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The mask of power

Published: Aug 23, 2017

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Dear Editor,


In politics, as in every day life, all human beings and some animals are capable of shedding their known persona and putting on face masks. This is done, in the majority of cases, to attempt to conceal or hide the true characteristics or intent of the wearer at any particular time. The wearing of masks, I submit, has become a perfected art form in our wonderful nation. In local politics, those who don a mask or multiple ones often succeed in securing elective or appointive office.

This is a phenomenon throughout the recorded history of mankind, which has been practiced in all spheres of society, be they civilized or otherwise. In ancient times, ordinary individuals discovered that they could wield political and communal clout, especially in the area of religion, by encouraging others to not see them as they are but as they are perceived to be. The shaman or witch doctor controlled villagers by costumes and/or masks. This was perfected as an art form on many continents.

Here in The Bahamas our politicians, especially the successful ones, are now adroit at donning assorted masks, depending on the particular circumstances of any given case. The recent defeat of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) came partially as a result of the mask being removed from the face of that party when we witnessed in broad daylight, the former PM, God bless him too, stating with absolutely no shame or compunction that he, Perry Christie, had the power to grant things that even God could not do! He also gave us 'the bird', big time, and called it a sign of agape love. It is not to be forgotten that one 'legal crow', Wayne Munroe, QC, slapped his wide load posterior and state, 'When they go low, we aim low’.

It is unfortunate that so many Bahamians, myself included, followed the siren call of the PLP and Christie & Company for so long with no tangible achievements in sight. Yes, there were little fits and starts, but nothing of value, save for the National Training Agency. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), under the failed leadership of Captain Stephen Russell and the then minister with responsibility for hurricane relief, Shane Gibson, did a poor job in bringing relief, even to this very day, to thousands of Bahamians who looked with great expectations to the government of PGC for hope and help. The mask was brutally torn off by Matthew and Joaquin. The rest of the emperor's clothing, such as they were (because he was naked for eons), were blown away into posterity.

Christie, with all due respect, often portrayed himself in a totally different manner from reality. He often appeared to be benign, Christian and, for sure, compassionate. I submit that he was none of these things, at least not to an appreciable level. If he hated you, politically, you could not even expect a single crumb to fall from his banquet table. While giving you an appointment, Christie must have 'known' that either he had no intentions of keeping the same or was merely posturing. The mask fell off on May 10, 2017, and what most of you all are seeing now is disturbing and mind-boggling. Unmasking is not a good thing, in some cases.

The PLP and its then leadership cadre failed the unwashed masses of Bahamians. They destroyed, literally, the dreams and aspirations of countless thousands of ordinary Bahamians, without demonstrating an ounce of shame. Now they and some of their geriatric and befuddled allies and sycophants say that there is a witch hunt going on, and that the PM and the FNM are out to get them?

Millions of dollars were wasted by the Christie administration and, allegedly, tens of more millions went straight down the toilet, without flushing. The masks of the pretenders, clowns and jokers within the now defunct PLP have been removed, and the resulting exposed faces remind me of Boo-Boo Dey – ugly to the core!

All of the ministers in Christie's Cabinet, save and except for Philip Brave Davis (PLP–Cat Island), leader of the rump PLP, and Shayne Gibson had grown too comfortable in the masks, which they were wearing to the point of believing what they saw in the mirror. The masks fell away, and in the glare of the sunshine, the unmasked ones had to run toward the hills, possibly to escape criminal prosecution. The mask of power was fatal, politically, to the PLP in May. Is it possible for the PLP to rise from the ashes (keep Johnathan Ash as far away as possible please) of defeat?

Yes, Brave Davis is in a unique position, even if he does not yet realize it. He is the only credible member for that party, at this juncture, capable of the gravitas; experience; leadership capabilities and access, allegedly, to the massive funding sources which the PLP will need to tap into as it seeks to rise from the ashes of defeat. He must also sideline politically toxic individuals who continue to talk shaving cream while ranting, raving, picking their noses and walking like bow-legged ducks.

As a political observer, it is clear that the FNM and our prime minister are now walking back from many of the electoral promises made during the campaign. There is, at this stage, no real cause for alarm as Dr. Minnis and the rest of the people are still wearing their masks, even if they want to take them off right now. I'd admonish them to keep their masks on, because if they are unmasked any time soon, the shaving cream would hit the fan sooner than expected.

Brave must be for real. Brave must embrace agents of change. Brave must reorganize the PLP headquarters and offer separation packages to the current staffers. Seniors have their place, but in today's world, the millenniums will generate the raw and social energy which the PLP must embrace going forward. He must not, at any time, take off his own mask.

To God then, in all things, be the glory.


– Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

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