I was not surprised that Mr. Cole Simons resigned his position as the Deputy UBP Leader. Quite frankly I was surprised when he became the Deputy in the first place, and he certainly didn’t do anything to distinguish himself in that position. Unless one can distinguish onself by doing nothing?
But I am surprised at the election of Mr. Trevor Moniz to this position as a replacement. The most intriguing thing for me from the report though was that he ran unopposed. To me this says that he was clearly the unanimous choice, or, no-one else was willing to step up to the plate. My perception of the Party since their 2007 defeat is that the latter is most likely, and indicative of the continuing malaise within the UBP.
I sort of like Mr. Moniz to be honest. I know he’s regarded as a bit of a maverick traditionally within the UBP, especially since the factionalism of the 90s, but I’ve always held the guy in pretty high regard. I don’t agree with many of his policies, but at least with him I know where he stands most of the time, and you’ve got to respect that.
I perceive him as being part of the group that supports reform within the UBP as opposed to the ‘establishment’ – the old guard of Front Street. But the ‘reformist’ group, which has existed at least since the 1970s, is not a monolithic entity. It is as far as I can see composed of two distinct groups: (A) What may be regarded as the legacy of the Black Caucus; (B) The non-establishment Whites.
I see Mr. Moniz as very much in the latter category. Traditionally this faction has criticised the UBP for being to elitist in a paternalistic sense, and tends to represent a much more reactionary social position, especially on the race question. My estimation may be off here, but I think we will find in Mr. Moniz a person who certainly won’t be a lame duck like we had in Mr. Simons, but someone who in his actions will tend to isolate key elements of the Bermudian swing voters while simultaneously solidifying UBP core support.
I feel that this will only accelerate the friction within the rival camps (both camps of reformists and the establishment factions), leading to a further decomposition of the Opposition. It will be interesting to hear what Mr. Moniz has to say in the next coming days, as well as looking at what impact this will have in the upcoming by-election and the anniversary of the UBP’s third electoral defeat.