We lack cohesion
March 31, 2012
The dump fire really is the best way to teach someone about Bermudian politics. People have grown old, who lived near the ‘Pond’ and have childhood memories of a house full of smoke. There are people who have lived full lives and died, who were born with that smell in their noses. There’s a well written book about it called ‘Ain’t nothing but a Pond Dog’, by Llewellyn Emery.
Bermudian national problems are ones everyone has known about for years. They burn away underground until suddenly but to no one’s surprise, up the fire comes! People become outraged! Fire! Again! The government says they are working, round the clock, making every effort, are in lengthy consultations, examined themselves and their policy (choose your phrase). They say they have tried. The problem is enormous (actually our whole Island is actually quite small). They say they have tried. Oh how they have been on to this deep into sleepless nights when we were all sleeping. They were there battling. But the problem was too great. Even for them. They, who they say, are the finest possible choice.
So you know how bad the problem is: (like real bad!) We all say: “Oh well then its going to be fine.” Then we remember that that’s not how it works here. We shrug. The government claims it’s doing something. We soon lose interest. And we go back to sleep. The problem comes up again. Everyone complains again. The government does something that is supposed to look useful. Mostly isn’t. We complain. We blame a race that is not our own. We run out of energy. An election comes. We vote them back in. And it goes on. I am not going to list the problems that are never solved but merely maintained year in and year out. If you don’t know, you don’t live here. Make your own list. It’ll be the same as mine. I’m not saying anything controversial or new or even interesting!
Bermudian politics in the realm of paranoia and idiocy is about race and ‘other people’. And that’s how most Bermudians like to think about it. It’s not their fault; and if they have to suffer because of a lousy government, their beliefs allow them to indulge a cherished Bermudian pastime; blaming other Bermudians. Blaming other Bermudians, in our weirdly divided and alienated Island is such a pleasure, most Bermudians would happily endure a little hardship so they can nail some blame to someone’s forehead. In the world of reality, Bermudian politics about long term problems that sit there smouldering away until a crisis comes. When it does we Bermudians lack the essential cohesion to agree on a solution and make leaders get the job done. We lack the communal aggression that fights problems and wins. Silly and small and stupidly enduring problems such as that damn dump can go on for decades. That’s just who we are. Think that’s was the last we’ll see of that fire? Of course not. It’s down there somewhere. It’s hot and its coming back. But relax. Go to sleep. The government’s on the case. And when they don’t fix it, we’ll all give them, and each other, hell.