Welcome Back PM and Str8-No-Chaser!

Following my earlier comments regarding the apparent dormancy of PLP allied blogs in our blogosphere, it seems I’m going to have to retract my statements. Both Progressive Minds and the blog Bermuda Str8-No-Chaser seem to have been resurrected. This brings more political diversity to not only PLP allied perspectives on the Bdian blogopshere, but also greater balance to the still anti-PLP dominated blogosphere.

I continue to regard Politics, IMHO and New Onion as representing a diverse spectrum of UBP thought, so I guess the formal balance is essentially equal now. Of course, it remains to be seen if this current burst of activity will be sustained. I am hopeful that it will be, and look forward to the discourse between the respective pro-PLP sites, as well as between these sites and the pro-UBP and other Bdian political sites.

I also remain hopeful that the Workers Voice, the media arm of the Bda Industrial Union, will soon join the electronic media, as I find it provides a very useful (but hard to find) insight into organised labour in Bermuda. I know they are dealing with some restructuring now following the passing of longtime editor Lionel Pearman, but I am confident that it will be better than ever shortly. I look forward to the next issue.

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26 thoughts on “Welcome Back PM and Str8-No-Chaser!

  1. I think you should have waited a bit with your Resurection Proclamation. It looks like Vanz is up to his old tricks and copying his one post in multiple locations. Not sure that would be a sign of resurection of the needed “balance” of the blogsphere, or really, any form of balance at all for that matter.

  2. That’s true of a lot of people. You deal with them as people in person and they’re fine. Give them a pulpit or a keyboard and they turn into total assholes.

  3. Hi Slowhand,

    You are right, when I posted the announcement I was not yet aware that he had made numerous duplicate posts. I am however of the opinion that he may have done this more as an attempt to let everyone know that his site was back online. True, he could’ve done it better with a post along the lines of ‘Hi, I”ve been busy, but I’m back online if anyone would like to check out my new post…’ or ‘I wrote something along the lines of that here…’ but c’est la vie. I’m more or less confident that it was more of a one off thing this time though.

    As for what ‘Troll’ and DeOnion write, I guess it is a bit like the Lord of the Flies argument, about how when hiding behind a mask one may assume a different persona than is representative of ones real personality. There are any number of individuals on the blogosphere, here and globaly, that act in just such a manner. This is one of those many double-edged swords of our modern technology; on the one hand it can help with ones own development, safe from percieved ridicule behind ones anomynity; on the other hand it can unleash the worst of our humanity, largely free from repercussions of social constraint in the real world. This may not entirely apply to the case in point, but I think you get the idea.

    As ‘Troll’ has written, despite how some judge him by some of his online actions, Vance is actually a highly articulate and valuable thinker, whether this is expressed in all of his posts or not. But we are all only human afterall, warts and all.

  4. Not just the blogsphere, I mean in general there are a lot of people who are fine people until you call them “Minister”, “the Honourable” or if you dare to disagree.

  5. JS,

    “….it was more of a one off thing…” ??? Wanna bet? This is classic Vanz, a-typical of how he posts. I will concur that he does have periods of lucidness but why he cannot remain that way is too unfortunate. Its not even funny how he has squandered so many opportunities by reverting to his vitriolic, trollish persona.

  6. unfortunately it’s only when one of the major Bermuda blogs (namely, here, Politics.bm and 21 Square) highlights the dormant state of Prog Minds that someone wakes up and says, “let’s show them we’re not here just during election periods – we’re bringing back on-going discussion”. Give it two weeks.

    I’ve always thought the Workers’ Voice (they need to get that apostrophe in place, btw) would be well served by having an online presence – it would definitely allow them to reach a much wider audience in Bermuda.

  7. So much for that resurrection. That one little burst and since then, nothing. Its not like nothing is going on either.

  8. Yes. I’m still hoping to see more action there. One problem is that quite frankly, it is harder to criticise ones own people than the opposition. I’m of the opinion that its better to be able to have frank and open discussion from within the Party rather than leaving the field open to the Opposition to do so. As I’ve said before, the UBP is politically irrelevant from my perspective right now, and nothing is to be feared of them. The RG is taken with a huge dose of salt by all PLPers already, so I’m not worried about their twisting things for their own interests. Most members may prefer criticism to be contained within CC, but as far as I”m concerned, only a fraction of members attend CC now, and the machinery of th eParty is essentially defunct and outmanouevered as is. Anyway, I”m in a rush, I”ll write later.

  9. Here’s the thing. That blog serves no positive purpose. Posts only come about when a UBP member or someone known to be critical of the PLP (such as the VRA) does something that sparks strong reaction, that of course is usually the equivalent of chest thumping.

    Long since unsubscribed to their RSS.

  10. The machinery of the party is defunct? You mean just like governance in Bermuda?

    Nice job guys! You handed the keys to a bunch of kleptocrats.

  11. DeOnion, I understand your sentiment, but really, the caustic style just tends to rile PLPers up and gets us all defensive like, even if we agree with the sentiment. I’m just saying, relax and careful with the generalisations.

    Kleptocrats. I understand the sentiment there, sure. One could argue that they are no more so than the UBP of past. Of course, this is not an excuse, the PLP was elected expressly to NOT be like the UBP, not as good as or worse than, but to be something altogether different.

    One of the key differences though is the UBP of past approached things in a very similar manner to the old aristocrats and slave masters, corrupt, clinging on to power, but with a distinct paternalistic bent. The nouveaux riche of the current leadership could be more akin to a more ruthless version arguably, in that the paternalism is gone. This is both an advantage and a problem. No one I think finds the paternalism of old ‘good’ but at the same time it did provide a less ruthless form of exploitation. The idea was to get rid of the paternalism and build a more collabrative economy and political system. We haven’t done that. Not by far. If anything we’ve done a better neo-liberal job than the UBP ever could have.

    Phil Perenchief makes some usefuly comments and insights in the RG today; I’ll expand on them more when I have had some time to reflect on the issues better. I’ld advise all go and read it as well.

    But when I say the machinery is dead, it is true, and has been since the victory of 98 pretty much, but the constituency changes certainly accelerated that with the branches failing to anticipate the necessary restructuring. But the problem was always there in an embryonic form; a truly participatory model of democracy as was one of the underlying ideals of the liberation struggle – of which the Party was only the most formal expression – comes into direct contradiction with the existing hypocrisy of the Westminster system of ‘liberal democracy.’ One or the other has to give ultimately, and in this case ‘liberal democracy’ won over ‘popular democracy.’ The friction continues though between the ideals of the progressive labour movement and the reality of the status quo. The ideals and principles continue to fight a rear-guard battle against realpoliticks, and that is exactly what we are witnessing in the current dynamic.

  12. Wait, it’s my fault that people get angry when their deeply held beliefs are dead wrong?

    Cognitive bias is killing this country. People like you publicly support a party that in every practical sense is the anithesis of both its stated ideals and humble roots.

    The PLP as an organisation is utterly corrupt at the top. You know this. I know this.

  13. I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying there DeOnion. I am not necessarily disagreeing with your position, but I am trying to gently indicate that certain reactions and approaches are more likely to have an opposite effect than the ones you desire. If you want to get people to really listen to what you are saying and react in a constructive way, then you need to meet them were they’re at, and bring them to your position. I’m not saying talk down to anyone or anything like that, but rather to understand that people have different outlooks, experiences and reactions than your own.

    Constructive criticism works alot better than blatant condemnation, because with the blatant condemnation you are effectively creating a dichotomy of ‘us’ and ‘them’ and that forces people to choose sides. In our case this leads to a ‘lesser of two evils’ paradox rather than building the foundations for a ‘greater good.’

    So I’m not saying its ‘your fault’ I’m saying that ‘cool, I hear what your saying, but that approach isn’t conducive.’ Its not ‘no criticism is valid’ but rather be strategic and tactical in how you criticise to maximise your goals.

  14. “The PLP as an organisation is utterly corrupt at the top. You know this. I know this.”

    that’s ur Cognitive bias working – dr, brown has been around too long involved in too many organizations and people that at some point here would be some concrete evidence of wrongdoing on his part along the way – whether in the US or here – people just don’t becoem corrupt over nite (just ask shawn crockwell) – even at the heart of perenchief’s bitching was that dr. brown was arrogant – not corrupt – sounds like an axe to grind.

    “Phil Perenchief makes some usefuly comments and insights in the RG today”

    and starlin c’mon – u know that perenchief ran as an independent in 1993 and only got 500 votes – he’s not hard core plp – and i saw u around alaska how enuff to know that u know why perenchief lost his seat – it was nothing to do with dr. brown – it was to do with perenchief’s libido – let’s get real

  15. Vanz, you are dismissing any and all criticism on the basis of the person presenting the argument as opposed to what the argument is itself. That is a logical fallacy. His arguments need to be analysed and rebutted for waht they are and not by who has made them.

    From being out canvassing for months prior to the election in different constituencies, what Phil describes is more similar to my experience on the doorstep than not. We could have won more seats. We maintained the government more in spite of our campaign than because of it. Thats my opinion based on my experiences and discussion with fellow members. It might be wrong. Thats were discussion comes in.

  16. i have to disagree w/ u starling – when i got to bda and read these huge scare tactic ads that the rg was running i was shocked – dr, brown ran against a hostile media, racist “fake” lobby groups, tramped up scandals and still won a majority – more importantly he won close to 54 percent of the popular vote which was the % they won by in ’98 – if the plp allows the rg and other haters to dictate who the leader is – then the might as well just let bda be run by the UK parliament – people may not like brow’s style (most of the world doesn’t like blk alpha males) – but the truth is that he win 7- percent of the delegate vote and won the 2nd largest popular vote count in the last 30 years – let’s get real – this is not about politics or govt. – this is about petty jealously – u tell me starling – who would be a better leader right now?

  17. There is the possibility to question the legitimacy of the delegates vote due to the essentially broken branch system that has yet to be repaired organically by the members.

    I have said before that my issue with Dr. Brown is an ideological one; I see him as a capitalist through and through, not even a social democrat. As a parliamentary leader, I actually think he is remarkably brilliant to be honest. I do think he has made some huge blunders though in recent times, and I do think that he is very much a Blair like figure, with all the pros and cons that that entails – I am certainly opposed to Blairism, and oppose Dr. Brown very much in the same way.

    I do totally agreee that the Opposition and its proxies were running a nasty campaign, but I also think we ran a poor campaign, relying more on spin and US advisors rather than a grassroots campaign along with susbtantial rebuttals of the Oppositions nastiness. In some very real ways it was chosen to fight fire with fire, and I don’t think that was beneficial for the Party.

    One also has to understand that I am not campaigning simply for a ‘better’ PLP government; I’m advocating a much broader vision of popular economic and political democracy beyond the Westminster framework. I don’t think many of our social issues can be solved within the straitjacket of the existing status-quo. But the status-quo can be used as a foundation from which to launch this broadening and deepening of democracy, and that, uite frankly, is not happening.

  18. “I have said before that my issue with Dr. Brown is an ideological one; I see him as a capitalist through and through, not even a social democrat.”

    he was a radical student leader at howard, then ran a clinic for poor people in watts – and then left that for a life of public service – with that b/g how much of a capitalist can he really be – he graduated from howard at a time when white guilt was creating well paying jobs for blks – a route he could have easily taken but he didn’t – cornell west was obamas’ biggest critic until he sat down with obama face to face – he’s now on obama’s campaign committee – at the final rally at dev. rec in dec 17th – dr, brown joked that he knows a lot of u can’t help believe a little bit about what u read about him in the racist media – it’s sad but it’s true.

    when bill clinton was being attacked by the right wingers – he was asked if he’s afraid that the media will turn the people against him – clinton said that they’re not trying to turn the people against me they’re trying to turn me against me and u against u – that’s how insidious the rg etc are – the lesson is to young aggressive blk males in that country – if u stand up like a man we will crush you.

    also – considering that they ousted blair and now it looks like under brown labour is self destructing (a conservative mayor in london?!) – shouldn’t that be a lesson in caution

  19. “Kleptocrats. I understand the sentiment there, sure. One could argue that they are no more so than the UBP of past.”

    The UBP only charged 250 mil ,The Plp is charging 1 billion.

  20. Actually Vanz… thats 1997 dollars…
    but we know why you have no issues… Its not your money they are spending… its ours.

  21. Interesting! Vanz seems to have removed the comments on his site…. seems to me he used to deride Christian for not having comments on his blog…

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