How the ‘Two Bermudas’ became four says Vic Ball

“The most serious failure of leadership is the failure to foresee.” Robert Greenleaf

The PLP used to jump up and down about “two Bermudas”. This was to attract votes by promising to to dismantle the divide between the
“haves and the have-nots”. No effort was spared to remind us that the divide was color coordinated between blacks and whites. Hence, the disadvantaged should vote for them to put an end to it once and for all.

The 1998 PLP election victory and the wave of optimism that came with it was primarily the promise to the country to have a more equitable
distribution of wealth and shared prosperity for all.

The most glaring failure to achieve this goal stares us in the face everyday. We can plainly see that after 20 years of PLP governance, we
now only have a fraction of that prosperity. Our “can-do-nothing-right” government presently provides a lifeless City of Hamilton, high unemployment, crushing debt, higher taxes, potholes galore, burdensome cost of living, crumbling infrastructure and our children’s education is a mess. These facts that we see every day should be a sufficient reminder.

The two Bermudas used to be a sizeable upper class with a standard of living that was way above average. The second consisted of
white-colour and blue-colour working class Bermudians who had to sometimes work two or three jobs to pay a mortgage, put children
through school, vacation once a year, save and invest for the future. The one good thing was that our economy used to provide the
opportunity to do just that.

I think it is fair to say that the first Bermuda continues to thrive and “the rich are getting richer” under the PLP. However, even they
have not been spared the negative economic onslaught with many local businesses folding over the last two decades. Southampton Princess, Sonesta Beach, Elbow Beach, Trimingham’s and Crisson’s are but a
footnote in history of a more prosperous time.

Our once mighty tourism sector, which was the “bread and butter” of the working class, is a mere fraction of what is was. Our Caribbean
neighbours are seeing unprecedented tourism numbers post Covid while Bermuda is almost thirty percent behind our best pre-Covid numbers.

Our statistics department never tires of warning us that the class gaps continues to widen to dangerous levels as if the PLP promise of
shared prosperity is a cruel joke to all those that rushed to the poles believing it.

In the meantime, one of the two Bermudas has now splintered into three. The first and most obvious is the new political elite. It is
the “friends and family” network headed by none other than the Premier himself. Some of those in this groups only qualification is to have
unwavering support for a failed “can-do-nothing-right” PLP government.

After undermining the integrity of the BPSU with unprecedented conflict of interest, the Premier decided to appoint himself in charge
of spending the nations finances. After forcing Curtis Dickinson’s resignation, he discarded that minimal check on his power in spending
our money.

He has basically told us that in his mind and by his Party’s silence that he has somehow earned the confidence to have that unprecedented
power. But I ask the country to show one initiative of the Premier that has benefited Bermuda? The former finance Minister left his post after pointing out the financial disaster of the Southampton Princess.

Not only has it remained closed but we are learning more and more of the outright lies and skullduggery behind its continued closure.

The second Bermuda created by the PLP is the increasing number of Bermudians seeking refuge in other countries but mainly the UK as a
result of their economic disaster. Many of our family members have been forced by the PLP to go begging for financial assistance in
another jurisdiction. They are hedging their bets that they will at least be able to survive there.

Not too long ago, Bermuda had a surplus of jobs at all levels of the economy to spare our people this humiliation. Unfortunately, this
particular Bermuda created by the PLP also includes our elders who must leave our island because they can not afford to retire in their
own country toward the end of their lives when they should be near their family.

The third Bermuda created by the PLP and the fourth overall are those of us who have employment but are barely making ends meet or is seeing our standard of living erode because of stagnant wages, significant inflations and a soaring cost of living. The PLP have created this
group mostly by its failed immigration policies. With a declining population, the rest of us have to pay higher taxes to support the pensions plan and our increasingly elderly population. They can not afford the basic of food, medicine and their bills. Frankly, if this immigration challenge isn’t fixed soon, we may not even be able to
attract anyone to come to our shores and then we will be totally and forever screwed.

Seeing the catastrophic writing on the wall, the Premier has told us
that he will not seek the leadership of the PLP. Could it be to avoid accountability and before the proverbial “S” hits the fan?

The only ray of hope in all of this unfolding economic disaster is the
hushed expectations about a windfall from the corporate tax that may
never be collected. But even if it does come to fruition, we can bet
our last dollar that it will be squandered in typical PLP fashion as
if destroying the country is the ultimate plan of the people behind

Then we will be left even more desperate at the mercy and hands of the PLP.

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