Together we are one
“All the world’s a stage”
A lot of effort is constantly given by all sectors of society to ensure that Bermuda and Bermudians are always represented on the world stage. Whether it be sport, international business or politics, those that step up to perform on behalf of our country have always done so with a willing heart.
Since March of this year, many meetings that were once held in person are now being held online through various apps such as Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
Cambridge University virtual round table
On November 6, Cambridge University held a virtual round-table discussion, via Zoom, titled: “British Overseas Territories and their relationship with the UK”
The OTs were represented by panellists from:
●British Virgin Islands
Additionally, there were various persons representing Cambridge University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Southampton and various arms of the British Civil Service.
Topics discussed included:
● Brexit, Global Britain and the future of relations between Britain and Overseas Territories
● Financial services in the OTs
● Economic diversification in the OTs
● British assistance with hurricane relief
● British assistance with Covid-19
The common theme discussed was that Britain has not treated all OTs equally or in good faith.
As prime examples:
● Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands left to fend for themselves in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria with regards to short and long-term economic recovery
● Unequal access in Britain to healthcare for OT residents
● Falkland Islands facing challenges with exports for its fishing industry now that Britain has left the European Union
Some of the potential action items would be as follows: a think-tank for OTs to share experiences and collaborate on how to assist each other and further representation to Britain to get them to give more assistance than lip service.
It was a quite useful round table that allowed others in far-flung places to understand that they are not alone.
Thank you, Cambridge University.
Voting during a pandemic
During the lead-up to our October 1 General Election, there were a host of claims by the One Bermuda Alliance that elections should not be held during a pandemic. Their claim was that people will be exposing themselves to Covid-19.
Yet they failed to admit that there were more people at a grocery store or bank at any given time than one would find at a polling station.
Over the past week, there have been a number of political elections safely held in the Caribbean region.
November 5: general elections held in St Vincent & the Grenadines — Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves wins nine out of 15 seats and a fifth consecutive term for his centre-left Unity Labour Party over the centre-right New Democratic Party led by Goodwin Friday.
November 7: in the leadership contest for Jamaican Opposition party, MP Mark Golding becomes president/leader of the centre-left People's National Party.
November 11: a by-election was held in the constituency of St George’s North in Barbados after the resignation of incumbent MP Gline Clarke. The Barbados Labour Party was represented by Toni Moore and the Democratic Labour Party was represented by Floyd Reifer.
A total of 4,748 persons went to the polls and 3,154 voted for Moore, thus increasing the total number of female MPs in the Barbados Parliament to seven out of 30.
November 11: a general election was held in Belize, where the Opposition party, the centre-left People’s United Party led by John Antonio Briceno, secured a decisive victory by winning 25 seats over the centre-right United Democratic Party, which won only six seats.
The UDP had been in government since 2008. There were an estimated 182,000 persons eligible to vote.
In closing, there are constant critics who state, ever so angrily, that “we are not in the Caribbean”.
They are, in one instance, totally correct.
However, the reality is this: from a global perspective, Bermuda has always been considered a part of the Atlantic and Caribbean region when it comes to issues of geopolitical nature.
This is not something that was made up over the past few years; this has been a longstanding view by the Civil Service power brokers in Whitehall, London, who ultimately have the final say on what goes on within the British Empire and its colonies.
As such, this government will continue to ensure that Bermuda is fully represented throughout the world stage, including our very own backyards of the Atlantic and Caribbean region.
So, to the critics, I leave you with this quote:
“I would with such perfection govern, sir, T'excel the golden age.”
— William Shakespeare
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com