I've said a few times that the PLP are good at the politics and bad at policy in Bermuda, with the UBP the inverse.
There is however a glaring example of where the PLP, for whatever reason, are just terrible on the politics, and that is the continuing refusal of MPs to take a pay cut, even a symbolic one.
I guess it just comes down to dollars, which as we've learned in the past 12 years is where the PLP always seem on the wrong side of doing the right and prudent thing.
So, this statement in the speech tonight has the potential to distract from the rest of the message that the Premier was trying to push:
It takes grit and character to resist the temptation to indulge the politics of appeasement ... and to say ... there will be no symbolic cuts in Ministers' salaries. This ... in my view ... would be an empty gesture ... inappropriate for a Government ... or for any team ..14 facing the prospect of having to do more with less ... and having to do it in half the time ... under double the pressure.
Well, it does take grit to refuse to take a pay cut after rampant financial mismanagement. But it doesn't take character. Actually it demonstrates a lack of it.
The short version of this statement is "The country has to do more with less, but we Cabinet Ministers, individually, flat out refuse to do more with less when it comes to our personal renumeration."
There's some serious tone deafness in that. And self-serving platitudes. Regardless of how underpaid you might think you are.
It's really the line about having to do more with less that screams out. This slogan is the Premier's crutch for defending the need to now dramatically cut back funding for basic social services because of her previous spending sprees resulting in little of value to the public.
The fact that Ministers won't take a pay cut means that they are not willing themselves to do more with less. Not even a symbolic tiny little bit of less. Which is precisely the thing they're asking everyone else to do, but are just flat out refusing to even consider doing themselves.
It's amazing really that they're willing to dig in like this. I guess that just means that Ministers are willing to look like they're a) above sharing the pain they've inflicted on the island b) not walking the walk c) in it for the money and d) really out of touch and in need of spending some time back on those lower paid opposition benches.
I don't get this one. I really don't.