The really sad thing about the suggestions of fraud and mismanagement arising from the commission of inquiry is that it is really no surprise. It isn’t shocking that projects weren’t put to tender and somehow ended up being awarded to “friends and family”. It isn’t shocking that we’re billions in debt as a result while a select few got richer on it. What is shocking is the current government’s rather consistent ability to ruin a perfectly good opportunity with bad PR and poor actions
The PLP was narrowly voted out because the people wanted something different. We aren’t getting it and it is why we are unhappy with both parties. The OBA promised at great length to be something different but they aren’t measuring up. We’re tired of ego driven politicians who care more about themselves than our island’s future. We’re tired of being played the fool.
Our politicans are still busy jet-setting around the world. Premier Dunkley is consistently in the newspaper for being off island, throwing baseballs, ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, among other things. He gives the impression that he spends more time off island than on island and that is a terrible message to send to voters who are told we need to raise taxes and reign in spending. It’s the wrong message to be sending.
The Olympics trip of two ministers and a permanent secretary costing $40k is a perfect example of where they just don’t get it. It is not clear what value they added by their attendance aside from boosting their own egos. It should have been patiently obvious to the current minister that spending $20k+ on flights is a bad idea and he should be relegated to the back bench as a result. The fact that the former minister “went anyway” since her tickets were non-refundable suggests it became a personal trip and she was no longer there in official capacity. She should not have gone. It is terrible PR that highlights that though the OBA may not be as bad as the PLP was in waste and excess, they’re still cut from the same cloth and not delivering on their pledge to be different.
Finally there is the objection to the airport project being included in the commission of inquiry. Why? It raises serious questions of what the government has to hide with regards to this project. It is understandable why we need it, the cost of renovation of the current airport is too high and we’d need to take on debt to do it. The proposed method means we don’t take on debt and ultimately own the airport in 30 years. However, the OBA really can’t afford secrecy with regard to this project. If they want to be taken seriously as something different, they must be transparent. Until they are, they will raise a tremendous amount of skepticism of how they really are much different from the PLP during their “platinum period”. We want something better, not a diet PLP.
It is unlikely we’re going to get our billions back. We were cheated by our politicans who leveraged lax corruption laws and ignored policy while leaving us with a huge bill that current and future generations will struggle to pay off. It sadly isn’t surprising that we were played the fool. What is surprising is that the OBA really doesn’t get that many aren’t interested in being fooled twice. It doesn’t matter if the OBA’s transgressions are far less than that of the PLPs because we expect the transgressions to stop. We were promised something different, something better, that is what we expect or we’re just being fooled again.