By Bradley B. Roberts
Progressive Liberal Party
While the Nassau Guardian, other FNM politicians and political pundits are beating this drum for the resignation of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister in the wake of the results of BREXIT, I wish to point out one glaring fact that seems to have escaped the Nassau Guardian and all of the other politicians, wannabes and political pundits who are on this anti PLP bandwagon, driven purely by political convenience.
FNM Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham led the country into a referendum in February of 2002. He used the resources of the state to vigorously campaign for the YES vote. Ingraham was unable to convince the Bahamian people to follow his lead. The people voted NO resoundingly.
In the wake of the failed 2002 referendum, the record will show that the Nassau Guardian’s editorial board did not think Hubert Ingraham should resign as he was not accountable or responsible for the failed referendum. The record would show that Hubert Ingraham, the Nassau Guardian and many other political leaders and pundits shamelessly blamed then Opposition PLP leader the Hon. Perry Christie as being solely responsible for this debacle. In the minds of the Nassau Guardian, the FNM is never responsible for anything that goes wrong in The Bahamas; it is always the PLP’s fault.
All Parties agreed to the gaming referendum before the 2012 general election but in midstream, the FNM and DNA reneged on their promise and changed their minds, telling Bahamians to vote against its legalization. The Nassau Guardian inconsistently blamed the PLP. It was the PLP’s fault again.
All parties agreed to the amendments in the 2016 gender equality referendum including the religious community. The bills passed with near unanimous approval in both chambers of the House. Some of the people clearly changed their minds mid-stream but in the minds of the Nassau Guardian, it was still the fault of the PLP. This is inconsistent with their editorial position back in 2002 in the wake of the failed referendum.
Having inherited $8 million in budgetary surpluses in 2007, the FNM managed to turn that into a greater than $600 million budget deficit in five short years, propelling the country to the fiscal cliff by 2012. The Nassau Guardian in its editorial following the 2012 general elections placed the blame – all of the blame – squarely on the global recession. Never mind that The Bahamas’ economy was one of the worst performing economies in the Caribbean, second only to Trinidad and Tobago. Never mind that prior to the recession and under the governance of the PLP, The Bahamas enjoyed one of the best performing economies in the Caribbean. Bahamians know that the real issue was leadership, stewardship and management of the economy but that glaring fact was only getting in the way of a slimy, anti-PLP rhetoric so critics like the Nassau Guardian conveniently pretended this glaring fact did not exist.
I am tempted to explore in detail how the Nassau Guardian helped Ingraham to sell this false notion that the assassination of Charles ‘Chuck’ Virgil was the fault of the opposition PLP and not the incompetence of the Ingraham led FNM government. In the minds of the Nassau Guardian, that too was the fault of the opposition PLP but never mind the fact that the PLP had no constitutional or fiduciary authority over or responsibility for any organ of governance; the FNM held all the cards but it was still the PLP’s fault.
At the very least, the Nassau Guardian should be principled and consistent in their editorial positions if they expect it to have a modicum of credibility. Even if they are wrong, at least they would be seen as consistent. Jumping on both sides of the issue, driven purely by anti-PLP political convenience is transparently juvenile and a turn off – even to FNM’s and intelligent Bahamians everywhere.
Simply put, the Nassau Guardian’s editorial of 30 June 2016 is a crap shoot.