“With friends like these, who needs enemies” Joey Adams
This expression is timely when we consider that one’s close associates can often prove to be more adversarial and damaging than one’s enemy or opponents.
The quote above is very applicable to the relationship between the PLP leadership and its support base. It is especially appropriate when we consider the events currently unfolding between the labour movement and the PLP government.
I invite you to have another look at my April 27, 2021 opinion piece (Betrayal of the Bermudian Worker) where I pointed out the blatant conflicted interest between the Unions and the government, orchestrated by the PLP. It started with our current Minister of Labour Jason Hayward assuming the dual role of a PLP Senator and the President of the BPSU.
The BIU joined this illicit relationship by cozying up to Jason Hayward and the PLP, presumably cutting a deal which led to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidated) Act 2021. However, betrayal has no boundaries and only breeds distrust and more conflict.
The thorny issue of de-certification in the Act has thrown the door wide open to one of the greatest betrayals to occur between the PLP Labour Government and unionized workers. The BIU is likely to be the biggest loser once complete because a vast majority of their members are in the private sector in such places as BELCO, hotels, etc.
The Act provides for the Unions to collect fifty percent of monies that were previously given to charities by non-union members. However, this potential windfall for the Union leadership is tied to these non-union members having a vote on whether to decertify the union from their place of employment. This would clearly have a significant impact on the BIU.
The obvious question has to be, with Bermuda in the middle of a pandemic and so many other important issues confronting us, what is the PLP’s agenda in causing this strife that will likely get worse for working class Bermudians? For instance, we have the recent announcement that the G7 nations plan to implement a global tax rate on corporations which severely threatens Bermuda and our economic standing. Surely there are many pressing issues other than betraying the BIU which is believed to be the birthplace of the PLP.
Is this being advanced because of the poor economic realities now looking David Burt squarely in his eyes? Bermuda’s debt is rising, the coffers are drying up, funds are running low and the PLP has absolutely no clue as to how they will increase the country’s revenue. The laws of economics do not allow for continued borrowing without revenue coming in, regardless of the Premier’s fanciful speeches and political rhetoric.
My theory is that what we are witnessing with the passing of this Act is the first strike of a slick fork-tongued snake to paralyze its prey before engulfing it. Mark these words, working class Bermudians should brace themselves because drastic government measures are coming after the decapitation of the BIU. The PLP politicians are full steam ahead with betraying the working man.
Of course, David Burt and the PLP will blame Covid but Bermuda’s economic problems existed long before March 2020. They were created by substantial deficit spending, significant borrowing, non-existent economic plans and the many failed policies of the PLP over the past two decades.
I will even venture to guess that the declining economic fortunes of Bermuda stand in absolute contrast to the increased economic fortunes of David Burt, his Cabinet Ministers and his back benchers. We are clearly under the control of a self-serving clique with absolute disregard for the rest of us. They are behaving in the same manner and living the exact life that they have pretended to fight against.
This will continue to be a disaster for working class Bermudians. The PLP is mortgaging the future of our children for their personal gain. The fact is that the only government that can rescue Bermuda is one that understands that our prosperous economic future must be built on a prosperous economy with increased opportunity for everyone. It cannot be built on an economy that is rapidly declining and provides opportunities only for the Premier and his select few.
Sadly, the day is finally upon the PLP government and their support base. They are faced with a simple choice. Can Bermuda afford to continue to follow David Burt down the path of economic ruin or change from within to salvage what we can of our country before it is too late?
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