Audio: Premier Defends Bermuda On UK’s BBC

November 30, 2013

While being interviewed on the UK’s BBC, Premier Craig Cannonier had some strong words for a UK tax campaigner, telling him he doesn’t have the right to impose what he believes is right on Bermuda.

During his recent trip, Premier Cannonier sat down to do an interview with BBC News along with War on Want’s Senior Campaigns Officer Murray Worthy.

Last week War on Want — a UK charity whose mission is to “fighting the root causes of global poverty — singled out Bermuda, calling for more international action to “tackle tax havens.”

When Mr Worth accused Bermuda of being a tax haven and asked the Premier about regulating business, Premier Cannonier asked him “who will regulate the likes of yourselves?”

The Premier said, “I think you are barking up the wrong tree, I think you need to talk to the UK first. I think you need to talk to the US first. That’s where the real power is.”

“If we are going to talk about tax havens and hiding, we can certainly come right to London and say well listen…you have foreigners who come to your country and live here and who pay less taxes.”

The Premier pointed out Bermuda has some 60,000 people and we don’t have the ability to “change a global economy.”

Audio of Premier Cannonier’s interview with the BBC:

“What do you expect for Bermuda to do with its economy?” asked the Premier. “Do you want us to fish? What do you want us to do? Do you want us to have farms? We don’t have the land for that.

“I think it is foolish, because you would be plunging countries like Bermuda and the Cayman into poverty.”

The Premier continued, “Just because we name our tax differently, doesn’t mean that we don’t have tax. You are attempting to impose what you believe to be right on another nation…you don’t have that kind of right.”

“But for you to impose upon Bermuda and many of the other countries on trying to decide how they raise revenues, quite frankly, is astounding to me,” said the Premier.

Premier Cannonier travelled to the UK recently in order to participate in the annual Joint Ministerial Council. He was accompanied by Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy and Minister of Finance Bob Richards.

Minister Richards also defended Bermuda in the international press recently, telling Forbes: “We’ve been accused of things that we’ve had nothing to do with.

“If there are problems with the UK, the US or anybody in Europe collecting their taxes, it’s because their system is deficient, not because we’ve done something wrong.

“We haven’t set up our country to be a tax haven. The situation we have in Bermuda is that we have a tax structure that goes back over 150 years.

“We haven’t changed our tax system in 150 years so it has to do with the tax systems in the developed countries. If there’s a revenue shortfall, it’s the tax systems in these countries.

“It’s not our fault,” said Minister Richards.

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  1. sage says:

    “you are attempting to impose what you believe is right on another nation….you don’t have that kind of right.” Oh really , since when? What happened in the case of ending capital punishment , adhering to the war on drugs , changing immigration policy , legalizing homosexuality ? Bigger nations have always and will always impose their will .Didn’t Henry Tucker say something about it being unwise to allow international business to become our only economic pillar. Looks like fishing and farming (something called self reliance, a long forgotten concept) might be our only choice.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Um… The end of capital punishment and legalizing homosexuality were both started by local folks. There was no imposition from another nation.

      And if you think fishing and farming are the way to go forward as a nation, you’re insane.

      • Mazumbo says:

        He held his own and he did good I think he could handle Sherrie J after that.
        Goes to show you what those Brits think about you little colonies and you want to call it Mother Land? I guess its for those who claim it.

      • sage says:

        So what about the governor stating that the UK would step in if we reinstituted the death penalty?There is no denying the drug war has been imposed, but anyway I took the statement out of context since he was refering to the War on Want imposing their beliefs on nations. Still putting all our eggs in one basket is unwise and is something we should have begun to address in the years of plenty(for some).I know some folks think they are above tilling the dirt but we all have to eat and although fishing and farming as a national pillar couldn’t support so many gluttons who do nothing to provide for themselves it can be an excellent way to be independent for individuals , families and communities who don’t mind a little hard work (force x distance) which beats waiting to catch the crumbs falling off the rich mans table any day.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Who is putting all our eggs in one basket?

          We’ve been VERY successful, traditionally and historically, with our two legs: IB and Tourism. There is absolutely no reason not to try to go back to that.

          “Waiting to catch the crumbs falling off the rich mans table”?

          Come on. With that attitude, you’ll never get ahead, no matter if we pursue IB and Tourism or, as you bizarrely suggest, fishing and farming as a community. Oh, wait. You backtrack on that and then say it should be individuals and families…
          We’re not talking about individuals taking care of themselves. We’re talking about a national program to get our economy back on track.

          You said “ending capital punishment”… WE did that.
          The Governor’s comments have nothing to do with something we already did a long time ago.

          • sage says:

            We are , and despite the fact that historically and traditionally we have been very successful , right now we’re up s#!t creek , If we have two legs , one’s atrophied , and despite having 19,000 + international businesses here with increasing profits 10 times our GDP we are in increasing debt that still won’t be paid off after most of us are dead . I will maintain the attitude you feel will hold me back but self reliance is better than dependence , and I said “individuals, families and communities” communities as in Fairylands or Tuckers Town, neighborhoods uniting to be more self sufficient , get it ? WE ended capital punishment because of international pressure not because we (those against it) pioneered the concept and govo was reminding us Mother dear say’s to stay in line. Comprende’ ?

            • Mike Hind says:

              You have no concept of reality. It’s scary.

              Fairylands and Tuckers Town as farmers and fishermen?
              Huh?

              And the end of capital punishment was locally driven.
              You are incorrect.

              Comprende? You can’t just make stuff up and present it as fact.

              • sage says:

                I have no concept of your biased reality and care not to ,I used Fairylands and Tuckers Town only as examples of “communities” just as I could have said Jones’s Village or Middletown . Was capital punishment ended here before Britain ? What exactly do you claim I have made up ?

                • Mike Hind says:

                  What are you making up? “…your biased reality…”. This kind of thing.

                  You keep changing your position when I show where it’s weak, which is fine, but the problem is that you’re acting like these new positions aren’t changes.

                  Your whole “farming and fishing” thing is ridiculous and impossible and simply won’t work.
                  That’s not “my bias”, it’s simply reality.

                  • sage says:

                    Fishing and farming is working for some right now , and while people wait for you all talking about a national plan some have to supplement their meager incomes to survive . I certainly have not changed my position since you have offered no proof to back up your position either .

                    • Mike Hind says:

                      Now it’s a supplement? I thought it was for self-reliance!

                      I

    • Lebron says:

      I got 3 kids, my wife and I work, we tried hard to get a Bermudian lady to take care of our kids and home, none of the applicants were willing to wash dishes or put clothes in the washer, so for 3 ears we have had a wonderful Filipino gal.

      Now seriously sage, you think Bermudians gonna work the land or fish the seas in large numbers?

      • sage says:

        I don’t want to be an indentured labourer either , so it’s a good thing you can take advantage of the fact a Filipino “gal” lives somewhere thats so hard to survive that she would have no qualms about leaving her own children and home to take care of themselves and travel thousands of miles away to slave away at your place washing your dirty plates and clothes and minding your kids for hours on end for a pittance.

        • Mike Hind says:

          A lot of assumptions in here…

          • sage says:

            Have you elected yourself as unofficial moderator for Bernews ? Point out the assumptions , be specific .

            • Mike Hind says:

              Nope. Simply commenting, just like you.

              Your assumptions:
              Indentured servitude. Working for other people is not indentured servitude.
              That she’s being taken advantage of.
              That she’s from a place where it’s hard to survive. Ironically, that’d be where they sufficiency farm…
              That she had children.
              That she slaves away for hours on end (aka “a job”)
              That she’s being paid a pittance.

              Specific enough?

              • sage says:

                Alright you got me , although I can only assume in this case , since I have no knowledge of this specific situation other than lebron’s thinly veiled “bermudians are lazy and unemployable” assertion, I would bet my bottom dollar these assumptions are pretty close to the truth going by what girls in this field have told me . Remember the young woman found to be working as a bartender who was working 80+ hours and being paid for 40 in an establishment owned by several prominent people ? Swept under the rug , but these things are happening. People under the situation I assume to be occurring can’t complain openly either , I assume because too much is at stake.

  2. Sue De Nimm says:

    Imagine for a moment if this had been an interview with the leader of the opposition, what a disaster it would have been, and what the world would think of Bermuda.

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Actually, you are wrong. Marc Bean is more than capable……and we all know that. The surprise here is that the Premier gave an excellent response to the reporter, and IMHO, he should be congratulated for it. If you listened to parliament yesterday like I did, you would have noticed Bean, Brown, Burt, and other PLP MPs give very good presentations in support of the Premiers stance. They know their subject matter well. Your premise lacks a grasp of reality…..just give credit to the premier and min Richards for good work…….but don’t state nonsense like the above.

      • Mike Hind says:

        He speaks well when he’s spreading hate, bigotry and lies about members of our community.

        • Mazumbo says:

          Evidence !

          • Mike Hind says:

            Easy…

            “Asked for his own opinion on same-sex marriage, Mr Bean maintained that it and the “agenda of same-sex marriage” represented “an attack on the foundation of civilisation and on life itself, and that’s the family unit”.”

            See how easy that was?

            • S Smith says:

              I think that 80% of people would agree with him.

              • Mike Hind says:

                You can think that all you want.

                Doesn’t make it true.

                Nor does it make it anything but hate, bigotry and lies, as I said in my first post.

                • Ian says:

                  What makes you say its not true? How do you know that? Would you dismiss the possibility there is actually a gay agenda with structured influence that permeates largely through the “Godless”, morally-decayed [if not void] Western pop culture machine. And I know many of you are programmed to process that kind of rhetoric as mere conspiracy theory. May be an interesting exercise, however, to ask yourselves who taught you to think that way.

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    What makes me say it’s not true is that there’s no way that “80% of people” would agree with him.

                    The rest of your post is just more sick rationalization for hate.

                    The “gay agenda” is simply “being treated equally”.

                    But, to humour you, what is this “pop culture machine” you’re talking about? Who’s behind it? What is their purpose?

              • Sandy Bottom says:

                80% would think it’s an “attack on civilization itself”?

                Really? Would that include everyone that has children without getting married first?

                • Ian says:

                  I doubt it, as procreation is perhaps the foundation of civilization… Between whats clearly a homosexual agenda [that seems to take precedence over everything now], the destruction of God/religion [funny enough, by the same pop culture machine that props gays up on a pedestal], and a celebration of excess consumption, we find ourselves returning a morally decayed, perverse, economically unsustainable place; its the spirit of Rome essentially. And where the Devil has shown [again] that he’s convinced the world he doesn’t exist, most of you have been bred to think your too smart to be susceptible to repeated history. Ironically its folks like you that have historically spearheaded the collapse of civilizations [like Rome].

                  • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

                    Religion doesn’t need help from homosexuals, they are destroying themselves quite efficiently…

                    • Mike Hind says:

                      No. They’re not, actually. But keep spreading that hate!

                  • Common Sense says:

                    It’s always fascinating to hear about the so-called “gay agenda”. If we look back on history to when homosexuality was decriminalized in Bermuda (the Stubbs Bill), we so often hear that it was the white UBP godless oligarchy who rammed it through, but on closer examination it was passed by politicians from both sides of the House, including then PLP Leader, L. Frederick Wade. The Hon Lois Browne-Evans, along with Dame Jennifer Smith, The Hon Ewart Brown, and the Hon Alex Scott.

                    By Ian’s distorted logic it means that the above PLP politicians, all whom of whom have actually led the Progressive Labour Party, must have been members of this “pop culture machine”, who were pushing the gay agenda, and contributing to the moral decay and perversion that Ian writes about.

                    Strange because I’ve always looked upon Freddie Wade and Dame Lois Browne-Evans as bastions of democracy and equal rights. Is it just possible that equal rights for all means exactly what it says – EQUALITY FOR ALL!

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    Nonsense. What you call “destruction of God/religion” is actually people standing up and saying “You can believe whatever you want, but you can’t demand that other people follow the rules of your religion”.
                    And, as mentioned, the “homosexual agenda” is simply “let folks live our lives the same way you do” and nothing more than that.

                    The rest of your post is just plain hate speech.

                  • Mike Hind says:

                    “Procreation is perhaps the foundation of civilization”?

                    A) this is nonsense and
                    B ) what does that have to do with the topic? Procreation is not a stipulation nor a requirement for marriage.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    Ian, why wouldn’t it be equally valid to label people who have children prior to marriage as the ones wrecking civilization? They create poverty. Their children have no father figure, or if there is one, he’s a part-timer. They destroy family values because they have no family unit to begin with. They contribute to the destruction of our civilization.

                    Valid argument, isn’t it? More valid than the superstitious “devil” stuff religious bigots always bring up.

          • Mike Hind says:

            No response, “Mazumbo”?

            No surprises there.

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        The “surprise” is that he gave an excellent response?

        You just don’t give up do you.

      • Sue De Nimm says:

        Concerned Citizen: You are the one with no grip on reality. Bean sounds like ….. everytime he speaks. If you think that makes a good impression – you need to think again. Craig did very well. Your boy would have been, “Well umum like, you know umum”.

      • Navin Johnson says:

        Have to disagree with you regarding the way Marc Bean speaks would have been an embarrassment to Bermuda….to appear on BBC saying “whiffs” and dems and um ums and sounding like you were falling asleep?

  3. down de road says:

    Good Job Craig!

    For those that think that he is not a strong leader, please listen to this audio. Talk about “Standing Strong”! For all the PLP supporters, have a listen.

    • Feed the goats says:

      Totally agree, this is the leadership we have been missing.

      Can you imagine Paula Cox doing this? – she could barely string a sentence together.

      • S Smith says:

        Bit biased? I think that is one thing the former premier could do very well, talk.

      • Ian says:

        Are you serious?! Were you completely high during Paula’s time in government building Bermuda’s status on the stage of international diplomacy between TIAs and OECD agreements??? You’re really gonna try and compare Craig’s competence on these matters to hers? Thats beyond bias, your delusional!

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        I’ll argue with you there. If nothing else she could sure string a sentence together. She was a master at stringing a very very long sentence together which, at the end of it, you were left scratching your head wondering what in the world she said. It clearly made absolutely no sense at all, but it sounded good.

    • S Smith says:

      Don’t agree. His points are completely incoherent. He’s talking about income tax, when we don’t have one and he is confusing simple matters. His point is good, we haven’t changed our system, he should stick there, or else he can be sucked in as he was in this interview.

      To the general populace the bluster is great, as a Bermudian I love it, but a neutral observer would be left to say that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Bit biased?

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        No income tax???? What might you call the payroll tax? I Remember getting into a discussion with then Premier David Saul over that one.

        You can put lipstick on a pig. It is still a pig.

  4. Kangoocar says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to give our very competent premier Cannonier , a big heartfelt thank you for doing Bermuda proud against that deep trolling liberal bbc interviewer!!!
    I also totally agree with ” down de road ” something tells me the plp sheeple will amazingly suffer from hearing loss today???? Also as said before, if the plp were handling this interview it would have been a huge embarrassment to all of us!!!!

    • Ian says:

      Kangoocar,

      You continue to be the town idiot huh? What makes you think people want to see Craig flop, as opposed to expect it? And did you think it helped his [Craig's] cause to emphasize how, in Bermuda, the full tax burden falls on individuals via payroll tax rather than the corporations making 1oo’s of millions every year??? Perhaps it would have been a plus if he mentioned that many of the corporations here are upstanding to the extent they sometimes go above and beyond to cover staff payroll tax [and health insurance] contributions. And your expectation Bean is a complete fool, who would have gone up there and embarrassed the island, simply highlights the fact your are. Its their job to know this stuff inside and out dummy…

      • Mike Hind says:

        Have you missed all the “Cannonaire (sic) is a puppet”, “He can’t handle himself on the world stage”, “He’s incompetant” comments?
        You must have, if you’re asking “What makes you think people want to see Craig flop…”

        None of these comments has any basis in truth – evidenced by this story – ergo, they’re desperate for him to fail, so that they can justify supporting their party.

    • S Smith says:

      I will congratulate him for his bluster, absolutely, but let’s not forget his bluster got us in to trouble before. He said things in public and he had to retract his statements.

      Sadly, you quick willingness to congratulate the OBA, you miss the fact that the premier doesn’t know what he is talking about and is confusing some basic facts.

      Don’t get too far ahead of yourself.

  5. Common Sense says:

    The following post was written on 29th October under the article on Bernews about the Bermuda delegation’s visit to the UK but before local media had reported on Premier Cannonier’s BBC interview. At the risk of being repetitive here it is again:-

    “I happened to turn on BBC Radio this afternoon and heard someone being interviewed, or should I say interrogated by a rather aggressive interviewer about Bermuda being a tax haven. I didn’t quite catch the voice at first or the name of the person being interviewed, but I was impressed by the forceful and direct way he was answering the questions put to him.

    I was just thinking that Bermuda has someone who is speaking clearly and forcefully on our behalf when I suddenly realized that it sounded like our Premier Craig Cannonier. Quite frankly, I was stunned. After hearing so much from the PLP bloggers about what a poor speaker he is, and how he only ever sings the tune of those in “real power”, this was a real revelation.

    Today, on BBC radio, being broadcast to the world, Craig Cannonier proved why he was chosen as the Premier of Bermuda. Never again will I believe all the mindless, petty rhetoric about him not being the real leader of the OBA Government. Craig Cannonier was a credit to Bermuda plain and simple.”

  6. PLP Supporter says:

    as a 100% PLP supporter I believe he did an excellent job in this interview

    • terry says:

      Why not say your real name Mr./Mrs. PLP supporter.
      Sounds more faux than anything.

  7. Straight Talk says:

    Well done Mr. Premier. You were up against one of most ruthless reporters. Those guys take no prisoners. You held your own. We are proud of you.

  8. HeyBye says:

    I applaud the Priemier ,for once we are standing strong against these outside powers such as the US. and the U.K. Blaming jurisdictions such as ours contributing to their own problems.
    They need to look at themselves as being hypocritical they have low tax jurdictions on their own soil.
    In the U.S. there is Delaware,Verdmont , Nevada in the UK they have the Channel Islands.
    We should not be signing these tax agreements as they have been in the past at rapid fire speed without considering the consequences to Bda.

  9. crystal says:

    The premier did a GREAT job!

  10. Chris Famous says:

    How long before the truth outruns bravado?

    Back in March Cameron threw us to the wolves of the G20 etc etc.

    Do you all think PCC will be able to speak to Cameron in such a manner the next round of “offshore basing?”

    • Mike Hind says:

      Enter the expected goalpost moving from Mr. Famous. Right on cue.

      Do you think Mr. Cameron will speak to Mr. Cannonier like this reporter did? If not, why would “PCC” speak to him “in such a manner”?

    • Feed the goats says:

      Mr Famous, it takes a bigger man to admit sometimes – the other guy did good.

    • jt says:

      You’re weak.

    • Victor says:

      Famous, Stop perpetuating sectarianism.

  11. Truth is killin' me... says:

    WELL DONE PREMIER CANNONIER!!!

  12. When Mr Worth accused Bermuda of being a tax haven and asked the Premier about regulating business, Premier Cannonier asked him “who will regulate the likes of yourselves?”
    “Talk about barking up the wrong tree!” Thank you Mr. Premier!

  13. Truth (Original) says:

    Well done Mr. Premier !

    The hypocrisy of these large nations is astounding. Take the beam out of your own eye first before you talk about the beam in Bermuda’s.

  14. Ex PLP voter says:

    I cannot believe I voted for the PLP,when I read the nonsense their leaders talk!

  15. blackbird says:

    @Ex PLP voter… you didn’t vote PLP, stop pretending.

  16. Victor says:

    Well Spoken Mr. Premier, especially for defending the integrity of our institutions against a bunch of dangerous, inciting lefty poseurs. Can anybody imagine Bean defending Bermuda, oops I mean the Bahamas, with as much gravitas? Like his Boss, Bean would just take a few Uighurs for ten seconds of Prime Time.

  17. W.T.F. says:

    Now if he could just stand up to the right wing remnants of his party and the IB giants like this we’d be fine. But that ain’t gonna happen. As for the earlier discussion on capital punishment and this “we did it” and it was “locally driven”. Nice version of history but let’s be accurate. The “we” who did it was the PLP; it was never on the UBP’s agenda. And the local driving force was the late the Hon. Dame Lois M. Browne-Evans, Mother of the Nation. Amazing how all positive PLP stuff has no mother or father but anything negative (spin or otherwise) is nailed to them by name.

    • Mike Hind says:

      It wasn’t solely PLP. Don’t rewrite history.

      • W.T.F. says:

        Oh yes, I forgot all those silent supporters who never said a word. An uncharacteristically brief reply front you. In your usual words “I guess you couldn’t find anything else to disagree with”.

        • Mike Hind says:

          And those that weren’t silent. I’m not sure why you are ignoring those.
          That fight wasn’t political.

          And if you’re going to quote me, use my words. I never said that, and certainly not “usual”ly.

          Honesty. Try it.

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