BY BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
FORMER CABINET MINISTER AND MP
21ST JANUARY 2018
It is written that the truth will set you free. This is excellent unsolicited advice for the FNM government who has made bold faced lies, audits, walk backs and plain hypocrisy their stock-in-trade. Democracy and civil order are based on public confidence and trust and no government can maintain public trust and confidence when they first seek to deceive.
During the 2017 election campaign, the FNM charged that the VAT monies were stolen by the PLP. Tax cheat Dionisio D’Aguilar went as far as to tell a crowd of FNM supporters that when he asked where the VAT money went, their response was to be that the PLP stole the VAT money. This tax cheat now sits on the front bench in Parliament and makes policy for Bahamians from the cabinet. That is a disgrace. The former National Chairman Sidney Collie did admit to the media that they knew they were lying but refused to offer an apology for misleading the public.
Funds were missing from BAMSI was the FNM claim and this had to be investigated.
Monies were also missing from the Road Traffic Department, so the FNM said, even after the operations were automated and revenues collected during the first quarter of 2017 were reportedly consistent with revenue levels during the same period of 2016.
More claims were made about millions of dollars missing from NIB and how the automation system was corrupt and how the FNM was getting to the bottom of this. It turns out the FNM told that lie to victimize senior executives they believed were supporters of the PLP. There is no audit so Bahamians can only conclude that missing funds were the usual bold-faced lies which is the FNM’s stock-in-trade.
Millions of dollars vanished from social services was another FNM claim.
More millions of dollars mysteriously vanished from Urban Renewal as another FNM charge.
The Minister of Finance misled the public when he accused the PLP government of diverting $42 million of funds earmarked for post Hurricane repair and relief to fund the party’s election campaign. He later admitted that this too was a lie, but offered no apology.
Of the audits that were conducted at BPL and WSC, the auditors discovered fraud and theft by reason of employment. The specific charges of the FNM during their spurious campaign was that the PLP somehow stole millions of dollars while in office.
Now whether this was all election talk to knowingly and intentionally mislead an entire nation on a tissue and platform of lies, there is no excuse for this behavior. There is no carpet large enough to hide wanton lies and deceit. If the FNM lied to secure an election victory, they will knowingly and willfully lie in government to hold on to political power.
To my readers – in an inter-personal relationship, how many times a person Has to lie to or mislead you before mistrust sets in to the point where all credibility is lost and you simply stop listen to anything that person has to say? Once? Twice? How much more important is it for a government to be honest with the people they serve and lead because the fate and future of literally tens of thousands of people hang on their every word.
I make that point because I have never seen a government who has lost so much national support in such a short period of time as have this current FNM government. Minnis came to office on a platform of cleaning up corruption but he has a tax cheat in his cabinet and another tax cheat on the back bench of his Parliamentary caucus. He also has a lawyer disbarred in Florida for stealing client’s monies on the back bench but these are the quality and ilk of men who have the temerity and unmitigated gall to lecture a nation on corruption and point accusatory fingers.
The weak sandy foundation on which this government is built comprises one untruth after the next; one betrayal of the public trust after the next and mishaps and screw ups have left many understandably concerned about the policy direction of this country. How about just telling the truth for a change.
The Prime Minister was recently quoted by the Nassau Guardian as follow: “But my observation, as I move through the community, crime is down, the fear of crime is down, and now our great focus is the economy.” With some ten murders already in January 2018 and over 120 murders in 2017, this is yet another lie.
In the wake of the US advisory, the Prime Minister said that Bahamians have to prove the US wrong. The Prime Minister as head of the Bahamas government must first reconcile, rationalize and explain his own publicly stated observations on crime locally with the US advisory. But no, the nation’s leader simply threw an entire nation under the bus to save his own hide; some leader he is.
It is only a matter of time before Bahamians grow tired of the lies, disrespect, arrogance and hypocrisy of the FNM and tune them out. Hey FNM government, how about just telling the truth for a change.