Minister Jeffrey Lloyd’s ignoble threats against 200 Bahamian Jobs
COMMENTARY BY BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
FORMER CABINET MINISTER AND MP
Sunday March 18th 2018
Matthew 7:12 – “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
The candid media reports of Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd’s harrowing, nasty and unchristian threats against 200 mostly minimum wage earners on contract in his ministry is ironic to say the least and must be reconsidered.
Against the backdrop of the looming Holy season of Easter season makes the irony of these threats even more stark. This is the latest example and is part and parcel of a disjointed wheel that this Free National Movement Government seems to have hitched its already stalled political wagon on to.
Just earlier this week it was the Minister of Health Duane Sands issuing similar threats to workers who fall under his portfolio, colleagues he was rallying against the PLP government literally months on an apparent spurious platform of change for the better. He too now wants these same professionals fired, put out to pasture to add to the joblessness the FNM has intentionally created by their own admission.
Since coming to office the FNM appears to be on a systematic and robust exercise of victimizing persons who do not have the full protection of permanent workers and in other cases even pensionable and permanent civil servants. In cases where they are permanent and pensionable, the FNM has hypocritically fabricated charges against them to have them summarily dismissed ostensibly to make way for persons of their choosing.
The common thread in this disgusting and shameful exercise is that these affected workers were either hired by the former PLP administration or the affected, dismissed or threatened staffers have dared to challenge the policies and practices of the FNM government or just exercised their right to criticize this government.
I say here again that it is corrupt for a government to victimize civil servants to settle a political score with their opponents. How else can one describe Minister Lloyd’s behavior when he summoned hundreds of ministry workers only to condescendingly lecture them about how the PLP disrespected and somehow mistreated them? In short, he was telling those workers that when he fired them, they are to blame the PLP for their mass dislocation. Minister Brensil Rolle echoed a similar sentiment in his response to Opposition Leader about commentary on the massive contract review and execution exercise at the Ministry of the Public Service.
If Mr. Lloyd’s claim of general slackness and poor work ethic is to be believed, the Ministry of Education has specific protocols, administrative schedules and executing mechanisms designed to cause for the 200 threatened Government workers to fire to pull up their socks, do their jobs and give service for what they are being paid. This political tactic by the FNM is so old and tired that in my view he is just crying wolf to victimize these people to hire persons of his choosing; no more – no less.
Surely as a former Deacon of the Church, a father and a distinguished Youth Worker, Minister Lloyd would have wanted to ensure that all of these devices within his Ministry are working and that the affected 200 workers are being properly channeled on a daily basis as to their duties.
The Minnis administration has rebooted and retooled the Ingraham administration’s disastrous policy of “stop, review and review” to “dismiss, fire and terminate.” This too will be a disaster for the FNM.
There is simply no poisonous animus afoot to justify this mass firing. Further, what the Minnis Government seems to be missing is the perception that they have created for themselves: When it comes to Bahamians they are heartless and merciless.
This is best demonstrated by Minister Lloyd’s own callous and heartless statement as reported in The Nassau Guardian on Saturday March 17th 2018 in which he states: “I DON’T CARE.”
This “I don’t care” posture of the FNM Government is a terrible reminder to the Bahamian people that it never ever really was “The People’s Time”.
I respectfully call on former Deacon Lloyd to tune down the heartless and cruel rhetoric. Show compassion and a fuller understanding of how you can motivate your staff to perform. This is no time to act as the wicked oppressor cracking a whip and shouting you are fired.
Please former Deacon Lloyd, consider the hundreds of mouths that will be denied food and backs that will be denied clothes and bodies that will lose their shelter/housing.
Even Minister Lloyd should find a way to atone for his own edict as also printed in the Nassau Guardian: “It doesn’t matter to me”.
As a fellow Catholic I say to my brother former Deacon Lloyd, “thank God for Jesus.”.
The good deacon is further reminded of the following teachings of our Lord and the law of the prophets.
Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27 – “…Love your neighbor as yourself…”
These biblical verses and life lessons, commonly known as the “Golden Rule” Bible verses, issue an injunction at the highest level of human social behavior; these instructions and tenets are beautiful but sadly they are conveniently dismissed by both the religious and secular brethren among us when the circumstances are convenient.
When you are powerful, be merciful. A word to the wise is sufficient.