Keeping it real is the preferred alternative

  • Staying grounded: Christopher Famous celebrates his election last year (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Staying grounded: Christopher Famous celebrates his election last year (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Jetgate revisited: Michael Dunkley and Craig Cannonier (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Jetgate revisited: Michael Dunkley and Craig Cannonier (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Recently, former One Bermuda Alliance leader Michael Dunkley went on ZBM News to state that Opposition leader Craig Cannonier must come clean about what happened with the “Jetgate saga”.

Apparently, Mr Dunkley is clearly attempting to say he is holding Cannonier “accountable”. How ironic.

When Mr Dunkley became premier in May 2014, he had the perfect opportunity to get all the sordid details about Jetgate out into the open. However, he chose to bury the issue.

During an interview on Friday, May 23, 2014 with the Bermuda Sun, he stated the following:

“Jetgate? Deadgate!” was Mr Dunkley’s stance.

For the entirety of his three-year tenure as both Premier and OBA leader, Mr Dunkley never produced any form of report regarding this sad phase in our political history. Every time he was asked in Parliament to produce a statement or report, there was absolutely nothing forthcoming.

Fast forward to 2018 with yet again another OBA leader, and Bermuda is faced with the same game of “Three-Card Monty” wherein the truth is being constantly shuffled around with excuse after excuse of why full details cannot be given to the public.

So we can only say to ourselves that “openness and transparency” is nothing more than lip service.

Speaking of openness and transparency, it is time for us as a country to have some real conversations about a few issues. As they say with some of our younger folks, it is time to “keep it real”.

One of the biggest challenges we have as a people is to know how to both give and receive constructive criticism. Chalk it up to human nature, but very few people look forward to being criticised; rightfully or wrongfully.

Perhaps at the top of that list will be elected officials.

Yes, those people that are in place to work on behalf of the people who elected them. The people you voted for or against last year.

Anyone taking a look at social media over the past few weeks may have come across any given number of posts or threads that are aimed squarely at the present government.

People being upset at the Progressive Labour Party is nothing new. We have had 55 years of people opposed to us speaking their minds publicly.

In this instance we have persons who, for all intents and purposes, are PLP supporters, or at least they were, leading up to the last election.

They have a democratic right to not only voice their opinion in public, but to also expect those they voted for to provide answers and possible solutions.

Their angst is rooted in several issues such as, but not limited to, employment, education, cost of living and affordable housing. Unfortunately, at times the rumour mill goes into overdrive and incorrect stories become viral.

On the flip side, those of us who were elected must remain grounded enough to know that when people feel frustrated, or at their wit’s end, we must respond to them with compassion, empathy and, most of all, correct information.

As a country, in an ever-changing global environment, we are facing a long haul to see us get on balance on any given number of issues of public concern.

Therefore, it is incumbent for us as leaders to embrace all those people who are keeping it real with us. In turn, we cannot sugar-coat the local and global realities; Bermudians are able to adapt and overcome any given set of circumstances once they know the full story.

Simply put, we cannot give people lip service. To those that have issues, concerns and suggestions, please continue to keep our feet to the fire and we will continue to keep it real with you.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at

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Published Oct 5, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 5, 2018 at 8:06 am)

Keeping it real is the preferred alternative

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