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‘We need leadership free from shackles of partisan politics’

Sir John Swan at a recent press conference where he announced that he was considering standing in the Smith’s North by-election (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

I believe the place Bermuda and Bermudians find themselves in today is not healthy.

The continuation of party politics, as it stands now, is not serving us at present and is not addressing our future. The result is, Bermuda is stagnating, our people are suffering, many are seeking to emigrate and find hope elsewhere, others have given up. Most are unhappy. This cannot stand.

In my many years involved in the political system, I always represented change. I suggest we need a change now and we need it urgently.

We need leadership free from the shackles of partisan politics. We need individuals prepared to personally sacrifice their time and devote themselves to defining a vision for our future and then to realising that vision.

Those involved in party politics are spending more time defending their party or attacking the other. This is not allowing for positive or forward momentum. Too many people are suffering. There must be change. We must step away from insults and arguments.

I cannot stand by and just allow Bermuda to continue to sink into mediocrity. That is not the Bermuda I know, not the one I worked so hard for. We need to get back to leadership devoted to the needs of the community. I am thus prepared to lead by example.

I am prepared to stand for election in the Smith’s North — Constituency 10 by-election as an independent, but I will not act as a spoiler. I do not wish my entry in the race to result in furthering the system of either existing party. That is not change.

I will run only if I feel that a significant number of the voters of Smith’s North want the sort of change that I stand for, a change that moves Bermuda forward, that lifts our expectations towards a better future, to a Bermuda where Bermudians want to stay, but also want to return from wherever they are abroad, a Bermuda that is again internationally recognised and respected.

I am prepared to step forward and be recognised, not as a representative of either party, but as an independent. I ask the voters of Smith’s North to let me know whether they want to be part of that change, to also step forward. I need to see their names and witness their commitment to the future.

Finally, what of the future? I am more aware of my age than anyone else! I am not announcing another enduring personal campaign; rather the advent, the start of something new. By stepping forward, I hope that others, as tired of the partisan bickering as I, will also step forward and that we can form a coalition of independent thinkers dedicated to the future of our people.

I will wait to hear further from the people of Smith’s North. It is in their hands. I must, though, emphasise that I need to see and feel that this new direction, this change, is supported by a majority of voters from all historical political affiliations. Voters who want to cast aside those old, tattered labels and be part of the movement of change. I await their response.

Sir John’s contact details are: e-mail independentmp@sirjohn.bm, cell and WhatsApp (441) 504-3495, office number (441) 299-1781 and on Facebook johnswan

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