I am sure I was not alone in having nearly died of laughter upon reading a letter appearing in your column last Saturday, signed by the Free National Movement.
Two years into its hapless tenure, the party is still claiming to be a beacon of “transparency” and “accountability”, despite all of the evidence to the contrary around us.
Perhaps it was the party’s way of injecting some merciful hilarity into the national mood following the tragic visitation of Hurricane Dorian and the government’s monstrous bungling of its aftermath.
For the record, the Minnis administration has been a poor model of either “accountability” or “transparency” and has at times demonstrated a shocking tolerance for ill-judgment and incompetence on the part of its members.
For a start, there is the promised report into the firing of the whole BPL board and the minister’s nasty personal attack on the former chairman, a distinguished young Bahamian professional woman. More than a year later, no report.
In the meantime, power outages have reached a level unheard of in decades, while the same minister claims there’s no crisis.
Then, there was the Oban scandal that saw our prime minister and a troop of grinning ministers sit for the camera while one investor signed another’s signature before an astute cameraman. Then, suddenly, as embarrassing facts began to filter to the public, the file went missing. Again, we continue to await the results of the investigation into that missing file well over a year later.
On the consultation front, there was the drastic hike in VAT, before which, following the example of their predecessors, the FNM engaged in wide public consultation and even invited feedback from civic and business leaders.
There was actually zero consultation and not even a flicker of transparency. With the exception of four noble backbenchers, the whole parliamentary caucus lined up in ovine unison to bleat their praises.
Of course, the “brave stance” on VAT contrasts sharply with government’s instant contortions of apology and explanation just a few weeks later when some guy from Lyford Cay wrote them a letter demanding to pay a lower rate of property tax.
Then, there was the matter of two ministers held by a magistrate to have acted improperly in their involvement in the prosecution of a PLP minister, a trial widely (and ironically) seen as part of the FNM’s attempt to cement its dishonest narrative that it is the cleaner of the two parties.
Minister of Health Dr. Sands and Minister of National Security Marvin Dames should have been sent packing immediately. This government instead threw more public funds behind a hopeless appeal – and then refused to disclose exactly how much.
Instead of engaging in laughable propaganda efforts of this kind, it would behoove the FNM to spend its remaining few years trying to clean up the many messes of its own making.
– Andrew Allen