OBA’s Richardson: working together is the only solution
A One Bermuda Alliance government would offer a hand of friendship to groups and organisations across the island, the party’s interim leader said.
When the OBA was in government, it faced a series of protests over the new airport and policies such as Pathways to Status.
They culminated in the pepper-spray incident, when protesters barred the way for MPs to get into the House of Assembly.
Asked if that history would hinder the party at the next General Election, Mr Richardson said: “I think one of the problems we have to understand is that as much as we do try to divide ourselves, and as much as there is this political, let's call it a motivation, to divide ourselves into different camps and buckets, the simple fact of the matter is there's not a lot of us and we're all pressed onto this little island together.
“So working together is the only answer to the question.
“Now, are some people going to avoid working together or try desperately to throw a spanner in any project? Yes, but we can't control that.
“What we can control is how much we're willing to work with people. That means that we are willing to actually listen to people. We're actually willing to answer their question.”
He added: “Some of the unions have made it quite clear that they are branches, or, I forget the phrase, siblings with the Progressive Labour Party.
“So, that's what they're there to do. They're there to get the Progressive Labour Party into government, which obviously is not the greatest encouragement to the One Bermuda Alliance, especially when it forms a government, because, well, your sole function is to throw a spanner in everything we do.”
The OBA offered a seat in Cabinet to the PLP when it was elected to government, and Mr Richardson said that kind of hand of friendship would be offered to different groups.
“It's not a lot of us dealing with quite a few problems. So how we'll deal with communicating is that we will always offer that hand of friendship and say, ‘Look, when you speak, we listen. So, feel free to speak at length’.“
On whether it was feasible for the OBA to overturn a 24-seat majority in the House, Mr Richardson said: “Feasibility isn't part of our equation. Our equation is about saving our country, our equation is about stopping the suffering that's happening to people.”
Pressed a second time on whether the OBA could win the next election, or perhaps more realistically the one after, he added: “We're putting everything on the line, and we're pushing forward as hard as we can.
“When I was a cadet at a military academy, we used to do a lot of push-ups, and it's raining and it's snow and all that kind of stuff, and you do a lot of push-ups.
“I always laugh because there was this point at which you're at your limit, you're quivering and you're cold and you're shaking and you're crying and it hurts. You just don't have it in you.
“That's typically when one of the instructors will kneel down, get in your face and go, ‘Are you done feeling sorry for yourself yet? How about you start trying?’
“The reason I look at that life lesson as applicable to today is that, the question of feasibility, it’s as if that's an option. It’s as if there’s an option to weigh up or balance or decide.
“In the moment, you get to push and push hard forward. That's all you get. That's where we're at. There's only forward now. There is no more left, no more right, no more nuance, no more sophistication. There's no more strategy. There's just forward.
“That's what we're going to do. We're just going to push forward and we're going to save our country. That is going to happen because there is literally no other option for us.”