Have a safe passage, Outta Sight

  • Bon voyage: musician Cleveland “Outta Sight” Simmons (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Bon voyage: musician Cleveland “Outta Sight” Simmons (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Dear Sir,

I read with interest the recent articles in The Royal Gazette re Cleveland “Outta Sight” Simmons’s pending move to England to join his family.

Bermuda’s loss is Britain’s gain, in my opinion, as we lose a talented musician from these shores. Having two older musician brothers — Roddy, now passed, and Jeffrey, still very active — you could say, Mr Editor, that I have music in my blood.

I do, on occasion, strum the acoustic guitar but my brothers’ talents never dropped farther down the family tree to me, so I never had to “make music” for my living like they and “Outta Sight” did.

Good thing, too, because I probably would’ve starved!

I do wish Mr Simmons safe passage as he joins his extended family and hope he has a wonderful time in Britain.

The Gazette articles about his “emigration” got me thinking about the beauty of Bermuda’s relationship with Britain. Everyone should know that about ten years ago, the British Parliament adjusted its immigration laws/rules to allow citizens from the remaining Overseas Territories — there are about a dozen of us colonies left — to apply for British citizenship.

I’m not sure how many Bermudians have taken up the British passport that is now available to them, but in my humble opinion, they should. Having the ability to live and work in Britain without any “immigration issues” is a great option for families and individuals, and no doubt Mr Simmons is availing himself of the same opportunity that his family members have already taken up.

The travel benefits of having a British passport are also pretty obvious.

However, what is not so obvious, Mr Editor, is why the present government wants to remove this option from every Bermudian and take Bermuda independent? In my opinion, this makes no sense at all.

The decades of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s saw a lot of anti-colonial activism throughout the world, so it is quite rational to understand how the founders of the Progressive Labour Party would enshrine in their constitution, when the party formed in the early 1960s, an ultimate objective for an independent Bermuda.

Back then, Bermudians could not easily achieve British citizenship, so why remain a colony?

Today, however, this is not the case and Bermudians can apply for a British passport and travel freely there to work, reside or retire. What a wonderful option to have for your people.

In my opinion, the PLP needs to modernise its constitution and re-evaluate its enshrined doctrine for an independent Bermuda. It is not relevant in 2020 considering the new rights offered to Bermudians for the past decade. Governments should never consider policies that would remove rights and privileges from their people, but, rather, pursue thoughtfully those that expand their people’s options.

The Simmons family have taken advantage of this right; let’s hope the PLP government does not try to remove it at the next election.


St George’s

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Published Aug 20, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 20, 2020 at 7:38 am)

Have a safe passage, Outta Sight

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