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PLP: Bermuda must make AC a success

Jamahl Simmons (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Jamahl Simmons has said the Progressive Labour Party will continue to support the America’s Cup to ensure that it benefits all Bermudians.

The shadow tourism minister’s afternoon statement initially distanced the Opposition from the stance taken by the Bermuda Industrial Union, but five hours later he launched a vitriolic attack on the Bermuda Government by way of an addendum.

“The OBA government has committed in excess of $100 million of taxpayer funds to support the America’s Cup,” he said earlier.

“Given the scale of this public expenditure, all stakeholders in Bermuda must work together to ensure that the event produces the best return possible for all Bermudians.

“While we share the concerns of many Bermudians, that the benefits of the event may not be as inclusive, far-reaching and diverse as they could and should be, the PLP will continue to assist in ensuring the America’s Cup is a success for the benefit of all Bermudians, as Bermuda cannot afford anything less.”

It was a statement that was initially applauded by Michael Dunkley, the Premier, but then came the fireworks.

“The OBA’s repeated failure to build consensus or lead with solutions, rather than tone-deaf arrogance, is to the detriment of Bermuda and Bermudians,” Mr Simmons said once day had turned to night.

“We repeat what we said yesterday: that the unrest as a result of the Government’s handling of Reverend [Nicholas] Tweed highlights the need for a new approach in governance; towards one that is connected to the mood of the country, is inclusive, listens and seeks to address issues before they lead to conflict.

“As we approach the America’s Cup we implore the OBA to change their adversarial approach to one that seeks to build consensus to ensure that the event is a success.”

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