The PLP are starting off their Annual Delegates’ Conference with their “Rising Stars Night” this evening [Oct 15] at Dalton E. Tucker School. The speakers are PLP candidates Makai Dickerson, John Gibbons, Senator Diallo Rabain and Lawrence Scott.
Mr Dickerson will be running in Constituency #12, Mr Gibbons will be running in Constituency #2, Senator Rabain is running in Constituency #7, while Mr Scott will contest Constituency #24.
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The event lasted for approximately 90 minutes, and saw the four candidates each deliver a speech to the enthusiastic crowd of PLP supporters. The major points in their speeches included the economy, crime, housing, the Opposition and more.After the speeches concluded, the crowd mingled for a short time before making their way home.
Update #1: Makai Dickerson’s full speech follows below:
I feel honored to rise before you tonight and smile Brightly because the rising stars are shining. Because of that I want to tell a story that explains my decision to stand and speak as a PLP Candidate.
Its a story of night and Day.
Reading back on the facts one can clearly see the achievements of the Progressive Labour party . We have stood strong through many obstacles to achieve many rights for people to get a fare deal. We shine light on people in many situations to advance further. My great aunt remembers the times in which she couldn’t vote, first because she was a woman then because she owned no land. She also remembers the unfair process of voting where those who had an unearned advantage were able to cast more votes then her based on property they built off of the backs of people like her. She really appreciates One Man, One vote each vote of equal value. Don’t be fooled by the opposition’s spin that injustice was just addressed after 1998 when the PLP took over office.
The OBA feels the need to call that divisiveness. Point a finger of blame at us for the divide in the political realm and life as we know it. They mislead and spin and divert attention away from the true cause of these issues and feed off of peoples emotions. They have no shame. That’s dim and dark. Very much night.
Education is important and has been continuing addressed after being given a heavy load. Many of our children are succeeding and many are showing up as a bright part of our future. Yes there is still work to be done , but you can’t tell me more are failing when I see more climbing than ever before. I see the bad spots, we all do but success is not a band aid, success is full healing and we are seeing that healing come. I was honored to see my niece cross the stage to accept her High School Diploma with the desire to further her education. I am excited every time I see my god children and nephews cross the stage to receive their honor awards with the mind set to yet do even better. All out of the public School system. That’s the light of Day.
The OBA try to hide the fact that many of their current MP’s played a part in the down grade our education system faced when they were active members of the UBP government that caused it. They say that education is bad based on a few examples. Those caught up, those lost, those confused, those who need an added hand to sustain themselves in a system. Those that the PLP – through programs like MIRRORS and Dr. Leroy Bean’s CARTEL – are continuing to work with. That’s darkness, Night
The global economy is struggling and that has raised debt here and all over the world. But the work is being done and will continue to be done. The more problems in the private sector the more Bermudians need programs like Day Care, Future Care and the EEZ. Our people need more help, not the deep and radical cuts of austerity. Programs like the Landscaping programs, the Nail Tech Programs, the Accounting Programs, the DryWall program and the Waiter/Server programs are training hundreds of Bermudians. We are standing strong for Bermudians during these times. And will continue to until the brightest of Days.
The OBA know the biggest contributor to the breakdown of the economy they know all to well the affects that the WWR has on us as it has affected may of their own businesses, but they would much rather ignore it and focus on things that upset people. Yet fail to say how many of their members having just made Bermudians redundant in their own businesses, would be able to help find employment for them. You fire me today and tell me you’ll help find me a job tomorrow if I vote you in? Something doesn’t seem right about that. They decry the debt, but, the fact of the matter is that our debt is even when adjusted for population, less than HALF that of the United States and their beloved United Kingdom! The economy must be built and it takes investment to build an economy – that’s exactly what the PLP are doing! When Craig Cannonier made his angry rant the other day, he said that austerity wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Austerity in Europe has caused riots because jobs were cut, education was cut, health care was cut. And much more. We want to know what cuts would the OBA make? Who else will lose work? What programs will they add and how exactly will they pay for them? What legislation will they change? What does this rapid and radical change really mean for Bermuda? It seems like dark nights.
Crime has hit hard on a lot of people but at the same time the PLP has worked tirelessly to address it. And, we’re pleased to report that, as of the last quarter, overall crime reached a five year low. Make no mistake, there is still more work to be done, but the social programs like MIRRORS put forward by this government and the help services provided have done so much on many levels and have afforded hope to so many of our young people. We read in the papers about all the negative stories, but, the stories that I see in my life on a day to day basis are positive. I can tell you about one young man in particular. He was a friend of mine and yes, he was affileated with a gang, but he wanted something different. I talked with him, worked with him and got him involved in MIRRORS. I’m pleased to report that today, he has a good job and he has hope for the future. We know that there’s not an easy fix to all our problems. But, we know that if we work at it, surely and steadily, we can improve people’s lives -that’s the light of Day.
The OBA pretend that it started after 1998 and point to increases in violent crime. Anybody that thinks that way only does so because it didn’t matter to them pre 1998. To them, the acknowledgment of the reality of what has happened for generations in our communities is something new and different. And if they think that way they have no clue as how to address it besides reaction and incarceration. My fellow Bermudians – THOSE PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET IT. That’s night because its too dark.
Housing had been an issue for many years and it was a cry for help. The PLP answered that call and has provided housing for Bermudians in need of it. We built more affordable homes than any government in history! Our party has afforded Bermudians the opportunity to purchase housing in the private sector through partnerships and have built housing to ensure that more Bermudians have an opportunity to own a piece of this prized rock. We have provided families the opportunity to rent at the most basic affordable cost to insure that they have a way to advance in their lives. When we build it – real progress happens and lives are touched. I think about my neighbor who for the first time in her life has a sense of financial freedom not having to worry about an unobtainable cost of living due to the housing program she benefited from which allowed her to catch up and progress. What a bright light to shine.
The OBA attack this investment as a debt, and find cry and foul on everything the PLP has done in this matter. Many of them sat at a different table and watched as people went without housing and did nothing to address it. They say that they are going to bring rapid and radical change. They say they are going to bring austerity. But, then all we hear when we ask what they’re going to do is more government, more spending and fewer taxes. The fact of the matter is, they’re trying to make you believe they can do it all. I’m not sure how. Magic maybe? They should know its easier said then done but only wish to tear down the work that’s been done. Knocking down the building. In the dark.
Seniors have been lifted and many of their burdens carried away because the PLP recognized that they earned it. We respect and appreciate them and honor them after a lifetime of hard work. That’s why Future Care is so important – it provides them with the doctor’s visits and prescription drugs they need.. Those tax and duty relief is making life easier for my grandparents and thousands more across the island. I remember being stopped by a senior lady who mentioned how she listens to me on the radio and reads my letters in the paper, she spoke of how proud she was to see young people like myself stand up to continue the work her generation started and how she reaps the benefits of that work daily through these programs which the PLP put forward. Our seniors started the building and we are continuing to lay the block. That’s the bright twilight at the end of a long day’s work for our seniors.
The OBA see some issues and point them out, even as they’re being addressed. They speak against what seniors themselves speak to be true. They prey on them and use them as a political pawn. They make assumptions and accusations but never show facts. They attack and attack and attack. Then when proven wrong, they try to weasel out of it and pretend that they never said what they said. . The attacks and anger is the essence of dark.
The decline in tourism dates back to 1980 – before I was even born! The UBP was helpless to stop it. But, under the PLP we’ve stood strong for our tourism industry. We have more airlines then ever before landing on our runway and we have seen some of the largest ships possible docking on our shores. Visible advertisement in key locations has placed us in the eyes of many potential visitors. Professional ball games in the US, Pink cabs in Canada and buses in the UK are only a few examples of an aggressive attempt to build our product up. I can tell you that the Green Family wouldn’t have bought the Hamilton Princess if they didn’t think that there was any future in Bermuda Tourism. It seems those people sometimes say one thing out of one side of their mouth to make a political point, but, the act another way when it comes to making money! Tourism faces challenges, but, I believe that there are brighter days ahead.
The OBA seem to believe that they hold a magic wound that will instantly bring more guests to our shore and seem to take pleasure nit picking at the categories of visitors who arrive. They attempt to find fault in numbers and rarely address the work that’s has been done. They actually make the argument that renaming the “Tourism Board” the “Tourism Authority” and letting the Governor choose the members is all that it will take to solve all our problems. That’s not an idea. That’ snot a solution. That’s poor vision in the darkness of the night.
The OBA have a plain to mislead the people, to destroy any hope that they have unless it is hope for them. They have no desire to work to improve anything but their personal agenda. This is the true reason why they have yet to offer solutions, its all about combining their economic power with political power by any means necessary. Regardless of who the use or step on in the process.
We have to continue to surely and steadily move Bermuda forward. I am reminded of the old children’s story about the ant and the grasshopper. All summer long the ant worked to prepare for winter. The grasshopper just played and enjoyed his time but didn’t work hard. Come winter, the ant was well taken care of and the grasshopper was not. We are the ones working while they sit there and pick out fault pretending to be helpless without becoming the government. Its night and day. If we can’t shine together then the light can never get as bright as it could get. Change doesn’t always mean doing something completely different, its also simply improving on what has already been done. I’m encouraged by the work that has always been done by the Progressive Labour Party….. I stand strong in that shine because the strongest stars shine in the day. And these stars are shining for the people.
We are the PLP, from the voter to the supporter to the member to the candidate to the Government official, we stand strong together because we all stand strong for Bermuda and Bermudians. We are the PLP. All are welcome to stand strong with us if they wish to do the same. The PLP is the Party of the People and will forever be Progressive.
Update #2: Senator Diallo Rabain’s full speech follows below:
Good evening! Premier, members of Parliament, candidates, my fellow rising stars and my fellow Bermudians…
There is a lot of hype, miss-information, opinions both right and wrong and political rhetoric out there as we approach the inevitable time for us to go to the polls. Election time brings a special fever pitch to our island and this year is nodifferent.
I know you are all weary of this campaign and like me, can’t wait to be able to voice your opinion at the polls. Like you I am
- Growing tired of the opposition zealots and their constant attempts to discredit any good deed,
- Growing tired of the OBA’s disparaging remarks about our party and our country
- And, I am extremely offended by their deeply personal and hateful attacks aimed at our esteemed leader the Honourable Premier Paula Cox and her capable cabinet team.
They have the audacity to talk badly about our battle-tested and proven team when they boast nothing but a line-up of tired re-treads from the UBP and a bunch of un-proven candidates, who don’t just lack political experience but, more importantly, lack any meaningful community service experience.
You might even hear some would say that the pending election is one of the important in our history. Guess what, this was probably said about the election in 1963, the election in 2007 and every election in between. Truth be told, whenever there is an election, that election is the most important election at that time. The Opposition would like for you to think that this election theirs to lose based on the skewed polls fed to us by their 6-day a week publicity partner, the Royal Gazette.
Isn’t this a story we have heard before haven’t we? We heard it in 2007, we heard it in 2003 and we heard it in 1998. We ALL know what the outcome was for those elections don’t we?
General elections give us a chance to show to those who wish to represent our interests whether we believe they truly are capable of representing our bestinterests. This is a chance for YOU, the electorate to have your voice heard. As a candidate in the next election for Hamilton South, Constituency #7 I am confident I can represent all of my constituents’ best interests whether they support me and my party or not.
As I canvass this constituency, which happens to be a constituency that has never been in the PLP fold, at least until the next election, I try my best to reach every single home regardless of location or assumed party support. I can say that, I am always welcomed and I can tell you that many former UBP/ OBA – whatever they want to call themselves now – supporters are telling me that they’re sick and tired of the negativity and just want honesty and integrity
The other day, I was canvassing a house and the person told me that he used to be UBP, but, that he was shocked when Bob Richards bad mouthed Bermuda in the international press and talked about how great the Cayman Islands are. He told me that the Cayman Islands had implemented Bob Richards’ only idea for the economy – and that their economy was tanking! He said he was voting PLP this time because the hate and Bermuda bashing from the Opposition had gone too far.
Since I was confirmed as the candidate on September 20, 2011 on my 40th birthday, I have regularly been on the doorstep of UBP/OBA people and PLP people alike – talking to all and listening to their concerns. Listening to the people and fighting on their behalf is starting to pay dividends. Projects that have been wanted for years are finally being addressed:
- The New Cross Walk and Sidewalks at the Bus stop at Sommersall Road has been completed
- Re-Paving of Harrington Sound Road and new Cross Walk at Harrington Sound Primary School has been completed
- The unsightly construction trailer at Johns Smith Bay has been removed
- Scheduled work on the Rest Rooms at Johns Smith Bay
- Scheduled work to bring back the Play Ground at the Smith’s Community
- Field at Sommersall Road is underway
These are but a start to my commitment to our community in constituency #7. This is a clear continuance of the PLP’s commitment to our island wide community as we demonstrate over and over again that we are Standing Strong for All Bermudians.
Our investment in Bermuda since 1998 is evident and very clear for those not clouded by the aspirations of political power only. Aspirations that our opposition are clearly focused on only. More so than having a Bermuda in which we all can proposer and grow from.
- The OBA will have you think everything that is wrong in our island home has been a result of the PLP.
- The OBA will have you think that we are a bunch of crooks only interested in lining our pockets before looking out for our people.Page 6 of 11
- The OBA will have you think they possess all the magic solutions to solve all the problems in our Island BUT will only show you them if you vote for them.
What the OBA will not tell you that if these answers did exist, and if they truly cared about this island as a whole, they would have presented them a long time ago.
- Instead we have constant negativity about the PLP and the Government’s programs aimed at helping those of us who need help
- Constant blaming of the PLP for the global economic downturn
- Constant browbeating us with baseless accusations and personal insults
- Constant promises of them being able to everything do better than the PLP
- Constant accusations of “Playing the Race Card”
I have been one of the Bermudians that have been active in some of the discussions online and I can tell you that if you want to see the ugly face of the Opposition, just turn on your computer. The name calling is what angers me the
My fellow Bermudians, you know what they call us online? Sheepple! People who will follow blindly like Sheep ! They insult our intelligence. They call us names. I was aghast when I even saw one of them use the N word on the PLP’s
own Facebook page.
And, in another conversation, they tried to say that the trans-Atlantic slave trade during colonial times was the fault of – get this – black people. This wasn’t an old Bermudian who grew up during the days of segregation.
These are young Bermudians living in our country here today. They will continue to hammer home their party mantra about the island’s debt. They will be saying things like
- Look at the burden we will pass onto to our grandchildren?
- What has the money been spent on?
- Who is benefiting from this expenditure?”.
To that, I ask them, “What about the 30+ years of systematic miss-education and purposefully dis-proportionate economic growth. Hasn’t this sentenced us to 3,4, and 5 generations of Bermudians that we find ourselves needing the social programs this party has implemented?
- Social programs that are needed to help balance the imbalances of UBP policies of old.
- Social programs to provide a helping hand when needed,
- Programs that provide access to educational and career boosting initiatives,
- Programs that are needed and necessary to enable the undoing of previous policies.
And now you want us to listen to you again and trust you that you have the island’s best interests in mind?”
All of this is done to get you to question your trust of the PLP. A party that has proven time and time again that it is the one true party that cares for Bermuda as a whole. Once they feel that you have been hoodwinked enough, that’s when they’ll finally tell us what they mean when they say that we need deep and damaging austerity cuts. That’s when they will reveal that it means cuts
- To jobs,
- To Day-care,
- To Future Care,
- To the EEZ
- And to so many of the programmes are needed to ensure our island provides for all Bermudians, not just the favoured few.
Amazingly, this hoodwinking tactic is all they have to offer and sadly it a previously tried and tired tactics of failed UBP campaigns of the past.
- It is a failed tactic that…….
- did not work in 1998
- did not work in 2003
- did not work in 2007
- AND it will not work in the next election
It is a well-known saying in politics that I heard said again recently….“If you don’t have any fresh ideas, your only option is to scare the voters”
I love my island home and people of Bermuda and I trust them to not fall into this trap. The UBP/OBA trap of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, when in reality it is nothing but astro-turf. The real grass being reserved for the precious few that wield enough economic power to finance their negative ads, finance their glossy posters and finance their slick videos we are being bombarded with.
The few who they will count on to keep them all comfortable if they are successful at the next election. This is an unsustainable mirage of the UBP reborn via a new name, the OBA. A promise of Time for Change that is in reality, the Same Old Same Old. Perhaps it is Time for A Change….Time for a Change in their Old Tired Failed UBP Tactics!
There are some who complain about party politics. There are some who say there should be more independents. There are some who say they wish to spoil their ballot. And there are some who say they wish to opt out of their right to have a say in the direction of their country by not voting.
To those I plead with them to come out and exercise their franchise, be a part of the solution to move Bermuda forward. As we are human, we are not perfect. Only the Lord God above achieves perfection. But, if you throw up your hands and give up – you let THEM win and you put YOUR POWER in THEIR hands. My good people that must not happen!
To the rest who are willing to participate and vote in the upcoming election, I applaud you for being strong enough to say “My Voice Matters” and get out there and vote.
When you vote, seriously consider the importance of your responsibilities to weigh the factors facing you and choose wisely. A decision I am confident will lead the PLP back to the Government of Bermuda as the only Party that cares for all of Bermuda and is Standing Strong for All Bermudians.
PLP all the Way! All the Way PLP!
Update #3: Lawrence Scott’s full speech follows below:
Hugo … Igor … Felix … Emily … Fabian … all names of hurricanes that impacted our island in one way or the other.
In actual fact Bermuda was founded on the back of a hurricane like these, a shipwreck brought Sir George Somers on shore so its safe to say that we know a thing or two about storms and stormy weather.
Storms are so prevalent in our history so much a part of our culture that we depicted one on our flag, so why don’t we take what we have learned from living in adverse conditions and apply it to politics.
My grandfather, like your grandparents knew when stormy conditions were approaching by either using sharkoil or watching the spider spin its web closer to the ground.
A spider webs’ ability to adapt to different levels of stress is the key to its remarkable stability. Spider webs can stand up to a variety of stresses including hurricane force winds.
Recently I have seen the effects across this island from a different kind of wind a wind that remains constant, a wind whose effects cannot be predicted only recorded, those are the winds of change.
A spider webs’ design & the unique properties of its silk allows just a single thread to break so the rest of the web remains unharmed
It’s stunning because engineered structures don’t behave that way – if a building, a car, or an aeroplane is exposed to large mechanical stress it typically breaks as a whole & the entire structure becomes dysfunctional.
In the case of the spider’s web one has to not take a step back but a step closer and look at the intricacies of the web to fully appreciate how it relates not only to us in this room as a party, but also as a government and more so a society.
Regardless how hard the winds of change blow, how drastically they shape the landscapes of this country, as long as we continue to take our inspiration and motivation from one of nature’s smallest creatures we will be alright.
As I stated earlier, a spider webs ability to adapt to different levels of stress is the key to its remarkable stability. Also a spider webs’ design and the unique properties of its silk allowed just a single thread to break so the rest of the web remained unharmed.
Let’s go back in time and I’ll show you how the web that is today’s Government was built. Picture this – February 1963 – the founding of our party, our first and most important thread. The reduction of the voting age from 25 – 21 another thread. In 1965, a few threads broke, but the web remained unharmed!
We continued to add threads as the party spun its way into the 70s with our ever increasing presence in the house … another thread. New voter registration system … another thread.
In 1979 at the Constititional Conference,which lead to the introduction of one man one vote of equal value … another thread
At the time it was not just us as party members that realized the strength and support that the web of the PLP provided, the general public did as well.
However as we entered into the 80s despite the growing support for the party, remember the winds of change never stop blowing and in 1985 those winds of change were blowing at gale force. It’s a good thing a spiders web can handle hurricane force winds!
Despite that fact the party took some damage, we may have ended up with a few broken threads but the overall structure remained!
Why? Because spiders web silk changes as it is tugged.
My father often says the more things change, the more they remain the same…here we are in 2012 and the winds of change are howling.
It’s no secret that people want to see a change in the way things are going, they want to see the economy pick back up, a clear and definitive end to the current global recession, or at least be able to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
I believe that when we hear people talk about they want change, its not necessarily a change in government as much as it is a change in the way we do business, as a party and as a government.
The best way to facilitate this change is to go back to the basics, go back to the days of Freddy Wade and his vision, his vision of regrouping and repairing.
Let’s apply that to where we are today, let’s work on repairing the “broken” threads in our web, we can do that by identifying what we should stop doing, start doing and continue to do.
When faced with tough times or long journeys the animal kingdom work together to overcome. If ever there was a time for us to band together that time is now, we need to come together now more then ever.
Take the Canadian geese for example. They flock in formation because they can fly faster and stay in the air longer, because they literally fly on the lift of the bird directly in front of them. When a single goose gets sick or injured and falls out of formation, two others go down with him to protect him until is able to fly again.
We too should be protecting each other, now more then ever. These are tough times, we are dealing with a global recession, unemployment, crime and yes those threads in our web are being pulled.
However when a thread is pulled, the silk’s unique molecular structure unfurls as stress increases leading to a stretching effect.
Remarkably just before a thread breaks it goes through a stiffing phase, and it is in this stiffing phase that it can absorb the greatest amount of stress.
I don’t know about you, but I cant think of any other time more stressful then now. Sure we have faced all these problems before, but not simultaneously. Regardless I know we will continue to stand strong.
Even though threads may break, our web will not be compromised! Right now you might be wondering…how can he be so confident … the polls are not going in our favour, when we go out and canvass even party members are doubtful.
With everything that this party is going through, with all the Opposition and media have said about us as a government, how is this web that you speak of still holding together?
I’ll give you the answer: The durability of the web is not just controlled by the strength of its silk, but also how its mechanical properties change as you stretch it.
Our party was founded on criticizing the government of the day, but its time for our “mechanical properties” to change from criticizing to critiquing.
The strength of our webs “silk” is our government, the strength of our government is our party, the mechanical properties of our party is in you. This is what will sustain us! Those are the ties that bind us ! That is what will allow us to continue to stand strong for Bermudians !
Now tell that to anyone who dares question us as a government, or as a party, because as it has … and always will be PLP all the way & all the way PLP !!!
Update Oct 19: Video of Sen. Rabain’s speech
- Upcoming: PLP Rally
- Upcoming: “Celebrating The Women Of The PLP”
- Roban & Weeks Holding Constituency Clinics
- PLP To Host Town Hall Meeting On Tuesday
- PLP To Host Two Forums This Week
- PLP Delegates Elect New Executive Members