Character Counts…

So, I’ve been able to confirm that Mr. Wayne Furbert has indeed joined the PLP and will sit in the House of Assembly as a PLP MP. I expect it to be a focus of various articles in the Sun and the RG today and it should make for some curious reading.

From some PLP members I have spoken with – who were able to confirm the move – I have been astounded by their thoughts on the issue. Either I am way out of touch with the prevailing spirit within the PLP, or the PLP is way out of touch with the conditions on the ground and I am not. Only time will tell I guess. Either way I don’t come to my positions on the basis of their popularity but on the basis of my own ethics, which lead me to democratic socialism, a contempt for political turncoats and a disgust for kindergarten politics, like we’ve seen with the latest fiasco of parliament which is the Budget Debate.

From the PLP members I’ve spoken too their reasoning is that this is a coup for the PLP, that it brings a new seat to the Party and that Mr. Furbert is popular in his constituency. Ultimately they see it as a win-win situation for the PLP.

I beg to differ. If anything it is a lose-lose situation for the PLP.

First though, lets deal with these three lines of reasoning:

Is it a coup for the PLP?

This thinking is based on the idea that Mr. Furbert has rejected both the UBP and the BDA as viable organisations and that his joining the PLP equates to a vote of confidence in the PLP. It also goes with the idea that it causes a huge embarrassment for the UBP, that a former UBP Leader would join the PLP – another nail in the coffin of this moribund organisation.

While it is true that Mr. Furbert would seem to have rejected the UBP his actions there are easily portrayed as little more than sour grapes, and understandably so. He was cruelly treated by the UBP recently. He should never have been elected to their Leadership and his election was largely seen (and easily portrayed by the PLP) as little more than UBP tokenism. He was never a strong leader and was often the butt of parliamentary jokes. Indeed I often criticised PLPers who would both publicly and privately attack Mr. Furbert’s poor speaking skills. I abhor such childish personal attacks, partly due to my own speech impediment, and partly as it legitimises reciprocal attacks when anti-PLPers criticise certain PLP MPs for their poor speaking skills (Ministers Burgess and Roban are often singled out for such childish attacks for example). All the same, the criticisms of Mr. Furbert, as inefficient, incompetent and generally a bumbling fool, were, in my opinion, very valid criticisms.

For the BDA, Mr. Furbert maintains he rejected them. The BDA maintains they rejected him. The lack of clarity there would incline people to stand back and take both claims with a good deal of salt. Either way, this murkiness is hardly something the PLP should crow about, and it doesn’t support any claims about this being a coup.

An extra PLP seat?

Well, yes, it does formally give the PLP an extra seat in the House of Assembly. As the PLP already has an overwhelming majority in the House this really doesn’t change any of the arithmetic in the House. Its nice, but its not a big deal. More importantly, it was not won as a PLP seat. It was won as a UBP seat. Without a by-election to receive a popular mandate for his change and for this constituency to be a legitimate PLP seat it makes a mockery of any pretence to democracy. It may be perfectly legitimate under Westminster systems, but it isn’t in the spirit of democracy, of which the PLP has historically campaigned for. Mr. Furbert should resign his seat ASAP and the PLP Branch there needs to select a new candidate and contest a by-election.

But he’s popular with his constituents…

I honestly laughed out loud when I heard this line of argument. While being popular is nice, it is not everything. For one thing, Mr. Furbert was ‘popular’ as a UBP MP, not as a PLP MP. If the PLP is only focused on popularity and maintaining power then it is little more than a Party of opportunism. In so doing it is a slap in the face to labour activists who have dedicated their lives to building organised labour and social and economic justice. These members instead should have focused their lives on popularity contests it turns out – heck, by this line of reasoning they should actually join the UBP or the BDA first, spend years advocating their policies, and then, maybe, they will be rewarded by the PLP! The absurdity of it all!

Another line of argument that I’ve heard from PLP friends is ‘people change’. I accept that. People are entitled to re-evaluate their views. No problem there. However I do find it strange that a man who has dedicated almost two decades of his life to the UBP can easily come out of the closet as PLP. This man was a UBP Minister (of Transport) in the last UBP Government, and has served as the Leader of the UBP. His whole political life has been based on opposing everything the PLP supposedly stood for. And now he is to be welcomed with open arms? I don’t think so. People change, but not that much. What is more likely is that the PLP has so degenerated from a Party of principle to a Party of opportunism. Mr. Furbert has not changed his stripes – the PLP has instead just revealed its own. The fact that the PLP has attacked certain UBPers (and now BDAers) like Mr. Shawn Crockwell for their pasts just makes it even more ridiculous that they today champion the idea of ‘people can change’.

Mr. Furbert joining the PLP is not a win-win situation for the PLP.

It is a lose-lose one. The PLP loses, as an organisation, some of the few remaining shreds of integrity and principle it still had after over a decade of failing to realise its potential. By associating itself with someone of such questionable character as Mr. Furbert it reinforces the image of the PLP of today as being one of pure opportunism.

Mr. Furbert, in the PLP’s own words, is inefficient and incompetent. From a national perspective he is a discredited politician and an opportunist of the highest order. His dabbling in questionable business practices verging on pyramid schemes makes associating with him, especially with the PLP’s own taint of ‘unethical but not illegal’ business actions, particulary foolish. As the PLP so often reminded Mr. Crockwell, character counts. And Mr. Furbert’s character is such that he should be avoided like the plague, at least in political circles. As long as he sits as a PLP MP I cannot support the PLP. I hope that the Branch in constituency six sees fit to reject him as their representative and call for a by-election, as the longer he holds that position the worse it reflects on the PLP.

Character counts, and being associated with people of questionable characters reflects badly on the PLP. There are too many opportunists in the PLP as it is, and the PLP today is hardly recognisable as the party of social and economic justices. There are still many good and dedicated activists within the PLP, but the opportunists are legion and they are often fast-tracked to important positions within the Party. This is too bad, and the Party suffers as a result. What is more, so does the country as a whole.

I actually don’t know what is more repugnant though. That the PLP could accept as an MP an individual who they mercilessly lambasted as a bumbling fool or that Mr. Furbert can happily associate with people who so pitilessly crucified him for his shortcomings, right up to mocking his speech impediments.

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29 thoughts on “Character Counts…

  1. As one of Wayne Furbert’s constituents, and having voted for him because he was UBP, I am VERY upset about his crossing the floor. As a white female I believe I had no choice but to vote UBP.

    The times he has spoken to me about Ewart Brown he has always been “anti-Brown” and said that Brown must go and how bad he is for Bermuda etc., etc.

    He should resign immediately.

  2. Johnny,
    this is the party that quietly strangled the unions and left the masses without an adequate education whilst they ripped through the house hold budget with $4000 a night hotels.
    So its no suprise that your views of democratic socialism don’t tally with them.
    They are no more social leaning than the labour party in the UK.

    Come back and start a ground level party thats not about self promotion and enrichment.

    Or maybe leave it for three years by which time the populous will be so pissed they will flock to your movement.

  3. well put Jonathan – i do believe there is some difference between what Wayne has done and what the BDA’ers did. In that switching from the UBP to PLP is a diametric move for most UBP supporters and can be seen as a real betrayal of their votes – whereas i believe the BDA’ers were responding to a dissatisfaction within their own core support group (however at some point they too should do the honourable thing and go back to the people for ratification). Wayne is out of his mind if he thinks the PLP aren’t going to cast him aside at the next election (and well they should) – remember grace bell.

  4. 100% with you Jonanthan. There is no way the PLP believes their own press on this one. There has to be something unseen going on since at the surface this is obviously lose-lose for the PLP all the way. Wayne Furbert will never win another election unless it is in a PLP stronghold.

  5. Who cares? You think the PLP care? They’re in the best shape they’ve ever been in. Period.

    They’ll walk the next election, maybe with a clean sweep of seats.

    You keep forgetting Jonathan, this PLP government isn’t about the PLP’s ideals. It’s not about labour. It’s about winning.

    And they’ve won. What could be better than that?

  6. The PLP might be winning now but the people will suffer once it all comes out in a few years.

    I wonder what ‘Morgans Point’ was…………………..hum……..

    I’ll ask him in a few years.

  7. The real loser in this debacle is Furbert. Does he really believe the welcome mat will be rolled out for him? Will he be trusted by the inner circle? It seems foolish for the PLP to consider him a potential Minister, as there are far more intelligent, deserving persons on the back bench.
    Clearly his massive ego is clouding his judgement. Sad.

  8. Rocky…yah hit dee nael horn dee haid……………

    The irony is he just wants to be in the limelight at the expense of the people. Sad is right.

    But don’t worry…Beyonce is comming………………

  9. I’m pretty gob-smacked that after all the cr@p that has come down under the PLP over the last decade, you are now all bent out of shape with them….. because Furbert crossed the aisle. Wow.

    And I’m equally bemused by your comment about “Either I am way out of touch with the prevailing spirit within the PLP, or the PLP is way out of touch with the conditions on the ground”. Yeah, I could definitely see the former being true, after the way you’ve relentlessly defended the Party on the issue of the pervasive, repellent, racial prejudice that gets displayed on a regular basis.

    My guess is that all the party insiders are all pleased as punch at this Big Win, in getting the former head of their arch-nemesis, the UBP, to come join them. That’s one in the eye for the hated massa and his ‘house n1gg@s’!

    Yup, the whole island is not too far from following BNTB over the edge, but hey, not to worry, that’s not important, we just won a Big One over the hated enemy. (The fact that the UBP is now so decrepit that they’d lose a contest with a middle-school debating team appears to have utterly escaped their scintillatingly brilliant perception.)

    Hey, maybe we can get Beyonce back for another show. That would really put the icing on the cake!

  10. “Breech of constitution”……..

    Show me where.

    Some have done it before….”Isle”…….yeah you get get in trouble for crossing the “isle” and even a parish and even a Tribe Road.

    Aisle is what you meant, right?

    Blacky….I can call you “Blacky” right? Huh?……..

    Here’s another ? for you…..How do you feel about the “Third Lane”………is that not crossing the “isle”…..

    I need a rum…………………………….

    Lets move on guys and gals…………………All this back and forth between forum celebrities is getting old, really.

    A great day too all…………………

    El Rummo……………………

  11. Unfortunately it is not a breach of the constitution and there are several precedents for such a thing in the Westminster system, including Bermuda. One could argue that it is a breach of contract however, at least between the MP and his constituents, but I don’t think there is any legal challenge that could be mounted on that basis, though it could make for an interesting proceedings.

    To me it is a matter of ethics and simply doing whats right. While there is no mechanism that I know of within the Westminster system to say that an MP should resign and contest a by-election under this situation, that is something that should be incorporated.

    Quite frankly, if Mr. Furbert feels that his constituents are supportive of his move, and he is confident of convincing the relevant branch that he is the best PLP candidate, then he has nothing to loose and everything to gain, inasmuch as he can restore some dignity to his name. The PLP itself has nothing to loose from contesting a by-election either; they have an unassailable majority in the House, the two Opposition Parties are in disarray and hardly a threat, and the PLP can profit from being seen to do the right thing. In so doing they can also discredit the BDA MPs for their refusal to contest by-elections, afterall, at the moment, the BDA has no moral authority to even suggest Mr. Furbert should resign his seat right now.

  12. Too Shey………Johnny…………Spot on even for a Marxist…..Then again history proves you right with the church and fabrications.

    Gotta run…….Having dinner with Vanz………det buy nows his grits…………………

  13. Vanz…yah right ahgain…..Some asked for roofers but they got shingles made of cedar ……

    Oh well……………

    Gotta run…….trying to figure out why 90% of the people that post on blogs don’t even live there…ironic eh?………………

  14. Of course that was addressed too me Uncle Elvis. Listen up my man, I spent more than your life span living in Bermuda. I own property there and just returned from there after two weeks and a funeral.

    Please spare the sarcasim. John has told me not to engage such comments and I have been valid in trying to move on.

    As for your constant postings and recent cartoons with regard too me, please cease and disciss. As a reminder about when I pull up your site via other local blogs….”Individuals have no obligation to allow you to say whatever you want, only Government does”

    Oh the irony there. Censorship is hell eh?

    Now back on topic….”Character Counts”………………….lets move on since we have so many characters playing so many parts maybe the play will begin. The audience is large but are they recptive.

    A great day too all and may the community come together, friends and family and do the right thing with regards to “Character” and the helping and healing that is needed in these trying times.

    ‘Only you can help prevent Gun ..Fires’……really.

    Rummy.

  15. Shipjumping is a sign of weak character indeed, but his voting record is consistent with the red party over the years.
    The main difference is the failure to support Casinoes and adult entertainment. everything that is available in America should be available here. CIA wake up and save Bermuda!
    Send a delta team for a strip club!

  16. Just watched Furbert being interviewed on ZBM by Moreno.
    It was a pathetic sight, primarily because he obviously believes that he was sent from above to “help the people of Bermuda” and we would all fail if he left the political scene.

    However, he became agitated and uncomfortable when Moreno asked him whether he owned a travel agency or not. As a matter of fact he refused to answer the question. Why??
    It seems he is more interested in growing his “several business interests” than “serving the people of Hamilton Parish and Bermuda” After all, the UBP will not help him any more.

  17. I enjoyed the show also very entertaining. On many issues Mr .Furbert handled himself better than expected when challenged but overall he was not impressive.

    His closing remarks “I am who I am ” ! You are a traitor and the show is over now please disappear the political scene needs new dynamic intelligent candidates you never were or will be bye bye sucker !

  18. The words “I am” are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you. ~A.L. Kitselman

  19. In the light of all the negativity around Mr Furbert, it is of course heart warming to see that the PLP welcomed him with open arms.

    And they say that Bermuda is another world. Indeed it is.

  20. It is absurd to me that the government is raising licensing fees on freaking scooters!!!!! I understand the car thing, but for those that can’t afford the cars and drive bikes, which additionally help with our horribly car congested roads, it is a total slap in the face. I mean come on a bike license fee can run upwards of $149!!!! Once again, NO HELP FOR THOSE STRUGGLING!!! Same with payroll tax!!! I can’t believe that they are giving payroll tax breaks to taxi drivers, yet raising bike fees. Brainless

  21. Government is desperate for money and only respects people who disrespect them. They have weak skin Burch should be fired at least he is a failure in all his miinistries but the Premeir is a sitting duck wasting time a mere entertainer talks like Farakannie but acts like Madoff. The march was frightenning should have been later at 4 or 5. With t shirts and scarfs.

  22. I would not want him in my camp if I were the PLP . How do you trust someone who belitted you 24/7. Wayne Furbert is a sellout……

  23. Absolutely correct Uncle Elvis. How do you trust someone. Ironic? Faith plays a part but constant denial or aggression also takes hold. Being open to thers opinions is a means to dialogue and understanding.

    Various points of views are just such.

    Character? In the eyes of the beholder.

    A great day too all.

    Gotta run…..makin massa and as we who know it does take time and energy but the final product is so great.

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