For Perry Christie, Philip Brave Davis was “Mr. Fix-it”. To PLPs in trouble, to PLPs who needed help, Mr. Christie would send them to Brave to deal with their problems.
This was a way for Mr. Christie to not have to deal with it. It also played to Mr. Davis’ strengths. He knows people in the system. He knows how to use his influence and connections.
What Mr. Christie would not say is that role – as Mr. Fix-it – was probably as far as he saw Mr. Davis going.
Mr. Davis is not eloquent. He has no policy convictions. He does not inspire. He is not an economic thinker. He has no vision for The Bahamas. He has no instincts for leadership politics. All of our other prime ministers had some or all of those attributes.
Watching Mr. Davis during the last two crises for our country revealed all you need to know as to why he should never be prime minister.
I’m sure you remember what Mr. Davis thought was leadership during Hurricane Dorian. In the heart of the crisis when the government and international partners tried to save lives, Mr. Davis’ PLP staged a photo in New Providence in just slight floodwaters. Mr. Davis was in a yellow raincoat (the PLP’s color) next to a big truck with a PLP flag, smiling.
He was firmly condemned by Bahamians for releasing such a tasteless and insensitive photo. What’s so telling is that Mr. Davis could not figure out on his own that this was a bad idea. He probably got the advice to take the picture and send it out from his chief advisor, someone best described as his Rasputin.
Now we are in another crisis. This one is all encompassing and open ended. I’ve seen The Bahamas go through majority rule, independence and everything after. Never have I seen a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.
Our tourism industry is completely shutdown. That means our whole economy is essentially shutdown. Bahamians are lining up for food and assistance in the thousands. There is no one who can say how long this crisis will last.
During the pandemic, Mr. Davis has shown the worst leadership I’ve seen of a major leader in my lifetime.
When the government first moved to curfew measures to stop the spread of the virus, Mr. Davis called it an overreach that would have unintended consequences.
Mr. Davis thought the measures were done in a heated and rushed manner. Never mind that thousands of people were dying from the new coronavirus around the world.
Mr. Davis then set up a PLP COVID-19 Task Force. This was a ludicrous decision. The Ministry of Health leads the national response. Bahamians should look to the advice from their public health experts, not party operatives set up by a political leader who wants attention.
To set up a political body to compete for attention with the state’s public health experts is reckless and dangerous.
Mr. Davis then was in agreement with the government when it implemented the complete lockdown over the Easter weekend. However, Mr. Davis is never embarrassed to flip-flop when he sees a moment to attack. When there was a run on the food stores before the lockdown, Mr. Davis, who supported the lockdown, then criticised the government for what was happening. So much for being committed to the positions you take.
Mr. Davis has released one statement one day criticising the government for being too aggressive on the health-related lockdown measures, arguing they will stifle the economy. Then a few days later the same Mr. Davis will release a statement saying the government is opening up the economy too soon, risking public health. Mr. Davis seems indifferent to logic and consistency.
Then there was April 23 – one of the most sickening days of Mr. Davis’ term as leader. The PLP called the media to Gambier House. They were delivering food parcels to people in need. Giving people food was a good thing. There are many hungry and desperate people.
But instead of just handing out the food, Mr. Davis and his crew put big PLP stickers all over the bags the food was to be delivered in. Their charity was no charity. They insulted those desperate and hungry Bahamians by making them have to take the donation with PLP propaganda all over it. What a disgusting thing to do.
Mr. Davis’ PLP is indifferent. His PLP is cynical. They cannot be trusted. They only want power.
I am in the twilight of life. I have seen my Bahamas go from a small, backward colony to being the most dynamic tourism economy in the Caribbean. I hope and pray that in my last years I never have to see Philip Brave Davis as prime minister. He would be a disastrous leader – much worse than Mr. Christie.
I hope Bahamians have watched Brave’s poor conduct through Hurricane Dorian and the coronavirus pandemic. If they have, they’d know he is unfit to be our leader.