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Not much progressive about PLP these days

Dear Sir,

For Bermuda's politically progressive, it must be frustrating that the Island's so-called leftist party is anything but.

The Opposition leader's sexist comments directed at another woman in politics are no doubt vile, but, sadly, are nothing new for the PLP: there has always been a misogynist faction within the PLP, and its tumultuous but much-publicised history with female leaders is testament to that. Mr Bean's language is merely the latest outward manifestation of a culture that has existed within the corridors of Alaska Hall for some time now. In other Western democracies, Mr Bean's remarks would have faced vigorous condemnation by true progressives.

Left-leaning individuals in the United States reacted with outrage to remarks Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump levelled against GOP debate moderator Megyn Kelly. Several conservatives, too, called out Trump on this issue, including presidential hopefuls. In Bermuda, many progressives have either been silent or have sought to attack the victim of Bean's words. Worse, not a single female PLP MP publicly denounced their leader. Whether the magistrate's ruling was a correct one or not, there can be no justification for Marc Bean's comments: the accusation that women in the OBA must have “whored” their way to the top is about the most repugnant thing I've heard uttered in Bermuda politics.

Bean's suggestion may be foul, but progressive it is not. Sadly, not much about the PLP is progressive these days. The PLP's record of anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric that have stoked a fear of foreigners on our shores is akin to the politics of France's National Front in the EU.

The PLP's noted hostility to LGBT rights hearken to the US Republican Party's platform. And the PLP's desire for Christianity to dictate policy is from another era entirely. The Opposition leader's misogynist character is only the latest eschewing of progressive politics within the PLP.

The women of Bermuda deserve better than Marc Bean. But progressive Bermudians deserve much more than Bermuda's Progressive Labour Party.

RJW

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Published August 18, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 18, 2015 at 1:46 am)

Not much progressive about PLP these days

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