A New Year’s Message Fred Mitchell MP

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 Hon. Fred Mitchell

MP for Fox Hill
To Young Bahamians,

Young PLPs are always talking about the need for the PLP to be tech savvy and to use the new technology and some of us have tried. I started what is generally accepted as the first Bahamian political website more than ten years ago and I have since pioneered the use of political podcasting in The Bahamas. But the new technology is not an end in itself and it should not in my view be for purely social interaction. So here goes:

Can the use of the Internet translate into change for The Bahamas and the younger generation, especially in the PLP? You can help make those changes. One of the first changes is to get The Bahamas to upgrade its technology infrastructure and for the newspapers to upgrade the online versions of their newspapers.

When I was 16 years old, I left high school with two great missions: to further the ends of racial justice for oppressed Bahamians and to help create the new Bahamian nation state.

Now, my focus is to make The Bahamas as good as it can be; a true reflection inclusive of the new generations that have been educated since nationhood. The question to you as young people is; what is your mission? Where are you going to take The Bahamas and what role will the PLP play in it?

The old themes are now replaced by what I call social justice and economic empowerment.

The pursuit of social justice will make sure that there continues to be social mobility in our country. The success stories of those who can move from poor to well off within one generation must continue. We must eliminate poverty in our country.

Economic empowerment is to make sure that you own a part of The Bahamas: its land, its economic wealth. Only the PLP can deliver this.

But those are my views. What is your view? You say you want change. How do you bring it about? By joining a political party, in my view the PLP and by working for change. There is room for you in the PLP.

I encourage all of you who say you are PLP – before you leave for school and even if you are away – to formally join the PLP. Come join at my branch in Fox Hill. You can also join at the PLP’s headquarters in Farrington Road. If you have a problem joining, get in touch with me. It is important to be a member. Membership has its privileges. The great privilege of membership is to bring about change, and it signals a commitment that you are serious about change, not just talking about change.

Next, contribute to the posted list of things you want to see happen in The Bahamas and how the PLP can bring it about. I will watch the various groups to see what is generated in that list.

I would like to set the goal for The Bahamas to be a developed country by the year 2020. This will mean clear markers:
An increase in national income or GDP per capita,
A more refined literacy,
A lower birth rate and a lower death rate;
A national health insurance programme;
Unemployment benefits;
Better access to capital through small business loans, micro loans,
Improved infrastructure by land, sea and by air,
An improved tourism product,
National food security through an investment in agriculture and fisheries,
The rebuilding of our capital city and
Increased environmental protection.

One major and immediate goal must be to make the price of land and housing affordable for young Bahamians.

At each step of the way, the decisions on these issues should be infused with the overall themes of social justice and economic empowerment.

So let us in 2009 commit ourselves to work together online and in other ways to bring about change in the PLP and in The Bahamas. You can reach me on my Facebook profile or by e-mail at foxhillplp@hotmail.com or 242 356 2039.

I wish you all the best in 2009 as we work together for change.

Fred

  • Tristan

    Viewing previous Comments, this country is sooo Divided. Sad…
    We would bring in Foreigners to run our country before empowering Bahamians. We are bound to self destruct

  • J Rolle

    Wisdom, you re correct. we could use an exPM like Blair or Patterson. I am serious. we have in this country made it for the outsider and this will be along the same lines. It makes no sense to me to choose people from parlaiment when they are apart of the failed system.

  • Wisdom

    J. Rolle, if we are really serious about change we might have to look outside the PLP & FNM. To be truthful we have to start looking outside the Bahamas. I suggest, “BACK WITH THE BRITISH or let us try CUBA. What you think?

  • J Rolle

    Both FNM and PLP need change from the outside. not because you are in parliament means that you are best for the job. as stated earlier, i do not see any parliamentarian that is capable of leading us forward. Many of the names called has ties to the old guard and will seek to protect them. let’s work together to find the persons on the outside. this is what the couintry needs now, not the same old same old.

  • Joe

    Thomas, again I concur. My fear for Fitzgerald is that the ‘other’ PLPs will do whatever they can to undermine Jerome or any relatively newcomer. Sad but true.

  • Wisdom

    Have A HAPPY and “BETTER” NEW YEAR.
    Here are some of the political messages of the past; Step NOW, New Frontier, Steady as She go…Let Your Mind become a tool…
    “Time for a Change” “Delivery Boy”, BETTER NOW, BETTER TO COME, BETTER, BETTER…
    However, Mr. Christie’s message was “CHALLENGE.” If you check the videotapes and read the newspapers that was Mr. Christie’s key word “CHALLENGE.” And the word “CHALLENGE” ran like a river through out Mr. Christie’s administration. All of a sudden it was a “CHALLENGE” to even think of ideas. In my opinion, saying it was a challenge to do the simplest things, was an easy way out to do NOTHING, for Mr. Christie’s administration. However I must admit, Mr. Shane Gibson and Bradley Roberts, took a different approach and got things done, Those two members leave proof of their work for the Bahamian people.
    Mr. Imgraham must be careful of his ministers using the word “CHALLENGE” this is something they picked up from the former administration. It is not the approach of the 1992 to 2001 FNM government. The Bahamian people would judge parties on their message. The demised of the PLP in 2007 was, the perception of being TOOOOO “CHALLANGED,” LATE and LAZY, these are bad words or even fighting words in the Bahamian vernacular. Mr. Hubert Ingraham defined the word (challenge) in Bahamian terms and sold to the people that the PLP is just a “DO NOTTHING, LAZY, AND ALWAYS LATE” government. TRUST ME Mr. Ingraham said, “I’VE DID IT BEFORE.” That was the key message to the FNM regaining the government. PLEASE let us get our people the say it is going to be BETTER in 2009, and like the “good book” says, YOU SHAL HAVE WHAT YOU SAY!

  • Thomas Finley

    Personally Joe, i would prefer if we had a one party system. Partisan politics and partisan government has run its course in my view. We need to look at the Chinese model which has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. They have their problems, but they also have 2 billion souls to look after. We only have a couple hundred thousand. This present situation of 20 people living in a settlement is wasting a lot of limited resources. Grand Bahama alone can sustain the entire population of the Bahamas, and it already has the infrastructure in place. What we have been doing, having to maintain all the airports, clinics, schools etc is madness.

    We can begin by inviting members of the Opposition party to serve in cabinet, and sit at the table, maybe at least two of them, and not first having to quit their own party in order to get folk comfortable with the idea. We will not spontaneously combust. Vanderpool-Wallace and Fitzgerald may be the men needed at this time to take us in a new direction.

  • Thomas Finley

    On the PLP side, Fitzgerald. FNM, Vanderpool-Wallace. Those are my guys. I think both men can appeal to supporters of the other party and as far as I know they have no baggage. They have also proven themselves at business and management. Fred is a good one man gang, but you need to bring people along and Fred has not shown me that he has done that yet. I know that his PS hated him, and not the one that he shipped out either!

  • Joe

    Thomas, any idea of who could replace Christie? I agree with your remarks, but so far I don’t see anyone who can do that.

  • Thomas Finley

    Fred Mitchell had a lot of potential, but even if he starts championing today The Bahamas first, and a political party second, it is too late. Mitchell is too divisive. He cannot appeal to non-plps so his campaign is doomed to fail in my view, even if he becomes PLP leader.

    Hubert Ingraham was elected by PLP’s and FNMs on a campaign of change and hope back in 1992. To even approch Ingraham’s success Mr. Mitchell needs a message. What is his message? The items listed are fine, but how will these things be achieved? What does he mean by a developed country specifically? Do our institutions need reform, including the Constitution, and if yes why, and how will he go about this?

    I deduce therefore that to bring folk along you have to appeal to a higher ideal, and the one that has worked throughout history is love for country. Mitchell writes about membership having its privileges. It should not when it comes it government business, so sounds to me like business as usual. Unless Mitchell cuts the line about only the PLP being able to do anything of lasting value, and one must sup at the plp teat openly he will encounter resistance. The only way to overcome resistance is by force or persuasion. I think that victimisation, cronyism, and all the rest will continue under his present dispensation and unless these things will be par in a developed country, Mr. Mitchell needs to rethink. Remember, even though Mitchell has to first win over PLPs, FNNs and Independents and Others all read the same press releases and web pages.