The cost of fingers dipping into one too many pots
I remember many years ago Julian Hall referring to Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch’s actions as a “train wreck in slow motion”. The former premier Paula Cox, during her tenure as Minister of Finance, was plagued with the term “cog in the wheel”. I don’t know what metaphors are symbolic that will emerge to describe the present premier, David Burt.
There has long been speculation that there was a space between the now former finance minister Curtis Dickinson and the Premier. Perhaps “space” is not the proper word when we add the National Sports Centre issue, where the Premier seemed to have overridden the Minister of Finance and used a junior minister instead to get the deal funded. While only speculating, with this latest venture seemingly led more so by the Premier to fund the Fairmont Southampton refurbishment for Gencom, perhaps the only option remaining for the former finance minister is to create even more space; ie, quit.
I cannot recall another premiership that has faced as many obstacles or areas where the report card on so many aspects of administrative matters is failing and the only signal of the success is an unrumpled suit and steadfastness as a leader. Even there, as a leader, Burt has been called the “missing leader”.
In all fairness, no one can say he didn’t try; it’s just that given the times and the precarious position of our economy — where unity and all people working in unison is not just an idea but an essential ingredient for the survival of Bermuda — to come to the leadership carrying grudges and personal bias predisposes anyone to failure.
Here again, he can hardly be faulted for being a product of a system of party politics that is built on maintaining bias. We have all heard the comment “the Devil made me do it”. This is just the highest example of what the party’s innate reality generates.
This may sound philosophical, but 1998 should have been the end of the politics of bias, where politics was based on which neighbourhoods, race or ethnicity had primacy. That our political history is largely a product of a racial struggle and that a paradigm that needed closure survives to see another generation of life happens to be at the core of the Premier’s and this government's miscalculation of purpose.
So we all must, as a result, live through the agony of a failed society before we come to terms with the fact that we must reinvent ourselves in order to survive.
When you see yourself digging farther and farther in a hole, the first thing to do should be to throw down the shovel. Stop digging.
This is not just an individual failure, it’s a collective failure and the individual characters’ roles are pegged to the type of construct this model of politics we have allowed to continue to exist generates. It is not that we have political parties that is the harm — it’s their purpose and mode of operation that destroys the brotherhood of man, truthfulness, and their reverence to individual human liberty that has long expired. That is the real harm.
As the breakdown or fall happens, things tend to get worse before they get better. We may see “goons” from the past emerge who will attempt to rattle the cage, hoping to stir up old rivalries. It’s just part of the dying process, like the old-timers would say “It’s the death rattle”.
I heard the death rattle of the United Bermuda Party. It was coming from those that jumped up and answered, “so they don’t like conservative, let’s try ultraconservative”.
In the meantime, we can only give our hope to the premise that day follows the night, and light will triumph over darkness. Therefore, we give hope also that healed persons will enter the arena of doom to help our country to heal and emerge from its healing to be a guiding light.