Mr.Christie would be seen as a wise man if he had the ability to look carefully at what he is saying or what persons ask him to say, and make his own conclusions. His recent remarks about the secret agreement the FNM administration has with the IMF, is no secret in the Caribbean, because the IMF is pressuring every country in the world who is beholden to them to do something with the size of the payroll that goes to the Public Service. It is not difficult to understand why the PLP or any other opposition group in the Caribbean would use this ploy and throw a protective cover on the Public Service. It is through the public service and the public treasury that most of them are “helped” with their political campaigns “if they are in power”. How else are campaigners and party generals able to take time off, with pay, and hit the road on behalf of their organizations, or, as I mentioned in an earlier letter, to get one of those nice paying “consultant” jobs and have all the free time in the world, because the government agency where they got a job does not have space enough for another desk and chair for you to be on the job.
The PLP has to wake up. Their “news conference” was seen by many as an attempt to legitimize the kind of behavior that have us in the mess we are in now. No matter how you spin it, secret or not, the public cannot afford to finance the “Public Service” at the level it has been at over the past four decades. The populace at large also has an underlying peeve in that they are not really getting what they pay for when they have to do business with most of the government agencies, there are a few exceptions and most of us are amazed when we experience “good service”. Where are the social scientists in the PLP? The days of the “smart talking MP” are over. You can talk smart like Mr. Ingraham, but he has the wisdom to make sure the public knows that he is saying what is real, known and accepted.
If we are to survive as a nation, the Public Service will be downsized, there will be more privatization and we will learn to do things more efficiently. Most of us are not aware of how good we are, even in our mediocrity. If you compare the number of hotel rooms we have to the other major competitors in the Caribbean, it may be a mystery why we are a top destination – but if you look at the product and the Bahamians who are in the industry the mystery vanishes.
We cannot continue to allow politicians to sell us “crap”, just because they are scrapping to find a way to get into peoples insecurities. Are Bahamians in the Public Service content with what they see going on every day? I think not, especially if those Bahamians are pulling their weight and doing their jobs. I know of many who can make it in the private sector, but they want to be in Public Service. But, every five years someone with a very big mouth shows up who answers to no one. If they have a BGCSE subject it is D or lower. If they have a college degree it is from a school you have never heard of and most telling, they want to give orders to persons who are more qualified than they are. It is that kind of stuff that messed up the Public Schools and it is resident in some private schools also. However, the time that we are in presents us with a mandate, “change or suffer” and I am encouraged that Bahamians have always found a way to do the right thing and make the right choices. One way or another.
By: Edward Hutcheson