Mrs. Windsor & Dr. Brown – Bermuda’s 400th

The news that Mrs. Windsor, our unelected head of state, decided not to attend our 400th birthday party celebrations – apparently due to the Uighur incident – has made some headlines regionally and in the UK. I think my position on Mrs. Windsor has been evident on this blog for some time – I do not recognise her as the legitimate head of state. While I do think that the UK is being a bit petty on this issue, I really couldn’t care less whether or not Mrs. Windsor visit Bermuda, although I can certainly see the tourist benefits of the pomp and circumstance that such a visit might entail. Ultimately though, her actions, or lack thereof, are meaningless to me.

What does get me pretty irate though is Dr. Brown’s non-attendance at the ceremony – or Ms. Cox’s for that matter who, last time I checked was the Deputy Premier. Don’t get me wrong, I totally think he’s entitled to a holiday (although looking at his overseas expenses indicates he’s had plenty already), and I can appreciate that after the recent traumatic events of the June demos, the gambling bill and the passing of both Nelson Bascome and Julian Hall, he certainly must have been relishing a chance to get away from it all. Despite this I do find it a bit of a slap in the face to the Bermudian public at large that he ‘coincidentally’ (accidentally) arranged his vacation at the same time as what should be the pinnacle of Bermuda’s 400th birthday celebrations. I find it even more disturbing on account of him being the Minister of Tourism as well.

Before I left last August one of my biggest regrets was that I would miss what promised to be some fascinating celebrations of Bermudiana. While I am aware of some wonderful cultural events that have taken place, for the most part I am disturbed at the low key nature of these events so far. I am increasingly feeling that the Government has dropped the ball on what could have been a great tourism event and also a platform for building a sense of Bermudian-ness – which as a pro-independence individual I think is necessary for helping with realising this goal.

Here in Scotland there has been a big tourism and cultural project with this year being declared the ‘Year of Homecoming‘. This has seen quite a tourism surge here, as well as a number of mass cultural events, something that I would have envisioned Bermuda’s 400th would have been.

I would hope that we take the opportunities presented by the 2012 400th anniversary of our formal colonisation (with the arrival of the Plough in 1612) or the 2020 anniversary of our parliamentary tradition (in 1620) to make better use of these symbolic dates.


92 thoughts on “Mrs. Windsor & Dr. Brown – Bermuda’s 400th

  1. Not being a royalist, it also doesn’t matter to me whether HMQ comes here or not. The idea of being “someone’s subject” in the C21st fills me with dread!

    I am actually pleased she is not coming, albeit for different reasons. I would find it difficult to watch officials feigning pleasure and respect where I suspect there isn’t any. I have the same problem with Birthday Honours – but that’s another thread.

    The Premier’s absence is not good. I wonder whether he would have been here had HMQ decided to turn up?

    Just a thought.

  2. Forgot to add.

    Apart from the tourist interest – and ‘yes’ it would have brought them flocking in imho – I suspect a number of our Senior Citizens might be disappointed she isn’t coming (irrespective of their politics).

  3. It may be unfair to criticise the Finance Minister for her absence as she’s apparently in Ireland signing a TIEA agreement with that country…

  4. Yes, that is true about our seniors. I recall when Mrs. Windsor dropped by in (I think) 1995, that apart from the very young – who were awed with the pomp; and schoolchildren (who were ordered out), it was really just the older generations who came out to support her visit. Why is that anyway?

  5. It’s an ‘era’ thing I guess.

    I recall grandparents saying how ‘wonderful’ it was to get a visit from the Queen Mum during the war years. It showed she cared – in their opinion.

  6. Jonathan

    Your point about down playing (my words) the celebrations is right.

    The PLP website shows the Sally Bassett memorial as being the only event on the Diary for yesterday. No metion of the celebrations – no mention of the Acting Premier attending at St George’s – nothing.

  7. While I was a bit of a royalist as a young teenager, I quickly came to my senses when I gave the idea some thought. I have trouble understanding how otherwise intelligent people can continue to support the idea of an unelected and hereditary head of state, ceremonial or other.

    And Tryangle, good point, I can understand Ms. Cox’s non-presence, and I do not mean to in any way belittle Minister Burgess who I am sure handled the role very well. It just struck me as something that Dr. Brown should really have attended – and gone off for vacation after like.

  8. “I have trouble understanding how otherwise intelligent people can continue to support the idea of an unelected and hereditary head of state, ceremonial or other”.

    I have the same issue with Europe and unelected officals. Next topic – the House of Lords?

  9. “I have trouble understanding how otherwise intelligent people can continue to support the idea of an unelected and hereditary head of state, ceremonial or other”.

    Because people are slow to change many things. Social inertia is amazing at times. Basically, it’s this:

    “It’s always been there, it doesn’t affect me personally, so why bother.”

    Pomp and pageantry are great draws. All societies have their own, witness the cult of celebrity in most western countries. This is nothing more than an extension of same.

    However, I do think that SOME representative of the head of state, both local and UK, should have been here for the birthday celebration. Both absences are disrespectful, it’s like your own mother forgetting your birthday.

    Re the royals during WWII, the king made a conscious decision not to relocate from London during the Blitz. He felt that he was not above experiencing the same trials as his subjects. Windsor was hit like many other places in London. Also, the princesses were to contribute to the effort. The present Queen was a motor mechanic.

    I think the monarchy is a charming anachronism, serving little purpose. But, in the theatre of war, their resolve really did help lift the people’s spirits.

  10. Ren Man…

    There you go again with “his subjects’ thingy!! Barf!!

    LOL – I understand what you are saying – honestly I do. I suspect, however, that the ‘charm’ might thin a little if Charles takes the Throne. Only my opinion, but I do think HMQ has a personal charisma that works whereas I am not sure about Charles.

  11. “It’s always been there, it doesn’t affect me personally, so why bother.”

    Sorry (in advance) – but is that why we still have Dr Brown as Premier? LOL.

  12. However, if Prince William takes the throne, I think the celebrity will take royalism to a new level.

    Me, I don’t care either way. I kinda dig the tradition and, as RenMan said, they do occasionally do some good for morale.
    But as the head honchos with no life experience running our country? Meh. Not so much.

    Having said that, they’ve been pretty hands-off when it comes to us, no?

    Hey, I’d rather have celebrities that have worked and been bred for it, rather than the ones force fed to us by the Western Media.

    isn’t that really all they are? Just another celebrity?

  13. I suspect HMQ will live to at least 100 – if only to keep Charles off the throne. She got kind of irritated some years back when Charles suggested she might like to retire!

    Elvis – you’re probably right about William. He might appeal to his generation, more so than Charles does to mine.

  14. LOL Martin.

    The “his subjects” wasn’t my view, but his. Still, given his station, that kind of common touch is often lacking. As a dedicated gearhead myself, I think it’s pretty cool that the Queen knows how to tune engines. Just like I think it’s cool that President Obama is into technology. A common touch is a necessary thing in a leader, figurehead or not, indeed in all people. Read “IF” by Rudyard Kipling for some insight on that.

    Social inertia is EXACTLY why we still have Dr. Brown, because people didn’t care enough to look for another viable choice. That’s also why the UBP was in power for so long. Regime change takes time, usually a generation (20-30 years), no matter the country. The only real exception is Italy’s democracy, which is little more than chaos.

  15. The Queen is no less a legitimate Head Of State than, say, Ewart Brown is the Premier. You may not like the fact, but it’s the truth, both factually and legally. Incidentally, do you recognise Raul Castro as a legitimate President of Cuba, and did you recognise his brother before him as such? I seem to recall that you’re a bit of a fan when it comes to the Castro chaps.

  16. Sorry Johnny, your reference to Mrs Windsor is insulting, unnecessary and you do yourself a disservice. I understand your opinion that you do not support the monarchy, but she is the Queen and Head of State until the majority of Bermudians decide otherwise. You have dropped to the Dr Brown level of protocol and disrespect, ie the cesspool. It has the same ring to it as when Thao Dill didn’t like the broadcasting laws, he broke them and was rewarded by being appointed a Senator. Dr Brown didn’t like the rules governing the Constitution or Bermuda Immigration Laws and promised the 4 Uighurs they can come to Bermuda and seek status. The AG says otherwise so he has condemned them to being non persons and unable to leave. One prison to another. One may not like a law or title or whataver, but until it is changed in the formal and public way, you are condoning anarchy, or these days the Dr Brown way.

  17. Jonathan,

    I, and many of my family and friends, have very mixed emotions about celebrating Bermuda’s 400th Anniversary celebrations. Certainly I can understand why the descendants of Sir George Somers and the others who were on the Sea Venture when it landed in Bermuda would want to celebrate, however I find nothing to celebrate. My ancestors were not “wrecked” on the shores of Bermuda, they were brought here as slaves.

    I found it very interesting that at the re-enactment yesterday, there was a black man on the ship. Of course, I consider this an attempt to re-write history.

    I also find it very interesting that many of the same people who were calling for the Premier’s resignation, and who also complain about the many “photo ops that he arranges” are now upset that he was not at the celebration yesterday.

    I will attend the event planned on Saturday in celebration of the emancipation of slavery.

    By the way, I think Mrs. Windsor made it quite clear long before the Quigurs’ incident that she would not be travelling to Bermuda. It’s my understanding that she can’t take the Bermuda heat.

  18. Well, HMQ was in Uganda in November 07, and their daily average is 85F in that month.

    Maybe it’s the humidity here?

  19. Martin,

    Maybe you need to communicate directly with her. By the way, is the humidity as high in Uganda as it is here in Bermuda?

  20. I had a feeling that in trying to be factual, it would be taken apart. But that’s politics I guess.

    Serves me right. Have a nice evening.

  21. “By the way, is the humidity as high in Uganda as it is here in Bermuda?

    No. It’s worse. Your point Mrs. Furbert?

    “Uganda enjoys ideal weather conditions ranging from the warmth of the lowland areas to the coolness of the Kigezi highlands.

    Uganda is sunny most of the year with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees The average temperature is about 26 degrees centigrade, with a maximum of 18-35 degrees and minimum of 8-23 degrees depending on the part of the country.

    The rain season is March – May
    Light rain season is November – December
    Wet seasons are March – May and October – November
    Dry seasons are December – February and June – August
    Rainfall ranges between 500mm to 2500 mm
    Humidity is between 70% -100%

  22. I think its a shame and disrespectful of the Premier to be off island for our 400th anniversary. I have lost respect for Dr Brown and many others have also………………… Let’s me know he is all about himself….selfish and conniving………………

  23. Do you think Laverne has figured out that in celebrating the emancipation of slavery, she’s actually paying homage to the actions of white people…? BWAA-HA-HA-HA-HA-Ha-Ha-ha!!!

    (Thanks for that, BR)

  24. Hi Robert,

    I have a long standing policy of not using colonial and illegetimate titles – except on the odd occassion when I use them in a sartirical and pejorative sense. You will note that I do not refer to either Ms. Lois Browne-Evans or Ms. Jennifer Smith by these honorifics for example. To recognise such things would – in my mind – be to give them a sense of legitimancy. I recognise earned titles, such as ‘Dr’ or ‘President’, although I have no time for colonial formalities such as ‘the most worshipful and honourable’.

    I have never pledged loyalty to Mrs. Windsor and I never intend to do so (while I served in the Regiment I somehow managed to escape being placed in such a dilemma due to some snafu’s).

    I fully recognise that some people will take offence at what they percieve as my insulting Mrs. Windsor – to me it would be a greater insult to myself to recognise such titles. I also recognise that under my interpretation of the existing criminal code my actions are tantamount to sedition and even treason. These facts have not and shall not alter my desire to be true to myself. I hope you can understand my position on that.

  25. Hi LaVerne,

    Yeah, I can certainly understand that the emancipation events should be celebrated equally so, and one day I hope we can celebrate an Independence Day – which to me would be more important than the shipwreck date.

    I agree that there were no Africans on board the Sea Venture and I don’t know why they sought to rewrite history there. I do believe that there were two Native Americans onboard who were hostage/guests/ambassodors to the English and returning to their homeland with the fleet. My position is that without the shipwreck of the Sea Venture there would be no Bermuda as we know it today. This has its pros and cons of course, but I think it is important to recognise our founding and the history that flows from it, warts and all.

    I think it may be an idea to celebrate the dates of the various uprisings against oppression, be it from the conflicts amongst the shipwrecked survivors themselves (between those who wanted to stay and build a new society and those who wanted to assert authority and the old order), the numerous slave revolts (especially the waves following the Haitian revolution) and other important moments (the first industrial strikes, etc.). To me, this striving for a new system, for liberation, is much more important and worthy of celebrating, so perhaps we agree on these?

    As for Mrs. Windsor, I am only going on the various media, local and UK, referring to her non-attendance.

  26. Ms Furbert raises a valid point when she say she has mixed emotions about celebrating (essentially) the landing of white people.

    Although it is part of her history, it’s a part she doesn’t like.

    Is it any different to whites with black history? When the often heard call…”I didn’t see many whites there”…goes up – is that the reason?

    Maybe we all mature one day to the point that history becomes important, but is not the central contrrol of the tomorrow we have to live in.

  27. Hi Jonathan,

    As I said, I accept, but don’t agree with, your position re HMQ but why, per your post on BIAW, do you accept historical situations such as Elizabeth 1 and Sir Walter Raleigh? You’ve confused me on that. I agree with you and condemn the hyprocricy of Ms Lois Brown Evans and Jennifer Smith accepting honours in view of their stated positions, but why is history OK but the present is not? It just seems at odds with your views.

  28. “My ancestors were not “wrecked” on the shores of Bermuda, they were brought here as slaves.”

    How do you know? Are you sure you don’t have any European ancestors?

  29. So Ms. Furbert – we should only celebrate and believe in what our direct ancestors achieved? Alright, I take you’ll be the first to denounce all European influenced parts of society. Good luck with that.

    Honestly your hypocrisy no longer surprises me, but still astounds me for someone who has seen so much.

    You spend all your life moaning that whites did this and did that, didn’t support this black initiative, did support this anti-black initiative, did say this about a black man, didn’t praise this black woman. All you do is complain about the collective actions of whites.

    To me people who are so entrenched in race as you have two options.

    1. Support a single race community. You clearly dislike and distrust everything said and done by white Bermudians, so why not extrapolate that out fully? Scared of the implications?

    2. Embrace the fact that we’re all Bermudian, and we all have our own history, our own influences and our own cultures – which jumble all together to form the collective ‘Bermudian’. And no offence, but the discovery of YOUR island seems to me a fairly relevant thing to remember.

    It’s all so petty and sad. And indicative that we’re going nowhere as long as your views are ‘widely held’.

    But please enjoy cup match. Because cricket isn’t a western European construct.

  30. Oh and as a follow up – can anyone IMAGINE what Ms. Furbert and the PLP sycophants would have done if a white UBP premier hopped off for a holiday on emancipation day?

    Oh wait, when Michael Dunkley didn’t forego his planned vacation for Dame Evans funeral she was one of the first to scream bloody murder.

    But when the actual leader of our country ARRANGES a trip over the BIRTHDAY of HIS COUNTRY that’s all good. Cause he’s black and you know, discovering Bermuda was totally a white thing.

  31. Hi there, Jonny,

    I must admit I cringe just a little to read your “Mrs Windsor” … perhaps because before she married, the Princess Elizabeth was, in your terminology, “Miss Windsor” (thanks to King George V) and Elizabeth married, did she not, “Mr Mountbatten”. Is she not, more correctly, “Mrs Mountbatten”? I believe her children with Prince Philip have the surname “Mountbatten-Windsor” at Philip’s insistence. Perhaps the Queen is “Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor” then?

    You’ll have heard the rather wonderful story of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s reaction to hearing that his cousin, King George V, had changed the family name to “Windsor” amidst all the anti-German feeling in Britain. “Pah!” said the Kaiser. “I’m off to see Shakespeare’s ‘Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’.”

    In defense of monarchies … it is these unelected heads of state that have given their names to eras of history, that is all, and why not … ? You, Jonny, make them out to be much more than they are (and have been for centuries). The monarch has also served as a focus.

    What is your ancestry, Jonny? How many serfs might one of your great-grandpas had? Is a baron not so bad as a monarch? Well the barons got together in 1215 to express their power. Perhaps you’ve no titled ancestors, so what is the ancestor you’d not be ashamed of? Which one could cast the first stone? (Whoops! I mean rule Bermuda … Same thing really.)

    As Bowie sang: “Looks a lot like Che Guevara … Such a humble man.”

  32. Hi Robert, my reasonings as per historical figures is partly a combination of laziness on my part, a recognition that until modern reprsentative democracies came into existence (circa 19th Century, but also with the ‘Winds of Change’ in the 19502-60s) these titles were legitimate to a degree, and partly because most people wouldn’t know who I was talking about otherwise. It’s not a totally rational system of thought, I concede.

    Barking Mad, I think you will find that your reading is mistaken. The surname of ‘Mountbatten-Windsor’ only applies to descendants not holding royal title as per a 1960 order of council. As such the ‘Queen’ has the surname of Windsor, as does Mr. Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor, her son.

    I fail to see your reasoning as per my ancestry. Whether any ancestors of mine ever held such titles is irrelevant to me and my position on the institution of monarchy. I refuse to be a subject and will not legitimate such a relationship. Monarchies may very well had a legitimate role at one point in our civilisation – however we have developed a civilisation where they are now irrelevant, and I believe my children should have the right to elect (or be elected) their head of state, constitutional or other.

  33. Hi there, Jonny,

    Google the Wikipedia entry for “Mountbatten-Windsor” and you’ll find quite a hodgepodge of surnames, but it does say (can you trust it?) that all of the Queen’s children (including Charles and his wife, Camilla) use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor or, sometimes, just their title and first names. On the wedding register Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is used. It is the HOUSE OF WINDSOR. Calling the Queen Mrs Windsor is a bit silly. But you’ll have seen the film Nicholas and Alexandra and will have seen the Soviets call him Comrade Romanov. At that point he’d abdicated and that was just fine.

    These unelected British heads of state have been the catalyst for a fantastic amount of history, architecture, art, music, patronage, culture. The many British First Ministers and then Prime Ministers haven’t done that. Has any elected head of state (or a head of state who has seized power … think of Oliver Cromwell!) been a real patron of the arts?

    If you make a list of the English monarchs since 1066, you’ll find that most of them were subject to criticism and had to adjust their behavior and policies. Some lost their heads or worse. The system works somehow. A balance is reached. We came through, don’t you see?

    I guess I like to wrap myself in the Union Flag, and to sing along at the Last Night of the Proms, and to rejoice in being British. Others just like to claim the benefits and give us the finger.

    Now, as for your ancestry. It seems to me that you don’t much care for the Queen and her ancestry … that’s the problem. (The Queen, as a person, might well be far better suited to be head of state than all the Prime Ministers through her reign.) You almost certainly have fewer problems with the leaders in Cuba, China, Vietnam who are not exactly elected either. And note how Socialists quickly make their regimes family affairs. If you are going to criticize people for their ancestry, their history, I ask you only to consider yours. Can you truly cast that first stone? If you don’t know the Bible, I’m saying: Are you without sin? And you’ll say: What does that matter? And I’ll say: Gotcha!

  34. Hi Barking Mad,

    If you read over the wikipedia page you directed me to you will see this passage:

    “It differs from the official name of the British Royal Family or Royal House, which remains Windsor. The adoption of the Mountbatten-Windsor surname does not apply to members of the Royal Family who are not descended from The Queen”

    As such, her surname is Windsor. However this is splitting hairs from the main focus of our dispute I feel.

    It is immaterial whether or not past monarchs were patrons of the arts. Do you seriosuly think that the arts today would collapse without them now?

    Are you seriously arguing that a system were monarchs were forced to adjust their policies at the risk of popular revolt and possible execution is really better than an ordered constitution clearly setting out powers and elections?

    I have both dual Bermudian and British citizenship. Are you seriously arguing I am less patriotic than you cos you wrap yourself up in the Union flag, etc.? It is true I don’t really identify with the UK and feel like a foreigner here – Bermuda is my country much more than the UK will ever be. But how is it patriotic to support a monarch? Surely it is more patriotic to stand for freedom, democracy, equality and tolerance – all concepts that the very concept of the monarchy is opposed to?

    I support a Federal British Republic – or Bermudian Independence; and the extension of democracy to include the head of state. How you equate that with giving you a finger is beyond me.

    I have not criticised Mrs. Windsor’s ancestry my friend. I have merely pointed out that the concept of the monarchy is opposed to my idea of democracy and is an illegitimate head of state.

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with my writing – you will find that I am no apologist for Stalinoid regimes. Please feel free to wikipedia Council Communism to get a better understanding of my position.

    As for Mrs. Windsor, I am sure she is a nice enough lady and should she pop by the house I’ll make her a cup of tea. I hold no malice towards her as a person and will give her the same respect as any other citizen. I have issue with her as an illegtimate head of state, that is all.

    Pray tell, what qualities make her more suited for the head of state than others anyway? And if she is so suited, where have I said she should not be able to contest an election for this position the same as any other citizen?

    I wonder what is more silly – me refusing to recognise Mrs. Windsor as a ‘Queen’ to whom I am her ‘subject’ – or those who abdicate their rights and accept her as their head of state?

  35. I think I misread that article on the surname, and apologise for that. It is ambigous though if she herself has adopted that surname, or if it is relevant only to her children. I will continue to refer to her as Mrs. Windsor for the timebeing, but will refer to her children with the Mountbatten-Windsor surname until I seek clarification on this.

  36. Just a Q.

    As a PLP supporter, how do you feel about their system of ascertaining leadership?

    Also, seeing as prior to the last election, Dr. Brown wasn’t elected as Premier, nor Mr. Scott before him (Having become Premier because of the “coup” against Dame Jennifer…), did you recognize their claim to lead Bermuda as unelected heads of state, or should Dame Jennifer have remained as Leader of the country, even though there was an intra-party “coup”?

    Should there be elections every time the PLP changes leadership, so that each Premier is, in fact, an elected Head of State, or does that not matter?

    Just curious what the difference is…

  37. Hi UE, I will answer your questions as best I can.

    Firstly, the Premier is not our head of state. Constitutionally the Governor holds that post as a representative of the monarch. We do not have a legitimate head of state, either in Bermuda or in the UK (the same goes for the UK Prime Minister).

    As for the position of Premier, we (as in the voting public) have never voted for this position. We elect the constituency candidate, not the Cabinet or Premier.

    The PLP Constitution, which is publicly available for review, clearly outlines how the Party Leadership is elected and the role of the Party Leader (Opposition Leader or Premier) is stated there too. The PLP Constitution allows for a greater franchise in this than what I understand to be the case of the UBP – where the franchise is limited to the elected members.

    As for the coup itself I support Ms. Browne-Evans’ argument that those members should have been expelled, though I can appreciate the route that was taken. A Special Delegates Convention was held and a Party Leader selected in this – as such Mr. Scott became the legitimate Party Leader.

    To repeat then, no Bermudian (or Briton) has ever elected our head of state. Nor do the people of Bermuda elect the Premier, just as the British do not elect their Prime Minister.

  38. Jonny, if you want to bring the PLP Constitution into the discussion, it’s worth pointing out that it conflicts with the Bermuda Constitution on the question of how the Premier will be selected.

  39. Hi Blankman, I was only responding to UE’s question. I agree that the Party Constitution conflicts with the Bermuda Constitution, however I think it is the Bermuda Constitution that needs reformed. I have been consistent in my opposition to liberal democracy as a false (or five-second) democracy, and I would like to see it replaced with a more popular democratic model based on neighbourhood-parish councils and workers councils. However I do feel that there is much scope for improving the existing constitutional arrangement and would support the convening of a national constitutuent assembly to rewrite the existing constitution.

  40. I have stated in the past my desire to build a system of popular grassroots democracy based on a council system. I do feel that we can however reform our constitutional system all the same.

    The Premier or Prime Minister is not the leader of the country, that is the head of state. The Premier/Prime Minister is the leader of the legislature, that is different.

    Ideally I would (as noted) like to see a totally different system constructed, but as it is I think that an important flaw in our current system is an unelected inherited head of state.

  41. Hi Jonathan,
    An interesting thread has developed. If I can comment on your position regarding the Monarchy not being elected (unrefuted) and therefore (put simply) not the choice of the people. When Edward VIII married Mrs Simpson, a divorced American, he abdicated the throne because the British public would not accept the marriage. Seems the people prevailed. Fast forward to Bermuda 2009. A Premier having been duly elected is the most disliked Premier in the history of Bermuda and has little Parliamentary, and likely popular, support. He has other dubious habits that do not comply with protocol. Has he resigned? Can the people vote him out? OK maybe at the next election, but I am comparing this example to your position on the Monarchy.
    Regarding your displeasure at not being able to vote for the Head of State, how about present residents of Bermuda, eg PRC holders, who have no vote for an MP? PRC holders (and expats for that matter) pay taxes etc but have no say in the running of the country. In that vein expect no change in how Bermuda is governed or the system. There is no “underpriveliged working class” to demand change. Recent events show the apathy that exists.
    Anyway enjoy Scotland!

  42. Hi Robert, I have previously stated somewhere on this site (and even in PLP meetings) that I would like to see a new popular democracy based on the neighbourhood and shop floor as the basic unit, and in them participation should be extended to all that live or work there, be they tenants, landlords, Bermudian or foreigner.

    I have also argued in favour of a British Federal Republic, where Bermuda keeps its parliament, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish theirs, and give England their own one too, and we all have elected representatves in a Federal Parliament.

    As I argued with UE the position of the Premier/Prime Minister is not equivalent to that of the head of state. What you say of Dr. Brown stands for Gordon Brown too.

    Under our current constitutional arrangements the elected government is accountable after a fashion (through the election mechanism), the head of state however is not. I certainly do not support the liberal democratic system that we have as truly democratic, but I can understand the logic behind it, and it is certainly a good deal more legitimate than that of an inherited head of state.

  43. You know Mr. Starling, you bring out the best in me. I was not going to post on your sight again but you have made me think about the past history of Bermuda and in some way through your words you wish to revisit it in my mind.

    You have made your opinions clear on where you stand with regard to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and many otherheads of state.

    It’s all part of our heritage, the world that is that certain things happen when certain things happen. Respect IS earned and is taught throughout the world. Whether it is adhered too is evident as we can seen by global conflicts and family infighting along with tribalism.

    I took an oath to the Queen in 1967 and never regret it. I took an oath to the Constitution of the United States of America and will never regret it.

    Everyday that I can remember I can say that I have said thank you, your welcome, thank you sir, mamn, brother, sister, asshole et al. Nodded to another as a sign.

    I remember being at Arlington Cemetary not long ago when people would come up to JFK’s tomb and nod or bow yet others rambled on talking with total disreguard. I remember all events I have been priviliaged to attend in Washington DC where Diplomats and common folk as we all are, nodded or semi bowed to the wreaths being laid or already in statu. I remember my father standing on Front Street and saluting the Cenotaphe but now can only sit in a wheel chair, shed a tear and not remember a damn thing.

    I remember the 20 million SOLDIERS lost in the Great War. 20 Million………….and I also remember what happened from there until now. We have come a long way. There are few countries or republics or whatever that don’t tow the line of humanity and I know you are well aware of whom I speak.

    Get your head out of the books and stroll through London, Paris, Moscow,Rome, Hamilton Bermuda. I would suggest a guided tour of Bahgdad, Afganistan, Iran, Somalia et al.

    Your more worried about Her Majesty the Queen and that worries me. You are priviliaged to commute and reside in many countries and have free passage without hinderance. You are free to speak you mind with words and yet be free to express it without being taken too court but lately your verbage is subject as you said to certain accountability re subversion and treason. Your words not mine.

    March 10 1973 ring a bell with you? Dionne Bassett made similar comments/statements in 1971 and we know what happened thereafter.

    I know who did what, when and where but to keep myself alive for another day, week, month the facts are there already.

    Humility is real. Unfortunately I will never kneel before her Majesty but I will give her my respect for all she and others have done.

    Some knelt before Saddam and were beheaded.

    Rather kneel and be knighted than loose my head.

    Long live the Queen.


  44. Lost in Flatts,

    I think you’ve got it wrong. I never made any public comments about Michael Dunkley’s non-attendance at Dame Lois’ funeral.

    Also, Sir George Somers did not “discover” Bermuda. According to Cyril Packwood “The Spanish knew of Bermuda’s existence a hundred years before it was first settled”.

    Packwood also writes “A Black man of Spanish descent, named Venturilla, wasknown to have set foot in Bermuda in 1603”.

    Of course I have European ancestors – most people who look like me have white ancestors. My great-grandfather, Clarence Orrister Darrell was the son of a white man and a black woman, Sarah Keele. If you want to know more about him, read the Bermuda National Trust books on Hamilton Parish and Smith’s Parish. He was quite an outstanding citizen. I’ve done my own research as well. By the way, Darrell was his father’s name, which he chose to use. For you information, Clarence Orrister Darrell was a wealthy businessman who owned property on Front Street which is still in our family.


    History is history. There is no such thing as black history and white history. Unfortunately, the story of black people went untold for too long. Remember, we were not included in the history books, as if we didn’t exist.

  45. Indeed Ms Furbert.

    I also know that Governments have attempted to hide much of the history over the years.

    For example, did you know:

    1) The judges of Edinburgh Scotland during the years 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies a large number of rogues and others who made life unpleasant for the British upper class. (Register for the Privy Council of Scotland, third series, vol. 1, p 181, vol. 2, p 101).

    2) The Journal of Negro History #52 pp.251-273 states, “The sources of racial thought in Colonial America pertaining to slave trade worked both directions with white merchandise as well as black.”

    3) Thomas Burton recorded in his Parliament Diary 1656-1659 vol. 4 pp. 253-274 a debate in the English Parliament focusing on the selling of British whites into slavery in the New World. The debate refers to whites as slaves ‘whose enslavement threatened the liberties of all Englishmen.’

    It doesn’t detract from the transatlantic slave trade. Simply gives it another dimension.


  46. I’ve still not found any evidence for this person called ‘Venturilla’ although I will reread Mr. Packwoods text. I had assumed he was a folk tale and a corruption of the name ‘Sea Venture’.

    I was actually of the understanding that the first Blacks on the island were not actually slaves, and that the poisonous system of slavery was only formalised later on.

    As for our discovery, I understood we were named after Juan de Bermudez, whose ship ‘La Crianza’ (the heron) charted our waters long before 1609. Superstition (largely based on our dangerous reefs and calls of the Cahow) led to out alias ‘los Islas des Diablos’ (the Devil’s Isles) which prevented the colonisation of the island.

    I think LaVerne has made a very good point that risks being overlooked when she says that there is no such thing as a White or Black history, only that the Black aspects have been systematically undertold over time.

  47. I might be wrong, but did I not read somewhere that the Portuguese landed here before the Brits?

    Used it for fresh water and food if memory serves me well.

  48. Your right about that Martin. Johao Dasilva Sousa first landed in 1566, (Sousa Estates in Devonshire). Manuel DeSousa Correia marrked the trails that are now used as the Old Railway Trail/Line.

    Favio Rebello was the first Gee to string gill nets from Spanish Point to Somerset in 1589. There was no rum or liquor available and they smoked cedar bark and they all went mad.

    In 1599 a group of very tall people arrived at 10 fathom hole and slipped past the Cahows screams and sheltered in Dolly Partons Bay..( it was huge then)…….They spent a month there then traversed to the western portion of the island and became inhabitants for six months. The tall people created havoc amongst a few other families and thus became known as “The Talbots”…….

    Next week, I will give you history on the Triminghams…….the first family to posses scissors in 1701 and how they learned to ….’trim the fat’.

    My Great Grandfather left me a pice of script written by Tom Moore who stated that the song…”I left my Heart in St. Georges” was actually written by Sir George Somers. I worry about these rumours. Do you?

    Gotta run…….I need a laugh and a cold cheeeeep bear…….

    A great day too all.

  49. Elvis,

    Actually, Mr. Darrel could probably trace his ancestry back to one of the passengers on board the Sea Venture. However, his mother’s ancestors were probably enslaved and were my paternal ancestors. You’re a sick cookie Elvis, just like the real one.


    Are you questioning Mr. Packwood’s research? He is not the only person who mentions Venturilla. Dr. Quito Swan, who was recently on the island, also talked about Venturilla. How much research have you really done into Bermuda’s history?

  50. LOL – No, I am not questioning Mr. Packwood’s research. His book is one I have had on my ‘to read’ list and on my shelf for some years now, but it is only one amongst many. I have scanned through it but not enough to speak on it. I had understood that Venturilla was supposed to have been a slave from the Sea Venture (this is what I was told by others and with the name similarity I am sure you can see the plausibility). I am not a historian and have not claimed authority in that realm. I disputed merely that such an individual was a member of the Sea Venture crew. I may have mentioned this before but I do not recall ever learning anything about Bermuda’s history in school; as I went to Saltus, perhaps this was particular to that school only. All that I know I have taught myself, and I fully admit to this day I know more history of other countries than my own. I continually seek to correct that.

    The island was, as I understand it, occasionally used as a larder for visiting ships – hence our infamous hogs. I believe Spanish Rock in Spittal Pond was actually engraved by a shipwrecked Portuguese sailor who was later rescued, so yes, I believe we were indeed visited prior to the 1609 Sea Venture. I was not aware of anyone other than the ‘three kings of Bermuda’ having settled in Bermuda from the Sea Venture crew; I was of the understanding that most White Bermudians that could claim such bloodlines did so to the arrival of the Plough and not the Sea Venture.

  51. Okay, just flicked through my various Bermuda books that I have here with me. It was very interesting learning about Venturilla and my knowledge on this issue is better for it. Also, I believe I made a mistake referring to the La Crianza, it was the La Garda.

  52. How is that sick? How does asking about the white side of your ancestry make me sick?

    You said “My ancestors were not “wrecked” on the shores of Bermuda…”… now you’re saying that they might have been…

    What about pointing that out makes ME “a sick one”?

    Are you THAT ashamed of having some white blood that someone pointing it out is “sick” in your opinion?

    And what, exactly, about Elvis Presley was sick?

    And please don’t pull out that nonsense about “shining shoes”… that’s been proved as completely wrong numerous times.

  53. Sorry, I missed that part and I should have edited out what I saw as a personal attack on you UE.

  54. Or, the lady could answer the question of why she felt the need to attack in response to the questions…

  55. @ Ms. Furbert,

    While I thank you for the, um, history lesson, the entire point of my post was to point out that importance of Bermuda’s collective history. You claimed to have little interest in celebrating the anniversary of 1609 because it did not fit into your personal interest, and you claim that many blacks feel the same. While I think it highly likely many other people, black and white, passed Bermuda and stuck a toe in the sand, 1609 is the generally accepted birthdate of your country. You have to draw a line in said sand somewhere, and 1609 is ours. So you either want to celebrate the founding of our country, or you don’t.

    Rather than answer my actual question, you chose to argue over semantics of the word discover. Insightful. I suppose that word is in fact, indicative a colonial mentality, and as such the question should be dismissed as a plantation question.

    Regardless of your personal opinion on Bermuda’s founding, do you not think it the least bit odd that the elected leader of this country should choose to skip its 400th birthday?

  56. Ms Furbert, I’m confused. First you said:

    “I found it very interesting that at the re-enactment yesterday, there was a black man on the ship. Of course, I consider this an attempt to re-write history.”


    “Packwood also writes “A Black man of Spanish descent, named Venturilla, was known to have set foot in Bermuda in 1603″.”



    Are you questioning Mr. Packwood’s research? He is not the only person who mentions Venturilla. Dr. Quito Swan, who was recently on the island, also talked about Venturilla. How much research have you really done into Bermuda’s history?”

    Can I just ask, are you disputing your own first statement or did I misunderstand the words you wrote?

  57. Lost In Flatts,

    I did not claim to have little interest in celebrating Bermuda’s 400th, what I did say was “I, and many of my family and friends, have very mixed emotions about celebrating Bermuda’s 400th Anniversary celebrations”.

    I shouldn’t ask why you and continue to

    Are you talking about this question that I refused to answer “Oh and as a follow up – can anyone IMAGINE what Ms. Furbert and the PLP sycophants would have done if a white UBP premier hopped off for a holiday on emancipation day?”

    First of all, I am not a PLP sycophant, I am a member of the Party but I guess in your mind that makes me a sycophant. Would you consider Michael Dunkley a UBP sycophant?

    I would not be surprised if either Sirs Henry Tucker, David Gibbons, Jack Sharpe or Mr. David Saul travelled during the Cup Match holiday when they were government leaders/premiers. I’m sure if you checked the record, even some of the black UBP government leaders/premiers travelled over the Cup Match Holiday. I take it you mean the celebration of “emancipation day”, not the actual day.

    Uncle Elvis,

    Why would I be ashamed of having white family members? My family is very diversified and I have no shame about that. The fact of the matter is most “black” Bermudians have white family members – legitimately and illegitimately. I can’t change history and neither can you. Go back and read your question and see if you can undestand why I said you were sick.


    The information about Venturilla is on Page 1 of Cyril Packwood’s book.

  58. Alsys,

    What’s confusing?
    There were no black people on the Sea Venture that was wrecked in 1609.
    Venturilla was on another boat that landed in Bermuda in 1603. I can’t put my hands on Packwood’s book to give you the name of the ship he was on.

    The re-enactment about about the Sea Venture shipwreck.

  59. 500 years of Histrory by William Zuill mentions it but …..thats it.

    Just look at the flip side. If Bermuda had been settled by blacks the yanks would have taken it over or invaded. The irony is, it’s a black Colony, run by a black Government, trying to get rid of a black man.

    Where the hell is Rodney King when we need him.

    A great day too all……….

  60. Nope. Not only do I not get what it is about my question that makes me sick, I do not see an answer as to why you would attack instead of respond. Nor do I see an answer to the question of why you think Mr. Presley was sick.

    Nor do I see an explanation of the apparent contradiction between your statements of “My ancestors weren’t wrecked here” and “[my ancestor] could… trace his roots to the Sea Venture…”

    Your refusal to admit that you have white ancestors led me to believe you were ashamed of them. If I was wrong about it, I apologize. Perhaps you could explain, then, why you dismissed them in your original comment?

  61. I read that myself “32” but it’s all great on paper or in a paper. Mabe Dr. Harris could direct us too the documents that support his wrtings.
    I mean “Devils Hole” is a natrual grotto that was part of Harrington Sound but that does not mean ‘Satin’…well yah know……

    Next time you speak too him Dr. Harris, tell him I found what I am looking for.

  62. The majority of her ancestors, and the side that largely determines how she is perceived in Bermuda, do not trace their ancestry from the Sea Venture & Plough but instead from imported slaves. I have already conceded that I should have caught her statement that I perceive as a personal attack. While you are technically correct UE, surely you know what she was saying in spirit about her ancestors.

    My feeling is that she perceived your questioning as overly pedantic, but that is just my perception.

    I would ask that if a poster feels they have been personally attacked, please contact me rather than respond to the personal attack. In that way I can more adequately deal with it.

  63. Elvis,

    Understand one thing – I have no problem identifying who my relatives are on my father’s side (Furbert). I know who my grandparents were and their parents, etc. etc. However, when it comes to my maternal ancestors there was a problem.

    After conducting my own limited research some years ago I was able to ascertain that my great grandfather – Clarence Orrister Darrell, was the “illegitimate” son of Sara Kiel (Keel/Keele) a black woman and a white man with the last name Darrell. For whatever reason, Clarence Orrister, who actually christened Gilbert Kiel, changed his name to his father’s name so that he could be known as a “Darrell”. Why and how I do not know. I do know that there are others in my family who have been able to do more research that I have been able to do and have more information.

    For you to state that I have refused to admit that I have white ancestors is going from the ridiculous to the sublime. We all know of the stories of white slave masters copulating with the black females that they enslaved. But I do not know if that was the case with Sara Kiel and her child’s father.

    But to get to the present, when my family gets together for celebrations, there are white people, Asian people, African people, etc. etc. etc., and even Bermudian white people, and there is no conflict.

    Please don’t try and catch me out. The fact of the matter is that I have never had a white person come to me and tell me that they’re related to me on either my mother’s side or my father’s side, but I’ve had plenty of blacks who have done that.

    By the way, who are your relatives – black and white?

  64. Thank you for the explanation, Ms. Furbert, and for answering most of my questions.
    In other conversations, I have spoken to my understanding of black folks descended from the Atlantic Slave Trade’s difficulty in tracing their roots and the importance thereof, as I feel that one of the big misunderstandings that we have IS, in fact, this lack of identity. White folks, and to answer your question, my ancestors were, on my mother’s side, Irish, mainly, with a little German Jew and Scots thrown in and Anglo saxon on my father’s side, originally from Leeda’ I believe, don’t get it, really. Most of us are aware of our roots, going back generations. Black folks don’t have that, so much. They can trace two or three generations, then things get a little murky.
    Please don’t think I was trying to catch you out. It’s just that I feel that this is an important subject and one that could be a step towards togetherness and unity. From your comments, you seemed quite aware of your roots, which led to my confusion, and thus the seemed to me, perhaps erroneously, that you were denying your white heritage. You’ve now explained that it’s not denial, but ignorance of that side that has led you to self-identify as black. Thank you for the honesty. It has both enlightened me and redoubled my resolve to try to see if I can help figure out if there’s a way to help black folks get in touch with their past, something, as I said, I think is important for us all, as a society, as a community.

  65. LF

    “My ancestors were not “wrecked” on the shores of Bermuda, they were brought here as slaves.”


    How do you know? Are you sure you don’t have any European ancestors?

    “My great-grandfather, Clarence Orrister Darrell was the son of a white man and a black woman”
    “Actually, Mr. Darrel could probably trace his ancestry back to one of the passengers on board the Sea Venture. ”

    the point I was trying to make is that some of your ancestors might actually have been wrecked on the shores and not slaves at all.

    So maybe you do have something to celebrate? For if not for the wreck then Mr Darrells ancestors wouldn’t have been on the island, which eventually led to his birth and eventually yours.

    Most, if not all of us, would not exist today if not for slavery, the whole butterfly effect thing. Just something to think about.

  66. Ms. Furbert,

    Again, thank you for your response, I honestly do appreciate your generally honest approach to these forums, which are not always particularly kind to you.

    I do, however, think you’re again dodging the question. My question isn’t about whether or not past premier’s have taken off cup match – I’m with 100% that they likely have – but that they’ve chosen to plan a personal holiday over a reasonably important date in Bermuda’s history. Our 400 anniversary has been talked about for years, has loads of materials and advertising and was supposed to be quite a big deal. I absolutely would expect our leader to skip one day of holiday to be here for it. Make a speech, be seen as being proud of our heritage. It is not just any old cup match, none of us will see another centenary.

    I apologise for speculating that you were one of the many who were outraged at Michael Dunkley being off the island for Dame Evan’s funeral. As context, it was a very large, very heated debate over at progressive minds. Then again I’ve since learned that the main poster at that site was actually paid consultants of the PLP, so feel personally cheated of many hours of my efforts at discussion, and at the deception.

  67. Lost in Flatts,

    As I said before, some of my friends and relatives have mixed emotions about celebrating Bermuda’s 400th Anniversary. I consider Dr. Brown as one of my friends, and without a doubt he is my relative. Who has talked about the 400th anniversary of Bermuda? Certainly it has not been a topic of conversation in my circles. I did attend the event on Front Street some months back (the Premier and his wife were there as well) but I have not attended any other events.

    What I find most interesting is that the people who have called for Dr. Brown to be removed as premier are now calling for him to show his face as leader because Bermuda is celebrating 400 years of continuous settlement. They have not taken into account that during the past 400 years (or the last 3 years) the settlers of Bermuda have been most unkind to Dr. Brown and his ancestors (black ancestors that is, including Clarence Orrister Darrell).

    If Dr. Brown skipped one day of his holiday, flew back to Bermuda (from wherever he is) to attend an event at Fort St. Catherine’s Beach, and then flew back to wherever he was vacationing (at the taxpapyer’s expense ofcourse) you, and others would still be complaining. Remember, you all complain about his travel budget.

    In my opinion, Dr. Brown deserves a vacation and I have no problem with when he chooses to take it. I am not privy to his calendar and neither are you. As I see it, Bermuda has not been kind to people “look like Rene Webb, Dr. Brown and me during the past 400 years” so what do we have to celebrate?

  68. Which Bermuda are you referring to? You say ‘Bermuda has not been kind’ to people that look like you – I would argue that Bermuda has the highest standard of living for a black-majority country in the world. (and indeed one of the highest standards of living period).

    I would argue that a black Bermudian graduating from a good university has better prospects than 99.99999% of his/her worldly peers.

    I would argue that Bermuda has treated Dr. Brown rather well over the past 3 years, and that he must believe in miracles if he thought that he’d be the first political leader to not be criticised by people while in office (especially given his confrontational approach to, erm, governing). I would argue that in any other western democracy his actions (deliberately lying to the house, for one) would not be solved with a veiled apology. I think Bermuda is one of a very small number of places where he could actually remain a viable leader.

    Your attitude very much brings me to my earlier, regrettably poignant question: what do you want? You clearly will never trust white Bermuda, period. Despite the progress and equality you now possess, you still want more. You seem to want retribution. So what is your end game? I still see it as only one of two possiblities:

    1. An all black Bermuda, with no space for whites (politically, physically or culturally)
    2. An integrated society that agrees to move forward and share a common culture, with sins of the past forgiven but not forgotten.

    I believe the PLP is the government for only one of those two possiblities, and it isn’t the latter.

  69. Ms Furbert

    The Premier is entitled -as we all are – to make choices. He chose, consciously, to go on vacation.

    It probably isn’t helpful in the wider scheme of things for Premiers to not attend certain events. Emancipation Day by way of example.

    I suppose it might help to put to bed the sometimes criticism that whites don’t celebrate black history or black events (funerals?), who knows. I doubt it. People of all races love to score political points and that’s an easy one.

    I think the criticism on his travel costs is legitimate. Lister referred to it in the context of other Ministries having to save money.

    To argue the unkindness of Bermuda settlers over the last 3 years really is a none starter in a racially charged environment. Nothing can be done to remove that unkindness such that it would change the Premiers mind either.

    Sad in many ways, but there we have it.

  70. LaVerne, thats one hell of a mouthfull..the past 300 years the settlers have been unkind to hsi ancestors”……

    Those “settlers” have passed on. Not a damn one is alive. Give me some names so I can go and give them a big hug along with their Black Bermudian friends.

    He knew what he was doing. It’s obvious. I don’t give a damn about what other events he attends. This was about Bermuda, not him, not the settlers, not black not white.

    Forget about all the other things I want to say. His butt should have been here. He can vacation anytime he wants.

    Wonder if he’ll show up when Parliament convenes, or when the Grand Slam starts…..yah betch yah he’ll be there driven around in a golf cart whilst security looks out for Chinese subs off the westend and the Urgurhs luck behind the next tee……………………………………….

    Poor guys. They did’nt ask for this buut thats another story and Hong Kong Fuey is not happy.

  71. LIF,

    There is a saying “he who knows it feels it”. There’s another one “unless you’ve walked a mile in a man’s shoes….”. So when I make that statement that “Bermuda has not always been kind to people who look like me” that’s what I mean. In spite of the fact that Bermuda has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, there are some of us who have not always lived comfortable lives. I think of my grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, etc etc. etc. But in spite of the fact that Bermuda has not always been kind to people who look like me, some of us have preservered and have experienced some great successes.

    Your second paragraph regarding Bermudians graduating from college belies CURE statistics.

    Of course, I want more, not for myself as I am very comfortable, however, I would like to see others who have worked hard in this community reap some rewards.

    As far as your suggestion that I want to see an all black Bermuda, that is most ridiculous. Do you not believe that I appreciate my friends and those extended members of my family who do not look like me.

    Martin, we celebrate Emancipation Day every year.

    It is true that Dr. Brown has only been the Premier for the past three years, however, the unkindness towards him and others that look like did not just begin 3 years ago.

  72. Ms Furbert

    Really wasn’t trying to be – well, whatever you might be thinking I was trying to be – just making the point (probably badly) that Emancipation is perhaps a very important date in our calendar.

    In the final analysis, the Premier chose not to be here for it. Just think ther day is important – that’s all.

  73. Martin,

    I know I must be much older than you, but for me, celebrating “Emancipation Day (August 1st) or any other day in Bermuda sometimes very burdesome for me. Believe me, I love Cup Match and what it stands for. In fact, I asked my son to change his wedding date three years ago so that I could be in Bermuda for Cup Match, but some people on this island almost make it impossible to celebrate anything, even one’s own birthday.

    If you don’t believe me, read Lost in Flatts’ lost post. As I see it, there are some people in Bermuda who want to dimiss the fact that slavery actually existed, while at the same time they expect us to be thankful thankful that we were able to make that transatlantic crossing.

  74. LiF, I think it may be relevant here to note that a lot of the old White oligarchy used to defend the system (pre-segregation) by arguing that Bermuda had the ‘best fed and best dressed negroes in the world’ as if this somehow made the inequalities ‘okay’ so people should stop complaining.

    I’m just saying.

  75. Ms Furbert

    I understand that point. Others of course would wish it ‘simply went away’.

    But you see – there are many of us out here that are genuinely getting their heads around it and also trying to build bridges; all that – and we don’t even know if the other side of the river is accepting bridges!

    It has to be on an individual level, because at the societal level, it isn’t going to happen for a long time yet in my opinion. In Bermuda, it’s still too raw. I’m not so much thinking slavery – but more “what is in the memories of those alive today”.

    Then again, as I keep saying to the point of boredom – life is about choices. We all have to decide what type of society we want to live in. I am sure you don’t like the society you were raised in.

    For the record, I don’t like this one either.

    For the record, I am 60.

  76. Martin,

    I’m glad you shared your age with us. I was beginning to feel that I was an old woman trying to get a point across to a bunch of young people who really could not identify with what I have to say.

    I was thinking earlier what a difference it would have made for me if I had orginally started to post anonymously as most people do on these blogs. There is so much more that I could say but having been the recipient of very nasty and threatening letters to my job and my home, I choose to tread very lightly on this blog.

    That’s why I can understand why the Premier found it necessary to take a vacation at this time. I know how vicious some people in this community can be.

  77. Where did I say slavery didn’t exist? Where did I say you hadn’t been mistreated in the past? Ah, that’s right, nowhere. Because I argued that in today’s Bermuda, ie, the one we’re in right now, a graduate has every shot at a great job, you somehow spin that away into well he’s one of those ‘not believing in slavery white-folks’. It’s just lazy.

    While this isn’t the time nor place for a discussion around the faults of the CURE statistics, I honestly believe, and have seen nothing to change my mind, that two graduates from the same school TODAY have exactly the same chances in teh business world. I’ve seen it through my own personal experiences, and that of my peers, who have all graduated in the past 10 years or so. Yes, 50 years ago it wasn’t the case, yes 20 years ago it wasn’ t the case but you and I and everyone else can do absolutely nothing about that.

    Again, we come back to the point. You show time and time again that you’re uninterested in the present and the future, that you will only fall back on recalling the past. And how people were unkind to you. I don’t doubt that one bit. I’m sure they were. I’m sure you went through atrocities and I’m sorry for that, I am.

    But you’re still stuck trying to perpetuate that harm. I don’t want you to forget it, but I honestly see it as a fallacy that if we talk about it enough and revisit the past enough it is going to somehow get better. It’s not.

    You say of course you don’t want an all black Bermuda, and dismiss it as a ridiculous idea. However, you also clearly cannot trust a white Bermudian establishment. No matter who is running and involved in it. I just find that very sad, especially as you’re so quick to (correctly) point out the error of those white Bermudians that won’t ever give the PLP the benefit of the doubt because they’re black.

    Until we all get over ourselves, Bermuda is going nowhere fast. Our economy is in decline, our crime rates are through the roof (another shooting isn’t even surprising anymore) tourism is down, Bermudian kindliness is gone, international business are leaving and all we hear your leader talk about is race. And that’s all you talk about too. And while you’re all yelling about race, the whole damn country is going to fall apart around you.

    I just wish the government would start doing their jobs, and stop using race as the great distractor. And its people with mentalities like yours that allow this pathetic ploy to work.

  78. And @ Jonny – Your comment, while clearly coincidental/similar, is also indicative of the whole problem I’m trying to address. Yes, in the past white powers argued that, don’t doubt it one bit. But how is that the least bit relevant to today? When we have an all black power elected by an all black electorate controlling an overwhelmingly black public sector?

    The point of your argument is that the whites used to hold down the blacks with promise of a better standard of living. How is that in any way similar to the PLP’s regime? Unless you’re arguing that Dr. Brown and the gravy train are the new white power base?

  79. Hi LiF – I was more pointing out that you were opening yourself up for an attack than anything else.

    Having said that though, we still have some massive racial inequalities, of which some of them the PLP is tackling, albeit too little and too late in my perspective, but they are doing something for it. But one could interpret your argument as being along the same lines of the old argument. Economically speaking the racial inequalities remain, and one may interpret you as arguing that Blacks need to stop complaining for more – they are politically in power, and economically better off than most in the world; so stop complaining about racial inequalitites…

  80. LIF,

    I can only go by the CURE statistics and the personal experiences of young people who have graduated in the last 10 years.

    To say I’m not interested in the present and the future it’s going from the ridiculous to the sublime. I did everything that I could to ensure that my sons had college educations and now I’m doing the same thing with my grandchildren. I don’t live in the past, I live in the here and now.

    I don’t know of any “white Bermudian establishments”, but if you can cite a “white Bermudian establishment” that I don’t trust, please do.

    I think the world’s economy is in decline, crime rates are up globally and tourism is down everywhere. Yes, it’s true that some international businesses are leaving, but others are coming.

    I also believe that the Government is doing its job and rarely use race. However, there are instances where race must factor in some situations.

  81. “I think the world’s economy is in decline, crime rates are up globally and tourism is down everywhere. Yes, it’s true that some international businesses are leaving, but others are coming.”

    This is why it’s so easy for the PLP. When things are going well, it’s down to our fine management, and when it’s not, well that’s just because you can’t control Bermuda, it floats on the great sea of global determination.

    Crime rates in the US have been steadily decreasing since the 80’s. Ditto the UK. Bermuda’s borrowing (something controlled ONLY by the PLP) has trebled in a decade. Our national debt has increased exponentially. Our balance of trade is equally turbulent. Our tourism growth is lower than any of the Caribbean countries, all equally susceptable to the global fall in tourism.

    These are all very real, true problems facing us, that are getting worse. They are not only the result of global factors, many are determined by our government policies. And yet you indeed repeat what we’ve already heard from the PLP leadership – it’s not our fault the island is failing, look around, so is the world.

    That is not good enough.

    (apologies to all, I realise that this is not the point of this post at all, but it’s a real bugbear of mine – this culture of accept the praise dodge the criticism)

  82. LIF

    It will actually be very interesting to see how Bermuda Inc fares in the months and years ahead.

    Signs that outside of Bermuda, economies are beginning to “bottom out” appear to be there as I understand/read the better quality media analysis and, hopefully, as confidence increases, we will start to see the buds of growth.

    Politicans world wide take credit for economic success, and generally look to lay blame elsewhere when it falls over. Bermuda’s politicians are no different. As you know.

    The difficulty for Bermuda’s politicians will come when they have to explain ‘why’ Bermuda is not returning to the better days at the same rate as others.

    Whatever happened to those tools, policies, and careful management of the rising economy for which they took credit, will be the question.

    I think they will struggle to produce a credible response.

  83. LIF,

    I think Bermuda has fared very well under the PLP Government. You don’t agree with me and that’s your perogative. Certainly, Bermuda Inc. has not closed down as a result of a PLP Government as some had predicted. The PLP has very capable ministers and the Government has very capable civil servants. It makes no sense to go on and on. No matter what I, or anyone says, you will never give credit where credit is due.

    By the way, your post on another site “Because a few decades ago a prominent PLP figure said the way that the PLP would take over Bermuda is to go and fornicate in the bushes” is as far from the truth as one can get. Lois Browne-Evans said that there will come a point when Bermudians would rather see young people “fornicating in the bushes” than using drugs. I think her point is well taken in today’s Bermuda.

  84. “I think Bermuda has fared very well under the PLP Government.”

    1. Increase in virtually all crime statistics, especially violent crime;
    2. Consistent abuse of established due process and procedures by the Government;
    3. Declines in tourist arrivals; and
    4. Tripling of national debt

    Mrs. Furbert these are all factually accurate leading indicators of our social and economic success & well being … and all of them are trending (zooming in some cases) in the wrong direction. How does that equate to Bermuda “faring very well under the PLP Government”?

  85. @ Ms. Furbert – I apologise that I have gotten the ‘fornicate in the bushes’ quote out of context – obviously I was not there – but that is how I had been told it was used. Interesting, as that is a fairly well used piece of Bermudian political folklore, which I’ve heard from multiple sources. Nice of you to be reading my other posts though.

    As 32n64w has pointed out, ‘fared very well’ is a bit of a fuzzy way of evaluating something as complex as a country. If you look at most of the measurable statistics, things aren’t rosy at all, and as he has pointed out, the downward trends are often accelerating.

    Yes, the lights haven’t gone out, as the chicken little’s predicted 10 years ago, but at the same time I would have hoped a PLP government had a larger goal than survival. As it stands they’re falling well behind in a host of metrics, only some of which they can blame away on the world.

    You say you can’t convince me, but that’s simply not true. I’m a firm believe in facts. You show me the information and I’m happy to digest it and be proven wrong.

    But check our debt. Check our government expenditure (!!!). Check the balance of payments. Consumer confidence. Crime (across the board). I’d say education, but Cedarbridge has miraculously doubled their graduation rate in 2 years, so I can’t really trust that. Check tax revenue from international companies. Check number of companies leaving Bermuda each year. Check hotel beds. Check occupancy.

    Basically, I believe the PLP should be judged by some bundle of all of the areas they have control over, not some gut feeling. If you honestly believe that all of these things are better now then they were, for ALL of Bermuda, then fine, prove it. For example, I’m quite sure that income per person has continued to trend upwards, but that our Lorenz curve has likely gotten steeper. Similarly, I’d guess inflation has come down recently because of a weakened economy.

    There was a very well debated thread over at PM before the last election discussing the tangible positives that the PLP had accomplished. Demonstratable, actual realities brought about by the PLP. Not promises, hotels to be built, programs to be started. It wasn’t a long list. And it’s been a decade.

    I believe in making most decisions from a practical viewpoint, if the PLP offer me the best way to improve Bermuda, tangibly, then I’m all for them. If someone else can do it better, I’m for them. I was very pro Dr. Brown when he first took over leadership of the party because I finally thought the PLP would start delivering on their promises. Unfortunately, he hasn’t made massive leaps and what he has accomplished has been belittled by his larger political gaffs. Again, he’s made lots of promises, but where are the results?

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