December 04, 2006

Citizenship or jobs?

If you needed an example of the PLP's problem in backing out of the term limits policy you need look no further than PLP backbencher, and a former Labour Minister, Terry Lister in Parliament on Friday night.

Current Labour Minister Derrick Burgess says term limits is about preventing new long term residents not jobs for Bermudians and blessed Mr. Ezekiel's trip to London to look for an alternative, Terry Lister thinks differently, he says its about racism:

Mr. Lister then changed subject, stating that international companies in Bermuda were not doing enough to combat racism. He said just two percent of people in management jobs in the country were black.

Mr. Lister said: “Racism must be removed from Bermuda and must certainly be removed from the workplace.

“Some members of the public feel this Government has moved too slowly on the issue of racism.

“What we have tried to do is to be balanced and fair to give companies time to get their acts together. “I’m very disappointed with international companies and their development.

“Is there anybody in this country who believes that when you get the best minds together, two percent of them are black?”

He said that too many companies had a “we won’t do it” attitude. Mr. Lister criticised international business leader David Ezekiel’s recent trip to London, stating workers should be found in Bermuda instead.

He added: “What will it take before they understand that this country belongs to all of us?

“At a time when the six-year rule is on the horizon, one would expect favourable working environment for black workers, but instead we see Mr. Ezekiel going off to London.

“What’s he going to London for? The people are here! Hire them, develop them, make them your own.

“We are too nice in Bermuda. Everybody says good morning, everybody says good night, and toots their car in the road.

“I don’t want us to stop being nice, but I want those who can make a difference to make a difference.”

Posted by Christian S. Dunleavy