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John Gibbons named PLP candidate for St George’s West

John Gibbons will represent the PLP in St George’s West at the next general election.

He will run against Kim Swan, elected as an MP for the United Bermuda Party, and Nandi Davis, another political newcomer who has set her sights on the seat in Constituency Two for the One Bermuda Alliance.

Mr Gibbons was announced as a candidate by Premier Paula Cox at a press conference at Alaska Hall yesterday.

The St George’s resident stated from the outset that east endears “care very deeply for our ancient and loyal town of St George’s”.

And he vowed to constituents that he will be a fierce and passionate advocate in a way that makes sense in both the social and business development of St George’s.

Flanked by a family and branch committee members who nearly filled the hall, Mr Gibbons continued: “As St Georgians we should work together to rebuild the town’s economy by seeking to make St George’s the cultural centre of the Island.

“This can only be achieved if we start to attract more local people to visit our town. I will continue to fight for the little things that have been ignored for too long if the people of St George’s West deem I am worthy.”

But he said there is disenchantment in the community when it comes to young people and politics.

“Unfortunately I have come to realise from talking to many young people both in St George’s and throughout the Island that many feel that politics has become irrelevant to their lives.

“This dynamic presents a terrible danger to people of all ages. We see already how the apathy of the youth has brought a whirlwind that is blowing on all of us, if we allow this apathy to continue nothing but disaster can come out of it.

“I entered the political arena to encourage and show my generation and the generations under me the importance of clasping the sword of political participation with uncompromising determination.

“Only the awakening of a new generation will truly be able to stand against the tribalism and Balkanisation of so many youth who show outright willingness to kill or be killed.

“Despite what other political parties would have us believe, the truth is Bermuda is not sustainable without Bermudians.

“We cannot maintain an economic recovery, realistically without the spiritual rejuvenation of the Bermudian, especially our young people.”

There is an estimated 200 registered voters in St George’s West between the ages of 18 to 33.

“Bermuda is in an economic transition that we haven’t seen before. This is the biggest transition we’ve seen since we gave up whaling and farming and went into tourism.”

A strong advocate for green energy, Mr Gibbons said he intends to help the PLP bring the country to energy independence.

“The Energy White Paper is not an empty idea, it is one of the initiatives I see as one of the most important things for us to build and maintain a bigger, better and brighter economy.

“Both the old and new generations of the PLP are united in the understanding that energy independence is true freedom for all Bermudians regardless of race, colour, creed or religion.

“It is one of the most fundamental issues that we need to take that could reinforce why international business comes to Bermuda.”

When asked by

The Royal Gazette what he thinks of the incumbent Kim Swan, he replied: “Mr Swan is a very kind and decent man but I believe one of the things many Bermudians, not just in St George’s West, are crying out for politicians who can not only see very clearly the past, but who also see the present and have a clear vision of the future.

“Clearly the people of St George’s need an MP who understands that actions bring results not speeches in Parliament and that it is the little things that matter.

On the canvassing trail he has found that young voters generally don’t feel inspired by, or connected to the political process enough to vote.

“Gloom and doom that’s one of the aspects of politics in Bermuda that turns people off.

“You can’t inspire people by preaching gloom and doom, you have to say the truth that is what has always made this country great is faithful optimism.

“I hope young people will realise the power they have at the ballot box. I am totally against people who encourage young people not to vote because we are the demographic that has the least amount of representation.

“We are the most powerless group politically in Bermuda and people would still encourage us not to vote and that’s not conducive to building a bigger and better Bermuda that is good for everyone.

As a candidate he said he is “honoured, humbled and privileged to stand before the eternal court of the St Georgian voter and be judged.”

The Premier described the new candidate as a “young man for our times,” a man with confidence who represents competency and who has been consistent since she met him about 15 years ago.

“He impressed me then and he still impresses me. I’m glad he is prepared to carry the mantle for the PLP, I think what you’ve heard from our candidate has been probably the most passionate endorsement of why he’s earned a seat at the table.

“He’s young, gifted, qualified and passionate about Bermuda and passionate about his parish, and the people in St George’s West should be very proud and feel that they will have a fierce advocate.

“As party leader I am putting all who would seek to contest seats that the PLP is in the game and on its game.”

John Gibbons will run for the Progressive Labour Party in St George?s West.

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Published March 15, 2012 at 9:48 am (Updated March 15, 2012 at 9:48 am)

John Gibbons named PLP candidate for St George’s West

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