HERE’S a little food for thought for those who take time to read: I often wonder whether former Premier Alex Scott honestly has any regrets for nominating Dr. Brown for the deputy leadership post. If indeed he does, maybe he should have thought like Dame Lois Browne Evans when she stated in July 2003 that if she was leader, she would be more careful who she picked as candidates. I also wonder what Alex Scott meant when he stated that “...Bermuda will get the Government it deserves”. Exempt company chieftains and leaders of legal and financial industries already have the ability to influence new policies and directions i.e. the Bermuda International Business Association mentioning the impact the propised new law to restrict car ownership for guest workers would have on international businesses.
Despite all of this, the Progressive Labour Party diehards may once again show their support based on party lines. They are entrusting their future in the hands of a leader who played a major role in misleading the electorate in 2003 in a desperate attempt to hang on to power, and ultimately forgetting the interests of the people who are left to ponder the question “What about us?”
We must remember that according to Charles Caleb Colton, ‘No man is wise enough, nor good enough, to be trusted with unlimited power.’
When PLP member Craig Clarke spoke of certain members of the PLP who have their own political agenda, did Premier Brown fit into that category? When Dr. Brown returned to Bermuda in 1992, after a 28 year absence, he had the mindset that “If you think I’ve come here just to practice medicine you couldn’t be more incorrect. I have scores to settle, accounts to pull even.”
In the 1998 Election, he was elected despite a strong campaign against him. In 2000 he launched a bid for the deputy leadership of the PLP but was soundly beaten out by the late Finance Minister Eugene Cox.
At that time, he vowed he would one day seek the top job. Dr. Brown’s persistence together — with his political strategy in not divulging everything, every time — and his influence over the other rebels of his party in his pursuit to lead the country, may have been acceptable to the PLP delegates, however, his fate now lies in the hands of the electorate.
Although he is known to be a leader who places great emphasis on achievement and getting things done, Dr. Brown is considered “too American” by some members of his own party.
How will he heal the party rifts and “make it happen” with his autocratic style of leadership should he attempt to take Bermuda to Independence? He did state that he would not stay in the hot seat for ten years because much of what he would like to achieve can be achieved within five years, whilst ruffling some feathers - so I guess that would include “Independence”.
So brace yourselves for the hidden agenda and what Premier Brown has in store for us during his tenure in office, and remember five years is one term in office - so the other five of the ten years he mentioned is for prestige.
In the 1950s he was exposed to Jamaica’s Independence movement when he was being educated in that country, so he is aware of what to expect, which explains the need for beefed up security around his home and the bodyguards.
Bermudians in their shortsightedness, however, are being distracted by the cost factor of implementing the security the Premier seeks (i.e. fencing etc.), when they should be concentrating more on the Premier’s ulterior motive.
Although his ambition is not blind or aimless and has been fortified by many years of preparation - education, hard work, team work, deference, deferral and service — his hasty nature of making decisions that are not vetted fully may one day contribute to his downfall.
On that note, he should be reminded that hasty climbers have sudden falls and that in Bermuda; the electorate prefers to be consulted rather than dictated to.
As Walton Brown stated in July 2003, “It’s not sufficient to say you’ve got your head in the trenches doing the people’s business, they have to know what you are doing and feel a bond with you.” He also said, “A victory for any party has much to do with the leader—”
Does this also apply to Premier Brown, who obviously delegates many of his responsibilities to avoid direct contact with individuals, masking his true personality as seen in his management style, which explains why he chooses to surround himself with spokespersons etc.?
According to October 2000 polls, he was the least popular choice for a leader with just 6.9 percent of the vote. However, he recently managed to convince the PLP delegates, when he crushed his predecessor Alex Scott by 31 votes, to allow him to fulfill his life long ambition of becoming Premier of Bermuda.
Will the Honorable Premier Brown’s reputation of being a bad boss who can’t keep staff affect his ability to be an effective “leader”, or will his vision lead to further division? With Premier Brown now the “Captain” of the ship he once described as “listing in the sea with no rudder”, has his party found the time to right the ship, sit down and have the “open discussion” on “Independence” to decide where it fits in on their agenda or will they once again have to deceive the public to maintain their power?
At least Premier Brown was honest in one of his speeches when he admitted that under the PLP Government, we are no better off today than we were three years ago - neither is our neighbour and neither is our son or daughter.
His objective to have every child of every PLP member and every child of Bermuda aspire to great heights has been partially achieved, as we’ve already seen some of the politicians’ relatives being rewarded with promotions etc.
If every single vote was needed to secure their 2003 election victory, what will happen at the polls this time around?
Will the electorate have the mindset, “once bitten, twice shy”? What about having a plan ‘B” like Premier Brown who hasn’t completely severed his US ties?
After all, he married an American, so he can jump ship and leave Bermuda once again should his dream of Bermuda becoming independent turn into a nightmare. Considering this, when the election does roll around, ‘be careful what you ask for because you just might get it’.
VIGILANT IN DEVONSHIRE