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PLP needs new facade and persona

Under internal scrutiny: Leader of the Opposition Marc Bean

Dear Sir,

In response to the headline “Sources: Bean faces revolt”, there are a few things that come to mind. First and foremost is a principle in any true democracy that leadership should not be a dynasty.

Any leader that gains the opportunity should hold the post with humility, recognising their role as serving the people. When the perception surfaces to the extent that people begin to mobilise themselves against the leader, the reasons must be carefully considered.

In this particular case, aside from the obvious behavioural matters, part of which is a subject of a court case, there is the issue of the direction and image of the PLP as a current viable alternative.

Aside from the OBA shooting itself in the foot, there has been nothing in the PLP leadership performance that would indicate they have reformed or even have been apologetic about their previous performance.

One would have hoped that the new leadership of Marc Bean would have brought a fresh vision and a fresh hope, but, truthfully, that hasn’t happened and the only thing to his or the PLP’s advantage is the failure of the OBA.

Changing the leader, while arguably helpful, is not enough without the assurances that none of those formerly connected to previous government scandals are excluded from the choices.

That would include, but not be limited to, Zane DeSilva and the former deputy leader Derrick Burgess. It doesn’t matter whether there is any truth to all the allegations, indeed they may all pan out as unsubstantiated rumour. The issue is generating public confidence, without which leadership change is a futile exercise.

Ideally, if there was to be a change in the PLP, the pre-1965 make-up should be the goal. The PLP does not just need a new leader, it needs a new facade and persona which sends the message of inclusiveness.

The pre-1965 leadership was a combination of merchant middle class with strong labour support.

Without that make-up, the political dynamics in Bermuda will remain polarised, the beleaguered population and labour will not be served and the country may never reach its potential as a model jurisdiction.

I don’t know where the activity behind The Royal Gazette article is coming from, but I would only encourage whoever they are to have a broader rethink to explore the realities of where Bermuda politics is today and do the appropriate thing for the future good. Who knows? They may get welcoming support.