March 1, 2011
The passing of the SDO in Parliament largely supported by members of the Government during the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, March 1 is a national disgrace and embarrassment to Bermuda. How can any right thinking legislator support such a bill when there has been such huge public objection to it via letters, petitions and commentary on radio talk shows? Do our MPs hear the voices of the people? Do they not understand how the real world of capitalism works? It appears not …
Bermuda will now lose forever one of its few remaining woodland reserve areas, and for what? To allow a company to sell off 70-plus high end residential building lots with the proceeds used to pay off a Bank loan. HSBC is the principle winner here, not the people of Bermuda, and for the Minister and the other MPs, who supported this SDO, to suggest that saving Tuckers Point (TP) is in our National interest, is both insincere and a national embarrassment. TP is merely a corporate entity its success or failure has no national significance to Bermuda. If TP's loan is called in, the resort infrastructure and buildings don't disappear, and HSBC, who is the largest creditor to TP, will, by default, become the new owner of the buildings.
It will be in HSBC's interest to find a new buyer of their loan and my guess is a buyer will be found quickly because HSBC are not in the hotel management business. The new buyer will likely come from outside Bermuda, bringing in new capital, and will most likely purchase the loan at a huge discount to its face value because that is how distressed investing works and the new corporate entity will be in a much stronger financial position to manage and promote the resort. This route of saving the resort will provide long lasting and secure employment opportunities for our people without the need to bulldoze a large track of woodland reserve. Most importantly, in this scenario the people of Bermuda win, not HSBC and the owners / investors in TP.
As the deal now appears done because of those spineless supporters in the House, I recommend a plaque be erected at each woodland reserve lot which will be ravaged by this SDO. The plaque should list the names of those MPs who voted for the SDO so that Bermuda's future generations will forever remember them as those who traded raw land for the almighty dollar. Wording on the plaque could read as follows:
On March 1, 2011
The following MPs voted in Favour of a
Special Development Order (SDO)
Removed for eternity this
ALLAN D. MARSHALL JP
UBP Candidate for Parliament
Hamilton South, District 7
March 1, 2011
It can be no coincidence that the General Manager of Tucker's Point Hotel and Resort, is also the current president of the Sandys Rotary Club.
It is most certainly no coincidence that the SDO “debate” in the Lower House was timed to coincide with the import of, and exhibition of, a white tiger as part of a magician's show.
Panem et Circensus : Bread and Circus(es): an ancient Roman strategy to keep the population distracted, while the emperors exerted their total power over the populace. A system introduced by Juvenal to exert total power over the Roman masses, it was designed to “give the people the opportunity to express themselves, and vent their feelings in places of performance”.
So nothing new.
New however for us, is this: While a captive and endangered white tiger is being abused in the West End, future generations of Bermudians are being abused in the East End, where they have just had 60 acres of pristine, precious land magically spirited away by SDO.
A political party, which started out promising to correct the injustices of the past, has just marched in lock-step to vote in favour of destroying a beautiful remaining habitat which belongs to us all. This is without question an affront to the families who surrendered the land in the first place, an affront to the qualified opinion against this development, an abuse of power via SDO, and an act of lasting abuse not just against the living habitat, but future generations of Bermudians.