Monday, March 29, 2021

WE ARE NOW IN A RACE OF VACCINES VERSUS VARIANTS

Covid-19: A RACE OF VACCINES VERSUS VARIANTS:


By Gilbert Morris:


Some countries praising themselves on Covid 19 performance have done nothing more than stumbled through the pandemic, without the slightest clue as to why they did not suffer devastation. And though they have no history of managerial competence, still they gloat and politicise their accidental escape from the worst outcomes, so far.

This is unfortunate because, the history of science and society shows us that crisis are moments for scripted innovation, by which nations - if well governed - advance beyond the crisis in other areas.
That is NEVER accidental. Its always intentional.
But there is another issue: the same slipshod attitude iced with hubris that either politicises performance in crisis or exploits accidental escapes from tragedy, sets up countries for greater tragedy.
A good but sad example is our Jamaican brothers and sisters: It's only recently that government officials and their supporters were gloating about how they “beat the pandemic”. Under this delusion, they “opened up” as if their claims of competence could defeat the REALITY of a pandemic.

Now REALITY HAS BITTEN: they are under curfews and lockdowns together with other extreme measures, with a meagre supply of vaccines that does not cover even 10% of their population. Even without adding the terrifying risk of the British, Brazilian or South African variants arriving in our region - for which we have zero strategies - the hubristic attitude means a country is FAILING TO GRASP the nature of pandemics or the first, second and third order social and economic effects, which are already silently underway, that could cripple a country even where it manages some success.
Whilst Cayman Islands, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand, St Kitts-Nevis and South Korea have been the best performers, Jamaica is not the only country in which early gloating has given way to deathly realities: the UK, Brazil, France, Sweden, the United States and others are facing these headwinds, but more importantly, it is necessary for countries to come to grips with a brutal fact or which I warned several months ago.

The testing phase of this pandemic exposed general incompetence and even idiocy on the parts of many governments; not to mention a failure of basic arithmetic; witnessed in a host of bogus national dashboards. I warned further that the vaccine is NOT a panacea and that in the nature of pandemics, there is NEVER a clear path to normalcy.
IN THIS CASE, WE ARE NOW IN A RACE OF VACCINES VERSUS VARIANTS; which means, everything we have done and are doing may - in an instant - become obsolete; particularly for example, if the variant strains of Covid 19 in the US overwhelms public health management, forcing drastic measures. This should impose a sense of urgency in the Caribbean in particular to cultivate development of first case, best case and worst case scenarios.
It hasn’t!
Part of the problem is as I explained above: the testing phase one year ago, should have schooled nations on system, logistics and publish health management failures, the knowledge of which should have inform this emerging ‘vaccine phase”. I argued in the “SpaceNex Global Roundtable lectures” in January 2021, that CARICOM nations for instance, in our failure to coordinate at the upstream of vaccine development one year ago (as I advised then), has limited our access to vaccines now and reduced us to our usual begging status.

Now, having failed ourselves in those particulars, we are faced, not only with limited vaccines, but our failure to cultivate a deployment and logistics model or to establish scientific Post Vaccine Review Consortia exposes us to multiplier problems, which it is our routine to ignore until its too late; particularly in circumstances where vaccine deployment requires a chain of competence in management for which we have zero examples in our history of governance.

This hold’s true, especially with the Pfizer vaccine. This vaccine requires exacting clinical and logistical expertise to administer properly. For example, once a nurse removes a vial from the -80° Celsius freezer, it requires defrosting, being shaken 10 times, then an additive injected, then shaken again 10 times, then a filling of syringes, and hopefully patients ready and waiting. Once the vaccine is thawed and prepared, staff have only 6 hours to administer the vaccine.

The shot is short, but after vaccination, a patient is required to remain for 15 minutes for their safety with a nurse to observe and ask whether the patient feels light-headed or any adverse reactions. And after all that, one needs to walk away with a date for the second shot, and a card, documenting vaccination type and date...and repeat the entire process again!
Nothing above addresses directly the underlying economic bruising citizens are suffering. Political types will say its because of the pandemic.

However, the larger portion of the misery citizens have suffered is because of poor decisions or non-decisions of their governments. This is particularly true in the Caribbean when compared with the mastery of Cayman-Singapore in particular - which involved Covid 19 management plus economic repositioning and structural reforms or the St. Kitts-Nevis, Canada New Zealand model, which was closed border Covid management.
In recent advice to agencies, institutions, companies and governments, I was asked what has been the hardest message to get across?
It has been these:
a. That no nation is “qualified to manage a pandemic”. The US was rated in 2019 as “best prepared of all nations” to manage a pandemic. That was clearly abjectly FALSE!
b. The nations that performed best were not better qualified. Rather, they had better leadership, decision models, transparency and because of that, public trust, through which they both managed their resources effectively and appealed to their populations convincingly.
c. It is foolish to gloat about any momentary accidental “successes” in a pandemic, because biological morphology is fractal: you can’t see or know all that’s going on and every perceived “success” may ignite a tragic catastrophic cascading failures.
d. Therefore, self-satisfied, “soul take thine ease” approaches, lack of urgency and failure to see today’s initiatives as BETA-testing options for tomorrow’s strategies (or failure to strategise reforms and economic repositioning) will grind nations down to the levels of their ignorance and incompetence, because pandemics FORCE societies to their true levels, and it is in the nature of pandemics that they shift SUDDENLY all alignments of expected normalcy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Sam Kemp Golden Isles

 GOLDEN ISLES CONSTITUENCY


ABOUT SAM KEMP - INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE - GOLDEN ISLES


Samuel Alexander Kemp Sr.

Samuel Alexander Kemp Sr. came from humble beginnings. He received his early education at the Adelaide All Age School and A.F. Adderley Senior High School.

In 1978 Mr. Kemp started his career at the South Ocean Beach Hotel & Golf Club as a Ranger, cart attendant and golf starter.

In 1986, he needed a career change and joined the Royal Bahamas Police Force where he spent approximately eight years serving our Country.

In 1995 Mr. Kemp left The Bahamas.  As an avid golfer he received his Professional Tour Card in 1998 to play golf in the South American Tour, and took up residency in the United States of America to play professional golf. 

He later received his Tour Card for Canada in 2008 and played on the Canadian Tour. In 2010, he received his Tour Card for the European Challenge Tour and he remained in Europe for four years playing golf at the professional level.

While commuting between The Bahamas and Europe, Mr. Kemp pursued a business enterprise in 2008 by opening The Big Stick Restaurant and Bar in Adelaide Village.  He is interested in joining the political arena because of the current state of affairs in the country.

He believes that Bahamians are not only being taken advantage of, but are also disadvantaged due to existing Government policies, and our present political system.  As a concerned citizen of The Bahamas, Mr. Kemp brings a wealth of knowledge to the political process and is committed to bringing about change to our country.

He is keenly interested in advancing the welfare and wellbeing of Bahamians throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; particularly those in the Golden Isles Constituency.

His hobbies include fishing, golfing and building.

He is the proud father of six children.


Mr. Sam Kemp Golden Isles Phone Contact:  1-242-556-4842

Monday, March 15, 2021

Sam Kemp for Golden Isles Constituency

Samuel Alexander Kemp Sr.
  
INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE for GOLDEN ISLES CONSTITUENCY
 
"Representation without Taxation"


A Bahamian who believes in Bahamians 100%.

It is not the people’s time; it’s the Bahamians’ time - and they will not get what they want, but they will get what they need.
Samuel Alexander Kemp Sr.

 


PROMISSORY NOTE TO THE PEOPLE OF GOLDEN ISLES

 

THIS PROMISSORY NOTE conveys my commitment to the constituents of the Golden Isles Constituency - that as their Member of Parliament (MP), I will donate all of my salary, that is, the cumulative amount of: ONE HUNDRED and FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($140,000.00) only; which is the salary payable at TWENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND ($28,000.00) per annum, for the duration of the five year term - if I am elected.

These funds will be used for the welfare and wellbeing of all the constituents of Golden Isles.


Signed:
Samuel Alexander Kemp Sr,
Candidate for Golden Isles Constituency
09/March/2021
Phone: 1-242-556-4842





CONSTITUENCY PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT


THIS PARTNERSHOP AGREEMENT is made 03 March, 2021 by and between the following individuals:  Samuel Alexander Kemp; of Richard Drive, Adelaide Village; New Providence; candidate for the Golden Isles Constituency; and the constituents of the Golden Isles Constituency.

The partners listed above hereby agree that they shall be considered partners as denoted hereunder:

I Samuel Alexander Kemp Sr. do hereby pledge that I will consult with the constituents of the Golden Isles Constituency to determine their need for capital development projects that will yield the greatest benefit to all constituents.

These projects will be recommended to the minister of finance for the disbursement and expenditure of funds for the constituency allowance of $100,000.00 per annum - according to the Constituency Capital Grant Bill, 2017, of the Statute Laws of The Bahamas.

These funds will be expended solely, for and on behalf of, the constituents of the Golden Isles constituency.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this agreement
this 03 day of March, 2021


Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Bahamas is ill-equipped to become a model republic state

By Dr. Kevin Alcena:

The Bahamas should be Cautious when considering to become a Republic State


The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is a state found in the West Indies in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bahamas gained its independence on July 10, 1973, effectively ending the 325 years of British rule.

It appears that the government of The Bahamas is considering to like so many other countries - completely sever from the British and become a republic state.
This paper seeks to provide some clarifications and information to The Bahamas government and people as they consider this position. In doing so, one will provide information comparing and contrasting the benefits and effects of becoming a republic state.
This paper will also consider and examine states, that from independence moved to the republicanism, and indicate their successes and or failures.
The term Republic is a form of government in which representatives of the citizen body rule the state. Moreover, states that are republics are founded on the idea that sovereignty rests with the people.

However, who is included and excluded from the category of the people has varied across history.[1] Since citizens do not govern the state themselves, but through representatives, republics may be distinguished from direct democracy, though modern representative democracies are by and large republics.[2]

The term republic may also be applied to any form of government in which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch. This is the case in several states, for example, countries in Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, where the head of state is the president.[3]
While it is true that several states that achieved the status of a republic, the system of government are different and their head of states are either executive or ceremonial.

The benefits of becoming a republic are much of a mixed bag. There are a few success stories. On the contrary, issues of mismanagement, corruption, and misrule plagued several of these states.
It is of vital importance that The Bahamas look at the operation of these countries before it decides on whether to push to become a republic or not. It is said history is life's most outstanding teacher. Therefore as a people, one should be apart of the decision making process for our country's future.
Before the discussion begins, one must understand the basic facts of a republic, such as the types and forms of a republic. In so doing one must point out that there are five types or forms of republics: federal, Islamic, unitary, presidential and parliamentary. One must also note that approximately 156 countries are republics.
The Bahamas is on a stable developmental trajectory, and like Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas has recently discovered oil. There has been much negotiation with the government and offshore investors as it relates to the sharing of profits and royalties.

It must be noted that much of this negotiation took place behind close doors, and the people of the Bahamas are left out. Recently, allegations were made that the Attorney General met and renegotiate this deal; whether this is true or not is anyone’s guess. If this were to be accurate, it speaks volumes of this government's scant regard to the people of The Bahamas.
The few prosperous republic countries and their governments are transparent, accountable, and government official corruption is minimal.
For the most part, the republics that fail are managed by corrupted regimes and social, political, economic disorder and mismanagement is present. If one were to examine the republics of Africa, one would find that mismanagement and misrule have plagued those countries - Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

South Africa is a country with a modern constitution but fails to deal with public officials' corruption adequately.
The Caribbean and Latin America are no different. This is particularly so since several states upon achieving the republican status have removed themselves from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

This move has caused several international investors not to invest in these states because they believe that the courts were also corrupt - and hence they did not believe they will get a fair and impartial trial if matters are brought to the courts.
When one examines the progress of states that achieved the republican status, it will be seen that the afore-stated comment is valid in Africa.
The Republic of South Africa became a republic on May 31, 1961, after the referendum in 1960, which practically legitimised the country becoming a republic. Even though she was granted self-rule, a system of apartheid remains until 1994.
While the Republic of South Africa's constitution is one of the best globally, it must point out that it has its own corruption problems. This has caused its former president to resign amidst scandals of corruption in 2018.
In 2014, a ministerial task force when examined the public education sector - found that it was inadequate.[4] In 2010 a survey was conducted among fifteen countries and found that South Africa’s students were ten of fifteen and eighth of fifteen in mathematics and English (Reading).[5]
On the other hand, this country has struggled with its fight against the deadly HIV/ AIDS virus in public health.[6] These challenges have now caused this country to be on the brink of becoming a failed state. It is now a burden on the president to act decisively and aggressively to prevent this from occurring.
It is also true that many of her failures must be attributed to the apartheid. But this notwithstanding one must equally lay some blame at the feet of her leaders. The lack of political will, fortitude and the will to reward people based on merit remain lacking in South Africa.
Other African republics are also in tatters. When one examines Nigeria, for example, one finds that this country can become the Dubi of Africa, but it is also nearing a failed state.

Nigeria's GDP has indeed surpassed that of the Republic of South Africa, making it the largest in the African continent. But this is not because of prudent economic and fiscal management.

The expansion of the telecommunication sector created avenues for vast economic growth. Notwithstanding its apparent economic strength, about 40% of its peoples live below the poverty level[7]. This is due to the inequality, in terms of income and opportunities, the lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, regional disparities, and social and political unrest.[8]
In addition to the preceding, there are issues of massive developmental challenges, including the need to reduce the dependency on oil and diversify the economy, address insufficient infrastructure, build strong and effective institutions, and address governance issues and public financial management systems[9].
It was for this reason, the Fragile States Index in 2019 claimed that Nigeria is among the fifteen most failed states in Africa. It must be noted that the continent of Africa has ten of the fifteen states[10].
All is not lost; there are success stories in Africa, Ghana is one such.

The Ghanian[11] economy was built on oil, gold and cocoa. Like many other African countries, Ghana was struggling with poverty, but she embarked on a significant expansion in education, increased agricultural production and human capital development[12] helped deliver Ghana’s rapid and steady decline in poverty.
Ghana has changed its trajectory through visionary leadership, which inspired the people to develop themselves. It must not be underscored the role education played in the development of Ghana. Equally important is the receptive people. They trusted their leaders and worked to develop themselves and their country.
India is also a republic state. It was observed that like states in Africa, India has the embodiment of corruption.

According to a country report, this is based on the slow and complicated bureaucratic process, unnecessary red tape, and unclear regulatory frameworks[13]. Accordingly, this forces the citizens to utilise alternative ways to get results. Hence bribery is done to expedite the process. This report cites bribery as a plague in India.
When one examines the republics in the Caribbean, it will be noted that they have some common trends like Africa and India. If one were to examine all of these states, one would find corruption, mismanagement of financial and other resources.
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has been for a long time - one of the Caribbean leading countries. Its economy was boosted with the oil fine and the country’s ability to refine crude oil.

This notwithstanding did not stop the incidence of corruption. This culminated with the court finding the former Prime Minister guilty for corruption[14] and sentencing him to jail for two years.
It is clear that the allegations of corruption are present in both administrations. And in some cases, charges were made against public officials in Trinidad and Tobago.
On the other hand, Guyana, the charges of corruption is used as a political stunt, on the one hand. In contrast, on the other hand, the presence of corruption within the police force and the judiciary is evident.
In 2016, the present President was charged with nineteen fraud charges. To date, none were heard. The party used its affiliates within the court system to delay the hearings - and immediately after he became president the charges were discontinued.
While in 2021, other government officials who are charged with other offences in 2021 are being hauled before the courts almost on a daily basis. This country is like those in Africa, blessed with natural resources, but have not managed to be a developed country.
The finding of oil offshore while promising seems to be creating more problems, for that state that coupled with the deliberate exclusionary politics is further dividing the country and widening the disparity of wealth among citizens.
The Caribbean Community was formed to like the European to assist member countries with trade, regional co-operation and integration. This community was established via the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas on August 1, 1973.

This Treaty was revised in 2005 with the Caricom Single Market and Economy CSME, which created an indigenous court in the form of the CCJ. This court operates in two jurisdictions – the original to interpret and apply the Treaty of Chaguaramas, and the appellate jurisdiction as the final appellate court for states. It must be noted that not all states signed onto this jurisdiction of the court.
While it is apparent that the United States and China are among the world's leading republics of the world, they are sometimes plagued with rising unemployment issues.
The United States had recently demonstrated her vulnerability to the world when a few days ago, a sitting president coerced an angry set of his followers to storm the states, capital. It also showed that politicians would stop at no point to consider their actions - as in the face of the most deadly pandemic - politicians were prepared to ignore logic reason and rationality in their assessment of the pandemic's impact.
The United States has now actively and aggressively taken the necessary steps to reduce the impacts of the erstwhile president's acts. This was done through a series of executive orders signed into law by the new president.

Immediately the world has been a welcoming the deeds of the new president, who has vowed to ensure that his actions will be for the good of the people. Whenever needed, he will step across the aisle to have participation from the other side.
While China has emerged from communism under Chairman Mao Tse-tung, it has propelled to becoming among the largest economy in the world. Much credit must be given to the meritocracy system to promote individuals in government and public service.
In China, the accused must prove his/ her innocence while it is the reverse in other states.
In The Bahamas, there is a largely unproductive public service. This one respectfully submits there is cause for concern.

In addition to this issue, The Bahamas' educational standard must improve drastically, as her average education is graded at ‘D’. This seems to be compounded the problem of the civil service.

In order to improve and be a productive state, The Bahamas must radically, revamp and upgrade the educational standards and access across the board.
One must also point out that The Bahamas is not one of the Caribbean states that produce or rely on natural resources that can propel its GDP.

The Bahamas relies on tourism to stabilise its GDP. Hence, the need to improve the educational standards ensures that employees understand their roles, function, and responsibilities.
The employment and promotion policy concerns the professional in The Bahamas, based on politics and political affiliations. This is very bad for this state since it prevents competent professionals from actively serving the Bahamian people.
The Bahamas must learn from other states - to survive as a state - much less become a republic state. The government and opposition must put country first over selfish personal and myopic needs and desires.

The Bahamas must collectively improve its service and hence, the need for co-operation among the government and opposition.
Having taken the preceding, into consideration, in the context of the proposition that The Bahamas likely will consider her option of becoming a republic, the recommendations that appear hereunder are relevant.
If The Bahamas is seriously considering joining her sisters in becoming a republic, several reforms must occur. In the first instance, the quality of education must be improved.

The service and size of the public service must be evaluated and addressed accordingly, and corruption must be a thing of the past.
It is imperative that present and future governments take note of the effects republicanism on other states. It is also crucial that The Bahamas remain annexed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, so that at the very least, respect for the court’s decision will be held in high regard.

There are also need for constitutional reforms to enable a suitable, safe business climate to attract foreign direct investment.

www.britannica.com/topic/republic-government

Happy black history Month!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Offshore oil exploration and drilling in The Bahamas - The politics, news, notes, perspectives and opinions...

Some Background Information on the Offshore Oil Exploration and Drilling Issue in The Bahamas.



THE local environmental advocacy agency reEarth launched an Online petition calling on the government to stop all oil exploration in The Bahamas, and to never issue permits for drilling. - May 10, 2010


THE BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT has suspended the consideration process for all oil exploration and drilling applications until the country has stringent environmental protocols in place to mitigate against a catastrophic oil well leak. - August 31, 2010



Shares in the company dedicated to drilling for oil in The Bahamas have tumbled after the surprise announcement that the Bahamian government was suspending consideration of exploration licences. - September 02, 2010

* “The Bahamas, a giant oil province in the making”. - May 23, 2011

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has tried to gain political mileage by stirring up a controversy over oil exploration in The Bahamas. - March 21, 2012

* Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said there would be no oil drilling in Bahamian waters if his party is re-elected to office. - April 19, 2012

Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) stock has lost a fourth of its market value on the heels of a declaration from Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham that his government would not allow BPC to drill for oil. - April 21, 2012

* The Free National Movement (FNM) said, that if the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is re-elected, its leaders’ ‘relationship’ with the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) would impact whatever decision they make in relation to the company’s bid to drill for oil in Bahamian waters. - April 24, 2012

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham: ...we were shocked to learn that Opposition Leader Perry Christie is an adviser to the law firm that represents the Bahamas Petroleum Company that expects to receive licences shortly to start drilling for oil in our waters. This is probably one of the most important decisions that the next administration will have to make.


The law firm of Philip “Brave” Davis is listed as BPC’s lawyers with Mr Davis, deputy leader of the PLP, having retained Mr Christie as a BPC adviser.
 - April 25, 2012


Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham turned up the heat on Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Perry Christie, accusing him of being a lobbyist for the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), which wants to drill for oil in Bahamian waters. - April 26, 2012


THE Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is calling for the resignation of PLP leader Perry Christie over his connection to the Bahamas Petroleum Company. - April 27, 2012


Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Perry Christie backtracked from a statement he made a week ago confirming that Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) was benefiting from advice he was providing as a consultant for Davis & Co. law firm. - April 27, 2012


The response of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) deputy leader; Mr. Philip “Brave” Davis - to the question of conflict of interest in relations to his law firm’s connection to the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), instigates more questions than answers. - April 29, 2012

Opposition Leader Perry Christie confirmed to The Nassau Guardian that he served as a legal consultant to Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC).

He stated, “I consult on work the firm deems I am qualified by the office I’ve had, with the knowledge that I have in terms of government.” - May 03, 2012


Setting the record straight on oil exploration in The Bahamas. - May 11, 2012


THE Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) supports permitting oil exploration in this nation's waters once regulatory safeguards were in place, telling Tribune Business potential earnings could "eliminate the National Debt in five years". - May 18, 2012

Applied Drilling Technology International (ADTI), the company hired by the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) to plan and execute an exploratory well in Bahamian waters says it believes it will be drilling by the end of next year. - May 25, 2012

While a referendum on oil drilling is not currently the priority of the Bahamas government, Prime Minister Perry Christie told The Nassau Guardian he remains committed to such a referendum. - August 13, 2012

THE promised referendum on oil drilling in The Bahamas. - September 05, 2012


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the size of any oil deposit lurking beneath Bahamian waters is essential to any decision on whether to commence commercial drilling.  September 10, 2012

The Bahamas cannot wait and count on prospective oil resources to become self-sufficient. - September 11, 2012

WITH the Bahamas Petroleum Company fulfilling all its required licence and regulatory obligations for another three year licence, FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis called on Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday to find the “testicular fortitude” and make a decision with regards to the licensing of offshore oil drilling without having to “pass the buck” to the Bahamian people via a national referendum. - September 11, 2012

* Despite a long history of exploration in The Bahamas, the substantial risks of petroleum exploitation only gained prominence following the worst oil accident in history – the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. - November 02, 2012

* Before the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission completes its report on the potential for the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) to drill oil in The Bahamas, the government will present an oil referendum to Bahamians, according to Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett. - November 13, 2012

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Jerome Gomez said yesterday that he plans to vote yes when the government brings a referendum on whether or not the country should drill for oil. - December 07, 2012

Business leaders are urging the government to treat the gambling issue as a learning experience for the upcoming oil drilling referendum. - January 30, 2013

Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing said:  ...THE Government will allow exploratory drilling to determine whether there are commercial quantities of oil in the Bahamas prior to any referendum. - March 11, 2013

THE Opposition - Free National Movement (FNM) has vowed to do everything in its power to block exploratory oil drilling in The Bahamas before comprehensive regulations are put in place and unless there is full disclosure of any relationship between the oil industry and senior PLPs. - March 15, 2013

If Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) calculations are correct, there is a super-giant oil field lying beneath Bahamian waters. - March 18, 2013

* Craig Butler, a well-known attorney - said The Bahamas had done an “ass backwards” job in negotiations with the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), arguing that the country should receive “no less than 60 per cent” of the proceeds if commercial quantities of oil were discovered. - March 22, 2013

Perry Christie’s lack of transparency on certain issues is as murky and as dense as an oil slick.  When did he become a consultant to Bahamas Petroleum Company - BPC?  How much was he paid?  How often did they consult with him? - April 04, 2013

Efforts to find oil off Cuba may have failed, but the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) – the only explorer searching for oil off the Atlantic archipelago – says it expects to find crude oil in The Bahamas. - April 22, 2013

* Now, while Bahamians are discussing oil from the perspective of a countrywide get-rich-quick-scheme, many of them haven’t considered the environmental ramifications, how Bahamas Petroleum Company - BPC will likely go about getting it and/or a thorough examining of the peripheral issues related to oil drilling. - May 06, 2013

Prime Minister Perry Christie denied that his administration has flip-flopped on the oil drilling referendum. - May 12, 2013

The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) will not be permitted to drill any exploratory wells in Bahamian waters until the regulations that will oversee the industry are completed. ...

According to Minister of the Environment and Housing Kenred Dorsett, these regulations will not be completed before the end of the year. - July 31, 2013

* The Bahamas National Citizens Coalition (BNCC) has filed an action in the Supreme Court seeking to block the minister of the environment and housing from issuing or renewing any oil exploration licenses. - August 07, 2013

The Bahamas government is being advised to move quickly to update the terms of its agreement with Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), which have been dubbed by BPC itself, in addition to by local and international oil industry watchers, as extremely favorable to the company. - September 24, 2013

* “troubled” by Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) CEO Simon Potter’s recent comments that the financial terms his company “tied down with the Bahamas Government are second to none.” - September 26, 2013

* Mr Simon Potter, Bahamas Petroleum Company - BPC’s chief executive expressed hope there would be enough Bahamian investor interest to indicate “a momentum of support” for BPC and its oil exploration activities in The Bahamas.  - Oct 02, 2013

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) says NO to Oil Drilling In The Bahamas. - November 27, 2020

* ...
“if they find oil” we’ll negotiate a royalty! - December 23, 2020

Monday, January 18, 2021

The History of Majority Rule in The Bahamas

 THE ROAD TO MAJORITY RULE (1942 –1967) 


This singular event in Bahamian history played a significant role in shaping the modern Bahamas we experience today. The significant events leading up and emanating from Majority Rule must become permanently etched in the Bahamian historical landscape as these events define us as a people, reveal what we believe in as Bahamians, and serve as a constant reminder of our vision and values. 

Following is a cursory account of the significant events surrounding and leading up to Majority Rule, the meaning of Majority Rule, and homage will be duly paid to the freedom fighters that fought this epic battle in the name of freedom and justice. 

The Burma Road Riots 

Many local political historians believe that June 1, 1942 marked the beginning of the modern political history of the Bahamas. The events of the Burma Road Riots came as a result of the agitation by labourers for equal pay for equal work, regardless of colour or nationality. 

As you know, a satellite airfield was being constructed in western New Providence for use by the American armed forces. A labour dispute ensued over equal pay and this dispute took on a life of its own and became intimately interwoven with the overall movement for freedom and social justice. Today that site is the Lynden Pindling International Airport. 

So it is clear that from the first stirrings of political activity in the country, labour has been an integral part of the struggle. 

The Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas 

The Movement really started with a conversation between Mrs. Mary Ingraham and her husband following his defeat in the 1949 general elections. The defeated candidate opined that his political fortunes could have been very different had women voted in that election. Other significant national events that fueled the Suffrage Movement were the Burma Road Riots of 1942, the General Strike of 1958, and the Labour Movement of the 1950s. The civil rights movement in the United States with Dr. Martin Luther King was an international event that also fanned the flames that burned for social justice and equality in The Bahamas. 

Mary Ingraham formed alliances with kindred spirits from across the political divide as Bahamian women and men worked tirelessly together to fight racial, political and economic injustice in The Bahamas. This alliance included freedom fighters such as Georgiana Symonette, Eugenia Lockhart, Althea Mortimer, Albertha M. Isaacs, Doris Johnson, Grace Wilson, Mildred Moxey, Ethel Kemp, Gladys Bailey, Una Prosper Heastie, Veronica Lotmore, Nora Hannah and Madge Brown. 

Mary Ingraham was elected as President of the Suffrage Movement in 1957. Georgiana Symonette was the Vice-president and Eugenia Lockhart was the Treasurer. In 1958, Dr. Doris Johnson returned home from studying abroad and joined the Suffrage Movement. 

During the years 1959 and 1960, the Movement gained considerable ground advancing petitions and demonstrating publicly for the right to vote. In November 1960, Eugenia Lockhart and Dr. Doris Johnson accompanied Henry M. Taylor, Chairman of the PLP, to London to present a Petition to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. In January 1961 a Select Committee of the House of Assembly gave a Report in favour of the right to vote for women but with effect from January 1963. The PLP and the Independents in the House of Assembly opposed the report. An appeal was made to the House of Commons in England again. On February 23, 1961 a Bill to enable women to vote was enacted with effect from June 30, 1962. Bahamian women voted for the first time on November 26, 1962. 

The Birth of the PLP 

The PLP was born out of a movement that embodied the hopes, aspirations, and feelings of a generation of Bahamians who were demanding equal work, majority rule, and freedom to pursue any hopes and wishes they dared conceive. The man who generally credited with conceiving the Progressive Liberal Party was William Cartwright, a publisher, real estate broker, and Member of the House of Assembly for Cat Island. In August of 1953, Mr. Cartwright reportedly invited to the first meeting on Bay and Frederick Streets, the following men: The Hon. Charles Rodriquez, Mr. Henry Milton Taylor, Mr. Cyril Saint John Stevenson, Mr. Samuel Carey, Mr. Holly Brown, Mr. Clement Pinder, Mr. F.W. Russell and others. 

Many black businessmen and lawyers were invited to join, but for reasons of their own, decided not to be identified with the new movement. But the party’s course was clear from the beginning; the PLP was designed to represent all that was opposed to unfair privilege and the wealth and power this afforded the Bay Street Boys. 

General Strike of 1958 

In support of 1957’s protests, a 16-day General Strike brought Nassau to a screeching halt. Unionized or not, just about every worker participated, and the strike was quite peaceful. The result was the Trade Union and Industrial Conciliation Act and the setting up of a Labor Department. The General Strike took place in January 1958. 

Later that year in June, Allan Lennox Boyd, Secretary of State for the Colonies ordered that the first constitutional steps be taken toward Majority Rule. The voting franchise was extended to all males whether they were land owners or not; the once ubiquitous unlimited plural vote was ordered to be reduced to two and the abolition of the company vote was ordered. 

Women’s Right To Vote 

In November of 1960 Sir Henry Taylor led a delegation to London to champion the right of women to vote in The Bahamas. Accompanying Sir Henry were notables like Dame Doris Johnson and Eugenia Lockhart. Shortly after their return, women received their right to vote and exercised those rights during the November 26, 1962 general elections. 

This new women’s right brought a force and element into the history of The Bahamas that affected the country’s social, economic and political development. To this day, the effect of women exercising their right to vote has impacted all aspects of national life as women from all sides of the political divide have, and continue to make their contribution to the country, holding key positions in many offices throughout our country. 

Black Tuesday 

On this day, the governing United Bahamian Party sought the approval for a Boundaries Draft Order, which established the boundaries for the various constituencies of New Providence and the Family Islands, under the provisions of the 1964 Constitution. During a sitting of the House of Assembly, the PLP proposed two amendments to the revision of the Boundaries Draft Order which the UBP had presented. The amendments were designed to get a fairer idea of the number of voters and their distribution, but both proposed amendments were rejected. 

It was at that point that Sir Lynden walked over to the Speakers’ table and lifted the 165-year-old mace, the symbol of the Speaker’s authority, and said, "This is the symbol of authority, and authority on this island belongs to the people and the people are outside." 

With that he raised the mace and hurled it through the open window of the House of Assembly. 

The Progressive Liberal Party describes this event as "an act of deviance in the pursuit of liberty and fairness." So Tuesday 27, April 1965 was destined to go down in Bahamian history as Black Tuesday. 

Majority Rule Day 

Some have argued that the great significance of Majority Rule was that after years of struggle by many freedom and justice loving people, the back of the old oligarchy was finally broken. More importantly, Majority Rule presented the opportunity for real democracy to come to the Bahamas, underpinned by equality, tolerance, economic justice, social justice, all important elements in the creation of a free, modern, democratic state. 

All Bahamians benefited, in one way or another, from the historic event that took place on January 10, 1967, a day that now wears the rather inelegant appellation of Majority Rule Day. 

Majority Rule ushered in the opportunity for all Bahamians to have constitutional, political, social, cultural and economic rights. Where these rights were not readily accessible, the Government of the day created laws and implemented policies to enable these entitlements. 

January 10th is a day in the national calendar that belongs to all Bahamians – not just PLP’s but to all Bahamians, black and white, rich and poor, young and old, city dweller and Family Islander, and, yes, PLP and FNM alike. January 10th needs to be commemorated and celebrated by all of us because it represents one of the truly great and defining moments in our evolution as a people. 

With the exception of Emancipation from Slavery in 1834 and the attainment of Independence in 1973, there is no event of more consequence and historical importance than the attainment of Majority Rule on January 10th, 1967. January 10th, 1967 represents the transition from the old Bahamas to a New Bahamas; the point of transition from minority government to Majority Rule; the point of transition to a modern democracy. 

It also represents, however, one of the highest pinnacles in the historic – and still ongoing – struggle of the Bahamian people for economic empowerment, for equality of opportunity, and for social justice. 

January 10th, 1967, to be sure, was neither an end nor even a beginning. Instead, it was an important milestone in a journey that was begun centuries ago when some anonymous slave struck a blow for freedom for the first time. We pause to pay homage to the personalities and players in this epic struggle. In a hard fought and competitive election in 1967, the PLP delivered the following 18 members to a 38-member House of Assembly. They were: Lynden Pindling, Preston Albury, Clarence Bain, Milo Butler, Clifford Darling, Elwood Donaldson, Arthur Foulkes, Carlton Francis, Arthur Hanna, Warren Levarity, Curtis MacMillan, Uriah McPhee, Maurice Moore, Edmund Moxey, Jimmy Shepherd, George Thompson, Jeffrey Thompson and Cecil Wallace Whitfield. Randol Fawkes who successfully ran as Labour in 1962 and 1967 with the support of the PLP threw his support behind the PLP and became a member of the first Majority Rule cabinet. He figured prominently in the movement toward Majority Rule. 

Successful Independent candidate Sir Alvin Braynen threw in his lot with the PLP and accepted the post of Speaker of the House. 

These two warriors for justice and freedom tipped the proverbial scale in favor of the PLP and the first Majority Rule cabinet was formed: This distinguished group consisted of Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Milo Butler, Arthur Hanna, Clarence Bain, Jeffrey Thompson, Carlton Francis, Randol Fawkes, Warren Levarity, Curtis McMillan, Clement T. Maynard and Lynden Pindling. 

In this 40th year of nationhood, we come together as one people to mark a critically important milestone in our progress as a people – and to re-commit ourselves to a struggle that never ends. 

As The Bahamas looks to the future, it must be that the average man, making the average salary, with children to educate to university level; that they see not a glass ceiling but opportunities that give rise to hope as we work to build the best little country in the world.

Source

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Here is how a Bahamian Resident is able to Purchase Cryptocurrencies in The Bahamas

IslandBit sought persistently to acquire cryptocurrencies in BSD



Dear Clients,

Thank you for you overwhelming support, encouragement and concern during this time.
There has been much discussion about our notice dated Wednesday December 23rd, 2020 that prompts us to clarify a few points.
IslandBit was developed during a time of economic recovery efforts. We are strong supporters of economic development and realise the importance of healthy foreign reserves.

As such, we built our business with the Bahamas and Bahamians in mind. We sought persistently to acquire cryptocurrencies in BSD- and only in BSD- so that the impact on foreign reserves were lessened to the point of negation.

Our business was resultantly allowed to operate by the Central Bank and The Securities Commission allowing us to make crypto more accessible and more affordable to Bahamians than most methods.
In our previous notice, it was never our intimation that the Central Bank does not allow Bahamians to own cryptocurrencies. Instead, our notice intended to inform our clients that, at this time, purchases of crypto for Bahamian residents who did not acquire investment dollars through the ICM prior to its suspension on 1st May 2020 is prohibited.

We were expressly informed that the suspension of ICM transactions “would not permit residents to acquire foreign currency assets such as crypto currencies at this time.”
To avoid any further confusion, here is how a Bahamian Resident is able to purchase cryptocurrencies based on our communications with the Central Bank:

1. Cryptocurrencies have been deemed a “foreign currency denominated asset” and must be purchased in a currency other than Bahamian dollars
2. If you are a Bahamian resident (Citizen or foreigner with the right to earn Bahamian dollars) you require permission from the investment currency market (ICM) to purchase crytpocurrencies. If you have prior approval from the ICM you may purchase cryptocurrencies with previously approved investment dollars.

3. If you do not have prior approval from the ICM, you must apply to purchase cryptocurrencies. (Note: The ICM has been suspended since May 2020 and no date has been scheduled for resumption.)

4. The purchase of cryptocurrencies via credit and debit cards also requires approval of the ICM because of the intervening foreign currency access.
IslandBit remains in contact with regulators and is actively pursuing the appropriate pivot that allows the country to benefit from our business model which has the least impact on foreign reserves while addressing the concerns of the Central Bank.