Et Tu, Brute?

I have jsut finished reading the trio of articles in the Bermuda Sun concerning speculation about a leadership challenge to Dr. Brown in the forthcoming Annual Delegates Conference. These articles are:

Could Brown be Facing a Coup?
Popularity Alone Won’t Propel Cox
Who is the Real Ewart Brown?

Of these I find the speculation written about in the first two articles as worthless speculation at best that, although of interest to local political hobbysists, really don’t add up to anything except alot of hot air.

The final article though, that to me is of great interest. It has been common of late for the media to engage in a frnezy of speculation about leadership challenges whenever a delegates conference comes along. But what is really interesting is some of the sentiments expressed in the final article.

I won’t deny, Dr. Brown’s vision, as far as I can tell, and mine of what progressive labour is all about seem to be wildly different. I don’t have anything personal against him, I just strongly disagree with his vision and interpretation of progressive labour based on my own interpretation. But as I’ve said before I do believe that he has the potential to be the best leader the Party has ever had (not to diminish the capabilities of former leaders I must stress).

Personally I don’t see a leadership challenge in the offing. A couple of months ago I would have said it was coming, but not now. Still, I wouldn’t be all that suprised. But I do think we need a period of continuity of leadership. What I do think needs done is for Dr. Brown to realise he has become a somewhat divisive factor in the Party, and that he needs to make some changes, returning to a greatr committment towards consensus decision making and grassroots concerns.

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78 thoughts on “Et Tu, Brute?

  1. “But as I’ve said before I do believe that he has the potential to be the best leader the Party has ever had”

    What would he have to do, in your opinion, to realise this potential? If you were one of his advisors what changes would you be recommending that he should make, specifically?

  2. Its the natural career arc of most ethically challenged narcissists to become an enlightened and fully accountable public servant due to blog pressure.

  3. Brown plants these “rumblings” himself to get his detractors in a tizzy. I suggest that people read about the machinations of Mayor Barry in DC who based his machinations on the irish political machine in Chicago. Brown is so far ahead in terms of strategy it’s child’s play to him. Reverse psychology much?

  4. Barry did so much chisel he needed satnav to find his own nipples – is this a coy reference to the refusal of our elected officials to take drug tests?

  5. I guess if I was Paula Cox and wanted the top job, I would wait for another 12 months. In that time, the worst of the current economic problems may well be behind us and their impact on the Bermuda economy will be known – I would suggest.

    Also at that time, Brown’s popularity will have slipped further down the toilet – and partly through no fault of his own. Whilst he and his Govt should have been taking steps some time ago to protect us from the possibility of bad years, the reality is that he can nothing to stave off the world wide problems and their effects upon us.

    Of course, no doubt many Bermudians will not see that/not want to see that, and will blame Brown.

    The conditions for Paula to take the top job will be better than they are now.

  6. What I dont understand is how so many people presume to know the desires of Dr Brown, Paula Cox, Randy Horton, etc. I would nearly bet my life that most people with their opinions dont know any of the abovementioned that well, so to know who wants to be leader and how they should go about it is just speculation.
    It will play out how it will play out.

  7. Ken,

    Why do you need to understand it? If there was a premise that “unless you understand it – you shouldn’t blog about it”, then there wouldn’t be any blogs – would there?

  8. thats not the point. Its just hilarious how you all presume to know and speak as some sort of authority. It’s like the saying “U think you know but you really have no idea”.

  9. maybe some of the ‘you’ are better informed, connected or related than you think…

    all 3 in my case, natch.

  10. I was extinct but now I am back or am I ?
    As for the desires of Dr. Brown and others mentioned, is it not quite obvious? I suggest research Ken.

  11. It’s like the saying “U think you know but you really have no idea”.

    Mmmm – much like the Government I suppose.

  12. I guess if I was Paula Cox and wanted the top job, I would wait for another 12 months. In that time, the worst of the current economic problems may well be behind us and their impact on the Bermuda economy will be known – I would suggest.

    Perhaps. But you’re underestimating our beloved Premier’s ability to take credit for anything favourable while dumping the blame for bad things on someone or something else. As long as Paula is “only” Minister of Finance EFB has the ability to use her as a scapegoat.

  13. Sir George…

    You’re right – and I have probably partly derailed the debate. So returning to that…

    If Jonathan is correct and EFB is divisive and – in addition – Jonathan doesn’t expect there to be a challenge to his leadership at least this year, then can one presume that unhappiness in the party (according to the 3rd article Jonathan mentions) is acceptable?

    A sort of…”we may not like it, but there is nothing we can do about it”? Or, ‘we might not like it – but he’s the best we have”?

    If that is the case, then the membership deserve what they get – in my opinion of course.

  14. “As long as Paula is “only” Minister of Finance EFB has the ability to use her as a scapegoat.” So Blankman, what you’re saying is Minister Cox doesn’t have a problem “being used”.

    You all talk about the Premier’s popularity slipping. If I were the Premier I would really have a problem if suppoters of the UBP liked me. It is my understanding that the poll that the Royal Gazette used was skewed anyway.

    If any of you listened to the Everest DaCosta show yesterday you would have heard that Premier Brown is as popular as ever amongst grass roots PLP supporters. In fact 95% of the people that called in think he’s the best premier that Bermuda has even seen.

    I know you’re wishing and hoping that he would be gone posthaste but I think you’ll have to put up with him until he decides that he’s going.

    That ruse that you’re all using with Minister Cox is not working.

    Jonathan, I don’t understand what you mean that Dr. Brown has become a “divisive factor in the party”. Read my column in the Bermuda Sun and get back to me on that one.

  15. “If any of you listened to the Everest DaCosta show yesterday you would have heard that Premier Brown is as popular as ever amongst grass roots PLP supporters. In fact 95% of the people that called in think he’s the best premier that Bermuda has even seen. ”

    Well if the ‘regular’ ‘handful’ of ‘repeat’ callers to the talk show says it is so…..it must be!……lets ignore the polls and all the other signs!

    Piglet

  16. Could Everest be a confused white boy, a confused white boy, a confused white boy?

    Mrs. Furbert, please, step too the plate and admit you were caught in a lie.

    Of course “95%” of the grassroots support Ewart. Do the math lady. Twenty callers, over 80% PLP supporters and regulars. What else you expect?

    As for your columb in the Bermuda Sun, so what? It’s opinion.

    Nah tell me um not a confused Cahow, a confused Cahow, a confused Cahow, a confused Cahow.

    As for Ewart deciding when it’s his time, does that not also play into when we have an election? It also sounds a bit dictaorial of him and from you. Then again, a safe seat is a safe seat. Next time, your party should put you in a ‘safe seat’. At least that way, we could hear much more from you and see your good works.

  17. “As long as Paula is “only” Minister of Finance EFB has the ability to use her as a scapegoat.” So Blankman, what you’re saying is Minister Cox doesn’t have a problem “being used”.

    I didn’t say that. What I said was that EFB doesn’t have a problem using others. A very different thing. If I was her (and I’ll be the first to say I’m not) I’d be very conscious of the fact that the Minister of Finance is an easy target when the economy goes wrong while, if it goes well, the glory will go to someone else. Why play second fiddle when there is no upside.

  18. “Why play second fiddle when there is no upside”.

    Indeed. Furthermore, if you are holding the ‘poisoned chalice of the day’, and the economy may well become that politically, one might as well do so as Premier.

    One of the reasons why I think she should challenge EFB.

  19. Fortunately, only one of the above persons will have a say on the matter of the leader of the PLP. If Minister Cox did emerge as the next leader of the PLP you all will give her a short honeymoon and then you’ll start picking on her as you and your kind have done on every leader of the PLP since its inception.

    Are you now saying that Dr. Brown should take over finance because it has become a “poisoned chalice”? You are really some sick people.

  20. ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

    Please note: NO expat should ever mention the name of Dr. Brown and poison in the same sentence again. To do so makes one at risk of being deported from Bermuda. Laverne is lucky as she’s ‘indigenous’, but don’t make the same mistake she has. Just don’t do it!

  21. Are you now saying that Dr. Brown should take over finance because it has become a “poisoned chalice”? You are really some sick people.

    No. We’re saying that Cox is holding the poisoned chalice and I repeat that EFB will throw her under the bus if he thinks he can gain by blaming her for the debacle that Bermuda’s economy is rapidly becoming.

    There is absolutely no upside to Cox’s position. If things tank, she’s holding the bag and, if things improve, EFB will grab the credit.

    I doubt that anyone would seriously suggest that the good doctor take over Finance as well – given that he’s managed to effectively destroy what was left of tourism, hasn’t exactly delivered a stellar performance in transportation, and has been running the Premier’s office as his own personal goody bag, why would anyone want to let him any closer to Finance than absolutely necessary?

  22. As I said, there are some really sick people who post here and elsewhere and Blankman, I’ll put you in that category. As you know nothing of the Premier’s relationship with the Finance Minister, I would suggest that you leave that subject alone. As far as Tourism is concerned, when the PLP won the 1998 election, Tourism was already in a shambles. I would suggest that you read Jim Woolridge’s book “The House that Jack Built” to see exactly what happened to tourism in Bermuda.

    As far as the Premier’s performance, we’ll let the majority speak.

    As far as Minister Cox holding the poison chalice, you talk as if the situation with the world economy can be blamed on the PLP Government. Minister Cox is quite capable as are her technical officers in the Ministry.

    You all keep forgetting that Ewart Brown does not run this country by himself. He is the Premier and is supported by his cabinet. You want to paint him as a dictator because it makes you and those who think like you feel better. You don’t have a clue to how this government or any other government is run. You make that obvious every time you post something.

  23. As far as Tourism is concerned, when the PLP won the 1998 election, Tourism was already in a shambles.

    That’s why I said that he’d managed to effectively destroy “what was left of tourism”.

    But then Beyonce was here so all is good.

  24. Blankman.

    Your hatred for the Premier hinders your ability to think critically. Look at the stats!! If tourism is so bad under Dr. Brown why is David Doddwell up there doing that multi-million dollar extension?

  25. Beacuse Mr. Doddwell has been in bussiness for years and is looking out for Bermuda.

    You cannot eat unless something is put into the pot.

    Then again, define ‘pot’.

    Mrs. Furbert, is your pot in Bermuda or elsewhere? Then again, define elsewhere, right?

  26. Hilarious.

    So we have had improving air arrivals nearly every year, new hotels scheduled to be built, more flights, lower airfares, and just becasue this year things have been down, mostly NOT as a result of anything that we could have controlled, and now you say Dr. Brown has been a failure and has ruined tourism. It really shows how out of touch some of you, and your leader Kim Swan are.

    Similarly, Col Burch has been responsible for doing wonders for the housing community. Has he fixed the entire situation? Of course not, but he is on track. Yes some projects might have to be delayed becasue of the economic situation, again, NOT a result of our government, but due to the crisis affecting the world, but you have a new Senator Jeanne Atherden calling for his resignation. A classic example of being out of touch and unaware of public sentiment.

    I can tell you that most people whether they like Dr Brown or Col Burch as individuals feel that they are extremely effective in their positions of responsibility. Some of you may not hear these opinions, but that might because you are secluded into your circles and think that what you may hear is representative of the wider community. This is probably why in the same breath the UBP and many of you expected a victory in December, but the PLP held strong. This was because the opinions that you guys talk about in your living rooms, are not indicative of the entire island. It is quite fine for you to believe it, but you will just be disappointed time and time again.

  27. Cahow,

    I am not trying to take anything away from David Dodwell. He is a very successful businessman and I applaud him for that. In fact, I can say that the Reefs is one of the most, if not the most, successful Bermuda product when it comes to Bermudian owned hotels.

    However, Blankman has stated that tourism has declined under Dr. Brown, the Tourism Minister. What I’m trying to say is that is that if tourism is in such a bad state under the PLP government, why would a former Tourism Minister be investing so much money in the tourism product. But I don’t expect you to grasp what I’m saying.

    Answer this question for me. Why would a former Tourism Minister, a member of the UBP, invest millions of dollars in a product, hire Island Construction Company as one of its contractors, if Dr. Brown and the PLP have destroyed tourism in Bermuda. I don’t think that David Doddwell is a stupid man, like you and other UBP supporters who post here.

  28. So we have had improving air arrivals nearly every year

    If you haven’t noticed they’re called business travellers. They come regardless of what happens with tourism. [Unfortunately it means that we don’t have a tourism industry. We’ve got an “IB support industry” and all of our eggs are in one basket. IB.]

    new hotels scheduled to be built

    If you believe that I can give you a deal on some swampland in Florida.

    Col Burch has been responsible for doing wonders for the housing community

    What exactly have you been smoking and where can I get some???

  29. Blankman,

    Let’s carry out a dcent coversation. I’ve never questioned what you you smoke, so why do you find it necessary to question what I smoke.

    All I am suggesting is that you and your kind, check out the tourism figures. I have no interest in swamplands in Florida, neither did I make any mention of it, why would you bring it up?

    Let’s have a “real” debate here. Why would the former Minister of Tourism be investing millions of dollars in the tourism product at this point in time? Why is he using Island Construction Co. as one of his contractors? What’s the deal here? You tell me. You, and your kind, have all the answers. I’m just an ignorant black woman who lies and knows nothing.

  30. I understand the point LaVerne is trying to make, but I don’t think David Dodwell investing in his hotel is proof that tourism has not declined.

    Of course saying it has declined isn’t proof as well, if you are going to make a statement like that you should back it up.

    I’m not sure who suggested that toursim had declined under Dr. Brown but they should provide some evidence, maybe some tourism stats showing a visitor decline, or perhaps number of beds, or jobs pre Dr. Brown compared to the number now.

  31. Ken…

    Do me one small favour please? Stop using words like…”It really shows how out of touch some of you, and your leader Kim Swan are”.

    I have an awful feeling Ken, you would be quite amazed/disturbed to find out that just because we challenge what is happening, discuss the failings, worry about the future, question where we are all going and so forth, that we are not automatically a UBP supporter.

    It really isn’t the case my friend.

    Personally, I think (as do many others) that the UBP is dead. It’s a slow death I will grant you – but dead nonetheless. The ‘only’ downside to that, is that there is no effective opposition in Bermuda. And – I think even you would want to see a good opposition in a two party arrangement.

    Let’s try taking Ms Furberts wish for a decent conversation….hmmmm?

  32. Blankman,

    I think the over 1000 people housed by the BHC, the families at Loughlands, and the tenants converted to Geared to Income housing might differ with you, but i forgot, because we havent SOLVED the housing crisis and housed every single bermudian, we have failed. Right.

  33. I’m not sure who suggested that toursim had declined under Dr. Brown but they should provide some evidence, maybe some tourism stats showing a visitor decline, or perhaps number of beds, or jobs pre Dr. Brown compared to the number now.

    As you will:

    ==============================================
    From the RG:

    Air arrivals in the second quarter were the lowest they have been since 1980, while visitor spending during the three month period plummeted $18 million.

    It was also the fifth consecutive quarter to see a decline in resort hotel occupancy.

    The Department of Statistics released its second quarter bulletin, dealing with April, May and June figures yesterday. It stated:”Air arrivals during the second quarter of 2008 fell 10 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

    “The number visitors stood at 89,642 persons, representing the lowest second quarter visitor total since 1980.”

    Prior to 1980 statistics were compiled using a different method.

    The bulletin continued:

    “The decline can be partly attributed to the knock on effects of soaring oil prices on the global economy, as some major carriers have reduced their service to the Island to combat increased fuel costs.” “The decline in air arrivals translated into a similar fall in visitors staying at guest accommodations.

    “Resort hotels experienced a decline in occupancy for the fifth consecutive quarter, dropping 13 percent, or 6,077 fewer bookings than recorded in the second quarter 2007.

    “Similarly, visitors staying in small hotels, cottage colonies and clubs fell 19 percent. Visitors arriving by air spent an estimated $126 million during the second quarter of 2008, approximately $18.3 million less than the second quarter of 2007.

    “This 12.7 percent decrease in spending is a direct consequence of fewer air visitors.”

    The quarterly bulletin came on the heels of Premier Ewart Brown announcing “August 2008 air arrivals were on par with blockbuster August 2007 performance”.

    He noted that despite economic hardship in the USair arrivals for August dropped only one percent.

    In the Premier’s second quarter press conference held in July, which dealt with the same period as the Department of Statistics bulletin released today the Premier said:”In the face of tough academic times in the US, it has been difficult in this calender year to keep pace with our blockbuster performance of 2007.”

    At the time Dr. Brown said air arrivals from the US were down 14 percent, though number of visitors who flew in were not released. Nor was the drop in hotel occupancy or visitor spending released.

    The Royal Gazette no longer receives monthly breakdowns on arrivals and visitors’ spending patterns from the Department of Tourism.
    ======================================
    Cruise ships:- just 122 calls this year — forcing some Dockyard excursion operators into bankruptcy. Last year we had 151 cruise ship calls… the year before 181. And let’s not forget the cancellation of most calls for Hamilton. Not that it matters given the amount of construction on Front Street.
    =======================================
    Visitor spending:- earlier this year government’s own stats said:

    Hotel occupancy was also up, although there were 245 less beds in 2007 due to hotel closures — which is why hotel occupancy tax was $1 million lower in the 2007 financial year than in 2006.

    A little arithmetic is in order here. Hotel occupancy tax is calculated at 9%. That translates to an $11 million reduction in hotel fees. If the average room is $300 an night that translates to 137,000 fewer room nights (ouch). And if we simply double the room rate to estimate tourist expenditures that comes to a $22 million reduction in amounts spent locally year over year.

  34. Why is Dodwell building his expansion? His hotel is likely the most successful in the Island as Ms Furbert correctly states. However, this is not due to anything the DOT has, or has not, done for Tourism. The Reefs also boasts one of, if not THE highest number of repeat guests, and this hotel has been successfully marketing itself for years. Yes, Mr Dodwell does know what he is doing and it has no bearing on the performance of the Gov’t or the number of visitors that come to our Island. His guests are primarily interested in his hotel because it is so friendly and well-managed. As far as tourism stats that we can actually believe in — as opposed to the spin the plp Gov’t calls truth — let’s look at the actual number of cruise ship calls, or visits, to the Island because we can count them ourselves! In 2005 – 156 calls; 2006 – 181 calls; 2007 – 151 calls; 2008 – just 122 cruise ship calls for the year. In 2006 things were starting to look up, but since Dr Brown has taken over as Minister the cruise ship numbers have dropped dramatically — so much so that some Dockyard excursion operators are in serious trouble, and may not be back next year. The Gov’t contracts directly with the cruise lines, so they are directly responsible for how many ships the Island gets each year. Further, the tourism ‘season’ is getting much shorter! It essentially ended on August 17th this year when ship arrivals took a dive, and it has not recovered! Last year there was good business until Oct 30th, this year only until Aug 19. So please don’t tell me about the ‘Platinum Period’ of tourism… that is obvious spin for the ignorant among us to cover up the real truth that Tourism is in deep trouble! And it’ll get worse next year….

  35. Anyone read Conde Naste? The Reefs seems to have been in the top ten resorts forever. Mr. Dodwell has a great product and should succeed even in the face of dwindling numbers … my problem is why do we all expect him to do it alone?

  36. Ok Blankman great job, you have provided your evidence, now would any one care to refute his argument?

    I will save time and suggest that stating David Dodwell investing monies into his hotel would not score to highly, as evidence to the contrary. Just as his lack of investement wouldn’t be proof that tourism is doing poorly.

    perhaps some one would could that tourism has improved under Dr Brown, when did he become Tourism Minister? Can we see any improvement, Perhaps they could show that he retarded the decline if not reversed it.

    I look forward to seeing if anyone can provide this.

  37. From 181 cruise ship calls to 122 in just 2 years! 80% of the “tourists” who come by air are here on business. And you suggest that maybe Dr Brown “retarded the decline” of tourism? The only thing retarded here is your logic.

  38. I think more can certainly be done for tourism, especially in really building up the infrastructure for cultural, historical and eco tourism. I think those initiatives were really good and still have a lot of potential, but I do feel that they are not being given enough investment as they need to get off the ground. Other than that, I don’t have that many issues with how tourism has been handled so far. I am very much opposed to gambling (with the qualifier that I would support it if it was restricted to foreigners only and the profits went directly to funding public healthcare and education), and I really don’t think that the recent emphasis on cruise-ships is beneficial, both from a sustainable tourism (in the economic sense) and from the ecological (dredging and the like) perspectives.

    But I have no issue with targetting affluent african-americans (although we should do this in addition to our regular bread and butter tourists, which I believe we are doing anyway), or with the music festival either. I think these are good long-term strategies, and critics of them come across as having a rather short-term view. I think alot of the problems with tourism are structural due to competition with the Caribbean. Quite frankly I don’t think we can compete with them on mass tourism (due to their cheaper wages) and should focus more on the niche markets I mentioned above.

  39. John,

    Isn’t one of the fundamental issues here – price and value? Now I know that not everyone wants to go to Las Vegas, and people come to Bermuda for wholly different reasons, but a quick comparison on Travelocity.com shows:

    1) Return flight from New York + 2 nights Hamilton Princess = $1,331
    2) Return flights from Bermuda to Vegas + 4 nights in the Luxor (reasonable but not grand) = $803.

    You have to give people really good value for money (especially the bread and butter you mention), if you are going to attract.

  40. Tourism has only ‘declined’ this year. And that is not the fault of Dr Brown or this government, but the world economy and more specifically the U.S. Economy.

    With regard to the focus on cruise ships, a cruise ship visitor is better than no visitor at all. We already know we need more inventory, which is precisely the reason this government has been actively pursuing and planning new hotels at various locations. Whether all will be built as planned will depend again on financing due to the U.S. Economy, but again, that cannot be wholly blamed on Dr. Brown or this government. If we didnt have cruise ship visitors at all, then income from tourism would even be lower.

  41. Ken, yeah, I understand that completely, you know, cruise ship visitors are better than nothing. It is unfortunate that the financial crisis is throwing a spanner in the works of rebuilding the hotel infrastructure, I was really hoping to see a new hotel in the East.

    As to what Mike was saying, yeah, the prices are not good. Why is that anyway? I’ve heard various arguments but I really have to admit I am not sure of the reasons behind it.

  42. Ken…

    The Government has been talking about new hotels for some years. Tuckers is happening. I see precious little else.

    I don’t think one can hide behind the problems of US economy totally. The state of the US economy in so far as it affects cruise ships, is also questionable. This years arrival – I would suggest – were booked in 2007. Appreciate there were indications of trouble then – but not the problems the US is facing today.

    And I truly shudder what to think what next years cruise arrivals will be like – as that will be almost wholly as a result of the downturn in the US economy.

  43. Tourism has only ‘declined’ this year.

    Not true – that’s one of the reasons I included the bit about 2007 expenditures – to repeat:

    Hotel occupancy was also up, although there were 245 less beds in 2007 due to hotel closures — which is why hotel occupancy tax was $1 million lower in the 2007 financial year than in 2006.

    A little arithmetic is in order here. Hotel occupancy tax is calculated at 9%. That translates to an $11 million reduction in hotel fees. If the average room is $300 an night that translates to 137,000 fewer room nights (ouch). And if we simply double the room rate to estimate tourist expenditures that comes to a $22 million reduction in amounts spent locally year over year.

    =================================
    And that is not the fault of Dr Brown or this government, but the world economy and more specifically the U.S. Economy.

    If it were only this year I’d agree. But it’s not.

    ==================================
    With regard to the focus on cruise ships, a cruise ship visitor is better than no visitor at all.

    True, but the number of cruise ship calls has declined from significantly (In 2005 – 156 calls; 2006 – 181 calls; 2007 – 151 calls; 2008 – just 122 calls).

    =====================================
    We already know we need more inventory, which is precisely the reason this government has been actively pursuing and planning new hotels at various locations. Whether all will be built as planned will depend again on financing due to the U.S. Economy, but again, that cannot be wholly blamed on Dr. Brown or this government.

    Other than the fact that it doesn’t appear that any of the financing for any of the hotels was ever in place (so the announcements were pure fluff on the part of the powers that be) this statement is true. Whether they’ll ever appear is a different question but the US economy does provide a good excuse for not delivering.

    On the topic of financing, where do we stand with respect to the taxpayer funded obligation to clean up the baselands?

    If we didnt have cruise ship visitors at all, then income from tourism would even be lower.

    Absolutely. So we’ve just seen cruise ship calls drop by a third (181-122) and most calls to Hamilton cancelled. Guess that’s a demonstration of the great job Tourism is doing???

  44. I am very much opposed to gambling (with the qualifier that I would support it if it was restricted to foreigners only and the profits went directly to funding public healthcare and education)

    Government has given the green light to gambling on the cruise ships when in port. Of course that just one more thing that Bermuda’s limited nightlife has to compete with so it would seem only a matter of time until they announce that certain hotels will be given licenses to open casinos. [Not that I expect them to happen but that’s the only way that any major hotel development even begins to make sense.]

  45. From today’s Royal Gazette:

    One PLP source told The Royal Gazette that Dr. Brown’s support was now limited to a handful of branches. He said: “The delegates, except for LaVerne Furbert, have lost confidence.”

    Care to comment, Ms. Furbert?

  46. Blankman, Yes, I remember that decision being made recently. I can understand it to a point, but I too think that it was not the right way to go about improving our tourism product in that it further undermines the local small-business sector. Perhaps one could argue that it is a band-aid approach while we fix the domestic infrastructure through investment, but, these things have a tendency of taking root.

    Phil, I am no longer on the ground and in as regular contact with Party members. I know that before I left there was growing dismay about various situations. This inno way means that there are not significant sections that still support Dr. Brown 100%, but there are growing numbers in my opinion that are beginning to question certain things. You asked me a question earlier in this thread which I have not answered yet. Mainly because I thought some of my comments in the original piece spoke to it. I remain sceptical of a leadership challenge. But I do think that it is disingenious to continue the line that there is no division/dissent within the Party as regards the leadership. As I have stated above, I do think that the Party and the country do need some continuity in leadership, and I do think that within the existing system Dr. Brown still has the potential to be our best ever leader. [Note that I stress within the system – I can envision a much better, more democratic system where he would not be the best person.]

    I think that what will happen is that the friction currently being created will be recognised, that certain stylistic elements will be toned down, that a greater effort will be focused on the social policy programs of the platform, and that a greater effort will go into consensus decision making. This does not mean all decision making will be consensus based, only that they will be more so.

    I do agree with others that the honourable thing any leadership challengers should have done is come out in the open a week ago and laid out clear policy platforms in order to have a debate. This I can certainly see occurring in the run-up to the next formal leadership challenge, and that is something that should be both expected and encouraged. Should a vote come up in the ADC as an ‘any other business’ motion that is effectively a no-confidence vote, and it passes, then that is a different matter, but it would be advisable to have some time to flesh out any contenders platforms and not leave it to rhetoric at the time.

  47. Jonny, sorry but once the cruise ships were given permission to keep their casinos open in port there is no way that permission can be taken away. (And I do agree it only further undermines the small business sector.) So it’s just a matter of time until select local hotels are given the same license. [By the way, I see no way to restrict access to any local casino to foreigners. Given that all Bermudians have the right to a UK passport how are you going to figure out who is who?]

    On the topic of EFB, I don’t expect him to step down voluntarily and, given that he’s spread the “largesse” around I don’t see him being deposed. Those that aren’t beholden to him are afraid of him, pure and simple. In the vernacular, the fix is in.

  48. Philip,

    I can assure you that that comment is untrue. This PLP source should have been made to identify their name. There are many more delegates that support Dr. Brown. And those that may not support Dr. Brown may not support Minister’s Horton or Lister either. This article today, as well as those last week, have interviewed the vocal minority, and are taking their opinions as indicative of the party. In my opinion, that is a mistake. However, because what they print tends to back up what you believe and what you would like to see happen, you are happy to then jump on the bandwagon.

  49. So Ken, Dr Brown as no liability for the decline in tourism and it is all the fault of the US economy. That is the way your email reads.

    Clearly the US economic decline will have an impact, but the buck stops with Dr. Brown as both Premier and Toursim/Transport Minister, and since we have collective responsibility, the whole of cabinet is responsible as well. To use their own stats (which are without a doubt subject to some large grains of salt), “It was also the fifth consecutive quarter to see a decline in resort hotel occupancy.” That was to 2Q 2008, so hotel occupancy has declined every quarter since March 2007.

    Now lets see… ….when did the current financial crisis really kick in, ohhhh, maybe sometime in 3Q 2008, which we do not have stats on yet. (I do appreciate that world finances were not in that great shape prior to 3Q 2008, but the Sept/Oct rollercoaster was way more severe than anything over the last 1.5 years, which is much of Dr. Brown’s tenure!!)

    Pitts Bay

  50. Pitts Bay,

    I am not saying its all the fault of any one thing. But I believe the decline in the US economy is a large contributing factor to the decline in tourism that has happened this year. I dont see much that the Premier could have done to avoid this. Sometimes circumstances do happen that are out of one’s total control.

    It is fine that many of you will continue to try and cast Dr Brown as the anti-Christ and that the UBP or Paula Cox or whoever will be the saviors. I am a huge fan of Ms Cox but I dont see any reason at this time that Dr Brown should not be the leader. Ms. Cox will challenge for the leadership if and when she chooses to. And most of us with common sense know that the moment she deos take over, after a brief period of praise, the media and Opposition will begin to try and erode her base as they have with each successive PLP leader.

  51. The thing that irritates me is that Dr. Brown and his supporters are so quick to lap up any praise or improvements that occur within his multiple portfolios. They claim that these successes are all down to the political and diplomatic expertise of the Minsiters in charge.

    But when things go wrong they refuse to take the blame and instead explain the demise of tourism for example, on the international economy and the past decisions of the UBP government.

    It’s the oldest type of politicking around and Dr. Brown has utilised it since his reign as Minister.

  52. One PLP source told The Royal Gazette that Dr. Brown’s support was now limited to a handful of branches. He said: “The delegates, except for LaVerne Furbert, have lost confidence.”

    I hate to disappoint you Mr. Wells, the Premier has almost 100% support of the branches, delegates and most of the Members of Parliament except the “PLP Source”. You must know by now that the PLP source has allowed himself to be used by the Royal Gazette, the Mid Ocean News, Bermuda Sun and “Catch A Fire”. All along it’s just been one person. The rest of us love our Premier and are very satisfied with his leadership.

    It really doesn’t matter what you and your fellow bloggers think. In this case you all are in the minority.

  53. It really doesn’t matter what you and your fellow bloggers think.

    True. Bermuda’s future will be determined by a small group of PLP insiders.

  54. Am not O.J. Simpson so i have changed the game to write a book called ‘Educated pigs.’ Dr. Pig is really doing a great job for whites and foreigners his portfolio must be exploding with kickbacks. Fortunately not everyone is fooled, cant blame him, blind suckers deserve to get ripped off.
    Flushing bermudians like toilet paper everyday down the toilet with outsourcing and klan contract awards mentally retarded supporters still sing his praise. Denial and lack of formal education makes it easy to run numbers on green monkeys desperate for leadership. Go to the aquarium pick out a monkey make him Premeir part loyalty aint no joke.
    By Election “Burch can beat Mohammadian Wasi”

  55. Speaking of Leadership, what is going on at the UBP?
    First former deputy Jon Brunson resigns last week, now current Deputy Cole Simons resigns today as Deputy Leader, to be replaced by Trevor Moniz???
    I dont get this at all.

  56. Starman- i think you may be right.

    It will be interesting who their candidate for Constituency 31 will be and how they will show up in the polls against the PLP candidate. Brunson won by 140 votes, but if this is much closer or even a PLP victory it could be the nail in the UBP’s coffin.

    Unfortunately it seems they dont want to make a real decision as to what to do, so it will be made for them.

  57. Blankman says “True. Bermuda’s future will be determined by a small group of PLP insiders”. Blankman you’ve got it wrong again. Bermuda’s future will be determined by the majority of the people, just like it did prior to 1998. Prior to 1998 the majority of the people determined that the UBP would run the country, since 1998, the majority has decided that the PLP will run the country.

    As for “Educated Pig”, I know he speaks for the majority of bloggers on this site. I expect to read more comments like that once the PLP conference is over and Dr. Brown once again emerges as the Premier of Bermuda. You all really thought that you could change that didn’t you? Now you’ve got 2 more years to blog your nastiness about one of the greatest Premier’s that Bermuda has even seen. Poor you all!!!

  58. And by the way, it looks like we’re going to have a Black President of the U.S. as well. I have no doubt that Dr. Brown and Barack Obama will hit it off just fine. I can’t wait to see who Barback appoints as the U.S. Consulate to Bermuda. I hope he’s as pleasant as Gregory Slayton. We may need to increase the size of the parking lot at Clifton.

    Is this where I should use the term “the chickens have come home to roost”?

  59. Ms Furbert…

    You know, your last very silly posting is way beneath a educated woman with a degree. But heh, who am I to question what the bright old things of today might do with their education.

    Educated Pig’s posting was clearly written by well educated, bright, Bermudian scholar with a broad and deep understanding of politics as it applies to the world in which we live.

    Looks like the ramblings of a black guy who is well and truly p….d off with the current oligarchy. You know – the ones that your party vowed to help?

    Ah well.

  60. Mike,

    You saw “Educated Pig” as a well-educated , bright, Bermudian scholar with a broad and deep understanding of politics as it applies to the world in which we live” who, according to you “is black guy who is well and truly p….d off with the current oligarchy”. I wonder why he would let you know his true identity and not me. Tells me something about that “well-educated, bright, Bermudian scholar who is a “black guy who is well and truly p.d. off with the current oligarchy”. The fact that he is more comfortable communicating with you than me, tell me something about him. But then, again, it’s people like you, who understand people like, better than I could ever understand him. Give me a break!!!

  61. ”I hate to disappoint you Mr. Wells, the Premier has almost 100% support of the branches, delegates and most of the Members of Parliament except the “PLP Source”. You must know by now that the PLP source has allowed himself to be used by the Royal Gazette, the Mid Ocean News, Bermuda Sun and “Catch A Fire”. All along it’s just been one person. The rest of us love our Premier and are very satisfied with his leadership.”

    LaVerne, I’m not sure what to make of your comment there. You know perfectly well that I do not speak anomynously to the media, and that they more often than not left posts from this blog without my prior knowledge. I am not that ‘source’ in the media, and no one from the ‘PLP’ has been instructing me of anything. I speak with Party members regularly, and voice my opinions. Perhaps I@ve misunderstood you.

    As for Mr. Slayton, good riddance to him. I have nothing good to say about him.

  62. JS,

    You are white, so obviously the ever intolerant Ms. Furbert will automatically relate those comments mase to the RG as being from yourself. It is unbelieveable to me that you continue to stick up for a person who slights you at every chance possible. This is the 3rd time in as many weeks (by my count) where she has basically told you that you aren’t PLP material. But hey, props to you for being so tolerant of such an intolerant and nasty individual.

    And for her to even try to compare Mr. Obama to Dr. Brown is well, apples and oranges. Don’t disgrace Mr. Obama in that way Ms. Furbert. His statesmanship, percieved morality ( as I do not know him peronsally) and ability to inspire trumps Dr. Brown in every sense. Again apples and oranges.

    But one thing I do have to agree with the ever hateful Ms. Furbert on is that Dr. Brown will not lose his position at the conference. Not because there is an overwhelming support for him in the streets but because PLP members (not supporters) have proven to be unable (or scared to due to political terrorists such as Ms. Furbert) to speak out against the autocratic style of the PLP leader. We have all seen how any dissenters are simply dismissed as “non-believers” “uncle toms” or “haters” by indisviduals such as Ms. Furbert. Look at how she attacks Alsys everytime she doesn’t fully agree with a PLP action/policy. She questions her loyalty and even said she wasn’t even sure if she was a trgue supporter. Unfortunately Ms. Furbert there are individuals out there that are able to make up their own mind about certain situations despite what a certain politician(s) might say. But hey, you are doing a great job as a simple YES WOMAN.

    In the streets and in my work place most black Bermudians believe he has become elitist and dictator like with his actions. For instance, many were pissed that Govt. has cut the affordable housing initiative, in the meantime, during these hard economic times, but felt that operating a Music Festival at a loss is more important. Little backwards don’t you think?

    Oh yeah Ms. Furbert, there are individuals (black and white) that do intermingle and befriend people of different skin color within our island. You call every white person racist, but I wonder how many whites you have tried to hold a conversation (without reverting to your usual bullshit racist rants) with, or invited to your house for dinner. Just because you surround yourself in your hateful environment (aka your comfort zone) doesn’t mean that everyone thinks like you about other fellow human beings that aren’t exactly like you.

    It still amazes me that you go on about your “courage and convictions.” Where were these when you were called out on your lies? I saw no courage or conviction from you in admitting that you were caught ot in a lie. Just your useless racist banter. Obviously not all things get better or wiser with age.

  63. “As for Mr. Slayton, good riddance to him. I have nothing good to say about him.”

    JS,

    Why the hostility towards Mr. Slayton? Is it simply because of his capitalit nature or is it a personal thing?

  64. Mostly from column a.

    I think he has often overstepped his capacity as a diplomat here, intervening in our politics. I am not happy with the land grab concerning Clifton as well. I also have found him, personally, to be rather two-faced, very good at the political smile in front of cameras but quite different away from them. He, or rather the consul, should restrict itself to the paperwork its here for and keep quiet otherwise.

    And sure, politically, as a republican appointee his politics and mine are quite different. As I’ve said before I also have little good to say about the democrats and am amazed at the uncritical support being given to the Democrats and the Obama campaign in Bermuda as a whole. Sure, I would rather have him in than McCain, but the lesser of two evils is still an evil from where I stand.

  65. Fair enough.

    In regards to the “land grab” of Clifton, you must remember that the US Consulate was given Governmental permission to build upon that piece of land. So who should be more upset with, the person who asked for permission or the ones that gave permission?

    Two faces are what all politicians practice. Be it the ruling party or the opposition. “We had to deceieve you” all of a sudden comes to mind.

  66. Ms. Furbert,

    I hate to disappoint you Mr. Wells, the Premier has almost 100% support of the branches, delegates and most of the Members of Parliament except the “PLP Source”… All along it’s just been one person. The rest of us love our Premier and are very satisfied with his leadership.

    I have no problem with you supporting the Premier. I just wish you would be a little more honest when arguing your corner. The discontent with Dr. Brown may or may not be as great as the media sometimes make it seem, but it’s obviously more than one person.

  67. Dr.Pig may be in power for ten years because the whole Plp cabinet are useless yesman cowards scrambling to pay off bad loans. His poll numbers can only go up. The lack of a challenge really proves the lack of self confidence in cabinet after all 72% of the population hate the Premeirs guts. Alex Scott did more for the poor Loughlands, Lottery housing geared to income. This Pig is just a socialite. Cant even say the word poor his so fat and rich. Any which way, the war is still on.

  68. Jonathan,

    Yes Jonathan, you have misunderstood me. When I said “Catch A Fire”, I meant it collectively, not you personally.

    9ps in his usual childist banter writes “You call every white person racist, but I wonder how many whites you have tried to hold a conversation (without reverting to your usual bullshit racist rants) with, or invited to your house for dinner.” Actually, every time my tenants (upper and lower) leave home or return home and I’m up and about, we hold a conversation. Actually, one day last week I cooked a huge pot of soup and shared it with them. The week before that they enjoyed my delicious spaghetti and meat sauce. If you want a list of all of my white friends, I can provide that for you as well.

    Mr. Wells writes, “The discontent with Dr. Brown may or may not be as great as the media sometimes make it seem, but it’s obviously more than one person.” Of course it’s more than one person. How many people post on this and other blogs are discontented with Dr. Brown including you? But, last Saturday, a very respected senior member of the Bermuda community called me and asked me to tell Dr. Brown that “there are more for him than against him”. Her words, not mine. I don’t think you will any leader of any organisation that has the support of the whole organisation. Everybody in America doesn’t support Barack Obama, but there are a hell of lot who do. The same goes for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I bet you everybody on your job doesn’t like you and I bet you that there are some who do. That’s life!!

  69. “It still amazes me that you go on about your “courage and convictions.” Where were these when you were called out on your lies? I saw no courage or conviction from you in admitting that you were caught out in a lie.”

    Ms. Furbert,

    Any comment on the above?

  70. “It is unbelieveable to me that you continue to stick up for a person who slights you at every chance possible. This is the 3rd time in as many weeks (by my count) where she has basically told you that you aren’t PLP material. But hey, props to you for being so tolerant of such an intolerant and nasty individal.”

    Yes, all credit to Jonathan for his ability to shrug off every racist assumption and implication that he’s not ‘real’ PLP because of the colour of his skin, but I must confess that I find it curious that someone would continually defend LaVerne and her son, who prove on a daily basis that they regard the white race as morally inferior and, frankly, little more than gutter detritus.

  71. How’s that economy lookin’ Ms. Furbert?

    Looks like Blankman might have been spot on.

    Tourism is worse as well…wow…who’da thunk it…

    Education in the pits, people getting shot.

    Good times. Thanks.

    Go go thread necro…

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