Perry G Christie Leader, Progressive Liberal Party Monday, April 30, 2012
GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE! HOW ARE YOU FEELING TONIGHT? THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL – BUT THIS SEA OF GOLD IS STILL DELIGHTUL! My brothers and my sisters…anybody here ready for change?! Let me hear you if you Believe in Bahamians!
For five long years, the FNM has been telling you BAHAMIANS NEED NOT APPLY… On May 7th, it’s your turn to answer back! On May 7th, Bahamians are going to vote for a new day! Everybody knows it, and Hubert Ingraham knows it most of all… He sees the gold rush coming…he sees it but he’s helpless to stop it…
He’s trying everything now: old recycled lies…new invented lies… every kind of lie there is… But it is the truth that will defeat him. Because the truth is that he has failed – fundamentally -- and in the ways that matter most. He failed to keep you safe.
He failed to create jobs, even as other nations around us are recovering and growing. He failed to secure the nation’s borders. And he has failed to believe in you, Bahamians – failed to invest in you or equip you to compete in the 21st century. All of his lies…they cannot defeat these truths. Only a man of staggering arrogance would tell a nation reeling from violence that he delivers.
The roadworks are nearly $100 million over budget..with no end in sight. The same roads dug up again and again. When small business owners were forced to close their doors, they asked for compensation…and the government sent their Attorney General to fight them in court. Don’t forget that, Bahamians.
Bahamians, you raised your voices loud and clear in protest on BTC…but Ingraham ain’t working for you, and he didn’t listen and he didn’t care. He sold a key national strategic asset to foreign control and he never looked back.
This government has borrowed $2 billion and collected $500 million in one-offs and STILL failed to grow the economy; failed to grow tourism, failed to innovate and failed to create one net job in five years.
More than 29,000 jobs have been lost and over 43,000 Bahamians are unemployed with thousands more under-employed.
You know about the mismanagement of BEC -- no new plants built in Nassau, no maintenance to existing plants, everyone struggling with insane electricity bills.
So you see what kind of trouble they’re in…all they have left are lies and attacks.
As for the lies…the newest ones…invented on the eve of election…have to do with oil drilling.
Bahamians, we aren’t the FNM. We actually care about what you want. And there will not be oil drilling in The Bahamas unless you want it: we are on the record in favor of a national referendum. That means that not only would any proposed change in policy have to meet the toughest safety and environmental standards, it would require your approval, too.
So the pack of lies coming out of the FNM camp on oil drilling has nothing to do with me and everything to do with their sinking ship.
But you know, it’s one thing when Ingraham lies about me.
And it’s another when he attacks Lady Pindling.
Have you ever seen anything so nasty and spiteful and cruel?
Mothers are telling me they have to keep their children away from the television when Ingraham’s talking.
During the day, our nation’s children are in their classrooms…learning about Sir Lynden Pindling – the courage and vision of his generation, how hard they fought for majority rule and independence.
But at night, the Prime Minister stands on a rally stage and viciously attacks the widow of the Father of our Nation.
Just when you thought the man could not sink any lower – he attacks an 80-yr old woman who has given so much to our country, and who herself was one of those who made Majority Rule possible…
You shame yourself, Ingraham.
But Lady Pindling sure put him in his place on Friday night, didn’t she?
She let Ingraham know that he represents the OPPOSITE of what her husband fought to achieve for Bahamians.
And by the way, what has happened to the rest of the FNM? Nobody has a shred of courage over there? Nobody willing to right the sinking ship?
Look at Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace. He started off as a Minister of Tourism who stayed above the political fray.
But Ingraham ordered him to the frontline..and now he’s part of their lie-generating machine. It’s disgraceful. Worse – he’s come to embody this Bahamians Need Not Apply FNM…
In fact, I have a couple of questions for him on precisely that subject:
1. Is it true that all of our overseas Ministry of Tourism offices have been closed except for the one in London and Plantation, Florida…and that only foreigners are now working in the London office?
2. Is it true that Bahamians could have been left in the overseas offices by obtaining diplomatic status for them -- but you decided not to fight for them because you were content to only employ foreigners?
3. Is it true that you hired a foreigner to be the chief marketing officer for the Ministry when there were any number of more qualified Bahamians who could do the job even better?
Mind how you answer now, because I have the facts. You haven’t fought for Bahamians…not for a minute.
But May 7th is now just around the corner. And Bahamians have an historic opportunity to put us back on the right course; to take us towards a new day.
But before May 7th, there is tomorrow. Hundreds of Bahamians will be voting in the Advance Poll tomorrow. I would like to personally appeal to each and every one of you: vote for change. The PLP has the best team and the best plan. Our candidates are the best and brightest men and women in our country. In voting for us, you will be voting for a team. The FNM, by contrast, is a one-man band. Don’t take my word for it. That’s what Ingraham said. And he means it too.
I want to make an even more special appeal to all those voters in my constituency of Centreville who will be voting tomorrow. I pledge good, honest and productive representation. So I humbly ask for your support as you exercise your right to vote tomorrow. We can help build a better Bahamas together.
To all those who are voting tomorrow, I entreat you to do so in a responsible manner, respectful of the rights of others. Once you have voted, go about your regular business and above all avoid any confrontation with anyone.
Bahamians, the FNM has failed you. And that’s been especially true for the proud men and women who serve in uniform.
We are going to meet the concerns of all our law enforcement branches – and we are going to talk to you all the time, not just at election time, like this current government.
You have legitimate concerns about pay scales, overtime pay, and other terms and conditions of your service.
We are going to undertake regular promotions exercises – and as you have heard all night – promotions will not be on the basis of favoritism but rather will be merit-based and transparent, free of political interference or hidden agendas.
Opportunities for formal tertiary-level education and special technical training on a state-subsidized basis MUST be increased for police and defence force officers, and prison officers, too. We believe in you and we will invest in you.
You keep us safe – it is our job to keep YOU safe. Whatever you tell us you need to do your jobs safely, you should have.
Let me give you an example – right now, prison officers only have minimum force weapons, batons, or extreme force weapons, guns. You need intermediate force weapons as well – and you will have them.
We need a new prison, too, to deal with serious overcrowding and other problems which make present conditions unsafe.
We must also urgently address the national security imperative of securing our nation’s borders.
In the last few years in particular, we have seen a serious escalation of multiple threats – with drugs and guns flooding our communities.
And yet the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has not been given the tools it needs to succeed.
We have a difficult border to enforce. Difficult, but not impossible. I am determined to give the Royal Bahamas Defence Force the tools, the personnel, the training and the technology they need to succeed.
My fellow Bahamians, I understand that you have lost confidence in your government’s ability to keep you safe and to secure the nation’s borders.
Just as have you lost your faith in their willingness to fight for you. But it ain’t long now…
Change is on the way!
God Bless You, Bahamas!
Remarks by the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie Wyndham Nassau Resort
Perry G Christie Leader, Progressive Liberal Party Monday, April 30, 2012
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