Perry Christie’s Articulate Incompetence

Friday 22nd, July 2011 / 10:12 Published by

Whoever came up with the expression, “can’t walk and chew gum at the, same time” must have had a premonition of the Perry Christie Government, a textbook example of articulate incompetence.

Mr. Christie is the lead actor in the Opposition’s articulate incompetence. The Leader of the Opposition:

* Talks endlessly, but says very little of substance;
* Can’t move from talk to action;
* Is filled with passion when he talks, but loses energy when it’s time to work;
* Has words for every occasion; but lacks detailed action plans when it counts;
* Promises everything to everyone, but typically delivers nothing to anyone;

One of the best examples of this articulate incompetence was Mr. Christie’s big failure on National Health Insurance (NHI). With his usual over the top speaking style he spoke loudly of providing help and hope on health care. Yet, when it came time to move from talk to action, his promise of NHI for every Bahamian never became a reality for a single Bahamian.

Incapable of shame for abandoning the Bahamian people on expanding health care coverage the Opposition tried to explain away their incompetence, just like a child might when his mommy finds him trying to “tief” from the cookie jar. Here’s how their articulate incompetence works, the ultimate smoke and mirrors.

As the last election approached they rushed to produce a so-called NHI plan as if words on paper will cover the costs of things like prescription drug benefits. This last minute PR exercise failed and the Opposition lost the 2007 general election.

They are still talking about health care. Yet, when they had a chance to do something they did nothing. Don’t mind all their “articulate,” passionate and loud talk about care and compassion. When it was time to deliver care and compassion on NHI, they were worse than incompetent. They were negligent and indifferent.

Here, the definition of articulate incompetence PLP-style: Articulate a promise, utterly fail to get it done, and then promise it again while making excuses for failing to act. The other major element of the Opposition’s articulate incompetence is in full swing as the election approaches.

Envious of the FNM’s many accomplishments, the Opposition claims that the Ingraham administration stole their ideas. That is laughable in itself. Even more comical is that despite this bogus claim, they complain when the FNM actually accomplishes the things that was [sic] supposed to be their ideas in the first place.

They can’t have it both ways: They can’t complain about the FNM’s extensive transformation and modernization of New Providence and then say this is what they were intending to do. If the Opposition had any of the FNM’s long list of accomplishments they would be proclaiming them from the top of Mt. Alvernia.

This is typical PLP, talking out of both sides of their mouth, often on the same day. Perry Christie is an excellent example of articulate incompetence. But he is not alone in his party. His colleagues are also highly proficient at articulate incompetence after long practice in the art of covering up their failures and inaction. Remember when they excused their late-again governing style – as consultation? The Opposition is:

* Big on saying what needs to be done, but can never get it done.
* Superb at fabrication when ‘ the facts become inconvenient; • Smooth-talkers, but not doers;
* Good at manipulating words, borrowing ideas and  manufacturing slogans;
* Masters of using distractions and dishonest rhetoric to conceal their failures and corruption.

Fortunately there is a way of uncovering the Opposition’s articulate incompetence. It is called the Articulate Incomtence Test. Here’s how to use the test. Read or listen to a statement by the Opposition. Then watch for the huge gap between their promises and their actions and their rhetoric and reality. Mind the gap or you’ll be dragged into the world of PLP fairy tales and make-believe.

Let’s apply the Articulate Incompetence Test to the Opposition’s claim that they are more caring and compassionate. That’s the rhetoric. The reality is that the Christie administration failed poor Bahamians when it came to significantly increasing social assistance for widows, orphans, the indigent and the elderly.

It is the Ingraham administration that secured the largest increases in social assistance ever for poorer Bahamians and launched the landmark prescription drug and unemployment benefits programmes. This is compassion in action.

In 2002, the Opposition’s election manifesto was called Our Plan. But because of massive incompetence and painfully weak leadership by Perry Christie, the most indecisive Prime Minister in Bahamian history, most of those plans and promises remained words on paper.

In 2007, the Opposition’s articulate incompetence reached its height as they repackaged and re-promised the long list of things they failed to do.

They could have saved time by simply changing the year on their 2002 manifesto to 2007.

Expect more of the same in 2012. The PLP’s manifesto will be filled with flowery rhetoric, grand promises and fancy words, all quite articulate. But in the end, they do not possess the competence and decisiveness to move from talk to action. Their promises won’t be worth the glossy paper on which they’ll be written.

Concerned Citizen
Nassau, Bahamas
July, 2011

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