Cannonier dubs Burt wannabe dictator’
The Premier is close to being “a wannabe dictator”, the Opposition leader claimed yesterday.
Craig Cannonier, the Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, accused David Burt of “putting his foot on the throat of democracy”.
He said: “The Premier has demonstrated to Mr and Ms Bermuda that he is too scared to have a full and wholesome debate on his administration’s track record.
“The people’s elected representatives deserve the opportunity to speak on the Government’s dismal record.
“Mr Burt has repeatedly shown his true colours, which border on those of a wannabe dictator.”
Mr Cannonier was speaking after the morning session of the House of Assembly, where Mr Burt attempted to read a ministerial statement called “Throne Speech 2018 and Beyond: Charting a path for the future while challenging the status quo to build a Bermuda that works for everyone”.
Opposition members claimed that the statement was a “Throne Speech in disguise”, which did not allow for a reply from the OBA.
Mr Cannonier was ordered out of the session by Dennis Lister, the Speaker of the House, for interruptions to Mr Burt’s speech — and fellow OBA MPs walked out in sympathy.
Mr Lister later ruled that Mr Burt could not continue with the speech.
Mr Cannonier said that the incident marked “a new low in Premier Burt’s disdain for the people of Bermuda”.
He added: “He attempted to ride roughshod over parliamentary procedure and convention.”
Mr Cannonier said that it was to Mr Lister’s “credit that he stopped the Premier from reading his statement”.
He added: “It was clear from what the Speaker said that the Premier had lied about the content of his speech today.
“All of Bermuda should be alarmed at this.”
The Opposition leader said that the Premier feared the “sunshine of public scrutiny”.
He added: “He attacks the media. He attacks the Opposition. He attacks independent authorities. He attacks the so-called establishment when his plans fail.”
Mr Cannonier said that Mr Burt’s political capital had been “damaged beyond repair”.
He added: “The self-styled ‘Burt’s brilliance’ is gone and replaced by Burt the illusionist and his smoke and mirrors magic show.”
Mr Cannonier said that the OBA would “in the coming weeks” present a reply to the “non-Throne Speech”.
He added: “While we were beaten at the polls, I believe that there is significant buyer’s remorse.
“I hear that every day on the doorstep and on the streets.
“Policies that the PLP were so critical of are now being seen as the only way forward.”
Mr Cannonier said it was time for the country to “realise they have been well and truly fooled by the snake-oil sales pitches”.
The Opposition leader dismissed comments made by Mr Burt that he was electioneering and staged being thrown out of the House.
Mr Cannonier said: “Coming from the magician himself, that’s rather interesting.
“You have a block party going on this weekend that I’m sure will probably be paid by the taxpayer.
“If that’s not electioneering I’m not sure what is.”
“You have a flyer that has gone out to the public about the Premier and the wonderful things he has done.
“If that’s not electioneering, I’m not sure what is.”
Mr Cannonier added that Opposition MPs had first seen Mr Burt’s statement as it was read.
He said: “It took a couple of minutes, but I skimmed through it and realised he was delivering a Throne Speech.”
Mr Cannonier added that Mr Burt talked about consultation with John Rankin, the Governor, Mr Lister, and Joan Dillas-Wright, the president of the Senate before he axed the traditional Throne Speech method of delivering the Government’s agenda.
He said: “A Throne Speech also includes another major player — and that is the Opposition.”
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