Hon. Carl Bethel (left) and Hon. Bradley Roberts (right).
Freeport, Grand Bahama – Former minister of works Bradley Roberts slammed minister of education Carl Bethel and the press for their treatment in a ‘Statutory Rape’ incident that took place on Queen’s College school campus. Mr. Roberts was speaking to members of the PLAN in Grand Bahama on Tuesday night. The questions pose to Minister Bethel by Roberts confirms a coverup by the minister where Roberts confirmed that the 17 year old boy is indeed the minister of education Carl Bethel’s son. Mr. Roberts then asked the following questions;
“Will you confirm or deny that the 17 year boy caught up in the sex scandal at Queens College about a month ago is your son? If affirmative and in light of the press coverage on the same, as Minister for Education why have you not issued a statement to the Press?
Will the Minister of Education as painful as it may be for him now make a full statement on this issue?”
Bahamas Press is calling for the resignation of the principal of Queen’s College on this matter.
A full text from Mr. Bradley Roberts:
Bradley B Roberts Former Minister of Works & Utilities,
Former MP for Bain & Grants Constituency and former National Chairman Progressive Liberal Party,
First Anniversary of the P.L.A.N. Organization
Freeport Grand Bahama
Tuesday 13th, May 2008 at 7:00PM
Dear President Shawn Bowe,
Officers and Members of the PLAN,
Distinguish Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful for your kind invitation by your First Vice-Chair Ms. Cassietta Z McIntosh to speak to you on my thoughts on the way forward for the Party and the Plan, unity and general preparation for the next four years. Permit me firstly to extend warmest personal congratulations on your first anniversary and secondly to strongly encourage your P.L.A.N Organization to keep pressing on in your march to fulfill your goals and aspirations. When your group was first formed there were some of us who were skeptical of your intent, and as you progressed the concerns evaporated and your organization is now fully recognized and fully accepted within the ranks of our great Progressive Liberal Party.
My Brothers and Sisters you may recall that during my farewell address to The House of Assembly on March 28th, 2007 in the opening paragraphs I said “The achievements of the Christie Government, as one who has worked untiringly as a part of it, has been, from my perspective, mind boggling and unparallel in the history of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. I went on to say, “as I take my leave from this place, I do so knowing that the future of this country, for the next 15 to 20 years, is secured as the foundation has been laid by the Perry G. Christie’s Government and will be the brightest and best in the history of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. I also predicated a PLP victory at the polls on May 2nd 2007, but I was wrong.
Despite the unparallel record of success by the Christie led PLP Government the People of the Bahamas embraced Hubert Ingraham, the man who said that ‘I come from nuttin, ain’t got nuttin and don’t want nuttin. But surprisingly he certainly ended up with plenty as he double-dipped from The Treasury for five full years. It is amazing how quickly the people forgot that the FNM were rejected in over whelming numbers in May of 2002 for Massive corruption and the many failures of that Government including its failure to provide potable water, massive load shedding by BEC. Hubert Ingraham in the 2007/2008 Budget Debate acknowledged the strong position of the Bahamian economy, but failed miserably to build upon what he found on coming to office. Hubert Ingraham like a mad man went about trying to change Contracts and executed Heads of Agreements some of which took years to negotiate. The massive fall out reached a crescendo with the asinine and incredible statement made by Hubert Ingraham on the Baha Mar agreement in the House of Assembly. Hubert Ingraham’s statement sent a big arrow straight through the hearts of thousands of Bahamians who were looking to embrace employment opportunities in construction and in the Hotels on Cable Beach. For a man whose future bread is buttered on both sides which is secured with a very attractive Prime Minister’s pension package, his action was an egotistical and cold-blooded thing to do.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Hubert Ingraham remarks on Baha Mar and its then partners Harrah’s, sent a very chilling message to all foreign investors who were in the process of doing business in the Bahamas and those who were contemplating to re-think carefully before investing in our Bahamas. Mama used to tell me it is very challenging and difficult to build up, but it can take a fool to destroy.
Hubert Ingraham and the FNM Government’s program of suspend, review, and in some cases cancel thereby repudiating legally entered into contracts is devastating to the economic welfare of the nation and demoralizing for the psyche of Bahamians throughout the Bahamas. Just a few examples of his Government’s destructive spirit are: the Nassau Straw Market, Schools in Freeport, Salina Point Acklins and Andros, Road Contracts & Seawalls. We must call Hubert “The Destroyer” Ingraham, Neko “Full Of Promises” Grant, Kenneth “Cant Build One House” Russell, Zhivargo “Mr. Mona Vie” Laing, Brent “Mr. Self Interest” Symonette, Tommy “Can’t Handle the Crime” Turnquest, the architects of A Reckless & LAWLESS Government.
Mr. Chairman and members of the P.L.A.N organization, in a few brief words I have summarized why I deeply believe that Hubert Ingraham & his Government has failed the Bahamian people big time in their first year in office. The FNM shamelessly ran a tractor thru the strong foundation left in place by the Christie’s Administration, taking the country down a dark and dismal road, laced which a long and expanding list of persons damaged through victimization, record firing across the board in the Government services, increased unemployment and record levels of crime for which Tommy Turnquest has no solution.
In my humble opinion Hubert Ingraham is tired and worn out. Many persons have told me that they were fooled into voting for the FNM. Many deeply regret their action as they now realized that Hubert Ingraham and the FNM have taken the Bahamas backwards and have no plans to place the Bahamas on a positive path. Proverbs 29:19 declares “where there is no vision, the people perish” The FNM Parliamentary agenda lacks focus and a game plan. Someone said a few months ago that, that bunch “talked a lot during the elections but appear to be clueless what to do since the elections”.
Fellow PLP’s when we won the Government in 2002 we had a plan and we had an esteemed person in the name of Perry Gladstone Christie, A visionary leader, a rare breed who creates reality from dreams and breathes new life into even the most weakened of organizations. I will return to this later in my remarks.
Grand Bahama Port Authority
Ladies and Gentlemen, Hubert Ingraham’s Government appears to be powerless in bringing a solution to the vexing issue of new ownership in The Grand Bahama Port Authority. During the 2007 General Elections the FNM view was that the resolution of this vexing issue was a significant key to turning around the economy of Grand Bahama. Yet Hubert Ingrahan and his gang can’t cut the mustard on this. I ran into to Sir Jack Hayward on board an Asian Cruise a few weeks ago and he gave me a message to give to the St Georges that was not complimentary.
During Hubert’s first term in office it was said that he was close to Sir Jack Hayward and Edward St George was close to Sir Lynden Pindling. Whatever the position may have been, it was Hubert and his FNM Gang who promised to turn around the economy of Grand Bahamas in xxx months. That was another major promise Hubert, Neko Grant and Kenneth Russell has barefacedly failed to deliver on and worst cannot tell you the people of Grand Bahama when the delivery will be made. In the meantime Grand Bahama, Taxi & Bus Drivers, Straw Vendors, Maids, Shop Assistants, Construction Workers, all of you will continue to suffer and catch hell after allowing yourselves to buy into the promises which have turned out to be a comfort to fools.
Grand Bahama, whilst Hubert The self proclaimed “Proven Leader” and his Gang have been fiddling for over a year over the Grand Bahama Port Authority ownership issue, the economy is fast sliding down the tube. Yet Zhivargo “Mr. Mona Vie” finds the time to take care of his family. Many Bahamians are asking if taking care of family and friends are a part of the highly touted FNM’s Trust Agenda? Kenneth Russell after one year can’t get his act together to bill a single house and to add insult to injury has refused to set a deadline by which time the Government’s housing program will start again. Remember Kenneth Russell was a former Minister of Works and claims to be an Engineer. Kenneth has earned himself the distinction of being the most unproductive minister in the history of the Bahamas. For those persons who are awaiting a Government built house, if they are hoping to receive that house from Kenneth Russell they are wasting their time and energy and may die from frustration.
BTC Leon Williams & Julian Francis and the Bridge Authority
Ladies and Gentlemen, I note that Hubert Ingraham said it was the Board of Directors that took the decision to terminate Leon Williams as President and CEO of BTC Ltd after some forty years in the employ of the company. The FNM appointed BTC Board is headed by the same person who was appointed Chairman of The Grand Bahama Port Authority whom I am told lasted less than a year in that job. I am advised that informed persons here in Grand Bahama knows why he was relied of that position.
In May of 2002 I assigned the responsibility for The Bridge Authority which was under the Chairmanship of the Governor of the Central Bank Julian Francis. I tabled a Communication to the House of Assembly on “The Status of the Bridge Authority on November 10th, 2004.
With the Communication I laid on the Table of the House of Assembly the Audit Financial Statements of The Bridge Authority for the years:
Year 1999 was completed, on 12th June, 2003
Year 2000 was completed, on 4th March, 2004.
Year 2001 was completed, on 11th June, 2004.
Year 2002 was completed, on 6th August, 2004.
Year 2003 was completed, on 24th Sept, 2004.
The Accounting Firm of BDO Mann Judd highlighted a number of serious audit deficiencies and raised the burning question on how much money was lost at the Bridge Authority over these many years because of the dismal failure to produce timely audited statements. The Board of Directors under Chairman Julian Francis failed to produce timely audited financial statements as mandated by law. The Board of Directors appointed in 2002 headed by Edward Fitzgerald did an outstanding job in cleaning up the mess left by the previous Chairman and the then FNM Government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I leave it to your good sense and judgment. if any thinking person would believe for one minute that Julian Francis would have on his own fired the President & CEO Leon Williams; then those same persons would also have me to believe that Hubert Ingraham was Quasimodo’s brother. I do not believe Hubert Ingraham was truthful when he said that it was the Board of BTC who took the decision to fire Leon Williams and have concluded that Hubert Ingraham gave the directive to terminate Leon Williams because he stood up to some powerful friends of Hubert and the gang.
When the PLP demitted office in May 2007 the Ministry of Works was sized with completing the terms of reference to form the basis to invited qualified Contractors to bid on important repairs to both Bridges to Paradise Island which is under the ownership & management of the Bridge Authority. Earl “Mr. Anti-Nassau Straw Market” Deveaux spoke of the urgent need to have the repairs under taken, yet to-date no work has been started. How long is it going to take, Earl, or are you just simply talk and no action.
Minister of Education & Minister of National Security
Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish for you to take note at how the press is treating the teen sex scandal at Queens College which is said to involve the 17 year old son of the Carl Bethel and a 13 year female student whom both I will remember in my prayers. The Press appears to be afraid to put questions to the parties concern. If the same scenario was tied to a PLP all hell would have done break loose. Those of us who have children know that life is not perfect. I knew of this most unfortunate incident at least ten days before the story appeared in the Guardian.
I raise this issue this evening as it goes beyond the teenagers. I am advised that the press has failed to disclose the name of the Vice Principle of the school who is said to be the wife of the Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest; if this is so then there are a number of interesting questions which can and must be raised. Somebody please ask Tommy Turnquest the following questions:
What did Tommy know and when and from whom?
Did he report the matter to the top level of the Police Force? If not, why not?
Did you bring this issue to Carl Bethel’s attention or was it Carl Bethel who brought same to your attention.
Will the Minister of National Security make a full statement on this issue?
And then I would like someone to ask Carl Bethel the following questions:
Will you confirm or deny that the 17 year boy caught up in the sex scandal at Queens College about a month ago is your son? If affirmative and in light of the press coverage on the same, as Minister for Education why have you not issued a statement to the Press?
Will the Minister of Education as painful as it may be for him now make a full statement on this issue?
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are living in serious times but experts advise that some humor is helpful from time to time. I received an e-mail from a friend the other day that was penned as a Big Night out—Price of Gas. It read: When I Got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her out to some place expensive… So I took her to a Gas Station.
The President of the Freeport Taxi Union recently however summed it up well when he said “Things Getting So Tuff”. I need not tell you about Tourism here in Grand Bahama because you live it every day. Oil prices continue to escalate and continue to cause financial hardship squeezing family budgets and will cause major shifts in driving habits. Cost of electricity has grown and will continue to grow. Basic food prices of rice, flour, cereals etc are rising. (Share Cartoon on Corn) World rice production will hit a record high this year but increasing demand and restrictions on exports will keep prices high, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said yesterday.
Global prices of staple foods have risen more that 40 percent in the last year causing shortages, hoarding and riots in some developing countries. Larry “The Brain” Cartwright response to increases in food cost was that the Bahamas may have to produce our own rice. This is the same Larry Cartwright who with his Chief Councilor pleaded strongly for a new dock to be built in Salt Pond Long Island and a contract was executed for the same only to change his mind at the behest of his Maximum Leader on the location after May 2007.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The PLP’s on the ground research in various areas of the Bahamas have disclosed that raising prices and raising unemployment is already taking a heavy toll on many families. With no increases in wages and salaries for those who are employed, will result in a strong surge in demand for more wages and I predict it will be led by Government Employees across the board. All indications are that the Bahamas is in for an unprecedented round of inflation which will have its greatest impact on the Poor and the Middle class. This coupled with the runaway level of crime does not paint a positive picture for the Bahamas. To add insult to injury rumor has it that Cabinet Ministers are demanding an increase in salary.
I have been asked my thoughts on the way forward for the Party and the Plan, Unity and general preparations for the next four years. From the facts I have presented it is my considered opinion that the Bahamas needs and will be demanding the return of the PLP Government simply based on the performance of the PLP Government vs. that of the FNM Government. When a man or women is hit in the belly and the pocket book they take the time to take stock. They knew what they had under the Perry Christie’s PLP Government and they know the sour grapes they have with Hubert Ingrahan and the FNM.
The Future of the PLP and the PLAN are interwoven and are joined together with one common goal and objective. On the subject of Unity, permit me to share a story by well know author and Pastor Robert H. Schuller, entitled: Time for a New Recipe?
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” – Jeremiah 17:7
A childhood memory that will always stay with me is that of my mother baking apple pies, kneading bread dough, or mixing up one of her fabulous desserts. The remarkable thing about Mom was that she never used a recipe. She had it all in her head. She would catch a little flour in her hand and sprinkle it in. She would take the saltshaker and give it a few shakes. She’d take a cap off a bottle of vanilla and pour a splash into the mixture. I always felt a little uneasy as I watched her work. “Mom, are you sure you’re putting in the right amount of ingredients?” I would ask.
She would smile confidently and say, “Don’t you worry, Bob, it will come out right!”
Faith is mixing the ingredients before you can be positive that the outcome will be satisfying. That’s a dynamic principle of success. As you expose your mind to new truths from other disciplines, can you be sure that your philosophy of life will accommodate and absorb those new truths?
When we live by faith, we are essentially declaring that we have enough confidence in God and in ourselves to mix all of the ingredients of life together in a way that we believe will result in something new – something that is harmonious and productive.
Dare to invest time, energy, thought and treasured resources into a new recipe for life, and in the process, you’ll grow spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally.
PLP’s must all put their confidence and trust in God and dare to come up with that new recipe for success at the polls the next time around Our Heavenly Father did it for us so many times in the past and will do it again.
Finally I was asked to speak to preparation for the next four years, may I ask that you allow me to present those thoughts at another time. I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge that the press has maintained a program of speculation on the various Leadership positions in the PLP which is aided and abetted by colleagues who continue to respond to speculation. All this really does is hold our leader and potential leaders up to ridicule. I urge all to cease from engaging or contributing to such propaganda. Rt. Perry Gladstone Christie was duly elected at the Party’s recent convention. Mr. Christie a visionary leader led us to a magnificent victory in 2002 and God willing with the support of the Bahamian will do it once again. He will have my full support.