“…turn your swords into ploughshares, put aside the negativity.”
“…the truth of the matter is that the demonic, Harry Potter One Bermuda Alliance will crumble faster than it was built. They will self destruct. Any institution built upon the principles of fraud, of deciet, of lies, will crumble faster than it was built.”
The above two quotes come from Opposition Leader Marc Bean’s speech to the PLP at their weekend Founders Day event.
I doubt I’m the only one left wondering how to reconcile the two phrases, or what, exactly he means by throwing in the name ‘Harry Potter.’
Now, I have a lot of time for Mr Bean.
We have our disagreements, of course, and I have yet to be convinced that the PLP is moving in a direction with which I would be comfortable rejoining them as I did in the past. Quite frankly, while we both may oppose the OBA and what they represent, the ideological distance between my positions and the PLP’s (as broad a Church as it is) seems too great for such a reconciliation. We may oppose the OBA on this and that for the same reasons, but that does not constitute a strong enough reason to join them.
I do, however, have a good deal of respect for Mr Bean, and I will be watching the direction of the PLP under his leadership closely. As noted above, we do share some mutual positions and oppositions.
On his use of the rather negative imagery in the above quotes though, well, I think he went a bit over-the-top with it. And he opens himself up to accusations of hypocrisy (when the latter quote is juxtaposed with the former). How does one reconcile such imagery with the call to put away negativity?
Now, I understand that Mr Bean was, in the former, referring to dissenters within his own Party. This is understandable after the last few weeks where the strength of his Leadership has been questioned and weakened, with first Randy Horton and now Terry Lister leaving the PLP (de fact in Mr Horton’s case, formally in Mr Lister’s case).
There is talk of dissent. There is ongoing fall-out from both how he was elected and the language that surrounded his election (this being mostly from now Senator Daniel’s pro-Bean pamphlet) which did, to be frank, come across as an attack on the PLP’s elders. Mr Bean is still struggling to move beyond that initial hurdle, as seen in his repeat of the ‘clarification’ between ‘ancient/principled’ and ‘old/self-interested’ thinking.
Words have power, and often times they have powers or effects that the speaker/writer didn’t intend.
Such was the case with the ‘anti-old’ rhetoric that surrounded Mr Bean’s election as Party Leader.
And, one feels, such will be the case with such imagery as ‘demonic, Harry Potter One Bermuda Alliance.’
At best this phrase will rally the PLP faithful and be dismissed with slight ridicule by non-PLPers.
At worst it will become an albatross around his neck, used to solidify the OBA base and to undermine PLP efforts to reclaim the swing-voters who will see in this a reason to consider the PLP has hypocrites, who say one thing (turn swords into ploughshares, to put away negativity) and mean the opposite.
Mr Bean calls on the PLP to both “…take full responsibility for the past…” and to “…collectively, take full responsibility for the future.”
Through this, and the ‘crumbling’ of the OBA, the PLP will “…return to Government sooner than you think.”
Mr Bean would do well to heed his own comments, and to take greater care with his use of language. The over-the-top, overly negative imagery that he has allowed himself to use in this speech may well come back to haunt him, and prolong the PLP’s period in the wilderness.