I received the following anonymously yesterday, and it has been posted elsewhere, but it is a very powerful piece which speaks to the disappointment, betrayal and building rage in Bermuda, all of which boiled over on Friday outside Parliament.
It's a long comment, but it is well worth reading:
“We see the essential mission of the [............] Party to be the empowerment of the broad majority of the Bermudian people. We see a New Bermuda, in which the talents of every Bermudian will be mobilized in building a humane society, in which social and economic justice is a reality, not just an ideal.
The [......] Party’s policies and programmes are meant to rekindle hope, to heal Bermuda ’s present divisions and to replace apathy and alienation with a spirit of optimism and a feeling of oneness and unity. We continue to put Bermuda first, and to put Bermudians first.”
Rumour has it that these are the noble and inspired words that form the mission statement of a certain political party. You would be forgiven for failing to recognize exactly which political party this noble “mission” should be attributed to, but apparently it is the so-called Progressive Labour Party that claims such a mission statement- a party that prides itself on forming Bermuda’s first so-called “labour government”.
Before you form any judgments about who is writing this, let me just say a few words about who I am. I am not in politics nor do I have any desire to be at this time. I have no axe to grind with any politician or political party, and although I am a son of the soil, I am not THE
infamous “Son of the Soil”. I am a young black man who has spent most of his adult life voting for the PLP. I am one of those voters who on the 9th November 1998 celebrated what I thought was the birth of a true democratic process where finally voters could express confidence in a new political party taking the reigns of power and relegate the arrogant and complacent incumbent to the Opposition. I celebrated what I thought would be the dawn of a new age, not where manna would fall from the sky, but where finally, as the mission statement above states, there would be an empowerment of the “broad majority of the Bermudian people”. As a labour government one takes this to mean, not just black people, but anyone, black, Anglo or Portuguese, who has previously been disenfranchised or marginalized in this economy. I am talking about those of us who were not able to get a good job in top local companies by virtue of being fortunate enough to have a daddy or uncle in a senior and influential position to do our bidding for us. I refer to those who were never able to make an impact in the international business world because of cultural bias, despite the fact that we were qualified and worked hard. I refer to those local ambitious entrepreneurs who always seemed to fall short of the criteria required to win a major government contract. I refer to the unions, (oh yes remember them?) who for so long pined for the day when they would actually have a labour government in power who would understand and address their needs with at least some degree of empathy.
I recognize and appreciate that the PLP has done some good things over the last ten years, but it would be an understatement to say that I have been disappointed with the extent to which this government has squandered the goodwill and momentum that it was bestowed with after the 1998 election. In fact, my disappointment has rapidly evolved into disgust over the last eighteen months as I have witnessed the exponential deterioration of the moral fiber and integrity of the government under the current leadership of Premier, Dr Ewart Brown.
Premier Brown came into power on a wave of euphoria. There were many who doubted his integrity and were wary of what they saw as an overbearing ego and naked ambition. However, there were many more who felt that as premier, in spite of, or perhaps because of his head strong disposition, and because of his talents he would rise to the occasion to achieve a level of excellence for the country. If the country did well, he would look good. There were many who saw him as Bermuda ’s version of “New Labour” where the old core principles of the party would be given a modern finish, where he could straddle from negotiating and conversing with CEOs of exempt companies to union bosses. Unfortunately, it would appear that the lure of power and prestige has had such an intoxicating effect on his leadership that you really cannot even call it “leadership”.