Oswald Brown Writes
By OSWALD T. BROWN
If reports are correct that a seat is being taken away from Grand Bahama, this confirms what many of us who live in Grand Bahama concluded a long time ago: Hubert Ingraham and his FNM government are doing all that they can to diminish the importance of Freeport as the second most populous city in The Bahamas.
Keep in mind the outrageously stupid decision by the FNM to downgrade ZNS-13 to a news bureau and stop broadcasting its half-hour news reports out of Grand Bahama for economic reasons that made absolutely no sense. The main reason for this was that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was embroiled in a nonsensical dispute with Sir Hayward, one of the principal owners of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), for personal reason and he wanted to send Sir Jack a message that he had the power to decide Grand Bahama’s economic future and not the GBPA. The end result of this irresponsible action is that Grand Bahama now has an unemployment rate in excess of 20 percent and far too many residents of the island are catching hell as they continue to struggle to survive.
Now we are being told that Ingraham intends to cut one of the six seats in Grand Bahama. The argument to justify this decision, if it is true, clearly would be that there has been a noticeable migration of people from Grand Bahama and it is no longer equitable for the island to have six seats. But I suspect that the truth of the matter is that Ingraham has failed to convince Eight Mile Rock MP Vernae Grant to not run in the next election, and he is now about to show her what a spiteful and vindictive persons he can be when people don’t do as he says.
What he is really attempting to do in Grand Bahama, if the reports are correct, is gerrymander the boundaries of the seats in Grand Bahama to try and establish a safe seat for his protégé Zhivargo Laing, the Minister of State for Finance, with whom he shares the bulk of the responsibility for the poor state of the country’s economy, in his capacity as Minister of Finance. That is because, as I have noted on a number of occasions, Ingraham knows very little about high finance at this level and Laing does not know much more than he does.
But no matter how cunning and inventive Ingraham tries to be in reconfiguring the electoral boundaries in Grand Bahama, Laing’s days as a politician are numbered and he would be wise to speed up his ambition to become a “Minister of the Gospel” and focus on his new career as a “preacher.” Hopefully, he will get on his knees and ask God’s forgiveness for his duplicity and vindictive tendencies before joining the practicing “disciples” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
There’s no question that Grand Bahama has suffered enough under this spiteful and mean FNM government; so has the rest of the country, for that matter. Therefore, if Ingraham decides to “show Vernae Grant better than he can tell her” by eliminating her Eight Mile Rock seat, the PLP will still win no less than three seats in Grand Bahama and possibly four.
Ingraham’s main problem is that many of the FNM political powerbrokers in Grand Bahama disagree with his underhanded attempt to try and create a “safe” seat for Laing and to foist on them his choices of who should be candidates in Grand Bahama. There is a body of opinion that if he attempts to make Kay Forbes Smith, one of his favourite people, who is the current consul general in Atlanta, one of the candidates there will be an open revolt. Recent reports indicate that he has gotten the message on how FNM would react if he insists on Smith being a candidate, so he may have backed down from making that a reality.
He is also high on finding a seat for Senator Michael Pintard, but many FNMs reportedly consider Pintard to be a political carpetbagger and are not likely to support him as a candidate for Grand Bahama. It certainly shall be interesting to see how these different scenarios play out once the new boundaries are officially announced.
Meanwhile, the PLP has already announced an impressive cadre of candidates for the existing seats in Grand Bahama. Joining Obie Wilchcombe, the incumbent PLP representative for West End and Bimini, as candidates for the next government of The Bahamas are: Gregory Moss in Marco City, who will send Laing into retirement; Dr. Michael Darville, in Pineridge; Tanisha Tynes, in Lucaya; and Julian Bedell Russell, in Eight Mile Rock.
THE SONG NOW GRIPPING GRAND BAHAMIANS <<< THE FNM HAS ABANDONED THE PEOPLE OF GRAND BAHAMA!!!!