Labor and the FNM
As a life-long student of Bahamian and international politics, I have long known that Brother Perry Gladstone Christie, our former prime minister, would go down in our history as the worst prime minister in living memory.
It would appear now that I was dead wrong and most unkind to PGC. I owe him an apology. Hubert Alexander Minnis now holds that dubious honor.
It is almost as if Minnis has tunnel vision and is clueless about governance.
Minnis does not seem to know what he is doing.
He and I used to be allies when a faction led by Loretta Butler-Turner ousted him as leader of the opposition.
Dr. Duane Sands was one of her generals in their naked take down of Minnis.
On my then radio show, “Real Talk Live”, I publicly advised Minnis on the counter insurgency to deploy in deflecting Butler-Turner and Sands. I also predicted that he would become prime minister. The rest is history.
The Minnis administration was totally unprepared for governance and it is clear that they had/have no real plan of action for taking our wonderful nation forward, period.
Even to this very day there seems to be no coherent public policy initiatives and certainly none related to labor and employment issues.
The FNM has never been known or regarded as a labor-friendly party as contrasted with the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
From its inception, the founders of the PLP were involved in the economic and societal advancement of the unwashed masses.
That party almost alone ushered in the middle class and instilled the hope in thousands that, with hard and honest work, one could rise above the ordinary.
The major residential subdivisions came about as a result of the public policy positions of the PLP.
Higher education and scholarships became and remain to this very day the mantra of the PLP.
Contrast this with the Minnis administration. Yes, they have made higher educational fees lower or have even wiped them out completely.
The salient question, however, is what is the public policy position of the FNM vis-a-vis education?
None that I know about.
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd is a grave disappointment.
Our teachers are still up in arms three years after Lloyd and Minnis them came to unexpected power.
The grade level is still D or maybe worse.
Our little darlings continue to be marginalized across the board. Some come out of school but know next to nothing. As a result, they are unskilled in marketable skills and are soon consigned to the ranks of the permanently unemployed or under-employed. Some become a charge on the state or resort to crime.
When John Pinder was appointed as director labor, I was elated and expected much from and through him.
Minnis and Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes never had a plan of action related to Bahamian laborers.
Look at The Pointe.
The labor component was supposed to be at a ratio of 30 percent foreign labor and 70 percent Bahamian.
It would appear that under Minnis and Foulkes, we have a reversed situation.
People, meanwhile, have been laid off from the Freeport airport.
The FNM is anti-labor, in my view.
Labor is fundamental to any capitalistic society.
It is the backbone of economic success and prosperity.
The Minnis administration will learn the hard way that Bahamians will endure all sorts of foolishness but, please, do not play with their bread and butter.
– Ortland H. Bodie Jr.
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