I watched the newscast of the Labour Day parade and saw Perry Christie’s criticism of A. Loftus Roker. It seems that we have come to the point in this country that whenever a person speaks from a position of principle, the response is a personal attack.
Although a few of his supporters will find it amusing, the prime minister’s response to Roker was, in my opinion, appalling. Throughout the years, Roker has launched attack after attack on the improper actions of our top leaders. That includes Pindling, Ingraham and now Christie. He has been very consistent over the years and that has to count for something.
I do not believe that political parties should take part in the Labour Day marches because that day is not about politics but rather the solidity of workers.
The unions have been telling them this for years. However, this year only the PLP attended. They are probably sorry they did because this was the worst attendance they ever had. Fewer than 100 people marched, a far cry from when they used to take up all of East Street.
This was so embarrassing that Christie decided to ride in one of the jitneys with tinted glass. Their spin doctors then took to Facebook and published photos of times past when they use to draw massive crowds. How far the mighty have fallen.
What Christie does not realize is that with leadership comes trust and responsibility. He gave his word during the gambling referendum that his government would abide by the results. It does not matter the form, format or legality it took. He spent a million dollars to get an answer. That money could have gone a long way in eliminating outside toilets throughout the country, especially in his constituency.
There was his questionable stance from the beginning, when he said he did not have a horse in the race and that the PLP was totally impartial. That was a great gamble and it did not pay off.
It is obvious that Christie never gave a thought to what a loss would mean. He felt invincible after winning three consecutive elections (Elizabeth by-election, the 2012 the general election and the North Abaco by-election), retiring Hubert Ingraham and winning Ingraham’s former seat.
He thought that there was no issue; he and his well-oiled machinery could not be conquered.
After losing the referendum, a smarter man would have sought forgiveness from the Bahamian people but his arrogance would not allow it. This is the same reason why he will never allow a Freedom of Information Act under his watch. His handlers have been trying to get him to do a national address forever and his response seems to be ‘What for?’
Christie is bringing down the brand of the PLP. Everything the PLP once stood for, he has abandoned. All around the country, people are saying they will never vote PLP again. Support for the PLP is at an all-time low and will get even lower the longer Christie is around.
This is even evident among some of their most staunch supporters. Everyone has turned against him: the poor, the middle class, the special interest groups, the church, the business community and even some stalwart councillors and party officers.
On the third Thursday of the month is their council meeting. Every meeting there are fewer and fewer cars parked outside their headquarters. Soon the parking lot will be empty.
People are just tired of Perry Christie and Bradley Roberts wasting time stating how great they are and how hard they are working.
It is commonly believed that the thousands of stalwart councillors are controlled by Christie. He appoints them, but he does not know the majority of them because they are recommended by the branches.
The party must give Christie an ultimatum to leave next year after he completes eight years as prime minister. This will allow him to get his full perks and pension. He must take Bradley Roberts and a few other top officers with him.
Roberts is now totally ineffective as chairman because only hard-core PLPs listen to him. He is completely out of touch with the reality on the ground. If they all stay around for the next general election, the PLP will not win a seat.
They must bring in a group of younger and more professional leaders. They may not know it, but the majority of their supporters are voting DNA. If the DNA wins the next general election, the PLP will then cease to exist.
The PLP had a great run, but it must change quickly or die.
By: John Brown