Making Martyrs?

Well, it seems that there has been an attempted act of intimidation towards some of the organisers of the recent demonstrations. The most public of which is the mailing of a powdered substance to one of the organisers on Tuesday afternoon in a not so obvious copycat of the anthrax letter scares. I cannot confirm, but word is that other organisers have also been threatened after a fashion.

Readers will remember a similar event in the run up to the 2007 election when a bullet was mailed to the Premier Dr. Brown.

One would hope that our political development was more mature than this.

There are some who maintain, for example with the bullet-in-the-mail, that this incidents are staged by or for the benefit of the victim. According to this theory the victims benefit from public outcry and revulsion to the act in question.

While the ‘staged’ theory is certainly possible, both with the bullet and the anthrax scares, I generally don’t accept them without some evidence to back up the claim. I can understand the circumstantial argument, but for incidents like these I generally accept them to be legit. And by legit I mean I believe someone has actually tried to intimidate someone for political or other reasons.

I am not in the least bit surprised at a bullet and threatening letter being mailed to the Premier. I have certainly overheard some rather bizarre and pathological statements by some in our community who have a distinct hate towards the Premier. I am confident that they are largely an extreme minority and mostly impotent in realising their wishes. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were capable of at least attempting to intimidate, certainly verbally, and also in the form of a stunt like the bullet or hate-mail. Similarly, I am sure that there are some, especially in the still-heated aftermath of last week, who have a degree of irrational hate and desire to intimidate those who helped organise the events of last week. Again, I think that such intimidation is more bark than bite, but one cannot deny the potential psychological impact of these acts. They are, quite frankly, a terrorist act. They seek to strike terror and to intimidate the victim. They also serve to fill a need in the perpetrator for both attention and a need to feel potent.

Personally, as an aside, after joining the PLP, and it becoming widely known, I myself recieved some threatening phone calls, and graffiti chalked on my property calling me a traitor and a Jew, complete with swastikas. I mention that just to indicate a bit of why I am not surprised at these actions, and why I tend to err on the side of these being deliberate acts of intimidation and not cynical ploys for sympathy.

It is my belief that with these events the best thing to do is to carry on, to not let these terrorists win by intimidating you. True, its quite possible that things will escalate. And I cannot ask anyone to risk their own welfare over this. All I can say is that if it was me I would carry on with what I’m doing. It takes a toll, and it makes one think about ones loved ones. For me, while I took precautions for those around me, thinking about them actually spurred me on, mainly because if one were to cave in, then one would, in the long run, be harming your loved ones and society as a whole more than any temporary fit of reaction on the part of the terrorists.

Perhaps the terrorist in this question truly believed what they were doing was right. Such is typical of the fanatic, and an impotent one at that. Even should they be successful though, their action only makes their victim a martyr, and strengthens the very situation the terrorist sought to destroy, almost hydra like.

I should stress that if this action is a genuine act of terror, I strongly doubt that it was done by any organised group. It would have been little more than the individual act of some impotent fanatic with some serious mental problem. This person needs some help, and I hope that this help is made forthcoming to them. I am sure that the respective community leaders will make it clear that such acts of terror are rephrensible and the perpetrator needs a psychological evaluation.

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31 thoughts on “Making Martyrs?

  1. Hey Jon.

    I did not know that you had been singled out for intimidation for your political choices. I commend you for your bravery and your commitment to your beliefs. More people should emulate you.

    I hope now other Bermudians will realize the courage of Janice Battersbee, and continue to support her and her group. Terrorist acts like this are reprehensible and have no place in civilized society.

  2. I guess one should add the intended intimidation of Christian Dunleavy by posting a couple of thugs outside his office some time ago, to the list.

    It has been confirmed on the radio this morning, that a ‘presumptive test’ of the substance shows it to be narcotics. They have yet to determine what exactly.

    Talcum powder would probably have had the same effect/scare. One wonders what is going on?

  3. Looks like the Paper says it was narcotics (I hear Cocaine).

    As much as I might believe otherwise ( I am getting tired of the Dirty Tricks Brigade myself), I don’t think this was targeted at Ms. Battersby. I mean if you are trying to cause an Anthrax Scare, why pony up for a kilo of Coke, when a pack of Baby Powder and some Smelling Salts would do just as well?

    Curious though. It would be hard to speculate more until we know who it was from, and if it was addressed to anyone at F-M in particular.

  4. Forgot to ad…

    I am also waiting for another theory to arise, that given we have taken in 4 alleged terrorists from Guantanamo, that there is a link between that and this incident.

    Wonderful for out tourism product that would be. Not.

  5. Well, it seems more likely now that the case is more one of a drug transaction gone wrong (such as it was not intercepted by a middleman type thing) than anything else. I mean, if you are going to do an anthrax scare there are cheaper powedered substances to use than narcotics! I guess it was just one of those bizzare things. The main thrust of the argument though, about the counter-productiveness of attempted intimidation still stands though.

    RenMan, I think you will find that the majority of Whites who joined the PLP, even in the immediate aftermath of the 1998 election, experienced similar things. Today its much more likely that you will find yourself baited or shunned socially or otherwise made out to be a fool if you are a White PLPer. Its a small thing and not that big a deal as far as I’m concerned.

  6. I am not that well versed in the methods of the underworld, but it would strike me as odd that one would have illegal narcotics delivered to their place of business as if it was a book order from Amazon.

  7. No doubt a silly question…but what are people doing sending narcotics through a delivery service?

    Maybe the regular delivery guy was on a day off from work?

  8. Should we believe that the U.S. did in fact ask Dr. Brown to keep this a secret from U.K. I have not formally heard any U.S. government figure admit to this. Please correct me if I am wrong and please provide a link if you have an article that states this to be true. The only thing I have seen is an article from Walton Brown saying the U.S. asked Dr. Brown to keep it a secret.

  9. Hey Steve, I’ll try and post a little something on it later if I have the time. Little busy this week catching up on work… In short though I would say that after his comments in the House last Friday I doubt many people are going to be surprised at this development. I reckon he’ll serve as a proxy PLPer much in the same vein as Mr. Wayne Furbert. Should he formally join the PLP, well, there’s nothing stopping him, but I think it would be an error on the PLP’s part to take him in as an MP. I also think that both Mr. Furbert and Mr. Tucker should resign their seats in the House and fight a by-election as independents. But that’s just me.

  10. does it mean the end of kim swan/cole simmons?

    “I also think that both Mr. Furbert and Mr. Tucker should resign their seats in the House and fight a by-election as independents.”

    not a bad idea – but who foots that bill for by elections?

  11. Never really considered who pays for the poll operators. I assumed it was an independent government-funded thing. Can’t imagine it costs that much to hold two by-elections though. and the two individuals would have to foot their own expenses, and the two Parties can also field their own (and pay for them).

    Myself, I am for strictly public funding of election campaigns though. That way its about the policy and not about outspending the rival.

  12. “I also think that both Mr. Furbert and Mr. Tucker should resign their seats in the House and fight a by-election as independents.”

    I totally agree. Their constituents voted them in to a particular party. If they leave – they should submit to re-election.

  13. @Steve: Agreed, people should vote for the person they are putting in the house to represent them. Not that party they stump. In Bermuda we are fortunate in that we can meet our representives in person as we are so small.

    Conversely, MPs should also remember they represent thier *constituents* wishes, not what ever party says.

    The idea of Whips is undemocratic if you ask me.

  14. Many citizens have fallen under the political sword by way of whitch hunts lead by politicians civil servants fanatical party politic nutballs in their variable degrees or other people in positions of so called authority.

    Many of these acts took place out in the open during “ye good ole days” of the 40 thieves.

    And we voted them out of office based on that historical misuse of power. Sadly though, in 2009 acts of political intimidation, political interference, whitelisting (since we now have a black party, back in tha day they called it blacklisting) Are still happening.

    The bermudian population has not matured politically to rise up and defend everyone who has sufferd from these forms of crimes against humanity.

    Politicians dont act when the various examples of bermudians lives being ruined by these acts are brought to their attention,

    We dont protect our constitution…as been proved by the events of last week

    and as a result these political scum…feel they can do whatever they want to whomever they like.

    its 2009 n we aint havin it……the revolution will not be televised

    perhaps we can hire the potentially former terrorists to clean up the political dirt that is infesting the house of assembly, party politics and the westminister shitstym.

    PS brown mailed that bullet to himself…or at the very least a plp nutjob mailed it in to once again distract the people from the issues and focus on a red herring bullet….n sad thing is many people fell for it.

    If the bullet in the mail was real…wheres the public update on that investigation
    wheres the public update on the “senator dill attack”

    Starling…these politicians have fucked over a lot of bermudians, and at some point someone aint gonna take that shit lying down

    so politicians beware…live by tha sword n it will slice u as well

  15. At minimum there should be two bye-elections and Furbert and Tucker should fight as Independents.

    I object to turncoats …. everyone has the right to change his/her viewpoint but then they should hand back anything gained under the banner flown originally and re-try under new banner.

    Yes – we vote for individuals but we expect those individuals to have the ideals of the banner of the party they claim to represent.

  16. What do you guys think about Gary Moreno’s question to Kim Swan last night about the ‘rumor” that had the motion passed, the 5 PLP rebels would have joined the UBP in forming a One Bermuda Coalition, with Swan as Premier?
    I hadnt heard that rumor before, but Swan’s initial reaction and response did not answer the question, but his facial expression to me was that this may have been true. Moreno then had to re-ask the question, and he denied it, however I wasn’t convinced that his denial was authentic.
    Perhaps Tucker and Pettingill knew this was to be the case, and wanted no parts of it?
    Or perhaps it is just rumor-mongering.

  17. Personally I only just heard about it from a Facebook post on the issue. Like literally, a minute ago. I would find it surprising if the PLP rebels would have proposed it, let alone consumated it. And if they did, well, I for one certainly wouldn’t support it. I wouldn’t be surprised though if it was a UBP proposal to the PLP rebels, and the rebels were promised Cabinet positions. But even then I can’t really see the PLP rebels going ahead with it, although I can see them thinking about it for a little while.

    I think the best thing is for the UBP to split, with the reformist group all becoming independents and then forming a new party, take six months to get everything in place, then do the honourable thing and resign en masse to fight by-elections under their new banner. At the same time I would like to see perhaps one or two new Parties launch and as such help redraw the political landscape. That way, no one party becomes the heir of the UBP (and thus doomed) and it should cause some change within the PLP too.

  18. On the news last Darius Tucker basically said that Kim Swan had planned to go to the Governor on Saturday and using the 6 PLP MPs say that he now had the majority and wanted to run the government.

    I believe that the initial plan was to oust the government, not the Leader, and when they realized that wasnt going to happen, decided to just go after the Leader.

    To me that is very disingenuous.

  19. Time after time we heard Swan say “this is not about the government, this is about the Leader”. But was it really? Or did he realize that was all that he could go after.

  20. I think disingenuous is definitely the correct term for the situation if the report is correct, and I am inclined to believe it is. I don’t think the UBP is a done entity, but I don’t think it will ever be a credible contender for Government ever again. I can see them hanging on for the next two elections as an increasingly minor political force, but it seems, with Mr. Tucker’s resignation from the UBP, that a split is in the offing. Having multiple opposition Parties, while dangerous in the short-term as the PLP can capitalise on it just as the UBP did with the PLP-NLP split, does have the potential to redraw the political landscape of the country. And to me, that is definitely a good thing. Nothing wrong with a little healthy competition under the current political framework.

  21. Agreed. If this IS, in fact, true, then that, excuse the vulgarity, some bullshit.

    If it WAS to oust the duly elected government and take over, then that’s… well, I guess we could say they learned from the master… but it’s still along the lines of “We’re better than them, but we’re going to do things exactly the same way.”

    Hasn’t there been enough lying?

  22. I tend to think it is going to be a slow and painful end for the UBP. I found Kim Swan particularly ineffective last week and doesn’t inspire any hope for the party, especially if the most recent scheme is to be believed. I wish they would just end it now, as I know other groups will emerge. If they can’t get their heads around that idea, they would at least be better served finding a new Leader. Maybe nobody else wants the job though…

  23. Ken and Johnny please. If you can prove a conspiracy then let the show begin.

    Regardless of this Devious Tucker, it’s all documented, presented to Parliament, recorded.

    It’s just a bunch of black Mp’s that are just pissed off. One was a leader, one was a wanna bee.

    Who looses out here, really, who looses out.

    Not the PLP, the UBP. The bloody people whom they represent, be they any of the above.

    The people. And yes I will be repetative once again when it comes to blights, famine, floods, earthquakes, invasion, turmoil, disease and plagues, mass killings, et al…….

    Michael Jackson is dead. Long live the King of Pop and sizzle………………

  24. Johnny, Mohamed Hamaludin ring a bell?

    Man one day your up one day your down. He’s black. Got a problem with that? If not, it’s just not a Bermujian name eh?

    You are so radical at times I wonder why your really in Scotland. When you come back I am sure you will have greater opportunities than most.

    I love a play with no ending and the cast is just out of tis world……..

    Happy 4th………..

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