Reasons to be hopeful
December 24, 2012.
The election of Marc Bean as Leader of the PLP by the delegates of the branches would appear to mark the end of racial politics in Bermuda. The majority of Bermudians, particularly young people, are sick to death of politicians who have played the racecard in order to distract us and prevent us from working together to address real issues. It is time for us to recognise that we are all guilty to some extent of intolerance, time to forgive each other and do what we can to right the injustices of the past and move on.
The reality of our present situation is that we are in an economic mess of historic proportions. We have a national debt of $1.4 billion, are paying $85 million a year in interest payments out of a revenue of about $850 million, are running annual deficits of about $200 million a year and if we do not get a grip on this debt problem in short order are going to go bankrupt.
If the OBA leaders could waive a magic wand and create 2,000 jobs they would. But they can’t. They have to address the growing debt issues and the first step is going to be cut out all the fat and unnecessary expense that exists in Government today, to do without consultants if we can, and stop the building of infrastructure projects that we do not really need and cannot afford.
The second step which is to grow more revenue is going to be more difficult as all developed Western countries are in recession and all except Canada caught in the debt trap.
We are not going to be lifted out of this situation on the backs of the recovery of our wealthy neighbours. This is not going to be business as usual. We are going to have to be innovative and not afraid of making changes to the wey we have been doing things for years. We are going to need to be bold and resourceful and smart to get out of this.
But we have a competent team to run the country and we have a leader of the PLP who has said he will be supportive of measures with which the Party agrees and that he is not going to use race issues as a source of distraction. We have indeed entered a new era and there is good reason to be hopeful we can work our way out of this.