Well, we are approaching an interesting period now that Dr. Brown’s time as Leader is more or less done. He will of course continue as Premier and Leader until the October conference, but he is now mostly a mere caretaker. His role will be to just carry on the day to day functions of government and perhaps have a few meetings.
One thing that I think all Bermudians will agree is that his tenure has been eventful and he has overseen some great changes, many of which we will only come to appreciate in the years to come. He has certainly been one of our more controversial leaders, and there are certainly plenty of people who will be happy that his time as Leader is practically over.
It is no secret that I had some ideological issues with Dr. Brown. Beyond that I disagreed with much of his approach to politics, much of which I found overly machiavellian and counter-productive. Nonetheless, I have to admit that I have been impressed with his successes and general strategy (just not his tactics). Of particular interest to me was the social phenomena that, to me, he represented. Kind of a mutation of the original radical Black Power movement into a Black capitalism/nouveaux riche movement. The parralls between the radicalism of the ANC and its subsequent metamorphisis into the present day ANC were very interesting to me. This development isn’t necessarily wrong, and reflects some significant changes within the PLP’s support base, and Bermuda as a whole.
Anyway, there will be plenty of time to discuss the pros and cons of Dr. Brown’s leadership. Some will say that we are now seeing the end of bling. Others will say we are leaving a golden age, others will see just the opposite.
My focus now is on the future, and Dr. Brown’s parliamentary farewell speech on Saturdy morning seems to have served as a starters pistol for the leadership campaign.
There are thought to be three potential candidates for the PLP’s Leadership. Terry Lister, one of them, has officially launched his campaign today with a news conference held at Alaska Hall. Paula Cox and Dale Butler are the other potential candidates, and I expect them to confirm this in response to Mr. Lister’s opening.
I personally am looking forward to a leadership campaign which will last from now til October; there will be about three months of each candidate setting out their policies and engaging Party members – and the wider community – in this discourse. This offers both the Party and the country a great opportunity to heal divisions and set the course for the Party and the country for the next four years, and perhaps even longer. This is an exciting opportunity and one that I hope every member will sieze. It could even see an influx of new members excited by the ideas being openly discussed.
I am adopting a neutral position on the Leadership contest. I hope to critically review the positions of each candidate and will hope to contribute to the exciting process that the Party is about to set out upon.