Statement from Senator Fred Mitchell
Opposition Spokesman on Immigration
Responding To Minister Of Transport’s Personal Attack
13 December 2017
Some gratuitous and unsolicited advice to people uninitiated in the business of ministerial office and political life: do not claim injury or demand victimhood where circumstances neither demand or warrant.
An occupational hazard of a politician is your life both personal and public becomes the cannon fodder for newspapers and other assorted rascals who wish to create mischief.
You can protect your own privacy by refraining from volunteering personal information which is otherwise not of interest to the public if you do not wish that information to become the subject of public scrutiny and comment.
The principles having been established, what is the lesson to be learned from his claim of injury and victimhood in response to a fair comment made by me in answer to the question from a Guardian reporter on why the FNM’s policy on Immigration is perceived the way it is.
My answer was based on information in the public domain volunteereed by the Minister: the circumstances of how he came to be Bahamian and the fact that he took the Prime Minister to a church to talk about immigration and acted as the translator for the Prime Minister.
I deduced from those public facts (and so did most other Bahamians ) that the FNM was perceived to be softer on Immigration and they went to spread that message to the immigrant community; that implicit in their personal outreach and his personal example was that the FNM would be soft on Immigration and people in that community would perceive him to be a liaison to the government on their behalf.
In law that is a fair comment and you are a public official and subject to fair comment.
The PLPs policies on Immigration were fair and strict and designed to protect the country. We stand by that.
Do not personalize your response to me but rather abstract this lesson from what I said ; one which all of your like minded hypersensitive young politicians in the FNM would do well to follow: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.