Bahamas Press 24 April 2021
Throughout time, political operatives and propagandist have devised many schemes to deceive the voters and allow repugnant, corrupt administrations to retain power.
As these schemes evolved and were refined, they have settled on a process which is known by the acronym D.U.M.B (Deception, Undermining dissenting opinions, Misrepresentation, Manipulation and Blaming others). Their intent is in the acronym; all voters are seen as sheep who know no better and have to be led to the slaughter.
Bahamians see this strategy at work everyday with the FNM administration and it is helpful to see it in action using the governments management of the Covid-19 pandemic as a case study.
Deception: From day one we were deceived about the scale, prevalence, and deadliness of this virus. Smooth talk reinforced by a totally discredited press media, constant deceptive reassurances, dense statistics that even the presenters did not understand and reliance on the competence of scientifically trained individuals made us believe them even when the facts on the ground indicated otherwise.
We all watched with alarm as Covid-19 statistics were regularly “cleaned up” just to hide the mess we were in. Because of this deceptive government, we endured frequent uninformative press conferences, believed their lies about the availability of vaccines, endured lockdown after lockdown even on islands without a single covid case. We watched our way of life, jobs and businesses disappear before our very eyes. Bahamians watched as their constitutional rights were abridged. We were not allowed to properly bury loved ones but the monied, influential FNM supporters were allowed to fly in and bury their pets, in many cases untested for the virus.
Now after all of the sacrifice, heartache, death, and pain we are now in a “third wave”. Yet the FNM is portraying its management of the pandemic as caring, empathic, even handed and a success. This is deception personified.
Indeed, this lie is on par with the lies told about the recovery efforts in Abaco where despite millions of taxpayer funds and millions from international donors Abaconians are still displaced and suffering.
Undermining dissenting opinions: From the very start of the pandemic the FNM and its selected medical voices assiduously ignored the opinions of other medical professionals. They were especially dismissive of warnings from the PLP,s Covid-19 Task Force led by an imminently qualified doctor and hastily reopened the economy with disastrous results.
They have continuously undermined the differing opinions of our health care and front-line workers and virtually ignored the considered, competent and timely advice of the Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA). We can also expect them to fully undermine the warnings of the CPSA about exempting fully vaccinated individuals travelling to the Bahamas from mandatory RT-PCR Covid-19 testing prior to travel is “unwise”.
The FNM Covid-19 policy if there is one, is in a closed-loop and differing opinions have no place in that dark hole. From that dark place, where nepotism, cronyism and conflicts of interest reigns, Bahamians are being forced to draw the counter-intuitive conclusion that the rantings and opinions of a Gynaecologist is more credible than the advice of trained Epidemiologists.
We will suffer even more if the FNM,s intentional undermining of differing medical opinions is allowed to take root and have a chilling effect on our dedicated professionals.
Misrepresentation: Bahamians have been deluged with conflicting, disingenuous, and deliberately misleading information from the FNM and its operatives. We were told that the Grand Bahama International Airport was purchased for $1.00 then later in the same presentation that taxpayers had to come up with an additional $40 million. The Grand Lucayan Hotel is still closed despite government reassurances that its opening was imminent. I guess the much-needed jobs and relief for the long-suffering Grand Bahamians like all other FNM promises is on hold. The FNM in yet another pre-election promise touted its plan to make available land for young Bahamian professionals based on a fair , unbiased selection process yet they appoint of a board laden with the FNM faithful to manage the process; another promise broken.
We know this to be true because in a recent rant from their youth arm they said so. Ironically, these actions undermines the narrative of the FNM propagandists and trolls who daily try to convince Bahamians that the FNM and PLP are the same. Nothing is further from the truth; the PLP would never conceive such a demonic plan to deceive Bahamians like that.
The Minister of Labour stated that more Bahamians were being employed yet on the very same day the Director of Labour said emphatically unemployment was unchanged. Do not forget that most of this unemployment is post Dorian and the Covid-19 pandemic when FNM ministers systematically sent Bahamian contract workers and others to the bread lines. The Shotspotter system is supposed to pay dividends in crime reduction but that has not happened. Add to this the fact that in addition to the $1.9 million upfront cost (always mentioned) there is a monthly subscription fee (never mentioned) based on square miles covered. We do not know if the system gives us value for money because no one tells us how much it actually costs. Perhaps an indication of how bad crime really is, is, the minister of national security going armed to our hallowed parliament without any comment from the Speaker.
Blaming others: This incompetent government has never taken the blame for their decisions which has led to the exacerbation of the disastrous effects of the pandemic. Rather they have blamed “undisciplined “ Bahamians while all the time knowing full well that we have complied with their increasingly asinine rules.
The poor amongst us have suffered greatly while the new rich FNM parliamentarians squander their salaries and $100,000 constituency allowances on themselves. But notice and remember this; the clubs, restaurants and weddings frequented by FNM supporters have no rules. Notice also that when the so-called unbiased medical specialist report the ever-increasing covid cases they never mention one of the primary drivers of community spread i.e., construction sites. Maybe that is because most of the construction going on is either managed or owned by FNM financial backers and benefactors.
I have said before, this administration is the most inept, deceptive, divisive, and dishonest government in the history of the Bahamas. Thank God we will soon be rid of them and their lies.
Michael J. Brown