Hubert Ingraham is nothing but a 'toothless LION'

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Frank Smith in the House of Assembly promoted the drink called ‘Mona Vie’ saying the drink involved in a scandal with junior state minister Zhivargo Laing has ‘miracle powers.’

Click to listen to Hubert Ingraham response: ds_20009.mp3

Nassau, Bahamas: Today in Parliament as Hubert Ingraham was trying to fix fallout of the local government elections, proved be nothing more then a ‘toothless lion’. Frank Smith stood on the floor of the House and declared that the drink ‘MONA VIE’ is a miracle drink! He declared it miraculously reduced from 45% the lawful duty, to 10%. Amazingly, Hubert Ingraham who said just months before said that Zhivargo Laing his minister of state in the finance department ‘did nothing wrong,’ quickly jumped to his feet and said the following. “If you can show me evidence that it has been reduced to 10% then someone in the ministry of finance will go home this afternoon. Somebody will go home this afternoon…” Like we said Hubert Ingraham is nothing but a ‘toothless lion’, because his junior minister who was sitting right behind him [Zharvigo Laing] eyes began blinking like a Christmas tree. A word to Mr. Ingraham, if you did not fire anyone when the law was broken [by Laing] last year, who you think would believe you now that you would fire him today? The ‘toothless lion’ was only puffin hot air AGAIN!

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Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in the Parliament on Wednesday.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Finley,

    Don’t try to be yet another person trying to change historical facts or trying to rewrite history just to suit a baseless argument. Others have tried and have failed.

    John Rolle (retired Customs Comptroller)has already explained the entire situation – do the research.

    Mona Vie is NOT JUICE(juices had a rate at the time of 10% which may have changed with the new budget)

    Mona Vie is made up of many ingredients including FISH OIL and therefore is NOT A JUICE but a DRINK (which at the time carried a 45% duty rate)…… A fact confirmed by the International body which regulates and standardizes all item CATEGORIES for all Customs departments worldwide (including the Bahamas).

    Zhivargo Laing had Mona Vie illegally moved from the DRINK category (45%) to the JUICE category (10%) just to benefit a family member – Hence the law was broken.

    Again Finley,rewriting history does not help your argument……… Many of us out there remember historical facts, and we do indeed remember the history of Zhivargo and Mona Vie.

    On another note:

    Lloyd, you hit the nail on the head with your reply.

  2. For a sometimes smart person Thomas, you sure are dumb. I, you or anyone not named Frank Smith, Bernard Nottage and John Rolle can talk about Mona Vie until we blue in the face. Its just up to Laing to sue us all. Now do you think he will do that? Don’t be stupid. I could accept an error or two but that kind of stupidity is just not acceptable.

    It doesn’t matter who called for Collie to go, the point is, the final call was Ingraham’s and he used a different standard for that case than he did for Laing and that is wrong. Accountability means that there are no breaks when you are supposed to be held to a higher standard. The FNM said its a matter of trust and for that to be so, you need to be consistent and not just do it when its convenient for you.

    And for your low self esteem having self, I will have you know that I do in fact count, if not to you or the PM, damn sure to me.

  3. The PLP called for Collie to resign! The PLP did not call collie to go. I do not care whether he stay or go, or drop dead! The Ministers serve at the pleasure of the PM, not the Opposition.Try and control Malcolm and Kenyatta, and when that is in hand, then talk. And if what you say about the Court is true, how come you can still talk about it? I did not say anyone should get a break, the PM did, and it is he who counts, not me or you, for the reasons stated above.

  4. Thomas Finley! Nobody took no damn responsibility for Mona Vie yet and putting it in court is just a fancy way to get around it or at least cause people to stop talking about it. Furthermore, just because the PM say he gave Vargo authority to use his discretion does not mean that he didn’t make a fundamental mistake worthy of him resigning.

    You can’t be serious if you say its okay for Monavie Boy to get a break and Sidney had to resign when all two of them did the same thing. I have no sympathy for none of them and you can talk about the Andros thing all you want and the fishing boats all you like and for everyone you bring up, there is at least two or three from the FNM side to match. But that don’t matter now because the FNM is in power and they supposed to be the examples of accountability and all they proving is that accountability only depends on who’s in trouble and where you stand with the chief.

    Even for an FNM, thats wrong and while you try to go all around the mullberry bush with your talks, Stevie Wonder could see your bias.

  5. Jan you are still missing the point. Mona Vie was always in the wrong category. Should the Customs Controller have been punished for putting Mona Vie into the wrong category. This is not that serious, try as you may to make it so. Cabinet Ministers serve at the pleasure of the PM, and the PM took responsibility for the Mona Vie decision.

    Do you want to pursue people who brought in Fishing boats, cars into Andros etc.? Were you this adamant then? The former government did not even investigate those matters.This is all politics, admit it. talk about sympathy for Collie;The opposition called on him to resign!

  6. Breaking the law is breaking the law …..There is no difference, and no one should even try to justify a difference.

    Stealing by reason of employment, stealing by breaking and entering, and armed robbery, may seem to be different because of how the stealing was achieved …….. BUT IT’S STILL STEALING IN ALL 3 CASES, AND ALL 3 CASES ARE AGAINST THE LAW.

    By the same token murder and stealing are different crimes, one more serious than the other….. But both are crimes nevertheless

    Zhivargo broke the law when he had the category changed (and therefore the duty rate changed) on the Mona Vie product to benefit his sister-in-law. The law prescribes that tariff rate changes and category changes follow a specific procedure involving action by the HOA, and not by the mere discretion of no less than a JUNIOR Minister.

    There is an international document/agreement as to which products can be classified as JUICE, and which products cannot be classified as such, which customs departments in ALL countries abide by ……. MONA VIE IS NOT A JUICE, and a written communication to the Bahamas Customs from the International body confirmed that fact, but the category for Mona Vie was changed nevertheless by Laing in order to attract a lower rate of duty just to benefit a family member.

    Sidney Collie broke the law with respect to the Local Government election process in 9 districts – the PM himself cited 4 examples of breaches of the law in his contribution to the HOA.

    Yes it can be argued that Collie and Laing were involved in 2 different situations, but the common thread of the 2 situations is that a law was broken.

    Sidney Collie was dealt with as he should have been, Zhivargo was given a pass, and the fact that a court case was orchestrated to delay the inevitable is neither here nor there.

    There have been questions as to why only Sidney Collie was “punished”, and others like Errol Bethel who is in charge of elections, and who knew that the procedure was irregular and illegal, made provisions anyway to proceed with the elections in those 9 districts ….. Ballots were prepared, presiding officers chosen and the like.

    The law is the law and ALL citizens are required to obey them ……. To break them should lead to some form of punishment, and there should be no exceptions……. So there is no difference between Collie and Laing,in that a law was broken, except that one was “punished” and one was not.

  7. Lloyd, if you go back and read what I wrote about the difference between the Laing situation and the Collie situation, then you can only reach one conclusion,and that is that Minister Laing exercised Ministerial discretion, a power given by law, and confirmed by the PM. No Court has ruled otherwise and that situation had no grave effect on The Country’s business, another important distinction. If you refuse to see the difference then I will have to leave it at that.

    This talk about who is what politically is irrelevant, and stupid save for people whose views are defined and guided by party Politics.

  8. BP, didn’t I tell you weeks ago that Thomas is a dummy when he wants to be? Hubert’s playing favorites because the issue between Mona Vie boy and Collie are basically the same. The only thing different is the outcome and we all know why Laing stayed and Collie had to go and if Thomas refuses to see that , that only confirms that he is here toting water for the FNM regardless of the sensible arguments made.

    To georgina, it seems like she doing what FNMs always do and refuse to recognize the PLP for doing anything right. Obie ain’t no lawyer you know. This case was as another writer said, an example of Opposition politics as it is supposed to be. Collie got fired because Hubert realized that the PLP had their teeths in this and wasn’t letting go. Obie is the MP, like you said, he called his chairman who in turn mobilized a lawyer who turned out to be Damian Gomez but you are forgetting that the PLP wasn’t the complainant. It was three parties from the affected areas, but the one common thread is that they are all PLPs, and for this, good Bahamians, whether you support them or not.

    Acting Fool is a very serious thing too Tommy Boy.

  9. Obie or Glenys. Here’s how I understand it went. Obie’s constituency was the one affected by the local government elections, Bimini and West End. He called Glenys and also Sidney Collie as he mentioned in the House and told them about the irregularity. Gelnys contaced Damain Gomez and HE WON the case. Give the man some credit. Obie (for obvious reasons) nor Glenys could have presented the arguments in Court and won. Well done Mr. Gomez!

  10. “Thomas Finely seems to have a hobby of making ASSumptions on who and what people are.

    Thomas, if you don’t know someone, please don’t ASSume that you do.

    You don’t know me, and you most certainly have no idea about my educational level or professional qualifications.

    Thomas you should know the saying …..”When you ASSume, you make an……..” (finish the rest)

    Zhivargo broke the law, and claimed to be “guilty with an expanation”.

    BP Media was correct – Zhivargo had the Mona Vie rate changed (by having the tariff category change)in order to benefit his sister-in-law after his brother complained to him.

    Hubert did not send him home then, but is now saying (quoting from the BP story) “If you show me the evidence that it has been reduced to 10%, then someone in the ministry of finance will go home this afternoon.Somebody will go home this afternoon.”

    BP Media is of the opinion that Hubert is “a toothless lion” because he did not send Zhivargo home when he committed the offense last year, and even with the statement he made , Hubert won’t send him home now.

    Facts are facts, and no matter how hard someone tries to spin a story to suit their purposes, the truth wins out in the end.

    Sidney Collie learned that lesson the hard way.

    The truth about Mona Vie will be proven soon enough.”

    You are right of course, and I withdraw my unfortunate comments, unreservedly….

  11. Thomas Finely seems to have a hobby of making ASSumptions on who and what people are.

    Thomas, if you don’t know someone, please don’t ASSume that you do.

    You don’t know me, and you most certainly have no idea about my educational level or professional qualifications.

    Thomas you should know the saying …..”When you ASSume, you make an……..” (finish the rest)

    Zhivargo broke the law, and claimed to be “guilty with an expanation”.

    BP Media was correct – Zhivargo had the Mona Vie rate changed (by having the tariff category change)in order to benefit his sister-in-law after his brother complained to him.

    Hubert did not send him home then, but is now saying (quoting from the BP story) “If you show me the evidence that it has been reduced to 10%, then someone in the ministry of finance will go home this afternoon.Somebody will go home this afternoon.”

    BP Media is of the opinion that Hubert is “a toothless lion” because he did not send Zhivargo home when he committed the offense last year, and even with the statement he made , Hubert won’t send him home now.

    Facts are facts, and no matter how hard someone tries to spin a story to suit their purposes, the truth wins out in the end.

    Sidney Collie learnt that lesson the hard way.

    The truth about Mona Vie will be proven soon enough.

  12. It is going to be though to break the cycle of the strong force that has been running the country for the past 16 years. Most Bahamians don’t read or study their history. If you would take a glance of who is controlling the country at key positions today (government as well as opposition), you will find a group that has left the PLP in the 1980’s “TOGATHER”. They have formed a strong force that is not easy to break. It would take a “militia” that seems to being forming under the previous administration to intimidate voters.
    One of the former MP even used the word “cockroaches”.
    As a politician that word should have never been mentioned, if that politician had kept up with global politics and studied the Interahamwe militia in Rwanda, she would have apologize for making such a statement (there goes her demise). She must never be elected again.
    The Interahamwe weren’t fuelled by drink, drugs or mindless violence, but by fanatic dedication to a political cause. We as a people must never allow politicians with such mindsets to be elected again.

    Didn’t the present leader of the opposition also refer to his political Opponents as “Cockroaches”. Who are you talking about because he is the only one that used that word. Are you trying to trick us with subterfuge, Obie?

  13. It is going to be though to break the cycle of the strong force that has been running the country for the past 16 years. Most Bahamians don’t read or study their history. If you would take a glance of who is controlling the country at key positions today (government as well as opposition), you will find a group that has left the PLP in the 1980’s “TOGATHER”. They have formed a strong force that is not easy to break. It would take a “militia” that seems to being forming under the previous administration to intimidate voters.
    One of the former MP even used the word “cockroaches”.
    As a politician that word should have never been mentioned, if that politician had kept up with global politics and studied the Interahamwe militia in Rwanda, she would have apologize for making such a statement (there goes her demise). She must never be elected again.
    The Interahamwe weren’t fuelled by drink, drugs or mindless violence, but by fanatic dedication to a political cause. We as a people must never allow politicians with such mindsets to be elected again.

  14. Martin did start off slow but she is showing her stuff now. Wilchombe is doing a good job as well. It would be a shame if those two are thwarted in their ambitions to take over the PLP leadership; The Bahamas is tired of the same stuff, different day…

  15. I think we are missing the good that has came out of all this.

    Congratulations should be going out to PLP chairman Glenys Hanna-Martin, who seems to be on the top of her game. She has set a high standard of what is the job of the opposition party.
    Mrs. Hanna-Martin has PM Hubert A. Ingraham putting his ministers on notice as he stated to MP Frank Smith, on the topic of Bahamas Custom’s juice classifications (MONA VIE) in parliament on July 2, 2008….”BRING ME THE FACTS AND SOMEONE WOULD BE FIRED THIS AFTERNOON.”

  16. Jan, there is only so much stupidity that we can take…cut the crap, hear? Did you pass your BGCSE in comprehension? If not, please stay out of this.

  17. If Hubert is actually going to send someone from Finance home if the duty rate on Mona vie has been reduced from 45% to 10%, then Zhivargo must be packing his bags to join Sidney Collie.

    Last time I checked this Mona Vie duty rate reduction from 45% to 10% is what started the ruckus in the first place, and Zhivargo already said he is “guilty with an explanation” (Check the Hansard), and the PM already said he authorized itat the time (Check the Hansard).

  18. I bet if Laing was a PLP, Thomas would suddenly be cured of his “blindness” and could then school us on everything that is wrong with this “Mona Vie” situation.

  19. You could be stating the facts to FNMs who deliberatly refuse to understand untile you and them turn zebra stripes. Some time you need to “draw it for them” or “act it out.” They still do not get it.

  20. OK, I get it. Well, there is a difference of opinion on this. The PM has one opinion, and the PLP has another. The PM did say that the Minister of State exercised his discretion, and that he had the legal authority to do so. There is a Court case going on, so hopefully more light will be shown soon. Of course, in order for what the PM is threatening to be consistent, the Minister of State must not be the one who made the most recent change, if there was one..

  21. Let’s digress for a moment… Your equates to belonging. You’re equals you are… come on Finley you’re not slow, but you’re missing the POINT… The point being that Laing was wrong then because he caused an item to be incorrectly classified so that it attracted a lower tarrif, thereby robbing the Public Treasury of revenue. He, Minister Laing, like Minister Collie did not heed the advice of senior technical advisor. Collie had to resign, Laing was defended. So what’s good for the collie is not good for the Laing, eh.

  22. No but what your missing is the fact that he is ranting that he will fire someone if he heard it change. But when Laing did BREAK THE LAW and change it last year he did nothing??? Come on Finley your not slow, but your missing the POINT. LAING broke the law when he requested the change last year. COME ON NOW!

  23. Call me slow, but I still do not get it. Has the duty been changed to 10% from 45% in this new budget year? Is the budget online? This should be easy to verify. Why the stenchin’?

  24. It is obvious Thomas you have not been following the news. We only advise you do a search on Mon Vie on this site and then read why we post what we did yesterday.

  25. So is Frank misleading the Parliament or not? Games are for lovers and for children.

  26. That may be too deep for Thomas to pick up. The man was caught off guard and just mumbled his threat because Frank yanked Mona Vie back into the spotlight in a way that the people will notice. BP, you see ZNS ain’t even show it on TV last night eh?

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