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Columns : Letters to The Editor Last Updated: Oct 14, 2018 - 4:29:21 AM

Pamela Burnside: Da new beginning dun end
By Pamela Burnside
Oct 13, 2018 - 7:08:22 PM

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As I prepared to write this letter I serendipitously clicked on one that was written in May 2017 which expressed the sense of optimism and anticipation I felt for the new beginning following the election that, sad to say, has been short lived. That 2017 positive energy is draining away - I am so fed up of being fed up when one gubment tends to be as disappointing as the last!

I have asked myself why this is so, and reckon it is due to several reasons, the main being that we continue to use the same formula of relying solely on foreign direct investment – a form of beholden servitude – and expecting a new result. It won’t happen – we are still stuck in the rut of same story, different day!

I applaud Leonard Sands, the former President of the Contractors’ Association, who continued to question the discrepancies in the employment ratio of foreign workers to Bahamians at The Pointe, about which I expressed concern in several letters to the press over the year. Although my voice was being lost in the wilderness, he was the only one who spoke out on a consistent basis, also to no avail, since the Residences opened this week and Margaritaville is moving right ahead into the sea!

The Disney debate/debacle has stirred up more ‘bogglement’. I have never been a fan of the cruise ship industry that takes way more than it gives. They dictate to the gubment and the gubment lets them which I find pathetic! Who is in charge of our country? Who is looking out for our country and for the greater good of our people? Even though the statistics show, and the gubment quotes, the significant discrepancy between the cruise ships’ low spend versus that of the stopover visitor - we continue to encourage them to come here and we bend over backwards, lackeys that we are, to accommodate their every wish.

Disney is building more ships and bigger ships – would they be making that type of investment if they are not raking in big money? Furthermore, the recent articles on the destruction of destinations due to ‘over tourism’ (i.e. too many visitors) that is happening all around the world, strengthens my aversion to the cruise industry even more. But we are just going to let them cruise along and buy our islands and take them over to do as they wish, whilst offering a few menial jobs to ‘the natives’!  Has anyone visited the many Bahamian islands that the cruise ships now own and seen what type of money they pay Bahamians and spend with Bahamian companies? What types of jobs do Bahamians hold, how many high paying Bahamians do they employ? Cruise Ships = plenty, Bahamas = nuttin!

Why are we continuing to sell off, or lease for a ridiculous pittance – our precious land, including crown lands, which should be fiercely protected as our birthright and our children’s children inheritance - to foreigners in the first beginning? It’s a crying shame and a disgrace that the skewed laws of this land, the lawyers, the real estate agents, and the gubment, allow this to happen over and over again!

Let me ask about the recent ‘town meeting’ in South Eleuthera: where did the pro-Disney t-shirts come from – who paid for them, and who designed and paid for the skewed survey? Added to this, we are so stupidly conditioned to ‘begging for one job’ that we can’t even see how pathetic that is, when we end up being a mere low level employee for a couple days working for the ‘name brand’ company, instead of becoming self employed, self sufficient, and independent. Our ancestors did it – why then in this 21st century, when we should have more sense and opportunity, can’t we?

Entrepreneurship and the small and medium sized businesses are what make any country develop and grow. Bahamians abound with creativity and natural talent that only needs the opportunity to grow and flourish. This is where government’s focus and energy should be placed - to facilitate the flourishing of this sector instead of kowtowing to the foreign direct investor. Balance the playing field and do the right thing, gubment!

Where is that government with the testicular fortitude to speak from a position of strength, to own our own with pride, to protect our heritage, and look to the future for the greater good of our people instead of  going  to ‘massa with money’ and begging them ‘please sir, may I have some more of my own tings?’

What a disappointment!

Yours sincerely,

Pam Burnside

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his/her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of TheBahamasWeekly.com

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