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Opposition leader not helped by her ‘friends’

Leadership hindered: OBA leader Jeanne Atherden is being undermined by Michael Dunkley and Michael Fahy

A few weeks ago, I read something that really had me wondering if we were in some alternative universe. The headline read: “OBA’s methods for recovery more hopeless than hopeful”.

“The Leader of the Opposition must be hoping beyond all hopes that [Justin] Mathias holds Constituency 25 for the OBA, since surely her fortunes rise and fall with that result. If the seat is won, Jeanne Atherden will no doubt claim the tide is turning. She will say that the shine of the PLP is waning — even though the OBA won the seat in 2017.

“If it is lost, and there is a fair chance that it will be, then she cannot claim that the OBA has stabilised. The knives will be out. But who would be foolish enough from the remaining nine OBA MPs?” — Michael Fahy, May 16, 2018

Quite rich, coming from the person, who almost single-handedly made the One Bermuda Alliance unelectable.

History will show that the majority of the people of Bermuda voted, and continue to vote, against the policies and practices of two persons in particular — Michael Dunkley and former home affairs minister Michael Fahy. Both, ironically, now sit on the sidelines, allowing the leader of their own party to take the heat for their actions such as the Aecon deal, Pathways to Status and December 2, 2016.

As seen earlier, Fahy, instead of taking accountability for his role in the election defeat, is seemingly chumming the water for an internal power struggle and/or hostile takeover of the leadership of the OBA.

So my message to those remaining in the OBA is to know that your political future depends on you separating the wheat from the chaff. Essentially, your political future relies on separating yourselves from the legacy of the UBP/OBA.

I wish to point out to Bermuda that the failings of the OBA do not lie at the hands of the present Opposition leader, Jeanne Atherden.

Indeed, almost incredulously, she is attempting to save the Titanic after it has already commenced its descent to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.

What I will say is this: much to her credit, every week the leader of the Opposition gets up and makes a plea for both sides to work together towards addressing issues affecting Bermudians.

Fair enough.

Some call it a cry of “One Love”; others call it a call for “Kumbaya”.

Yet, somehow every week, there are baseless attacks against the Progressive Labour Party by Dunkley, Fahy or the young senator, Justin Mathias. It puts a damper on her plea for “One Love”.

Nevertheless, let’s take a few minutes and discuss some of the things that the OBA and PLP should work on together:

• Bermudians who are bedridden are not able to get out to vote, so we need to produce legislation to allow Parliamentary Registrar staff to go to their homes in order for them to vote

• Advance polling can be made more efficient with voting at the Parliamentary Registrar’s office for by-elections, as opposed to wasting time and money setting up polling stations for maybe 20 persons to cast their vote

• Ensuring persons who are sight-impaired can vote via new technology

• Let us ensure all parliamentarians are Scars-trained

• Let us ensure all party executives of both the OBA and PLP are Scars-trained

• Let us bring comprehensive legislation for the protection of all children

• Let us work together to bring legislation that results in employers paying a living wage to allow Bermudians to earn a respectable living

• Let us work together to ensure guest workers are not being exploited by their employers

Of course, there will be many more things on which we as parliamentarians can and must work together. However, let us, as legislators, start there.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at cfamous@plp.bm