Nassau, Bahamas — The global financial tsunami created on both sides of the Atlantic does not spell good news for the Bahamas. It does not present happy news for the Caribbean, and it could spell even worse news for governments all across the region.
The tributaries down the Caribbean are beginning to feed a hot bed of financial molten magma as large plums of financial volcanic ash are fanned across Europe. At the same time, speculation pending double – dip recession gather floods across the United States; things appear not good as the world turns.
Shocking news announcing threats of the US Postal Service closing of some 3,600 offices, branches and stations perhaps is the sign and a teachable moment to those public servants here in the Bahamas, hyperventilating over the Government’s delay in the payout of increments.
News of early package payments to thousands of BBC workers set to hit the unemployment lines ignites another sign of worrisome troubles bursting and erupting that magma headed our way.
Here at home the times are no different. Hard times are being felt by the rich and the middle class and the poor, well many say, the recession like a beggar is always with us. Times are bad here in the Bahamas. So bad that in 2008 and 2009 Bahamians began jumping to their deaths. Asking the world to stop and let them off. The horrid pitch into the plumb of utter darkness was the only escape thought-out by some. In our minds that period was like the scene of professionals leeping out of the World Trade Centre; that is how bad it had become.
The FNM government did not ignore the signs of the pending financial storm, which entered the country before 2008. In fact, we at BP and many others would agree the Ingraham administration over reacted and canceled every project left in its path. The government began slashing jobs, retiring public servants and stopping projects all around them.
One should note, not all the decisions were bad to stop, but the vast majority of them stopped, we believe, were an unpardonable sin; the actions by which some in the financial world would say, fired the gun on unemployment, stabbed a deeper wound into struggling businesses, lowered international rating like a coffin into the ground and piled mound and mound of debt on Bahamians unborn like dirt to cover up the crime.
Meanwhile, the country stands like a motionless woman, adorned in a huge umbrella-like white flour bag dress drenched in red blood; indelibly marked by the slaughter of her sons and daughters. Soaked in a stoic semblance as strangers look upon her with new amazement. Where is JUSTICE in this picture one must ask, yet the silence is deafening across the land.
This is the state of Bahamaland today. This is the state of the land of my father’s birth, and grandfather and grand grandfather but to this writer, has become but a strange place to be.
But back to Churchill, Christie and our solution.
Like Churchill, Christie offered to the country this past weekend a teachable moment. Like Churchill, Christie sought to capture the innovation of people trapped in a bad situation. Like Churchill, Christie used masterfully his literary tongue to inspire broken people, and if you were listening as we were, he inspired us.
In his return to the campaign trail, Christie powerful and masterfully responded like this:
“What are you going to do to make The Bahamas great? If you choose public life, as our exciting new generation of candidates have, I promise that your work will teach and humble and exhilarate you.
No matter what you do, find a way to serve. If you’re going to teach or preach or heal or build, do it with honor, tenacity, passion, empathy. Steel yourselves. Failure is not an option. The cause of justice is everlasting – make it your cause. Think big. Let your light shine brightly.
If you stumble, get back up. Then take one step, and another, and pretty soon, we’ll be running together, towards a very bright future.”
It was this same kind of inspiration that stirred a nation under the threat of war in the 1940s as it faced the possibility of being buried in captivity by One Man’s imagination to rule the world. Hitler’s would have succeeded had it not been for a man name Churchill, who served in British politics for almost 50 years.
Amidst the doom and gloom on the home front, Perry Gladstone Christie has assured us that our best days are truly ahead of us and not behind us.
Christie says, “If you stumble, get back up. Then take one step, and another, and pretty soon, we’ll be running together, towards a very bright future.”