This is the bomb that fell on the house that Jack built

Well, I suppose I should comment on the RG article about the UBP’s continued self-destruction. The late Julian Hall once referred to Lt. Col. Burch as a train wreck in slow motion. I wonder if this description would be more apt for the UBPs agonisingly slow descent into irrelevance. Anyway, this ‘ultimatum’ by three UBP MPs and a Senator seems to be perhaps the final blow to the UBP as a viable political party. It is hard not to look at the UBP as ever successfully contesting an election again with the intent of forming the government. They may very well continue, but they will continue as little more than a rump party from now on.

The fracturing of the UBP is not really anything new. The UBP has been a fractured Party almost since its inception, united more by power and mutual opposition to the PLP than anything else. One need only look at the Black Caucus and reformist factions that egged the UBP in the 70s and 80s, where ‘small-whites’ and Portuguese Bermudians sought to challenge the Forty Theives dominance of the Party in a series of primaries. Indeed, it was the breakdown of unity, in the aftermath of the hamburger wars and 1995 Independence referendum that led to the 1998 PLP victory.

The late Freddie Wade, shortly before his death and the 1998 election, argued that the UBP was broken as a Party and would need to spend some time in the wilderness in order to fix itself – it could not resolve its internal divisions any longer while in power. The 1998 defeat cut off the Party from the trappings of power as well as robbed them of their chief weapon, their argument that the PLP were incapable of governing. Post-1998 events have shown that the PLP can govern (or is it mis-govern) as well as the UBP could. This situation left them increasingly incapable of attracting high-quality candidates along their traditional strategy of ensuring an election slate approximating our racial demographics. And without access to political power their ability to remain united further degraded.

While the 2007 election was close (in the popular vote), it was the 2003 election that was, to me, the UBPs last best chance of regaining power. The 2007 election just confirmed their irreversible decline. The rebels ultimatum of 2009 renders the UBPs decline in farce.

In my opinion the UBP should have split in the immediate aftermath of the 2007 election. This would have been the best solution for the UBPs crisis. That they have dithered as long as they have robs both the rebels and the UBP rump of any credibility.

I do not know the UBPs constitution, but from my perspective these UBP rebels should be expelled immediately. Yes, this will of course lead to the complete split of the UBP, just as the PLP-NLP split developed. Yes, it is quite possible that this would give Dr. Brown a very good reason to call a snap election, just like John Swan did in the midst of the PLP-NLP split. Yes, this would ensure the PLPs power till at least 2014, and give Dr. Brown an opportunity to ‘leave on a high’, and silence internal PLP dissent for the immediate timebeing. These are all quite possible, and if I were the Premier I probably would be announcing a snap election in the run up to the October Annual Delegates Convention.

There are many UBPers and rebel supporters who will look at this with horror and seek to mend the rift within the UBP. I believe that would be a mistake. The UBP as it is has too many problems in it, and it needs to deal with them and not keep trying to superficially fix them and hope they will sort themselves out. They need to have a frank and open discussion about their problems, and it needs to act decisively. Their failure to act decisively and work out their problems is one, of many, problems that leaves them an increasingly irrelevant political entity. A snap election may be called. The UBP and its spin-off Party may indeed loose their seats. The PLP could indeed win a landslide. Quite frankly I don’t think we can continue along the current status quo of an ineffective Opposition, and as difficult as it may be for them and its members, its better they rip off the bandages all in one go and help change our political landscape. The splitting of the UBP seems the best way to do this.

I believe that the rebels have spent the last few months, if not the whole time since the 2007 election, getting organised so that they can launch as a new Party almost immediately, expressly due to the fear of a snap election. I doubt the UBP proper has been totally ignorant of this and should be able to also contest a snap election. They may even agree to some form of strategic voting in order to not totally surrender parliament to a PLP landslide.

In my opinion having the UBP split, leaving the UBP and some new Party of these rebels, without the UBP itself dissolving, is the best strategy to ensure that the new Party cannot be attacked as the UBP under a different name. The existence of both Parties will allow the new Party to define itself and forge a new identity for itself. As has been noted before, even by PLP stalwarts (for example Rolfe Commissiong in a relatively recent RG article), the dissolution of the UBP as a viable Party will lead to change within the PLP, even perhaps leading to a spin-off of its own, if not the capturing of support by a new Party. Ultimately, this should lead to a fundamental redrawing of Bermuda’s political map.

As to the rebels themselves, I will be frank and say that I am hardly inspired with confidence by any of these persons. I have some respect for Mr. Donte Hunt and Mr. Mark Pettingil, but I have not found reason to have much time for Mr. Fahy or Mr. Crockwell. And if, as is likely, they will seek to include Mr. Darius Tucker and Mr. Wayne Furbert, well, I certainly don’t see them as having much credibility to be frank. And while they claim to have a former PLP MP on their side, I would find it surprising if they were able to capture even a small amount of disgruntled PLPers. Their support will be almost completely within the existing UBP support base. There is nothing wrong with that, the break up of the UBPs base is a necessary step towards reshaping the political situation.

I believe that it is likely we will see at least two new Parties emerge in the next period, perhaps spurred by the UBPs apparent split. As I wrote in a previous article, I expect (based on the various chatter online – blogs and Facebook – and LTTEs) these two new Parties will take the form of a Green Party and a new Liberal Party. In total then one would expect a total of five Parties: the PLP, the UBP, a UBP spin-off, a Green Party and a Liberal Party. Whether all of these Parties will be able to sustain themselves, either to the point of contesting an election or after an election (and whither away like the old NLP), is difficult to tell. It is possible that some will coalesce into a new political formation.

Of course, the UBP may decide to stay united and continue to be the acme of impotency when it comes to parliamentary opposition, and our politics will remain stunted. I personally believe that this rebel ultimatum will prove to be the bomb that fell on the house that Jack built, and out of its ruins we will be able to build a new and better Bermuda.

I should also note that parliamentary politics is not the only way to move forward. It is entirely possible to replace our existing parliamentary system with an alternate grassroots democracy, with civil society replacing the state. The level of political consciousness however does not seem to be sufficient to achieve this state though, but it is likely that any new Party that seeks to become the new Opposition or even the future government, will have to not simply be a parliamentary party but an anti-party Party, combining the best of parliamentary politics with community activism and organisation.

94 thoughts on “This is the bomb that fell on the house that Jack built

  1. the crossroad is here…more continuation of the corruption of westminster political corruption

    or switch to a bottom up governance by the people via an elected parish based council

    time to choose bermuda

    **all power to the people by any mean snessicary**

  2. Poor people are more important than any middle class black or white liberal. The PLP was put in power to get bermudians back in the hotels working, build affordable housing and improve the quality of life for the workers.
    Instead greed, masked as economic empowerment has produced ten years of corruption, poverty and crime.
    The black middle class are cowards who want a bribe from government that is who is bailing out of the UBP. White liberals are responsible for increase in violent crime wih their useless liberal laws..
    The red party is about workers voting for workers not greedy lawyers and doctors who are too busy trying to socially intergrate depriving the ‘hood’ of investment.
    The middle class should spend their energy creating a stimulus package to pull Bermuda out of this recession which leads to robberies murder and crime. Any politican who doesnot put poor people first can go to hell. Church

  3. Hi Jonathan,

    This is my opinion piece from my radio show today.

    In my opinion, Leader of the Opposition, Kim Swan should do at least one thing to prove his leadership skills, that is remove Michael Fahy from the Senate. Shawn Crockwell, Donte Hunt and Mark Pettingill are elected Members of Parliament so there is nothing Mr. Swan can do remove them, however Mr. Fahy was appointed to the Senate and I would think that he was appointed by the Opposition Leader. At least that’s what the Constitution of Bermuda says and we all know that members of the UBP are sticklers for the Constitution.

    The four UBP members are blaming poor Mr. Swan for failing to make the UBP a viable Opposition but I would have thought that is a responsibility that should be shared by all members of the Opposition, not just the Opposition Leader. The four members of the UBP are also calling for four of the UBP’s older faces to step down and make way for a series of by-elections. Neither Crockwell, Hunt, Pettingill nor Fahy had the courage to name the older faces but I certainly hope that one of those faces has the last name Jackson. Certainly, she must be an embarrassment to the UBP, especially of late with her obvious confusion about FutureCare.

    Crockwell, Hunt, Pettingill and Fahy are also insisting that the Party change its name, but in my opinion a rose by any other name is still a rose. I have many friends who have changed their names, mostly for religious purposes. While I may now refer to them by their chosen names, in my mind I usually think of them with the birth names. Athough the Bank of Bermuda has changed its names to HSBC, I’m sure that most of us still think of that institution as the Bank of Bermuda. And how many of us still refer to Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute as St. Brendans, or Victor Scott Primary School as Central School?

    In my opinion, Dr. Brown’s prediction that the UBP will implode is now seeing the light of day. Remember, Wayne Furbert and Darius Tucker are now sitting as independents, so once Crockwell, Hunt and Pettingill join them when Parliament opens in November, the UBP will be down to only nine sitting Members of Parliament. That is, if I have my arithmetic right.

    What I did no say on my show was that it looks as if Shawn Crockwell is positioning himself to be the leader of the new party. For some reason, when I think of Crockwell being the leader of the new party, I think of Marion Barry.

  4. What I find laughable about the whole discussion is the failure of people cheering the demise of the UBP

    The UBP has become an organisation of small men with big egos and no leadership/organisation possible because of the cat-herding necessary to keep the MPs in line… the worst of whom are some of the rebels threatening a split.

    Let’s not forget that every breath that sees us wish for an organisation more competent to replace the UBP we are wishing that because the PLP itself is an obsolete and increasingly corrupt organisation.

  5. Sorry, the failure of the people cheering the demise of the UBP to advocate a better solution.

    Both parties need to go, the UBP is institutionally disorganised and ineffective the PLP is institutionally corrupt and self-serving.

  6. @J Starling

    the PLP can govern (or is [it] mis-govern) as well as the UBP could.

    Sadly, I don’t think there’s much contest, actually.

    @red party

    The PLP was put in power to get bermudians back in the hotels working

    I’d ask if you’re joking, but you’re clearly serious.

    Bermuda tourism is dead for a whole range of reasons, some of which Bermuda has no control over, such as the increasing competitiveness of other destinations.

    You could elect anyone you want, in any form of government you want, and they could no more bring tourism back the way if was 50 years ago than they could make iron float.

    Over the centuries Bermudians have had to be nimble and adaptable, as the things we’ve done to live on have regularly, repeatedly, changed; from tobacco to farming to boat-building to trading to winter vegetables to flowers to tourists and to IB.

    Alas, I can’t see anything that will bring in the kind of income IB did, after it leaves (as it has now started to do). Young Bermudians should go away to college, and stay, as waves of Bermudians have done, through necessity, in centuries past.

  7. Thanks for pointing out the error in my writing, the double is – I’ve fixed that, cheers!

    I just saw a post by SG over at BIAW on this topic. He has cut and pasted from an email he claims is doing the rounds. This email alleges that MPs Shawn Crockwell, Donte Hunt and Mark Pettingill, as well as Senator Micheal Fahy, and members Sean Pitcher and Wayne Scott have resigned from the UBP as of 2000hrs Bermuda time. The link to this post is;topicseen#msg38879

    Should this be true – and I reckon it is likely – I expect the RG tomorrow to be full of new revelations and analysis. It will be interesting to see what the reaction of the UBP and PLP will be in the wake of these developments.

  8. I see that the RG’s Facebook site is confirming the above, as well as confirming the positions of the two members (I wasn’t sure who was still active), Sean Pitcher being the up until now current Chairman, and Wayne Scott being a former Deputy Chairman. I expect the RG’s proper site will have a ‘breaking news’ article up shortly and the UBP will most likely be forced into an emergency meeting to elect a new chair, as well as figure out what to do next.

  9. As much as I am glad to see a new party emerging I don’t have much confidence in those that are set up to be the leaders.

    It will be intersting to see if the UBP lasts or simply disbands as the new party is formed.

    @Ms. Furbert

    This was coming for a long long time, don’t get so excited about it. This is no suprise. You seem to be so fixated on a UBP = EVIL mindset that you ignore the implications for your own party. No longer can the PLP pull out the UBP/Racism card (assumign the new party gets off the ground) and no longer will the mindset of many black Bermudians which prevents them from voting for the UBP simply because of what the UBP used to be be a tool that the PLP can use for victory. The PLP is ruining Bermuda and it’s about time that we had a viable opposition.

    If seats are not lost by the time the next general election comes I will lose what little faith I have left in Bermuda’s electorate. Just as the corrupt and self serving UBP of old’s time came so shall the corrupt and self serving PLP’s.

  10. Marion Barry? Out early with the attacks.

    Funny. I think of Ted Kennedy, who spent his life atoning for a terrible mistake.

    When I think of you I think of a really bad wanna be Glenn Beck. Loopy as hell but full of certainty and self-righteous indignation.

    Oh, and on the Fox News stuff, remind me which radio station is owned by a member of a political party and has an appointed Senator?

  11. The Truth,

    You can think of Ted Kennedy if you like, I think of Marion Barry. I don’t recall of reading were Ted Kennedy Stole drugs and distributed them. There is a difference.

    As far as I’m concerned, you can compare me to Glenn Beck if you like. I know who I am and what I stand for. My record speaks for itself.

    You can answer the third question for yourself. I have no vested interest in any radio station.

  12. “I don’t recall of reading were Ted Kennedy Stole drugs and distributed them.”

    Left a woman to drown in his car. But I guess you’re good with that.

    Your record speaks for itself? Yeah it does. Calling someone a confused Negro is very Glenn Beckesque. Maybe he’s heard of you and is modeling his schtick off of your act? Just think. If you’d be pulling your nonsense in the US you could be pulling millions a year rather than helping Dennis and Zane make theirs.

    You make me smile. This is good sport.

  13. Interesting times indeed. With the split in the UBP it is likely to cause a similar split in the PLP leaving both old parties with the bitter and hater old guard and the younger elements within Bermuda taking over and forming at least one new party. Suggestions that the Premier will call a snap election is unlikely as it is highly unlikely he will remain as the leader of the PLP if he did. Equally any suggestion that Wayne Furbert or Darius Tucker would be welcomed into the group just resigning from the UBP is equally misjudged in my opinon. Now is the time for all the “arm chair political pundits” to stop the whining and join in the solution and help build a new and better Bermuda.

  14. The big test now is on those within the PLP who are disenfranchised with Dr. Brown’s leadership. And we have every reason to believe not only do they exist, but they’re numerous.

    If the new party can enlist the support of some of these members and a form a bit of a coalition, then we might be on to something.

    I fear, however, that all this will do is give Dr. Brown the opportunity to call a snap election, grab some more seats (with a lower voter turnout, no doubt) and sure up his legacy as the most historic, most Bermudian, most hip, most great leader ever. EVER.

    What Bermuda needs is for the Hortons, the Scotts, the Butlers of this world to get involved. Their party has turned its back on them, if their allegiance is to Bermuda, not the PLP, then the path should be clear.

  15. Why would Dr. Brown want to call a snap election? What would that prove?

    As far as the Hortons, Scotts, Butlers following Shawn Crockwell et al, that would really say something about them. But we’ll have to wait and see won’t we. I don’t know how anyone can say that their party turned its back on them.

    I know it must be disturbing to UBP supporters that instead of seeing the demise of Dr. Brown and the PLP, we’re actually seeing the demise of the UBP.

  16. How has this become about Dr Brown and the PLP?

    The demise of the UBP has come strictly because of their inability to change with the times and realize that they needed to come to terms with why they lost in ’98 and why they havent been able to regain power.

    I am a firm PLP supporter, but I also believe in the value of a good opposition, and we are not being served as a good opposition by the current UBP.

    I dont anticipate the Horton, Scotts Butlers etc leaving the PLP because all have stated their allegiance to the PLP on numerous occasions, so if they were in fact to leave that would speak volumes about them. However, they are entitled to go wherever they choose, if they do so choose.

    And also, how much of this “new party talk” is genuinely about the country, or have these guys realizes the UBP has sunk and they need to get off the ship?

    It is definitely interesting times, and hopefully as things work themselves out, we will see positive developments on all fronts, from which the country should benefit.

  17. Lost in Flatts,

    Also, i wonder, how has the PLP turned its back on those MPs? Most PLP members i know are totally disgusted with some of the behaviors of these MPs.

    I dont believe many PLP members believe that the party has turned its back on these MPs, but more-so that these MPs have acted in ways detrimental to the party.

  18. “but more-so that these MPs have acted in ways detrimental to the party.”

    Thereinlies the whole problem with the PLP. You are not expected to think or act for yourself. If you don’t toe the line then you are seen as detrimental to the party. That alone displays the intolerance that this party has for any ideas which differs from the leadership’s.

    It is inspriring to see these MPs have the backbone to stand up against bad governance. Lying (re: the Speakers note that actually didn’t come from Mr. Lowe’s office after the refusal to debate the restructuring of the Stonington Beach contract, which effectively gave away a property that was designed to promote hospitality careers among the population, to a foreigner that financed the PLP campaign), deceiving (re: Gambling bill, Uighur situation), unethical (re: BHC scandal, Playboy party promotion, BCC lease arrangement etc) that most PLP members refuse to acknowledge. With such a weak opposition it is good to see that people within his own party are willing to enact some forms of checks and balances.

  19. @ Ken – It’s exactly the ‘in it for the party’ mentality that concerns me. I would have hoped our politicians were in it for Bermuda, not for the success of a political party. But we’ve been so bitterly split for so long, people care more about their ‘team’ winning than the result itself.

    I mean that for both sides too, I think the UBP-ers are just as guilty in wanting nothing but bad things to happen to the PLP regime – just so they have something to wave over Dr. Brown. Despite the fact it is their island suffering.

    As I’ve said before, Bermuda has not improved in many areas in the past 5 years. And I mean that on a macro scale, yes I happily acknowledge certain individuals are better off, but we as a country are not. I could care less which political party is in power if we’re doing well, but when we’re not I do care that the Government, ie, the party that is supposed to be governing, spend more time attacking the useless opposition than improving the situation.

    Again, I draw attention to the other pillar of economy. Tourism is well and truly f*cked. But instead of putting a dedicated, full time minister in charge, we have Dr. Brown spending millions on a concert and declaring it a platinum period. And people lap it up. That baffles me.

  20. @Ms. Furbert

    we’re actually seeing the demise of the UBP

    I would have assumed you’d be ecstatic.

    Anyway, this is all likely just re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic at this point.

  21. “Marion Barry? Out early with the attacks.”

    She knows no other way. Individuals who resort to petty attacks on the person’s background instead of what they stand for only do so because they are incapable of debating in a constructive and mature manner or are just simply out of ideas. I go for a mixture of all 3.

    Well going of her logic at least we can say she would vehemently oppose the appointment of Mr. Commissiong to any leadership position within the PLP (due to his criminal PAST).

    Finally something we can agree on Ms. Furbert

  22. I support this move wholeheartedly. Something had to change. Its going to be a long road, but hopefully others will join in their movement to create the change that is so desperately needed in Bermuda’s political stagnancy. Easier said than done, but must have hope.

  23. it will be interesting what they plan to put forward to in representing the poor.

    if they are just going to be another bunch representing the middle class and eliets they will gain no traction

    **all power to the people by any means nessicary**

  24. I feel sorry for these liberals. Blacks will always have beef with whites over slavery. Black women hate a black man who has white women. Shawn and Donte are fooling themselves by leaving the UBP cause they are married to it. The real issues are
    Legalizing marijuana
    Legalizing handguns for self defense
    Adult enterainment.
    If this new party is not about that it can go to hell.

  25. The house of Swan tumbles. His leadership questioned, his party in tatters, it would seem that the end is near. How will the stalwarts react? How will the veterans face such adversity? Does it matter? Let’s hope that it doesn’t. Enough is enough. Go away… please… go away.

    Interesting to note that some people here think that the PLP will split as well. I’m not so sure. The opportunist will seek to bury the opposition, but one wonders if the good doctor believes in euthanasia? His troops are seemingly subservient. They will not show weakness while the opposition is drowning. They will keep their soldiers in line, ready to pounce when called upon.

    As for our rebels… same faces new places, the warning is clear. Do not become a new version of the “grand old” UBP, your mandate is clear. Bermuda will not go back to the same old song and dance. Your agenda had better be clear from the beginning. It will take a lot of cosmetics to not appear “old”.

    I wonder when someone will be brave enough to step up and form a true independent party, one with no ties, one with no legacy. Are we so limited in visionaries that we must settle for the same old stuff?

  26. “I wonder when someone will be brave enough to step up and form a true independent party, one with no ties, one with no legacy. ”

    Are you willing to step up? Lots of talk there.

  27. sparxx wrote:
    “I wonder when someone will be brave enough to step up and form a true independent party, one with no ties, one with no legacy. Are we so limited in visionaries that we must settle for the same old stuff?”

    Sara says:
    Actually yes sparxx, the island is limited on people that should be running for government offices. Let’s not kid ourselves and think that Bermuda is full of qualified politicians waiting to come out of the woodworks to start a whole new party without anyone being experienced?.
    Not a whole lot to choose from, but both sides have good people that want the same thing for Bermuda.
    Those are the ones that need to come together and of course bring in a new generation of politicians that pull the plug on bs.

  28. Sara,

    It will be a long, long, long road. But I guarantee you Crockwell and Hunt will get tired before they see the end in sight. The UBP have dug in their heels, Kim Swan is still the leader, and Michael Fahy is no longer a senator.

    Crockwell (the leader) and company couldn’t even come up with a name for their party, so I know a constitution is a long way away.

    I must say though, it’s interesting that the new entity lead by Shawn Crockwell is following the lead of the first leader of the UBP, Sir Henry Tucker – form a party from independents already sitting as Members of Parliament.

    For the firs time in the history of Bermuda’s Parliament we will see:

    24 Government Members of Parliament (PLP)
    9 Opposition Members of Parliament (UBP)
    5 Independent Members of Parliament (Other)


    I like Marion Barry. In spite of his adversaries, he’s still there helping his people, just like Shawn Crockwell. Check him out on Wikipedia.

  29. @the truth – Always ready to walk the walk. Better today than tomorrow.

    @sara – define “qualified politicians” (lol). I agree we all want what’s best for Bermuda, just not sure if a hodgepodge mish mash of re-hash is what we need.

    “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. – Kofi Annan

  30. “Always ready to walk the walk. Better today than tomorrow.”

    So you’re in? Or you’re just rattling off cliches?

  31. Sorry, had to take yesterday off, couldn’t be avoided. I’ve freed up the posts that were caught for moderation or as spam.

    I do think that in the long-term the fracturing of the UBP will indeed lead to a similar fracturing within the PLP. I did not mean to give the impression that this fracturing will be immediate or will see PLPers resign from the Party and join this new entity. Quite frankly the persons involved in this new Party so far are not in my opinion those that many PLPers will want to be associated with. Any break from within the UBP can only capture a limited number of PLP support. A break from the PLP however could capture a much larger number of UBP support.

    The chief benefit of this UBP split is that it really does seem to be the end of the UBP as anything other than a rump Party, perhaps of use in a future coalition government, but never again a serious contender for winning an election and forming the government either outright or as a senior partner. Without an official Opposition the PLP increasingly becomes its own best opposition, and it is from this development that the best hope for the country’s political maturity comes. That and the formation of new Parties from outside the already formed political parties.

    @ LaVerne, I myself would call a snap election for no other reason than capitalising on the weakness of the Opposition, much as John Swan did with the NLP split. I would imagine this would significantly reduce the Opposition even more so. This will secure PLP dominance till about 2014, give Dr. Brown a good opportunity to handover power to the next Leader in 2010 as he has stated he intends to do, and also allow (I believe) some constitutional amendments. Just my opinion of course.

  32. @sara – define “qualified politicians” (lol). I agree we all want what’s best for Bermuda, just not sure if a hodgepodge mish mash of re-hash is what we need.

    Not just anyone can come off the street and say hey “let’s start a new party and all be politicians” Someone has to has some experience to be successful in any way. Do you understand what I mean yet?

  33. LaVerne Furbert


    It will be a long, long, long road. But I guarantee you The UBP have dug in their heels, Kim Swan is still the leader, and Michael Fahy is no longer a senator.

    Sara says:

    I agree it will be a long long road Laverne. One would be naive to think otherwise.
    As far as your negative statement “Crockwell and Hunt will get tired before they see the end in sight.”
    If this does come true, at least they can look back and say they tried, which is more than can be said for other MPs.
    Everyone kept saying the UBP should disband, the UBP is dead, the UBP is useless.
    Its funny now that this has happened all kinds of other stuff comes up now. Everyone is SO BLINDED by which party someone comes from. Is everyone so naive to think that everyone in the UBP is bad? What will it take to make people see that on both sides of the fence their are GOOD politicians?

  34. I don’t mean to tempt fate or give ideas here, but is anyone else waking in cold sweats the Ewart might call a snap election – with independence on the bill?

    Personally I would hope that he wouldn’t do something so blindingly underhanded, and that the UK wouldn’t allow us to go independent without a single-issue referendum, but it is his dream and this will be his best opportunity to do it.

    Scary stuff that. The dissolving of the UBP, and the PLP tie independence into their platform, and voters are forced to either vote for a non-party or vote for independence.


  35. Jonathan,

    You say “@ LaVerne, I myself would call a snap election for no other reason than capitalising on the weakness of the Opposition, much as John Swan did with the NLP split. I would imagine this would significantly reduce the Opposition even more so. This will secure PLP dominance till about 2014, give Dr. Brown a good opportunity to handover power to the next Leader in 2010 as he has stated he intends to do, and also allow (I believe) some constitutional amendments. Just my opinion of course.”

    I see no reason to call a snap election. If we eradicate the opposition completely, that doesnt bode well for Bermuda and it will just encourage the voices out there to say we have absolute power and are power hungry. Right now we have 22 seats, a decent majority, and there is no need to waste money or time on a snap election. Secondly, whether Dr Brown calls a snap election or not, he will still be able to handover power in 2010. I don’t see what one has to do with the other.

  36. From the PLP blog:

    “The Progressive Labour Party is pleased to welcome a third party to Bermuda’s political landscape. Led by Shawn Crockwell, the formation of the new party represents the culmination of an internal feud between the powerbrokers that control Bermuda’s opposition. The Crockwell Party is a new investment vehicle for the same, old longstanding opponents of the PLP to try and regain power.

    We in the PLP look forward to engaging in a lively debate of ideas with the latest member of Bermuda’s opposition.”

    Well Bermuda’s political landscape is changing, but it appears the same race based attacks and fearmongering that has become the trademark of Dr. Brown’s administration has not. You wonder why people are fed up with this bullsh*t that seeks to further divide this island. Well done PLP you might not have made it happen but you sure aren’t helping either…

  37. “The Crockwell Party is a new investment vehicle for the same, old longstanding opponents of the PLP to try and regain power.”

    So less than 24 hours in – it’s still the old evil white guys! Don’t let the new party fool you!

    (not that I expected anything less)

  38. “The Crockwell Party is a new investment vehicle for the same, old longstanding opponents of the PLP to try and regain power.”

    So less than 24 hours in – it’s still the old evil white guys! Don’t let the new party fool you!

    (not that I expected anything less)

    Exactly, certain people never thought this would happen and now that it has, they say the SAME thing again. What was the point of saying the UBP should disband because they are null and void as an opposition? Was it all just distraction talk after all? Did certain people actually think that the UBP would disband and the POLITICIANS would just LEAVE politics behind? Let’s be a little realistic here.

  39. @ sara – sorry you missed my attempt at humour (lol). I don’t take it personally though… not many do!

    As for experience, I’m not sure that it matters. If someone with the smarts, work ethic and dedication wanted to run, I’d be happy to support them… regardless of their political experience.

    You want professional politicians, I think that’s half the problem.

  40. Sara,

    College degrees dont always mean everything. It takes all kinds to make the world go around, and paying $$ to get a college degree doesnt necessarily mean that the person got a decent education.

  41. Ken,

    Nobody said a college degree meant everything?
    If you are going to be taken seriously as a politician a college degree is bare minimum in fact.

  42. As long as you have Ken and LaVernne pitching their bullshit, the slide down the tube will be shorter than most think.

    Why did’nt they just say “Confused Negro Party”.


    Ewart is just laughing and lapping at the trough……..along with family and friends……whilst the masses wait for “Opportunity, Justice and Fiscal conservatism”……

    Time to take the ole black beret out of the cupboard and maybe a star or two…………………..

    I need a rum……………………………….

  43. Sara,

    “Exactly, certain people never thought this would happen and now that it has, they say the SAME thing again. What was the point of saying the UBP should disband because they are null and void as an opposition? Was it all just distraction talk after all? Did certain people actually think that the UBP would disband and the POLITICIANS would just LEAVE politics behind? Let’s be a little realistic here.”

    Nothing monumental has yet really occured. This latest move is simply more disillusioned UBP’ers breaking off. The suggestion that this movement is what people have been waiting for and that people should jump on board is rather absurd that this point.

    Indeed, thus far the new party has been incredibly vague and reeks of a poorly planned action. For it to have been a success they should have planned things ahead of time, lined up strong individuals to launch alongside them and come out strong with a means to rally support and momentum from the get go.

    What have we gotten? An ‘obama-like movement’ which is a term that reeks of political rhetoric and a nameless party with the commitment that in the new year they’ll actually form. Does that sound like a movement that will rock our very foundation?

    If anything this is only the beginning. The ongoing fragmentation of the UBP will open the doors for strong independents or a non-aligned new party to stand up and actually have a chance (unlike previous elections). These individuals who could not stand before stand a better chance contending against a fragmented UBP because suddenly there is less reason to support a party clearly dying.

    Also, there is a reason why individuals like Ms. Furbert don’t want to see the complete demise of the opposition for the reason that as soon as the PLP is truly unopposed it will begin to oppose itself and the PLP’s rebels will break rank to do what they believe is right.

    We may well be witnessing a revolutionary change in Bermudian politics however believing in this split from the UBP to be the new powerhouse party to win it all is about as reasonable as having believed Y2K was the day the world would end.

  44. ken

    I dont agree Sara. But we can agree to disagree.

    Sounds good. Might add that your sentiment about education seems to be a big problem here in Bermuda. The kids don’t value education. They think they already know everything. And then get upset when a person with a college degree gets hired over them.

  45. Mr. Pitcher,

    I agree that this is not monumental. I never said that. I said I believe it is a start and it will be a long road. I also thought this would please the many people that have said over and over and over and over and over again that the UBP should disband as they are null and void as opposition.

  46. Sara – this will be my last comment directed to you…

    It isnt about them not having a value for education. College has not always been affordable for many people in society. Therefore they haven’t been able to attend. This does not mean they are unintelligent, or that they dont have anything to offer in the arena of politics.

    To think that only people with degrees are intelligent and are the only ones capable of making smart choices is in my opinion unfair.

  47. Ken,

    I did not say that people that don’t attend college are unintelligent.
    IMO, if you want to run a country, you should have a college degree. Call me crazy.

  48. Tell that to yah mates over at BIAW …Ken………………
    Rabbids rule……………………..and they all live on Happy Valley Road and Fort George Hill……Bawahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa..and run IB…..”Ill-informed Blacks”

  49. Sara,

    I’m inclined to agree with Ken here. I’m the first of my near family in Bermuda to have attained a degree university but that by no means suggests that I would be the only one capable of helping steer the course of our island for a better future.

    My father for example never attained a degree and yet rose to the rank of being one of the UN’s top experts in aviation responsible for designing the policies behind Civil Aviation Authorities like the FAA in countries abroad.

    To tell me you need a degree to be able to run a country is like telling me that you’re comfortable getting onto a plane knowing the pilot has a degree. Nevermind the training programs, policies, procedures and safety regulations designed to ensure that he is adequately trained and capable to fly the plane regardless of whether his actual degree may have been in psychology and have nothing to do with flying a plane.

    A degree is little more than a token identifying that you have the capability to learn and deal with pressure. Alot separates one degree from another as does colleges which teach applied knowledge vs. universities which teach you to acquire knowledge.

    How you take lessons learned either through university or life itself and apply them to the future can make a huge difference regardless of their source. All that matters is that you learned from your experiences and you have the ability to add your knowledge to the betterment of Bermudians.

    As for those who have called for the UBP to disband, I am one of them. I can say that no I am not pleased and believe we could be in for even rougher times ahead but feel that the change in our political spectrum is necessary for a better Bermuda. I certainly don’t take pleasure in being right when I call government out on things either. Ideally our government would run smoothly and I’d never have to involve myself nor even give politics an inkling of thought but unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world.

    The UBP’s dissolution is a necessary and likely painful step to bring about the kind of very much needed change in Bermuda politics. It opens doors to individuals who will not be branded with a historical identity regardless of their own individual identity. Hopefully it will lead to a newfound maturity amongst Bermudians in terms of what we’re willing to do to ensure a better future for all Bermudians.

  50. @Rummy

    Why did’nt they just say “Confused Negro Party”.

    Love it! No, seriously – if they call themselves that, it will point out the ridiculousness of the PLP trying to tag them with that.

    (Tagging their opposition with bogus labels seems to be the one thing the PLP is quite competent at – they sure aren’t very competent at actually improving anything in Bermuda.)

  51. “Hopefully it will lead to a newfound maturity amongst Bermudians in terms of what we’re willing to do to ensure a better future for all Bermudians”.

    Denis, let me say first off that I am with you all the way on the sentiment.

    The difficulty I have though is trying to put your “better future for all Bermudians” into action.

    We hear quite frequently, that for many there was an “expectation’ that 1998 would bring about a change in the daily lives of (mainly) black Bermudians. The expectation hasn’t been realised.

    We don’t have a contrasting socialist v conservative arrangement. Policies between the two (currently) main parties are much of a muchness. It is difficult to see what any party would/could bring to Bermuda that would assist all Bermudians.

    Very happy to be convinced that I am wrong.

  52. @Denis Pitcher

    A degree is little more than a token identifying that you have the capability to learn and deal with pressure.

    As you allude to below, though, a lot depends on the degree, and the institution. Your point may be true of a liberal-arts degree in some arcane field. In other things (engineering, law, science, medicine, etc) it typically indicates that the holder has a great deal of actual knowledge, which renders them fit for certain roles.

  53. @ Noel,

    As I suggested “Alot separates one degree from another” and I stick by my suggestion that a degree demonstrates you have the capability to learn. I’ll add that the type of degree gives more of an indication of what you’ve been able to learn already, but by no means is a limiting factor.

    For example, I have a degree in Engineering. What that says is that I learned to perform advanced calculus among other things. If you asked me to perform similar multi variable differential calculus today I wouldn’t be able to explain the difference between Laplace and Fast Fourier transforms to save my life. What my degree suggests is only that I have proven capable of learning how to perform these kinds of advanced mathematical calculations, not that I still know how to perform them.

    Now, since my degree did not inherently cover any human psychology should I be considered incapable of understanding psychological concepts such as cognitive dissonance or confirmation bias? Indeed these are not things I learned as a part of my degree but are things I face when writing my blog and presenting my ideas.

    Having a degree proves I’m capable of learning and can serve as a guideline to what I’ve already proven capable of learning but does not serve as a limitation saying I cannot learn other things. There is nothing stopping a psychology holder from learning to perform and being capable of advanced calculus. Just as there is nothing stopping a vagrant from learning both advanced engineering concepts along with advanced psychological concepts. The only distinction is that the degree attained suggests that you’ve previously proven capable of learning such concepts.

    The argument being made here is that while degrees are helpful they should not be a limiting factor in determining whether someone has gained the knowledge necessary to be a contributing factor in the political realm. Indeed, if that were the case then perhaps I should not contribute for not having obtained a degree in political science.

  54. I agree with everything Denis has just said.

    While I am in no way against degrees at all, they are not the deciding factor in whether someone can contribute politically to the landscape of their country.

  55. Nowhere did I say that not having a degree in X says anything at all.

    (E.g. I’m a pretty major expert in Japanese woodblock prints, and never took one single course in them, so I am personally familiar with the concept of expertise from non-scholastic learning.)

    My point was only about what various kinds of degrees do say.

    And you may have forgotten your calculus (at least, conciously), as have I, but you will have retained a great deal of what you learned in the courses you took to get an engineering degree.

  56. The argument being made here is that while degrees are helpful they should not be a limiting factor in determining whether someone has gained the knowledge necessary to be a contributing factor in the political realm.

    Denis, are you sure. Reading your entire post that would suggest that, as an extreme example, a Nobel Prize Winner for example can express opinions completely outside of their field of expertise and we should listen?

  57. Noel,

    To be clear, the discussion was in reference to Sara’s suggestion that only degree holders should serve in politics, to which I disagree.

    With regards to degree’s themselves I am an adament supporter of encouraging all to pursue one and to try to make it as advanced and challenging of a degree as you can muster.

    So I think we’re on the same page, I simply suspect you missed that I was rebutting Sara’s point.


    To counter with an extreme example: Einstein was a nobody patent clerk, why in the world did we listen to him?

    My suggestion is that everyone is capable of learning to achieve, degree or no degree. Consiquently everyone is entitled to freedom of opinion and speech. It is up to you to determine whether you find value in an individual’s opinion, area of understood expertise or not.

  58. @Denis Pitcher

    Einstein was a nobody patent clerk

    True, but he did have a degree from ETH (the most respected university in Switzerland). 🙂

  59. Ok then, you’ve forced me to use google. Here are some people who didn’t have degrees but still proved worth listening to

    George Washington
    Harry S Truman
    Thomas Edison
    John D Rockafeller
    Richard Branson
    Michael Moore (why in the world do we watch his political documentaries, he doesn’t even have a degree!)
    Paul Allen
    Michael Dell
    Barry Diller
    Walt Disney
    Henry Ford
    Bill Gates (mind you his parents had millions)
    Milton Hershey
    Steve Jobs

  60. If you want to see what having a degree can get you in terms of employment, you could do worse than the following:


    PS14-16 $51,869 – $55,382

    Department of Airport Operations

    The Department of Airport Operations is inviting applications for the post of Airport Traffic Officer at the L.F. Wade International Airport.

    The post holder will work under the general supervision of the Terminals Officer to monitor and control the operation of public service and commercial vehicles and enforce the parking regulations at L.F. Wade International Airport.

    Amongst other duties the post holder will be required to regulate the taxi pick-up at the Airport utilizing the first in, first out policy and manage share a ride initiative when taxis are in short supply. The post holder will check vehicles to ensure that the time limits for parking are not exceeded; and issue parking tickets to any vehicle found in violation of road traffic offences within their scope of duty. The post holder will also arrange for the removal of all derelict and/or abandoned vehicles at L.F. Wade International Airport.

    The successful applicant must have successfully completed a BSC or equivalent and must be able to operate in a computerized environment with experience in using Microsoft Office suite. The post requires rotational shift work including evenings, weekends and public holidays. The Airport Traffic Officer must undertake a course run by the Police Department.

    The post holder must have good communication skills, written and oral, be in good physical condition and neat in appearance. A minimum of one (1) year’s experience in a similar position dealing with the general public and knowledge of relevant motor car legislation is also required. The post holder must possess a valid driver’s license.

    One wonders what qualifications the Terminals Officer requires.

  61. Martin, that ad has a small misprint. It should read BSSC, for Bermuda Secondary School Certificate, ie. a local high-school diploma. It’s not a Bachelor of Science as you imply.

  62. @Denis Pitcher

    Well, the Einstein post was a joke (which I tried to indicate), but you seem to have taken it seriously.

    There’s an ironic underside to this back-and-forth which has been amusing me, and I should probably come clean on it.

    It turns out that although I have my name on the plaque at Stanford University commemorating the Birth of the Internet, I myself do not have any degrees (although I studied for one for a couple ofl years).

    So I am personally quite aware that one can have significant achievements without any degrees.

    The thing that’s dangerous about saying that, though, is that it’s like the problems we cause in society by making a big deal of professional athletes who earn a bazillion bucks. Kids see that, and think ‘Oh, I don’t need to study, I like {pick-a-sport} and am one of the best players at my school, I’ll make a fortune doing that’. (One of my best friends has a 11-year old son with that problem, actually.)

    Of course, most of them won’t – and in blowing off their education, they have hugely handicapped themselves in life.

    Similarly, yes, some lucky people can make huge contributions without a degree. But in general, most people can actually do more with a degree (for a variety of reasons, some related to just having the piece of paper, some related to what you actually learn), and will find themselves somewhat handicapped in life if they don’t have one, compared to what they could have done with one.

    Which I expect you already knew, and agree with; I’m just trying to point out the dangers involved in lionizing people who succeed in spite of not having the piece of paper.

  63. Bah, this board’s CSS isn’t highlighting hyper-links: note that the “plaque at Stanford University” in the prior post is a link. (And I don’t think there’s an ‘edit post’, so I can’t add a font colour tag. Oh well… :–)

  64. @J Starling

    It looks highlighted and a different font colour to me.

    Now that you mention it, I can just barely see the highlighting if I look really closely. Probably just my monitor – that dark olive green looks almost black on it.

  65. LOL – if it means anything I’ve been trying to figure out how to change the colours, but I haven’t been able to see how. The green is a default colour instead.

  66. Jonathon,

    Go into your css which is listed in the header of your main page.

    Search for the “a:link” sections and change the “color: #265e15;” to a new hex-decimal value.


  67. Hi Truth,

    Okay, it took me a while to find the CSS thing, and to be honest once I found it I wasn’t sure how to go about effecting those changes. I could be wrong but it looks like I may have to purchase an upgrade or something to do anything. I really don’t know at the moment. I have a couple of blogs other than this one which are practically inactive and I may tinker about with them to see what happens. If that doesn’t work I’ll look for some professional help I guess.

  68. Noel,

    Actually, I did take it jokingly and was enjoying the ruse.

    While I certainly appreciate your arguement there is also the counter arguement of the great many people who take degrees that provide limited opportunity and end up doing absolutely nothing with them. My university whs notorious for it’s ‘Superpsych’ class of nearly 1000 students who would together attend a lecture on psychology from a single prof. It seemed to cater to boatloads of people throwing down money for a degree that on it’s own didn’t amount to much. I was absolutely shocked at the number of people I met who while I was struggling to make it through engineering complained about how tough their business or economics program was so they’d switched into psych. They actually thought they were doing themselves a favor doing this.

    I had long chats trying to convince my college roommate that a degree in Political Science would not open the doors he thought they would. These days he still works at Staples and I’m the one dabbling in politics. I didn’t do engineering because I thought it’d be fun, I did it because I’d been convinced since a young age that you need to work hard and open as many doors to opportunity as you possibly can. Engineering was what was suggested to be the best to do exactly that and these days nearly everyone from my program is managing a comfortable living regardless of where they’ve ended up.

    What you’ll note throughout my writings above is that I implicate that people can achieve greatness even without a degree if they’re willing to put in the work to achieve it. You’ll note that all of the examples I chose were of people who worked hard to make it even without degrees.

    The issue with your best friend’s kid is he thinks making it in pro sports is easy because Bermuda has sheltered him from understanding how big the world really is. Pro sports means you have to work and train harder than anyone else out there but it is likely his comprehension of competition is limited to our population of 65k, if not fewer. Too many have the misconception that success in life is easy largely because we’re surrounded by some of the most successful people in the world. It creates two unfortunate misconceptions. For the priveliged they think it is so easy that it happens to everybody. For the not so priveliged they think it is so impossible they shouldn’t ever bother trying. We need to change these misconceptions.

    If anything we should be impressing upon our youth that we’re competing with the entire world, not just ourselves, and encourage all that through hard work and dedication anyone can make it, degree or not.

  69. @ ALL

    One thing is true we in Beremuda do it big or not at all.
    Personally I do not care for showy stuff just substance. If the message is right and they can walk the walk I’m in.
    It is for sure that the PLP can not get my vote as is with the UBP so any new party to come up with an inclusive stradigy for Bermudians I will support. Sorry red party no need to come to the both.


  70. @Denis Pitcher

    Well, I can’t disagree much with your point about people who take a very easy degree, one whose actual content is not of great difficulty, and not in much demand.

    And you’re absolutely dead on target about the need for hard work (with a degree, or without). Bermudians often aren’t good at that. (That’s always been a strand in the national character, I think, as it is in many tropical islands – we like to ‘take it easy’, and have a good time, and to a certain extent, there’s nothing wrong with that – after all, ‘you’re only here once’, as the saying goes.)

    Although there are a lot of Bermudians working several jobs to make ends meet, so maybe I’m somewhat wrong on that estimation of Bermudian character? The point is probably better put that it’s necessary to work hard at things that have a less glamorous air, and don’t offer immediate return (school, study, etc), but I guess people world-wide often miss that one.

    And your last point is also very apposite – Bermudians do have to compete with the world, if we want to make out well, by the world’s standards. (Although I think the desire to ‘do well’ has maybe gotten a bit out of hand, and is to some degree to blame for some of Bermuda’s ills…)

  71. The new party is the Pink party. Nobody will follow black man who marries a white woman. Where is the Pink party on Homosexuality?

  72. “Nobody will follow black man who marries a white woman.”

    @red party

    Is this were we stand in the year 2009? Wow, just more proof that Bermuda is WAY behind the rest of world in SO many ways. Sad, it really is.

  73. Tryangle,

    You should tell that to Mark Pettingill. He was the one to mention it first.

    Pettingill to the Royal Gazette “The three MPs and Sen. Fahy all had mixed race children”.

  74. Pettingill’s an idiot and an opportunist for mentioning it.

    But, then again, for some reason, pigmentation seems to matter to much of the voting public, which just goes to show that they too are pretty idiotic.

  75. One presumes that the point Pettingill was making was not that he has a black spouse, but that they don’t have a vested interest in either side of the status quo of the current racial politics and division. Seems fair enough to me in the environment that Bermuda is.

  76. Who do you think those statements were aimed at? Will white voters potentially vote for a black man if they know they have a white wife, or will black voters potentially vote for a white man if they know they have a black wife? It seems irrelevant, and it really should be, but in Bermuda these sorts of thing actually matter to some… 😦

  77. The Pink party are just like pop tarts that pop out of the toaster they have no grassroots appeal just stuck up private school pipedreamers running away from the racedebate. The PLP has failed the black race these cowards in the pink party failed to destroy them as shadow cabinet ministers. jamaica has had three Ministers of crime in two years. In Bermuda the same weaking gets paid for being a useless failure with the rise in crime.
    Minister Burch needs to be fired immediately.
    Pink Party is just afraid to fight.
    Seriouly if you are married to a white woman you are married to the UBP. You running away from yourself.

  78. I agree to some people it’s a big deal. People are going to label some of the MPs as either sellouts and ‘betraying their race’, or as ‘enlightened’ or something (which is probably the minority).

    For Pettingil to draw attention to it shows that he’s (a) bringing people’s families into the spotlight and (b) making race an issue when he’s angling that the ‘party’ isn’t about race.

    A giant ‘bleh’.

  79. Enlightened is definitely not the case. Not a sellout either. Glory-hound and opportunist fits much better.

    If Pettingill wants to make a statement about not having an interest in the status quo, he should just show himself to be a good husband and father. The pigmentation of his wife and kids has no bearing.

    Still not understanding why pigmentation matters in the first place. We’re all pink in the middle anyway.

  80. “We’re all pink in the middle anyway”.

    And – if I have it right – we all started black in the first place. Some turned right and went North – others didn’t.

  81. On principle I agree. Absolutely. But in Bermuda politics you have to be aware of race or you’ll spend your life certain that you’re right on principle but sitting on the sidelines with no ability to influence anything.

    It isn’t debate club. It’s the real world (politics) and in the politics race matters. I think Pettingill wasn’t appealing to voters, but trying to send one across the bow of the PLP who he anticipates try and “re-UBP” the breakaway group.

  82. “The pigmentation of his wife and kids has no bearing.”

    Recently read a report on women who are successful in the work place, when asked who they would credit for their big break to success most gave credit to a man not another women.

    The reseachers dug deeper and found most of the men named had daughters, instead of sons.

  83. So much for stats J. Galt.

    Guss thats why the Roman Catholics are so powerful.

    Anyway, God had a Son. Whats your stats on that?

    And you wonder why the world is where it is……

  84. Please see Royal Gazette article:
    Independent MPs could be more effective now, suggests Dr. Hodgson.

    Glad to see Dr. Hodgson is hopeful along with many of us.

  85. Dr. Hodgson could’nt give a rats ass about that. She knows what is going on just as much as I do. Politics, thats all.

    Define radical with a Ph.d…………………………………

  86. Interacial relationships are the true test of intergration many are not there yet. Donte Hunt should run against Dr. Brown if he is serious about ending race politics.
    The portuguese are still mad they have never had a Premeir or Opposition leader but there are too much many issues for personalities and pollster politics.
    Bermuda is in a recession, crime is the result of joblessness and the people need a stimilus package in the next Budget.
    Where is the political intelligencia of the day?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s