Amid public outrage over an upcoming increase in electricity bills, Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration Elsworth Johnson said the following on Thursday:
“And when you look at their passports, they are traveling. When you look at the clothes they wear, they are some of the most expensive. (Are you serious sir?)
“When you look at the way that we arrange our finances, it leaves a lot to be desired. So, I say all that to say, Mr. Speaker, that perhaps we have been, as a people, a little lackluster in the way with how we service our bills.”
Minister Elsworth Johnson, seeing that you are admonishing the Bahamian people about traveling and the clothes they wear, I am surprised that you did not comment about them wanting to give their children more than just corned beef and white rice every day. Oh and what about the weave, sir? Is it wrong for us to want to take a vacation and look nice?
Listening to you, as long as we pay the exorbitant bills foisted on us by BPL (Bahamas Power and Light) the average Bahamian should be walking around dressed in flour bag shirts, wearing car tire slippers with picky head. Pray tell me, sir, is it wrong for them to work hard, join asues for an entire year to take their families on vacation and buy nice clothes for their children? Why shouldn’t they complain about paying an outrageous bill when the service is far below adequate? Sir, I believe you, like all Bahamians, want your family to eat the best and wear the best. I say all of that to say you have no right to talk down to us. While your message might have been well intended, your delivery was completely off base. That is not to say we should not manage our bills better but the examples used are very demeaning and insensitive. In Bahamian colloquial: that’s a diss. Something most of us won’t forget further down the road. This has nothing to do with politics, it’s all about being considerate and respectful.
— Anthony Pratt