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Economic inclusion the central tenet to a new Bermuda

In two years Bermuda will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of responsible government. Can we ask now what is the aim or vision of our country? Seemingly, aside from gaining or maintaining power, there is little else that our leaders aspire towards.

The premium debate is on who can govern or, more specifically, manage the finance better. Not to minimise the importance of fiscal management, but shouldn't that fall under the context of a broader vision?

Let's say the old United Bermuda Party was the remnant of the old guard, then it should have been the Progressive Labour Party to have a vision of another day. Unfortunately, it, too, came to power without a dream of a new day. Instead the ethos seemed to be “it's my turn”.

We cannot call changing the driver of the bus a new system of transport. Yet, in effect, that is what we did; we just changed hands on the steering wheel of our country.

Sixty years ago the issues were clear: the need for desegregation, civil rights, emancipation.

Everywhere we turned, these goals were on the lips of leadership. There was a moral tone to it all; even the music and arts spoke to the era. The old fences and walls have been torn down and we live in a world where plurality, diversity and globalisation have moved the world towards polar opposites of yesterday.

New prosperity along with mega corporations have stifled more harmonious and egalitarian development in many countries, compounded by corruption and bribes with government officials at the behest of these corporate giants. Movement towards democratic and accountable governance have been stifled also because of these leaders, who enjoy the benefit of old-style oligarchical systems and who are loath to give up the benefits that can be derived from antiquated legal structures rather than advocate for real change.

The world is waiting for a genuine change and a message towards a more equitable solution; so much so that it falls for impostors such as Donald Trump. The problem has been growing for years and it is this intellectual vacuum which I believed Bermuda had the possibility of filling. The size of our country in today's world is no impediment; it's the size of our ideas that really matters.

The One Bermuda Alliance came along at an opportune time to foster change, but without a vision that it could articulate which could bind people, it was an abysmal failure in that regard. The PLP, rather than lead and take the stage to set the example for the Caribbean and smaller jurisdictions, seems content instead to follow.

Being a black government is not enough; the people want substance and integrity. Government is and should not be a goalpost; the aim must be higher.

We must begin to hear the words egalitarian once again, equality and participatory democracy again. We need a true plan of economic inclusion, along with an evaluation of where we are.

We must aim for a world where all people can develop to their full human potential. We could set that example right here in Bermuda, if inclined.

Anyone stuck in an old paradigm of blind patronage to power, or the pursuit thereof, must be put aside vigorously in favour of those with vision. If leaders do not have or cannot articulate an idea on how we can progress, they do not deserve to be leaders.

We may have one final chance to get it together, as the Brexit readjustment may shower a windfall of new opportunities towards Bermuda.

Be careful what you ask for: the world has been so desperate for change that the likes of Donald Trump are seen as potential leaders of state (Photograph by Evan Vucci/AP)

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Published October 15, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 15, 2016 at 7:42 am)

Economic inclusion the central tenet to a new Bermuda

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