I remain opposed to the introduction of gambling in Bermuda in any form, including the cruise ships. so I am happy that the bill to allow the cruise ships to operate their casinos in Bermudian waters has been defeated yesterday. I believe that there are other cruise ship and tourist options that Bermuda should be pursuing as opposed to the traditional mass (or is it crass?) tourism that we have been reinforcing and that has done so much harm to many of our sister islands in the Caribbean, economically (in the sense of equity), ecologically and culturally.
What is particularly galling though is the manner in which the bill was put to the House of Assembly with what can only be described as a calculated gamble to pass the bill by deceit. The direct manipulation of the PLP’s very own Whip to deceive both the Opposition Party and those PLP members who are known to oppose the bill, combined with the public statements of placing the bill on the backburner while the RG reports that Dr. Brown actively contacted those members (including in the UBP!?) of the House he thought would support the bill, is just plain dishonourable. Deception may very well be a legitimate tactic in war – and even politics – but this action further undermines the credibility of the Leadership.
I think its becoming increasingly clear that Dr. Brown no longer commands the majority of MPs, and his support amongst his own Cabinet is increasingly shaky. One imagines his support with the the Party as a whole is increasingly eroded by continuous farces such as this gamble. It may well be that the PLP is indeed in transition, or soon to be, and a Special Delegates Convention could indeed be forced if Dr. Brown continues to risk his Leadership in such dishonourable plays. Whether what replaces Dr. Brown – should he be replaced – will be any better, or simply not as bad, is an open question at this moment.