EDITORIAL: An apology demanded for a rift long in the making

A RIFT appeared very publicly in the ranks of the Progressive Liberal Party – given voice by Dame Marguerite Pindling.

Her words were strongly directed at the party chairman, Fred Mitchell, who afterwards said he was sure it would make “all the headlines”. On that part, he is right.

So what is going on in the PLP that has caused such a rift?

Well, let us first look at the words of Dame Marguerite, wife of former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling.

She said she “wanted to set the record straight” and went on to say the following:

“There was a man called Lynden Pindling – who didn’t know a thing about South Andros until I had to go and tell the people he was coming to run against Cyril Stevenson, because if we hadn’t put Pindling there, Stevenson would have won,” she said.

“Pray for me please, because I’m feeling very, very something today — I don’t like what I see because nothing happened until Pindling came on the scene. I support — I thank you for coming out today but the leadership were so excited they forgot I existed, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m alive, doing well, of sound mind and in good health and waiting for all that is going to take place because I do not like it. I’m sorry, Mr Mitchell.

“I’m sorry I cannot contain it any longer because you’re using this as a stepping stone and I do not appreciate it.”

At that point, one person called out: “We still love Pindling and he is a great man.”

Dame Marguerite responded: “I should hope so because we’re standing on his shoulders and the other men who fight with him in the trenches. When the House of Assembly was dissolved in 1966, Pindling was in London fighting the PLP’s battle. When nomination day came, Pindling wasn’t even in the country to be nominated. I had documents prepared in case the magistrate decided not to accept his name in his absence and I was ready with Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, who was the then chairman of this party, who took me down to South Andros but thanks be to God the magistrate said they would accept him in his absence.

“I come here today in respect out of the work that my husband has done along with his other fellow workers in this country and I don’t want anyone to use this to play him cheap because I will not stand for it. I’m sorry, Mr Prime Minister, I promised you I was going to behave, but I think all of you should know who I am by now. And you owe me an apology and I expect Mr Chairman right now.”

For his part, Mr Mitchell responded by saying “if an apology is due it’s due because of the goodness of our heart”. He cited several other reasons why it was due but he did not actually go on to make that apology.

Asked if he would after his speech, he said: “I’ve already said what I’ve had to say. As far as I’m concerned, the matter is closed – I’m sure it’s going to make all the headlines tomorrow, but what you will say from me is that I have nothing to say on the matter. She has her views – that’s the end of that.”

Just prior to that, he had said: “When you get to a certain age and stage, you can say whatever you want. I really can’t rise to that – that’s as simple as that. She is who she is and she is the widow of the former Prime Minister. She was there at the start, so she’s entitled to her views. I leave it at that.”

Quite what that age is, the 69-year-old party chairman did not say. However, given his reticence to make the apology, his only options were to try to move on from the criticisms or get into a public disagreement with a prominent figure from the founding days of the party. That would perhaps be a battle that would earn him no favours.

This is not the first time, of course, that there has been criticism of the PLP leadership from a member of the Pindling family.

In 2017, during the party’s convention, daughter Monique Pindling drew considerable praise in the country for her comments that the party had “become weak” and “dishonest” and allowed the political ambitions of “a few men to dash the aspirations of a whole people”.

At the time, she said: “Many of us forgot how to treat people. We made promises we did not keep. Appointments were made and either they didn’t show up or they kept us waiting for hours and yet wonder why or how our party suffered its most crushing and humiliating defeat in this past general election. Many in the party became overcome with envy, consumed with jealousy and some of us were stung with greed. We became too concerned with who became ministers but ignored the taste and values of those who would make good representatives.”

She called for a “new, fresh and vibrant leadership”, but in 2021 she failed to receive a nomination from the party, saying the party’s leadership told her she would not be nominated because the party did not “want a Pindling on the ticket”.

And yet here they were, at the side of Sir Lynden’s grave, in Dame Marguerite’s words “using this as a stepping stone”.

The wait goes on, it seems, for Fred Mitchell to say sorry, but perhaps the bigger question is what this split will do for the party’s support.

For the Davis administration, it seems the honeymoon of being a new government is definitely over.


TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Former Minnis FNM Minister is in police custody?


birdiestrachan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

What exactly is he suppose to say sorry for,?.? That is not clear what is Lady Pindling upset about the devil is in the details they gave their enemies a whole lot to attack them with , but the truth is there is so much trouble in this world and The Bahamas this situation is small in Comprison


birdiestrachan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

How is the govoner or general position decided when the FNM won lady Pindling had to go may be she wonders why is Mr Smith still there I do not know, I hope her issues what ever they are will be addressed she deserves that ,


Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Ah Freddy boy. You sure can't humble yourself... EVER! She called you out and embarrassed you in front of the nation. Your pride act as blinders and your vision is impaired. You really don't want a battle with the Pindling name because you will lose and you will have no other political party to join.


birdiestrachan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

When Monquie Johnson at that time made her speech she seemed bitter soon after the marriage ended I wounderd if the marriage was the cause of her speech now the Pindling family is being used by some to whip the PLP by some who have no use or respect for the PLP or the Pindling family


ExposedU2C 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This most biased article by The Tribune's editorial staff stomps all over poor Fwreddy Boy's corkscrew reputation without any mention of Lady Puddling's past reputation as a tax dodger of the highest order, among other things. Also, any reader of this article must be rightfully wondering why The Tribune is violating its unconstitutional censorship policy by leaving this article open to comments for such a long time.


sheeprunner12 2 months, 2 weeks ago

No apology is necessary ............ the Pindlings, Fweddy, and the PLP just need to disappear from the country.

They have done sufficient damage to the reputation and wealth of this country (in the name of Independence).


TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

Correction on behalf of Comrade SheepRunner12.

If by happenstance, you don't notice disappearance of your PLPs' for a while, tis because neither Monique nor members of the Pindling Family, Fred Mitchell - nor current/previous House-elected PLP MPs', current/former cabinet ministers nor the before mentioned are currently scheduled to faceoff before a criminal court Judge,

All are presumed to be innocent until they have their day in court before a judge, ---- Yes?


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