The PLP could have asked for  Commission of Inquiry on any one of the more than 5,000 days they were in power. *Photo by Glenn Tucker
The PLP could have asked for Commission of Inquiry on any one of the more than 5,000 days they were in power. *Photo by Glenn Tucker

On the night of 3rd April 2001, after a short ‘march’, a large, angry crowd of mostly white Bermudians assembled and filled the salons inside Government House. They had come to meet with the Governor — at that time Mr Thorold Masefield.

They expressed their strong disagreement with the PLP Government’s proposal to change Bermuda’s Constitution from having twenty unequal dual-seat constituencies to having forty more equal single seat constituencies.

Despite incredibly strong negative actions and reactions from Bermuda’s ‘old guard oligarchy’, the PLP Government rammed the measure through the House of Assembly, took it to Whitehall, and had their Bermuda action ratified by the UK House of Commons.

The 2003 General Election was fought under the new PLP-created-single seat “one man, one vote, each vote equal value” system.

The PLP held that kind of awesome power from November 10, 1998 until they called the election in November 2012. This election resulted in the PLP losing that immense political power.

All that is history, and fact.

So why is it that, now, in July 2014, after having held such awesome power for 5,161 days, the PLP suddenly found that it wanted to raise old matters of old land appropriations, old land disputes, and old land ‘grabs’? Why?

On any one of those 5,000 plus days, the PLP could have independently ordered a Bermuda Commission of Inquiry. A Governor has no real power to stop that process. 

The PLP could have called in and paid for any expertise that they wanted. Once the Inquiry was over, using their awesome power to create legislation and pass laws, the PLP could have taken any action to right any things that the Inquiry found or ruled to be wrong.     

If the ‘land grabs’ and other matters are suddenly so important now, why are they? Clearly they were not important enough during the 5,000 plus days that the PLP held real power. 

The fact that all of these old matters suddenly came to be so important that they warranted a call for a march on Government and a request for the Governor’s recall, reeks and stinks of political stunting and low farce.  

The timing of this political stunt is worsened by the fact that Bermuda and Bermudians — the very people that the PLP are supposed to represent — are facing unprecedented economic hardships; many of which are the consequence of the style of money-management that the PLP exercised between April 2004 and December 2012.

Government pay cuts, pension cuts, cutbacks in spending on operations and services, have only just begun. More, much more, lies ahead. 

You should know that the $800 million that Bob Richards borrowed in July and December 2013 is already more than half-gone.

And, right now, we’re supposed to ‘farce’ about with things that could have been done and dusted ten times over when there was ample money, opportunity, and power?  

There is no time for political stunts and farce.  There may be just enough time for a rational and whole-community effort to fix a massive financial problem that, by 2018, can begin snuffling us out — all of us!