Col. Burch: Emancipation, 21st Century Version

July 21, 2011

senator_the_hon__lt__col_david_a__burch__obe__jp__ed_1[Opinion piece written by Lt. Col. David Burch] The enduring nature of the holiday we call Emancipation Day is proof of just how important an event it really was. In a very British fashion no war accompanied the freedom of the slaves in the Colonies. In some cases it took months for news of the Proclamation granting slaves their freedom to reach the colonial outposts of the British Empire.

In Bermuda, our cultural legacy is on full display over the period we know and celebrate as Cup Match. It’s that time of year now and already colours are being worn with pride and in the streets, rivalry between the red and blue and the blue and blue is alive and well. This is as it should be; this is who we are; this is what we should encourage.

For me, Bermuda Day and Emancipation Day go hand in hand. Both put the best of our Island home on display. In one sense we parade (literally) our varying origins and cultures. With the other we focus on sportsmanship, reflect on unity and give way to our natural desire to just have a good time with each other.

Question time though:

  • Have we perfected the ideal of emancipation in this the second century since it was granted?
  • Can we mature the meaning of the celebration to match our country’s obvious sophistication?
  • How do we connect the generations of today with the importance of ultimate self-determination?

Just when you thought this was a harmless piece about Cup Match, true to my political bent, I spring it on you. Even from the sidelines I cannot disappoint. Having posed the questions, the least I can do is answer them…..or suggest some answers to spur some debate.

Have we perfected the ideal of emancipation in the second century since it was granted? The short answer is no, we haven’t. It’s not for lack of trying though. The history books record the stages through which we have grown: emancipation, white men only voting, the property vote, women’s right to vote, universal adult suffrage and the 1968 Constitution, and finally, one man one vote, each vote of equal value.

To be fair, we’ve done a lot. But it’s that final step that somehow evades us. You know it, it’s the big “I” word. Every British politician I’ve met always says the same thing in private “the 1968 Constitution really was the stepping stone to Independence…and we thought you’d do it within five years”. Publicly of course their stance is much different. Most recently it’s the classic “when the people of Bermuda are ready they’ll tell us…”

They’re right – of course. It is for us to tell them. This is not a British problem. The days of Great Britain hanging on to colonies and seeking to rule from afar have really passed. It’s no secret that they have other things to do…quite a lot lately too. It is our responsibility now to act grown and to accept the gentle push out of the nest that really began with emancipation and culminated in the 2001 amendments to the Constitution. The poor Brits have done everything except say go, which of course wouldn’t be very British at all. We just need to take the hint.

Can we mature the meaning of the celebration to match our country’s obvious sophistication? Of course we can. Think of all the things we do at Cup Match. Whatever it is, it’s usually no holds barred. We either party hard or relax hard; nothing in between. We travel, we do things that we wouldn’t ordinarily do because we’re celebrating freedom. None of us remember or know anyone who remembers slavery or emancipation but the ideal that we celebrate freedom and act free endures over those two days (well four if you’re like me).

It doesn’t matter to me when we set our Independence Day. It can be a rainy January day, a hot July day or even a pleasant April day. All are good for me. But I truly believe that Emancipation Day celebrations will be that much more meaningful when our constitutional status mirrors our affluence and development.

How do we connect the generations of today with the importance of ultimate self determination? Difficult one. Really difficult one. Painting the picture of freedom from the oppressor just will not cut it with young people today. It just isn’t their experience with Britain. It was ours. Today they are welcomed without visas, we can get UK passports, and we can even get on the UK’s version of welfare I hear. So, the evil dragon of yesteryear is our dragon, not theirs.

For this generation, the argument has to be rational, factual and just make sense. Thankfully, I think the argument does all of that and more. I almost choked on my chardonnay when Gordon Brown threw us under the bus in the US Congress….that was just not cricket. I well remember candidate Obama started out calling our name in his stump speeches. I thought then and I think now, we could do a much better job looking out for ourselves than our “friends” are doing because as their economies get tighter, the winds of friendship seem to change. We do a pretty good job selling ourselves and making rain in the business sector. People like doing business here and as long as we keep them liking it – we’ll do fine. We alone are responsible for that.

In my former role, I’ve been to meetings of the remaining colonies. We have a lot in common with them beyond our ties to Britain. But it’s clear that we have matured at a different pace to our sister Islands and dependencies. There’s sometimes a feeling of the married brother with children being ordered to dinner at his mother’s table with his younger siblings who still live at home. There’s still love and affection between them but you’ve moved on…..you’ve grown….you have other responsibilities and your place is not at the table you grew up at but at your own table dealing with your own issues and certainly not inviting your mother to get into it with you. It’s called maturity.

1,000 words in – so it’s time to close now. I know we’re ready for independence because we have 50 years of lessons-learned under our belt. We just need to be students of history on this one and we’ll get it right. Someone will no doubt throw Jamaica’s recent poll in my face to respond to this. Yes, they did this poll and 50% (or more) said they wished they’d stayed under the British. Personally, I’m not sure which Jamaicans they asked because that’s not my experience with that country or any Jamaicans I’ve ever met. That said however, after 50 years of independence (2012 celebrations loom) the likelihood is that many of those polled wouldn’t remember the dragon slaying that led to the new Jamaica. Many of those polled might view Bustamante, Manley and Nanny as distant folk whose struggles, while admirable, are not putting food on the table today. That’s fair. There the comparisons stop though. We are not Jamaica and we are not where Jamaica was 50 years ago; we’re not where Jamaica is now.

We are Bermuda and rather than be defensive and insular we can and should take our place in the family of nations. We can do it. We do it now. We’re “entrusted” to do virtually everything and where we’re not, we must politely inform Langton Hill and usually we’re good. Entrepreneurs always take out the middle man. We can do it too.

Now I’m really finished. Happy Emancipation. Go Somerset.

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  1. Kudos says:

    The only thing I disagree with in this article is the final two words.

    Great article Colonel.

    • Black Soil says:

      Col. Burch is on the come-back trail. He wants to win back control, then take Bermuda to independence. And he will do this with his buddy Ewart Brown right along with him. So long as the PLP stay in power we run the risk of Col.Burch and Dr.Ewart Brown taking back control. So long as the PLP stay in power the international community will continue to view Bermuda as being “politically unstable”.

      • Kudos says:

        Rolling my Eyes

      • Truth is the light says:

        Get a life B Soil

      • Rob says:

        The col. is getting warmed up for kicking some more IB butt. He will try to remove Cox first, and then make his move. Tickle the Public with an article first, more to come!

  2. Thumbs up says:

    Well said Col. Why did you ever leave Gov!? You were the only real person over there!

    • Hudson says:

      ODG, spare me.

      • FutureLawyer says:

        He was! Be honest with your self you always knew where he was coming from.

  3. trees says:

    Interesting, when I was with the regiment in Jamaica the JDF solders (eg the average man)I spoke to all spoke how they wished they Jamaica had never gone independent. They would recount how their currency was stronger than the US currency before independence. There is nothing wrong with being part of a larger nation, especially one that basically lets us bake our cake and eat it too. When politicians who continuely press for independence realise growing up and confidence isn’t something independence will give as this only comes from within, maturity and true self confidence comes from realising this.

  4. Terry says:

    Sounds ilke an election ploy. Something is in the wind. Otherwise, I must admit it’s well penned for an opinion.

  5. stumpy says:

    Burch has boast earrings!

  6. Darnell says:

    Hark! What’s this? Talk of independence? Thinly-guarded, racially divisive rhetoric? Methinks an election is coming!

  7. Election Time! says:

    Firstly, lets consider these gems:

    “So, the evil dragon of yesteryear is our dragon, not theirs.” <—(my favorite)
    "the winds of friendship seem to change."
    "Painting the picture of freedom from the oppressor just will not cut it with young people today."

    The reason he has to fluff up his opinion piece with fantastical imagery like this is because WITHOUT it, it would read something like: "Black, White, Slave, Master, Britain Bad, Independence Good, White People Okay (But Actually Evil), Jamaica Poll Wrong, I'm Right…Did I Mention They're Still Oppressing Us?"

    Lets make something perfectly clear: Burch does not care whether or not we go independent. As is the case with any election season, he knows that with their horrific record of socio-economic decay (of which he himself was instrumental in constructing), the only thing the PLP can win on is convincing black Bermudians that we are still oppressed, and that going independent will magically emancipate us overnight. This is offensive and sociopathic. I voted for the PLP in both 1998 and 2003. In 2007 I didn't vote, because I felt betrayed by the PLP, yet still wasn't comfortable with the idea of the UBP. Now, however, I will vote for the OBA, because at this point I will welcome ANY change from the current Government. Apologies if I seem too emotional about this (I'm as bad as Burch!)…it's just so debilitating to see our politicians intentionally incite hatred just so they can get re-elected and ruin the country further. It is a vicious cycle that will destroy us if something is not done to stop it.

    • I would strongly disagree with your statement. Col Burch has always talked, debated and discussed Independence for Bermuda. If you have followed his night time talk show, he often had this as his major subject of discussion. If you have ever engaged with him in personal conversations he would also discuss independence for Bermuda. He has been focus on this subject matter for years. So please beaware that this is not no election ploy for the COl. He is just an open honest man, and calls it as he sees it. He will tell you what you think, even if you disagree or hate the way he delivers the message. Thats what makes him so special.

      • Rob says:

        Did you say honest? What planet are you living on ?

      • Rob says:

        Did you say the Col. Is an honest man?

      • PEPPER says:

        I am o digusted to think that this old guy has any say in what is going on in BERMUDA !!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  8. Must Be An Election! says:

    Lets consider these gems:

    “So, the evil dragon of yesteryear is our dragon, not theirs.” <—(my favorite)
    "the winds of friendship seem to change."
    "Painting the picture of freedom from the oppressor just will not cut it with young people today."

    The reason he has to fluff up his opinion piece with fantastical imagery like this is because WITHOUT it, it would read something like: "Black, White, Slave, Master, Britain Bad, Independence Good, White People Okay (But Actually Evil), Jamaica Poll Wrong, I'm Right…Did I Mention They're Still Oppressing Us?"

    Cripplingly sad when you realize that this race-baiting will probably work.

    • Real Talk says:

      Although I am not personally in favour of Independence (being one of those 30 somethings who enjoys the convenience of a UK/EU passport and all that it brings) this is a well written piece which correctly IMHO identifies the challenges that the Government faces with pushing it’s Independence platform.

      The fact that this was penned by an intelligent SOMERSET fan is also evident.

  9. Must Be An Election! says:

    Lets make something perfectly clear: Burch does not care whether or not we go independent. As is the case with any election season, he knows that with their horrific record of socio-economic decay (of which he himself was instrumental in constructing), the only thing the PLP can win on is convincing black Bermudians that we are still oppressed, and that going independent will magically emancipate us overnight. This is offensive and sociopathic. I voted for the PLP in both 1998 and 2003. In 2007 I didn’t vote, because I felt betrayed by the PLP, yet still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of the UBP. Now, however, I will vote for the OBA, because at this point I will welcome ANY change from the current Government. Apologies if I seem too emotional about this (I’m as bad as Burch!)…it’s just so debilitating to see our politicians intentionally incite hatred just so they can get re-elected and ruin the country further. It is a vicious cycle that will destroy us if something is not done to stop it.

  10. cygnet says:

    Nice article Colonel. I know you have strong Somerset family roots, but it should have ended “Go St. Georges”.

  11. Whoyafoolin says:

    “…will be that much more meaningful when our constitutional status mirrors our affluence and development”. Last I checked, affluence meant wealth or being well-off. How well-off is Bermuda if we are approximately one billion dollars in debt?

  12. Burch = Shakespeare says:

    Let’s consider these gems from the article:

    “So, the evil dragon of yesteryear is our dragon, not theirs.” <—(my favorite!)

    "Painting the picture of freedom from the oppressor just will not cut it with young people today"

    "the winds of friendship seem to change"

    The reason he has to fluff up his opinion piece with fantastical word salad like this is because without it, it would sound something like:

    "Black White Independence Slave Master, England Bad, Independence Good, I Know Jamaica Better Than Jamaicans…Did I mention we're still oppressed? Also, Cup Match!"

  13. Hudson says:

    “For this generation, the argument has to be rational, factual and just make sense. Thankfully, I think the argument does all of that and more”… Really? But wait, he doesn’t make a factual, rational arguement other than we are “mature enough”. Can he read the Island’s Balance sheet? Does he understand simple economics? How does he think that Bermuda will survive without IB? IB will leave as this govt has proven inept and unwilling to accomodate the needs of IB. Bermuda is in the midst of the worst recession of our livetimes, unemployment is rising, social unrest and crime escalating. And Burch thinks now is the time to bring up Independence? He’s crackers, and those that blindly support shall ultimately get what they deserve. Somebody in the PLP hierarchy should rein him in – he’s a liability to the party and to the Country IMHO

  14. Terry says:

    President Ewart Brown ( 2 years thyme) and Vice President David Burch will be hosting members of the Carribean Conferance at the refurbished Government House this summer. Defence Secretary and Hommy Land Securities Secretary Ms. L Furbert along with other members of the newly formed Cabinet and the Chinese Uighurs will also be present………..

    Goslings Grey Rum will be served along with fresh Ginger root and Jamaican Bannana Jerky……I need a rum……………..

  15. Kim Smith says:

    “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”

  16. sandgrownan says:

    It’s certainly well written, well thought out and an intelligent opinion piece. Right up to the point where his logic falls flat.

    The argument for Independence is not rational, not factual, nor does it make any sort of sense. While the “feel good” factor will resonate with some, the reality is that Bermuda has gone backwards in the “PLP years” and is further from Independence than it ever was. The bitterness carried by people of Col. Burch’s generation isn’t relevant anymore, it’s not felt by younger people and the desire to perpetuate that bitterness by many in the PLP is the only political tool available to them.

    We need to remember that Col. Burch has been an (unelected) integral part of the PLP’s failure to move Bermuda forward over the last 13 years. Idiotic xenophobic and inward looking immigration and land policy laws, a billion $ debt, spiralling crime, reduced tourism, business leaving Bermuda rapidly (something the Col said would never happen), poor ethics, questionable practices (perhaps even corruption) and the failure to tackle problems in education. There is more. Burch has been in the middle of this failure. He’s partly responsible. For him to say Bermuda is more ready than ever to be Independent is frankly offensive.

    Not that that would bother him, he’s made a career out of being offensive.

  17. School Teacher says:

    Dear Col (Ret.) Burch,

    You have a role to play, unseating the current “Aristocracy” within the PLP.

    Please come back from out the wilderness if only for 6 months to help the PLP find itself again as we are bored with the pomp, pagentry and 15 letter words (and 30 minute sentences) we have had to endure since October 2010.

    I expect many in Bermuda may be tired of the verbose new News.

    At the very least get back a talk show Col.

    Even your Critics like to listen to your honest opinion.

    Yours truly
    soon to be dismissed (if they find me)
    School Teacher

  18. May Wetalk says:

    Colonel Burch you have no doubt started a debate with your article and questions… Hopefully, the debate will be logical, factual, and as sophisticated as you claim the Rock Island to be (although I am often unconvinced of that statement when I converse with the people).

    My thoughts… the 21st Century Version of emancipation and independence, especially in these economic times, show more adult children staying at home longer and/or returning because independence is a hard state to bring to fruition when not connected to the right people, or in the right place, or educated in the right concepts. Is this the right time for Bermuda to be independent, considering the facts and the timing…, not in my humble opinion.

    The comment, “Personally, I’m not sure which Jamaicans they asked because that’s not my experience with that country” holds true for Bermuda also. I wonder who is being polled when the PLP government is lavished with such praise and confidence for future governing ability… cause it does not resonate with any Bermudians I meet. Many of those polls appear to be, again, unsophisticated and uneducated in the political arena when it comes to the full consequences of certain actions.

    This generation of Bermudians is not being “defensive and insular”, they are, in fact, doing exactly what you state. The younger generation is taking advantage of the ability to spread their wings and determine a greater future that might one day benefit Bermuda. The advantages of the UK passport, lower cost education, and, if necessary, although not recommended, the welfare system that offers the possibility of better opportunities outside of a 21 mile zone, says that the act of self-determination is well and kicking, moving many people forward rather than standing still as so many on the Island are doing… “self-hating” and such…

    On a lighter note… it’s obvious that all of the statements in the article are flawed because of the last two words… If St. George had been the patron saint… all would be well… The cup will be staying in St. George this year… :)

  19. Just Curious says:

    Thanks Col.Burch… Go Somerset!

  20. Get up to date ! says:

    “Every British politician I’ve met always says the same thing in private “the 1968 Constitution really was the stepping stone to Independence…and we thought you’d do it within five years”

    That was what they MIGHT have been saying 35 years ago. What they’re saying now
    (now that they’re paying attention and ‘understand our situation’ a bit better) is that Bermuda can not go independant under this government.

  21. My two cents says:

    You can tell these older politicians are truly out of touch with the youth. Younger people think like Marc Bean, not Paula Cox, Colonel Burch, Rolfe Commisong, or Laverne Furbert. These older politicians are fine with their generation and older, but when you get to the 40 and under crowd, it’s just not so convincing anymore.

    • PEPPER says:

      My two cents you are so right…the youth do not have the hate that Lavern ,Rolfe or Burch has,…. it is time for these haters to stop the crap…the young people now are mingling with black and white…and do not want to hear from thes old @#$%^&*(….

  22. Truth is the light says:

    It is TRULEY amasing the impression Dr E Brown left on some of us, we just can’t seem to get him out of our heads, remember he said that he was going to make the UBP disappear well !!!!!! OBA and they still can’t stop talking bout him I thought you all were glad he is gone, then why can’t you let him go. God save Dr Brown Long live Dr Brown.

    • PEPPER says:

      long live doc Brown…..and you have no problem with how he screwed us? you need some help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. pebblebeach says:

    Ohhh, please give me a break will ya…enough of this…

  24. Kathy says:

    The people have been polled and the overwhelming majority of Bermudians (black and white) are not in favour of independence. It will eat the skin off Col. Burch to remain under a white British thumbtack. Independence has proven to be less than beneficial to many smaller colonies who have gone down this road, many of them wish they could be back under colony status. I think today we have to separate that which is history (slavery and all the suffering) from that which is now a future for a nation who lives in the 21st century and is competing globally for international business. We must examine which path will grant all Bermudians success (black and white). In my opinion, Col. Burch is as out of date as his age!

    • PEPPER says:

      We have enough of this mean jack ass…Burch needs to stay out of politics…he is a joke !!!!!

  25. Takbir Sharrieff says:

    When BERMUDA HAD SINCERE …..trustworthy people at the helm like Walter Robinson Sir.Hugh Richardson…Walter Brangman…Roosevelt Brown ……Austin Thomas…and other deeply passionate people that we could trust to take us there ….there was a passion for Independence.!When people like social butterflies…wolves in sheep’s clothing….opportunists and self interest politicians sneaked into the movement …..people lost their passion to become serfs to a new master…….the new elite.!When Bermuda can raise capable ….sincere new leaders…then the flame of Independence can be lit again………until then …deal with the smoldering……! Until then….I am proud to be a Bermudian Right Now.!We did it to ourselves.!

    • PEPPER says:

      Takbir,you are so right you mentioned names like Austin Thomas.Walter Bragman,Sir Hugh Richardson…. these men had Bermuda and Bermudians at heart…they were the best leaders Bermuda ever had..not to sure who walter Robinson was … But I sure had many talks with Walter Roberts,is he still aroud?

  26. I would strongly disagree with your statement. Col Burch has always talked, debated and discussed Independence for Bermuda. If you have followed his night time talk show, he often had this as his major subject of discussion. If you have ever engaged with him in personal conversations he would also discuss independence for Bermuda. He has been focus on this subject matter for years. So please beaware that this is not no election ploy for the COl. He is just an open honest man, and calls it as he sees it. He will tell you what you think, even if you disagree or hate the way he delivers the message. That’s what makes him so special.

    Col has always written brillant opionion pieces as well. He often began his night time-talk show by reading an opionion he wrote.

    Well written COL, a brillant piece on independence and where we as a country currently are.

    Reply

    • sandgrownan says:

      Yes and no. He’s well written, educated, and delivers his point of view so that you are never in any doubt. He is consistent too. Like most of us, he writes better than he speaks.

      None of that makes him right though. His public tantrums have been disgraceful, the use of the term “house n**ger”, his rants about whites, ex-pats, the idiot legislation he sponsored are just a handful of examples. His support of Ewart Brown should make him hang his head in shame as should his contribution to the damage caused to Bermuda by the PLP.

      He is absolutely dead wrong about Independence.

      • PEPPER says:

        David Burch, is a total waste of time ..we have had enough of his crap…this man has so much hate in his heart..I think here is this army man wearing ear rings!!!!! what a joke !!!!!!!!!!!! I think Burch and Brown have a lot to answer to…and Sir Richard Gozney has let these two get away with it at it’s worst…..and now the Gov is backing up the cog that let it happen !!!!!!!!! it does not get any better …

  27. SamD says:

    Much work still has to be done to emancipate the minds of many. Those that think the act of becoming an independent country will free their mind are sadly mistaken. No external factor can do that – one must do it themselves. Those who have freed their minds have an easier time deciding whether Bermuda should be independent. They can see the practicalities objectively. Those that have not freed their minds struggle to see beyond the anticipated emotional uplift. Practically speaking, countries are becoming less independent nowadays – so many believe Bermuda has today an ideal constitutional set up…virtually full control over its affairs but full EU passports/employment rights. Conversely put, if Bermuda were independent 50 years ago, we would only dream of negotiating to receive the benefits of EU rights and military protection, particularly for providing virtually nothing in return.

  28. Cleancut says:

    Premier cox is probably reading this opinion and blogs and saying to herself Oh No! Will this guy ever disappear, will quite frankly Premier, No. Watch out! He’s a comin.

  29. Questions says:

    So what’s independence going to do to promote growth and change our financial position of 1+ BILLION dollars worth of debt??

    How will independence correct the abundance of social issues that we’re faced with today?

    Aren’t there more important issues than the arbitrary issue of independence?

    What does it do for US, the people of Bermuda?

  30. Graham Maule says:

    I am a Somerset man, like Colonel Burch. I also served in the Bermuda Regiment, just as he did. I support Somerset and I am not afraid to use my real name, unlike some commentators above. There is a certain phrase that these commentators should learn to appreciate, in the Regiment, it was called “Testicular Fortitude”. This means not hiding behind pseudonyms.

    I read Colonel Burch’s comments about Gordon Brown with some alarm. Gordon Brown was the Prime Minister of the UK and led the UK Labour government. I believe that Colonel Burch should highlight that the state of politics in the UK allowed for a country like Bermuda, with its Bermudian Progressive Labour Party government, to be “thrown under the bus” by a British Labour government. In some way, this reveals just how unsavoury politics can be, since the Labour government in the UK was arguably prepared to abandon its ideology and burn bridges with an affiliated political entity.

    I visited Edinburgh with the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums in 2003, and while I was there, I felt very proud to be a Bermudian musician who could say “I performed in the Edinburgh Tattoo”!

    My pride was twofold. Not only did I feel proud of being a Bermudian musician in the Edinburgh Tattoo, I was also proud because my deceased Scottish father originally came from Edinburgh. I also felt very proud of my Scottish ancestry because of the Edinburgh Tattoo.

    There are some interesting parallels between Bermuda and Scotland. Both countries are classified as British, and both have coalitions which feel that Independence is necessary. I am not going to fault Colonel Burch, his opinion is his own, and he feels that Bermuda should be independent.

    If the majority of Bermudian voters are opposed to Independence, I have to believe that they will make their feelings known to their representatives, and unless the representatives intend to commit political suicide, they will heed their constituents’ wishes.

    I think that a young Bermudian looking for an opportunity to gain international experience so that they can establish a strong career at home in Bermuda views Independence as an impediment to their international career development.

    My opinion is that we have more pressing matters than Independence to contend with here in Bermuda at this time, and unless real progress is taken on our economic situation, the social decay in our country, and finding a way for our entire Bermudian community to heal the many wounds and injuries which have been manifested by this social decay, “Quo Fata Ferunt” will be an extremely unhappy motto for Bermudians in the future.

    In closing, I would like to invite all of the people of Bermuda to march the Cup with Somerset Cricket Club when we reclaim it next week. I truly hope that we can all celebrate the Emancipation of our Cup!

    • YES MATE! says:

      I wasn’t aware that there was a pro-independance coalition in Bermuda. Could you enlighten us by naming this coalition please?

  31. David says:

    I’m a pessimist – I admit it. When the glass which once was full has reached the halfway point and no new liquid is forecast to enter it – it’s half empty! At its best Bermuda has shown the trappings of a small miracle nation – confounding many overseas observers throughout the ages. At its worst – a miserable isolated rock with no obvious reason for anyone to want to stay and try and make a life here. Read your history.
    So – IF we manage to figure out a way to a make long-term living out of tourism – our only real hope to be honest – then I MIGHT be inclined to to try a sip of the independence kool-aid from what I would hope is a soon to be refilling glass.
    The deal we have now from the not so Great anymore Britain is the best possible deal on the planet – people are willing to pay with their lives to try and get into a country we saunter into anytime we want. Not heaven on earth – to be sure. Just better than what they left behind. Somewhere where the glass is so freakin empty that MY GREAT NATION or MY GLORIOUS HOMELAND are vacuous, meaningless promises on their cracked and dry lips.
    From what I know of you Col. Burch you are a courageous man with little self doubt – successful military career leads to high-profile political appointments and a track record of getting things done after all. But a ‘once more into the breach’ call to arms is not going to work for us glass-is half-empty-pessimistic ????????????? REALISTS!.
    Peace (and lets go Saint Jo Blues!!!)

  32. YES MATE! says:

    Ex-Colonel Burch do you really think all it takes to change your public image is write a pretty little thousand plus word essay? Sorry man, I don’t drink kool-aid. You will always be the so-called army man who pledged allegiance to the queen of England who turned failed politician. Yes, FAILED. You were never elected. You shall always be the disagribble, mean, prissy racist that you are who hates white people and has a general disdain for black people who don’t share your exact views and opinions. Do Bermuda a favour and choose a nice rock then crawl under it. We have shown you already at the polls that we don’t want you, and the billion dollar debt that you helped create shows we don’t need you. At the very least please just be quiet.

  33. Mike says:

    Trying to sell a dream (as a member of the last generation), to the young realists of this generation, will not work.

    He is entitled to his opinion, but that’s all it is – an opinion.

  34. Truth be Told says:

    Its so funny how a man can write an opinion piece displaying how he feels on the topic and people on here can jump on and bash him yet he is mean racist and so on. SMH you people are a joke.

    I don’t know where you get your stats ether because most people I talk to feel he was one of the hardest working straight up politicians there were. You don’t have to agree with him but he always spoke what he felt. I love this piece from him and look forward to hearing more from him. If this opinion he wrote came off racist to you, you are a joke and guilty of racism because you feel attacked by the slightest mention of race even when it is relevant to the topic. Burch will be back and I for one am happy.

    Everything is an election ploy to some of you people is that the OBA’s MO? Everything that comes from the PLP or someone affiliated with them is to be branded an election ploy to distract from what is being said or done? It won’t work so give it up.

    Great write up Col. Burch. Go Somerset!!!

    • YES MATE! says:

      @Truth be Told. Did you even proof read what you wrote?
      “people on here can jump on and bash him yet he is mean racist and so on.”
      Yet he is mean and racist. You just agreed that he is mean and racist.

      “If this opinion he wrote came off racist to you, you are a joke and guilty of racism”
      Where did I say his essay came off as racist? I said that HE is racist. Do your research, this is something that he does not deny. I can guarantee that your beloved DB read your post and judging by your comprehension skills and grasp of the English language, he would dismiss you as uneducated and would be privately embarrassed to have you supporting him. Enjoy the kool-aid!

  35. It may not be a choice for Bermuda in the future, to become Independent. The UK may just cut the coat strings anyway. The UK are in heavy debt as a country. There is nothing at present they can really do for Bermuda. So do not be surprise if one day the call comes and the mother country says “Let go of my coat strings”. The younger generation may be force to accept it with out any choice to the matter. It is important that the younger generation get ready for what they will do !! Just saying it can happen. So discussion on Independence is important, it is not always about what you want, it may be what the mother country wants. Just thinking……. it has happen before…..

    • Mike says:

      Well, that certainly is news to me. Can you tell us which country (ie) the UK has done this to?

    • Rob says:

      Poppycock! Change your name. specialneedsgirl.

  36. YOu can never predict in the future which direction the mother country may take based upon the current economic climate we are facing. Look at this week in Europe, the mother country did not help out the European Union, despite the fact their ecomony will impact the UK in a big way. UK did not make any contribution to the problems the Eu are facing. It was a crisis this week in the EU. So never sit comfortably thinking nothing is ever possible. While it may not happen during my time, or it may, young people must be ready. If at any point they come to see that Bermuda is a cost to them, they will cut the coat strings, without Bermuda’s input. These are things we must consider, while we continue to discuss and reflect upon the issues related to independence. While this may not have happen before, what prevents it from happening in the future, times have changed. There is always a first time for everything. Bermuda will have a specialneed to deal with than. Just food for thought !!

    • Rob says:

      hey! Littlegirl i am British just like you. Just keep flying the flag, it will never happen.

  37. Shaking the Head says:

    The more “opinion” pieces on Independence penned by the likes of David Burch and Waton Brown, the more it shows there is a massive divide within the PLP, held out of the public spotlight. The moderates headed by The Premier versus the old guard who are looking to get back the power. The Premier is on rocky ground unless she shows who is boss. More of the “we had to deceive you” and all it will do is weaken the PLP.

  38. There is no massive divide within the PLP. However members may differ on their opionion as it relates to certain issues such as Independence, crime and other subjects. This is okay, as not everyone in a family always think alike or share the same ideas, this is what makes for a party great. The party allows for freedom of expression, to share what you think. At party meetings, persons are encouraged to share their views, it does not have to fall in line with the popular view. But, in terms of the issues related to Independence, Walton and Col think alike and there are others as well. The Col and Walton have always written opinion pieces and express and provoke persons to think about issues on a deeper level.

    • Shaking the Head says:

      There is a massive divide which will be shown after the next election. If the PLP win it will be a repeat of when Jennifer Smith was thrown out. Back will come David Burch, and Ewart et al in the background, and out will go International Business. They already have Plan B in place after the period 2006 -2010. Hello poverty.

      • Rob says:

        I bet col.Burch can’t wait to send some more Shredded Mail.

  39. Truth be Told says:

    @ yes mate YOU ARE A WASTE OF TIME.

    How’s my comprehension skills and grasp of the English language. In that statement?

  40. 04foxache says:

    I am very pleased that there was not a single double negative in that entire essay. I have a lot of respect for the Lt Col for his work at immigration and I know he is very familiar with the world of IB as an insurance professional. However, I have no respect for his rhetoric that is awash with poor grammar and thickly affected Bermudian accent clearly designed to dupe a demographic into identifying with him. I am offended that the “we” to whom he refers does not include me. Painting a picture of Bermuda as a nation of indigenous people who were colonized and enslaved by Britain and suggesting that independence is the necessary realization of emancipation is a disgusting ploy.