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This Week's Bahamas Uncensored: Remembrance Day Revisited
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Posted by:Nov 10th 2002, 03:20:05 pm
Fig Tree News TeamExcerpts from this weekís Bahamas Uncensored, located online at

Today in The Bahamas is Remembrance Day. This day observes the end of the First and Second World Wars. There is selling of poppies by the decreasing number of WW II veterans and there is the national service at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau, and one in Freeport at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, the Minister, following in the footsteps of her father former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Clement and her mother (the latter of whom served in the women's corps) took up a collection at her Ministry for veterans of the wars and gave that donation to them. The resplendent photo showed up on the front pages of The Guardian and The Bahama Journal and on the inside of The Tribune. We will remember them. But some people have simply not forgotten what war means and are now intent now waging it again. Bahama Journal photo by Quentin Glover.

Fred Mitchell, the peripatetic Foreign Minister, returned from his first attendance at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meeting in London. The meeting reaffirmed the suspension of Zimbabwe and Pakistan from the councils of the Commonwealth.
The Minister also visited Bermuda where he met with Premier Jennifer Smith to renew fraternal ties with the PLP (Progressive Labour Party) there, and to acquaint the PLP in Bermuda with the platform of the PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) in The Bahamas that calls for closer ties with Bermuda and also for Bermuda to join Caricom. The Government of Bermuda has it on its agenda for consideration by their legislature. The Minister announced that Bermuda is to send its protocol chief to Nassau to understudy the protocol chief in The Bahamas for two weeks.
Following Bermuda, the Minister then stopped in Atlanta where a dinner was held in his honour by the former Mayor of Atlanta, former Congressman and Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young. There the Minister was updated on the American political scene. He reported that a scholarship may be possible for Bahamians looking to a read for a degree in Public Policy at Georgia State Universityís Andrew Young School of Public Policy.
There is growing public criticism of trips being made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs abroad. The old saying dammed if you do and damned if you donít comes to mind.

The FNM is said to be planning a major assault against the Government on travel overseas. Word is that the target is to be the Foreign Minister who they believe has been travelling too much. Harry Hall, the prolific letter writer to the press, wrote a piece defending the Minister's travelling asking the question: what is the Foreign Minister's job but to travel on behalf of the country overseas?

The Bahamasair Board was denounced in a statement by Neko C. Grant I (pictured), who is the MP for Lucaya for the FNM. He has found his voice now that Hubert Ingraham is out of power. Mr. Grant in a statement issued on Friday said that the Board of Bahamasair should not have given themselves the perk of flying free on Bahamasair. He said that it was a privilege that the FNM administration had revoked. Minister for Bahamasair Bradley Roberts told the press that he had already reversed it and told the Board that in future travel related to their work should be paid for in advance and they will be reimbursed.

The number of visitors to this column has continued to rise since the transition from its original name, format and editors to the present editors. It may finally have found its feet, despite the endless speculation in the country about who what where and when. But a persistent claim is that of a student from Canada who sent an e-mail to the site last week who insists that the site has changed because it is a lap dog of the Progressive Liberal Party. According to that student, the column has lost its bite because all it does is sing the praises of the PLP. Perception is a hell of a thing, because on the other side are PLPs who think that we are too critical of the PLP. In the end, we think neither side is right.
The fact is that the site is what it is, a simple commentary based on public sources of what is going on in The Bahamas and it seeks to point out what it considers to be problems through the use of sarcasm and understatement. Perception is very much reality though and the student sees whatever that student sees.
The fact is this is a site that has always had a PLP slant. That slant has not changed. But we want to see the Government survive. The last time the PLP got into trouble, it was allowing itself to be fooled that it was indispensable to The Bahamas and that its members were the personification of The Bahamas. That should never be allowed to happen again, and the best way in our opinion to avoid it is to hear the news from their friends. That is not always comfortable because the first response is always to lash out at the messenger rather than listen to the message.
There is no doubt, for example, that there will be a lot of flack for the moment that the Government is simply taking too long to make decisions. There are too many hang overs from the last administration. The public service continues to be a source of frustration for Ministers. Yet public policy and the policies of The Bahamas say that the PLP has a mandate for change, and change must happen. By the way, we were appalled at the spelling and grammatical errors of that student. That studentís parents should be alarmed.

The British Government has announced that effective 9th November all visitors from Zimbabwe including transit visitors will require a visa to enter the United Kingdom. This is no doubt a response to the actions of Robert Mugabe (pictured) and his thugs who run Zimbabwe that have sought to lock up the Leader of the Opposition and to curtail the right of free speech and the right to assemble. We think that the British are dead wrong on this one and should reverse the position. There ought to be greater travel opportunities from Zimbabwe to other countries not fewer.

Last week we talked about the failure of BaTelCo to keep Internet service running on Monday 28th October, not 29th October as we earlier said. But this week on Monday 4th November BaTelCo gave an explanation to the press about what happened to their Internet service. According to Michael Symonette, the President of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited, the fault was not BaTelCo's. He claims that they did in fact pay the bills to their international provider, that the money was in fact received by the accepting agent but never found its way to the right account or some such. Whatever! The fact is that the service went down for several hours on Monday 28th October, and what we have to ask ourselves is why isnít BaTelCo its own provider? Why are they paying for service to be provided by someone else? BaTelCo is thought to have the most unreliable Internet service in the country. Cable Bahamas is not far behind.

The news from Washington is nothing short of disastrous. The right wing republicans and their moneymen, with blood in their eyes for Baghdad are now in total control of the capital of the United States. That means almost certainly the world is headed for war and there is no turning back on the issue. That is almost certainly the most direct way you can describe the debacle that occurred on Tuesday night 5th November when the people of the United States went to the polls and elected a majority of persons from the Republican party to the Senate and to the House of Representatives.
We simply do not understand the morality or the ethics of these people. Trent Lott for example is a Senator from the state of Mississippi where forty per cent of the population is Black, many of them poor, yet his public pronouncements appear to be anti Black and anti poor. And the list goes on from there. The Bahamas Foreign Minister must address the country immediately and tell us what this all means for us. Where it is the world is headed and where is The Bahamas headed? It is clear of course that we will have to live with the result but this is one headache that The Bahamas could have done without.

Sam Duncombe of Re Earth, the environmental activist and the Bahamas National Trust, to a lesser extent, must have been mortified by the death of 22 bottlenose dolphins that beached themselves and died in Long Island. The first one was discovered on 21st October and then according to Colin Cartwright on 2nd November they found dead dolphins all over the place. The Bahamas Marine Mammal Stranding Network requested assistance from the US and someone flew to Long Island to investigate. Samples of the skull and tissue were sent to Florida for analysis. The area continues to be monitored. Re Earthís Ms. Duncombe has in the past criticized the US Navy for killing whales in the tongue of the ocean off Andros Island. No comment from them yet on what caused this latest incident. Tribune photo of dolphin dead in Long Island by Tanya Cartwright.

We congratulate James Earl Carter, the former President of the United States, for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He is a man of peace, and a good example of what a US President ought to be. One should compare and contrast that to what we have today. War is not the answer.

Michael Paton (pictured) who has taken over his fatherís law firm and is now the Chair of the Bahamas Financial Services Board has told The Tribune in its Business Section of Monday 4th November that the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) should not be allowed to fail. Yeah right! So what is his suggestion? He says that the exchange while not making money is a good part of the image of The Bahamas as a financial jurisdiction and should not fail. The problem is: how do you do it? We repeat here that no corporate welfare ought to be provided for BISX. These are the free marketers. Let them find their own capital to survive. You invest your money, you take your chances. Tribune photo.

There has been no comment from the Ministry of Tourism but American Airlines has announced that it is selling its subsidiary American Eagle to raise cash and to avoid having to reach an agreement with its pilots to limit the amount of flying that pilots can do. That would result in curtailing service. And so the virtual flag carrier of the Caribbean that dominates the market in the Caribbean is being sold. No governments commented on it and what it is to mean.

Lady Marguerite Pindling, the widow of the late Sir Lynden O. Pindling, is officially launching the new biography of Sir Lynden written by Michael Craton who wrote the History of The Bahamas. Mr. Craton, a former Government High School History teacher, who is now a Professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, was commissioned by Sir Lynden to write the book shortly before he died.

Jack Johnson, PLP Stalwart Councillor, and stalwart member of St. Agnes Church, father in law of Reno Brown, was buried from St. Agnes Church today. Prime Minister Perry Christie viewed the body, as did Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia Mother Pratt at the PLP HQ on Farrington Road. Mr. Johnson was 90 years old.

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