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Bean says PLP ‘fighting for empowerment of Bermudians’

Party leader Marc Bean has warned that the Progressive Labour Party must welcome newcomers and embrace new ideas.

And he said the party was “fighting for empowerment of Bermudians” as it rebuilds from last December's electoral defeat.

At the start of the PLP's annual conference last night he spoke of the accomplishments the party has made since December 2012 general election, and how it is playing a key role in Opposition, including the turning back of three pieces of One Bermuda Alliance legislation.

Mr Bean said the PLP worked with the Government where possible despite its reduced presence in Parliament.

The party leader presented his speech to PLP delegates at a meeting in the Bermuda Industrial Union building.

Last night was the first event of the PLP annual conference, which moves to Devonshire Recreation Club today and culminates with a banquet at the Hamilton Princess Hotel on Saturday evening.

Telling members the party is “stronger, more cohesive and more focused on the people”, Mr Bean said it had learned and grown from its experience, adding: “We are a better party today than we were just ten months ago.”

Mr Bean explained: “We have embraced the position that working for the empowerment of Bermudians, and expanding our people's opportunities for entrepreneurship and jobs, is more important than in fighting, backbiting, titles, and positions of authority.”

Citing “maturation”, Mr Bean said the PLP is seeing positive results, new faces and new ideas, all while integrating veteran members' wisdom.

“Our Parliamentary team have done more than criticise. As Opposition, we have brought forward new ideas and new solutions to better our people,” he said. “We have revealed what the OBA is as an institution.

“We have exposed them for breaking their promises, for being focused on everyone else but Bermudians, and worst of all, for having no plan to turn the condition of our people around.

While our numbers in Parliament are smaller than we would like, and the media coverage of the great work we are doing is far less than we like, the fact is we have defeated the OBA on three bills.

“We have worked with the OBA where possible, provided solutions where appropriate, and have fought on your behalf, always.”

Mr Bean highlighted the goal of reconnecting with voters “that lost faith in us”, adding that the “impetus must come from everyone, not just MPs, party executive or branches”.

“We must treat each other with dignity and respect, and show that we have learned the lesson taught on December 17th, 2012,” Mr Bean continued. “It is with those who would seek to reduce you, your family and your neighbours to second class citizens in our own country, that we must contend with — in order to have real progress and harmony in our country.

Mr Bean concluded: “Let us be willing to listen without judgement, embrace new ideas, share our wisdom and work together for the good of Bermuda.”

Marc Bean arrives at the PLP meeting at the BIU Headquarters.

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Published October 24, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 24, 2013 at 1:34 am)

Bean says PLP ‘fighting for empowerment of Bermudians’

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