March 28, 2012
Remarks Golden Isles Constituency Headquarters Opening Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham Party Leader 27 March 2012
Golden Isles; FNMs:
Colour Red ‘gat yellow mellow dead scared. The crowd in Yamacraw last week was so big that the PLP still in shock and awe.
Now they in meltdown after that crowd in Central and South Eleuthera. Eleuthera ‘gonna born twins for the FNM – Theo Neilly in the North and Howard Johnson in the South.
This Thursday we’ll be in Marathon with Heather Hunt. Jerome Fitzgerald will have plenty time after the next election to see whether the sand come back to Saunder’s Beach.
Truth be told he should go down to the new Montagu Beach Park and the beach that is growing at Saunders’ Beach right now; he can see what a proper beach park looks like. And, we are just getting started. Next term both South Beach and Yamacraw Beach will get new beach parks.
This Saturday we’ll be in Fox Hill with Shonel Ferguson. Shonel has actually won gold. The only thing yellow mellow could win gold for is talking fool which they no longer realize is a serious thing.
On April 9th, Easter Monday, Red Splash will come from the north and the south, and from the east and the west and gather at Montagu Beach Park.
You know, we calling it Red Splash. But it’s more than a splash. There is a wave of Colour Red building from Inagua and Mayaguana to Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Golden Gates: Can you feel it?
On Easter Monday we want an orderly, peaceful, safe, family fun day. Be not provoked by yellow mellow on that day. Decorate your cars and trucks Colour Red. Since we’re going to be at the beach, I want you to make sure to keep all the children safe. Don’t let them go near the water without an adult.
I hear that them other people having ‘grill and chill’ on Easter Monday. Well if they need to borrow some fire to light up them grills, just come to Montagu Beach and we’ll lend them a torch or two. After the election, they ‘gonna have plenty time to ‘grill and chill’!
Since we’re in Golden Isles let me say something about this thing they calling Gold Rush.
Charlie: Since this is your opening tonight let me do the “ping” for you. The PLP is engaging in false advertising just like when they lied about all them jobs they didn’t produce. The truth of the matter is they ain’t gold -- they yellow.
You know Perry always sounds like he’s daydreaming somewhere over the rainbow. He needs to start paying closer attention to the order of the colours in the rainbow.
When you look at the rainbow, the colours go in this order: Red comes first, followed by orange, then yellow. And guess what, green come after yellow.
Anyway, we know what the PLP rushing for. They rushing for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, called the cookie jar. I done tell y’all: Keep them out so they don’t sell you out.
At least you ‘gatta give the PLP credit for describing themselves accurately. The Gold Rush in the United States was a sad period when only a few people got rich on the backs of many others. It was a time of greed when many people lost their way and some even died chasing false dreams.
We know about the PLP and their Gold Rush. That’s why they sold-off those 10,000 acres in Mayaguana.
We know about the Gold Rush of the 1980s with the illicit drug trade which laid waste to our good name and values. We’re still recovering from that. It’s the root of our crime problem today.
The sad period in our country was a Gold Rush for fast money and ill-gotten gain aided and abetted by a hopelessly corrupt PLP Government. In its last term that same PLP mentality was still rushing for gold with shady deals and all manner of scandals.
They are right to call themselves Gold Rush. Every time you hear Gold Rush just think about them rushing for that cookie jar.
We don’t need a Gold Rush in this country. This rushing for gold is at the heart of our crime problem. This rushing for gold by any means necessary is fueling the drug trade. This rushing for gold has young men breaking into houses to tief your gold jewelry and sell it; snatching people’s gold chains from round their necks.
If the PLP want to be the party of Gold Rush, that’s their business. The FNM has a different vision for The Bahamas. Let the PLP rush for that fake gold. Our vision is to build a Platinum Nation.
A Platinum Nation is a country of law and order; which is why we have made the largest investments ever in a single term since independence in the police and the criminal justice system. The PLP is telling you what they might do to fight crime. But when they had a chance to do, they did nothing.
You know what might be the theme song for the Platinum Nation we seek to build. The theme song would be, Simply the Best.
This is why we are building simply the best international airport in the region. This is why we intend to have simply the best general hospital at Princess Margaret. When it is completed we aim to have simply the best National Sports Centre.
This is also why we are building some of the best roads in this region. Those of you who pass the road and utility works regularly will have noticed the depth of the trenches for our new utility pipes. Some – along Blue Hill Rd South are as deep as 8 feet while on average they are 6 feet deep! You know some of the sewerage pipes along Market Street were discovered just 2 feet below the surface? And, between Duke and Lewis Street, they were only one foot below the surface! The implications for public health are terrible! Frightening!
In the Platinum Nation we seek to build we want the best in terms of education, employment, health care, economic opportunity and social security. In the FNM, we still believe in the goal of It’s Better in The Bahamas.
The PLP long ago gave up on making things better in The Bahamas. This is why they did next to nothing for five years. Just as the earlier PLP abandoned the Family Islands, the Christie administration let our capitol island become run down and dreary and did nothing about it.
You know how some people talk about how The Bahamas should aspire to be the Switzerland of the West or like Singapore? There is much we can learn from those countries. But what we should aspire to in as many areas of national life as possible, is for other countries in the region to say, we want to be more like The Bahamas.
Golden Isles, FNMs:
Today, I and my Cabinet colleagues had the opportunity to exchange views with Mr. William Bratton, former Police Commissioner in two of America’s largest cities, New York and Los Angeles. He began his career in his native Boston where he first developed a reputation for fighting and defeating crime by attacking the small infractions that affect people’s quality of life; preventing tolerance of bad behavior from growing into tolerance of bigger and more serious crime.
He also had the opportunity to renew acquaintances with a number of our senior Police Command and to have a look at what our Police Force is doing in its fight against the too high crime rate in our country.
He came away from his meetings impressed with what out police are doing and impressed that we have invested wisely in hiring manpower, in training, in investing in technology and in engaging with the community to forge a partnership between the police and the community to fight crime.
Our massive investments to fight crime will pay off. We are moving in the right direction. To add more muscle to what we're doing and keep things moving in the right direction we are engaging additional help to ensure that our gains are not lost. Commissioner Bratton said something else that is very revealing. He said to be effective crime fighting initiatives all need good, decisive leadership – in the Police Command and at the political level; Leadership not afraid of making the tough decisions.
As I’ve said to you before, to turn around serious crime several things must be done at the same time.
First, you start to address the small things that made our city less liveable. You crack-down on people breaking traffic laws. You fine more people for littering. You address the problem of people who are a public nuisance. Then, you improve public infrastructure and beautify our surroundings. We are doing these things all over this island. We are also fixing the street lights on lamp poles, naming streets and numbering houses. You know how them other people like talk about the so-called things we do. Small things like these save lives. A small thing like a sign with the name of your street reduces the time it may take an ambulance to get to your house. We deliver small things.
And, we deliver big things! We continue joint operations with police forces around our region and particularly with agencies of the United States Government on tackling the big transnational criminal issues. We have increased the number of police officers and vehicles while improving the conditions of service on the Force. We are targeting crime hotspots through targeted manpower. We are also deploying advanced technology including sophisticated computer systems and software to track and strike at hotspots.
We are expanding the Closed Circuit TV network. This will be the most comprehensive expansion of crime-fighting technology in our nation’s history. Our two state-of-the-art RBPF mobile strike force vehicles are on call - 24/7. They are fully equipped mobile police stations each with significant crime-fighting technology.
We know that it takes more than crime-fighting tools and technology to fight crime. But we also know that the fight against crime will not succeed without them. We will do everything in our power to provide alternatives to those who may be minded to criminal behaviour.
We are working through our schools and in our communities to promote peaceful settlements of disputes; to encourage and support greater involvement and volunteerism in our community and to discourage and seek to correct bad behaviours. But, let me clear; anyone who ‘gat a mind to ‘tief’ and kill and do serious crime, you ‘ga’ feel the full weight of the law! I also remind all and sundry: You can’t fight crime and a culture of criminality if you turn a blind eye to a culture of corruption in your party. You can’t fight crime if you taking money from sources who made it illegally. Golden Isles:
You know that in the FNM you have leadership, decisive leadership unafraid of making the hard decisions. Those other fellas – well we know the problem there; no leadership.
You know that message you get back when your emails don’t go through? The message comes back -- Delivery Failed. That’s the message the PLP sent to the Bahamian people:
New Schools – Delivery Failed; Straw Market – Delivery Failed; National Health Insurance – Delivery Failed; New Bail Act to deal with these hardened criminals – Delivery Failed; New Courts, more Magistrates and Judges to try cases quicker – Delivery Failed; Baha Mar – Delivery Failed; The relocation of the port from Downtown Nassau – Delivery Failed; Hope and Help – Delivery Failed; Honest Clean Government – Delivery Failed.
If we fool with them again, the same message ‘gonna come back: Delivery Failed.
Of course the biggest thing the Christie Government failed to deliver was strong, decisive leadership. They utterly failed you before. They will fail you again.
Even though hard work never killed anybody, Christie never took that chance. Maybe that’s why he did so little for five years. He was scared of hard work. You think five years later that he will work any harder than he did last time? He’s 5 years older now - he’s nearly 70!
Golden Isles; FNMs:
The Parable of the Talents from the Scriptures has some important lessons. The parable is about the story of the man who left his home to go on a journey. Before he left he entrusted different amounts of talent or money to three servants. When he returned, he asked each of the servants he left money with, for an accounting. The first two servants explained that they each put their money to work and doubled the value of the property they were entrusted with, they are each rewarded.” The man told them, "Well done”, as they were good and faithful servants. The third servant, however, hid his talent in a hole in the ground. You know what happened to that servant. He was punished for being lazy and slothful. The man basically told him to pack up his georgie bundle and go.
The Christie Government borrowed $800 million dollars. When you came back after five years and asked for an accounting of your money they had little to show. At least the servant in the story gave the man his money back. And, he didn’t sell-off almost 10,000 acres of the man’s fortune like the PLP did boastfully and unapologetically in Mayaguana.
In the FNM we are different, distinctly different. As a matter of trust we have been faithful stewards of the public purse. These are clean hands that have worked to deliver for you.
We ensured that: Thousands of Bahamians got life-saving prescription drugs. Thousands of Bahamians received landmark unemployment benefits. Thousands of students are in new and improved schools. Tens of thousands of Bahamians have brand new roads to drive on.
Tens of thousands of Bahamians have safe drinking water. We doubled social assistance for many of the most vulnerable in our society. We hired 434 new Police officers and 90 recruits will join them next month.
We are investing heavily in Closed Circuit TV throughout New Providence to prevent crime and track criminals.
We built new Courts, hired more judges and prosecutors and overhauled our crime laws to speed up trials and reduce the amount of offenders out on bail. We set a goal of bringing serious cases like murder, armed robbery and rape to trial within two years.
And now, some serious cases involving murder, attempted murder armed robbery and rape are being brought to trial within 18 months of the commission of the crime. We are delivering in 18 months. That’s thinkable! That’s believable!
We trained over 3000 people in our national training programmes. We saved the jobs of thousands of civil servants in the midst of the Great Recession. We created over 4,000 temporary and permanent jobs as a part of the largest infrastructural programme of any country in our region over the past five years.
We know that all of these investments in you, the Bahamian people, will have returns ten-fold.
We invested heavily to ensure that the country got through the rough times, and is prepared for economic recovery and growth. We invested heavily in the arsenals of manpower, equipment, social programmes, courts and legislation needed to push back against a surge of crime and violence.
We are making progress, but there is still more to do. We have the leadership, the strength and the determination to meet these challenges and more. We have not buried your talents in the ground. You can see and touch what we have done.
We have, I believe, been faithful stewards. You know from our record that the plans we offer you for our next term will come through. You know from the abysmal record of our opponents that their promises are like words written on the sand at the edge of the shore.
We are commencing our ad campaign on television and radio beginning tomorrow. We will suspend it on Wednesday - the week of Holy Week.
We are paying our way also. I paid ZNS today $159,000 for all of these rallies that have been carried live on television. And tomorrow - PLP go to see ZNS because it’s time to pay!
They owe from the last time. Pay up!
And I also told ZNS to make sure the FNM has a bill every Monday morning God sends until election so we can pay every week as we go.
And I want the PLP treated just like that - pay as we go!
The other side likes to talk about believing in Bahamians. They have yet to learn the crucial difference between belief and faith.
It’s one thing to tell athletes that you believe in them. It’s another matter entirely to keep faith with them by building a new National Stadium and increasing athletic scholarships. Next term we will also build gymnasiums in Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma and at several other high schools herein New Providence.
It’s one thing to tell straw vendors that you love them, but keep them under that tent in the sun. We kept the faith with our vendors by building them a new home.
It’s one thing to tell young people that you believe in them, but then only give them $5 million dollars worth of COB scholarships in five years.
We gave $25 million or five times that amount in COB scholarships to our young people. If the PLP really believed in our young people they would have kept the faith with more of them at COB.
The Leader of the Opposition likes to talk about second chances. My concern is why he didn’t give many more deserving young people a first chance with scholarships at COB?
These have been difficult but productive years. I am glad that I had Charlie Maynard on my Delivery Team these past five years. He has been working for Golden Isles and for the Bahamian people.
I need you to send Charlie Maynard back to the House of Assembly. That other side scared of him in the House. His lie detector is catching them in all manner of half-truths, mistruths – and downright bloody lies.
We had to tell him to turn down the volume on his lie-detector in the House. If he didn’t turn down the volume in the House all you’d hear from that other side is ping, ping, ping.
You should be proud of Charlie. He has commonsense and practical wisdom. If Perry had a practical wisdom in his cabinet that National Stadium might have gotten out of his mind and off the ground.
Speaking of Wisdom, or lack thereof, there was no Junkanoo bleacher-gate on our watch. And, we significantly reduced the price of Junkanoo tickets so that they were more affordable.
When that other party was in office the cost of Junkanoo tickets ranged from $15.00 to $100.00. Junkanoo is a festival and a celebration of the people, that’s why we reduced Junkanoo ticket prices to a range of between $5.00 and $45.00. And we also introduced more free viewing areas than ever before.
You will remember that the PLP paid $2 million to rent bleachers in 2002 from a foreign company and then entered into a rental arrangement for bleachers that cost $480,000.00 annually for the New Providence parades only.
The FNM now has an annual contract of $406,000.00 that covers 10,000 seats for New Providence, 2,000 seats for Grand Bahama and 1,000 seats in another designated island!
Yes, Charlie has done a good job with youth, sports and culture. Think of some of the new initiatives of this Government for which Charlie must have his full share of credit. There’s the new Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, Volunteer Bahamas and the new Straw Market which is now under his Ministry.
There are 883 persons registered to serve under the Volunteer Bahamas Programme. That is building community.
Think of Self Starters which has provided over $2.5 millions in financial assistance to almost 600 young budding entrepreneurs.
Send Charlie back to the House. He will do very well for you in our next term. He deserves another term. He is a rising star.
I spoke in Eleuthera about our intention for a Heritage Tourism Initiative in our next term. The Heritage Tourism Initiative, among other things, will upgrade the infrastructure and proper signage needed to improve our heritage sites.
We are doing this, first of all, for ourselves and our young people. Like dey say ‘dis we ‘tings. We would like to share our cultural treasures with our millions of annual visitors. In so doing we can significantly enhance the cultural aspects of what we offer as a first class tourism destination. Moreover we can better take advantage of what will be the multimillion dollar heritage tourism sector.
In conjunction with this effort, we will continue to advance a Public Arts Project. We want to use public spaces like Government buildings, outdoor recreation spaces, round-a-bouts, parks and other public spaces to display the paintings, sculpture, craftwork, special art installations, and the poetry of Bahamian artists.
The new Public Treasury Building on East Street has such a programme to feature the works of Bahamian artists. In the new Office of the Prime Minister on West Bay Street there are a variety of arts, crafts and woodworks featuring Bahamian artists. The new LPIA features some of the work of our major artists.
The Public Arts Project will showcase the talents of Bahamian artists across the generations. Such art work will be featured in public spaces such as the new National Stadium, new Government Administrative Complexes and a host of public spaces.
The Public Arts Project will help to showcase across the country our vibrant Bahamian Imagination and artistic talent.
The PLP running out of message, but they ain’t running out of talking fool. You gonna here plenty nonsense from them. I am especially proud that 20,000 more people and counting are registered to vote this election. This is what democracy should be like. I also want to encourage all who are eligible to register to vote and who have not yet done so, to do so. I send a special message to our young people, who will be first time voters this time; young people aged 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22. Take advantage of this right you have as a citizen of a free and democratic country. The right to elect your Government gives you the vote. Use it. I want to again remind all Bahamian citizens - if you have moved out of one constituency for 3 months or more but less than 12 months, you may choose whether you vote in your old or in your new constituency.
However, if you have been living outside of the constituency in which you registered to vote for 12 months or more you must change your registration to your new address.
We are inviting the world to come and observe our elections. We want the world to see that we run free, clean, fair elections. We want all and sundry to say that when it comes to democracy and free and fair elections, that it is indeed Better in the Bahamas. Let our little Bahamas be an example to the world.
FNMs: I know you ready for that bell to ring but I ain’t ready yet - but it ain’t long now. I see Brave there with his little toy bell. Perry had a bell one time you know. I could see Perry pretending to have the bell. But Lil Brave Davis? Child please! But that should tell Perry something ‘bout Lil Brave. He ain’t really Brave, he just facey and fast.
We are going to have our last rally on Saturday night in Fox Hill. We’re going to suspend for Easter week. After Easter Monday, we will start again on Tuesday in Garden Hills.
We go from Garden Hills to Sea Breeze and on that Saturday, we’ve been cooking up and seasoning a pot down in Cat Island for Brave! We’ve been seasoning that pot, putting all kinds of ingredients in it - they tell me it’s time to turn the fire on!!! So the Saturday after Easter we will be in Cat Island.
We’ve got the bell. And, when you hear it ring Colour Red ‘gonna make yellow look even more mellow.
When Election Day comes vote for me; vote for Charlie Maynard. Vote FNM. We have the better record in health care and education! We have the better team to deliver clean and transparent government! We have the better vision for jobs and economic recovery! We have the better programmes and policies for youth development! We most definitely have the better leadership to fight crime and renew our national spirit!
So Golden Gates, Vote F-N-M for a better Bahamas!