Response to Sister LaVerne Furbert – Intro

Sister LaVerne Furbert, who is well known within Bermudian political discourse, left a comment on this site yesterday. Due to the nature of her comments, I have decided that they warrant a formal response from me on this site.

Before I get into the formal response I just wanted to say that I fully appreciate Sister LaVerne taking the time to read through my site and to comment. This site was set up, although primarily for my own development of ideas, to provide a forum to stimulate discussion amongst PLPers on a site that I could gauruantee as free from censorship (within reason, as explained in my About section) and percieved bias as was felt to exist on other blogs. It was set up purposefully as independent of formal Party control. This decision was made as I felt it necessary to provide a forum where discussion would be free and critical, even of the Progressive Labour Party itself. I believe such criticism is necessary for the long-term sustainability of the Party, that dogmatic adherence to the Party Line would ultimately be the downfall of the Party.

I do of course have my own particular point of view. I am a Marxist. My Marxism however is not that of Soviet Russia, or Maoist China or Castroist Cuba. My Marxism has little in common with these ‘orthodox’ authoritarian Marxisms, other than some shared superficial attributes. My Marxism is a libertarian Marxism. The point of view that I put forward is what I understand to be a libertarian Marxist democratic socialist viewpoint. Nonetheless, I continue to advocate for mutual discussion of different political viewpoints, both from within the formal Progressive Labour Party and the wider progressive labour movement for emancipation and liberation. I also welcome dialouge with political views outside of these spheres. I feel such free and critical engagement of such viewpoints is necessary for the liberation struggle. Afterall, discipline begins when conviction (the baility to convince by rational argument) ends.

I will be responding to the three points raised by Sister LaVerne in three individual posts. For ease of review, I present her entire comments below:

LaVerne Furbert Says:
June 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm e
Jonathan,

I have three suggestions for your after reading you posts on this matter:

1. That you re-assess why you chose to become a member of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party.

2. That you make yourself familiar with Bermuda’s labour laws, in particular with arbitrated awards;

3. That you explain to your readers why it is that the “industrial” employees of the Bermuda Museum Aquarium & Zoo (BMAZ) only became unionised within the last 12 months, in spite of the fact that the BAMZ is a department within the Ministry of the Ministry of the Environment. You can also explain to your readers why it is that the industrial employees of the BAMZ are represented by the BPSU and not the BIU.

Additionally, what did you do personally to counteract the “learned” opinions of the lawyers hired by the BAMZ to avoid unionisation of its employees.

LaVerne Furbert

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