You can’t have it both ways on immigration, Mr Famous

  • Challenged on immigration: Christopher Famous, columnist and the government MP for Devonshire East (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Challenged on immigration: Christopher Famous, columnist and the government MP for Devonshire East (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


Dear Sir,

In The Royal Gazette edition of January 17, 2020, your opinion columnist Christopher Famous wrote an article entitled “Immigration has everything to do with politics”, located on Page 4.

In it he tried to connect the dots from the postwar period that British immigration to Bermuda had all to do with the Bermuda Government — at the time led by the United Bermuda Party — trying to shore up votes. Really?

What is most ironic, in the same edition of The Royal Gazette, on the front page, which continued on to Page 2, there is an article entitled “Time to make strong links with St Kitts & Nevis”.

In that article Mr Famous, who has familial roots in the Caribbean, is quoted: “We built Dockyard, we built Bermuda. We settled in Pembroke and Devonshire ... and the neighbourhoods around Victor Scott Primary School were mostly from St Kitts ...”

It usually takes a politician a long period of time to master the technique of “speaking out of both sides of their mouths at the same time”, but Mr Famous has become an expert in only two to three years, and gone public with such in the same edition of The Royal Gazette.

Sorry, Mr Famous, you can’t have it both ways.

Immigration of the past, and immigration today — whether globally or even here in little Bermuda — is about people trying to better their lives and those of their families. It is not about politics, but about a country requiring people with skills to help grow their economies and is led largely by the private sector.

Governments get in on the act because the private-sector growth requires them to do so. Immigration into Bermuda over the past 150-plus years — whether from Britain, the Caribbean, Europe, United States or Canada — was about Bermuda requiring skills to grow its economy. And the generations that have remained, which pretty much includes all of us, are most grateful for their contribution to making Bermuda such a special place.

Let’s not demean this legacy with such vitriolic political speech. I’m sure the voters of Devonshire East didn’t elect Mr Famous in 2017 to hear his version of history, but rather to hear what he is doing to develop policies and initiatives that lead to future prosperity for them, their families and, by extension, everyone in Bermuda.

ALLAN D. MARSHALL

St George’s

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Published Jan 20, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 20, 2020 at 8:02 am)

You can’t have it both ways on immigration, Mr Famous

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