‘Government Spin Misleading Bermuda’

January 15, 2012

[Updated] Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards has accused Government of “misleading Bermuda once again to think that the economy is better than it is.”

The One Bermuda Alliance Member of Parliament said Progressive Labour Party efforts to trumpet 53 new insurance registrations in 2011 ignore the fact most of these firms have no actual presence on the island.

“Of the 53 ‘new companies’, a significant number, 23, are ‘paper companies’ or ‘special purpose insurers’, that were formed to perform specific insurance transactions,” he said. ”They don’t actually have a physical presence with staffing jobs, though they do generate business for accounting and law firms and management companies. 2011 saw only two significant companies formed — Third Point and PaC.”

The Progressive Labour Party has dismissed recent criticisms by the Opposition, saying “while Doomsday Bob Richards and his United Bermuda Party [UBP] turned OBA friends are out there telling us the sky is falling and that international business is on the way out, the facts tell another story.

“While the global economic crisis continues to rage and the impact on Bermuda is undeniable, it’s clear that there are positive signs on the international business front under this PLP Government.”

Another recent post on the Bermuda economy at the PLP blog said, “We’ve heard Doomsday Bob [Richards], Lights Out Grant [Gibbons] and the rest of the UBP turned OBA Team say for years that the sky is falling. Like clockwork for the last 15 years, they’ve been saying that a PLP Government will bring about the end of international business.

“But, it hasn’t happened. In fact, the opposite has happened. Bermuda’s international business sector has grown by leaps and bounds since the UBP left office in 1998,” said the PLP.

“The PLP have been having a wonderful childish time attacking me,” said Mr Richards. “It’s part of their shtick to tear down people who have different points of view.

“My approach to public policy has always been to tell the truth as I see it. People need the best information to make the best decisions. This is especially important when times are tough.

“In the past few years, we have seen this Government try to tear down what I have said on the economy, from warnings about the coming recession and the need to plan accordingly, to fiscal caution in the face of declining revenues.

Mr Richards continued: “The Government ignored my advice and Bermudians have paid the price for it in the form of continuing bad policies that have cost jobs and income and cutbacks in services and employment.

“This week, the Government is trumpeting 53 new companies coming to Bermuda. This is a classic example of PLP Government spin misleading Bermuda once again to think that the economy is better than it is. Spin serves no purpose but that of the spinner.

“Here are the facts of this particular bit of information: Of the 53 ‘new companies’, a significant number, 23, are ‘paper companies’ or ‘special purpose insurers’, that were formed to perform specific insurance transactions.

“They don’t actually have a physical presence with staffing jobs, though they do generate business for accounting and law firms and management companies. 2011 saw only two significant companies formed – Third Point and PaC.

“Government touting 53 insurance company incorporations as a 50 percent increase over 2010 creates another false impression, given that 2010 was one of the worst years on record for company incorporations. [Please see accompanying graph]. It’s like a Tourism Minister crowing over a 100 percent increase in winter cruise ship business, when two ships visit the Island compared to the year before,” said Mr Richards.

Mr Richards continued on to say that, “53 insurance company incorporations is an improvement over the record low numbers recorded in 2008, 2009 and 2010, but it is well below the annual average for Bermuda, which ranges between 70 and 80 and higher. Let’s keep things in proper perspective.

“New incorporations are good for Bermuda because they generate business for local service companies, and there is no doubt that that has occurred among the 53 ‘new companies’ in 2011. But the Island remains in a deep hole that has been driven largely by the loss of international businesses.

“Our unprecedented levels of unemployment, empty rental units, declining local sales are all a reflection of the outflow of business people and their families to other jurisdictions.

“How we manage our way out of these hard times will depend on all of us conducting our daily affairs with the best understanding of our economic situation. Government information that misleads does nothing to help the situation.

“The bottom line here is that the Government, through its policies and statements, has been unwelcoming to international business and until that changes we are unlikely to see an improvement,” concluded Mr Richards.

Updated: The PLP issued another response to Mr Richards comments, saying “We understand that the Shadow Minister of Finance doesn’t believe that there is a global economic crisis raging and that it is severely impacting Bermuda. But, it’s reality. And, the fact that we saw big gains in new registrations in spite of this global economic crisis is welcome news.

“But, don’t take our word for it. Peter Willitts of the Bermuda Captive Conference called the registration number “nothing short of fantastic.” Tom McMahon of the Bermuda Insurance Management Association, said that “these are indeed great numbers for Bermuda” and that it was “a great vote of confidence by the international market” in our island. And, Tim Faries of Appleby said that our 2011 performance “bodes well for the future.”

“Bob Richards may attempt to feebly spin his way out of this good news by comparing numbers we produced in the midst of a global financial crisis to the numbers produced during global financial boom times. But, that’s disingenuous and the non-political IB executives know it.

“That’s why they are lauding the numbers and Bob Richards isn’t. Bob Richards has a political stake in talking down Bermuda. But, the non-political IB executives don’t. They are telling it like it is, and, the truth of the matter is that in the middle of a global financial crisis, the registration news is indeed encouraging.”

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Comments (103)

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  1. navin johnson says:

    they will not listen to you Bob as they last thing The Government wants to hear is the cold hard truth.....

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    • Day Late.......... says:

      You are kidding right. This is the same Bob Richard's who makes things up on the fly, is now saying that govt doens't listen to him...

      Listen to him on what? All he does is complain but offers nothing of an alternate view or vision.

      Its crap, and he knows it. Most countries saw severe challeneges in 2008 until now. Ask Bob Richards what he would have done differently. Ask him what programs he would have cut, he cannot and will not answer as he knows that he would have done that same that every other government has done...support the economy via governemnt spending.

      I'd prefer to listen to the insurance execs who do not have a political agenda rather than Bob Richards who never saw good news he couldn't make bad.

      I'm sure if the number were down, "Paper Companies" or not, he would have said PLP is to blame.

      Bob, you really intent on running down Bermuda in an attempt to win, its really sad.

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      • Yup says:

        PLP are the ones in POWER. They are the ones running Bermuda down.

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      • bermyshotta says:

        @ Day late - I think ya a day late yaself bra!! Why would Bob make things up?! He's part of de opposition which is THEIR JOB to be de opposition. Y would he suggest things...so de PLP can take it and use it as ders, ya right! He doesn't complain!!! That's der job! DE BIGGEST joke in ya whole rambling is "support the economy via governemnt spending." How are dey supporting de economy, I sure as sh*t aink seen a decent paycheck, bonuses, BIGGER/MORE taxes for us common guys, they taking trips n tings like dat. And for what so THEY can get richer while ppl like u n me jus keep paying MORE and get TAXED MORE (i.e. de aiport 35%). Gimme a break! What's really sad is dat you won't take it as it is n jus keep feedin on dis BS de PLP feeds you. Go ask de insurance execs yaself, sum care bout Bermy, but most don't dey jus worried bout savin money in hard times, n y bermy, cuz u don't pay certain taxes. Work on ya time so ya not late nemore!

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        • PEPPER says:

          My God ...where were you educated ?

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          • Long~Tales says:

            pepper, stop hating and read his comment, he makes alot of good points.

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          • Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

            whats wrong Pepper ?...did u not get rhe POINT of his Comment? or are u jus worried about grammar!! Geeesh !!! thats the attitude that got us in the predicament that we're in .....

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  2. Oh Well!! says:

    The kindergarden style name calling practiced by the PLP is ridiculous. Why don't they set an example for the people of this island to follow. Haven't the heard ot 'the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth'.

    They will not get my vote this time around. My position is worse off than it was 5 years ago, with no raise for more than 3 years and the cost of living on this island has sky rocketed.

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  3. No More Spin - OBA or PLP says:

    i do not want Bob and his OBA colleagues to lead Bermuda as the reality is that both parties need a complete top down overhaul with new MPs, it is sad that the brightest and most successful people in this Bermuda are not attracted to the circus that is now political leadership. Both Political Parties also have an undercurrent of wanting to get their hands on the public purse to increase cashflow for fledgling businesses or to extract carry opportnities from the next big project or idea requiring govt funding.

    Reluctantly I do agree with most of this article as the 53 new insurers have not created even 10 new jobs and the BMA, Government and Industry reports on last years figures are couched in a fashion that leads you to believe that we are again in a growth cycle with jobs being created. The insurance industry must simply be honest the new Insurers out source all their functions in the first 2 - 4 years and then if they are successful they may expand into having their own staff but this is dependent on how successful ( or not) the underwriting discipline and decisions have been with their 'outsourcing partner'.

    the minimal jobs that have been created will always be at the top end to run these small operations which focus on short tail exposure and the key element the public is not being told is that most hedge funds and institutional investors who are making a play in the Bermuda reinsurance sector are attracted by the uncorrelated returns of this asset class, coupled with the efficient regulatory system that allows them to establish a reglated entity, that can they be rated by an external agency BUT WITHOUT the expense of having to rent premises, emloy costly staff who come with pension, payroll tax and other longer term employee obligations that make their short term investment play uneconomical.

    its time to be onest with the public, both The PLP and OBA need to stop the spin and look at creating an economic and fiscal environment that enables all new business activity and entrepeneurship, as the reality is that after the 2008 crisis the offshore tax avoidance game will continue to face significant headwinds prohibiting new players from establishing operations in places like Bermuda.

    The Governments recent measures with 10 year PRC and restricting entry level, or largely blue collar work permits is slightly niaeve and demonstrates that the current mindset is simply short term focussed on increased BMA licensing fees and the resultant professional fees generated by the law, accounting, insurance managers who manage these short term vehicles. The market has changed and you will not see the XL, ACE or classic Class 4 model for some time, if ever again.

    its time to be honsest with ourselves that Bermuda must now focus on the NEXT BIG THING(s) to make our economy successful as the insurance sector is now mature and the work permit issue is window dressing, once it is no longer tax efficient companies will leave.

    we need honest leaders in the OBA and PLP who have he courage to rely on the best talent and ideas from the electorate, or external investors so that we all benefit for another 30+ years, its time to step away from protectionism, privateering and civil kleptocracy.

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    • Claudio says:

      I agree 110% with this post!

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    • Truth says:

      its not honesty that is the issue. For the most part, you have people with good intentions or who are honest people. They are just inept. Ingnorant. Uneducated. They are not familiar with the issues about which you speak...

      You can manage Bermuda Inc with a high school diploma

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    • Pastor Syl says:

      Thank you, No More Spin, for your further clarification. Sadly, because of what I see around me, I am far more inclined to trust what Mr. Richards says, rather than the super optimistic stuff issued from the PLP. Their name-calling doesn't make it any better and just perpetuates the sense that they think they are still children playing school-yard games. NOT a confidence-builder!

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      • LOL (original) says:

        Yes what was that about name calling as a last resort when losing an argument.

        LOL maybe the PLP blogers that continue the trent can let us all know. Or does it depend which side of the agrument your on................lolololol

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    • LOL (original) says:

      You have painted the picture of reality. Agree 100%

      LOL step up poitical parties it's not about you it's about "ALL of US".

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  4. Sean Soares says:

    Oh don't ruin their schtick with things like facts and figures. It's only Bermuda's future at stake, and not like the Governments argument is akin to calling someone a big meany, while still trying to build castles in the sandbox.....

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  5. LaVerne Furbert says:

    The above story is very poorly written. I am unable to tell what Mr. Richards actually said and what the PLP actually said and what Bernews is saying. For example Bernews writes “The Progressive Labour Party has dismissed recent criticisms by the Opposition, saying “while Doomsday Bob Richards and his United Bermuda Party [UBP] turned OBA friends are out there telling us the sky is falling and that international business is on the way out, the facts tell another story”. Did Mr. Richards say that the Progressive Labour Party has dismissed recent criticisms.....”, or is that what Bernews is saying? Did Mr. Richards say “.... the facts tell another story” or is that what Bernews is saying? I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    That being said, I will say that “Doomsday” Richards can go and on criticising the government’s fiscal policies, but at the end of the day, after the election is called, “Doomsday” Richards will still be the Shadow Finance Minister, smirk and all. But then again, he may not even have a seat in Parliament after the next election. Remember, he only won by 25 votes and I don’t believe he has endeared himself to many more voters in Constituency 11 since 2007. Remember, the OBA/UBP members didn’t want him as their leader, in spite of the fact that Craig Cannonnier was a “colt” – Doomsday Richards’ words, not mine.

    By the way, "Doomsday" Richards needs to stop saying that nonsense that "The PLP Government has been unwelcoming to international business". That's pure fiction on his part and his comrades in the OBA/UBP.

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    • sandgrownan says:

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...what..you say something... oh no...you didn't....go back to sleep..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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    • jt says:

      If Ms. Furbert cannot comprehend this article how on earth could she ever understand what Ms. Cox so poorly articulates?

      As for the article's content..the truth hurts..all of us.

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    • Sean Soares says:

      Hahahahhahahahaha. Oh don't make me LOL all over myself! This coming from someone who ignores the message and throws petty name calling and race baiting whenever and wherever possible.

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    • Death to Party Politics says:

      How mature for you to continue the 'Doomsday' name-calling, whether you agree or not. Amazing the political immaturity on this island.

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    • Family Man says:

      It's a good thing we have those investigative reporters at the Workers Voice standing ready to explain all the intricacies of finance to the rest of us. What would we do without them? Now that the eceonomy is turning around they deserve a big raise.

      Maybe Laverne can get the ball rolling by explaining the BIU finances and why they are so complex that the team of union accountants can never seem to get their financial results ready on time. A six month deadline is far too tight. Laverne is someone of the utmost integrity and a true wordsmith so I know it will be a fascinating story for all of us.

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    • Peter says:

      Hi LaVerne,

      The phrase you singled out is gramatically correct. When you list two people and quote something, it is the first person's quote.

      For example: The PLP has dismissed recent criticisms by the Opposition, saying "XXXX." In this example, The PLP is saying that. Also, reading the actual quote it would seem somewhat evident. Bernews has written this article properly.

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      • jt says:

        Peter - I think anyone with basic englich competency knows this - or at least comperehended the article - inclucing Ms. Furbert. She was simply off on her normal deflection tactics when facts come to the fore.

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    • Pastor Syl says:

      LaVerne, as a writer yourself, I am really surprised that you are struggling to understand this article. Bernews' grammar is head and shoulders above much of what I see in our print media, and was very easy for me to 'get it.' Makes me wonder.

      Was that the only thing you could find to criticise in the article? I wish you would stop trying to shoot the messenger(s) and address the issues.

      Further, many of the PLP's policies have not been friendly or welcoming to IB. Whether the OBA or the UBP say it or not, or PLP recognizes how unfriendly they have been (or not), most of IB has already voted with their feet by leaving.

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    • Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

      No Matter what group of people come together to form an opposition...the PLP supporters will label them as UBP...sad really..

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  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    It has gotten to the point where nothing announced by the PLP can be taken at face value. They have become masters at distorting the truth.

    Whenever grand announcements are made regarding EB, the first question to ask is, how many new jobs have been created by these 'new' companys? How many empty apartments are they going to fill?

    The best the PLP can come up with is to attack the messenger who dares to question them & call him names. Schoolyard talk.

    Give us a break PLP. It has been 13 years. Grow up.

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  7. jr says:

    as long as the oba continue to speak the truth they will have my vote in the next election

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  8. sigh says:

    So why did all the independent International Business organizations all put out statements saying that these new registrations were great news for Bermuda? Those organizations are not PLP affiliated but they recognized the benefit of these organizations.

    Does Bob Richards actually want Bermuda to succeed? I have my doubts that he does.

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    • sandgrownan says:

      Richards is merely pointing out that while there have been startups/incorporatons, to listen to PLP spin one would think the economy is thriving, specifically IB. It's not. You'd have to be blind or stupid or both to think otherwise.

      Your last comment/question is idiotic. Sorry.

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      • Voice of Reason says:

        I don't think anyone thinks the economy is thriving, and I don't think the PLP has ever said that.

        The last question/comment is right on the Money. Bob Richards never met good news under the PLP that he didn't like.

        How on earth is this BAD NEWS. How does Bob Richards make this into BAD NEWS. He needs to get a grip as people will start calling him Bad News Bob!

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      • Itsaboutallofus says:

        The funny thing is that many of you are discrediting the PLP but it was not just the PLP that released statements of the encouraging statistics. Numerous different groups released statements of the positive trend. Why therefore is the PLP the liars, and exaggerators but not the other individuals and the groups they represent?

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  9. Jaro says:

    I never recalled the Government saying the economy is better than it really is. All the Government stated was that was an increase of insurance companies registering here as opposed to last year.. isn't that true?

    I dont see any spin to that, I do see if Bermuda is not friendly to INternational Business why are companies still domiciling here? Obviously our policies are attracting them. Regarding to moving operations down here, they have to consider cost... and as mentioned by some of the companies that left.. the cost of doing business is too expensive, plus there is uncertainty regarding US tax structures.

    Even if some are just registered here as Mr. Richards states THEY ARE STILL GENERATING BUSINESS!!! The more business local accounting and law firms have here, the less likely hey will lay of Bermudian staff.

    Furthermore, the days of having insurance companies moving operations to Bermuda are gone. As an leading insurer once stated in the RG... the business model for reinsurance has changed.

    I have a question for Mr. Richards.... If the amount of insurance registrations were down from last year.. would really matter because they are just 'paper companies?'

    I disagree with Mr. Richards, I never saw Government trying to spin the results all they stated that there are some positive signs on the IB front.. and an increase of insurance registrations is a positive sign non?

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  10. Funny..... says:

    LMAO @ Doomsday Bob!

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  11. Itsaboutallofus says:

    I am confused. Nowhere did the Government or the PLP say that things were back to our hey day. No where was it mentioned that all of a sudden the economic boom was back.
    All the statement said was that we had a 50% increase over last year. Isnt that true? How is that considered spin?
    I would think that Bob and his friends would be happy that Bermuda is attracting business. However it seems to be that they actually want the economic situation to continue to worsen. Strange isn't it?

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  12. Back says:

    @ Mrs Ferbert can you not articulate without name calling this is where I loose respect for so called politicians,you prove again to undecided voters that hatred and divisiveness are at the core of your beliefs.

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  13. Rhonda says:

    OBA will pick apart anything in a desperate attempt to out spin the spinners...S&P are great when they are down grading Bermuda....they become the worst rating agent when they say anything positive....53 companies is not positive,to the OBA if only 30 companies came the OBA would be the first to say....The PLP is so bad they could not even get 23 paper companies.....this is two of many reasons why the OBA can't be trusted....they flip flop more than a flip flop...will say anything to please whom ever they are speaking to...better get them while you can, cause now they are for gaming and gay rights...which I am for as well..but instead of having the conversation they just flip flop and spin...the OBA can't be trusted..my new slogan...

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    • Yup says:

      PLP cannot be trusted. PLP are selling us out to foreigners and the New York suits.

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    • Sean Soares says:

      Rhonda, sounds to me like they are doing their job. The PLP statement was misleading, if you took it for what it said, you would believe that there were a bunch of new positions on the horizon for all those people out of work. This simply isn't true. It creates false hope. May be if they were a bit more accurate with the information that they posted, it would give less wiggle room for the OBA to make a statement. Simply put, post the whole truth or ALL of the information.

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      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        According "Doomsday" Richards (not my words), "They (the new companies) don’t actually have a physical presence with staffing jobs, though they do generate business for accounting and law firms and management companies" So does this not mean that these companies are putting money in somebody's pockets?

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      • Itsaboutallofus says:

        Sean,

        Where exactly did the PLP say that there were a "bunch of new positions on the horizon'? Can you point out that direct quote or anything that can be interpreted to say this?

        If not, then you are perpetuating a complete falsehood with your lies.

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      • Rhonda says:

        @ Sean Soares No I would not have "believe that there were a bunch of new positions on the horizon for all those people out of work." because I understand that there are different types of Insurance products. Bermuda as a whole benefits from them all....,Even the 30 companies that are not so called paper companies they still may not hire more than 30 Bermudians....IB companies hire a very small % of Bermudians directly....I know this and i know the OBA knows this as well...they are fooling you,who does not appear to know how the IB/Insurance industry operates...

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        • Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

          when ur glass is empty....sure 30 drops of water is better than none...lets see how that'll help us all...

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        • Lady Scribbler says:

          Rhonda- "IB companies hire a very small % of Bermudians directly….I know this" is a complete falsehood. Many of the IB's show a majority of jobs held by Bermudians. Please check your facts. Many of the execs in the big organizations such as ACE and XL are Bermudian. My company is 78% Bermudian, including our CEO.

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  14. Shaking the Head says:

    While the PLP continue with their childish postings and desparately try to hang on to their pressure "power", the world has changed. The Internet has drastically changed how business in the real world is conducted. If you read about the USA, UK, Europe etc sales of consumer items are generally down in shops but internet sales are up. Jobs are reducing as computers have taken over. Bermuda is no different, except that IB is the controlling factor, like it or not, not Front Street, not the BIU and not the politicians. Jobs will continue to drip away, another round is about to begin, and Bermuda has to adjust to meet the challenges. Bermuda has to face reality, and now is the time for reality and working together. This constant name calling and pathetic personal attacks will not bring in, let alone hold, jobs here. The Government, who does have the responsibility to provide good governance is the one to set the tone. Unfortunately it seems unlikely to do so.

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  15. Truth says:

    Bob Richards is not a stupid man. But until he learns how to really speak to the people and stop with his arrogant tone - "my advice" "I told them years ago" and bring forth real solutions in a constructive and collaborative fashion, he and the OBA will stay in a position of Opposition - don't they see that? With each day and every comment he utters, he sounds like the UBP...nothing fresh. nothing new. Just criticise and we are tired of it. We want solutions! I bet the 1,000 plus that showed up for their leadership elections are truly disillusioned now. What a wasted opportunity. Gibbons with a Harvard PhD and Dunkley with obvious business acumen are both too scared to speak given a perception of a perpetualization of the way it was, Cannonier does not have the substance...I agree with the earlier posts. Bermuda has some truly talented people, brilliant minds...we need them at the fore

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    • jr says:

      @truth, to every thing you have said in your post i only have one thing to say & that is --- don't hold your breath, because since 1998 bda has fallen tremdendously und a plp government with a gun violence problem it has never seen before as well as an approx. 4000 being unemployed to say the least.

      so don't be suprised if the plp do loose the next election which would be entirely their fault.

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    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      You sound pretty smart, are you at the fore?

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    • Triangle Drifter says:

      So just because Bob Richards happens to be right & has proven himself before when the PLP chose to ignore him & the UBP when he warned of a recession coming, substance does not matter. It is all about his image, real or imagined, that he portrays.

      And there lies a huge difference between PLP & OBA supporters. The OBA supporters care little about your image. Fancy hats & dicty speech don't count for much. If one has a way about themselves because they are intelligent educated people, so what. As long as that person has the ability all the other stuff that may be mildly irritating does not matter.

      For PLP supporters on the other hand, being an incapable doofus means nothing. Image is everything.

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      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Triangle Drifter,

        Maybe Bob Richards should have warned France, Austria and all those other European countries that they would be downgraded by S&P. Maybe he needs to go into a new line of business - financial advisor to governments. Obviously his talents are wasted here in Bermuda, because as he has said and as you have reminded us, nobody listens to him in Bermuda. "Doomsday Bob" should know that the world is his oyster. He didn't take the opportunity after the 1998 election to relocate, although he threatened to do so, but now he's got 13 more years of experience as an advisor (even though nobody listens to him).

        I'm sure you can provide an in for him with the Presidents of France and Austria, after all, you're almost as knowledgeable as he is.

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        • LOL (original) says:

          So the fact that he's still hear and trying to make a difference must mean he cares a great deal for Bermuda after all. You know according to your logic "Ms.8 Vote Furbert" 8 votes does that mean your basically irrelevant.

          LOL

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      • jt says:

        Substance over form.

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    • star man says:

      Hang in there... you'll hear all about the OBA's ideas after the election is called.

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    • Rick Rock says:

      It's pretty ironic. Isn't the pejorative name "doomsday Bob" conjured up by the PLP actually an admission by the PLP that Bob Richards predicted the economic downturn that they denied would happen?

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      • jr says:

        @Rick Rock, you are right as i have Bob Richards' 23 page 2008 budget reply on my which the plp labeled as scare mongering

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  16. Rockfish #2 says:

    This is satirical. The Defender/8 votes v Doomsday Bob!

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  17. Bda First says:

    The people that make the most sense on these posts are the 'The Truth' and "No Spin'. The rest of you especially what I call UBA supporters are just a bunch of jokers, who think you are far more intelligent than the next guy. Truth is, I've never seen more ignorant people in one place.

    The UBA (UBP/OBA) are one and the same, and will never regain the government. For the simple fact I do not hear solutions coming out of that camp. They would rather see Bermuda fail only to say I told you so. Then again with the wealth the UBA base accumulated over the decades they can definitely outlast the rest of us so long as Doomsday Bob and the rest of the jokers continue to spread the fear...

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    • jr says:

      @Bda First, to you & all of those who have & still are denying the deplorable conditions of bermuda because of it's leadership's lack of vision.

      there are about 4000 unemployed workers & i represent every single last one of them. and if 24 to 48 hours from now a new political will be publically formed called the Unemployed Workforce of Bermuda.

      & if none of the the established want to work with us to make this right than we will become the new government with our 4000 strong base

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    • jt says:

      So you feel the PLP have earned re-election through their performance?

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    • jt says:

      It would be just as 'fair' to say that PLP supporters would rather see Bermuda fail than to re-elect any opposition and admit the PLP have been a disaster.

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    • star man says:

      What a load of nonsense! I've never heard of such. NOBODY wants to see Bermuda fail!! Get real.

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  18. Trident says:

    Sean Soares, sandgrownan, know that bob is a poor politician who if not for his father would be even more insignificant. You are who your team is, the oba is unable to attract any quality new candidates and that says it all. Sean you are on the losing team. Sand you have been bleating on these blogs for so long it must drive you batty that you zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  19. Cancer says:

    All our OBA people - let us not degrade ourselves like those PLP supporters that have to resort to the name calling. Let's keep our high standards and show them we are better than that! The public will see and judge for themselves who has the best morals!

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    • You are joking right says:

      Do you not read these blogs? Who call who names like cog and the rest of the disrespectful names? Oh its OBA supporters, and you want now to play like you're better than that. If I have to go by these blogs I find OBA supports hateful at best.

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      • LOL (original) says:

        Same goes with the PLP do you read these blogs? Same coin diffent side. Nothing new here.

        LOL

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    • specialgirl4you says:

      @ Cancer......Keeping the level of debate on a high standard would be excellent. But the OBA/UBP fans find this extremely difficult to do. I read the comments from the OBA/UBP and they are always 90% very rude and filled with name calling. They fail to address the Ministers/Premier by their correct names. Start cleaning up your camp within the UBP/OBA.

      Hopefully, some day the level of debate can rise. I will dream for that day !!

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  20. Chardonnay says:

    @ LaVerne - you called OBA people 'comrades'??? Seriously?? It was YOU the PLP who played footloose and fancy-free with Cuba and your communist comrades down there. Didn't one of them go into business with Cuban rum that just got sold off by Customs because he didn't pay the duty on it?? What a farce.

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  21. Michael H. Dunkley says:

    @ Truth says...me too scared to speak...that is a good laugh for a Sunday night! All of this is very interesting reading but I always wonder why so may people have to be personal in a response; and this goes both ways. How about just sticking to the issue at hand and leave the personal stuff alone especially as very few people have the nerve to use their real name.

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  22. Back says:

    No manners and just plain rude

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  23. Triangle Drifter says:

    It is easy to attack the messenger with insults & name calling. Childish on both counts, but to be expected from those who have no plan themselves to get Bermuda out of the hole they have put us into.

    The OBA is not the Government, not yet anyway. Had the PLP paid attention years ago to Doomsday Bob, it is a pretty safe bet that Bermuda would not be looking at the gloom & doom that we are in now.

    The world recession did not have to have the effect on Bermuda that it is. Most of the sorry state that Bermuda is in was created right here specifically because of the ineptness of the PLP who called Doomsday Bob a scaremonger & claimed that everything was just fine when obviously it was not.

    Now the best the PLP hierarchy can do is call him names.

    Pityfull.

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    • Funny..... says:

      Dude, stop making up history. It reads well on blogs but makes you to seem quite the idiot.

      Next you'll tell me (like Bob) that the PLP work Permit Policy caused Lehman Brothers to fail.....

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    • Global Recession says:

      Spin this.

      No government on earth has the solution to the large debts they incurred during the period 2006-2010, nor does any government have any proven stimus to interest ratesl employment or production.

      It is safe to say neither the PLP or OBA have a soluton to Bermuda's problems (crime, economy, debt) we could blog all week and neither partymwouod change their apptoach or course.

      Bermuda's solution is to embrace the next Fred Rice, even if the industry is exporting Kiskadees to Japan, and attract the best people to the House of Assembly.

      Spin that there Uncle Bob and Aunt Paula.

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  24. Trident says:

    France, USA, Germany, Iceland, Greece, Spain etc all downgraded all suffering from drastic economic crisis yet bob wants us to believe that there is not a global crisis going on and he could have saved us. How? If the smartest people on the planet could not save their countries from the financial meltdown, what special skills does bob thinks he has? it makes no sense.

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    • sandgrownan says:

      You suck at comprehension. That is not what he is saying at all.

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    • jr says:

      And what specialized skills does paula cox have to be a finance minister?

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    • navin johnson says:

      Because Bermuda was completely dependant on IB for its success and they were not listened to and not made to feel welcome...Had the IB people stayed there was nothing that contributed to the crisis in the rest of the world that would have effected Bermuda....simple as that...drive 1000 people out and have a handful of companies move because of the attitude of Ewart Brown and David Burch and the very precarious economy of Bermuda gets tipped....no subprime crisis, no mortgage crisis.....nothing that caused the rest of the world would have mattered that much here....we had no real debt to begin with....but borrow and spend like drunken sailors at a time when you should have been saving and this is what you get a bloated civil service and a failed education system and people making up excuses...fact of the matter is the PLP leaders broke the island just like one in particular set out to do....and he seems to have made out ok....thus far....how about you? how you doin?

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  25. Always Watching says:

    Is it just me or does Bob Richards always have that look on his face that's says " I really hope someone is buying the BS that comes out of my mouth."

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  26. navin johnson says:

    There is a "Global Economic Crisis" going on but it did not have to have the disasterous results that have impacted Bermuda...The attitudes and policies of Ewart Brown and David Burch and their party follows drove enough people and business off the island and the result is the depression we suffer from today...Had they had any business sense they would have kept their mouths shut and let the IB community run their businesses and we would have had the Global crisis pass us by.....instead we have people in the current government who thought they had the common sense and business acumen that the UBP had 30 years ago when they created the business model that is Bermuda....their arrogance gave the PLP a chance to prove how truly incompentent they are as the UBP always said...except for the few honest and dedicated people like Frederick Wade and Eugene Cox the rest are has beens or never was beens who saw 1998 as a chance to change Bermuda.....are we as a people, other than a few politicans of course, better off for the change? Bob's problem is that he is not a politician so the truth and indisputable facts that he tells get passed by...so continue to kick the dishwashers out and play with Resident certificates and other things that most IB people do not want and continue to run immigration the way you do now and we have about 2 years left in the hour glass...S&P will downgrade the island again after they realize they cannot continue to rely on the data they are either being given or not given.....The Grand Experiment of Bermuda is over and its a matter of trying to salvage what is left......

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  27. Cancer says:

    I think Lavern Furbert -Trident and others forget about all the overspending, corruption, money gine missing and unaccounted for, do as I say attitude and not listening to others has been forgotten by this PLP party under Ewart Brown. Altho you guys don't care or just think it's okay to rob the country - those are some of the reasons we are at the bad state were in today! Stop using the world economy as your pillar, it's getting tiresome! If you didnt steal some money would have been left in the pot! That's why were broke. C'om blinders...

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    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      I keep reading (and hearing) people like you talking about "corruption, money gine (sic) mission and unaccounted for" yet you and others can never give an examples.

      If former Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, or anybody else in the PLP were involved in any corrupt practices, don't you think they would be before the courts? Remember the Nelson Bascome case where he was accused of corruption?

      You, and others like you, really think that by constantly referring to corruption, etc. under the PLP, it will put the OBA/UBP driver's seat. It won't happen and there was no corruption.

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      • Lady Scribbler says:

        LaVerne,

        The government could shut off these allegations of corruption so easily and yet they do not. If there is nothing to hide, why not open the books for the auditor to see? Why are things always swept under the carpet? Why does the governement not set an example by cutting back on cars(no personal use, only given one if true business purpose requires it), take a pay cut as it wasnt so long ago government ministers worked for free? I want to see some positive leadership out of whomever is elected. IB is pretty unhappy with life in Bermuda and no amount of pretty pink sand will change that. What we will see more of is shell companies registered here which yes yield some income but no real money. The real money comes when they move staff to the island and pay rents, buy goods, cars, insurnace, hire our gardening companies and cleaners. Our crime rate is scary for them, the depressing relationships in our workforce, racial comments, make an unwelcoming environment.
        I understand and respect your passion for your choice of governance but degrading each other does not help anyone's cause. It would be nice if we could stick to the topic without the name calling on EITHER side.

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      • Triangle Drifter says:

        We are sorry Laverne. Would you be happy if we used the term 'unethical but not illegal' instead of corruption. I believe that is the term the PLP used.

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      • jr says:

        as much as i am for the plp tightening up the job market because of the current unemployment situation. the below sentiments from Lady Scribbler,Triangle Drifter & Cancer convey my thoughts exactly

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      • Onion says:

        here are a few examples

        http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Son-of-the-soil.pdf

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      • LOL (original) says:

        Is setting your self up for a 10% cut of Government business considered corrupt? I would think the personal enrichment due to Government dealing would be a thin line in qualifying and definitely does not seem to be putting Bermuda first.

        LOL

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  28. Cancer says:

    If that is the case why PLP afraid to have the auditor generals report released? Laverne I think you shud wait after that report before you make another one if those bold statements. That report is being blocked by the PLP government.

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  29. navin johnson says:

    I watched John Charles on VSB this evening and realized that he has no clue what is going on with the news of the 54 "New" companies listed in Bermuda in 2011...The 54 companies only include 2 that will actually hire people and mostly expats so far as I know all of the people involved...The other 52 companies are, in fact, captives which are serviced by managers who are already here and they are just added to their list of accounts.....The 54 are far less than the average number added over the last 20 years and do not include the companies and people who have left...Also on VSB tonight was a segment devoted to Ironshore a Bermuda company and the anchor tenant in John Swan's new building on Front Street...Ironshore announced that they are outsourcing jobs and that as part of the severance package they are asking people to stay on and train their foreign replacements....So please Mr. Charles do not question Bob Richards on the fundamentals of IB as I think you should stick with what you know which is something to do with the teachers union? you are doing a fine job there....

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  30. Cancer says:

    Thanks for that onion! I wonder who was finance minister at the time!

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  31. Back says:

    Let's name her 8 votes verny

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  32. specialgirl4you says:

    I am trying hard to understand Mr. Richards. But more and more it becomes evident daily that Mr. Richards sound just like the Old "UBP", but wearing an “OBA” tie. (But after all the OBA are the UBP?). They have failed to show me any difference. Mr. Richards and Mr. Dunkley validate that every day and more so each time they speak. Mr. Richards clearly reflects that nothing has changed. His approach to deal with issues by the Opposition has remained unchanged, and so this does not impress anyone. It only clearly speaks to his attitude and his position which is deeply rooted in the UBP. Changing his name to OBA has not made any difference or failed to convince otherwise.

    Mr. Richard’s presentation is often poor, as he struggles to present his statement in "press-briefs." Mr. Richards almost appears loss during his press-briefs. He often is extremely disingenuous about the current economic climate, yet continues to spread words of fear. This will not work, as he did in 1998 attempt to spread fear in the Bermudian people. His threat to move out of Bermuda never came true. He also threatens that all the IB business will move out of Bermuda in 1998, this did not happen. It becomes difficult to believe someone like him, who continues to spread mis-information and fearful tactics to gain the black swing vote. It will not work, and it is old. He comes across as if he is the Savior for all, but lacks real sincerity. His presentation come across in a very condescending and disingenuous manner, as if Black people are not able to see right Thur his hysterical behaviours.

    Mr. Richards presentation on the news recently, was in an extremely bad taste, almost like he was going off his head. I was alarmed, as it sounded as if something was off with him. He used threats in a desperate attempt to win the black votes, was how many interpreted his press-brief. Maybe this is his only way he is capable of speaking. (“Mr. Cannioner must be asking himself what in the world did I get myself in now”?) Mr. Richard did not foreseen or even know that there would be a world recession as deep as this. He still is in denial that Bermuda is also affected by the world-wide recession and that most countries around the world have been downgraded. It does take a rocket-science to figure this out. Why does he constantly deny these facts in his conversations? It is due to his strong will of politicizing, politicking, and tricking people to believe otherwise. I am disappointed, the OBA are acting more and more like the UBP everyday. NO Change is the message that I and others are getting.

    Come on Mr. Richards, one would expect much more from a so called seasoned politician.

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    • navin johnson says:

      Special Girl to quote you NO change is the message that I and other are getting and I view that is how most are viewing The PLP and your repetitive message...Wo really cares whether is the new BP of OBA or PDQ as long as its not PLP..unemployment, public debt, crumbling infrastructure will be the hallmarks of the regime and its time for a change....Mr. Richards may not have the political skills but he does have real world successful experience in the matters of finance which is something that your leader does not possess.....so he called for your Government to recognize what was happening years ago and was met with denial that there was no unemployment and everything is under control well the worst is yet to come....when the borrowing well runs dry and payroll must be trimmed votes go out the window and deperation sets in which we are already seeing...And as far as the OBA acting more like the UBP every day well thank the good lord for that as we may have a chance for without a change we are done....

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  33. specialgirl4you says:

    @ Navin Johnson; That where Mr Richards fools you, he is not as "intelligent in financial matters" as other great economists are. Mr. Craig Simmons at the Bermuda College is far more knowledgeable background than Mr. Richards does. Mr. Richards fails on most occasions to present the true facts. Mr. Simmons does not spin information and presentations are facts based. Mr. Richards continues to spin things to make it sound like the sky is falling in and these are the last days on earth in Bermuda. This sounds too much like the UBP out doing the OBA, but yet spin spin on the UBP/OBA. Will not work, Bermudians are too smart for that nonsense. UBP is the OBA, no change maybe a name. "A Rose is still a Rose"! What was the purpose of the name change?

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  34. navin johnson says:

    oh dear Special Girl Mr. Simmons is an academic who may not have ever "been" in business while Mr. Richards has built a successful financial firm in Bermuda...In addition Mr. Richards wife is a chartered accountant who has been a CFO of Bermuda companies and sits on the board of a large internation hotel chain...its elementary special girl that 54 new companies is far below the 20 year average and does not take into consideration the companies and people who have left and does not include the layoffs announced this week at Ironshore and Jupiter...you should forget this whole bit about the UBP or OBA out doing whatever and give Bermudians some credit for intelligence please its the people who run this country and your people at the PLP have run it into the ground and metaphorically speaking we are seeing the last days on earth of the old Bermuda where everyone had a job and home and future...so give me the UBP or OBA or whatever Rose you want to call it as long as its not a PLP Rose.....

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  35. specialgirl4you says:

    Running a Financial Firm does not make one a genius or a financial whiz kid. I am very informed on what Mr Simmons does, and Mr Richards. But Mr Richards is not as informed as Mr Simmons. He may run a business, but believe me others around him also are often making the major decisions and advising him. It is people like Mr. Simmons whom he lies on to gain valuable information, and to make informed business decisions.

    I think the OBA/UBP are taking the people for granted and not showing any real respect. Simply changing your name, and expecting people to believe the OBA/UBP are a new party? Come on a child in preschool knows that if you dress in a "superman custom", you are still little "Johnny or Suzy." This is not rocket science. Please give the people of this country some real respect, and stop thinking that a name change to the OBA, makes it a new party. Its does not, as people can clearly see all the members are the same as the UBP. The Ministers of the UBP are still the same Ministers under the OBA. How in the world can you claim that to be change? People are not blind. More so when people observed in the bye-election in 12 that White people voted "en-block" for the OBA. This was a real message send to the people in which many reflected that there really no change among UBP supporters and MPs. The White people have just moved their votes over to the OBA. So if you have all the same Ministers, all the same voters and supporters......WHAT THE HELL MAKES IS DIFFERENT? WHAT IS DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS? SO YES IT IS THE SAME..........UBP IS THE OBA....................ACCEPT THE FACTS>>>> S

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