PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis M.P.
23rd March, 2011
Re: BTC DEBATE AND COMMENTS BY CHARLES MAYNARD
STATEMENT: We are more than half way through the debate on the sale of 51% of BTC to Cable and Wireless and so far the Government’s response has been scandalous and shameful. Charles Maynard and others have engaged in outright lying, defamation and propaganda of the highest order. Mr. Maynard’s comments were bold-faced lies. To-date they have engaged in guerrilla warfare and smokes and mirrors in their efforts to muddy the waters and detract from the real issues at hand.
As many Bahamians are aware privilege in the House of Assembly and Senate allows parliamentarians to make statements, no matter how bogus and outrageous, with immunity from arrest or civil liability arising from those statements. Charles Maynard abused that privilege. He continues to make a mockery of the Parliament of The Bahamas and quite frankly himself. I dare him to repeat such untruths outside of the cover of Parliament. If he is foolish enough to do so, I can assure him that I will pursue all possible legal avenues to recover for damages to my reputation.
My privilege was breached. I have asked the Speaker of The House of Assembly to refer the matter to the Committee on Privilege for sanction and further action, which he has agreed. I trust that the Committee will move expeditiously to resolve my complaint.
The Government has attempted to make the debate one of false personal attacks and insults towards the many independent minded Bahamians who exercised their right to protest on Monday past. Do Maynard and the FNM believe that Bahamians are not smart enough and independent enough to protest against an obviously bad deal without inducement? What hogwash! They have again insulted the intelligence of Bahamians.
They have also attempted to portray that the PLP is opposed to the privatization of BTC. We support the privatization of BTC however we are opposed to the present deal with a company with such a poor record as Cable and Wireless. The deal stinks.
So far not a single Government Member of Parliament has spoken to the merits of the deal presently before us. They have danced and spinned but ignored the matter before us. They have ALL failed to address:
1. The obvious conflicts of interest;
2. Why sell 51% instead of 49%;
3. The flawed process that parachuted Cable and Wireless through the backdoor after the bidding had closed;
4. The URCA scandal;
5. The potential insider dealing;
6. The poor human resources and service quality record of Cable and Wireless throughout the region;
7. The commercial merits or demerits of the deal; and
8. Why does the Government so desperately “Need the money” as stated by the Prime Minster Saturday night?
It is so unfortunate that Charles Maynard and the FNM would use the opportunity of such an important debate to engage in gutter politics and false propaganda. Instead of addressing the real questions of the day it is clear that the FNM has chosen to exploit one of its own, who less than five years ago was begging for a PLP nomination, to defame the PLP and its members in their attempts to manipulate public opinion. They will obviously stoop to any low in the name of gaining political mileage. How sad!
I cry shame on them. The Bahamian people deserve better from them.