January 2008 Archives

The suspended Police Officer/blogger story found its way into the print media today, with both the Gazette and The Bermuda Sun covering it.

I think, notwithstanding the accuracy or inaccuracy of his comments, the now-removed post which has resulted in his suspension was bound to cause problems for the reasons highlighted in the Sun's article:

In the article, Mr. Palmer, who is originally from St. Vincent, claims there is a strong Barbadian faction within the BPS, which is known by serving officers as the BM, or "Barbadian Mafia."

Mr. Palmer claims that the BM holds the balance of power within the force and makes some serious allegations about its conduct. He goes on to name a superior officer who he believes controls the BM.


and

However, sources told the Bermuda Sun that among the rank-and-file, few have qualms about Mr. Palmer's suspension. Originally, many officers were sympathetic of Mr. Palmer's attempts to bring more transparency to the BPS. However, most believe he went too far by naming individuals.

It goes without saying that calling superior officers part of a "Barbadian mafia" is going to cause a problem and result in some sanction.

Every police officer knows that you can't comment publicly on internal matters. I'm sure PC Palmer knew that, so I can only guess that he was willing to deal with the consequences, or was perhaps inviting them.

Most employers, whether the Police or corporate, aren't going to take too kindly to their employees airing the dirty laundry and internal politics in public.

A Police blog would be very helpful, particularly if challenging the constant political spin, however it's probably safest done with anonymity.

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It dawned on me today that the solution to BELCO's new power plant location controversy is obvious.

They should:

1) Buy a plot of environmentally sensitive protected coastal woodland
2) Make a donation.
3) Apply for a (not-so) Special Development Order.

Done. Problem solved.

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Two powerful endorsements of Barack Obama today.

Toni Morrison's is typically eloquent, pinpointing Obama's potential to be a hugely uniting figure through his rejection of simplistic political categorisations and political combativeness:


When, I wondered, was the last time this country was guided by such a leader? Someone whose moral center was un-embargoed? Someone with courage instead of mere ambition? Someone who truly thinks of his country's citizens as "we," not "they"? Someone who understands what it will take to help America realize the virtues it fancies about itself, what it desperately needs to become in the world?

Ted Kennedy reinforces it:

"With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion. With Barack Obama we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay."

US conservatives understand the power of Obama:

And unlike Clinton and especially Edwards, the Obama message is about unity, not divisions; and hopes rather than grievances.

Obama puts the glaring inadequacies of our political leadership into sharp focus: "Unity not divisions; and hopes rather than grievances."

Our leadership, despite the cynical attempt to steal some of Obama's glow, pales in comparison. It represents everything Obama rejects: Divisons not unity; and grievances not hopes.

It worked for them, no doubt. It won't serve us well as a community however.

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Police Officer and blogger Allan Palmer, who helpfully pointed out the fudged crime statistics, to subsequently remove that post under pressure, and follow up that post about some internal pressure that was being applied, has today posted that he is on suspension:

By now the world should know that I am on suspension from the Bermuda Police Service, pending the outcome of an investigation which was initiated, after I posted the last article on this blog. That article was posted as a last minute ditch to abort a devious plans which was orchestrated and initiated for my demised [sic]. To ensure that my character and integrity was bring [sic] into disrepute. It was also in defense of my parent’s [sic] legacy. I will explain later.

As I said previously, PC Palmer was breaking new ground as a serving Police Officer with a blog, as officers are prohibited from speaking in the media (ie. interviews, Letters to the Editor etc.), and it appears this is now being tested with new media.

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Well, Kim Swan was certainly himself yesterday at his first press conference as Opposition Leader.

Kim is, if you'll allow me to state the obvious, passionate. That's exactly how he is, internally or externally. He's torn a few strips off me on occasion, as well as probably everybody else. He's harder on the UBP internally than he is on the PLP. I like that.

He'll bring a totally different approach than previous leadership. He's combative and will accept bare knuckle politics as necessary. No more polite disagreements.

Michael Dunkley and Grant Gibbons were managers, Wayne Furbert was very emotive and grass roots but not much of a manager, and I'd peg Kim as emotive but extremely committed and driven and connected to the public.

Does his move to UBP leader end any discussion of anything along the continuum from a rebranding all the way to a disbanding? I don't think so.

I don't say that to suggest that Kim is a caretaker, but to say that the process of change needs to continue. And he's a good person to lead that discussion and move the party onto a new footing after decades of seeing themselves as managers first, politicians second.

This isn't just an overnight decision for a group of people who were elected and have a role to fill representing both their constituents and providing an alternative voice in Parliament (where I think the UBP excels - policy and legislation - it's the politics where they're getting beaten).

Kim definitely will bring a much more grass roots approach and a commitment to connecting on an emotional level.

People will try and portray him as angry I'm sure, but that's a simplistic representation. I'm sure the PLP attack machine will be retooling, switching the 'white supremacist leader' playbook for the 'black puppet leader' playbook.

But he doesn't fit that mold particularly well. So that attack won't fly with Kim, and there's no way he'll sit by and be smeared. He's a fighter, and when he channels his passion properly can be very effective. He's been around politics for a long time.

I was a little surprised with the announcement, but he's an interesting choice and will probably move fast to make his mark. But I am sure, and I have no insight internally here, that the conversations about the party's direction and viability will continue, as they should.

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Kim Swan is the new Opposition Leader.

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Today's article in the Bermuda Sun, I think really reveals the problem that faces the UBP.

Pat Gordon Pamplin articulates an unbending commitment to character and ability not race, while Shawn Crockwell articulates that as the goal but questions whether it is viable in the racially dominated political scene.

Pat:


Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin challenged Mr. Crockwell's assertion that the party may need to push forward a young black image. Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin said: "People should be pushed to the fore on the strength of their talents and their talents alone. Have we really reached the stage in this country where the only consideration is the color of someone's skin?

"If I made a decision based on someone's race I would be compromising my core values and the values of the party. If we compromise our values we may as well pack up and go home."

Shawn

The political arena is very unfriendly to white people right now. The PLP set out to make it that way. Now, of course, we can continue to fight the good fight. We can refuse to have this dictated to us by other people. But I hope we can be mature enough to look at this as it is. The electorate sent us a message. I now think it's going to be expected that certain people are going to have to draw back."

The problem with selecting a white leader?

The PLP will attack them as old guard.

The problem with selecting a black leader?

The PLP will attack them as a sell-out puppet.

The party has a duty to work through this, but it's complicated. I'd also argue that the UBP vision, as articulated by Pat, is ahead of the electorate right now.

Politics isn't necessarily about being right.

My sense is there is about a 2 year window before it would start to make sense for the PLP to call a predatory snap election.

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Following up on yesterday's rather light-hearted comments on the UBP taking their time selecting a leader, the Great Satan, I mean The Royal Gazette (joke alert), has an article today where new UBP MP Donte Hunt comments on what the future could hold.

Donte is, from the few times we've spoken, a total class act. He's genuine, thoughtful and no one's puppet (nor were any of the UBP candidates). So it was refreshing to see him speaking on the topic of the UBP leadership selection process and the potential for a third party openly and thoughtfully.

As is typical of UBPers, he doesn't want to do anything rash but plan it out to maximise the likelihood of a positive outcome. Thinking strategically is a good trait.

I'm in agreement with his points, which are essentially that if the UBP as a political operation is too difficult of an entity to move forward with that another party should and could arise, which could include some of the UBP's recently elected MPs.

I have no problem with some MPs moving over to a new organisation (I highly, highly doubt you'll see any UBP MP go to the PLP as the party doesn't reflect their views and just as importantly their political temperament).

This is exactly why the call for the UBP to hurriedly select a new leader is a red herring.

As I said 10 days ago:

But what is more interesting about the election outcome is what it suggests about the future prospects for the UBP, because they have appear to hit a brick wall.

As they are prone to do they're methodically working through the issues and implications of the last election internally, and I believe will make the decision that needs to be made.

...

So on that basis I think the UBP's time is limited, and that a new entity will eventually arise, although the UBP needs to persist for awhile to allow a new organisation to be created that doesn't just see UBP support flow right over to it.

This is where I think a lot of the anti-UBP zealots don't understand about many, many people who have chosen to support the UBP...such as myself.

We support principles and ideals. The UBP is/was the political organisation most in tune with those. There's no blindly devoted love affair with the letters 'UBP'.

I'm not heavily invested in making sure the UBP survives forever, I'm invested in moving our politics and policy forward.

The UBP (and any political party) is only useful as a vehicle to advance the political values that I subscribe to, namely a people oriented organisation built around accountability, diversity, tolerance and good governance.

If the UBP can no longer do that (for whatever reasons), then it should get out of the way. But the party still has a lot to offer - and has done a lot of good for Bermuda (much of it the PLP has claimed as their own) - and their MPs currently have 47% of the population to represent.

For the sitting UBP MPs there are a number of considerations they have to weigh, because it isn't just a simple matter of jumping ship for them as elected officials. Unlike some who have left the party, they need to show respect to the constituents who elected them and make any change responsibly and honour those voters.

I, like many others, subscribe to principles and values not a party.

I think it's safe to say that the PLP has a base of people who are much more devout in their allegiance to 'the party'. I've never met UBP supporters with the kind of fervency you see among PLP supporters.

The people I talk to in the UBP get passionate when discussing issues and tend not to romanticise 'the party', which they simply see as an organisation to try and effect change. Parties are inherently flawed and imperfect and worshipping at the feet of a politician or a party doesn't make them perform better, it just makes them complacent.

The principles and values that the UBP ran on in 2007 (and 2003) need to continue to be advocated for, even if it is done through a different organisation - one which doesn't carry whatever negative stigma currently exists (some deserved, much not).

But that is a discussion that needs to be had methodically over time and with reflection. The issue of leadership follows on from that, it doesn't precede it.

Any new party can't be a UBP generated venture, because then it will just be the UBP all over again in the eyes of those who will never let their hatred of it go and only know how to ask voters to 'rise up' against something rather than vote for something.

I actually wonder what a lot of people will do if they won't have the UBP to kick around and obsess about. Some wouldn't know how how to construct an argument.

But, and this is important, new individuals in the community need to come forward and participate and take the lead, and some (not all) current UBP MPs can be involved.

Ultimately, if this is what's necessary, it's a good thing.

Contrary to what many of the critics believe, it won't break too many hearts - some yes, but nowhere near all - among those who've supported the UBP to see another option arise.

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A reader writes on my post today about the UBP taking their time selecting a leader:

Don't rise to the bait, Christian! No one would know the PLP blog existed if you didn't publicise its demented and entirely self-serving content. It's really not worth either your time or your energy to try and counter the provocations of a group that has taken up permanent residence in a locale where all of the moral and logical polarities have been reversed, where all of the normal political imperatives have become extinct.

Well yes, normally I do ignore it, but I'm overwhelmingly bored with it all lately as the dialogue on this island is so shallow and mindless, so I was feeling a little punchy. Forgive me.

I mean, they're still talking about Michael Dunkley for crying out loud. I guess the despair at the lack of an Opposition Leader is that they don't know who to direct the fire at.

Typically, because people pay way too much attention to my ramblings, there was a terribly predictable rapid fire response about 'my bitter tirade' over there and then the far too serious Jonathon at Catch A Fire weighed in.

As I told Jonathon at Catch a Fire, do you have to turn in your sense of humour when you take out a PLP membership?

Sometimes I really wonder.

I wasn't defending the UBP, I was stating the obvious: not having finalised their leadership selection is no big deal with Parliament being out and being 4 weeks post-election.

So here's a few things people should have figured out about me by now but evidently some have not:

Firstly, I am a complete wise-ass. Secondly, I'm a complete wise ass. Thirdly, I'm a complete wise ass.

I swear that 95% of my wise cracks are interpreted way too seriously by PLP die hards.

Maybe I'll have to insert an identifier when I'm just joking around or pointing out the ridiculous by being ridiculous while making a point.

Politics would be unbearable if we can't laugh at the absurdity of it all at times. And the one thing I know for sure is that in Bermuda, too many politicians (and their supporters) take themselves far too seriously.

Back to boredom for awhile I guess.

To channel Seinfeld's Soup Nazi: "No jokes for you."

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A new blog is out:

Bermuda Longtail

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If you're a TV aficionado, and you're wondering what the current state of the High Def DVD wars are (Blu Ray is close to victory it would seem), let me direct you to this YouTube video which explains it all:

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Recently, the Royal Gazette published an article on a new blog called Crushing Fools written by Police Officer P.C. Allan Palmer, and drew attention to some of the on point observations and analysis that his first few posts contained.

Well, one of his first posts (Let the Stats Speak to you), which pointed out that some classifications of crimes were omitted from the stats, has now been removed with a comment as follows:


This Post was removed for reasons that will not be discussed.

Hmmm. Strange that. Obviously some pressure was brought to bear. Evidently he was not PC enough.

P.C. Palmer walks a fine line, as Police Officers are restricted from speaking to the press, writing Letters to the Editor etc., so he's charting new territory with a blog.

But, for posterities sake, here is his original post in full (nothing is ever deleted from the internet):

Crime and Violence the Bermuda Story for 2005-2006

After addressing the community’s reluctance to cooperate with the police
to ensure that the environment in which they live continues to be
conducive for living, without the element of fear for one’s safety, the
safety of our families, friends and the protection of our properties; It
is fitting for me to review the crime statistic according to the Bermuda
Police Service (BPS) as is posted on the BPS very informative webpage
(http://www.bermudapoliceservice.bm/)

In analyzing the statistics I will attempt to not only reveal the
discoveries I made but I will also try to explain what some of the crimes
constitute in a very simple form. It is also my hope that the revelations
found here would only help to motivate concerned Bermudian into action and
enable a greater community consciousness. Thus will inspiring a greater
level of collaboration between the community and the police in keeping
this very small Island safe from the criminal that is waging war against
all who live and visit this Island that is synonymous with tranquility.


Although the page shows an overall decrease in the number of actual crimes
reported, (which is far different from the number of crimes committed) I
could not help but to notice there were some very important categories
missing from the stats sheet. The categories are as follows:

1. Assault Causing Actual Bodily Harm;
Physical assault on an individual that leaves on the victim’s body any
swelling, discoloration and or abrasions/bruising;

2. Willful/Criminal Damage,

This is an offenec where an individual or group of individuals acts in
such a manner, they not having any lawful authority or reasonable excuse
damage any item (it matter not the value) but as long as that property
had/has an owner;

3. Drug related offensives such as possession, importation, etc.

These discoveries lead me to ask the question, would the exclusion of the
above categories of criminal offences in anyway change the statistics and
affect the general outcome of the crime rate? This is a question for you
to answer.

The discoveries:

Reported Theft:


There was a 24% rise in report of theft when compared to 2005 and 2006.
This means that there were 24% more victims who had been deprived of
enjoying the pleasures of the sweat of their brow. Their hard earned
monies and other personal possessions were taken from them by another
whose intention was/is to permanently deprive the owner of such.


Burglaries

Crimes of intrusion also saw a leap in 2006 when compared to 2005. Our
home, business premises and schools had become less safe, in that to
secure these premises was not enough to ensure there safety.

The increases were as follows:
. 11% increase in unlawful home invasion.
· 19% increase in unlawful school invasion.
· 73% increase in unlawful shop invasion.
· 47% increase in unlawful office invasion.
· 20% increase in unlawful unclassified premises invasion.

What does this mean to us as citizens who are the main stake holders of
this rock, residents who are only here in most cases at the pleasure of
their employees, and visitors who comes to enjoy the peace and stability
of this tranquil Island?


Assault Causing Grievous Bodily Harm

We have seen a 34% rise in assault offences that may have resulted in
possible broken bone and other injuries that may or could cause improper
function of one’s limbs or organs due to nerve damage etc.

Sexual Assault:

Crimes of sexual assaults are normally crimes that are committed against
females but not restricted to females. Another class of individuals who
are increasingly becoming victims of such crimes are children of both
genders. Bermuda has seen a 22% rise in such crimes for the period
2005-2006, and a 43% from 2004-2006.

Murder
The offence of Murder has seen an unprecedented rise of 50% every two
years. This can quickly become a frightening number.

These are serious times. I know most people may say we are not as bad as
some other jurisdiction, and that may be true. But the question to ask
yourself is this, are we as good as we use to be. It is extremely
important to note, that the prosperity of most country, state, Island etc.
is vastly dependant on the following:

Political stability
A low or a controllable crime rate
Infrastructural development
A trainable workforce

But there is nothing that can drive away investors and potential investors
like an environment that have become criminally unstable. The ball is in
your court. And you must play it with common sense and with intelligence.

In service to Humanity

Allan H.F Palmer

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I'm getting a real kick out of the distress over Bermuda's political well being at the PLP's blog, where they're absolutely beside themselves that the UBP is yet to name a leader post-election.

"Why didn't they have a plan B if Dunkley lost?", "We need a functioning Opposition" is asked breathlessly.

The concern for Bermuda's constitution and the health of the Opposition is duly noted.

But really, what's the hurry, other than the lack of policy ideas for the PLP to poach and add 10% to.

What's an Opposition leader going to do before Parliament goes in at the beginning of February other than get demonised as a white racist or a white apologist? Perhaps if they got a GP car it would be worth the insults and speed up their weekly gabfests.

And we know that the current approach to any concerns raised by the Opposition, Auditor, Press etc. is to simply dismiss it all as a big racist lie anyway.

I'm sure the UBP will have someone in place when Parliament resumes, which is all that matters anyway, and that doesn't really matter all that much in the short term to be honest.

The Opposition leader is largely symbolic, other than a slightly larger paycheck they can't implement legislation, change Government policy etc..

Oppositions in Westminster systems can't do much other than speak up, and here they're just ignored or vilified anyway.

The UBP should have learned that focusing on smart policy ideas hasn't got them anywhere, so I'd suggest being so outright political over the next five years that voters won't know what hit them.

When the PLP say term limits, the UBP should say "Just deport everyone NOW".

When the PLP say Workplace Equity Act, the UBP should say "A guaranteed CEO position for everyone".

When the PLP say we'll build 550 homes, the UBP should say that they'll give everyone a free house in Tuckers Town.

When the PLP say free public transport for everyone, the UBP should say "A free car for everyone".

So relax. Things will be just fine. And so will Michael Dunkley. He's probably playing a fair amount of golf, although not nearly as much as the Premier is I imagine.

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I've said before that Dr. Brown and the current Progressive Labour Party leadership is neither Progressive nor Labour.

Exhibit A that they're not labour: pushing out a civil servant and replacing him with a FOB (Friend of Brown).

The upside for the employee? He gets a Golden Handshake. The public? More like a Golden Shower.

Here's a question for the media:

Are payoffs coupled with a requirement to keep quiet legal in the public sector?

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Shortly after the election, Ewart Brown told a BBC Caribbean reporter that "the economy of Bermuda in the private sector is probably 90 percent controlled by white Bermudians".

Really?

So....

If Bermuda's (Re)Insurance companies are capitalised at $129B as reported today, that can be no more than 10% of our economy according to Dr. Brown. (Because...our insurance industry is controlled by foreign investors - publicly traded, hedge funds and others - which are by definition not white Bermudians).

If we assume then that black Bermudians control nothing (makes the math easy and is what Dr. Brown would like to keep people believing - helps with the victim complex), then white Bermudians control $1.161 trillion dollars worth of capital.

That's a lot of tacky checkered golf pants and wool sweaters.

And if you believe that, I have 267 pristine acres of land in Southampton to sell you.

One can only conclude that at best the Premier is disingenuous or at worst uninformed about the economy he controls, or both. Either option isn't good.

The truth is that Bermuda's economy is 'probably 90% controlled' by foreign investors, not white Bermudians. Has been for a long time.

But it's politically expedient (and incredibly divisive) to lump white Bermudians and foreign money together...lots of people lap that kind of talk up because it allows their prejudices to go unchallenged.

The days of Front St. money are gone in case you hadn't noticed. Bermuda's old merchant class hold no economic or political clout, they've haven't for a long time. (Psst, don't tell that to the time warped Premier or his whole world view will crumble.)

But anyone who is going to be persuaded by facts already knows this. Because in the world according to Brown, reality has a well known anti-PLP bias.

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If you're interested in the low down on political dirty tricks (in case you didn't learn enough during our election campaign) a former Republican practitioner is interviewed by Newsweek on his new book entitled "How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative".

Money quote:


The point there would be to try to tap into potentially latent bigotry, to force that household to make a particular decision on its vote. You're tapping into triggers. When I was working, the main thing was to win, not to be moral.

Indeed. Much of what he discusses is what the PLP utilised during the campaign, push polling, telemarketing, barring a sitting MP from visiting constituents in a Government building etc..

The PLP would abhor the tactics this individual engaged in to exploit white bigotry, but they unleashed the exact campaign themselves in reverse.

The 2007 election campaign has set back political discourse and race relations severely.

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Well, The Limey has wound things up (not surprising) and Denis over at 21 Square is unsure of whether he'll continue. In the words of Bill Clinton, "I feel your pain".

Phil at Limey never really came back with any gusto during the election run-up and his heart seemed half in it.

Blogging actively is very time consuming and with such a frenzy of activity in 2007 with leadership challenges, BHC leaks, libel suits and an election, I think the active bloggers were exhausted by year end. I know I was.

After that, particularly with the holidays, there is bound to be a time for recharging and refocusing or reassessing.

Some might feel that the election was a heavy defeat for the UBP, and some would argue reality based politics. I think that's true but only to a point.

The seat distribution of 22-14 presents a picture of a much bigger win for the PLP than occurred. Dr. Brown really only managed to replicate what Jennifer Smith managed (twice), so he really didn't bring anything to the table, other than perhaps preventing a loss of support that was anticipated by many; he managed to hold things steady seat-wise though a small popular vote increase.

The UBP still represent almost half of the island by popular vote, although their voice in Parliament is far less than that.

But what is more interesting about the election outcome is what is suggests about the future prospects for the UBP, because they have appear to hit a brick wall.

As they are prone to do they're methodically working through the issues and implications of the last election internally, and I believe will make the decision that needs to be made.

I know what I think, which is pretty much in line with what Phil said in his farewell post, and other commentators have said:

[T]he only people who can criticise today's PLP government are other members of the PLP. Anyone else should expect to have their criticisms met with an ad hominem attack, not with a reasoned rebuttal.

If you're white, you will be accused of being a racist. If you're black, you will be accused of being a race traitor. If you're a non-Bermudian, you will be told to keep your mouth shut and go back to the country you came from. If you're a journalist, you'll be accused of being in league with the UBP. If you're in the UBP, you'll be accused of wanting to take the country back to the days of segregation, or even slavery.

I have no desire to participate in such a dysfunctional system any longer. Indeed, I've come to believe that by continuing to criticise the government, I will only make things worse.

I think he's correct. Those who have been vocal critics of the PLP do need to sort of take a back seat for awhile. Sadly it is mostly because of their race, but that's the reality of Bermuda right now.

Whites also I think need to recognise that if a new organisation is born out of the 2007 election it needs to be black conceived, created and controlled. (And there are lots of black Bermudians who would welcome another political choice without the stigma of 'UBP' on it - whether a deserved stigma or not).

If whites have a dominant role (or perhaps any role) it will be seen as illegitimate.

So on that basis I think the UBP's time is limited, and that a new entity will eventually arise, although the UBP needs to persist for awhile to allow a new organisation to be created that doesn't just see UBP support flow right over to it.

Because let's be real, the PLP's racist election campaign has ensured that white voters will not join that party in any meaningful numbers, but will instead feel disenfranchised for awhile.

Whites (and I really hate talking 'whites' and 'blacks') need to take a back seat politically for awhile, and by 'awhile' I mean at least one election cycle.

Regardless, the election has created the first real opportunity for another viable political entity to be created. Single seat constituencies killed any prospects for a third party or independents, but the 2007 election result has opened a window.

In the short term I think we'll see three political entities (and I have no insight or involvement whatsoever in starting something new - nor will I for the reasons I stated above).

On a personal note, I must admit that I'm not particularly motivated to write right now, although my brain continues to refuse to take a break; but I don't feel like spending long hours in front of a computer screen hashing out issue after issue.

I'm marginally interested in the local news. Mostly I'm enjoying being a consumer of news, analysis and opinion with the US campaign and also catching up on some good books and movies.

This site will continue on. As I've said before, I have some ideas for new directions to take Politics.bm, but in the meantime things will be relatively low-key here while I enjoy some other interests and then retool things a little.

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The unspoken impetus behind Government's push to oust the Bermuda Cement Company ownership was of course 'black empowerment', or perhaps more accurately, destroying a supposed symbol of the supposed white establishment.

But with the new ownership, most significantly Correia construction of unsuccessful but high-profile PLP candidate Jane Correia (you're not really surprised are you?), it's pretty clear that the model of black empowerment being peddled by Ewart Brown is awfully white, other than himself of course.

The next climbdown will of course be the requirement to relocate the silos 300 yards and you'll have an official case of a Government faciliated hostile takeover. And people wonder why S&P removed our positive outlook?

This is yet another incredibly cynical manipulation and exploitation of the hope and aspirations of many black Bermudians; but I'm not surprised.

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There's a couple of new blogs on the scene, which I've added to my Daily Reads sidebar (which I need to pay more attention to as I have discovered people actually use/follow those links).

Firstly, there's Breezeblog (which is actually new-ish) by Chris Gibbons.

And just launched a couple of days ago is A Radical in Bermuda, written by a far left-winger, but a true left winger. I imagine this will be a good and thoughtful read.

Take this post today:

This is going out to all my fellow Bermudians, it is a call for us to be ever vigilante of our government and the ways in which we slip into tyranny. The Premier's post election decision to half the number of women in his cabinet and senate appointments, his dissolving then reforming of the Ministry of Justice, the racial insensitivity by members of his party, both in parliament and outside, the xenophobia of many members of his party, including cabinet level appointees, and now from what I have heard, the formation of cliques within the party that adhere to the worst forms of Christian fundamentalism (a certain one of these cliques would seem to be quite powerful, though I will not name names for safeties sake) and male chauvinism are dangerous signs of where this wonderful island of ours could be headed.

Well yes, the current leadership and direction of the Progressive Labour Party is neither Progressive nor Labour. But that's obvious to any reasonable observer.

It is a fraud.

"Progressive" and "Labour" have been made synonymous with 'Black' and are being used as cover for some seriously bad policy under the shield of 'blackness'.

But it's a recently-validated-at-the-polls fraud, so things will get worse before they get better.

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Total class:

If only Bermuda had leadership that possessed a fraction of his integrity and sincerity.

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David Burch sounds rather, well, shall we say UBP-ish, or to put the PLP spin on it, "Draconian", in his comments on a crack down on crime.

Seems to me that he's saying he wants to 'lock us all up':

“As I stated only days ago, we have begun the process of transforming our approach to crime prevention to address this latest round of immediate challenges. We have declared an all out war against crime and criminals. And I am again putting criminals on notice that we will pursue them, apprehend them, and place them before the courts. In the coming days, weeks and months, residents will see tangible evidence that the Bermuda Police Service is unrelenting in their efforts to rid our society of crime.”

If someone in the UBP had said 'We have declared an all out war against crime and criminals. And I am again putting criminals on notice that we will pursue them, apprehend them, and place them before the courts' the PLP would have run a full page ad the next day saying 'UBP makes solemn promise to round up and execute black people'.

[Sigh]

Oh. Pardon me.

I forgot the campaign is over, hence the UBP's hardline stance can now be adopted by the party who spent 2 months vilifying them for getting tough on crime.

Neo-fascists.

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2007 in Review (US)


In 2007
Uploaded by JibJab

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I'm going to restart posting over the weekend. I still have lots of books to read (just finishing Kite Runner - get with the times I know), and some changes I will be making to the site, as well as some new projects to develop, but I figured the occasional brain dump might make for light entertainment.

In the meantime, in the wake of Bermuda's recently concluded (and successful) campaign of division, watch this for the alternative:

Imagine if our practitioner of personality politics had done that, instead of this.

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