picture that we are nothing but a nation of right-winged racists.
“They continue to hurl scurrilous attacks at decent Bahamians and their families because of the color of their skin, in an attempt to feed a base who themselves are disappointed and have become extremely fatigued in their leaders, who continue to live in the distant past.
“Our nation, like many others around the world, is a melting pot of all shades of people. The time has come for all of us in political leadership to put the politics of race in the political garbage can where it belongs.”
He later went on to defend the agencies under his portfolio.
“Mr. Speaker, last week the member for Pineridge made some comments about the morale of the police and defense forces being low,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker, I don’t know who his sources are or whether he has any, but I am here to tell the member today, that the agencies I have come to know, would like for him to know, that they don’t care for him to be their spokesman. They are just fine.
“Their job performance is a clear indication of that. Mr. Speaker, I am often careful not to drink too much of my own Kool-Aid. Strange things happen when one drinks too much of their own Kool-Aid.”
These comments were met with banging on the table by government members.
Dames and McAlpine have previously butted heads, specifically over the Pineridge MP’s criticism of the government.
In February, there was an exchange between the two as they exited Parliament, with Dames shouting that he didn’t want to be “buttered up” by McAlpine.