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Opposition by press releases

Published: Oct 09, 2013

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Dear Editor,

The official opposition, the FNM, is lead by my good friend and benefactor, Dr. Hubert Alexander Minnis (FNM-Killarney).  While I had high hopes for the FNM to reemerge as a viable political force in this nation, I am beginning to have serious, if not fatal, doubts that it will be able to do so anytime soon under the current leadership.

I am Minnis’ biggest supporter, albeit I am not, have never been and will never be a member of the FNM.  That party’s philosophy is simply alien to my inherent concepts of what a national political party is or should be as it relates to the unwashed masses.

The good doctor means well but he has surrounded himself with the gang that cannot shoot straight.  His closest advisors were all rejected and badly maligned by the electorate during the 2012 general election.  The national chairman, a good and decent man, no doubt, is lost in a parallel universe.  The newly minted senator is akin, in my humble opinion, to a Cinderella whose date stood her up at the ball.  The rest of them are, obviously, playing doll house.

In the months leading up to the May 2012 general election, the former leader and prime minister started to play cute (if that were possible) and, obviously, couldn’t care less about being returned to high office.  He and the FNM were distracted.  The gold rush ran a focused and slick campaign.  The rest is history.

Now that we are all settling in and down since those watershed general elections, what do we have? We have a bumbling government and an equally bumbling official opposition.  It has long been opined that both parties are cut from the same cloth but I would go even further to equate them to Tweedledum and Tweedledee – the fabled twin brothers who just could not get it right.

The FNM should, by now, be on a roll but its leader is too busy seeking to consolidate his leadership and to whip his internal detractors into line.  He has creased up known Ingrahamites and others close to his chest.  Back in the day, when Snake wanted to cross the lake, he asked Frogie to ferry him across.  At first, Frogie had the good sense to refuse.  After persistent pleas from Snake, Frogie relented and started the journey across the lake.

When they got to the verge on the next side, Snake suddenly bit Frogie, fatally.  With his dying breath Frogie asked Snake, “Why did you bite me seeing how good I was to you?”

Snake replied, “That is what snakes do.”  Snake then crawled off into nearby bushes.

I submit that there are political snakes within the FNM who are anxious to see the demise of Minnis, not that he is akin to a frog.  It is what it is and at the rate the good doctor is going, it is only, possibly, a matter of time before King Cobra returns to the leadership.  Who, by the way, is King Cobra?

With all of the juicy issues and missteps by the gold rush, the FNM should be on an upward political trajectory.  What is happening instead?  It seems like every day there is a resignation or a falling off within its ranks.  The classical statement is always attached to the resignation speech – “I fully support the leadership of Minnis” – while twisting the cutlass.

The FNM now seems to be opposing the PLP via frequent press releases.  The copy cat DNA is doing the same thing, the only difference is that the DNA has no apparent traction and may well be on life support.  It is confusing to witness the inertia of the FNM and the wild-eyed politics of its leadership cadre.

The resignation of the former senator, Desmond Bannister, presented the FNM with an opportunity to elevate or co-opt a younger and more dynamic replacement.  What happened instead?  A former chairman and Cabinet minister, who would have been there and done that before, is the bad choice for replacement.  Mind you, Carl Bethell is a good man and has much to offer, but is he the best that the FNM could have pulled out of the hat?

When he was a Cabinet minister, he was allegedly fired or demoted by King Cobra.  No public and/or official reasons were ever given but he resurfaced as a “plastic” chairman of the FNM and, of course, was instrumental in its monumental and unprecedented defeat in 2012.  He was incapable of holding on to his own seat and lost, big time, to a female novice.

Another rejected candidate is now creased up as chairman and is busy churning out press releases on every single idea or thought that pops into his head or that of the leadership cadre.  The building of the proverbial bridge to the future should be of paramount importance to the FNM.  That party is badly in need of individuals who have charismatic appeal and are able to connect to ordinary Bahamians.

I wish the FNM well for the sake of democracy in our wonderful nation but it must do some urgent soul searching to determine how to hone its lack of public acceptance and to retool its fragmented message, if it is in fact such, which is bouncing off the collective heads of a majority of Bahamians. Press releases are not the way forward.

To God then, in all things, be the glory.

– Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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