Letter to the Editor
Jerome Fitzgerald, in his recent letter to the editor of the local papers and web sites, which he blind copied me, is his attempt to defend his intellectual dishonesty.
As I wrote to him in an e-mail exchange, he leaves out the fact that the entry in question was approved on the 25th, the day before the Budget announcement.
However, the law allows Bahamas Customs to rescind their approval and charge the higher rate of duty, which was subsequently paid. Something that the private sector cannot ethically do.
Of course facts are irrelevant to some people when they’re trying to make a name for themselves.
As one friend said to me, “In some circles – or groups – there is an unwritten rule – never, never admit to a making a mistake…”
Mr. Fitzgerald, while seeking elected political office is surely one of those.
Another friend pointed out that, “He got the wrong end of the issue…… too fast in trying to make the NMC Duty issue a political one…”
A mutual friend of Mr. Fitzgerald and myself said to us in an e-mail:
“It is hard to see how Jerome connects these events to favoritism granted to a select group if he cannot show that Bahamas Customs sought to collect the increased rate and was prevented from doing so by the Government. It is unlikely that a member of Cabinet would have authorized payment of a lower rate and the Comptroller of Customs speak against it. I therefore find that there was no attempt by the Government to extend a special favour to NMC.”
“As to the issue of race, I find nothing in Jerome’s speech to support the view that he introduced race into the discussion. I would point out that many Bahamians, I am among them, believe there is a group of persons, black and white, who receive special privileges. I therefore find that Rick jumped to a conclusion, which is common and unfortunate, but is not necessarily one that Jerome holds and certainly not evidenced by Jerome’s speech.”
Maybe I did jump to a conclusion as a result of Mr. Fitzgerald’s accusations of fraud and cronyism, but the economic lesson of people that succeed are not always a result of cronyism. Many people like “The Sunshine Boys”, “The Bay Street Boys” and Mr. Rahming did it by the sweat of their brow. And as long as they do it within the laws of the day, we should be proud of them.
All this is too bad. I thought of the current crop, Mr. Fitzgerald could be the leader of the PLP one day. He might still be, but if he can distort facts as he has done with this incident the question that Bahamians should ask is if this is the type of leadership The Bahamas needs at this crucial juncture?
Maybe you should try to find, or should I say create, another “hot” issue Mr. Fitzgerald, ’cause this ‘aint it.