As we near the fortieth anniversary of independence, I too am saddened like John Marquis that some things never change. Mr. Marquis believes that the “PLP’s taste for intimidation and victimization appears to be one of them.” He wrote as much in his op ed, “ Marquis At Large” that was published in the Tribune on the 15th September 2012.
He went on to opine about the “redeployment” of senior staff at ZNS, playing favourites and loathsome practices within the government and government controlled corporations.
In my opinion, he sought to rewrite history and reflect the PLP government in a negative light while giving the FNM government a wink, a nod and a pass. This position is widely believed to be the official editorial policy of the Tribune.
I have this proposition and a few questions for John Marquis: Within one month of forming the government on 2nd May 2007, the FNM government released six employees from their contracts at the Bahamas Information Services (BIS). For the record, they were Gregory Christie and the late Dudley Byfield from the Grand Bahama office and Luther Smith, Al Dilette, Marlon Nichols and Steve McKinney from the Nassau office. In doing so did the FNM display “a taste for intimidation and victimization” as Mr. Marquis so eloquently attributes to the PLP government? Was this FNM policy decision “indeed a sad and depressing state of affairs” as Mr. Marquis concurred it was as he echoed the sentiments of Guardian commentator Dennis Dames? Yes Mr. Marquis, some things never change.
Further, Mr. Marquis had a platform in 2007 to revisit “the history of political victimization” in The Bahamas as he now finds it so convenient to do. In 2007, there was no outrage, no weeping, no wailing, no gnashing of teeth and no righteous indignation expressed over the unceremonious dismissal of our six fellow Bahamian brothers in what many believe to be part of a politically motivated purge of the public service by the strong arm of the FNM government.
Perhaps Mr. Marquis would want to dig deep and find an appropriate adjective to describe the actions of the then FNM government in the interest of fairness and balance. Does he have the journalistic integrity to direct some of the venom and invective (he ostensibly reserves for the PLP) at the policies and practices of the FNM, policies and practices he appears hell bent on excusing, winking at and looking that other way when chastisement was the appropriate response? Again he should do so in the interest of fairness and balance.
In the end I issue the same challenge to the leadership of the FNM as Mr. Marquis issues to Prime Minister Christie. I hope that the next FNM government “can summon the courage to outlaw victimization forever…for the nation’s sake.”