May 2011 Archives

Bermuda should be deeply proud of our BFA representatives who appear to have rejected bribes and exposed corruption in FIFA.

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The OBA doesn't need to mirror the FNM in Bahamas, or anything else. They need to drive a new paradigm in Bermuda. Descending into lively, at times amusing, but politically unproductive defenses of personal disputes and predictable attacks on them does nothing to help position them to win the next election and define themselves in the crucial first impression phase.

The PLP's obsession with the UBP is their problem, not the OBA's. The OBA should let the PLP look backwards and talk endlessly about the UBP amongst themselves while the OBA talks to the voters about the future.

Wayne Furbert's only relevance and utility to the PLP is to attack his former UBP colleagues and defend his new PLP ones; the same ones who mocked him viciously during his time as UBP leader.

John Barritt has it right:

"For the longest time, I think all members will agree, we have been calling for a change in politics in this Country," said Mr Barritt.

"You can hear people say it all the time: can you please do better? This is a genuine attempt to try and change the old UBP-PLP dynamic.

"Already we get decried and criticised. It's people's right to do that and there's political mileage in that."

The PLP will never get over the UBP. Never. The PLP and UBP are two sides of the same coin and the voters are seeing that more and more as the PLP wrecks Bermuda's economy and presides over a massive escalation in violent crime and debt.

The majority of voters can see this and have moved on from 1960's fights. That is who the OBA should be talking directly to, not fringe players like Wayne Furbert who is desperately seeking the approval of his new colleagues; colleagues who will never trust him and never give him a real role.

In time, as an election approaches, the usual suspects will be trotted out to recycle their attacks as proxies so that Paula Cox can stay above the fray, just as they did in the closing days of the 2007 election.

That's politics, but it's not productive.

The OBA should talk over the PLP directly to the people. Don't take the bait.

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As the operator of an (alleged) pyramid scheme, politely called a multi-level marketing scheme, I understand how Wayne finds it plausible that (the completely fragmented Opposition) pulled off a highly orchestrated multi-year sham to defraud people, over 4 years, ending with a (not-at-all tidy) merger.

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An eagle eyed reader spots a telling indicator:


Umm. Dept of Tourism gives out shorts from a company that wound up 10 years ago (check the label on the shorts)?

Sad irony as the disappearance of Smiths and Triminghams was in part due to the incompetence of the Dept of Tourism and our ever-declining air arrivals.

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The move today by 7 UBP MPs effectively short circuited any legal attempt to block the merger of the UBP and BDA and has ended, in every meaningful way the UBP.

It's a shame that the dissolution of the party descended into a farce courtesy of the actions of Kim Swan and a couple of others. Kim is a friend, and someone who loves Bermuda in the purest sense, but he did himself and the party a disservice with his actions of the past week.

There is so much to say about what happened, but this is a time to look forward not back. Bermuda been doing that for far too long.

I am energised by the emergence of the One Bermuda Alliance, and am convinced that despite the predictable attempts to try and re-UBP it that will come, this signals the closing of a chapter of Bermuda politics.

Bermuda's politics remains today largely structured, defined and constrained by the events of the 1960s and 70s. That time was one of huge significance and progress for Bermuda, but the Bermuda of today is not the Bermuda of yesterday. We need new leadership, around today's issues, with the next generation of Bermudians stepping up and claiming their place in shaping Bermuda's future.

I welcome the emergence of the One Bermuda Alliance and the change that it will bring, despite those who will feel threatened by it and try to brute force it back into the only box they know.

I also congratulate John Barritt on his imminent appointment as interim leader. John is someone who over the past decade or so I have grown to know well and respect immensely. Bermuda will be well served by John, even temporarily.

I fully intend to join the OBA after spending the better part of the past 5 years with no political affiliation and look forward to working again with so many of my friends. Of course there will be ups and downs, but I hope, I sincerely hope, that this can be the end of the debilitating and endless internal drama of the Opposition of the last decade.

This move tomorrow can be the beginning of a substantive change that is long overdue in Bermuda politics.

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I'm speechless with the news that a small group of UBP members/MPs have filed an injunction to prevent the winding up of the UBP.

This is lunacy. It's over. Let it go. Time to move on.

One of this year's National Heroes, Jack Tucker, knew when it was time to break with the past and chart a new course. This is another of those times.

Give it up guys. What are you trying to save? The UBP is over.

If these guys don't join up with the One BA, then all this merger effort, which has taken months, a year even, will be for nothing and you'll simply have another rump 3rd party that is no longer viable. This time it will be the UBP.

Let. It. Go. It's time. Past time actually.

(Ok, so I wasn't speechless.)

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The PLP website's extremely clumsy effort to work dismissive references about the One Bermuda Alliance into the title, beginning and end of a mundane article about the Premier's annual visit to the RIMS conference, on the back of yesterday's predictable and unimaginative put down of the merger, suggests that they're worried (and need better PR people).

Not to mention that the "same people, same backers, same policies" line is likely to backfire. That's much more applicable to the latest iteration of the PLP class of 1998 with the exact same people, same backers and same policies which broke Bermuda in twelve short years than it is anyone else.

Hence Paula Cox's rapid plunge in the polls.

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With the latest installment of free was never free, and the PLP unwinding yet another of the PLP's election promises which never made sense in the first place, the One Bermuda Alliance Opposition should start broadening the response, and not keep them narrowly focused on each f-up.

The real kind of connections they should be helping the voter make is:

If the PLP can't deliver their 2007 election promises why should you believe the next set?

If the PLP can't fix a minor bus and ferry problem, surely no-one can believe that they can fix the economy they broke, the violent crime outbreak they denied, the tourism freefall they branded a turnaround and education that is not really an education?

If the PLP said tourism was turning around why is it at an all time low?

If the PLP said crime was declining why are we averaging one shooting murder a month in 2011?

These aren't isolated issues, they're all interconnected to a fundamentally flawed public policy, an inability to effectively run the most basic apparatus of Government, a glib willingness to campaign on knowingly empty and undeliverable promises, and a public sector infrastructure that is crumbling due to projects being built to achieve the goal of redistributing public sector wealth to a handful of insiders, not the greater public interest.

All that is happening now, transport cuts as tourism season kicks in (our 4% second economic 'pillar'), police cuts as violent crime spirals out of control and debt escalation are all because of those supposed victimless scandals of the BHC, the Berkeley overspend, the cruise ship terminal overspend and the TCD overspend to name a couple.

As the former BPSU head said, the PLP's screw ups were paid for by the UBP's sensible economic policies that carried them for ten years.

The corruption and waste of the past decade weren't victimless and without consequence. They just seemed that way because the UBP's economy was so robust.

The Bermuda Government should be sitting on several hundred million dollars of surpluses which they can use to hire more police officers, put on more buses, spend on the current account and stimulate with capital spending as revenues decline. Instead we're incurring expensive debt which could take more than 10 years to retire - and only if the hard sacrifices are made now to return Bermuda to sensible fiscal policy, which is not happening.

The UBP have tried to connect the dots in their budget replies over the years. But it was intangible because the effects of that mismanagement took years to metastasize. Now things are different. The critique has real examples and should be hammered home.

It's not enough to be right. The Opposition have to be persuasive. You can't drive change unless you win elections.

As the One BA emerges over the coming days (hopefully not weeks), one of the positives is that the Opposition can reboot the critique and start planting the seed in voters' heads of what I think their campaign should be.

Which would be something like:

Bermuda: They broke it. We'll fix it.

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The PLP can't fix bus service - a simple issue. To think they can fix the economy they broke, violent crime or education is delusional.

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