Anything goes

In response to the islandwide shooting gallery of the past couple of days Mr. Burch said the following:

The fact is that we are fast becoming an Island known for its lawlessness, instead of a Country known for its pink sand beaches and international business prowess. This is not a reputation to be proud of.

I agree.

But here's the thing: we were known for this before the shootings began, we were becoming known for this because of our political leadership.

It starts at the top.

  • The Premier threatened to physically assault a member of the Opposition in Parliament several years ago
  • The Premier secretly made a deal he did not have the legal authority to make with the US to bring the 4 Uighurs here
  • The Government, while decrying gang turf wars, has been reveling in their own turf war with the Governor over control of the Police
  • The Auditor General was forceably and without warning moved out of his office space by Minister Burch several years ago and dumped into smaller quarters for doing his job.
  • The election campaign of 2007 took on the tone of a gang war with the PLP declaring that the Opposition leader was a drug dealer and wanted to 'flog' and 'lynch' black Bermudians.
  • Contracts go out untendered and run massively overbudget without explanation or anyone held accountable
  • Government alleged that the Auditor General was a racist for qualifying an audit opinion, and challenging the Berkeley overspends and construction bond (which history has proven he was entirely correct on)
  • The Bermuda Cement Company was all but stolen out from its shareholders and handed to a Government crony
  • The political broadcasting regulations were disregarded during the election campaign by the PLP's radio station

I can go on but I'm tired of being outraged.

The tone, the culture of lawlessness, the attitude that no-one should be accountable for their actions comes from the top. The very top of our political leadership. I'm not surprised other segments of the community are acting out and emulating this behaviour, albeit in a violent manner.

Until we start seeing some improvement at the top, we're not going to see any further down the chain. This didn't start overnight and it won't end overnight. This isn't just about policing. It's about an erosion of values and an anything goes culture.

Mr. Burch is right. But he needs to get his own party's house in order too.

Rules matter. Laws matter. Accountability matters. Process matters. It all starts there. At the top. The very top.

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