Over the last week or so there has not been much local political news that I felt worth writing about. I read the articles about Mr. Richards putting his name forth as a challenger to Mr. Swan’s leadership of the UBP, and also the recent poll results published by the PLP, but neither of them struck as anything of interest.
I admit I am surprised that Mr. Swan was not replaced as UBP leader since the NewBP split, but news about Mr. Richards intentions simply made me think of the saying ‘rearranging deck chairs on a sinking ship’. I personally believe Mr. Barritt is the best possible UBP leader at the moment, and while Mr. Richards seems like a nice guy, and I agreed with a good bit about his economic forecasts just prior to the economic crash, he never really struck me as leadership material. He had that kind of aloofness or aristocratic haze that also seemed to hang around Grant Gibbons – a good potential cabinet minister, or even a Deputy Leader, but not really enough charisma to land the top job.
The poll results released by the PLP was interesting, but it really it didn’t tell me much more than was obvious from political talk online and in the papers. People are disaffected with our political situation, they see the UBP as a pathetic Opposition, and no one knows what the NewBP is about, although UBPers seem split as a result, attracted more by the ‘not the UBP or PLP’ factor. The NewBP’s failure to launch a website, name or even a coherent argument about how they are different from the UBP seems to be making them a bit of a non-starter though.
Mr. Furbert’s speech to his constituents, or rather his comments on the UBP and NewBP, provides some interesting points for discussion though. Personally I don’t know why he’s taken so long to hold such a meeting – I mean, really, you left the UBP a year ago and you’re just now getting around to speaking about it? I had some pity for Mr. Furbert when he was the UBP Leader; I got the impression he was kind of the default guy, much like one sees Mr. Swan. I still don’t understand why the UBP initiated a palace coup against Mr. Gibbons though, they would have been better sticking with him. I also abhorred the personal attacks (from both PLPers and anti-PLPers), in particular their criticisms of his speaking abilities. I also thought that the way the UBP collectively knifed him and replaced him with Mr. Dunkley was harsh and unforgivable. However, since his departure from the UBP leadership, and since then the UBP as a whole, I’ve come to regard him as the buffoon of Bermudian politics.
I read with great suspicion his musings about ‘considering joining the PLP’ and willingness to sit in the Cabinet. While I cannot see any reason why he should not be allowed to join the PLP, I would strongly oppose his sitting as a PLP MP, let alone a Cabinet Minister. His flirtation with what seems to most people an outright Ponzi scheme alone should be enough to advise against associating with him, let alone his buffonery of the last year.
His insights on the internal workings of the UBP are interesting though, although it does make them look like a total joke, and I hope that it isn’t true that their leaders are elected in such a manner. I understand the UBP is looking at changing those procedures, in particular opening up Party Leader election to members outside the parliamentary caucus – although this will open them up to attacks from the PLP, as the UBP has often criticised the PLP model of electing the leader.
Mr. Furbert’s comments on the NewBP do however come across as a jilted lover though. He comes across as saying he would have joined them but because they took their time in approaching him he won’t. Personally I’m not surprised they didn’t approach him right away – they were probably worried he would spill the beans before they were ready. Seeing as they did that themselves (and still haven’t done anything since), I doubt it would have mattered though. I do find myself in agreement with Mr. Furbert’s criticism of their waiting almost two years to launch instead of immediately after the 2007 election. The chances of the PLP calling a snap election right after the 2007 one would have been virtually nil, while now it’s about fifty-fifty.