PLP Abuses Queen's Honours System
The recent Queen's Honours list has highlighted the PLP's zeal to canonize party stalwarts in a most brazen way.
Over the past year, the PLP has idolised their heroes unabatedly, putting their names on public buildings in a push to exploit their contributions in the run-up to the 2007 general elections.
After having a glance at the New Year's Honours list, it seems that the Bahamas may have more heroes than the cartoon network, and, in my opinion, there are others who may be more deserving.
This year, opponents of the British honours system were given more ammunition when Lady Marguerite Pindling, Garrett "Tiger" Finlayson and Baltron Bethel all turned up on the honours lists for knighthoods, and what's more, none of the three seemed to be as deserving of ennoblement as others who have been persistently ignored.
The PLP needs to decide what it stands for, as they were previously seen as the party that rejected the Queen's honours, particularly as party figureheads, such as AD Hanna and Paul Adderley both rejected knighthoods. Now, the party that portrayed the image of nationalism and a disbelief in the British honours system, has apparently used these honours to a political end. It is really duplicitous that the PLP would now use British honours as an election ploy!
The past five years under the PLP administration has been bland and rather empty of achievements. Just looking at the list of those honoured would reveal the "new" PLP's election scheme of relying on the rather tarnished legacy of the former administration in their bid to catch grassroots votes and desperately clinging onto power.
Any reasonable person who reviews the "new" PLP's track record over the last five years would note that they have zilch to run on. It has become abundantly clear that the PLP is doing all it can to get people on their side by capitalising on the achievements of another administration, whether that means bestowing upon Sir Lynden Pindling's widow a Damehood, renaming the NIB complex after Sir Clifford Darling, naming the airport after Sir Lynden, etc.
Yes, I would concede that Lady Pindling stood by Sir Lynden in the fight for majority rule and nationhood, however, it would be fair to question what she, Baltron Bethel and Garrett "Tiger" Finlayson individually contributed to the development of the Bahamas as a whole.
Recently, Sir Randol Fawkes' family publicly expressed their displeasure because they felt he had not been duly recognised for the role he played in the movement towards Majority Rule. Indeed, Sir Randol was a nationalist and a hero, and his contributions to the Bahamas.
Now, the party that portrayed the image of nationalism and a disbelief in the British honours system, has apparently used these honours to a political end.
during those times far outweigh that of any of those recently honoured. In recognition of his contributions to the country's labour movement, Sir Randol s deserving of having Labour Day renamed in his honour, as he is possibly more worthy of honour than many on the New Year's list.
People are raising their eyebrows over the elevation of Marguerite Pindling to Damehood, and many are asking why she should be there. Lady Pindling had already been honoured through her husband's recognition, earning the title of 'lady' by virtue of her husband's knighthood. Since there is a limited number of knighthoods and damehoods that can be given, the honour of 'dame' could have been bestowed on someone else, for example, Dr. Keva Bethel.
It is odd to see that Garrett Finlayson, the booze baron of the Bahamas, was also knighted. Among other things, Mr Finlayson has, in my opinion, made a sterling contribution to the country's alcoholism rate!
Many intelligent Bahamians are also curious as to why Baltron Bethel was knighted. Mr Bethel was not exactly found to be a saint at a recent Commission of Inquiry.
As Bahamians have not been knighted in a few years prior to the recent honours, it is obvious that the PLP was just playing to the gallery - honouring the super friends of the party!
These days, the bar for honours is not as high as it used to be.
By Adran Gibson
from his 'Young Man's View' column in The Tribune