October 19, 2006

Respect our intelligence please

If Dr. Brown wants to be Premier he's going to have to show a little more respect for our intelligence, and commitment to the truth, than he did today.

Responding to UBP MP Michael Dunkley's accusation of political grandstanding - Gasp, it can't be true - by Dr. Brown on the last day of his tenure at tourism, Dr. Brown said the following:

"The announcement formed part of his “normal pattern” of updating the public on things going on within the Department, he said, and had nothing to do with his leadership aspirations.

“Mr. Dunkley is entitled to his opinion – but all I was interested in when I was the Minister was informing the public of the work we had been doing,” he said.

Informing the public of the work he had been doing? Here's a few things I'd like to be informed about:

* Why did Four Seasons get summarily dismissed from the Club Med project to be replaced by the elusive and secretive KJA Development?

* What are the details of the load guarantees and incentives that you have provided to the airlines in exchange for new routes?

* What is the ratio of residents to tourists on the new flights? (Baltimore, Miami in particular)

* What was the total cost of the Bermuda Music Festival?

Come on Dr. Brown. You weren't informing the public, your were headline grabbing. Your plan was obvious: you wanted to resign your portfolio on a high note (I'm bringing Tiger Woods to Bermuda) and then, with that good press, have a headline the next day that the guy who's bringing you Tiger Woods wants to be your Premier.

It's not that hard to see through.

Look at the past couple of weeks, but the last week in particular. We've been treated to a series of highly staged managed leaks and press events by the Deputy Premier, culminating in his announcement that he was running for Premier:

* Sept 29th - Dr. Brown starts his campaign for Premier with a chest-beating blame diverting speech on his government's (terrible) record on empowerment.

* Oct. 11th - a clearly orchestrated 'leak' declares Dr. Brown's intention to challenge Alex Scott for PLP Leader (and Premier).

* Oct. 11th (same day as Brown to challenge Scott leak hits the press) - Dr. Brown surprises the Mid Ocean Club with a hasty press conference prematurely declaring that the PGA Grand Slam will be held in Bermuda (although nothing's signed).

* Oct. 12th (same day the PGA Golf grabs a big headline) - Dr. Brown officially declares that he is running for PLP Leader/Premier.

Bada bing, bada boom. What a good 3 day run of press for Dr. Brown. I don't begrudge his manipulation of the compliant press, who rarely seem to ask him the tough questions and never persist when he obstructs them).

It's insulting frankly for him to try and convince us that his motives were pure and altruistic in prematurely announcing the still unsigned PGA Grand Slam event.

I also couldn't help but notice the insincerity in distancing himself now if things fall through as a result of his media whoring:

However, Brown said yesterday he had been assured by the Department’s sports tourism consultant Roddy Carr – who works for sports management giant IMG and is the man behind the two-year-old mission to bring a major golf event to Bermuda – that negotiations were progressing to a positive conclusion.

Translation: If it falls through don't blame me, balme the consultant.

and

"Now if I was still working in the Department I would be able to give you the complete and up-to-date information, but as far as I am concerned and through my conversations with Roddy Carr, I’m certain it’s all-but sealed."

Translation: I wish I could shed even more light on the event but I'm no longer the Minister - aka Blame Burch if it doesn't transpire.

Way to lead Mr. Minister. Is this how we can expect a Premier Brown to operate:

Step 1: charge to the mic to take credit for anything and everything (even prematurely).
Step 2: once things come under a little scrutiny make it clear that you weren't the one calling the shots and had delegated it to someone else.
Step 3: when the inevitable criticism comes, throw your hands in the air and say you're simply unable to take any further responsibility - unless it does come off of course when you'll be gripping and grinning with Tiger Woods (if he qualifies) for the local press.

Posted by Christian S. Dunleavy