Burch to Fahy: “You Are Not Invited, End of Story”

April 6, 2010 | 3 Comments

senator_the_hon__lt__col_david_a__burch__obe__jp__ed_1The controversy continues over the ‘Bermudian only’ meeting set by Colonel David Burch, with Bermuda Democratic Alliance Chairman and international business employee Michael Fahy voicing his objection, stating that Colonel Burch told him he could not attend.

Minister of Immigration Senator Lt. Col. David Burch sent out an email in mid March setting a meeting to discuss term limits for guest workers. Colonel Burch stated that only Bermudians who work in international business can attend, and ID must be shown to prove Bermudian status.

Mr Fahy works at a senior level in international business, employed by Marsh IAS, the largest captive management company in the world. Locally the company employs approximately 150 people, including Mr Fahy who is Vice President and General Counsel.

Mr Fahy told us he emailed the Colonel saying he would attend the meeting in his capacity as an international business employee, and he was subsequently dis-invited.

Bernews asked Colonel Burch about this situation, and the Colonel confirmed that he dis-invited Mr Fahy.

Below is the full email trail:

From: Fahy, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 11:07 PM
To: Bermudians In International Business
Subject: Re: invite

I will be there on the 8th.

Thanks

Michael M Fahy

From: Burch, David
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 8:27 AM
To: Fahy, Michael
Subject: RE: invite

You are not invited to this meeting.

From: Fahy, Michael
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 10:37 AM
To: Burch, David; Bermudians In International Business
Subject: re: invite

Dear Minister Burch

I would be grateful if you would explain why this open invitation is now being retracted.

For the avoidance of doubt I am in international business and unless there is a solid justification for the withdrawal of the invitation then I should be able to attend on the 8th in my capacity as General Counsel of IAS in Bermuda.

Regards

Michael M. Fahy

From: Burch, David
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 6:49 AM
To: Fahy, Michael
Subject: RE: invite

My meeting – I get to decide who attends.

From: Fahy, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:03 PM
To: Bermudians In International Business; Burch, David
Subject: RE: invite

Dear Minister Burch

With respect, your invitation was to Bermudians in international business and it did not say anything about any particular Bermudians in international business being excluded or that you were going to pick which Bermudians in international business could or could not attend the meeting. Thus I look forward to attending on 8th April 2010.

Regards

Michael M. Fahy

From: Burch, David
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:13 PM
To: Fahy, Michael
Subject: RE: invite

I am not in the habit of justifying my actions to people like you – it is my meeting and I get to decide who is invited – you are not invited – end of story.

Mr Fahy told us that “Minister Burch’s invitation retraction is inexcusable” and went on to explain that he can only assume the invitation is being retracted due to his beliefs and/or political opinions which he says seems to be a direct contravention of the Human Rights Act [HRA] of 1981.

Mr Fahy stressed that he is a legitimate member of the international business community, as Counsel and VP in a captive management company, and also mentioned that “the notice itself was likely a contravention of the HRA by discriminating against others based on national origin in excluding non-Bermudians.”

Stressing the fact that he is not just being petty, Mr Fahy said it concerns him on a wider scale, saying “His behaviour is an affront to democracy and demonstrates the lengths that will be taken to quell dissention or those that question the Minister. The phrase “people like you” is terrible – it is not right and the Minister should apologise”

The meeting had already been a point of contention with a member of another political party, with UBP Senator Michael Dunkley requesting to attend, and being told by Senator Burch he cannot, as he does not work in international business.

Both Mr Fahy and Senator Dunkley have stated their intentions to attend the meeting this upcoming Thurs Apr 8 at the Berekely Institute despite being not invited, which should provide for an interesting exchange at the door.

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  1. Defiance and Domination | April 6, 2010
  1. AJ says:

    Why would Minister Burch take so long to decide to reject Mr. Fahy from attending the meeting? Maybe it is a coincidence that this rejection is the very next working day after Mr. Fahy wrote an opinion piece in the Bermuda Sun criticising the Minister's personal wish that Bermudians be permitted to have one foreign spouse and not be allowed another if you are divorced from them. Julian Hall said it best indeed - a PR train wreck in slow motion. I am glad Mr. Fahy stood up - for far too long so many of us fear reprisal for speaking up at injustices such as these.

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  2. CB says:

    It is nothing less than outrageous that Burch should ask for the IB sector's input and then decide exactly who from IB should attend. Burch has gone too far. Will he next decide that only 'those who look like me' can attend? You disgust me Burch!! Even more than you disgusted me before.

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