Lt/Col David Burch: “The More Things Change”

November 6, 2012

[Opinion column written by Lt/Col David Burch]

It’s unfortunate that politics in Bermuda seems to have morphed into a discussion about who can do the same things but better. Where is the vision? Where is the ideological difference between the parties? Where are the comparisons of the respective records? The answer is they’re there; you just have to find them and in some cases be reminded of them.

Make no mistake; there is a definite ideological choice in the upcoming election. There is a clear difference in a PLP Bermuda and a Bermuda managed by those others. No matter what those people’s commentators, candidates and bloggers might say, the PLP has made positive change in this country and in fact has impacted Bermuda for the better.

A record of fourteen years in Government cannot be defined by daily headlines. It can only be defined by what has really been done for the people. Here’s a very small example.

A friends’ car has been in the repair shop for almost a month awaiting a part. For that month they have never been without personal transportation. How? Because they’ve had a loaner vehicle from the shop the whole time.

This PLP Government made that possible and now we almost take it for granted. A very simple legislative change that has saved my friends money and has allowed them to keep to their schedule and have no interruption to their daily lives. While the Opposition can’t make enough noise about many other sectors of this country and what should be done with them, the PLP’s record is one of positively impacting the lives of the people. That’s the most important sector for us.

This economic downturn has hit everyone, some harder than most. While they talk only of the Government’s balance sheet and how much money the Government should have sitting in surplus, the PLP Government is proud to have softened the blow for the majority of our people.

Imagine how the single mother would be doing without the benefit of the Child Care Allowance.

Imagine the impact on Seniors without the benefit of consistent pension increases through the years.

What would the war veterans and their families be doing without a respectable pension for their service to this country?

Our “Rainy Day” plan for this country is not to brag about Government surpluses so that our balance sheet is healthy while the people suffer. This is probably the starkest difference between the PLP and the Opposition. We measure our success by how we help our people; providing assistance in good times and in bad.

You see, they only think of assistance to the people in hard times – hand-outs – so you are beholden to them – no thought to advancement and upward mobility. When we provided the benefits for childcare and pension increases to seniors; increased bursaries and extended employment opportunities, times were good. We invested in people on principle with a philosophy that says: If you give a hand-up to those most in need they will in turn enrich their community; not charity in hard times just to help folks get by.

Bermudians – Listen carefully to them: First, when they were the UBP, the criticism was the benefits were electioneering. Now they’ve morphed into the OBA – they say there’s not enough money to go around to give away more.

Well you cannot have it both ways.

Again, that’s another start difference between the PLP and them – we do it on principle. Nail us on our vision, hammer us on our ideology but do not pander to the worst elements by shifting positions to suit an election campaign.

Listen to the noise now. The same people who were against fast ferries and the modernisation of the bus fleet now want them to run more and better. Air-Conditioned buses are for the lady taking her bag of groceries home after a long day at work. Fast ferries are for West End and East End residents who want an alternative to the roads in the mornings. Each and every initiative and policy we have implemented has been measured by how it will positively impact the people of this country.

Even in little Bermuda there is room for big ideas and a difference of political ideology. The PLP is clear on where we stand on the issues. We are the Party of Lois and Freddie. The Party of social justice and equality for all. “We can do it better than they can” is not a campaign slogan. It is a vision for Bermuda.

Everyone should read the NoBA’s brochure published this past week. To fully appreciate it though, you’ll have to believe history began in 1998 or later.

I say that because as if by magic, the reformed UBP has a social conscience. Having resisted virtually every socially progressive programme instituted by this Government, the NoBA now wants to own them all; and more.

Let’s look at a few things that appear to have changed:

  1. They opposed CITV but now want to broadcast the House of Assembly on the channel, so it must now be a good idea.
  2. They want to redevelop the Hamilton and St. George’s Waterfronts. Nice idea, where’s the money, remind us who owns the land and what’s the overall plan? Ships or no ships…funding options…this is too big to suggest without details…
  3. They claim to be able to reduce the cost of electricity by properly regulating the energy sector. Really? How and have they broken the news to Belco and its shareholders?

These are serious proposals not to be thrown out willy-nilly.

People need to know how they will be paid for.

People need to know what the ultimate goals are.

Projects like the Waterfront don’t stand alone; they should form part of a wider economic and tourism strategy. It’s not enough to say, “We’ll build it”; where’s the plan for use; where does it fit in with what the country needs?

There is a choice in this election and it’s a choice between fairness, equity and people-centered policies versus a flimsy, trickle down approach that says: Just give us the keys, we know what to do. Sorry, that’s not enough. The PLP has a record and it is one to be proud of. We have done well reversing the wrongs of the last 400 years and in 14 years, we’ve come a mighty long way.

No-one thought we could accomplish as much as we have, but under four Premiers and successive Cabinets – Bermuda has become more open, democratic, international in scope and respected as a leader in so many areas. This PLP Government has a story to tell and in the coming weeks and months it will be told and the people of this country will again embrace this Government as the right choice to continue to lead us through the recovery.

Someone has got to draw a line in the sand between us and them. I do so without demonizing or ridiculing anyone – simply put, the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party remains the very best choice to lead this country.

So Bermudians – as always you’ll get to decide if your government has been good stewards of this country and deserve to continue to do the work still yet to be done. Don’t be afraid to let us know your feelings – because at the end of the day – that’s what true democracy is all about – A partnership with those elected to serve and those who elect them.

- Lt. Col David Burch is a former Senator and National Security Minister, and the PLP candidate for Constituency #27 Warwick North Central. 

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  1. swing voter says:

    You've got some nerve Burch....If I could afford it I'll be more than happy to fund your relocation to New Zealand

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    • jamel says:

      Just call yourself a OBA voter or former UBP voter. Here's something for you to think about. Once my Black President Barack Obama wins tonight and beats that fool who reminds me of the vomit the OBA is selling. The PLP will win the next election again. Now swing on that.

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      • Um Um Like says:

        Race card?
        News flash: Obama is only half black.

        If Obama wins the election how will that help the PLP win? F*#)&@g idiot! Now swing on that.

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        • What? says:

          Maybe he only supports half of his actions/policies/decisions/personality etc.

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        • @Um Um Like

          You are a funny lady, not the smartest but funny. In a perfect world, Obama is mixed, in this world we live in, he is black, and will always be seen as black. Have you seen how this man has been treated just because the color of his skin, or you stay under your rock 23 hours a day?

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          • Um Um Like says:

            Why thank you! I'm thrilled to know that you appreciate my humor, no matter how insignificant of a person you are. As for my intellect (or alleged lack thereof), does this mean I would make a good PLP politician?

            In a perfect world Obama is mixed. Even in this not so perfect world, Obama is mixed. The fact is, Obama is mixed. I have seen how this man is treated. It's disgusting. He wears custom tailored suits, he lives in the biggest home in Washington, has numerous security guards, rides around in an armored limo, and flies in a 747. Poor guy. BTW, he's mixed.

            Perhaps you can help jamel answer my question: If Obama wins the election how will that help the PLP win?

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          • Carl says:

            Yip, half black and half white, the way the world should be. Fortunately for the rest of us he was raised by his white grandparents after his black father was not in the picture. I guess that makes him more white than black. But I just see him as a smart, good man who wants to help everyone who deserves it, and those of you who are hung up on race do not deserve such a good president, but you do deserve the self entitled, uneducated, racist plp crooks that you vote for. I can't wait until they win and your country continues its flush down the toilet. Nice earrings, is he in a band or just confused.

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          • Arthur says:

            Yip, half black and half white, the way the world should be. Fortunately for the rest of us he was raised by his white grandparents after his black father was not in the picture. I guess that makes him more white than black. But I just see him as a smart, good man who wants to help everyone who deserves it, and those of you who are hung up on race do not deserve such a good president, but you do deserve the self entitled, uneducated, racist plp crooks that you vote for. I can’t wait until they win and your country continues its flush down the toilet. I hate to break it to you but people like you are an embarrassment to Obama. Nice earrings, is he in a band or just confused.

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          • Tyson says:

            Yip, half black and half white, the way the world should be. Fortunately for the rest of us he was raised by his white grandparents after his black father was not in the picture. I guess that makes him more white than black. But I just see him as a smart, good man who wants to help everyone who deserves it, and those of you who are hung up on race do not deserve such a good president, but you do deserve the self entitled, uneducated, racist plp crooks that you vote for. I can’t wait until they win and your country continues its flush down the toilet. I hate to break it to you but people like you are an embarrassment to Obama. Nice earrings, is he in a band or just

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          • Free says:

            What's funny is that he's considered black based on the very same racist principles you detest-the one drop rule.

            People can look and view him however they want that never can and never will change the fact that his mother was a white woman and thus he's biracial/mixed. He can self identify however he wishes but he's still biracial.

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        • i gotta be me says:

          Yeah, Jamel only supports the black half of "his" President Obabma.... just like the PLP only support the black half of Bermuda. What a pig.

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        • swinginfromchandoliers! says:

          @um um----I supposed your mom was half pregnant when she had you too! swing low umum, no one is half black!

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      • What? says:

        I hope Obama wins, but not too sure bout the PLP tho

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      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        Your argument is exactly why a person with your views is called a blind supporter. All you seem to be worried about is that the President is black just like in Ludicris’ song. You have presented no argument on facts or track record. Now I too want Obama to win but in my mind the divisiveness of the plp must be done away with either on their own accord or by the voter's choice. I am singling out the PLP for this because the OBA are not acting in this way all I hear about them in this regard are circumstantial and in almost all cases unprovable based on the information provided about the situation at this time. The PLP in any situation where it raises this issue is see to be racist whither it's in reaction to perceived racism or not how they respond is the real true telling to their minds set added to that that no one within their organization speaks out against it. How can they bring about "one Bermuda"?

        LOL

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        • Free says:

          Ludicris? You mean Ludacris? And that's not his song, it's Young Jeezy's song.

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          • LOL (original TM*) says:

            Ludacris is featured and at that point was bigger in my mind than youg Jeezy, so your point? Mine was the song would have been completely different or non existent if Obama wasn't black coupled with the fact that it was relest right after the 08 election the song was done already just in case, what would have happened if he lost no song right?

            LOL

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            • Free says:

              Uh last time I checked he wasn't. My point is you were wrong. Why are you so mad though? I only corrected your incorrect statement, take it down a notch okay? Who cares if he would have lost, that's in the past and he didn't lose and the song is out. Get over it.

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              • LOL (original TM*) says:

                If I seem mad about the systematic destruction of Bermuda's social fabric, that even I'm sure you can see is a circular effect, ok fine. I'm really not that mad I'm prepared to tackle the issue and am not uncomfortable or scared to do it that might make me insane but not mad. Or is what I'm saying awoken something in you? You spend your time worrying about who sung what, it doesn't change the lyrics of the song and the mentality behind it care to address that as we see the same here in Bermuda or are you only able to try to insult me cause you got no real answer that doesn't in someway prove what I said - wow truly telling!! Let's talk when you ready to deal with a real social issue if you’re not to uncomfortable...............

                LOL these “Your momma games we played as kids never gets us anywhere”

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                • LOL (original TM*) says:

                  Know what the song I was refering to is by Ludacris "Obama is Here" the Young Jeezy song happens to be named "My President is Black" is just another example of what I'm saying......

                  LOL

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      • Billy Mays says:

        Jamel, your comment is interesting. President Obama is "yours"? How ya figure? Are you an American citizen or Bermudian? If you WERE American, you would know that he's not "Black" President Obama. He's President Obama. He won because he was, and is, best qualified for the job and has done a good job. You just don't get it; it's NOT all about race in the real world.
        You should also be aware that President Obama's policies and approaches are very consistent with the positions of the OBA, not the PLP. You may disagree, but you'd be wrong. Again.

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        • @Billy Mays,

          I am a Bermudian, however I do follow American Politics. Please explain to me how the OBA lines up with Obama and the democrats? I am not a person who believes Obama got in because he was black. Obama got in because America was ready for change. President Bush and the republicans made it kinda easy if you ask me (took them to war under false information/spent the surplus Clinton left/gave taxes breaks to the rich/failed Americans when natural disasters struck, this list goes on and on).

          I honestly have not decided who I will vote for in the coming election, but being you are pointing out Jamel being wrong, please explain how you are right.

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          • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

            @ a Bermudian: This is a late reply, so you may not see it, but I have a couple of thoughts on you comments/questions. President Obama (please give him the respect he deserves and address him by his title - he is the only President who is referred to by his last name without the honorific...surely not because he is black/mixed/non-white) won the election on the vote of some 75% white folks. Blacks make up about 13% of the US population and Hispanics about 10%, hardly enough to make a great deal of difference in a mostly white country, despite their fears about being over-run by minorities. President Obama did capture a large percentage of the young vote, which Premier Cox just scuppered for the PLP by setting the date before a majority of the overseas students have completed their exams.

            I would like to make a further comparison based on the following: "took them to war under false information" - "We had to deceive you"
            "spent the surplus Clinton left" - increased the debt from $150 million and falling to $1.5 billion and rising
            "gave tax breaks to the rich" - abandoned the tender system and gave jobs to friends and family
            "failed Americans when natural disasters struck" - this may be the one negative that can't quite be applied to the PLP (unless you want to count such disasters as blowing up Club Med to hide the theft of all its cedar, destroying the St. George Golf Club, building the ugly and unnecessary Grand Atlantic condos on crumbling limestone cliffs and destroying a beautiful South Shore vista) but that could be because all of Bermuda, regardless of political affiliation, rallied around after the hurricanes to help those in need. Of course, the Causeway Bridge is still a temporary one after Fabian, which was how many years ago?

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        • Rose says:

          Well said Billy !!!

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      • Come Correct says:

        "Once my Black President Barack Obama wins tonight"

        Well once the plp win the election you can listen to a song 'no woman no cry' from my Irish Bob Marley...lol some people kill me.

        Say, say, said I remember when we used to sit
        In a government yard in Trenchtown
        Ob, observing the hypocrites
        As the would mingle with the good people we meet
        Good friends we have, oh, good friends we've lost
        Along the way
        In this great future,
        You can't forget your past
        So dry your tears, I say

        No woman no cry, no woman no cry
        Little darling, don't she'd no tears, no woman no cry
        Say, say, said I remember when we used to sit
        In the government yard in Trenchtown
        And then Georgie would make the fire light
        As it was, love would burn on through the night
        Then we would cook cornmeal porridge
        Of which I'll share with you
        My fear is my only courage
        So I've got to push on thru

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      • not surprised says:

        GIVE ME A BREAK....Are you an American? The OBA and Romney have absolutely nothing in common. You can't even make this comparison. You are solely making this statement based on some warped mind frame. Listen to the platform of both the repulican and democratic representative and you would see that. If you are in fact an Americanm then pay close attention to what each representative is saying before you cast you ballot today. This will make a world of difference. Vote on who is the best man for the Job. I am an Obama supporter. I say this because I believe in his ideals and what he is trying to do for his country. He is trying to fix what the man before him left in shambles (8 years worth of damage) ...in our election we may need to consider who the best persons are to fix the damage that has been done (13 years?). May I suggest you get a grip and swing on the vine called reality. Cause you are currently hanging onto a fantasy vine.

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        • Tired of the bull says:

          Actually the OBA is a party whose ideology is far right (conservative) just like the Republican Party. If you don't believe me pick up a book on political science.

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          • Sandgrownan says:

            That's pretty stupid.

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            • Tired of the bull says:

              that's the best you can do....

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              • Sandgrownan says:

                Well, i could spend time explaining why it's a false equivalency, but it's time i would never get back.

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                • Tired of the bull says:

                  No actually you can't

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                  • Sandgrownan says:

                    *sigh*

                    Ok, i'll bite. Which party wants to install a theocracy in the US and is beholden to the religious? Which party in Bermuda courts the "God vote". Religious bigots are always conservative and way right of centre.

                    The more moderate conservatives (OBA) are really centre-right. Don't be fooled by the faux socialism of the PLP wrapped up in in it's roots in the workers movement. This is not a labpur party, anymore, it is a party of self interest with the illusion of a social conscience.

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                    • Tired of the bull says:

                      Very true (About the God Vote) but at least we can agree that they are a conservative party, i say far right you say centre to right at the end of the day conservative is conservative even though everyone swings to the centre every now and then just to please the people.... but i don't believe that all PLP members have their own interest in mind like you suggest, but i won't deny that element doesn't exist in the PLP and the OBA because all people when they move into a position of power start to smell themselves don't think the members of your party are any different.

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          • LOL (original TM*) says:

            Truth be told both parties are slightly left and slightly right conservative in ideology neither are true left or right parties in the traditional sense, but does it matter to anyone really the reason the PLP want to tie the OBA to the Republicans is the American Tea Party.

            LOL

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          • What? says:

            What do you think about the fact that PLP has cut Government expenditure for three straight budgets in the form of austerity? An example will be the increase in GP vehicles along ith a $1mn cut in the Mirrors Programme.

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            • LOL (original TM*) says:

              Add to that I think Education has been cut atleast twice now.........

              LOL

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          • Billy Mays says:

            The similarities between the PLP and President Obama begin and end with skin color. Politically, they're diametrically opposed.
            The OBA is about including all in the process, regardless of race, unlike the PLP which is about race and little else. President Obama is also about including all Americans in the process, not just one race or another.
            The OBA, unlike the PLP, is about fiscal responsibility, just as President Obama has focused his first term on economic recovery from the disaster he inherited. Such wreckage is just what the next leaders of Bermuda will be faced with, thanks to the gross mismanagement and pilferage done by the PLP to the country.
            The PLP stands in the way of civil rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation, just like the republican party.
            This is just a very brief list to demonstrate the fallacy of your equivalency between the OBA and the Republican Party. You were speaking from a position of ignorance. Better to read the book than just pick it up.

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          • Zombie Apocalypse says:

            Which particular book on political science would you recommend? I doubt you've ever seen one.

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      • Come Correct says:

        By the way, are you going to stick with jamel now? Being Come correct #2 or Terry wasn't working for you?

        "No matter what those people’s (oba?)commentators, candidates and BLOGGERS might say,"

        Why did he fail to mention his bloggers? The ones like you sent here to stir the race pot because its the ONLY way the plp can win this next election. I'll let you in on a secret, with what I'm hearing about die hard plp supporters doing so much for the party only to be left hung out to dry, its going to take a little more than that, good luck buddy. A waiting list for financial assistance...well maybe if we could figure out where all the money went the government would be able to help those that helped them, its called scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, not scratch my back and I'll biff you in the back of your head when your not looking. To be honest I really don't give a damn who wins the election, I really just don't care anymore. If the oba win, we'll deal with it, if the plp win, we'll deal with it, such is life.

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        • Sam says:

          I never comment on the blogs because are mostly supported/subscribed to by the OBA (Old Boys Assoc.)supporters.I just have to say this, this one time. No matter where I read BLOGS here or Rg.the only consistant mentions of race is from the Old Boys Assoc. supporters trying to push the race card on to the PLP. Old Boys you are not fooling anyone. real people in the community know better. trust me it's not working. So proceed, see you at the Polls.

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          • Come Correct says:

            You're on something buddy, I don't support any party. Clearly I need to go back and name the other articles where "jamel" pops up under other names, as well as mine, just to stir up the racial emotions. You sat there and wasted your "one and only" post on ridiculous speculations saying the oba has bloggers when i just pointed out a plp blogger...as usual redirecting blame vs. fact...typical really, I expect nothing less. Like I said above, I don't care if the plp wins, I hope its everything you dreamed of, but ima be ok.

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            • Another a$$ whooping says:

              You care stop the f#@king lies ____

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              • Come Correct says:

                Prove it! Christ you people act like you know me. Just like the plp, no facts, sit the f#@k down.

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      • swing voter says:

        LOL yur funny...maybe I will call myself exactly what I am.... 90s PLP supporter....this lot represents the PLP I voted for in 1998 and 2004 no way what-so-ever.

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      • Building a better Bermuda says:

        Please stop comparing the PLP to people like President Obama, former SA President Mandela or civil leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. The only similarities are the skin colour, beyond that they are starkly different. Sure there are a few in the PLP I would put in the boat with the above mentioned, but they area the minority in the party and are allowed very like leeway to making any fundemental decisions about what the PLP does to this country. Those that are steering the PLP have lead it to a corruption that is so far from the views of those great leaders that to try and parallel them, only insults what they stand for. The Lt/Col falls into the later of those in the PLP having tied himself to the monochromatic nationalist view of the party's right wing.

        Please stop trying to tie a party that is so fiercely divided by 2 conflicting political ideologies the it divided this country to keep power, with the universal ideologies that men like President Obama hold, you are insulting him.

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        • Tired of the bull says:

          @buildingabetterbermuda smh all he did was state a few accomplishments your OBA is such a weak opposition that I honestly don't think you guys improved Bermuda at all as an opposition not one idea of improvement and if that’s the case you are insulting the words building a better Bermuda because i haven't heard one solution from you yet, unless your building a better Bermuda of hatred.... If we are all in this together, like you know we are!!!! Both sides need to build a better Bermuda not one side mope and the other side work because people like you are a part of the problem not the solution come better than that please.

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      • Bato Loco. says:

        Ha,Ha,Ha.It is so offensive that you would compare Obama to the PLP,never been,never was and never will be.

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

        well u better save that vomit brah!....ya gonna need it when you get hungry...

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    • Cleancut says:

      Why Burch is allowed to comment on Bernews is a mystery to me.

      Someone who was directly responsible for people loosing their jobs in IB for his own pleasure.

      Burch smuggled prisoners from Cuba without consulting the people of this country and the Governor.

      Burch called people "House Ni**ers" on the radio

      Burch insulted the Filipino population in Bermuda.

      Burch insulted the Governor and a British MP on his visit.

      Burch insulted the Bermuda police service,

      Burch told the public "We don't care what you think"

      and the list goes on and on and on, Burch does not deserve to be elected to the house, he has ulterior motives which will be very
      devastating to this country.

      He needs to be stopped! the voters of warwick north central need to look at this persons controversial background.

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      • Cleancut says:

        Bernews, at least give a reason for holding the comment

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  2. The nitty gritty says:

    I admit that after 14 years of PLP misrule. floundering about scaring off big business and employment, reversing policy monthly, I have to congratulate you on introducing THE LOANER CAR!
    David you bear the brunt of much of the expat exodus with your callous contempt and rudeness toward that section of our economy. The galling thing is nobody elected you! We the people did not provide you with a mandate to make your decisions and statements that so harmed the country. You sir are partly responsible for this $1,400,000,000 disaster that will be borne by us all and the teenagers especially for 30 more years minimum. It was your arrogance that resulted in many of our businesses losing half our expat customers over the last 4 years, slowing the flow of money to a standstill and now threatening every Bermudian with unemployment. Now you have the nerve and audacity to stand up in public and berate anyone for actions not done while suggesting "the people" have somehow benefitted from your regime??
    WE TRIPLED THE NATIONAL DEBT AND PUT YOU ALL IN JEOPARDY- VOTE FOR US
    Where is your shame?

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    • Tired of the bull says:

      The OBA Platform didn't address how they were going to reduce the debt either only how to grow it.... so i think that point is irrelevant try again.

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      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        We have not seen the entire platform yet the election has not been called...........

        LOL

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        • Tired of the bull says:

          Half platform or not you can't increase spending and reduce govt. revenues (Cut taxes) and cut the deficit sorry @LOL it doesn't work like that, try that with you personal income tell me how that works, unless you’re already super solvent or you have magic underwear that dispenses cash all day it won’t work . But, for the past few years all I heard about is the debt is out of control shouldn’t they have addressed that when their half platform was released??? Since that was so important…

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      • Sandgrownan says:

        Fair point. I know how to reduce it. Elect me!

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        • Tired of the bull says:

          Sure with your great debating skills already you would be a great leader.... i wouldn't want to waste your time and expect a response!!!

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  3. Justin says:

    Wow! You wrote an entire essay without even mentioning TERM LIMITS! Coincidence? I think not...

    The PLP have put us over $1.4b in debt and the only thing this guy can talk about is fast ferries, loaner cars and 'investing in people. Sorry, I think $1.4b deserves a lot more detail than that! LOL

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  4. hurricanesandywassoft says:

    We must start building and stop destroying with future plans to rebuild.

    The PLP and the OBA have a wonderful opportunity to work together to make this land prosperous. After all, we will all continue to live in this small land together and politics aside, most of us enjoy each other and our interactions.

    The OBA should be commended for their bi-partisan platform.

    It would be encouraguing if the PLP reconsidered their list of "things to be destroyed" and started building now -- not after "we give you the keys" whenever that is.

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  5. Pitts Bay says:

    Blah Blah Blah

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  6. Sandgrownan says:

    Can i have my land license money back?

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    • swing voter says:

      @ Sandgrownan....you're too kind....umma be str8 up from the other side of the track....gimme my fckin money back!!!!! bastids

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  7. wiaruz says:

    Everyone gets a pony in Burch's dillusional world. THE COUNTRY IS BROKE! They will have to borrow another $100+ million next year when the budget comes in. Unfortunately we are past the point of not return. Whichever party wins it's going to be a very hard next few years.

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    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      im surprised that they arent following obama...giving out free cell phones and paying the bill for their vote....PLPhone {free for the minimal cost of your future.}

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  8. Family Man says:

    He doesn't care what you think anyway.

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  9. joe says:

    If Obama wins today, it will be because white voters re-elected him. You see stupid, most Americans will vote issue, not race, and the political parties have to come up with imaginative ideas -called a platform- which they hope will appeal to the majority of voters. The voting population also increases all the time, so this makes it all the more difficult.
    In Bermuda, the voter population is shrinking, and pretty soon we may have a government with only a small number of people who actually work her and pay taxes, voting for it. The PLP does not have to offer a platform, does not have to be creative, in fact does not even have to be honest. It merely has to hope and persuade enough blacks to vote for it, and that number is now about 15,000. So, it ignores everyone else which is why it will never be the party to create unity in this country. Of course in time as the economy collapses, the middle class will leave and take prosperity with them, but then Bermuda will be a black country, which is perhaps what the PLP wants. At least the OBA has to attract both black and white voters, and must offer programs which are seen to be fair and attractive to all, in order to win. So clearly, which is the more democratic party? Of course whites are all racists and blah blah blah.

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    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      Well said and my thought exactly except for the last sentence and the part on the USA as I don't live there and can't comment on their issue's vs race, well put..

      LOL

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  10. navin johnson says:

    Burch your opinions have no value ....slink away

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    • street wise says:

      I didn't read the article. I will never read plp propaganda. Particularly from Birch. IMO, Birch is an over emotional, racist, loose cannon who has caused more collateral damage to our Country than he is capable of admitting. His opinions are not needed nor are they appreciated. He is an old school, chip-on-the-shoulder, pay-back buddy of Dr Evil, Burgess and Inzane. If Birch actually gets elected we can be sure of him jamming his foot in his cute little mouth almost every time he opens it. Please go away Mr Birch... we do not need your style of ignorance in Parliament again, we have had enough of you to last a lifetime!

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  11. FrankTalk says:

    Interesting is that the gist of Burch's column is about the role/impact/value of leadership based on ideology and that the opposition doesn't appear to have one.

    Rather they are in compaign mode looking to capitalise on the PLPs (many) mis-steps and the general low ebb of the Island's pysche.

    Most of the comments follow this template to the letter.

    Vision or electioneering?

    Can I ask a question on the Island's debt? PwC said for 2012/2013: "Debt to GDP ratio increasing from 21% to 24% in 2012 (2007 – 5.9%) compared to around 30% for Bermuda’s peers in AA sovereign ratings groups"

    This implies that the level is increasing (and the Government has explained why) but compares favourably to similar jurisdictions. What is the informed/idealogical response to that statement?

    Frank

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    • Sandgrownan says:

      We need foreign capital now. We need an environment that will encourage the flow of capitla inwards. We need liquidity in the local economy. We need the right conditions to encourage that.

      Te PLP, with this prick as a prime architect, are directly reonsible for the situation in which we find ourselves. The PLP has no plan or idea on how to dig our way out the hole they created.

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      • FrankTalk says:

        Ah ha! So now we get start to get into the meat of it.

        On the one hand there is an idealogical view (so far not not explicitly stated by the OBA) that we to continue increase the amount of foriegn captial and expertise in order to thrive or indeed survive.

        On the on the other hand there is an ideaology (so far only partially stated by the PLP) which says this approach more often than not leads to unsustainable socio-economic disparities.

        Needless to say neither party has come forward to say that both views may be equally valid and what the Island needs to do is fine the right balance.

        If I may: Foreign capital from where and whom? What about the possibility that there is simply less "foreign capital" to go around? Namely that some of the EXTERNAL parameters that made Offshore financial centers like Bermuda attractive, have changed?

        Say like de-regulation of the US Airline industry - NOT our little general strike of 1981 - killed Bermuda's tourism industry

        Frank

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        • Sandgrownan says:

          Absolutely.

          Shrinking tax base (revenue)means more debt. Less liquidity means empty store, bare shelves. Less rents mean more repossessions.

          Failing public services, especially education, lead to the erosion of social fabric. Fewer educated, skilled people. No income, spiraling downwards.

          It's all very well to be a socially conscious party (at least that's what they tell us) but it's pointless without cash. Secondly, throw in some racially charged rhetoric and obvious discrimination with a sinister undertone of "getting our own back", then we're in a dangerous situation. The not so subtle erasing of Bermuda's history and the revisionist view of events creates an atmosphere of mistrust.

          Remember, we produce nothing other than human capital and we have an over inflated opinion of our worth. A little humility would go a long way.

          The PLP are solely responsible for this mess as it pertains to Bermuda. And Burch was at the centre of some of the worst legislative disaster they created. He ought to STFU.

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          • FrankTalk says:

            From an Academic standpoint a downward spiral is on order.

            Our socio-economic house is/was based on a narrow set of parameters which have changed.

            We our immaturity as a democracy allowed the PLP to get so many things so horribly wrong and do without a meaningful opposition for so long (arguably still).

            Say what you want about political parties at the end of the day they and politicians serve at our pleasure. We get the representation we deserve.

            Say what you want about the Ministry of Education but those are BERMUDIAN teachers in our schools (with world class facilities) rolling out underprepared students.

            Frank

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          • @Sandgrownan

            I think most of your points are valid and up for debate, but one thing I have to call you out on is education. Must I remind you who was in power when the Cedar Bridge High School was built? PLP have played a part going forward, as they govern the island, but the education system failing falls at the feet of the UBP. Please correct me if I am wrong, but why was a system brought to Bermuda that was failing in Canada? I am a product of the old system, so I honestly have to question the motives of the people who changed this system.

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            • Sandgrownan says:

              Don't disagree, but do note that the committee (group) that created the mess we have was bi-partisan to use a phrase borrowed from the US. While Gerald Simons may well have been the chair, our current education minister was in on the decision.

              Everyone needs to accept their fair share of responsibility for that sh&t show. And we have had 14 years to make some real change and they still can't get work permit processed for teachers in time. We still have more civil servants in the Dept. of Education than we have teachers in front of kids. Shame on the PLP.

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              • The nitty gritty says:

                You cannot keep blaming political parties or teachers for the atrocious dereliction of duty by certain parents who are greatly determining the outcome of their childrens' education. $140 million dollar schools do not scholars make.
                You hear educational complaints about the private schools? Great parental involvement and often sacrifices ACROSS the board there.
                As to solving the economic crisis- get the politicians as far away from it as possible! They aren't too sharp at their own small businesses so stay out of big business. Leave the private sector to do what it does best. If anything we need less committees and bureaucracy and more hands off to allow entrepreneurs to thrive. If this Government hadn't looked out for number one through twenty two all these years we would have some money to put toward the problems.
                Then again we might not have had so many serious issues if the REAL plp from the 90's were still around instead of these pretenders to social conscience.

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  12. Shelta says:

    The PLP is the Party of Lois and Freddie just like the Republican party is the party of Lincoln. That is to say unrecognizable.
    Come back and proudly proclaim the party's accomplishments when PATI is implemented. Then I may start to believe this government has an interest in being an open democracy.

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  13. C.B.A. says:

    "The PLP is clear on where we stand on the issues. We are the Party of Lois and Freddie. The Party of social justice and equality for all."

    Did you feel you were working towards equality for all when you hung up on the caller to Hott 107.5 because she was white?

    In any event, I think younger voters care most about the fact that we will be in debt for a very long time (which will get worse under more years of a plp government) without any jobs becoming available. Weren't you the minister in charge of work permits during the time that expats started leaving?

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  14. theothersidebda says:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same....the more I wish Burch, Rolf and Derrick would just slip away into the night and let those in the party interested in really moving Bermuda forward, the more they seem to come back into the picture. *sigh*

    It is the fact that the antics of the these three specifically have not only been tolerated but embraced is what scares me about voting PLP...Derrick the most, especially when he makes his power play move for the top spot post election.

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  15. Familiar says:

    I think what worries me most is that Mr. Burch probably believes the things he's written.

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    • SadYoungVoter says:

      I am with you on that Familiar. The PLP seem to never have any concrete comments that give me any sort of hope for their leadership. I am a young voter ready to start a life here but I am struggling to get my foot in the door of my career. Meanwhile anyone that has a baby gets a handout (Child Care Allowance)?! I would like a government that looks at the future not just how to keep a vote. Maybe we should be looking at why these young girls are having babies and try to help encourage others NOT to take this path.

      Who cares what the name of the government is?! Shouldn't we be looking at the one that gives us answers? I checked out the PLP homepage today and compared it the OBA's homepage where they have painted a wonderful picture of what they plan to try to do to fix some of the things that Bermudians have outlined as a concern to them. The PLP site was all about their Banquet, which was a waste of money for them to spread their lies trying to convince people they are the best suited for the job. Who the heck cares! Just tell me why you are with some facts or ideas and then I can work with that!!!

      I don't have a baby so I don't need that handout. I am out of school so I don't need that handout from the Bermuda College either. I do however need some affordable housing! Where the heck is that?!

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      • street wise says:

        Soon come... if the plp get re-elected....

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      • Jo Crow says:

        I totally agree with your post!

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  16. Victor says:

    Go away you nasty, vile, little begrudger.

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  17. Argosy says:

    Please go away; you and your racist-hatred tenets have caused enough damage to this Island already. And take Rolf with you!

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    • LMAO @ Argosy

      Racist-hatred has been here long before any of these gentlemen were even born. I guess all the racist who existed before these gentlemen have played no part in todays divide?

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  18. Verbal Kint says:

    Lt. Col. Birch, tell us who fronted Laughing Waters and why they weren't prosecuted and you might regain a LITTLE credibility.

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  19. The nitty gritty says:

    OBA-MA?

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  20. terry says:

    Not even worth my time on this one.

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  21. Small fry says:

    Thank you Col. Burch for clearly stating the PLP vision of a Bermuda full of loaner cars, new air-conditioned buses & fast ferries, Child Care Allowances, increased pensions, enormous public debt, record breaking levels of unemployment, decling family incomes and GDP, poor public education system, pot-hole filled roads, broken bridges, high levels of crime, gang violence, corruption, dismally low air and ship tourist arrivals, big cars & high salaries for MPs & Cabinet Ministers, declining property values, unprecedented mortgage forclosures, Grand Atlantic units that only one person will buy, dreams of a Green & Blue economy, and the plan on how to grow our economy and reduce our growing, massive Govt debt is to simply vote the PLP back into power again. The loaner car thing really got me. I'm voting PLP just for that....

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  22. Vote for Me says:

    All,
    As always Colonel Burch is able to incite a variety of comments when he writes. In this case, it is unfortunate that most posters have ignored what he has written and instead focussed on him.

    I invite any of you to specifically critique what he has written. In my opinion, ha has in essence described the difference between the PLP and the OBA. The PLP always lead from the heart - what actions can be taken to assist the average person? The OBA (and we have to accept many of their perspectives are shaped by former senior UBP mambers) always led from the wallet - what is the dollar cost?

    Regardless of your perspective, each focus is relevant at different times. The challenge is to get the right balance and at the right time.

    And so... lets hear some specific critiques of what he has written. To help, ignore the messenger and respond to the message.

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    • Axxperts.... says:

      Quote from Colonel Burch at the end of his opinion piece "Don’t be afraid to let us know your feelings – because at the end of the day – that’s what true democracy is all about – A partnership with those elected to serve and those who elect them."

      Earlier quote from Colonel Burch from the Senate "We dont care what you think".

      So, "Vote for Me" critique that.....

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  23. Jim Bean says:

    HEY "TIRED OF THE BULL":SO WHO REALLY HAS ROMNEY LINKS? THE PLP!!
    To the paid bloggers out there its time for the Bermudian people to ask why the current Government spent $800,000 of their money to hire Mitt Romney's National Finance Co-Chair (Eric Tanenblatt)and key strategic advisor. Out of the tens of thousands of qualified international law and government relations attorneys in Washington DC and New York, why would Paula pay nearly a million Bermudian dollars to a team based in the deep red southern state of Georgia? Instead of a team led by an established and qualified Democratic legal consultant would they funnel Bermudian taxpayer monies to a team led by a well-known Republican political operative to do away with the corporation of hamilton? A top fundraiser for George W. Bush, a fundraiser and advisor for Romney in 2008 and a key strategic advisor and National Finance Co-Chair for Romney's 2012 campaign? To learn more following the links below, because the more you learn about this, the more you wonder.
    www.bizjournal.com/atlanta/stories/2010/08/23/story10.html
    www.mckennalong.com/news-listing-2720.html
    www.plp.bm/node/2428
    www.mckennalong.com/professionals-791.html
    http://tinyurl.com/cdhlzo8
    http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2012/08/24/mitt-romneys-money-man-in-atlanta.html?page=all
    http://bermudasun.bm/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=44388&SectionID=24&SubSectionID=270&S=1
    Yes - I am shocked - this is the PLP - by wthat do you expect?!

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  24. Groundhog says:

    "There is a clear difference in a PLP Bermuda and a Bermuda managed by those others. " "Those others????" After I read that remark, I nearly didn't finish reading the article. As expected, Col. Burch's words were as usual little more than hot air...two paragraphs extolling the virtues of "loaner" vehicles...and thinly disguised racism. That, and the bulk of your little rant is pure gibberish, written by a desperate man looking for a job. I've got news for you, Burch...the PLP has NOT "impacted Bermuda for the better"! Of course you wouldn't know that because you're too freakin' busy swanning around town in your little bubble, not even remotely aware of what's really going on with the ordinary citizens of your own country. I swear, when you had your ears pierced, the needle must have gone straight through your head from one ear to the other. SMDH

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  25. Formidable Deviant says:

    Congratualtions on the legislation that allows loaner cars. What a terrific achievement. Why are we even listening to this clown?

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  26. Building a better Bermuda says:

    The Lt/Col say this:

    "This economic downturn has hit everyone, some harder than most. While they talk only of the Government’s balance sheet and how much money the Government should have sitting in surplus, the PLP Government is proud to have softened the blow for the majority of our people.

    Imagine how the single mother would be doing without the benefit of the Child Care Allowance.

    Imagine the impact on Seniors without the benefit of consistent pension increases through the years."

    Well I would add

    Imagine what could have been done if millions upon millions was still in the coffers and hadn't been squandered On 1st class travel and luxury hotels for large entourages, BMW cars, big construction contracts awarded to family and friends for projects that then overrun further millions as they don't have the expertise to operate them, overseas and local friends getting cushy contracts with little or no oversight.

    The UBP was far from the model for clean governance in it day, but they could have taken whole new semesters at the PLP's University for cronyism.

    It is unclear how the OBA will preform as a government, but it is 14 years clear what a PLP government will mean and it is time for change. Bermuda can no longer be 'mislead'.

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  27. More Confused says:

    I believe the Lt. Colonel should be saying "Imagine what our children will think of us, why we wasted so much money on frivolous things, and why we borrowed so much, and how it will take most of their lifetime with higher taxes to repay the huge debt".

    I'm surprised no one has commented on the post by Jim Bean at 12.19pm. The PLP getting into bed with a lawyer who is also a fundraiser for Mitt Romney? Mitt Romney of all people. The PLP aren't quite so socially minded it seems.

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  28. fred says:

    There's no comparison between Obama and the PLP.. God get a life !

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  29. SoMuchMore says:

    this is too funny that this man would come out and make some comments... with his help he's brought down this country too.

    plp cheerleaders, keep cheering on your gombeyment but wake up and see what mess they've put us in.

    uncle david, speak on that! o wait you'll just studder with nothing better to say. sad day indeed!

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  30. In 2008 Democratic President Obama inherited an economy that was near depression levels because of the financial mis-management of his predecessor, a republican. President Obama has spent the last 4 years attempting to undue the damage inflicted upon the American people by the George Bush Jr regime. After the next election, the OBA will inherit a Bermudian economy in freefall, with huge unemployment, decreasing rents and housing values, loss of hope, lack of confidence and increasing violent crime as a result of the incompetence and mismanagement inflicted upon us by a plp government. Yet the plp tries to align themselves with the Democrats? Oh the irony of it all. "When the illusion is over, that's when the absurdity of it all begins."

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  31. Family Man says:

    Ideological differences?

    How many private islands have the plp given away to friends and family? They won't say but we know of one.

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  32. Jim Bean says:

    And look the PLP lawyer who has $800K of our money also raised bucket loads for Bush - and note SO DID SLAYTON!!

    Bush-Cheney '04 Fundraising
    Rangers and Pioneers
    Rangers ($200,000 or more)
    The initial group of 18 Rangers:
    Katherine E. Boyd - owner, Katherine Boyd Interior Decoration; appointed by Pres. George H.W. Bush (41) to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Hillsborough, California
    Joseph C. Canizaro - founder, president and chief executive officer of Columbus Properties, L.P., a commercial real estate development company headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana >
    William O. DeWitt Jr. - president Reynolds DeWitt & Co. a Cincinnati-based investment firm; DeWitt and his wife were two of the four co-chairs of the 2001 Presidential Inaugural Committee, Ohio
    Richard J. Egan - served as ambassador to Ireland, Aug. 2001-Jan. 2003; founder and chairman emeritus of EMC Corporation, Massachusetts >
    Christopher F. Egan - manages Carruth Capital, LLC, a real estate investment and development company in Westborough, Massachusetts >
    Frank E. Fowler - art dealer (represents the original works of Andrew Wyeth); serves on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee >
    Sam Fox - chairman, chief executive officer and founder of Harbour Group, Ltd.a privately owned company specializing in the acquisition and development of manufacturing companies; also national chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition. St. Louis, Missouri >
    Bradford M. Freeman - a founding partner of Freeman Spogli & Co., a privately owned investment firm, California >
    Al Hoffman - chief executive officer of WCI Communities, Inc., the largest master-planned community developer and builder in Florida, Fort Myers, Florida >
    Robert W. Johnson IV - a member of the founding family of Johnson & Johnson, Johnson is chairman and CEO of The Johnson Company, Inc., and the New York Jets, LLC, New York >
    Nancy G. Kinder - president of the Kinder Foundation; wife of Richard Kinder, chairman and chief executive officer of Kinder Morgan Inc., an energy company in Houston, Texas >
    Carl H. Lindner - chairman of the board, chief executive officer, founder and principal shareholder of American Financial Group, Inc. a financial holding company principally engaged in property/casualty and life insurance, Ohio >
    Stan O'Neal - chairman, chief executive and president of Merrill Lynch, New York >
    Jamie Reynolds - along with Mercer Reynolds he owns Reynolds Plantation, an exclusive residential lake and golf community in Greene County, Georgia >
    Ned L. Siegel - president and managing partner of The Siegel Group, a commercial development and real estate management company; also serves on the OPIC Board of Directors, Boca Raton, Florida >
    Gregory W. Slayton - Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Palo Alto, California
    Eric Tanenblatt - chief of staff to Gov. Sonny Perdue, Georgia >
    Zachariah P. Zachariah, MD - prominent cardiologist in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

    http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/bush/bushtopd.html

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  33. Jim Bean says:

    AND TRY THIS - PLP is linked to a who is who of the Republicans!!

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NetworkAztlan_News/message/18057

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  34. Jim Bean says:

    http://atlantajewishtimes.com/why-tanenblatt-thinks-romney-right-man-for-job/
    And one more!!

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  35. Bazinga! says:

    The Colonel's words are very divisive, which only further separates people into groups who are not expected to get along to further the betterment of everyone! The divided are indeed easily manipulated and conquered.

    How about showing some respect, reaching out and working towards a common goal - together - of having a better country tomorrow than what we had yesterday? I know it's a crazy thought but we ALL have to share this planet and are far more alike than our fearless leaders want us to believe! I wonder how Dr. King would feel about race relations today and our ability, or inability, to no longer judge by the color of our skin...

    Taking some responsibility for a change would be good too. Many elected officials inherit bad situations, but a true leader will accept this and works towards making things better. By constantly saying "I inherited this mess" of a job they campaigned for knowing full well what the situation was like seems, unbecoming.

    Let us all elect better leaders otherwise, we get exactly what we deserve.

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  36. Kathy says:

    What the hell is wrong with a 4 year change? If you don't like the OBA, in 4 years you can vote back the PLP. People get so worked up about a short term in office. People get totally bent out of shape. It is just a change in office.

    I think it is time for a change. Don't you think Bermuda has hit rock bottom? From here, we can only go up!

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    • Come Correct says:

      I somewhat agree. 4 years is not a short time, thats 4 years of YOUR life and we haven't hit rock bottom...yet, trust me, all of us will know when we've hit rock bottom, and I can almost guarentee you, if we do reach that point, the current leadership will be nowhere in sight...you'll probably be able to find them in a vineyard. What they don't seem to realize is karma takes a while to come around, and karma plays a dirty game, it doesn't forgive and it doesn't forget.

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  37. Jo Crow says:

    The fact that this idiot is endorsing the PLP when he bailed on them is ridiculous. Now he wants back in. Lt. Col Bruch is a arrogant fool who is just as crocket as his name! He has faulty business practice and goes around acting like he does so much good. ____ Sick of these idiots coming out of the wood works with their stupid opinions. Stay ____ out of politics, ____...

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  38. Ringmaster says:

    Minister Minors is wasting her time on new work permit rules if David Burch is elected as an MP.

    Seeing the photo and opinion piece and realising that he is a candidate in the next election will have many IB companies dusting off their Plan B manuals.

    What were some of his immortal sayings (some paraphrased)?
    We don't care what you think.
    I could issue 10 year work permits, but only over my dead body.
    You can't come to the meeting. It is my meeting and I will decide who can and can't attend.

    No wonder many in IB quietly downsized and relocated their head offices, and they won't be back

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    • Cleancut says:

      Many more IB are waiting to see if Burch is elected.

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      • i gotta be me says:

        If the PLP get in there will be no more IB in Bermuda. They will all leave, as they have slowly been moving for the past 6 years or so. Additionally, the brightest and most motivated Bermudians will leave too. Who wants to do business with a racist xenophobic govt?

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  39. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    whew!...it took along time getting here...as usual jus shouting in each others faces again...lmfao
    why the hell cant you people see what is going on right in front of you!?...by design, there will be political and racial flare-ups to keep us divided and preoccupied, while they use the violence and diminishing prosperity of Bda as an excuse for Martial Law to be implemented for YOUR SAFETY....hahaha right!...thats exactly what they want... Total Control of YOU!...you jus dont get it do you....well ...like granny used to say "if you DON'T listen..you WILL feel.

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  40. The nitty gritty says:

    Their desperation to get back in during such a disaster on all fronts, with small hope of even medium term repair, makes one think there is a necessity to be elected to stall things that PATI may uncover and be so very damaging. It cant be for the paycheck this time round! a. They already got comfy
    b. There aint no money left

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  41. Mut Romknee says:

    So righteous one where was the progressive for our fellow gay Bermudians ,shame on you!

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