Delusion and desperation
The people of Bermuda should be concerned after reading the recent op-ed from the Premier regarding the past five years of Progressive Labour Party governance. It reeks of delusion and desperation.
The Premier stated: “The past five years have not been easy, and we haven’t gotten everything right. Yet we have remained a government that listens, we have remained a collaborative government, and we have remained a government that is still humbled by the tremendous responsibility you entrusted to us.”
Several high-profile resignations from his Cabinet seem to refute that point.
The Premier continues to act as though his party has been in power only from 2017. They still must answer for 1998 to 2012, and the decline of our island's finances. Bermuda was already more than $1 billion in debt when the One Bermuda Alliance was elected in 2012.
Our Cabinet spent four years stopping the bleeding caused by three terms of successive PLP governments, which saw an island with a surplus become one shackled with crippling debt.
The Premier believes his government saved Bermuda from the OBA. In his words: “Five years ago, the people chose to put an end to one of the most divisive periods of recent memory.”
The division he speaks of was created and executed by the PLP in a successful attempt to disrupt and unseat the OBA government. The Progressive Labour Party is the only one in that unfortunate situation to gain anything.
The people marched on the OBA regarding the airport and immigration reform, yet those same hot-button issues were embraced by the PLP once it got into power — greeted with not even a peep of protest.
Immigration reform has since begun to be passed by PLP, and its review of the airport was never released publicly. The people have been simply told, “You’re stuck with it”, then members of the PLP enjoyed their photo ops at the new facility.
We are now living in a time where the people are tired of receiving nothing from standing with the PLP.
Oh, wait, but they have ...
They have received increased land tax, a sugar tax, rising cost of living, rising health insurance premiums, and more debt.
The real rewards, such as undisclosed payouts, paid committee positions and Cabinet positions, are reserved for the party faithful.
Have the lives of average Bermudians improved under the PLP with whom they marched? Let’s be honest and acknowledge that the answer is a resounding “No”.
The Premier was blessed with a 30-seat majority from the people of Bermuda in 2020, and look how has he utilised it. He spends his time blaming the four-plus years of the OBA for the financial woes of the Government via Morgan's Point and the airport. Yet the Premier, who is also new finance minister, forgets that we pay $330 million to operate the hospital yearly; that’s more than the cost of Morgan’s Point and the airport payments combined. We have yet to see the details of the hospital deal the PLP struck with Paget Trust to determine how much that is costing the taxpayer.
The brand of desperation displayed by the Premier in his op-ed can be compared to another leader across the pond. And we’ve all seen how that worked out for him.
That leader was also riddled with resignations and political blunders, but told his citizens everything was going fine ... until it wasn’t.
• Dwayne Robinson is a former senator and the One Bermuda Alliance’s approved candidate for Southampton East Central (Constituency 30). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org