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A word of praise from the Bahamas

NEWSPAPER editors are not the most popular people around. In the league table of public approbation, they fall somewhere between estate agents and child molesters, possibly a place or two lower than fire-raisers or fraudsters who prey on disabled pensioners.

It was gratifying, therefore, to receive a totally unexpected message of praise this week from a 'fan' - if that's not too strong a word - in the Bahamas who believes my editorial services are again required to put that wonderful little country back on track.

With a general election set for this year, 2017, he feels a strong press campaign is required to help break the political establishment whose corruption and incompetence have led the Bahamas into a parlous state, with its international reputation in shreds because of imprudent financial dealing and rising crime.

Ten years ago Yours Truly - as Managing Editor of The Tribune, the country's leading daily - was credited with bringing down the corrupt PLP government after a Cabinet scandal involving the late American starlet Anna Nicole Smith.

Our story went round the world, earning The Tribune the title 'the little paper with the big punch.'

Five years later, the PLP, to the despair of many, was back in charge, predictably presiding over a massive drop in the country's fortunes and generating a growing sense of foreboding.

Flattering as my supporter's message turned out to be (it's nice to be remembered eight years after my retirement), the comment I most savoured was that he was reading my book, Long Hot Summer, for a third time, having read all my books with equal enthusiasm.

If there's one thing an author relishes more than a hefty royalty cheque, it is the heartfelt praise of readers who find their work compelling. To my Bahamian friend I say a sincere 'thank you', with an equally sincere wish that my beloved Bahamas enjoys a resurgence in fortune before too long.

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