Phil Perinchief certainly provided some sport today with his broadside against his former choice for Premier.
The verbosity and unabashed contempt on public display was certainly entertaining, and I'm sure it got tongues wagging today.
There were some great zingers in it that was for sure, and he called the outgoing Premier out in a way that will surely cut; referencing 'Black skins, White mask' for example. Ouch.
All on a day when the US Attorney General was on the island.
I suspect the letter was inspired by the weariness most Bermudians seem to have with a guy who is so self-absorbed and ego-maniacal that he just doesn't know how to have a 'speedy, silent and unceremonious departure'. A guy who is throwing himself endless and lavish send-offs during a deep and prolonged recession.
That aspect of the letter was certainly an accurate character and performance assessment of the Premier, and it was probably cathartic for Mr. Perinchief...and many others.
A lot of people who are shouting "Go Phil" today are probably missing the other underlying message of the letter. I'm not alone I suspect with fundamental disagreements around Mr. Perinchief's political philosophy, which is far to the left of pretty much every Bermudian.
Mr. Perinchief is an unabashed socialist. At the minimum. Not the "Obama is a socialist" nonsense in the US, but a bona fide socialist. Which is fine. He has beliefs and stands up for them, unlike so many in the PLP today who no longer stand for anything other than power. I respect that.
The question that arose out of this letter for me was why Mr. Perinchief is a supporter of PLP Leadership hopeful Terry Lister?
I wonder what he thinks Mr. Lister will do to 'fundamentally transform an economy set up by capitalistic and unbridled entrepreneurs', one primary criticism of Dr. Brown.
Nothing that I've heard from Terry Lister suggests he will 'fundamentally transform' Bermuda's economy. What he appears to be advocating is getting back to basics; balancing budgets, cutting spending, treating the public and the business community with respect, not contempt, unlike his predecessor.
Mr. Lister's fiscal platform is pretty much the UBP's; the one which positioned Bermuda in such a sustained and strong position until 1998 when the PLP took over.
The momentum of the UBP's economy, and balancing budgets under Finance Minister Eugene Cox carried the island through to the mid 2000's, before Paula Cox took over and the PLP went on a spending and debt frenzy, undermining the economy and putting the island 'on the brink of financial disaster' as Mr. Perinchief correctly points out.
His conclusion is correct but his diagnosis and remedy is all wrong.
It is Bermuda's free market economy and entrepreneurship that has created one of the most prosperous and robust economies in the word.
Returning to our core principles of economic conservatism and social liberalism that served Bermuda so well since the inception of party politics is the remedy for the Brown/Cox fiscal disaster of the past 4 and 5 years.
It won't be easy, and it will take time and sacrifice to retire over a billion in debt, but it's doable with pragmatism and patience.
That's what I hear Mr. Lister saying publicly, although he's stubbornly sticking to term limits; a hugely damaging policy with no upside for Bermuda or Bermudians.
Which makes me wonder how Mr. Perinchief reconciles this.
Either he's setting himself up for disappointment again with Mr. Lister, who is not advocating the dismantling of the capitalist and entrepreneurial spirit that the overwhelming majority of Bermudians support - publicly at least. Or he thinks Mr. Lister will enact policies far, far more radical than what he is campaigning on.
That's a question worth exploring.
But as I said earlier, while I don't agree with Mr. Perinchief on much politically, his letter today was an appropriate and welcome counter-balance to the self-congratulatory, never-ending victory tour and rewriting of history by the outgoing Premier.