It’s basically an email from Guilden Gilbert, a Bermudian who resides overseas, who appears to have been the catalyst, at least according to Minister Crockwell, for the OBA’s sudden breaking of their election promise to hold a referendum on gambling.
Mr Gilbert was a guest on the Sherri J Simmons show last week, and on it he voiced his criticism of the loaded referendum question on gambling, and suggested that people vote no to send a message to the Government about not acting childish with the framing of the referendum question – unless, of course, the OBA came to its senses and replaced it with a neutral question (which was the gist of what Mr Gilbert was calling for).
Minister Crockwell cited Mr Gilbert’s radio comments, in the House of Assembly, as evidence of some sort of PLP conspiracy to undermine the referendum.
Which strikes me as somewhat paranoid that Government policies, especially major reversals like the referendum on gambling, are done on the basis of a non-aligned guest speaker on the radio (unless I’m mistaken, Mr Gilbert is not a member of the PLP, certainly didn’t say in the radio show that he was speaking for them, and he definitely doesn’t hold any PLP officer posts).
He may not be pro-OBA, but that doesn’t mean he speaks as a member or even a supporter of the PLP.
Either the OBA are gripped by some sort of paranoia which is affecting their collective governing judgement, or they are grasping at straws out of desperation to justify their actions.
The latter seems more likely to me.
As Mr Gilbert suggests in the Bermuda Blue post, it seems more and more likely that the OBA never really intended to move ahead with the gambling referendum, hence their absurd question and then using the negative reaction to that question as justification for abandoning their election promise altogether.
Which also makes them look particularly stubborn and idiotic in that if they had just adopted the PLP and others solution of a neutral gambling referendum question there wouldn’t have been much of a controversy, regardless of how the referendum vote went.
Which brings us back to the need for PATI and campaign finance reform.
PATI to found out what deals or discussions the OBA have already engaged in with gambling interests and how these may have influenced their actions regarding the gambling non-referendum.
Campaign finance reform to ensure the Government isn’t sacrificing democracy for the sake of political financial interests who fill their party war-chest.
One thing that does seem certain, the OBA is acting divisively and manufacturing some sort of bogeyman as regards the PLP, as well as creating new oppositions rather needlessly.
If they thought Mr Gilbert was anti-OBA before, well, I’m pretty sure they haven’t seen nothing yet!
Furthermore, the populace may be giving the appearance of inaction on this latest OBA fiasco, but the OBA should note that it’s being logged and will likely manifest itself in such a way to give them a comeuppance with time.
A lot of people were willing to give the OBA a year before they got really critical – well, it’s been a year. The OBA should expect a rockier ride after the holiday season…