Letters to the Editor, March 9
If they were serious
February 22, 2011
I, too, believe, like Robin Stubbs (
Royal Gazette, February 21) that Dr John Stubbs was interested in improving race relations. He joined NAR, (The National Association of Reconciliation) when many others would not. I also remember the verbal abuse to which Sir Henry was subjected when he proposed the integration of schools. I also saw the opposition of UBP members to the Equity Bill, so much so that the PLP lost their nerve and dropped it and that Bill was a “do nothing” or do little Bill.
Despite any good intentions of a few, the UBP represents the white community, the vast majority of whom are intent in ensuring the inferior social and economic role for the black community that has always been enforced on them.
If the UBP were, indeed, serious about closing the racial gap they would be proposing constructive affirmative action policies to ensure that some progress was made toward narrowing the economic and social gap between black and white Bermudians rather than opposing even the most feeble idea put forward by the PLP.
EVA N HODGSONDAVID F. GILLESPIE
February 24, 2011
I was doing some research the other day and found out that 2007 was the best year for Bermuda Tourism in more than 20 years! In fact, my relatives came to Bermuda in 2007 so they were counted in the 2007 number. Guess which agency was handling the Bermuda account in 2006 and 2007? By golly, it was GlobalHue. Yes, the same GlobalHue that I am reading about in such nasty and negative terms in your newspaper. Well done GlobalHue!
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Enforce cell phone law
February 27, 2011
I don't mind the police patrolling around Crow Lane, but if they are only stopping speeders, people without seatbelts, tinted glass, unfastened helmets and uninsured bikes and not cell phone drivers, text riders and such, they are not doing much. In fact, they're only kidding themselves into thinking they're going by the law. Cell phone driving is against the law as well. Hello! There should be loads of people getting arrested for that and this isn't happening. What gives?
We should contribute
February 25, 2011
Craig Simmons was our weekly guest speaker yesterday addressing an audience of seniors at The Seniors Learning Centre. Mr Simmons is a lecturer at The Bermuda College and we were all very impressed with his talk. When asked his views on the recent Budget he replied: “It wasn't tough enough.”
Most Bermudians were prepared for a really tough balanced budget, the sort that Dr David Saul had the guts to come up with years ago, however this “sweetheart budget” did little to rectify the overspending of the last four years of the Brown Administration, in fact it was that of a typical politician. Ms Cox had the opportunity to hit the so-called sin taxes of booze and tobacco, but didn't. A very high tax on SUV cars, both import duty and licence fees, would have deterred their use as well.
Mr Simmons thought that all Civil Servants (including himself) and all politicians should accept a pay cut immediately, and all those of us who can should contribute something. I am a senior fortunate to own my own two-bedroom home, and every six months get a land tax bill of some $3,500 with a notation to the effect that as a senior do not pay, even though I could and should do so.
Then I get to thinking about all the seniors living in their mansions in the likes of Tucker's Town and Point Shares who also get a freebee. Ms Cox missed that one as well. The general feeling of the audience was that there are way too many GP cars on the road, and too many Civil Servants get too many perks. There are hard times coming, but those of us who are able should contribute something.
Dealing with Civil Service
February 22, 2011
I agree wholeheartedly with the Premier that making Civil Servants redundant is not the way forward. I believe she must realise the mistakes made by the PLP in building up the Civil Service to such ridiculously high numbers, but forcing more people out of work because of her financial mismanagement over the last six or seven years is not the way to go. Anyway, how on earth could she win the next general election if she put the jobs of about a sixth of the working population (voters) in jeopardy?
Every other leader in the real world is cutting central and local government employment. Why isn't ours doing the same? We are all well aware that the Civil Service is not known for its productivity and that should be addressed. All non-essential Civil Servants, probably around half of them, should be put on a four-day week and have their pay cut by 20 percent. The essential ones should be put on 4.5 day-weeks and have their pay cut by ten percent. If they then worked as hard as those in the private sector we should see the same volume of meaningful work produced in less time. They should be allowed to keep their very generous benefits and pensions based upon their base salaries and wages but there should be no pay rises for anybody until the Government, bless them, can present a balanced budget and show that they can start to pay off the debt they created. Why should those of us left in employment in the private sector continue to pay through the nose for an unnecessarily large Civil Service?
The money taken from the Civil Servants, who all contributed in some way to the financial mess we are in, could be used to restore some of the funds taken from the likes of the Small Business Development Corporation and the truly worthwhile charities.
SHARE THE PAIN
UBP was tainted at birth
February 22, 2011
In her letter published February 21, Robin Stubbs passionately argues that the UBP has nothing to apolgise for. She correctly points out that men with vision and integrity, such as Dr John Stubbs and Dr Stanley Ratteray, for years dedicated themselves under the UBP banner to bring the races closer together. These facts are correct, but they are not the only facts relevant to this complex story. For 350 years prior to the formation of the UBP, 40-odd white families controlled this Island, and in doing so they introduced slavery, then segregation and then racial glass ceilings, from which they amassed great wealth at the expense of generations of black Bermudians.
When black Bermudians formed the PLP and collectively fought to change the right to vote from a system based on land ownership to one of universal suffrage, these white families saw the writing on the wall they would lose their hold on power for the simple fact that blacks outnumbered whites. So they took action they formed the UBP.
The UBP was many things to many people. It was, as Mrs Stubbs points out, the banner under which many honourable men worked tirelessly to make Bermuda a better place for all. But it also was the political vehicle through which the 40 white families extended their control over Bermuda for another 30 years. To see the UBP as an innocent babe born in 1966 is to completely disregard who controlled that vehicle and for what purpose. While Dr Stubbs and others joined the party to fight for the good of all, others were simply using it as the political vehicle through which they would extend their 350 years of control over all aspects of Bermuda life.
It is not because of the noble and dedicated work of heroes like Dr Stubbs and Stanley Ratteray that the UBP must apologise. Nay, they are the reason why the facts are complicated. The apology is owed for the same reason that the UBP was tainted before it was even born. It is the political vehicle through which white rule was extended for another 30 years, and for this reason it shall be forever linked to the historical crimes and moral turpitudes of its progenitors.
Striking against the people
February 23, 2011
The Americans are responding to their budget deficits by telling the Unions they don't have the right to strike and disrupt public. In Bermuda this PLP Government needs to do the same. Our buses are excellent ecofriendly and reduce the cars off the streets. People who need to work and take the buses to go to town can't afford to have the bus not arriving. Bus drivers, trash collectors, health workers, policemen, firemen, workers like that cannot be allowed to strike against the people of Bermuda. Mr Editor, I am a union supporter but it's a privilege to work for the government that gives all sorts of benefits and job security. The people don't need to be held hostage and extorted by the union. It's one thing to strike against the private sector, it's another thing and not the same to strike against the people's government.
City of Hamilton
History of the band
February 22, 2011
I would like to make a few corrections and include an omission in an article entitled ‘Band pays heartfelt tribute to Pommy', dated February 12, 2011. Some readers might be unaware that the North Village Band was established in 1863 and is the oldest band in Bermuda. The Band will celebrate 148 years June 29, 2012.
Attending Mr. Lightbourne's funeral were the North Village Band, The Women's Auxillary of the North Village Band, and the Somerset Brigade Band. The renditions at the service, ‘Let there be peace on earth', Abide with me', and ‘Holly', were arranged by Major Kenneth Dill. Other arrangements included ‘The North Village Band', and ‘War Vets'. The selection rendered at the committal was ‘The Lord's my Shepherd' (Crimond).