Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell is the most complex and enigmatic personality in active politics today. He is one of the leading members of the Progressive Liberal Party and obviously one of several PLP parliamentarians hoping to succeed Prime Minister Perry Christie in 2017.
At least two other Cabinet ministers are also aspiring to one day become prime minister: Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe. Davis has somewhat of an edge over Wilchcombe and Mitchell by virtue of him being Christie’s deputy. But being deputy leader of the PLP and deputy PM is not an automatic guarantee that you will one day become prime minister.
The whistleblower believes that Davis can go head to head with Mitchell in a PLP national convention for the leadership position and win. But that does not necessarily translates into an election win for the PLP with Davis at the helm. Davis might be well liked by his constituents in Cat Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay and by hundreds of grassroots voters in New Providence, but he is woefully lacking in charisma, is not a captivating speaker and is devoid of effective communication skills.
Mitchell possesses those assets and is the most intellectually astute PLP in the House of Assembly, bar none. Indeed, Mitchell can run circles round Davis when it comes to delivering an address and would make mince-meat out of him in a debate. Mitchell’s academic credentials are impressive. He received his tertiary education at Antioch University, Harvard University and the University of Buckingham. The former ZNS broadcaster edited the now defunct Herald newspaper – a newspaper of the PLP. It is alleged that he continues to write for an Internet news source which is a radical PLP mouthpiece. This can help explain Mitchell’s open hostilities against The Nassau Guardian and The Tribune. Mitchell’s latest rant against The Guardian for lauding former Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham in an editorial during his contribution in the 2013/2014 budget debate on June 5 is just another prime example of his age-long enmity against the noted publication for no obvious and justifiable reason. Concerning The Guardian article on Ingraham, Mitchell stated in the House that it was “one load of nonsense writing by some worthless sycophant”.
The whistleblower isn’t too sold on Mitchell’s purported loyalty to the PLP, however. He is an opportunistic political journeyman who has knocked from pillar to post until he finally decided to settle down and nail his boots in the PLP, despite being the late Prime Minister Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling’s fiercest political opponent in the eighties. Indeed, it was Mitchell who burned a copy of this country’s sacred document called the Constitution near the Supreme Court and sent the ashes to Pindling.
In late 1990, Mitchell said that it is time that Bahamians consign Pindling to the scrap yard of history. The back and forth between the father of the nation and the man the PLP years ago dubbed a Johnny-come-lately to the PLP and a troublemaker stooped to new lows.
Even for an era fraught with scandals, allegations of corruption and the illicit drug trade, the exchanges of both men crossed the boundary of decency.
The whistleblower is convinced that the only reason Mitchell is giving the PLP the time of the day is because it is the one party which affords him the opportunity to fulfill his number one dream of becoming prime minister one day.
His second dream is to become United Nations secretary general and his third dream is to travel the entire world. Since May 2012, Mitchell has already traveled to Morocco, Abu Dhabi, Chile, New York, Jamaica and Los Angeles. He has also informed the nation via his budget address that he will spend a significant amount of time in the Middle East in the next several years. I wonder how Fox Hillians reacted to their MP’s travel plans? It wouldn’t surprise the whistleblower if Mitchell ever announces his plans to visit the moon. At the rate he is travelling, anything is possible.
The whistleblower is somewhat perplexed as to how Mitchell managed to wiggle his way into the PLP – even to the extent of being on the precipice of becoming the next leader of the party.
Mitchell’s greatest asset in the PLP appears to be his staunch opposition to Hubert Ingraham and the Free National Movement. He seems to believe that if he shouts that he dislikes the FNM loud and long enough, the top brass in the PLP will hand over the leadership mantle to him – thus paving the way for the realization of his greatest dream.
Interestingly, though, Mitchell used to be an FNM and had even served in the Senate during the FNM’s very first term in high office, thanks to Ingraham. In addition to being a member of both major political parties, Mitchell was leader of the People’s Democratic Force and the Third Force party. When Ingraham was the independent MP for Cooper’s Town, he was courted by Mitchell to join his fringe party in 1989.
Ingraham’s refusal to field him as a candidate for the FNM might be the reason for his relentless and uncalled for antagonism against the former FNM leader.
In his budget debate, Mitchell said that the era of Ingraham was an era of boorishness and insensitivity. The whistleblower concedes that Mitchell has a beautiful mind. But he is of the view that Mitchell, due to his erratic behavior and pronouncements in the past, would not bring the kind of stability and soberness to the office of prime minister that this country desperately needs.
The whistleblower doesn’t want the PLP to win in 2017, but with Bahamians being who they are one is left with a few hard choices to make. To the whistleblower, deciding which PLP MP should become PM is like picking your poison.
If the whistleblower had his say in the impending leadership race for the PLP, he would advise all right-thinking stalwart councilors of that party to steer far away from Mitchell. After all, he is not a real PLP.
By: The Whistleblower