Stable and safe

Bermuda's biggest selling points for both tourism and international business investment were that we are stable and safe.

Term limits, ballooning debt and tax hikes means we're no longer stable.

The violent crime situation obviously means we're no longer safe. All of us.

It's time to get a grip and abandon the politics that have led us here.

We need tougher laws and less politicking. Bermuda lost 3 or 4 years to the criminals as the PLP demagogued the UBP's anti-crime election proposals to arrest escalating violent crime - which they denied was escalating - and then spent two years trying to use control of the Police as a wedge issue for independence with the Governor.

But we are where we are now and it's time to deal with it.

The UBP should re-table all of their election proposals on law and order, and Government should admit they have merit and implement them. Stat. Particularly preventative detention, three strikes and you're out.

Every time a murder or shooting occurs a massive amount of Police resources are redirected to investigate and prosecute, which dramatically reduces the amount of prevention they can do. This is not the fault of the Police.

Government should look to dramatically increase the size of the Police Force, not Service, Force. Double it. We should enforce any little law on the books to choke the criminals before they can even get around the island.

Loud muffler? Bike impounded. Tint on your windows? Car impounded. Loud music? Pulled over and warrants checked. Run a stop sign? Pulled over and warrants checked.

We have laws that we can enforce to make movement around the island close to impossible if you don't want to be pulled over.

With shootings in St. George's we know there's only one way in and out. So set up road blocks and start enforcing every little law and confining the criminals to their houses.

This will require many more police, meaning a substantial increase in budget and recruiting from overseas, including the UK which has been politically unpalatable to the anti-anything-UK PLP. Police officers can't be subject to fixed terms because it takes years to integrate into a community.

Times change. Our immigration policies are no longer working. Change them.

Everyone is going to be inconvenienced, but the alternative is an end to Bermuda as we know it.

I often tell people that the term Bermuda's Economic Miracle needs to be retired because it is not a miracle, it was the product of vision, hard work (and balanced budgets and low taxes).

But Bermuda is like a thoroughbred racehorse. If it pulls up lame you might as well shoot it in the head because the investment in people and dollars isn't going to come back once it leaves for Switzerland, Ireland or Luxembourg. The days of 'oh they'll never leave' are gone. Long gone. They're leaving, quietly, and they're not setting up here and creating new jobs. A shooting war is just another reason to implement your Plan B.

Employers, international and local need to know that they can staff their businesses adequately and that their employees, local and foreign, can expect to live and work in a safe environment.

The upside is that the PLP can no longer deny what many people they ridiculed have been telling them for years, that international business can not be taken for granted and that crime was on the verge of exploding to levels that would be hard to contain.

Well, both scenarios are here, at the same time.

Time for some realism and tough love.

The politics and policies of the past decade have failed. It's time for every Bermudian to step up and demand better.

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