By J.Maxfield Outten
I wish to start by thanking my fellow contributors- Greg Moss Oswald Brown, Forrester Carroll and Fred Moss – in achieving a preliminary goal in the run-up to the next General Election: ridding the good people of Marco City of the ineffectual leadership of the Hon. Zhivargo Laing! I am certain they will happily join me in wishing that the good people of The Bahamas will never be encumbered by arrogant, ineffective leadership in any constituency anywhere in the country (including Fort Charlotte) ever again !!
In keeping with his well-advertised profile of arrogance and being out of touch, Mr. Laing gave his blessing to Mr. Norris Bain, according to a Freeport News story (30th January, 2012). Even after the closing door was hitting him in his backside, Mr. Laing was trying to pretend he is still a force to be reckoned with in Grand Bahama. Laing summarized his achievements as ‘holding regular offices hours to meet with constituents’, ‘helping to solve many issues’, ‘the Marco City Family and Friends Festival’, ‘Senior’s luncheons’, ‘Annual Children’s Christmas Parties’and ‘Back to School Rallies and Giveaways’. I am happy that these were HIS words to The Freeport News because it shows how out-of-touch Mr. Laing is. These events could have been the outcome of any enthusiastic community organizer – these are not things a Member of Parliament should be citing as ‘achievements’! So he was right to ‘acknowledge that there were failings’ and ‘to ask the forgiveness of Marco City residents’.
What bothered me and should bother the voters of the country most, however, was his false insistence that the new Free National Movement (FNM) candidate for Marco City, Norris Bain, is a ‘capable candidate’ who has his full support. He begged the constituents to support Mr. Norris Bain and said that he ‘hopes that he does a much better job than (him)’, so ‘they will be better off’.
There are two things about this – first, this is an absolutely astonishing admission from a man who has stubbornly defended his record while being MP for Marco City. Second and more disturbing, what right does Mr. Laing, a man who has a trail of political baggage behind him the length of Grand Bahama Island, have to anoint a successor? Laing was an abject failure in Marco City so if he bestows his blessings on anyone who succeeds him, the residents of that constituency need to be aware and so does Mr. Bain because Laing could have given him the kiss of death rather than the kiss of life. In fact, Bain should steer well clear of the ‘outgoing Minister(Zhivargo Laing) if he does not want to be tarred with the same brush of incompetence and ineffectiveness that followed Laing and his other two colleagues in Grand Bahama.
Zhivargo Laing should know when the game is over, cut his losses and exit the big stage when he has the chance … instead of hanging around the constituency he so badly served which will only keep his failings fresh in the minds of the voters and make it impossible for any of them to follow them successfully. Be gone Mr. Laing – you were a proven flop in Marco City and you have no right to anoint a successor in that constituency – unless it is to continue your failed policies and ensure that the suffering continues for Grand Bahamians!