A friendly letter to the minister of public works

Dear Editor,

I very rarely dive into the public space to criticize policymakers and this policymaker is Desmond Bannister. He is a life-long friend.

I am troubled by the obvious difficulties he finds himself placed in by this BPL disaster.

Immediately then I must take issue with him that there is no crisis at BPL if I am going to be honest and speak truth to power. The crisis at BPL is real, unreal and existential.

It is real because unlike the Ingraham road works disaster this BPL disaster impacts the lives of every Bahamian living in New Providence. We can not avoid the “traffic”, Minister, as we did with Ingraham’s signature road works as everywhere we turn the lights are off.

The crisis is existential as I sense that it is a contrived crisis to prepare the Bahamian people for the next great obscenity which is the privatisation of BPL with all the attendant additional disasters which that WILL involve.

Sorry, Desmond, I do not believe that it should take until December 15 for the completion of a new plant.

New York City took a mere four hours recently to solve its generation issues for eight million people.

I do not accept that the outages should drag on. I cannot countenance that there will be no compensation for consumers/taxpayers in the circumstances. Finally, I must holler at the top of my lungs that Bahamians should sue the pants off BPL for egregious and continuing breaches of contracts in the provision of its services.

A representative action of hundreds/ thousands of Bahamians against BPL and the government is mandatory and is being incited by me.

I am reminded of a book penned by Naomi Klein and I recommend its review. The name of the book is the “Shock Doctrine.” It is a monumental piece of work, one which traces the legacy of neoliberalism from its birth in Chile in 1975, a book which also explains what cynical governments do before the implementation of further privatisation of key social services.

I implore Bahamians to YouTube the text and watch the videos. It makes no sense to blame BPL without understanding the ideological agenda which undergirds this crisis which now wracks BPL, a crisis which is not new and can be resolved in short order.

Desmond, I can not support you for the manifest hardship which is now being visited upon our people; you must fire Whitney Heastie and his team.

Fellow Bahamians, our options are clear.

This neoliberal privatisation train wreck marches on. Ill prepared, scary and lazy politicians are softening us up for the announcement that BPL has been sold.

In my life, we have commodified and poisoned at the alter of market fundamentalism one of the greatest redesigns of the human condition. It was called Bahamianization.

Shame on us. 

– Fayne Thompson

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