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Visitor's View: Tucker's Point

March 3, 2011

Dear Editor,

It is with dismay that I read in the

Gazette online of the govt. approval of the SDO at Tucker's Point. Although I realise that Bermuda has major problems with the aftermath of the GFC, as it's coyly termed here in Australia, and concomitant law and order problems with the drug gangs shootings. I believe decisions like this are of grave significance to the future of Bermuda [ I always use Bermuda as an example of the modern world in microcosm]. The eloquent appeals of David Wingate and the clear,sanely reasoned letter from Janet Wingate[ in Czech Republic] and others, seem to have been to no avail, alas. I think David Wingate is right; people should march en masse in protest against this decision. It is their heritage that is being lost for short-term financial gain, and dubious financial benefit for Bermuda as a whole.

It is, I realise, 20 years since I last visited Bermuda. Frankly, I now fear I may have left it too late, that the Bermuda I knew, remember and love is now so transformed I should find a return visit too painful.

I realise that almost everywhere has changed greatly, sometimes beyond recognition, in the past 20 or 30 years, but I'm shocked that Bermuda should not be able to see that there are limits to the degree of development possible in such a small land area. It also seems to me that what Bermuda sorely needs is 'affordable' housing for its inhabitants, not developments as proposed here. How many locals will be able to afford to live there? It is not the sort of thing one would expect from a party whose initials stand for Progressive Labour Party. But then, in recent years, I've seen, both in Australia, with State and Federal Labor parties,and in the UK with New Labour, policies and decisions that seem quite unrelated to the supposed ideals and policies of such parties. It is nearly always political pragmaticism. All political parties of all persuasions are guilty of it. Little wonder people around the world grow cynical about politics and governments. It doesn't seem to matter which party is in power; money talks.

Looking back over Bermuda's history, one can read a tale of an ongoing struggle to survive financially. The world's population has more than doubled since I lived and worked in Bermuda in the early 70s. Most of the world's problems can be traced to over-population.

I see no alternative to Capitalism; but the kind of unbridled capitalism at work in the world today is also responsible for many problems. However, having lived in the Solomon Islands, a so-called “developing country” in the South Pacific, I'm well aware of the benefits of capitalism and the obvious need to generate capital in order to improve people's lives [education, health etc]. It is the conundrum one is faced with, always a compromise and a trade-off. However, there are things where compromise ought not to be a factor; and Bermuda, as other countries, has a duty of care. It should not be passing on a degraded environment to its inheritors. If Bermuda is serious about wanting to continue to attract visitors to its shores there has to be some break from buildings. Why would somebody who found Bermuda's special appeal in its little roads, its lanes and tribe roads, its old established gardens and ice-cream coloured houses with the natural belt of delightful beaches, want to exchange that special quality for some attempt to copy Monaco, or other Mediterranean ports, or some Hong Kong in the Gulf Stream?

I have read re. the recent govt. decision that it is an example of democracy in action. I think in today's world the technology exists for public referendums on such serious decisions as this, if one wants real democracy in action. But, alas, do not expect to see it, neither here in Australia nor in Bermuda.

I cherish my memories of the Bermuda of yore, as of England, for that matter. I always liked the slogan Keep Bermuda Beautiful. I know that there are still those that try; I see photos online of youngsters out cleaning up the mess one sees everywhere in the world these days. Good on them! I just hope they'll have some natural unspoilt island left them in the future.

DAVID MORRIS

Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

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Published March 15, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated March 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm)

Visitor's View: Tucker's Point

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