New Generation leader makes bad decision against hardworking straw vendors – Christie Government not taking good advice – Government stripping the dignity of the vendors!
Nassau, Bahamas — If there is one thing the New Generation of Leaders in the PLP are suffering from these days, it is having good decent advice around them and good councils in their midst.
This week by all accounts was the worst week of the PLP since the 1984 Commission of Inquiry. It was so bad it looked as if Christie had only three days left as prime minister.
There was the jack up on the Referendum, the protest outside the ministry of works and the confusion over the scandalous affairs at NIB. The failure to show confidence in the Chairman who investigated the scandals. The trip down, mess-ups and talking too much by the PM on the steps of the Churchill Building and then it was the debacle erupting between the straw vendors and Ron ‘Pinstripe’ Pinder, who is now Chairman of the Straw Market Authority.
This was one bad week for the PLP, which appear to be going no where fast!
The latter of all the incidents caught our attention where straw vendors were kicked out of the Straw Market constructed by the FNM Government.
One must ask: How could the government who say they “BELIEVE IN BAHAMIANS AND GA PUT THEM FIRST”, find it in their bloodless hearts to kick the vendors out of their employ in this bad, weak and tired economy?
It is Unbelievable!
Certainly if a government could over spend over $100 million on roads, then someone must could find a piece of heart and turn the page on granting some grace to the straw vendors! And this incident brings us to the core of our story today.
In 1971 there was a straw vendor who had a stall just west of the Scotia Bank on Bay Street right where the new Colombian Emeralds store now exist. Air Canada occupied a ticket office in the area.
During that time straw vendors would set up tables along the stores of Bay Street selling their goods. And a decision by the then Pindling Government concluded to move those vendors off the walkway along Bay Street to present a better product to the thousands of guests visiting the country.
Every authority attempted to move one of the women, who back in the day was a character on the Fergusons of Farm Road Show on the radio. She had two small children always tagged along with her while she sold her straw work.
The Police came. A minister came, and a store owner came to have her removed and she resisted vehemently. Exhausting all their efforts one day Lynden Pindling decided on his lunch break to come to that stall and with all his manners beg the poor struggling vendor to understand the move by the government.
With his cool debonair stride Pindling walked up to the woman to express his regrets. But before the Prime Minister could get a word in, the voice of that mother with her two small runny nose children clinched alongside her broad native dress begin with a loud shout that could be heard as far as Government House.
She screamed: “Oh NO! Not you, Mr. Pindling. Please don’t tell me you agree with dem to throw me out off into the street in these tough hard times!
“Not you, Mr. Pindling, No No No not you!” she cracked as if her heart became full and gave up on life.
“How do you expect me to feed my children if I am to move from here? Where I am gonna go? You see these two children with me, how dey ga eat,” she exclaimed pointing sharply to the children who stood in awe at the discourse.
“And I just campaigned and voted for you the other day…how could you do this to me?” she said shaking her head in resignation.
The woman when we investigated was also a silent strong voice in the Women Suffrage Movement and a dangerous prayer worrier. Her loud praises brought worship daily to Bay Street!
By the time her voice was heard by Pindling on Bay Street, the city stood attention; still and quiet. Even a surrey cart stopped in the street to catch a piece of the action.
The golden heart Prime Minister Pindling upon feeling the pain of the woman lifted his hands into the air looking into the sky and left – turned around sheepishly and returned to his office. He never returned nor did anyone else ever bothered that woman again.
The straw vendor had defeated the plans of the Prime Minister, and Pindling understood the consequences if he sold that woman back into slavery.
Who could be advising the Christie Government on these very dangerous matters?
Bahamas Press wonders where are the councils of the New PLP government, that they would allow this naked attack against Bahamians to continue? Layoffs are occurring every day. Offshore bankers at UBS on East Bay Street went home this week. Fewer and fewer guests are making purchases in the Market. The misery index has skyrocketed – where young people are committing suicide and yet one black man, Chairman of the Straw Market Authority dressed in pinstripe and legal garb, is seen telling struggling single mothers take it or leave it. His deputy, William Nottage, who appeared on another TV program did not seem to be in step with the Chairman’s radical ‘vicked’, heartless, unconscionable position against Bahamians.
It is no wonder so much love and co-operation was given to former Chairman Chippie Chipman. He worked with the vendors in these hard times. Vendors didn’t pay when Chipman was there also – but no uprising in the Market.
They in the PLP say dey Believe in Bahamians – and ga put dem first! First to get cut hip!
We ga ask it again: Where are the councils of the new PLP government?
Where are the people who should have the “institutional knowledge” to guide the decisions by the new administration to understand that you cannot throw struggling vendors out the market you did not have the vision or courage to build!
We ga say it again if you could spend millions on roads and didn’t arrest nobody for the backside rape on the country in those incidents – why in the hell frame the decision to throw Bahamians under the bus?
BP has done an undercover investigation and we discovered while Bahamians are being tossed out of the Market foreign nationals – NON-BAHAMIANS – are running stalls therein. Do you think a Ron ‘Pinestripe’ Pinder will find the courage to investigate that? Yinner think he ga ask for work permits?
Turn the page on the back bills, work a plan and start anew with the vendors. Stop giving the Bahamians all this stress!
We report yinner decide!