I've got sporadic internet access for the next few days, but the news that the taxpayers are going to hire a PR firm to try and combat Brown's image as corrupt (it's really about him not Bermuda) is interesting and absurd of course.
For now, I'll just deal with this quote from the Premier:
"The cunning tactic of shielding an attack under the cloak of parliamentary privilege is sad and disingenuous. Such actions play to the worst fears of the population and do nothing to lift the standard and quality of debate in this House."
Ok. Now, recall that Ewart Brown threatened, in Parliament, under Parliamentary privilege to physically attack the UBP's Grant Gibbons; he accused him, under Parliamentary privilege, of corruption while he was finance Minister (TBI); he told a stupid story about monkeys, so he could get "Grant Gibbons", "monkey" and "black people" into the same sentence under Parliamentary privilege; and he and his colleagues can barely complete a sentence in Parliament without slandering the UBP as racist.
Why is it ok to use Parliament to portray previous Governments as racist but not ok to portray the current one as corrupt; when that's the only place that questions must be answered (or at least that's what used to happen and should happen in any Westminster Parliament?
The reason Dr. Brown delivered that shameful and disgusting speech in Parliament is simple, he'd have exposed himself to one hell of a slander trial if he'd dared make his attacks outside of Parliament.
So spare us the sanctimonious BS about a 'cunning tactic of shielding an attack under the cloak of parliamentary privilege is sad and disingenuous.'
What's sad and disingenuous is the current occupant of the Office of the Premier.
We can add disingenuous and hypocrite to the list of things the PR firm will have to address.
And just quickly, the UBP is continually called completely inept and irrelevant, yet they can somehow execute a worldwide media campaign to unfairly brand Brown as corrupt?
Who the cap fits.
Here's a suggestion. Bermuda's image problem isn't a public relations problem, it's a public policy one.
People think our Government is corrupt (yes I said it, so sue me - again) because:
1) Wedco's demands for the renewal of a lease for the Bermuda Cement Company were dropped once the company was finally wrestled into the hands of a crony of the Premier.
2) Because Government money appear to be allocated according to a friends and family plan.
3) Because the Premier went all the way to the Privy Council to try and suppress information in a troubling police investigation of several Government MPs, including the now Premier of Bermuda.
4) Because Zane Desilva, now a now Government MP, had what appeared to be money earmarked to two Cabinet Ministers who would vote on the allocation of an asbestos disposal proposal.
5) Because the current Premier of Bermuda, who is highly involved in health care public policy, has not recused himself from either the public of private roles, and is in fact expanding his private interests with the opening of a stem cell clinic which will experiment on humans in an jurisdiction which has no regulation for this kind of medicine and in which the Premier himself would be able to craft any legislation that might come to pass.
6) Because the current Premier of Bermuda, at the time the Tourism Minister, went to great lengths to sell a property to the Bermuda Housing Corporation for what was deemed dramatically above fair market value.
7) Because the PLP made wholesale and extremely favourable amendments to a lease which was granted to Coco Reef, and have not made the original lease public.
Shall I continue?
A PR firm won't help.