John Barritt’s Final Speech As Opposition Leader

August 1, 2011

With the closing of Parliament for summer break, Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance [OBA] John Barritt has delivered his final speech before the legislature as Opposition Leader, and possibly his final speech in the House as an MP.

On May 17, 2011 at the press conference launching the OBA, Mr. Barritt indicated that he would serve as leader of the fledgling Party only until his successor was selected at the OBA’s Leadership Conference – a period of four months.

Yesterday [July 31] Mr Barritt confirmed that nothing had changed, and said “I am standing by what I said in May; I will not be a candidate for leadership and that I am prepared to step down as MP and make way for the new leader if he or she is elected from outside the current elected group.”

oba political bermuda may 17 2011

During the press conference Mr. Barritt said, “The OBA wants to be the agent for change, and that is reflected in how we’ve set up the party. Let me share with you an example of what I mean; an example of the commitment I am prepared to make for the change that is required: It was agreed that whoever became the interim leader should not be a candidate in the leadership convention, which should take place in four month’s time. That is the role I’m playing.”

“The leadership contest is open to anybody, and since the Bermuda Constitution says a party leader must have a seat in the House of Assembly, I have indicated that I am prepared to step down to make way for that new leader should he or she not already be a Member of Parliament.”

Mr Barritt continued to say, “I have committed to this role because there can be no change without people willing to make change. That is my particular commitment to the One Bermuda Alliance and to change.”

If this timetable is kept, it can be expected that the OBA will hold its first leadership conference in September of this year – at the latest. Sources indicate the OBA is expected to make an announcement about the date in coming days.

While there have been no formal announcements by candidates seeking to succeed the political veteran, former Bermuda Democratic Alliance [BDA] leader Craig Cannonier and former United Bermuda Party [UBP] leader Michael Dunkley are considered by many to be the front runners, and speculation also exists that Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards may be contemplating a run for leadership.

With both front runners currently serving in the Senate and not elected to Parliament, a victory at the leadership conference by either of them would mean that Mr. Barritt could end up keeping his pledge made in May, and stepping down from his seat in the House of Assembly that he has held since 1993.

If the new OBA Leader is to be selected from the present elected representatives, the selection will be between: Shawn Crockwell, Dr. Grant Gibbons, Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Donte Hunt, Louise Jackson, Trevor Moniz, Mark Pettingill, Bob Richards and Cole Simons.

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Comments (11)

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  1. haha says:

    So when will the Dunkley/Cannonier campaign begin? Will it be a public campaign as some wanted the Cox/Lister contest to be? Especially if the OBA want to be considered the government in waiting, shouldn’t the public get to know where each of the candidates sits on the issues?

  2. You got me says:

    ?….

  3. B, a Lady says:

    I hope it is not Dunkkey/Cannonier. Talk about mastering the art of being on air for 90 seconds, without appearing to have researched the topic at hand. Literally one cliche, then another, then another. Where are your facts and figures? Anecdotes are so passé! I want insightful, thoughtful, intelligent statesmen/ women. Say what you like about her, the person I most admire for this is Jennifer Smith. I could listen to her all day. I may not agree with her, but she shows vast intellect and political knowledge. She has her facts and figures, and sets out her thoughts in an organized fashion. No preaching and shouting, just the facts.

    • PEPPER says:

      B …you must be drinking the Dame’s favorite champagne,,,you said you could listen to her all day ? wow !!!that says a lot about you…. thank God Doctor Brown had to deceive us..beause the Dame was pissed most of the time… we all need to think about who the hell is in charge of this island ..and the P.L.P. are leading us to God knows where… and guess what ? we are allowing them to do this !!!

      • haha says:

        that is untrue and disrespectful…your comments say a lot about YOU!

  4. haha says:

    Especially in the interest of transparency…

  5. Terry says:

    Holidays over. Everyone back at their desk. And you wonder why we are where we are.

    Labor Day…looking forward to it. Peacefull, quiet, Christmas too…..

  6. Terry says:

    B,a Lady…Guess you weren’t round in the late 60′s-early 70′s. Do some research and find out who was louder, the BBC or CBS………

  7. Hard Rock says:

    Who will miss John Barritt as he is called the fence sitter, no decision whiner of the party.

    OBA on bad leg because they started all the wrong way and can’t be trusted. Recall, they all blasted the bda cross overs mps and then joined them without letting us that voted then into parliament decide the demise of our party.

    NO ONE BELIEVES THAT THE OBA IS THE ANSWER – our independent candidates will be rolled out soon and they are the ones without party, gibbons or dunkley nor barritt connections

    • bermyshotta says:

      @ soft rock – an where r de independent candidates goin…nowhur!!! haha dats jokes kiiid!

  8. Pastor Syl says:

    @ Hard Rock:
    I truly hope there will be some independent candidates – at least 20 of them! It is past time for party politics to end in this little, little place. There was a real need for a rallying point back in ’63, but over time, party alliances have divided and polarized the people and created more problems than they solve. It has reached the point where whichever side one supports, one is convicted the other side doesn’t care about the people or the island.

    Electing trusted individuals based on perception of integrity, experience, intelligence and love of country rather than voting party lines might be the only answer at this point in our history. I certainly believe any other choice will only get us more of the same crap we object to now.