“This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last, many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die, don’t ask me why” Bob Marley
An interesting dynamic has taken place in Bermuda politics. The PLP have become the mirror image of the accusations that they threw at the former United Bermuda Party. I am basing this on the policies, politics and attitude of current leader of the PLP, David Burt.
The UBP is a relic of Bermuda’s past. They have ceased to exist as a political organization for over a decade now. However, the PLP never get tired of using it for political mileage by comparing the OBA to the UBP.
They accuse the OBA of being on the side of the established elite business interest and championing policies against the masses. Of course, racial and emotional feelings are stirred up between black labor and the white business class. This narrative is the PLP’s formula for winning elections by attracting the majority populations black vote while it acts totally contrary to black interest.
The PLP sell themselves to the electorate as black peoples only choice, however, they have become the mirror image of the accusations they have hurled against the UBP. Under the leadership of Premier David Burt there is no doubt about the PLP behaving in the same way they attribute to the UBP.
Older generation Bermudians will remember the terms “The forty thieves” or “The old boys club”. This is in reference to the nepotism the UBP was known for. Today, the PLP are shamelessly taking up the mantle of the “new-boys-friends-and-family-nepotism-club”, at the expense of everyday Bermudians.
One of the first things David Burt did as Premier is to give Dr. Ewart Brown $1.2M of our tax dollars. This is the same ex-Premier who admits to being a financial donor to the party and is indicted with 13 counts of corruption. Soon after, Burt gave $800,000 of our money to a US promoter who left the island after promising to build a recording studio. It was only reported to the police after the story broke in the news.
Premier Burt has spent millions of our money on his pet fintech project with nothing to show for it. Social and mainstream media are asking about his conflicted interest with his fintech advisor and the number of untendered projects that are netting millions of dollars. This is during the mantra of “shared sacrifice” during Bermuda’s fight against the pandemic.
Most people will not remember the PLP passing legislation allowing foreigners and foreign companies to purchase property in our EEZ for approved schemes for up to 131 years. This is after blocking the airport project, that by comparison is only for 30 years.
The PLP have had Ministers caught red-handed violating the very pandemic rules they put in place. They have betrayed the workers and the BIU with decertification rules. They have created a new divide with the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated. The two Bermudas that they promoted to be re-elected has grown even more significantly. One “clever” Cabinet Minister created a Board and then paid himself $5000 a month to chair it.
There are fewer jobs available with college graduates unable to find work, home values have decreased as much as 50%, groceries and electricity cost are rising, tourism is in steep decline, workers are using their pensions today while encouraged to abandon their future. Unfortunately, the David Burt leadership joke is now the burden on all of us as the country suffers.
More recently, the Premier has thrown Cabinet Ministers under the bus, enjoyed a party at St Regis which was breaking his own Covid rules, he is the Minister responsible for the Resolve raft-up breaking Covid rules and has implemented a Covid policy that the Minister of Health confirmed will leave Bermudians stranded in a foreign country, only to change it after much outcry. If that is not bad enough, the PLP are criminalizing people that are not criminals and are forcing unvaccinated people into house arrest and enforcing that they are to pay for it in advance of returning back to the island. Clearly, they are “out UBP-ing the UBP”.
I have given only a snapshot of what Premier Burt’s leadership has provided to everyday Bermudians. Ironically, the OBA was formed by a break-away faction of the UBP who wanted to take Bermuda in a new direction under a pluralist multi-racial party with economic prosperity for everyone and the betterment of Bermuda as a whole.
Remarkably, there is one aspect of the UBP’s governance that Bermudians desire the most, but where the PLP continuously fall short. This specific aspect is the prosperous running of our economy with significant opportunities for Bermudians in tourism and IB which at the time was in its infancy.
Instead, the Bermuda we know today is a shadow of its former economic self, courtesy of David Burt’s leadership since 2017 when the island was finally starting to boom again.
Under this PLP government, we have cronyism, a crushing debt, education in crisis, high stress levels, less opportunities in a shrinking economy, rising cost, polarizing division and a steadily decreasing standard of living. Mr. and Ms. Bermuda are worse off today than at any time in recent memory.
Despite all of this catastrophic governance, the PLP will never get tired of the old hypocritical deflection tactic of accusing the OBA of being the UBP and presenting themselves as the only choice and friend of working-class Bermudians.
However, the facts speak for themselves. You can not fool all the people, all the time. Shocking hypocrisy, deflection, tyranny and a significant reduction in opportunities will continue to erode supporters’ blind loyalty.
I do not expect to be popular for pointing these things out especially from the PLP camp. However, for what it is worth, I take it upon myself to be ridiculed because I care about my country and the future opportunities of my children and yours. I want the future to show that I dared to stand up and sound the alarm while this catastrophe was unfolding, with the hope of giving the rest of us the opportunity to do something about it.
As Bob Marley encourages us, “now you see the light, get up, stand up, stand up for your rights”.
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