Log In

Reset Password

PLP MPs need to look in the mirror

Round-up: Neville Tyrrell, the Government Whip (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Dear Sir,

Are you all keeping up? If you think you had a tough day at the office, consider what happened last Friday, just one day in the life of Bermuda politics:

Friday, December 2, 2022, House of Assembly — AM session:

The Government released a self-governance/independence report entitled: “Assessment of Self Government Sufficiency — Bermuda” produced by Dr Carlyle Corbin, which cost us $50,000. A report which focused on our self-governance preparedness, rather than things like what we gain, what we lose and the costs, which the people most certainly deserve to know. Mr Corbin has a unique diagnostic assessment method to analyse a territory’s independence preparedness and we were given a grade of B minus (or thereabouts).

You may remember that Dr Corbin, an international adviser on governance, was consulted during the time of the 2006 Bermuda Independence Commission (BIC) report, which was a partisan and biased document that gave the public no clear, concise information on the benefits, losses and costs of becoming Independent. (oddly, just like this recent one).

That BIC report failed miserably to set out facts that the public could use to educate itself on what would be the optimum future political status for the island and, in a rather convoluted manner, only alluded to the so-called “positives“ of being Independent. The BIC report even made the claim that the cost of independence would be revealed only when the Island became independent.

Friday, December 2, 2022, House of Assembly — commencement of the afternoon session:

Since so many members of the House were MIA after the lunch break, the House Speaker advised the Government Whip, “you’ve got 5 minutes to get your members in here” and even went so far as to tell them all over the live broadcast to put their sneakers on and run back to class. No joy. The subsequent absenteeism in the classroom that afternoon resulted in all classes being cancelled. (Remember, just hours ago we got a B minus for our lack of political maturity, which was classified by Principal Corbin as our “preparedness”. Oh, the irony). Granted that news understandably could have driven some MP’s to run out and get a stiff drink and also the big game was on.

Later that evening:

The Government Whip, Neville Tyrrell, said: “It is unfortunate the OBA's planned PR stunt led to a delay in passing important legislation related to the minimum wage today, but we will return next week to complete the business of the government".

Readers, it bears mentioning that the function of the Government Whip is to help organise their party's contribution to parliamentary business. One of their responsibilities is making sure the maximum number of their party members vote, and vote the way their party wants. So no doubt he will be sure to round them up next week.

So, to summarise, we just spent $50,000 on a self-governance preparedness document and we achieved an unremarkable grade of B minus, which was before the HoA schoolyard antics that we witnessed on Friday afternoon. This administration does the public a huge disservice by having vague, feel-good conversations about independence (now classified as “self-governing”), and yet after two separate PLP government-commissioned reports on this subject, some 16 years apart, the people are no better informed. I think this is quite revealing on the part of this administration, who seem to be unaware that they continue to play the public for fools on this issue. Until they realise that, the issue of independence must rise above their own party politics and be presented not as a political preference but as a fundamental step for all the Bermudian people to decide and only after sound analysis, full consultation with our political parties and decisive research proving that independence will overwhelmingly benefit the people. So far, on that basis, they have scored an F.

I suggest that this Government may now want to take a good look in the mirror because their poorly orchestrated, self-interest pursuit of independence (not to mention their political immaturity) is becoming tiresome for many.

Back to school, everyone.



You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 07, 2022 at 8:13 am (Updated December 07, 2022 at 8:13 am)

PLP MPs need to look in the mirror

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon