Thats interesting…

Well, I see I apparently made the front page of the RG today. Thats interesting. Not sure if I have the tiem to respond in detail to it all, but I have a few initial thoughts.

First, hey, thanks for the advertising!

I’m sure this headline is making my name mud in certain circles, giving a smile in others, and generally rising some eyebrows elsewhere. Thats cool.

To begin with, its clear that the RG and myself have some somewhat different agendas, me in my criticism, and them in their reproduction of it. I want to make it clear that it doesn’t give me any joy to be criticising my Party, but it gives me less joy to sit idly by and ignore what I see as the Party increasingly making a mockery of its heritage and abandoning its historic mission of the Bermudian liberation struggle. The UBP is irrelevant for the immediate time period, at least as a political force, so I have no problem openly criticsing the Party when I feel it needs it. And nor should any other Party member. I do not speak for the Party (obviously) but only provide my own thoughts. I welcome discussion from Party members and supporters on this site, and feel that such critical discussion is necessary to both breathe new life into the Party and to allow for creativity within the Party ranks, without which the Party is doomed to blunder upon blunder.

I am particularly displeased at the continued imbalance of the blogosphere, which remains dominated by anti-PLP sentiment. Towards the end of 2007 it looked like this might have been shifting, with the formation of the PLP’s own blog, a blog (in theory at least) by the PLP’s Youth Wing the Progressive Minds, and another ‘independent’ pro-PLP blog ‘Bda Str8 No Chaser.’ As it stands now, almost six months following the PLP victory in December, only this blog appears to remain active. This is disappointing and leaves room to question why the PLP seems to have abandoned the blogosphere once it served its apparrent purpose in the run up to the election. It is true though that more PLP voices are heard now on the main Bdian forum, Bda Sucks, but there are still questions to be asked about the failure of these other blogs to continue.

On another note, despite the RG’s characterising me as holding conflicting political positions, I actually disagree with that. I can see how that may come across on a superficial level, but from my perspective my positions have remained constant and loyal to what I interpret as the principles of the progressive labour movement as opposed to Party loyalty.

And yes, I remain a member of the PLP. My membership remains valid through to 2009, and I have every intent on renewing membership at that time. Whether I remain welcome in the Party, thats perhaps up to debate. The Party retains the ability to ‘discipline’ members, up to and including expulsion. I severely doubt this will be invoked, or even successful should such an attempt be made. I have resigined my position as Secretary of the youth wing, Progressive Minds, with the intention of allowing a rotation of duties, learning, and general succession. Similarly, I have resigned my position on the Central Committee where I was the representative of the youth wing. My successors are more than competent, and probably more successful.

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15 thoughts on “Thats interesting…

  1. Hey Jonny*,
    I actually applaud the fact that you have the balls to stand up to your own party and call it out when you think it has done wrong. May be if more people do this, regardless of the party they support, Bermuda would be a better place.

  2. Quite frankly, as you may have noticed it is virtually impossible to NOT be extremely critical of the PLP because a) they are the governing party, and b) the are doing a terrible job. Even if in theory you agree with some of the principles cited in the passage of some controversial legislation, the PLP has then gone and done. When the PLP lose power then we will see a shift as the other party has the opportunity to face the full brunt of public criticism.

    The PLP’s own blog is wildly disconnected from reality and shows the dishonest spin machine at work. Vanz is an abusive libelous troll (I routinely have to delete his comments) and I would not claim him as PLP any more than Sal/Biggie represents the UBP.

    I would love to cheer on the PLP – but I simply can’t. Their decision making has been on the average utterly terrible and even those things that have in theory been a good idea have generally been completely botched in execution.

    Nonetheless, congratulations on having a pair and standing up for what’s right (finally). I’m sure you have a lot more dirt on the crooked right in the PLP – and have a better basis of fact than I do. The PLP are safe in their position for the next few years, so now is the time to make reforms (if ever).

  3. starling – i applaud ur stance – like i said – i value ur existence in the plp – and when we finally have that oft missed opportunity to talk i will fill u in on my reasonings for posting as i do on other sites.

    i saw u at alaska hall on that victorious dec. 18th night and for 1 cannot doubt ur sincerity re; the plp.

    peace,

    vc

  4. Jonathan,

    FYI – http://www.progressiveminds.bm is up and running and has had columns written for posting. It might not be as active as it was prior to the election, but it is active.

    Secondly, for you to think that your writings would not be jumped on by the media show me a naivety in you. You should be aware that the RG is the official opposition, and therefore condemnation of certain PLP members or their activities or shall I say concerns of them, expressed by a member, and let us be real, a white member, give the RG exactly what they desire.
    Even the bavckground of the green shading was intentional as the PLP theme color is green. I have no issue with members speaking against certain issues that they have, however, we all know there is a time and a place, and that place is not the front page of the paper. Former Premier Alex Scott and a few others have done the same thing, due to a bitterness that they have to the current administration. It is unprofessional and sad that they stoop so low.

    I don’t question your membership to the party, but I do question your method of getting your points heard. Beware going forward, because your blog will be monitored by the mainstream press and anything written by you to villify the current administration will be taken.

  5. Active? There have been 4 posts in the last day or so, but previous to that only one 5 weeks ago, and the rest more than 6 weeks. Hardly the definition of “Active”. I would post there but the likelihood of it not being posted is extremely high, so why bother.

    Obviously there are those that take great delight in pointing out that there is criticism coming from within the Party membership, and of course that is certainly why JS made it on the front page of the paper. Those that argue that internal differences would best be aired behind closed doors are the same ones who would be lapping up the dish from the opposition’s discontented members. Do we forget that the RG also happily prints the UBP Party disputes too. The Premier is not helping anything by giving the RG tasty morsels involving naked boobs and family members.

  6. I think that Royal Gazette article was actually encouraged by forces within the PLP. I’ll let you dream up your own paranoid reasons why you’d be ringfenced this way.

    You may notice that Tari Trott’s perspective is typically pro-PLP. He seems to be the only RG reporter that Dr B, Rolfe, and the Colonel will speak to.

    His opening that Starling was “jumping on the bandwagon” was in fact derision.

  7. I have to agree with Fred Menance. If it was UBP how would they benefit from pointing out your race. It makes the Big Conversation seem superficial and trivial.

  8. It is me. Having technical difficulties again, so seeing if this’ll work. Kind of annoyed, typed up this nice reply, and then lost it. I think I’ll copy and paste to a word document everything for now to save on stress. Okay, I’ll try to remember what I had typed.

    Hi Mike!

    I appreciate your posting. Welcome and I lookk forward to your continued contributions.

    Thankyou for the heads up on PM being back up and running. Last time I had checked it was over the weekend, and I don’t think that new post, or any of the comments were there at the time, which led me to conclude it was functionally dead. I hope that its resurgence is continued, but I do wonder whether it should be changed from officially the blog of the PLP youth wing to something else. Anyway, I look forward to recontributing to that site as well. I have spoken to Vanz, and I understand his site will be back and better than before once he has more free time. I look forward to his valuable contributions to our discourse as well.

    I am a bit mystified however by your comment:

    “…for you to think that your writings would not be jumped on by the media show me a naivety in you.”

    I don’t think I anywhere expressed any suprise on that note. I was a little suprised that it made it to the front page, and also by a few other aspects of it. Denis over at http://www.21square.com, and others here noted many of them, namely:

    1) ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ – don’t really see how I did that, but Fred Menace has an interesting perspective there.
    2) Combining my critque with statements from the UBP, which does put a slant on my own position.
    3) Mentioning my race as ‘White.’
    4) Portraying me as having ‘conflicting political positions.’

    I am fully aware that the RG will attempt to use any public criticism of the Party for its own ends. I am also fully aware that the vast majority of Party members are also aware of this, and will quite frankly take the RG’s reporting with a proverbial grain of salt. Party members should not be dissuaded by this fact. The UBP is functionally irrelevant for the immediate time being. The RG may attempt to fill this vacumn, but so what? As a brother in the struggle said to me today, and I know he won’t mind me quoting him:

    “They use you to form a wedge and a debacle, not for debate” – Bro.Ken

    It is my hope that members will look beyond this intention of the RG, and sieze the opportunity to engage in open discussion and constructive criticism. The culture of superficial unity only benefits the opportunists that would use our Party for their own advantage rather than to fulfil its emancipatory project. Furthermore, while they may attempt to use apparent ‘division’ for their own ends, we can also use them for our ends, namely to broaden and deepen our own appeal and support by showing – as we have historically done – that we are a diverse Party, but a united Party, an not afraid of internal dissent. This is not a weakness for us but a strength.

    We must also embrace the positive aspects of new technologies, that allow us to expand and intensify discourse, while constanly guarding against their equally negative potential for manipulation.

    I will continue to engage in open and constructive criticism of the Party when I feel it is warranted. I hope that other Party members will join me, either here or in other mediums. Diversity in opinion, unity in action, that is what we stand for. I believe that we have nothing to fear and everything to gain. Let the RG do their best to manufacture a wedge and debacle. I am confident they will not succeed, and not afraid of their trying.

    Anyway, I look forward to your continued contributions here. I’ll post on PM shortly myself.

    Jonathan Starling

  9. It certainly is curious their insistence in mentioning my race. On one hand perhaps Fred Menace and Wildchild are right in that the reporter was seeking to almost ‘discredit’ me in the eyes of the Party majority membership that is mostly Black, and in our historical reality understandably suspicious perhaps of White members, especially ones critical of the Party Line. I doubt anyone could mistake my criticism as being at all in line with the UBP though.

    Any other thoughts?

  10. I think we tend to read too much into minor details. I guess I find it exceptional that it would be a major news story that someone bothered to be critical of government from inside their party. This should be the norm, not the exception.

  11. Many have been pointing out the fact that corruption exists in Bermuda. Many have been pointing out that the PLP has lost its way and out UBPing the UBP. They have basically been labled as crackpots or people with grudges n axes to grind, all while the taxpayers dollar continues to be STOLEN with very little outcry.
    The average man is watching and de youths are watching same way…”if our so called leaders wanna act like gangsters n pimps livin de champaign life off our dollars de y do we have to struggle and live like rats, we can be gangsters as well and live de good life” Qutoe from the future (age 15) u weak spinless Bermudians are sitting by and allowing to develop by allowing your political system to be pimped out.

    We reap wa we sow….starling ok you spoke up this time will this continue? To little PLP people make their party accountable!!!

  12. “all while the taxpayers dollar continues to be STOLEN”
    i keep on hearimg about this – can someone pls tell me exactly what taxes (sales, income, property)and how it’s being done (is the plp not paying their share if taxes, are they embezzling funds,) pls explain

  13. They are doing massive amounts of self-dealing through government contracts and “consulting” kickbacks. Which is technically not stealing… although the end result is the same.

  14. I really have to sit back and wonder if mental retardation is ranpant onisland cause of our drinking supply!

    The issue should be no MP gettin any contracts cause its called corruption. Vanz and others.

    We put the plp in to stop what the ubp was doing and now they have taken the corrupt ball and milking it for all its economically worth. Instead of doing the job the people put them in there to do.

    Untill u lot that say u bleed green n white and thoese ubp colors start bleeding bermudian blood thats when we will break the cycle of coruption in the Bermuda governmental system.

    But no this wont happen…cause a vast majoity of people are cowards. So what will happen is the youth and the poor finaly standing up and acting out as a group in some form of social disobedience to mark their protest. And I for one home we go protest on every politicians front door step. And that protest should evolve to include violenct if these deaf dumb and blind politicians still decide to do nothing. And that violence needs to be directed at the politicians.

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