Speaking truth to a reckless power

Dear Editor,

What was once a deplorable embarrassment, known as Downtown Nassau, has now graduated to a calculated insult upon our national character. We have surrendered to a “creed of filthiness” that permeates rampantly, staining our collective social psyche, and seriously questions the response Bahamian culture presents to a world intently watching, while a derelict city falls further into dilapidation.

For more than 50 years, the ruling majority has languished below the belt of poverty, due to incorrigibly arrogant and shallow politicians – if we acquit ourselves from the guilt of silence – who have corrupted the power of authority to coerce thousands into a slavish philosophy bent along the slanting lines of “tribalism”; albeit while our sovereign right to explore and enjoy the freedom of success has been disenfranchised in miserable negligence by these various inbreeding governing administrations. When we contemplate metrics of the West expanding its dominance in the global sphere, we clearly see where a room was built around the proverbial elephant; but democracy almost always deviates perversely onto a dangerous path, of which Winston Churchill asserted “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings”. However, when a people’s natural human resources remain stifled, there lies the irreconcilable sin of hypocrisy, beyond the recognition of karma and forgiveness.

History does not suffer fools lightly and continues to repeat itself in seismic tremors, but the onus of change rests in the challenging litmus, part and parcel, inherited by this government; failure is a learned behavior pattern passed from one generation to the next and is now spinning its wheels in the house of Parliament. Who will break the cycle?

We are stewing in an executive malaise, an ugly fiasco, a self-created shambolic state of affairs where lawmakers flaunt cunning and pedantic flair playing doll-house politics, while neglecting to stimulate the impetus of lethargic industries amid shifting paradigms in a frivolous business marketplace. This administration continues to promote the language of innuendo, directing the social discourse and national debate to become incompatible in an intellectual forum while they stealthily operate beyond the intuition of many vested with the most erudite scholarship. Unable to dazzle with brilliance, they exploit sibling elements of chaos and confusion to baffle us with distorted news and gossip; these flashy politicians are show-off sprinters and can never be, in the lofty estimation of this writer, resolute marathon-tested statesmen.

Curiously, we hold our noses daily, because everything this government does smells fishy, from an improper signing of a significant letter of intent, to a suspected shelving of an important auditor general’s report – with a litany of shenanigans in between – we now regret being rallied to remove the former blister on our toe. Thanks for the deficit reduction and attempts to balance our financial equilibrium, with serious crime trending downward, but the honeymoon is over and we want a divorce – now! Happy Valentine’s Day. Surely, these cosmetic touch-ups to our economic face are a fleeting glimpse at austerity, which, if measured upon a compromised scale in the boardroom of Eastern Road knights, much is left to chance, while the devil hides in veiled details and speculative caveats.

Conflict at best – a perfect storm – in its circumferential meaning, aptly describes this present administration, which exclusively owns the colloquial trademark “mix right up”. But we can bend over and loosen the block that is sinking this nation to its wretched demise in a “sea of debt”, as did Achille in Derek Walcott’s masterpiece “Omeros”. We have become hapless pawns in a vicious game of chess as various “phantom scribes” – whose penmanship and literary genius I admire – wax eloquent; but careful be, for pseudonymity bears two faces with serious “Janus” implications, as this country slides on a slippery slope. Yes, downtown’s rebirth should form in “the cultural alembic of diverse folklore”, but talk is worthless if the eye is corrupt with a perception of distrust.

Kudos to the members of Parliament for Mount Moriah, St. Barnabas and Long Island, who seem to appreciate and respect the process governed by right principles. We must rise above the status quo, because well-said is “ he who borrows, sells his freedom” – sufficient to the wise. Set apart, we remember Nassau in her “glory days” – the fascination and envy of the world, its unique charm and vibrant energy, exciting verve midst elegant splendor wrapped in “the ethos” of a beautiful people. I applaud John Bull, Bonneville Bones, Graycliff and John Watlings Distillery for being concerned corporate partners in this manifest vision for Nassau. This writer has no desired affiliation with any group, but tells it as he sees, feels and lives.

We should abhor this despicable shantytown mindset that has settled on our land. Many are infatuated with the idea of leadership but far removed from the realities of governance. So, let’s peruse a few suggestions: experiment with a midnight to 6 a.m. shift; initiate a vandal-vagrant watch; identify hotspots; establish a register to collect minimal monthly funds; implement advanced methods of sanitation with uniformed employees.

Almighty God gave us this gift at his pleasure. Do we think he is happy with such abuse of sacred kindness?


– Gregory Neely

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