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Where once we had the Forty Thieves ...

Once upon a time there was a Bermuda and its jagged past, to some as the “pirate’s port”, but truly the place where Western innovation and plots including the American Revolution occurred, not to mention the Jamestown and Virginia dialogues that formed the nucleus of what would become America. To be then known to be run in more recent times by the infamous Forty Thieves, leading to what was meant as a correction of history and events by a progressive movement, culminating in what became the Progressive Labour Party.

The Government Quarry is the latest icon in Bermuda history that may be subjected to privatisation

The progressive and civil rights movement was significant enough that all political rhetoric and even the National Heroes, for the most part, where drawn from that era of protest. One need only imagine the hope and the vision of a better day that was held not just by the forebears, but that whole generation which was imbued with religious fervour and deep indignation.

To now come to a point in what should be an evolution of attained success with jubilance and pride but when we squeeze the wash cloth that was used to clean up what was once a mess, the water is still dirty. In fact, denser. Yes, the Forty Thieves were neutralised, but now we have only Five Thieves who will exceed what was then like a vine with a thousand roots stretched over the tops of a forest that sucked the wealth out of everything, yet allowed other plants to grow under its dominance and shade, to now creatures that annihilate the vines and bulldoze the forest to satisfy their personal greed.

Put simply, the PLP in its existing form under its present administration, which can be linked to at least one other administration, is not just a failure of its original purpose and a disgrace to the Black Bermudian population but more likely it is the worst government that ever existed and parallel to any colonialist slave government because it is killing its own in the process while the only evidence of growth for the entire country through its own wallet.

Let’s be clear, the PLP supporters and those who held the vision do not deserve what they have from the perspective of their innate vision and hope. Too many supporters are unhappy, and when you examine their unhappiness, it's not about the PLP, it's about its leadership.

The problem is twofold: the base and process from which leadership is formed is too narrow, with a little more than 100 persons — delegates — most of whom have been around for so long they have fossilised, and then with a group of MPs basically selected not because of their independence of thought, but because they are followers and not leaders, we have a problem of cleansing the party of leadership that is destroying both the party and the country at the same time. Worse they don’t appear to give a hoot. What we see is not really the PLP, but rather an overgrowth, a virus or mini-cabal positing as the PLP. They wear the colours perform the duties as if, but truly serve an entirely different agenda they will take what they can get then they will be gone.

Let me give one example: I heard the Minister of Public Works mention the need to repair our roads and correctly state that such repairs should be end-to-end. Soon thereafter, perhaps not even a week later, I hear the same minister saying we may be privatising the Government Quarry to Gencom. Gencom, quarry, I thought Gencom was hotel, housing, etc?

The Government Quarry has been the host of not just our roadworks for the better part of the past century but it is the last bastion of apprenticeship from where thousands of Bermudians have their beginnings in numerous trades, including this author. The Government Quarry is one of the pillars of the Government’s infrastructure. This same government criticised the One Bermuda Alliance for giving away the airport, which is central to our economy, and now minutes before it contemplates $200 million to $300 million in roadworks, it wants to privatise the quarry, which is quintessential to the exercise of roadwork? One could not trick Ray Charles on that one.

While the country is on its knees desperate for a rescue, they will take the last bit of public wealth and feed themselves with it. Worse, they have Members of Parliament that will go along with the gravy train in the hope of getting titbits. Poor old Johnny Public will get suckered again. Again? Yes! Remember the cement plant that had to be moved urgently because the Government needed the space? That was 16 years ago but it is still standing, in same spot, and who owns it? Or, properly questioned, who really owns it?

People right now are wondering why there is still a $40 charge on the Travel Authorisation Form when everywhere else either does not have it or it’s free. My understanding is that cruise visitors numbers are up this year and showing significant results. Here again speculation arises because just the cruise visitor arrivals alone up to July could dump, at $40 a head, between $5 million and $6 million into the economy. And if I had a service provider fee of 5 per cent, I would make the equivalent of a small to medium-size business revenue. The amount isn’t as important as the premise.

The TA form is a public document and its costs are public. There should be no issue or problem ascertaining where the money has gone. We canot hide electronic money under a pillowcase or in a brown bag. I don’t know why we should have a concern, but then again, I don’t know why we have a governor any more — presumably to protect British interests because it isn’t ours being protected. There is nothing wrong with making money, even lots of it, but not through manipulating public affairs.

A lot of people are saying right now that we need to get rid of this leader. The PLP has the popular mandate and knows it; this is not an opportunity for the OBA. The OBA must play a part, of course, but the best solution is for the PLP to solve its leadership. The population must show and demonstrate openly their support for change; they need to urgently amputate this cancerous element that is poised to rape the country for personal gain.

We are no longer in the era of the Forty Thieves; this is the era of the Five Thieves. I would invite the leader, David Burt, to step down and resign his premiership. The public should voice the same because he is a threat to the country. After 400 years, the PLP represents a modern-day, uncompassionate travesty.

It is situations such as this that inspired singer Stephen Marley to write: “Chase dem, Lord dem politicians. When I see them and that gold. Chase dem.”

Bermuda, we need to chase them ugly politicians outta town.

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Published July 27, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated August 17, 2022 at 2:27 pm)

Where once we had the Forty Thieves ...

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