Difficult decisions ahead for the working class
Bermuda is facing very serious challenges and the worst may be already afoot with working-class families carrying the greater burden.
A recent visit to the grocer cost $180. A similar basket cost about $130 only weeks ago. Same for my last visit to the petrol station. It cost $90 to fill and that used to be $75. My family will survive, but for some that is detrimental!
Although anecdotal, most discussions with friends, family and neighbours reveals similar concerns and these discussions end dismally because of the general lack of confidence in Bermuda's political class to help steer the country through these challenges. It’s a well-earned lack of confidence, too!
Politicians rely on short memories but after two years of “in your face” mismanagement it has become tough to look past their deplorable behaviour.
Quoting Lord Sumption, a former British Supreme Court judge in a recent editorial:
“Lockdown was an extreme, crude and untested experiment. Embarked upon with the minimum of thought, no advance planning and no exit route. The original decision was taken in a moment of panic with no consideration of more sensible alternatives and no thought for the appalling collateral consequences.”
He continued in a March 3, 2022 interview with GB News, which I paraphrase: the British Government with advice from its “nudge” unit — those esteemed behavioural teams charged with influencing the public via propaganda — sold the great lie that we are all in this together and at equal risk when the truth was so obviously different.
There are several words that come to mind to describe the people who did this, as well as Bermuda's political class who copied it wholesale — manipulative, self-serving, liars and definitely untrustworthy.
Bermuda’s political class has demonstrated in just the past two years that it does not possess the analytical and self-inflecting mindset required to navigate the waters ahead. Despite the economic challenges directly impacting family finances and quality of life, they remain focused on masking children, fiddling with useless Covid rules, creating difficulties for unvaccinated individuals, taxing the public with testing requirements and MDL lab funding, and making entry to Bermuda needlessly more onerous and costly with travel authorisation forms. They remain unconcerned with what taxpayers think about how their funds are used.
They remind me of the political class in my home country of Trinidad & Tobago — obsessed with making themselves the only game in town and at great expense to the quality of life of the citizens who fund them. I’m not proud to say it, but for those who are unaware, despite its oil and gas wealth, Trinidad is a crime-infested Third World country that is riddled with gangs, drugs and guns. Even the attempts to spin healthcare reform reminds me of Trinidad. Again, for those who are unaware, healthcare is “free” in Trinidad, but anyone who can afford to avoid government healthcare does so — and that includes the politicians who oversee it.
Bermuda’s political class does not possess the strength or courage to acknowledge that many of the present economic problems are usually owing to, and definitely exacerbated by, their interventions. We definitely need less from this bunch. Starting with less intervention on labour and imports, and definitely raising the legal threshold for creating and maintaining states of emergency so that it becomes more difficult to ever again exercise such disruptive and counterproductive control over daily life.
Sadly, those few things are a pipe dream. Some difficult decisions and sacrifices lay ahead for Bermuda's working-class families.