More pack shuffling to come
It's just a fact the Progressive Labour Party has 29 Members of Parliament from which to choose the make-up of its 12-member Cabinet. However, the selection process is not as simple as spinning the wheel of fortune, and every person that comes up is a possible winner.
Some are saying Walton Brown was to the Left, which is an oddity because there has been very little left-wing articulation coming from anywhere in the party in recent years. He was a professor at the Bermuda College holding degrees in political science, so he is an intellectual whose ideals are largely unexpressed.
At one time, I said “Alas, here is someone with credentials that would help bring political reform to Bermuda”. To be fair, I can't cast my own hopes on others; perhaps there are other reasons besides political reform that entertained the minds of those who choose political science as a subject.
The legacy moment for him in Parliament was passing the land grab vote, which never got Royal Assent.
The Premier is obviously trying to position the Government to get something done in tackling the economy, improving education and dealing with a deteriorating infrastructure — none of which can be fixed with ideology or postulating.
The Government will need to be leaning heavily on financial minds to identify real options in the market. Hence, it very understandable that Wayne Furbert was brought into the Cabinet. My only argument is: why did it take so long?
We must tell those naysayers who say, “well, he was once UBP”. This is not county cup or Cup Match. if anything, it's the pick for Bermuda and we need the best hands on deck, whether from Somerset or St George's.
The 1960s and 1990s spun out many young scholars who went to school during a transitioning world. They were reading perhaps the “third” edition of Malcolm X, Black Panthers, Frantz Fanon and the likes. These new scholarly individuals caught in an ideological time warp themselves became proverbial nuclear bombs in their own social context. But the world changed on them. So we have some intellectual bombs that never got to explode.
It's disarmament now: talks of peace and getting along, diversity and same-sex marriage. All the things that make a black cap and paratroopers boots look out of place.
Morihei Ueshiba, O Sensei, the great martial arts founder of aikido, once took to farming and said: “What's the use of teaching people how to fight when they're starving and need food?”
It is like the biblical proverb that says for every thing there is a time and a season. Sometimes we have to turn the sword into a plough sheer.
In a classic sense, the whole issue of freedom and emancipation needs to metamorphose towards an agenda that is contemporaneous and progressive. Today's radical is smart and building new frontiers in all spheres. The militant today must tell us what to build to make life better and show the way.
Yes, this is truly the Booker T. Washington era.
Government is not a commercial entity looking for business and nor is it a command economy. Government relies on commercial entities to earn taxes and create employment. It is fundamental that a government minister understands that.
Government and the Civil Service should not even entertain dabbling in commerce; it would end in disaster. Entrepreneurs put in hours and hours of unpaid work. You can't beat enthusiasm and free enterprise.
When commerce is strong, government gets strong. Having a relationship with entrepreneurs and businessmen is essential. There has to be a trust built between commerce and government, which cannot happen by command. Having a good personality does not equate to being a sell-out.
Before the next election, the Government may make a couple more shuffles before it gets the team that has the credentials and the affability that warms the public and can get things done.