Bahamas Press 20th January 2021.
One of the classic signs of poor governance is non-transparent and muddled communications. The Minnis government are the masters of confusion when it comes to messaging on virtually any subject as we have seen with the Covid-19 pandemic. For an example in a recent issue of the Tribune confusion reigned as to whether family island airport projects would go forward if at all. Here is a copy of the text of the very confusing and in my opinion misleading article. “While government funding was cut for a number of planned family island airport upgrades, Director of Aviation Algernon Cargill said yesterday that the projects will not be delayed. On Thursday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that the government cut funding for planned upgrades to airports on Exuma, Long Island, North Eleuthera and Abaco and is instead seeking to implement a public-private partnership (PPP) program to complete the projects”.
Exactly what is going on here is a mystery but, confusion has been a hallmark of this incompetent and fiscally irresponsible government that still hangs on to the notion that LPIA was a Private Public Partnership (P.P.P); it was not. LPIA was a Build Operate and Transfer (B.O.T) transaction. Not one cent of public money was involved except that an old, dilapidated airport and surrounding lands was leased on long term to foreign operators who then transformed it under a program the PLP left in place into one of the most modern airport terminal buildings in the Caribbean. The Treasury collects lease payments from the LPIA operators and at the end of the lease LPIA reverts to public ownership. The PLP government did not guarantee the development loan nor does these loans appear on the balance sheet of the Bahamas Government. As usual, a government with no successes to show for its governance has taken ownership of the success of LPIA but they had nothing to do with it. Indeed, if this project was not so far advanced when they came to power in 2007, it would probably have been a victim of the FNM, s spiteful and irrational stop, review and cancel policy.
Contrast the LPIA transaction with the rank incompetence and lies going on with the Lucayan Hotel deal and you see the stark differences between how the PLP approaches expenditures of public money and the FNM, s woeful ignorance of such matters. But why are we surprised? This government came to power based on lies and deception. The first big lie which they successfully sold to Bahamians was that the PLP had somehow mismanaged the VAT money before the 2017 elections and that it could not be found. Later we found out that these accusations were not only scurrilous lies but that an incompetent Minister of Finance was the chief purveyor of the lie. As we would find out in 2020, not only was the minister incompetent in dealing with public funds but he would be sued in the courts for even more allegedly egregious money matters.
The second big lie and perhaps one of its most demonic was that Its the peoples time. Bahamians bought this lie hook, line, and sinker. A fisherman would have been proud of their performance as they wriggled and squirmed with a hook deep in their guts much like to current hook of unemployment, lockdowns, food insecurity and a government devoid of empathy, care, and ideas on how to save our nation. So, having no successes under its belt after three years of fumbling around and knowing that we know they were claiming successful PLP projects as their own, the FNM and its supporters in the print media and an assortment of sick, twisted media trolls launched attacks on PLP leaders, PLP supporters who they say are stupid and ignorant and continue to spread even more obscene lies all of which are eagerly lapped up by their sycophantic enablers and presented as truth.
These enablers and propagandists are more afraid of losing government advertising than objectively pursuing the truth, examining the actions of the government, and informing Bahamians. None of these outrageous lies are true but it worked before so why not lie to us again. But as the American voters showed, the truth is hard to kill; wickedness is never rewarded and lies, abuses of power and just plain ignorance and incompetence will eventually be exposed and lead to the liar’s destruction.
Michael J. Brown