Back in the day, the “Same Ole Place” was a popular eatery and political watering hole in Nassau. Nowadays the “Same Ole Place” appears to be emblematic of where Brave Davis has driven the “new” PLP.
Despite his protestations that the PLP has turned the page on rank cronyism and backroom dealing, it seems that old habits die hard when it comes to their ground game.
After getting a drubbing from voters in 2017, Davis issued the shallow promise that the four winning candidates were a shoo-in for re-nomination for the 2022 general election.
Picewell Forbes probably thought he was safe in Andros with the leader’s blessing. But there are wasps nests in the palace of the PLP that even Davis won’t dare disturb. Everyone saw this coming when Monique Pindling dropped anchor off Mangrove Cay last year, launching the opening salvo in the war that has now claimed the sitting MP.
When a soldier turned up dead on a US base in Cuba in the movie “A Few Good Men”, the commander of the base professed at a court martial that he ran a tight ship and he issued strict orders that the soldier not be touched.
The Judge Advocate General was left to decipher how it was, therefore, that said soldier turned up dead. Clearly, the commander willed it thus. And so, if Brave decreed that all sitting MPs were safe, how it is that Forbes found himself on the endangered species list?
Davis probably likes Forbes, and he might have known that in removing him he would be stirring up resentment in a constituency that the PLP won with less than a plurality of the votes. Forbes got 849 votes, but 1,014 voters checked the box for other candidates.
Ms. Pindling will do her best to narrow that gap, but she should not count on the votes of those PLPs who will feel that Forbes got the shaft.
Forbes was clever in preempting Davis by announcing in Parliament that he was jumping off the S/S PLP and not waiting around to be pushed off.
And if that wasn’t enough bad news for Davis, Obie Wilchcombe, the unwavering confidante of Perry Christie, outplayed Davis by rallying the local PLP branch on Grand Bahama to support him for the West Grand Bahama and Bimini seat. Apparently, nobody polled the Bimini branch.
Davis had failed spectacularly to bring Wilchcombe to heel when he tried to unite the party after the wipe-out in 2017. Wilchcombe was having none of it. He wanted his old job as party chairman and maneuvered to make sure that his sometime friend Fred Mitchell was the only member of the PLP executive team to face an opponent.
Instead of getting to put his stamp on the party by having his team elected unopposed, Davis had to fight a rear-guard action to vanquish Wilchcombe and, given his conciliatory style, he must have personally asked Wilchcombe to bow out gracefully.
Wilchcombe tried to rewrite the historical record claiming he only lost one polling division in 2017. In fact, he won just three of 14 polling divisions and lost overall by five percentage points.
It was breathtaking, therefore, to read Wilchcombe’s take on the election that he won Grand Bahama. Perhaps it was the enumerators at the Parliamentary Registration Department who reported out the votes incorrectly.
For now, it’s up to Davis to put the pin back in this grenade.
One can almost hear the booming voice of Leslie Miller shouting to Davis: “Hold-up, big man”.
If Wilchcombe comes back, what about Miller? And if Wilchcombe begets Miller, then what about Shane Gibson? And V. Alfred Grey? And can’t leave out Jerome Fitzgerald.
The PLP is almost giddy over what they believe to be imminent elections. And it is precisely because they believe the prime minister is getting ready to ring the bell that their manipulation, jockeying and treachery have risen to a fever pitch.
Davis needs to try and cool the fires of expectation, instead of fanning them. Otherwise, he could get burned and end up right back in the same ole place as 2017.
— The Graduate