There is hope and opportunity
The awesome challenges facing Bermuda as the new Government attempts to fly through severe economic turbulence will mean every family will have to keep their seat belts tightly fastened until an altitude of financial stability can be reached in order to ensure the Island is on course for a smoother ride.
From the moment the One Bermuda Alliance was given take off permission by the electorate in the last election, the OBA knew things would be quite bumpy since the previous crew were not thrilled about being removed from the, shall we say, political cockpit. However, the former Progressive Labour Party Government seemed oblivious to cries from passengers that they wanted a change in direction to clear a storm that showed no signs of abating.
With a little play on aeronautical terms, hopefully the message is clear that despite the enormous economic challenges most Bermudians find themselves in, the glimmer of hope that has swept our Island must not be lost by allowing negative political squabbles to hamper further progress toward recovery.
This will be far from easy, as the Opposition PLP are not having the easiest time accepting defeat which many of their supporters felt was a virtual impossibility. It was a terrible misread of public sentiment that was openly expressed sometimes in very strong terms prior to the election.
What matters now is that the new Government is at the controls and indications are that the new crew are extremely busy keeping the Island craft on course toward a more productive path not just for first class passengers, but for all on board.
Although statistics show an increasing number of families seeking financial aid to weather storms caused by job losses and a recession that continues to bite into our economic base, the real story on the amount of suffering is yet to be revealed. The problem here, is that during difficult times many children fall prey to conditions that rob them of early positive direction as some parents are so stressed out, they need direction themselves.
There are no easy solutions around the corner and the new Government needs all the support it can get including the Opposition PLP, who vowed following their defeat at the polls that they would not simply be engaged in opposing initiatives from the new administration on the basis of politics alone.
Bermuda has too much promise to become embroiled in a war with itself. Too many people are hurting throughout our communities and the only way forward is to leave no stone unturned in seeking ways to ease their burdens as we strive to rekindle the economy. The Government initiative to examine the high cost of electricity should not be seen as an attempt to stifle the free enterprise aspect of our democracy.
There are obvious complexities involved that would need extremely close coordination between Government and Belco to work out an arrangement that would shed better light on how to possibly reduce cost without infringing on the company’s right to make a profit as most businesses do. Then there are the seniors where many are struggling to make ends meet in a new world that is often colder and not overly sensitive to their needs. Bermudians are basically proud people who do not relish the idea of having to require a handout to get by. However, some of this has been bypassed as more and more Bermudians feel the economic crunch that has left quite a few tables bare. Not a pleasant subject during our Heritage Month celebrations, which we all hope will be a time for renewal and reflection.
The reality is that there is hope, and the opportunity to grasp the moment at hand should not be missed. Bermuda Day should be extra special because a page in our history was turned, and while there are countless problems ahead, victory will only be ours if we tackle them together. There will always be agreements and disagreements, but that is a healthy part of life.
When the drums fall silent as the sun sets on the upcoming celebration, we should be mindful that when the sun rises, it will signify that there is still much to be done to build the Bermuda everyone, including our seniors, can be proud of. That should always be the unshakeable destiny of every Bermudian.