The only real wonder cure post-election time is unity
“On this continent, it has not taken us long to discover that the struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence. Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neocolonialist control and interference.”
— Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana, May 24, 1963
In 1998 when the Progressive Labour Party became government, the aspirations of multiple generations came to fruition. After 400 years of colonialism and slavery, the black majority had finally become government. For many, they truly believed that all would fall into place once the PLP became government.
As seen in Africa, post-European colonialism, things were expected to get better for the African continent. Indeed, for some countries there has been massive progress. However, for many others, the full development of Africa has yet to begin.
Back home here in Bermuda, the odds are that there will be a change of political government before the year ends.
However, like our counterparts in Africa 50 years ago and our own change of government 20 years ago, we must not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of thinking that a change of government will bring about economic, social and political Utopia.
As a country, we have to realise there are certain realities that remain with us no matter who the government of the day is.
However, the solution does not lie solely with a change of government. It is we, the people of Bermuda, who have to transform our views of being dependent on government alone to change the trajectory of our individual and collective circumstances.
Understanding that our economy is reliant on international business, we have to do what we can to protect this lifeline. The outside world couldn’t care less about Bermuda or Bermudian jobs. So, yes, it is our responsibility as Bermudians to ensure that we have persons in place lobbying on our behalf in the farthest corners of the globe.
Meanwhile, back at home, we must do our part to educate ourselves and our children on what international business truly means and the opportunities for Bermudians to take part in it.
Of equal importance is for us to continue to reinvent our tourism product.
With more and more Bermudians getting into vacation rentals as a form of primary or secondary income, we must do our part to not only encourage more Bermudian property owners to transition into this arena but assist each other in keeping our properties at a high standard so our visitors can share positive images and memories.
Another aspect of taking control of our destiny would be for concerned Bermudians to put themselves on the boards of the various government and quango entities. Within these boards lie the powers to direct policies that truly benefit Bermudians.
Whether it be the immigration board or the board at West End Development Corporation, we must be a part of the decision-making process or we will find ourselves wondering why we are being excluded.
Perhaps, most importantly, we have to prepare the next generation for a globalised world where automation will be king. Many jobs that exist today will not exist in ten to 20 years. We must prepare our children with Stem and Steam educations.
For clarity, the Steam educational approach uses science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to promote student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking.
On the other end of the spectrum, we must prepare ourselves and our country for an increase in our seniors population. As seen with the lack of bed space at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, we have to move now towards increasing affordable long-term care for our elders.
There is much more that can be said, yet the salient point is that we, the people, must be prepared for and must lead the change that our country needs.
A parting word from Brother Kwame:
“There is no time to waste. We must unite now or perish.”
Christopher Famous is a Progressive Labour Party organiser. Reach out to him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org