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By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Government was yesterday urged to facilitate the creation of "critical mass for the economic development of Freeport", a leading attorney arguing that attempts to dilute the Hawksbill Creek Agreement's powers had helped push the city into "a recessionary backwater".
Speaking after a three-day Supreme Court trial over Cable Bahamas' Judicial Review challenge to the Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority's (URCA) demand that it pay $78,000 in fees from its Freeport Internet operations, an action that again raised critical issues surrounding the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, Fred Smith QC said the city was being for ...
Be it known to all and sundry that I am and will be supporting the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) in the upcoming general election fully, totally and absolutely. As I watch in horror what now passes for election campaigning by the leaders of the Free National Movement (FNM) and Progressive (PLP), I feel really sorry for their supporters.
Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie have spent almost all of the election campaign thus far hurling accusations, innuendos and (some say) falsehoods at each other. I'd much rather they spend this season telling the nation about their realistic plans (if they have any) to rescue it from the deep malaise that it is presently in as a result of both of their failed policies and sometimes lack thereof in respect of unemployment, crime, illegal immigration, education, the judiciary, healthcare, catastrophic deficit spending, an enormous national debt, the need to diversify our economy and the lack of forward planning.
Very recently, Christie accused the Ingraham administration of being soft on criminality because of a low number of murder convictions during its present term in office. Ingraham countered that during the five years that Christie's PLP spent in office there were only nine murder convictions, which does not compare favorably with the 26 convictions thus far under the FNM. As I followed the dialogue between the two leaders, with great sadness and amazement, immediately I made three observations.
Firstly, both men should hang their heads in shame at their 'successes' in obtaining the said number of convictions, since the police records reflect that more than 700 people were murdered between May 2002 and the present.
Secondly, it is senseless to boast of any number of convictions for this crime in the absence of a single execution, which is what our law demands of anyone who is convicted for this offense. That's right, our law demands the death penalty for murder; yet between them both, the FNM and PLP administrations have not managed to execute a single murderer in the past 12 years! Totally inept is the only phrase that can possibly be used to describe this level of failure, and it applies equally to both governments.
Thirdly, by incarcerating the murder convicts, both governments are forcing the rest of us law-abiding citizens to pay for their room and board, protection, exercise equipment, free Internet and free cigarettes, currently at a cost of some $18,000 per convict per year. I am willing to recommend a Nobel Prize or KCMG (Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George) for anyone who can convince me that this makes sense.
This brings me to just one of the many reasons why I just love my DNA; because under its administration, murderers will meet their fate at the gallows, which will short-circuit all of this foolishness that has been going on under the PLP and FNM causing so much grief and frustration among the family, friends and acquaintances of murder victims who cannot find the justice that our law has made adequate provision for. Do the PLP and FNM care at all about these people? I have long ago decided the answer to that question.
Any party, therefore, that campaigns on a platform to do away with the Privy Council on criminal matters so that murderers can get that which has been promised to them by our constitution is guaranteed to receive my fullest support. The only party that qualifies is the DNA. May God bless us all, may God bless The Bahamas and may God bless the Democratic National Alliance as it continues in its quest to bring sanity to our beloved country.
- Welly Forbes