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“The Rats Are Guarding The Cheese”

The Clifton Review

The Clifton Review is a bi-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires, the links to unsavory characters, the use of the courts for personal agendas, the involvement of a political party, and the attacks on the Government of The Bahamas.

We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings. This series of articles asks the needed questions and presents the arguments in full.

“The Rats Are Guarding The Cheese”

By P.J. Malone

“The rich are now in charge….That is the fight now, against rich and powerful monied interests.”

These are the words former Cabinet Minister, Fred Mitchell, used to describe the state of affairs following the recent general elections in which the Free National Movement (FNM) won an overwhelming majority of seats to form the new Government in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The FNM party was also accused of having candidates who were funded with money from foreign interests.

It’s important to mention here that some individuals like to use fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s 2012 donation to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) as an accusation. These individuals fail to realize the obvious: Unlike the foreign interests purportedly donating to the FNM, Peter Nygard has never had a personal agenda that harms the Bahamas and Bahamians in any way. In fact, he has done all in his power to help Bahamians.

Peter Nygard considers The Bahamas his home and is known to be very generous. He can afford to be. Peter Nygard is said to be worth a billion dollars. He may have donated millions to the PLP, but that’s relative. In The Bahamas, he has given over a million dollars to our athletes, youth groups, community groups, schools, and individual Bahamians with medical challenges. Look at the millions Nygard gives every year to cancer research in Canada. Look at the millions he is constantly giving away everywhere and has been doing for many many years.

And what do we see as Nygard’s only desire and personal interest in The Bahamas? Rebuilding his home after it was mysteriously burned down. Can you begrudge him that? Who wouldn’t want to rebuild after such a tragic experience? Further, he has every right to rebuild!

Mr. Nygard has only ever wanted to help Bahamians. So why would he not have supported the political party he felt was best for the Bahamian people at that time? Obviously, the Bahamian people agreed with him in 2012.

In comparison, foreign monied interests have interjected themselves into our democracy in 2017 without a history of caring. Tell us, what have they done for The Bahamas—specifically, what has hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon done for the Bahamas? He has not donated one red cent to Bahamians. Yet, his money is said to have funded several candidates who won in the Elections. We all know of his self-serving personal agenda. What influence does he hope to have and what power can we expect him to wield?

In light of the “rats guarding the cheese”, as pointed out by Minister Mitchell, here are some things for Bahamians to note:

The rat is a crafty creature. We have given such a creature access to that which they most desire. Our cheese. So we must be vigilant and never take our eyes off of him.

We have to be careful that the rats don’t start to feel like it’s no longer our cheese—cause rats tend to establish dominance and are known to be territorial. They will get aggressive if feeling threatened. Then we will have a situation where we no longer have access to our own cheese.

We have to be careful of any proposed legislation that smacks of hypocrisy and furthers Save The Bays and Louis Bacon’s personal agenda. They have a history of hypocrisy and demonstrated efforts to undermine our previous Government and have already diminished our country internationally. We have to be vigilant.

As has been said, the Bahamian people have spoken. And while we may not appreciate the full extent to rich the “rats are guarding the cheese”, there is hope that Bahamians will somehow stop the rats from eating our cheese.

Additionally, a message for the individual calling himself The Graduate, who recently penned a nastily written letter to the Editor of The Tribune, and whose vitriol says more about him than it does anyone else:

Some foolish people try to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’, but you should know that we are all Bahamians wanting the best for our country. We simply have differing views on how to achieve it.

Don’t fool yourself for one second: You have not won the hearts of the Bahamian people. You’ve won an opportunity. Squander it, and watch just how quickly you end up on the outside looking in, especially if you allow the rat to eat the cheese.

The Free National Movement’s victory has an expiry date of five years. Don’t do the people’s bidding and watch just how you end up on the dump pile.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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