“Not A Job Filled According To Political Pressure”

January 10, 2014

Governor George Fergusson this morning [Jan 10] said that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office has not called for mediation over the Director of Public Prosecutions matter, and said “this is not a job which should or will be filled according to political or other pressures.”

The matter has been ongoing for some time, with the present Director of Public Prosecutions Rory Field having his contract extended until the end of 2014. Mr Field, a non-Bermudian, was selected over Bermudian Cindy Clarke, who is said to have been recommended by a panel.

Last year Premier Craig Cannonier stated on the floor of the House of Assembly that he had discussions with the Governor over the matter, and expressed his concern.

Mr Fergusson said: “The Foreign and Commonwealth office has not called for mediation on the matter of the appointment of the DPP, as some media reports have suggested.

“I see no role for mediation on this issue. I have appointed Mr. Field in line with my constitutional responsibilities and mediation cannot reverse this. He has my full confidence. As already announced, I am expecting to make an appointment to the position of DPP at the end of this year.

“Once again, I would intend to try to appoint a Bermudian candidate if possible, and subject to the advice of an independent panel. But, like judicial posts, this is not a job which should or will be filled according to political or other pressures.”

Following the release of this statement, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt tweeted that “If the One Bermuda Alliance forgot we were a colony, that statement from Government House should refresh their memory.”

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Comments (25)

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  1. @ Mr Burt – and thanks the stars for that!!! Heck knows what would have happen under the prior adminstration.

  2. Paula Roberts says:

    Where do the British get these people they send out here to oversee us? The statement contradicts himself in what actually happened in this case. The advice of his self appointed independent panel was rejected by him – so why should anyone believe he will follow their advice in the future. Can’t we at least get someone in Government House who has a clue what they are doing?

    • Quinton Stovell says:

      Welllll, The British get their representatives from wherever they like. If we want to change the current arrangement, we know what we have to do. Otherwise, the governor can do whatever his bosses will allow him to do. And we are his subjects, not his boss.

  3. Winnie Dread says:

    We all know what happens when people in key positions are appionted because they are a friend of, or belong to the same party, or just because they are a national of regardless of experience or knowledge of the job….. I know nothing of the people who applied for the job so i’m not speaking about them, what I am saying is we have to be very careful about how we go about these things with regards to the procedure in selecting such persons….. If I had applied for the DPPs job I would not want any politician going on about why I may or may not have been given the job, def not a good look.

  4. Hmmmmm says:

    I say this stuff to my dog sometimes too when he gets excited. “Heel, Rover…” is my version of it. In 2014 we still get this and worse still, idiots like “Standing Wrong for Bermudians” who like it.

  5. js says:

    for the layman understanding its what you know not who you know

    unlike the rest of Bermuda

  6. @Mr.Burt Bermuda has had one referendum on independence in 400 years. That was in 1995 under a UBP government. From 1998 to 2012 there was no referendum on this isue so if anyone needs to be reminded that we are still a colony I think it’s the PLP.

  7. Motto of the story says:

    Hmm this is very interesting to a young Bermudian I had no idea the Governor had so much power, I figured he was just a figurehead or relic of colonial times.

    • Pants on Fire says:

      Nope, the governor has significant power. It many cases it is absolute. Burt is right, many times we don’t think of ourselves as a colony, but we have a governor who we pay, and doesn’t have to listen to what we say.

    • Hmmmmm says:

      The fact that you don’t know is part of the grand design. They don’t teach it in school to ensure it takes you by surprise in adulthood.

    • I suggest folks get a copy of our constitution, it clearly lays out what the Governor’s job here is and what our Government is responsible for, its no big secret. The British position is that we can change anytime we have a majority of citizens that wish to, until that time it is what it is.

  8. interesting says:

    The Govenor is using his power simple. We want the benifits of the UK passport, tuition benifits, rights of abode, and all the other perks that come with being a UK citizen….well, reality check, you have a Govenor who at certain points makes decisions that superceed the will of the Government or the People. Remember the Govenor is there to represent the will of the Crown and lets not forget we are a Crown Colony. One thing that I know is, there presently is an investigation going on into the mismanagement of former PLP leaders…. it seems to me, the Govenor is protecting the integrity of the investigation by entrusting it, to someone he can trust has no political motivations or influences. When the procecution is over then he will pass on the baton to a Bermudian. There is a very big picture. It will all make sense soon.

  9. Just for clarity says:

    @Pants on fire. Significant…maybe in certain cases. Absolute power ….he does not have – even if some politico wants to suggest he does.

    The Constitution of Bermuda allows the Governor to appoint the DPP IF the Attorney General is appointed politically. I may be wrong but I think it might be argued that he does havbe an absolute power to appoint the DPP even though he could listen to an independent panel. This is what the Constitution directs…

    Outside of that I believe that in reality the Governor has a degree of autonomy over the Police and the defence of Bermuda. Otherwise I think the Government is in control.

  10. Concerned Citizen says:

    This means either the Premier or the Gov is lying……..which is it? Btw, can the Premier or AG tells us why the DPP appointment became untenable? Explain that to us before you try the pissing match against Gov House as it would determine which side is standing on solid ground.

  11. Vote for Me says:

    Lets see if the Governor’s position becomes untenable! There seems to be significant disagreement between him, the Premier and the Attorney General!

    At a minimum, his budget could be reduced significantly to reflect shared sacrifice.

    The bigger picture seems to be that Ms. Clarke should resign unless she can overcome whatever caused her post to be untenable in the first instance.

    If it has anything to do with the purported investigation of the prior administration, they could simply appoint a special prosecutor and let Ms. Clarke be DPP. To suggest that she can not be neutral is a disservice to her professional integrity. By extension the UK DPP could have an inherent bias in trying to ‘represent the interests of the UK government as opposed to genuine justice.’

    If I recall, the previous Governor said there was no evidence of corruption with the prior administration. What has changed??

  12. The Dark Knight Returns says:

    In order for laws to become law the Govenor must ascent to them and if he doesn’t it will not become law. This makes me wonder why we even have a Premier. One of the positions needs to be revoked forthwith. The peoples money is being wasted by having all these silly positions for such a small country. It is high time we become independent from England as I am sick of a person coming to Bermuda and making decisions and then leaving after a few years. Why not have a general vote asking two questions………… For independence or Against independence. All registered voters can vote in a twelve hour period at their respective voting stations. If the majority of voters vote for Independence then bobs yah uncle. If not then we shouldn’t complain.

    • Like i said earlier, get enough B’dians that want and will vote for Independance and its a done deal, its as simple as that, the British will not stand in our way. There is no will with most B’dians to become Independant at this time.

  13. SMH says:

    WAKE UP BERMUDA!

    He runs our police service too! Not the national security minister!

    • Balanced Facts says:

      Not true, under the Constitution there is a security Counsel which, unlike previous Governments, is made up of the Premier, A-G and Security Minister. They meet regularly witht he Governor and direct policy on the police service! However this Governor is clearly intent on being a bully and does not recognize the development of Bermuda as a self Governing OT!

  14. Ronnie Viera says:

    How quickly some people forget! There is a good reason for not having politicians appointing key positions such as the DPP, one has to only look back a few years to understand why. The Premier has expressed his view and now should back off. Whether he or anyone else likes it or not, the Govt has as much power as they are going to get under the current constitutional structure. The only way the elected Govt will get more is if we go independent and they will not go anywhere near that issue in the next several years and nor should they. The Governor must have a reason for making the decision he has and it may have nothing to do with Ms. Clarke. However, the more political pressure that is applied the less likely she will be considered later this year.

  15. norf says:

    Obviously there is a big investigation of the former PLP in progress at the moment and the Gov wants “his impartial man” to complete it, rather than hand it to a Bermudian who may possibly have a bit of political bias in their veins…

  16. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    Rather than turn against the Governor, I would like to register my support for him. Since this Governor has come to Bermuda, we have cleaned up the Queens honours list, completed the task of getting a constitutionally appointed position of the Ombudsman and making his new appointment to Ms Pearman, thereby demonstrating that he is colour-blind, gender-blind, swayed not by political affiliation and prepared to take his constitutional responsibilities very seriously and with dedication. He’s not travelling with the OBA overseas or spending his time on the club course, he is working. Yes, on behalf of the Queen, yet he will play a very significant role in
    ensuring that Bermuda does NOT travel down the path that it did during the PLP’s tenure.

    A very important question was asked by Concerned Citizen, and I paraphrase here, was it nothing more than political propaganda when the premier announced that the British Foreign Office recommended mediation in this matter? The premier and AG came all the way to London to discuss this matter with FOC? They, the OBA, do not get their appointee given the position and they run to London? I am very surprised that he wasn’t given a diplomatic slap down by the FOC.

    London, England

  17. David says:

    Bermuda, Everyone talks of Independence like it solve issues. But like a small fish in a big pond, does Bermuda intend to become part of the Common Wealth (group of former UK colonies) or go solo as a Republic? There are Independent nations which still retain the Queen as the head of state.

    These are national questions to ponder. Who exactly are we? What is our identity? When we as a people can answer that question with one voice, we decide our path as one people.

    Then as ONE BERMUDA, we will have to make our friends/enemies as we negotiate our way through the BIG POND. Can we as one people do that?

    The people have to have the power, not the government.

  18. Vote for Me says:

    Lets see if the Governor’s position becomes untenable! There seems to be significant disagreement between him, the Premier and the Attorney General!

    At a minimum, his budget could be reduced significantly to reflect shared sacrifice.

    The bigger picture seems to be that Ms. Clarke should resign unless she can overcome whatever caused her post to be untenable in the first instance.

    If it has anything to do with the purported investigation of the prior administration, they could simply appoint a special prosecutor and let Ms. Clarke be DPP. To suggest that she can not be neutral is a disservice to her professional integrity. By extension the UK DPP could have an inherent bias in trying to ‘represent the interests of the UK government as opposed to genuine justice.’

    If I recall, the previous Governor said there was no evidence of corruption with the prior administration. What has changed??