Dead Man Walking: “This Too Shall Pass”

And before anyone starts trying to twist things the ‘dead man walking’ phrase is used as a metaphor for the political reality of Dr. Brown. I am in no way advocating any sort of harm to him.

Well, the Opposition UBP has tabled a motion of no confidence as a result of this fiasco. They have been at pains to stress that they are doing so not against the Uighurs but because this situation typifies the problems with Dr. Brown’s Premiership. At this point it is extremely hard to imagine this motion not carrying easily.

Up until today the only official PLPers that had commented on this situation were the Premier Dr. Brown, Senator Burch, Senator Dill, Senator Brown and (presumably) the Party Chairman Mr. Burt (in as much as he is responsible for the official PLP site – as I understand it) and member Ms. LaVerne Furbet (allegedly, going by reports of radio talkshows). All of these individuals were predictably supportive of the issue. The Senators have little choice but to support Dr. Brown and, accordingly, their opinions on this issue are effectively worthless. All the same it is important to rebut their argument, that this action is the right thing to do, it is purely humanitarian.

This humanitarian argument is a complete red herring of an argument.

The issue is solely on how this fiasco came about, and what it implies. This decision has been made contrary to our Constitution, which makes it all the more ironic that not only a few weeks ago the Party Leadership was desperately clutching to the Party Constitution rules to fend off a Leadership challenge. What is more, there is growing evidence that could see the decision as being seen as an act of treason and an attempt by the USA to undermine the constitutional sovereignity of our island and, by extension, the UK.

The US says these people are innocent, and, under international law were obliged to take them. This should never have been Bermuda’s problem, and Dr. Brown has severely miscalculated on this one.

Its strange really. One gets the impression that Dr. Brown is one spectacular sado-masochist. He wants to be in control, but at the same time he seems to have a need to invite attacks. He knew perfectly well that his Leadership style was increasingly under criticism. He’s ability to survive as Premier was already weakened with the backbench rebellion and leadership challenge (albeit handled poorly by the backbenchers). His support within the Party was already dwindling with most happily marking of the days before the Annual Delegates Convention with an eye to Ms. Cox taking over. So what does he do? Does he reassess why his support was dwindling, why people are increasingly critical of his approach to leading? Nope, he goes and does this stunt, which in many ways epitomises the problems with his leadership. Already weakened and facing a rearguard battle over the Cruise ship casinos, he has effectively handed serious ammunition to his critics.

The elected PLP MPs apparently have spoken yesterday in the House of Assembly. The RG doesn’t report much, but its clear that Mr. Wayne Perinchief blasted Dr. Brown over this. It also appears that Mr. DeVent similarly criticised Dr. Brown over this, and Ms. Cox, in her usual understated way, appears to have been quite critical of this too, with her simple statement of feeling ‘politically neutered’ over this. The fact that Dr. Brown did not even consult the Cabinet in advance is just one more nail in his political coffin.

The greatest irony of this is that out of this fiasco Dr. Brown may have actually finally given birth to a greater level of national consciousness and unity as a result. This is truly remarkable, but unfortunately for Dr. Brown the unity is against him and his circle. It is no doubt true that Dr. Brown is attempting to legitimise his actions with the thinking that he has helped secure our long-term well-being with helping out the USA. Some of the Senators supporting him (Mr. Brown and Mr. Dill) no doubt legitimately believe that it was the right thing to do, to offer asylum to these people. In doing so they are oblivious to the fact that that is not the issue at all. Others supporting his actions so far are easily dismissed as blind opportunists who are interested only in power, or at least as being cling-ons to power (Mr. Burch for example).

This too shall pass” says Dr. Brown. No doubt, in time, it will. There will be seething public anger over the immediate week or two, and then this anger will calm down, at least superficially. The Uighurs will face some unfortunate public backlash, but in time the vast majority of the people will accept that they are pawns and victims of this affair. Progressives should defend them against any xenophobic or islamophobic attacks, whatever the situation. But just as this fury shall pass, so shall Dr. Brown’s leadership and those opportunists that cling-on to his coat-tails. The fury on the street, and the wrath of the Party rank and file towards this blatant disregard for order and democracy (note Senator Burch’s total contempt with his dismissing of the people’s right to have a say – so what is our Parliamentary system for?), is, I feel, far too great. If a Special Delegates Convention is not called in advance of the No Confidence motion, it is likely the Party will need one after the vote.

There is a demonstration being organised for this coming Tuesday at the House of Assembly, I believe for 1230hrs. Reactionary attacks against the Uighurs need to be rebutted, and at the same time the people, the workers, the students, even the guest-workers, should come out and display their contempt with this action.

17 thoughts on “Dead Man Walking: “This Too Shall Pass”

  1. Jonathan,

    You all the way over there in Scotland and you know who’s commented on Bermuda radio? Boy that’s amazing!!! I can tell you that I’ve spoken to a number of people (PLP supporters and that’s all that matters in this instance) who believe that Dr. Brown did the right thing. Radio talk shows can only take a certain number of callers and the callers were as predictable as you and your bloggers.

    Of course, you would not talk the same people I talk to. I’ve lived long enough to know that the people that we talk to on a regular basis are people that share our ideals, etc. etc.

    I can tell you this though, 95% of the people who called the radio talk shows want the Uigers to go back where they came from. Did you informants tell you that?

    One thing I can say though, any move by Dr. Brown wil awake you from your slumber. You have posted anything in weeks and now you’re on a roll and can’t stop posting!!

  2. So Jonathan, you’re suggesting that “the people, the workers, the students, even the guest-workers, should come out and display their contempt with this action” by the Premier, but these protesters should not make any reactionary attacks on the Uigers? Tell me how you think this could work. Would you now suggest that we get rid of Dr. Brown and make one of the Uigers Premier?

  3. Hi LaVerne, so were you on talk radio? Do you deny it? And I also speak to many people back home, including Party members, and as such hear who may have said what on talk radio, funnily enough. Of the Party members I have spoken with only a minority agree with both the decision and how it was made. The vast majority however are opposed to it based on how it was made, and not anger towards the Uighurs. Another minority unfortunately have some rather reactionary thoughts regarding the Uighurs themselves, but I have sought to change their thoughts on that.

    And yes, I have heard that many callers on the talk radio have also advocated some very reactionary comments about the Uighurs. That is unfortunate and needs countered. But that is a separate issue from my criticism of the decision.

    As for my posting activity, as I publically stated, I was busy. I had come online on Friday to post on gambling – as I noted – and then this fiasco erupted and changed the whole situation. What relevance your comment on my frequency of posting has to do with the argument at hand is beyond me though.

    LaVerne, I am able to criticise the decision that was made without being reactionary (xenophobic/islamophobic, etc) to the Uighurs. I have been at pains to make that clear. If I am able to oppose the decision and not the Uighurs, surely other people can do the same? Progressives should be robust in their rebutting the reactionary statements and instead focus on the decision itself.

    And your last question, not sure if I should dignify that with a response. As I have written, I think the Uighurs should stay now that they are here, and that it would be inhumane to now return them to political limbo and Gitmo. I think Dr. Brown needs rebuked for his handling of this issue though. Its that simple. But hey, seeing as Dr. Brown has advocated the Uighurs become full Bermudians (which I actually don’t have a problem with, although the situation should not even exist) there is nothing stopping one of them becoming Premier in the future. Nothing wrong with that at all in my opinion. Highly unlikely though.

  4. starling – just admit that like many western whites u harbour some racist feelings toward blk alpha males – it would be hard not to – i won’t hold it against – i actually would respect ur opinion more if u came out and said on a personal level dr. brown rubs me the wrong way and that my judgment of him is affected by it – some people needed help and he helped them – end of story – he is the elected leader of the country and made a judgment call – happens all of the time – at least he’s highly intelligent, educated and has the required analytical skills to make such a call – it’s not like he’s steppen fetchit uncle tom failed golf pro

  5. ‘Steve’ I have no personal issue with Dr. Brown at all. I have made it clear that my issues with him have always been ideological. I would have more respect for you if you actually focused on arguments and not personal attacks.

    I have clearly stated several times why I disagree with this decision and the way it was handled. What are your thoughts on those?

  6. It is the usa responsibility to give these men the humanitarian aid theat they are legally owed.

    ship them back until the usa wakes up to this fact…the lawyers of these men should be doing more for their clients based on the legal obligation the usa owes to them.

    IE goin to the us supreme court and forcing the point on the rule of law, and having them absorbed into witness protection and given assylum.

  7. ***ALERT***





  8. “just admit that like many western whites u harbour some racist feelings toward blk alpha males”

    That is a racist statement.

  9. Jonathan,

    Why would I deny that I was on talk radio? I am not one to hide behind anonymity, never have and never will. For your information, I also have my own talk show on KJazz, 98.1 FM and both on my own show and Everest DaCosta’s show I voiced my support for the decision that Dr. Brown made. I make not apologies for believing that Dr. Brown did the right think and I also believe that many, like you have already done, will rethink their position.

    For your information, the 98% of the people who called my show between 12 noon and 3:00 p.m. yesterday were supportive of the initiative that Dr. Brown took, one even going as far to suggest that Dr. Brown be named our next national hero.

    I would be willing to be my last dollar that the UBP had an organised radio call-in last week, that is why there were so many negatives spewed out. As I see it many of the people who have said they did not agree, are UBP supporters, other than you of course.

    Personally I don’t see how anyone could consider themselves a world citizen and criticise Dr. Brown for what he did.

  10. LaVerne, the issue between offering the Uighurs asylum and the way in which it was done are two totally different issues. My problem with the deal is that the US was obliged to take them – it was not our problem at all; and the way in which the deal was done. That’s all. As I’ve been at pains to stress, now that they are here, they should stay, it would be unethical to send them back to limbo. My problem, and many other people’s as well, is not about the asylum, but whether it should have even occured and how it was done. That is the issue.


  12. Puff the magic Brownie lived by the sea, and frolicked in the the underbrush surrounding ‘Gombey’

    You guys are so funny and Laverne your the best.

    If someone opened the door to GP1 and Ewart got out and hit a handicapped person and they fell out of their wheelchair you would say……” people have to watch what they are doing. I mean you just can’t go down a sidewalk doing 5mph and expect people to get out of your way”…..Attorney General….make an amendment to the sidewalks act 1678 and inform the Corporation of …..whats that place called? You know…the one with nothing but empty buildings and dock space………

    How much they pay you LaVerne………?

  13. Black Press,

    What you left out was that you were the last caller on the show and you thought that you could spout of like you do on other talk shows without being challenged. The fact that you counted you took the time to count the number of callers shows me something about you, you were interested in hearing what I had to say. How many people called the other show, including you? You are such a joke!! Now you’re calling yourslef black press!! What happened to “Son of Obatala”. I’m always LaVerne Furbert, no matter if I’m on the radio or calling the talk shows, or hosting a talk show. You know nothing of the “black press”. Why don’t you start a newspaper of your own?

    Jonathan, stop thinking of yourself as some expert in political maneurvering or some politico. You have an opinion, just like the rest of us. You do not have all of the facts but you choose to listen to your “informants” in Bermuda. While I contribute to your blog, I accept the fact that there are some things that you know, and that there are some things that you don’t know. I also accept the fact that you would like to see Dr. Brown removed from the leadership position in the PLP and the Government. However, you have yet to give reasons for this. Maybe you should come back and put your name forward as a candidate.

  14. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Bermuda, U.S.A., U.K.: Fallout over Guantanamo

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  16. Who is son of obatala….we here dont call talkshows so what is it that you speak of @ ms furbert? This is a classic typical move by persons like yourself when they find they have no legs to stand on attack the messengers….lol.
    FYI we are starting an online news paper after we get some money from ya cousin 🙂

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