NB – This is the second half of the first chapter of a 2002 document I wrote as a first attempt to ground my thoughts on Bermudian politics, and with the hope that it could initiate the organisation and activity of the Bermudian left.
That the PLP government did bring about some progressive actions (namely automatic voter registration, the Employment Act 2000, and various welfare and criminal rehabilitation reforms) is not denied by the DS, but it is our position that these actions are no different from the table-scraps or ‘trickles’ [of the ‘trickle-down effect’ infamy] familiar to all boss’s governments – concessions to workers with the aim of pacifying them, much as burglars throw a bone to guard-dogs in order to steal meat from the kitchen. These actions were not enough, nor as far-reaching and progressive as they needed to be in order to even approach balancing out the numerous other actions of the government aimed not for the benefit of the majority of Bermudians, but solely for the interests of the top PLP hierarchy and general Bermudian oligarchy bank accounts.
It is worth mentioning the NLP and UBP at this point. Practical experience in the past century, and even beyond, has proven the UBP to be the quintessential party of the bosses in Bermuda. While the PLP, now also a bosses party, at least maintains various trappings of being progressive and pro-labour – much like the proverbial wold in sheep’s clothing, thus ‘pulling the wool over the eyes’ of some – no matter what the UBP does, it is forever known to the workers of Bermuda as a wolf. The NLP, a splinter group of the PLP, has not had an elected MP for over a decade now, and is, for all practical purposes, redundant – though the actions of the current (2002) PLP government will no doubt see, in the form of protest votes, a resurgence in NLP votes in the next election (2003). Analysis of their literature and statements indicate them to be ideologically centrist, and thus only superficially in opposition to the PLP and UBP. All three parties then are the parties of the bosses, even if they may represent different sections of the bosses [in general the UBP represents old money, the NLP 1980s new money, plus some 1990s new money, and the PLP 1990s new money].
A fable from the left-wing of the Canadian NDP, centred around the ‘Mouseland’ forum, provides an apt analogy (when slightly adapted) for the current Bermudian situation. In essence it states that white cats (UBP), black cats (PLP) and mottled black and white cats (NLP) are all cats, and being cats, act as cats naturally do, and eat mice (the workers). Mice (and there will always be more mice than cats) may choose the colour and other superficial attributes of the cats that are to rule over them, but until they choose mice over cats they will be ruled by their enemies, and in the interests of their enemies, and never in their own interests.
It is within this current environment that the DS is formed and must organise. The DS is based on the working class (by workers is meant all those who are employed, and are not employers, be they white or blue collared), and thus aims to defend and advance the interests of the workers against those of the bosses class. It is the position of the DS that the interests of the workers and bosses are fundamentally opposed, even if they occassionally appear superficially similar. The DS must always remember that while short-term goals may dictate various tactics in partnership with the bosses parties, it must never lose sight of its ultimate goals of democratic socialism and the fact that it is of, and for, the workers. All short-term tactics must then be understood within the context of the long-term strategy of the DS – of realising democratic socialism. The rise and fall of the PLP as a workers party and its subsequent rise as a bosses party must forever be remembered by the DS. Currently there are three parties of the bosses and zero parties of the workers – the DS exists to redress this imbalance and to work towards a democratic socialist future.