The Elephant & The Mouse

I know some people have criticised the Government’s focus on India, with their recent trip over there. I personally don’t have a problem with it at all and actually think it is quite a good idea, although I am mindful about the expenses invovled. Ultimately though I think it is a good investment, provided there aren’t any unneccessary expenses involved.

India, along with China, Brazil and, surprisingly, Russia, is an emerging superpower, rivalling the existing importance of the USA, the EU and Japan. Their international business sector is set to grow massively over the next decade, in many ways capitalising on the problems currently facing the EU and the USA. Furthermore, the Indian diaspora, at least in the USA and Canada, are among the richest ethnic groups in those countries, and a potentially important tourism market. It is true that when one thinks of India one usually thinks of poverty, curry and the past ‘glories’ of the British Empire, but there is also an increasingly important wealthy elite. This elite is indeed small, and only clarifies the massive inequalities and social injustices there, but from Bermuda’s perspective we have alot to gain and little to loose in courting the Elephant.

Despite the growth of these new superpowers, the USA and the EU will remain dominant for some time to come, and will no doubt remain important areas for international business. Bermuda has previously benefitted from our location between the EU and the USA, and can continue to do so with these new powers. In particular we stand to develop potentially lucrative ties with Brazil and that should be something we focus on. China too is an obvious new power, and we have already initiated relationships with them, something that I really do not think has been threatened by the Uighur issue of 2009, at least nowhere to the degree that some people may think.

I don’t know whether or not we will see any Bollywood films being filmed, at least partly, here on location in Bermuda. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised though, and Switzerland has certainly capitalised on this growing mulit-million dollar industry, and yes, they have seen increases in tourism as a result. I’ve always been amazed at how fanatical Indians can become over movies. Whether we will see an increase in tourists from India itself is debatable however, and I personally, were I Indian, would be more likely to visit the Seychelles or Bali. Where we could focus on however is the Indian diaspora in the US and Canada, a potential niche tourism market for us.

At the end of the day, as long as the world socialist revolution hasn’t replaced global capitalism, Bermuda needs to adapt to changing circumstances, just as we have done for centuries. For decades our business focus has been on the US and the EU. Today it makes sense to start adding India, China, Brazil and Russia to our focus. India shares similar Commonwealth institutions and the English language and so makes a natural target for us. With Brazil we can draw on the connections we already have and promote Portuguese as a second language, something the 2009 Throne Speech touched on. We should also be developing the capacity to learn Mandarin as a second language, something I understand is already being pursued in some schools. We cannot hope to compete with Singapore or Hong Kong for benefitting from the developing Asian century, but we cannot afford to ignore Asia either, from both an International Business and tourism perspective (I certainly remember the large numbers of Japanese tourists we had in the mid-80s to the early 90s afterall). Not sure how many Bermudians are going to take advantage of studying cinematography in India though, but to me the idea is less about Bermudians going there than encouraging Indians to focus on Bermuda. I can see a Bollywood Bermuda Triangle film in the making already…


44 thoughts on “The Elephant & The Mouse

  1. It will be interesting to see whether the Chinese make a request to us directly to repatriate the Uighurs, if and when those initiated relationships develop between the two countries.

    Whilst accepting that India will continue to grow and become a meaningful player on the world stage, I am struggling to see what our link to India could really yield though.

    I await with bated breath.

  2. With regard too the Uighurs, who’s to say that they have not already had communications with Government. We have been deceived before.

  3. Business, I understand. Zero problem, a great idea to try to further ties there where there’s the prospect for economic growth.

    Tourism, a bit more of a reach. Particularly if the avenue proposed is through films. If Indian filmmakers wish to produce films in semi-tropical to tropical locales, they have the Seychelles, Maldives, etc. It’s an unexpected move, I won’t call it a gamble, and it does represent some out-of-the-box thinking by Government.

  4. India is the source of homosexuaity buddah hindu freaks spiritural power without wisdom.
    What is this man going to do to get Bermudians back to work?

  5. @ Tryangle – I agree that Bollywood has some tropical island paradises closer to home; but then they also have mountains closer to home yet they still go to Switzerland to shoot the Alps. I can see the potential for at least one film exploiting the Bermuda Triangle angle myself. And tourism, I’m more thinking about their diaspora in the US/Canada for that, and Bollywood as one avenue to get their attention.

    @ red party – I continue to be amazed at your hostility on the issue of homosexuality. You have yet to explain why you seem to feel so threatened by it. And now you trace it all back to India?

  6. Well if they can get one of those Indian soap operas to feature Bermuda, I guess the fairly sizable Indian population in North America could then be influenced. Fair enough.

    What’s a little weird, and you can tie this to red party’s response, is that I almost visualised a cruise ship full of Indian tourists, only to be met by church groups ready to whisk them off to church to pray for them and embrace Christianity (with full knowledge that many Indians are indeed Christian). Too bad satire is a near-dead art in Bermuda.

  7. “India is the source of homosexuaity buddah hindu freaks spiritural power without wisdom.”

    This is just plain WEIRD!

    Mixing two religions together and… somehow… trying to link it to homosexuality… then… I guess… denouncing spiritual power (whatever that means…) while accusing these religions, both of which are older than Christianity and Islam, with 13 to 15 million adherents between them, as not having wisdom.


    Any chance at all that there’ll be any sort of explanation of this?

    Plus, I thought it was the Greeks, not the Indians… *grin*

  8. At the end of the day it’s a few simple issues:
    – There is a huge need for stronger ties between the Bermuda Government and Par-la-Ville Road. Not with India.
    – This is clearly the Premier playing global diplomat instead of doing the work that needs to be done here.
    – In pursuit of new hair-brained schemes the government is once again ignoring the tried and true methods that actually work.

    Government can’t do a better job than private industry at building business relationships and only in very specific instances of public goods can the government invest more effectively than private businesses. This India fiasco isn’t one of them.

  9. @ Alex – I don’t think many will dispute that we should also work with our existing IB sector to ensure they stay and expand here. I am wary of what exactly you think needs to be done in that department, for example the term limits – I’m not in favour of extending them, although I have no problems with looking at how to make them more flexible. All the same though, there is no reason why we shouldn’t also be seeking to build new relationships at the same time.

  10. i think the tie in to india makes sense with the way this labour govt is attempting to lower the earning standards of bermudians to mirror the earnings of the average indian.

    other that that is it april first already?


  11. Jon, I hate to tell you this but term limits are viewed as a huge problem by the business community.

    They serve no useful purpose (they were not put in place to protect jobs for Bermudians – they’ve actually caused jobs to leave the island) and only make sense if you think of them as a prelude to independence (there won’t be a group of potential citizens sitting in the wings).

  12. Not sure how many Bermudians are going to take advantage of studying cinematography in India …

    Jon, one other point – if you look at the Mumbai film school’s press release you’ll see that contrary to the Bermuda press release, the Premier did not strike a deal for Bermudians to get reduced tuition at the Mumbai film school. Rather “[t]he Government of Bermuda will also provide sponsorships to two students every year from Bermuda to study filmmaking at WWI.”

    So rather than negotiating a deal with the school this is simply another taxpayer financed “initiative”. At best this is called embellishing the truth.

  13. Not sure how many Bermudians are going to take advantage of studying cinematography in India …

    BTW, we know exactly how many – a maximum of two:

    “[t]he Government of Bermuda will also provide sponsorships to two students every year…

  14. Jonathan,

    India has potential for developed relations, however we simply don’t have the luxury of spending money at this time on unproven exporatory actions that could likely end up being boondoggles.

    What we need is specific focus on what we do best, restoring and strengthening our original value. We need all our available money and resources focused on that, not trying to create new sources of revenue, in new markets that are completely unproven.

    I highly recommend anyone interested to check out Jim Collin’s most recent book “How the mighty fall”. It reads like a playbook of Bermuda’s actions of late and our increasingly likely path to failure. We’ve lost touch of what makes us successful and we’re grasping for salvation with constant new big ideas.

    Some simple questions for you Jonathan:

    From the pictures it appears that Mrs. Brown also attended on this trip. Who paid for her attendance, meals and accomodation? Even if she paid for herself, did it end up risking turning the trip into more of a vacation than a venture geared to provide the best returns for Bermuda?

    How did this contingent get there, did they fly first class? Where did they stay, top hotels or average?

    What are our planned returns in money earned vs. money spent from this trip? Ie, how many movies would need to be made in Bermuda to attract X number of tourists to spend X number of dollars to cover the cost of this trip? What is the liklihood that X movies will be made? Similarly with international business, how does Y dollars spent equal X dollars earned locally?

    It’s all fine and good that we have big great ideas for salvation of tourism but the problem is that we keep having them and have yet to see real tangible results but are seeing a tangible rise in our debt levels. We’ve spent millions on all kinds of boondoggles. Look at the new pier in dockyard, how many millions did we spend on it? I have yet to hear a compelling arguement for how long it will take for us to recoup that investment such that it was more worthwhile than taking the $50-70 million, skipping the middle man and putting it directly in the hands of Bermudians, or better yet, not taking on extra unnecessary debt.

    Every single one of these ventures are really nice thoughts. The movie nights, music festival, love festival, etc, the list goes on. However, how much money are we sinking in vs. returns? When will we, if ever, see more money come in from these ventures than goes out?

    We need to come to grips with the reality is our budget is out of control and we’re sinking further and further into debt with no signs that we’re doing anything that will in the long term improve our ability to pay it off.

    Jonathan, please tell me, how are we going to pay for all this?

  15. You made no real mention of any real benefit of this trip to India. You did alot of fishing for some benefit, much like the delegation is doing now, fishing for some reason to be out there, while they are already out there. Why is Walter Lister out there?

    Do we really have a pent up demand here for Bollywood film schooling? That is a long, expensive commute, and many will not want to be so far from the rock that it takes them 2 days to get home every holiday.

    There are better things that can be done with the copious amounts of money wasted on this sham of a trip. There are greater problems here that need to be addressed.

    I did not see one thing you wrote that made me say, “hmmm you’re right, that could really give us a boost in the near future OR the long term.”

    Unless he is planning to out source government jobs to India(like the rest of IB here) to cut jobs and reduce the budget costs(and that would not go over well), then I see no real quality reason other than Brown on his final global tour to be treated as a “world leader” by everyone, one last time.

  16. @Jonny – I see you’re missing the salient issue here. It’s not about term limits.

    It’s that the Premier is once again engaging in an expensive boondoggle instead of taking care of things here at home.

    Image and self-importance instead of management and problem solving.

  17. Johnny,

    there is little to no filming done in Bermuda at present because it is expensive, remote and has onerous work permit restrictions.

    I cant see how this is all going to change.

    Casting my mind back I can only think of the odd light fluffy food show that has been filmed here, This old house, an episode of a UK drama Howard’s Way at the old Glencoe hotel, and a low budget action thriller.
    Beyond that you have to go back to The Deep, but then that is really going deep it was decades ago.

    Film companies have set up in the likes of Canada and Romania to save dollars, why would they want to come here?

  18. If the Premier is honestly interested in establishing mutually beneficial and long term relationships with important and previously untapped emerging markets why send an Outgoing leader on a meet and greet?

    Wouldn’t our collective interests and intentions be better served and received with some long term faces and a well thought out plan of attack instead of someone who is truly on an “amazing race” to the finish line.

    Let’s see how many more of these boondoggles DrEB will go on between now and October while hundreds more Bermudians lose their jobs, our seniors go without health insurance, students graduate with a useless diploma from a failed education system, violence and lawlessness continue and our collective standard and quality of living diminishes.

    Stop spending unnecessarily and start leading by example with honesty, integrity and humility. Get out of your tax payer funded bubble once and a while and come see how the rest of Bermuda lives.

  19. Why would Bollywood come to Bermuda? They have many much closer/cheaper ‘tropical” resorts to pick from which are far more accessible. The whole fiasco is a joke; a chance for another photo op to hang on his wall in his retirement.

  20. I look at it this way. It’s all relative. Some will ask for a definition, well…dah………..”Family”. Define “Family”…..

    Auditor General. Why they are a “General” you may ask.

    We have Lt. Col’s running the damn place.

    In a few years there will be many eating their words and more that cannot afford words.

    The Grandstand will become a Bandstand without a venue nor participants nor an audience.

    And “BMW” will be more than a 3000 pound piece of steel and leather.

    The “BMW” part. Tink about it…………………………

    Gotta run……..Rajid Sing Bermy on the line……wants to make a pirate movie in Bermudan but can’t get work permits for the Somalians………………damnnnnnnnnnnn

  21. Isn’t one of LF’s sons a wannabe movie maker? Is he being lined up for a Bollywood scholarship, or vice versa?

  22. I wonder if LaVerne went to India also. Very quiet lately. Better check with US Customs/Imm at the airport re the departures in the past week.

  23. this was all about getting a taxpayer funded…aka free trip to india…end of story. We should be refunded 4 this waste of money. Like we should be refunded for the other blunders that have cost us money.


    BTW how much did this trip cost us?

  24. Regardless of why he went, he has to know this looks bad, as the countries finances are a mess and Paula Cox just gave a statement about tightening the belts.

  25. in other news

    how a public safety minister gonna allow a deadly non leathal weapon onto the island 4 cops to kill people with?

    if we dont have a death penality then y are cops being empowered to be judge jury n executioner by being allowed to carry tasers?

    No public or house of assembly debate on the matter

    wonder if a taser death will spark the long needed riot…looks like we gonna find out if birch has his way.

    tasers are overkill

    Birch needs to retire and other politicians who blindly support this without research need to get out of politics as well.

  26. Pingback: The Elephant & The Mouse « "Catch a fire" | bermuda News Station

  27. I don’t think Brown cares a dam about what Paula says. Even if he does, he will have rationalised his decision to go in any event.

    Maybe if the budget ramps up taxes on Bermudians – maybe then, they will start to see what his style is actually costing them.

    They’ll still vote PLP.

    Political sheep.

  28. Mike, How about this, try not being so condescending. You don’t do anyone any favours drawing an us vs. them between yourself and other voters.

    The us vs. them is between “us” – the residents of Bermuda and “them” – the corrupt, dishonest, and self-serving members of the government and the inner circle.

    Irregardless of how they have voted in the past, privately people on the street are begging for something better.

  29. Actually Alex, I am not being condescending at all.

    My point basically is that irrespective of what people feel, irrespective of what people are begging for, irrespective of anything for that matter….the people of this island do nothing.

    Taxi drivers complain about Brown – guess what they will vote in the next election?

    Begging privately doesn’t cut it. Neither does it bring change where change is so desperately needed.

    Financially – we are going slowly down the toilet, and every Bermudian is going to be paying this debt off for some time to come. Plus – the young of this island will have to bear the burden of Futurecare; a burden, I should add that is disproportionate, as the number of young taxpayers is falling.

    I am quietly sick and tired of people wanting change – talking about it – but doing bugger all.

    Political sheep. Period. No wait – castrated sheep at that.

  30. Alex, if they are begging “privately”, the greater need is now and should be shown by a show of hands and loud voices.

    The irony of all this is the fact that it will only happen when the fan gets hit hard and stops working.

    And it won’t be the motor nor the plug nor the source of energy.

    History will prove this but it will be too late for the readers.

    Rummy…..circa 2010.

  31. But Government and the Premier will jump at anything.

    So now were gonna take Haitians after a request from the US.

    Don’t worry. What I am saying is relative and the elephant is gaining weight.

    I mean…there’s 743,000 Hospitals in the US. We have one and it’s full………………

    It’s all about the elephant ( my comparrison)………………

    Gota run………..get my tetnus and Malaria shots……………

    I need a rum………………….

    And yes, once again it’s relative. You’ll see.

  32. Tasers are NOT overkill. People with illegal guns are OVERKILL! How can an officer expect to defend themselves against an armed gunmen with pepper spray? No no, the lines have been crossed and no turning back. These people want to go around killing innocent people that can’t defend themselves, too damn bad. It’s for the greater good. And if I had to guess, I’m am sure the police will hardly be able to even use them without getting questioned by their superiors. Sorry black boy, normally I agree with you, but this time I definitely don’t.

  33. Well…it looks like the ‘elephant’ has raised his trunk and snorted out more phlem to control or confuse.

    All these stats about tourism et al………..more spin.

    They mean nothing to me except for common sense.

    % of this and that…

    % from last year…

    Hell..we only have two hotels open and a few small cottage colony’s. So of course stats will be good or par or just below.

    I’m sure Vexed can handle the stats better than me but if I have as I said above three hotels at 30% occupancy or even 50% how does that compare with other countries like Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas………………?

    20-30 major-minor hotels at 50% compared too 3 locals the stats should blow your mind.

    Spin spin spin…………………

    Gotta run………………Air India on the line……………Vat? Vat?…Yes……..we can bring samples of hoodies but turbins……

  34. Quite aware of the stats Mike. Just trying to get people to deal with them. Then again, the populas don’t read this site and are being lead down the slope by the Premier, Tourist Minister, Transport Minister and part owner of the take out place in WezieAnna and Gombey Drive………………

    Ah the coat of many colours will soon be a dark stain………….tink about dat vun………………………..

  35. What about the “Mouse” that roared…………..Gotta love Government and the extreme weather the past few days.

    My man Lt.Col Burch is now saying secure garbbage bins et al…………………

    The Causeway? Open to police scrutinity……………

    Hell….we could have built two bridges with all the monies spent on tourism, India trips, DC Offices, London Offices, First Class seating for the past 10 years…………………

    The Mouse that is roaring is the erat that has produced for offspring…………………..

    Gotta run………….Damn reserve constables want to see my Louiseeanna drivers licence…………Hey! Hey!…um dee shaf nut dee kook…..prazintation………………..

  36. Haha, love it:

    The premier’s average nightly hotel bill was just under $4,000 when he was in London and Copenhaven. Amazing, there are so few places that charge that much – he must have actually filtered by most expensive when booking!

    $280k in a year of travel. Lap it up Bermuda, keep the man going. I love it. It’s like watching a car crash, except one where 50% of the population are pushing the car off the edge of a cliff, without noticing that we’re all tied to the thing.

    India as a tourism hotspot? Please. How’s the Beijing office doing? Hell, how’s the NY office doing?

    Air arrivals down again, and now 40% of that is from non-promotional travel.

    To spend $20k on ground transport in a single week long trip just takes work. I mean, you have to try really hard to spend that much money.

    The type of people who spend like that aren’t world leaders. They’re oligarchs. They’re the wealthiest of the wealthy, those with personal fortunes that dwarf some countries GDPs.

    And the good Dr. is living that life. Thanks to you and me.

  37. LIF, your missing the point.

    He’s a Head of State and travel in armored vehicles + cost of such does cost money.

    As for the “State” were in and the “Head”…….just think in a few years there will be no more “Mussell” pie. Just leftovers of ‘Lemming’ pie……………………………….

    As for India, your correct long with thousands. The Elephant that Roared will do so for some time. It’s the mice that will be trapped that really concerns me as it should all.


  38. While we the uneducated illiterates who put this man in power suffer 2000 job losses the Government waste money travelling to bring back Indians to work in Bermuda’s hotels. What happened to Club med is the question?

  39. Please define “Club Med”. As for “Hotels”, I have no clue what your talking about. We have a few with very low occupancy. I need more info before I can comment further.

  40. I wish Mr. Starling would show Maxelvis’s big black hammer.

    You guys are missing some really cool art work………………..

    Gotta run….”ow Ow Ow”………………..

    A great clean up day too all……………….

  41. Mr. Starling. You have no time to post here as you said but post “Oberdear”?

    If you want to throw thoughts out, fine. Charity begins at home.

    I’m worried about you. F&F are running out of funds.

    The irony in all this is that the bosses that run internet in and from Bermuda seem to have cast something, yet not in stone.

    Happy year of the Tiger. Four……………………..oops…thats was just this morning……………………………..

  42. YO! Crymson………are we Elephants or are we mice?

    We have lived together for thousands of years under the crushing of humanity: whether Christian, Muslim, or other.

    Hell, even Marxists have made their ‘Mark’.

    Lets go Brother John. Lets do what you do best, create debate. Don’t make me go back to those other sites where only a few can comment.

    Your either with us (not) or against us. Now put down your ‘Buckmaster’, have a shot of black and some peas and rice………………………………………….

    Gotta run…………………..Sir Henry Tucker horn dee lyne……Vat? Don’t worry Dick, the shaft is getting shorter………..

    A great Causeway day too all……………………

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