Press Statement from Carlyle Bethel, President of The Torchbearers Youth Association

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August 20, 2020
 
Fred Mitchell’s attitude of speaking down to young people who decide to speak up is toxic and impedes progress in this country. Fred Mitchell is a repeat offender when it comes to this. This archaic view tends to disparage young people for speaking up and expressing opinions that might be contrary to the opinions of some older persons and can only lead to stagnation. We saw him do the same thing a few weeks ago when Senator Jamal Moss defended the unions and challenged Mr. Mitchell in the Senate.
 
Yesterday, while concerned citizens were shopping for essential items to prepare for a storm, Fred Mitchell made an ill-thought-out statement calling for a General Election.
 
He stated, “As late as this morning, we suggested, given the loss of confidence by the people, the only solution our system allows is to force a general election.”
 
This was not a conspiracy theory hatched up by me. I simply asked the question, “Why would the Chairman of the PLP, Fred Mitchell call for a General Election when his Leader, Brave Davis, is hospitalized with COVID-19?”
 
I don’t know the answer to that but I have my theories. Is it because Fred Mitchell has lost confidence in Brave Davis and wants the PLP to go into the next general election with Chester Cooper as their leader? Is it that Mitchell and the PLP are incapable of putting politics aside even in the midst of a pandemic that is terrorizing not just the Bahamas, but also the world? While the country is working to beat COVID-19 and praying for Brave Davis’ speedy recovery, Fred Mitchell is calling for a General Election.
 
The Prime Minister and many others have pointed out that the battle for COVID-19 is fluid and ever changing. The Prime Minister is not an arrogant man who believes himself to be right all the time. He acknowledges where we may have erred, apologizes and corrects his actions. Just this week, we have seen a myriad of lockdown measures implemented around the world to fight back the scourge of COVID-19.
 
Two things are clear though. The first is that the PLP has flip-flopped constantly during this pandemic and offered not one sensible solution, only criticism. Now, in grand PLP fashion, Fred Mitchell is calling for an election and within hours turning around and saying that he never said that, even though it was widely reported in the media yesterday.
 
The Torchbearers Youth Association understands the gravity of this situation and knows that people are hurting. Instead of playing politics, we decided to put in place measures to assist people and the Government.
 
We immediately established an Emergency Relief Fund to assist young people adversely affected by COVID-19, we offered policy recommendations to help the Government address the health and economic crises, and we provided care packages for senior citizens who are most at risk.
 
Fred Mitchell and the PLP can take a page out of our book. I don’t need Fred Mitchell and the PLP to take me seriously. I am taking seriously the needs of Bahamian people who are suffering, and along with others, I’m trying to do something about it.
 
So, while you may not take me seriously, Mr. Mitchell, it gives me comfort to know that the Bahamian people don’t take you seriously.
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