Bahamas Press 25 th November 2020
As I watched the most recent house presentation by the Prime Minister I realized once again that the FNM has no plan for getting us out of this pandemic alive and are making up strategies as they go.
Continuous lockdowns in possible contravention of our constitutional rights is not a plan. Reducing the information on the governments Covid-19 dash is a plan but one only to further confuse us as we now have to dig deeper to get all of the information.
By reducing the information on the dashboard, the intent is clearly to make sure that persons trained in Covid-19 Metrics and Measurements cannot contradict the information spouted by the rabid FNM media trolls daily. But the clearest indication of the failure of the FNM’s Covid-19 programme is the level of rampant non-compliance with the curfews, lockdowns, and social distancing. This noncompliance can be traced back to the very first lockdown earlier this year when we had only one case who was identified, traced and should have been isolated but was not. Then there was the ill-advised opening up of our borders in July against all advice which got us to where we are today.
No amount of FNM spin, deflection and outright lies about the lack of discipline by Bahamians will wash away this stain on their leadership.
The CEO should have known that if he wished to change the organization, he had to communicate the proposed changes to the stakeholders i.e. the Bahamian people. In that communication he would have outlined the benefits, costs to the stakeholders and the business community and how success would be measured. But true to his authoritarian inclinations the CEO sought to impose his will on the people without ever explaining what he was doing, how they would be impacted and why such draconian measures were necessary. By his actions he breached one of the first rules of management, he did not get buy in from the people.
And because we the stakeholders are confused, frustrated and realize that these measures apply only to them but not the entitled few in our country, as a sign of resistance they do not comply. When there is stakeholder non-compliance, the prudent, rational and empathetic CEO rethinks his actions, improves communications and is transparent with the stakeholders. He knows that he cannot compel compliance by threats, bluster, condescending and smarmy statements. But, the out of touch CEO usually plunges on; issuing confusing and conflicting statements some on the same day and confusing them even more; and threatening all manner of punishments and repercussions if they do not comply with an unarticulated plan which the CEO never revealed if, indeed, he ever had one.
One of the enduring flaws of the FNM and its enablers is their unshakeable belief that Bahamians are stupid and that goes twice for anyone who ever supported the PLP. Because of this erroneous yet dominant belief many technocrats who will have to rebuild the Bahamas have been sidelined and marginalised.If one were to look at who the FNM hires it is clear that they are hired for political reliability and not competence or intelligence.The long awaited ERC report is a case in point; what a bunch of nonsensical recommendations and ill thought out assertions. If this is an example of an FNM think tank God help us. And if this outrage was not enough they
have put an avowed athiest and alleged fraudster in charge of our money.
The Prime Minister must realize that try as he might to delay it, Bahamians will one day come out of lockdown. How this happens and the circumstances under which it happens is entirely up to him. Right now he is riding a tiger; many Bahamians are angry, confused, jobless and hungry. They simply do not believe the Covid-19 statistics released by the government and rightly so. If the persons trained in the sciences have to correct their data on a daily basis then we must trust our instincts
and stay in survival mode.
The FNM has broken our Bahamas, weakened national institutions, destabilised our society, disrupted needlessly our freedom to worship, bury our dead and reduced the Bahamian people to near poverty.They hide behind the draconian strategy of continuous lockdowns, threats and the Gestapo-like behaviour of the police to enforce a plan known only to them. The government brags about how much of our money is spent on us yet has a fundamental misunderstanding of what we want.
We want a good life which includes much more than just high incomes; Bahamians care about their health and that of their family; we want access to education and reliable information; a clean environment, open spaces; stable employment, work satisfaction, freedom to travel; security from economic or physical risk; freedom from coercion, and access to social and political participation. In other words all of those things ripped from us because of the governments shambolic and irrational response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nor do they have a plan for fixing what they destroyed.
Stop, Review, and Cancel and it’s the Peoples Time may work as campaign slogans and even sway normally rational people to give you the government. But, the people now see this administration for what it is; incompetent, cruel, ill-informed, vindictive, money wasters and clueless.
Michael J. Brown