On the list of Bahamian mysteries which include the lost city of Atlantis, Captain Kidd’s lost gold and the actual landing spot of Columbus – towards the top of that list is this: is the government really this stupid? Or can we blame the ever-growing number of systematic failure on malicious intent?
Of course, I am a big believer in “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” And for all the government’s faults, they have had actual successes and good moves (the surge in sports tourism, the push for gender equality, repairing Marsh Harbour’s roads). So that makes it so frustrating when choices are made and actions taken (or not taken) that seriously harm our country.
Honestly, despite the ramblings in this column from time-to-time I do not believe the PLP are “out to get us.” I’m not calling particular Ministers stupid (though some do come to mind), I just believe the government ACTS stupidly. And the terrible situations in our country didn’t happen overnight or under one administration. Like the Port’s filing methods displayed on the front page? Some of those files that I can read from the pictures go back to 2002.
But there are indefensible things that the government, this government, MUST address.
It is absolutely inexcusable that Marsh Harbour’s new mini-hospital is not open. But perhaps that’s a good thing. The old clinic (and one currently in use) is a petri dish of mildew and mold. The poor nurses who work there have even been instructed by other doctors that the place is a health hazard. Indeed, some of the nurses there now have respiratory disease and infection because of the conditions. So why should we open the new one just to have it become yet-another government-building cesspool.
The Marsh Harbour Port is falling to pieces. It’s falling apart in the most literal sense, go check it out – you can walk right into it because there is no security employed and there hasn’t been for a while. Of course you may not want to go to the Port because of the raw sewage in open puddles and the rat infestation.
The company that delivers this newspaper to Abaco sent me an email explaining that they will no longer do business in The Bahamas “due to the economic liability attached to the New Customs Processing Fees.” And they’ve told me other air freight shippers will be following suit.
That is madness. And unless things drastically change in Customs things will grind to a halt very quickly for everybody. I’m not speculating. As I’ve said, I’ve been told directly that after July 1 I will have to find a new way to get these newspapers to Abaco and into your hands.
Now, when Parliament passed that particular bit of legislation was it greed? Stupidity? Self-Sabotage?
It doesn’t matter. The end result will be the same.
We need to fix things ourselves because for forty years we’ve been waiting on the promises of the next government – PLP, FNM, back and forth. We need to fix things ourselves because those who lead us have sold our future, have nurtured generations of under-achievers and do not take crime seriously.
Abaco is uniquely blessed as a community filled to the brim with service clubs, non-profits and opportunities to make a difference. Seize these opportunities, fellow Abaconians. Because we must be the change we want to see.
When I see what’s going on, it’s frustrating, it’s worrying, but I’m still hopeful. And you should be too.
We can change things. And we can change them now.