Progressive Labour Party (PLP) branch meetings are being turned up as time dwindles toward the Annual Delegates Conference, where former Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson is set to go toe to toe with Premier David Burt in a effort to seize the position of party and Bermuda leader, when voting takes place October 20.
TNN understands that a lavish Sandys Parish branch meeting, involving select delegates was held over dinner at Anchor Restaurant in Dockyard last night, believed organised and sponsored by local entrepreneur and party executive, with Premier Burt as the noted guest.
Other branch members, claiming to have not been invited, considered it exclusionary practice to bid some but not others, while wining and dining at what was described by a reliable PLP party source as a “plush” lobbying effort by the incumbent leader.
Further rankling some of the non grata was the sight of Mr Burt arriving to the event, chauffeured in his official vehicle, for what was a party function.
While the Premier was upping his efforts to garner and retain support, so was Dickinson who, in tandem with former National Security Minister Rene and challenger to Walter Roban’s Deputy Leader position, were said to have met with some 60 or 70 members and delegates of the four Warwick branches.
Mr Burt is understood to have been scheduled to meet with the same Warwick branches tonight.
TNN was told by the same source how Mr Burt was employing similar tactics as those used to great effect in the past, that of “targeting and cajoling” known supporters, while impressing upon them the importance of attracting others to his “camp’.
Prior to the Anchorage assemblage, there was said to have been hosted a similar outing at Horseshoe Bay Beach.
“This is all part of his modus operandi to feather his camp,” began the source. “At the first one at Horseshoe Bay Beach, I was made to understand that he was promised (Constituency) 35 Sandys North Central.
“The second one was similar in that not everyone was invited, which is his MO.
“In my opinion it’s unethical the way he’s (Premier) going about attracting support with lavish, plush outings, but that’s just my opinion and the other people are also having meetings.
“I don’t know if the others are supplying cheese and crackers, but the Premier and his lot seem to go over and beyond what constitutes a simple meeting to share one’s vision for the country.”
The source added how, at Purvis School, Dickinson had wowed those in Warwick with “platform rather than platter”, preferring to highlight matters of substance critical to the Island’s recovery and sustained success.
Said the source: “I know that in Warwick Curtis told his story, fielded questions in the manner of a genuine statesman, and the people were overly impressed.
“Because all they hear is David’s crap. And here they were able to listen to somebody who is measured, even and can answer things in way that does not elicit thoughts that there are hidden agendas at play.
In an intriguing revelation it was promoted by the source that the Premier’s wife Kristin Burt is also a PLP delegate with voting power within party confines, despite hailing from Seaside, California, although there remained uncertainty as to her immigration status and whether she possessed licence to vote on the national level.
“The excuse could be that this is constituted under party regulations, rather than country restrictions.”
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