PLP Respond To Criticism From Sylvan Richards

February 10, 2014

Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban responded to recent columns by OBA MP Sylvan Richards saying that “while criticising the stance of the PLP, he failed to address any of the concerns of that Bermudians have regarding Commercial Immigration.”

One of Mr. Richards columns drew attention to opinion pieces penned by PLP MPs for an online Caribbean newspaper, saying they were  ”politics gone wild – reckless, unpatriotic and potentially destructive.”

One of the columns Mr. Richards referenced was written by Mr. Roban, and said: “The OBA Government is seeking to gerrymander the electoral process by possibly selling status to persons who will in turn vote for them in the next election. As the party who represents a majority of born Bermudians, we appeal to our Caribbean kin to support us in our challenge.”

In a statement today, Mr. Roban questioned what Bermudians can “believe about the OBA government’s true intentions” given what he said was their “track record of multiple broken promises.”

“It is irresponsible for the OBA to be discussing Commercial Immigration, without first establishing a national sustainability plan to protect and manage our very limited resources of Bermudian land and jobs,” said Mr. Roban.

Mr. Roban’s full statement follows below:

On February 5th, via local media, OBA MP Sylvan Richards attacked the PLP. While criticising the stance of the PLP, he failed to address any of the concerns of that Bermudians have regarding Commercial Immigration [CI].

MP Richards stated “blatant untruths and exaggerations……The PLP is attempting to list these risks as if they are things that are definitely going to happen.”

The list of risks he is referring to came directly from OBA’s CI presentation and included:-

  • 1. Jeopardizing our visa-free travel status
  • 2. Investment being rescinded once citizenship granted
  • 3. Increased housing costs
  • 4. Difficulty in validating that all requirements attached to the sale of citizenship are met
  • 5. Costs associated with validation and monitoring
  • 6. The potential of corruption within government
  • 7. Giving away the right to vote to non-Bermudians
  • 8. Once citizenship given, it can’t be revoked
  • 9. The risk of opening our boarders to criminals
  • 10. UK will have to approve any schemes involving citizenship
  • 11. No other jurisdiction has similar market conditions as ours and the pros and cons cannot be fully assessed prior to implementation as a result

MP Richards mentioned “…… every action in life has a certain amount of risk. Activities such as riding a bus, driving a car or flying in an aeroplane all involve an element of risk; however, most Bermudians continue to do all three.”

The risks of selling Bermudian status do not equate to the risk of driving a car, or flying, unless of course one is involved in the “Jetgate club.”

MP Richards continued, “Commercial immigrants won’t have any more clout in getting jobs and buying land than non-Bermudians.”

Until the terms and conditions of Commercial Immigration are revealed, no one can say what will or will not happen. The parameters of Commercial Immigration can encompass any range of possibilities including, putting commercial immigrants on a higher footing then PRCs.

Once a person is granted citizenship, they have all the same rights as Bermudians:

  • The right to purchase property
  • The right to gainful employment
  • The right to participate in elections and /or referendums

MP Richards fails to mention that currently nearly 40% of our residential land is for sale to non-Bermudians.

MP Richards states, “Finally, and this must be stated emphatically – these people will not be able to vote in Bermuda elections. Let me say once again, this is not about people becoming Bermudians.”

He is clearly contradicting the meaning of citizenship as outlined by OBA’s own immigration expert who specifically stated that citizenship includes the right to vote.

In addition, he clouds over the fact that Senator Fahy stated that granting status, has not been ruled out. In fact, Sen Fahy explained UK’s role in the process of granting citizenship at this presentation.

With their track record of multiple broken promises, including recent revelations of the OBA planning since January 2013 to ditch the referendum, what can Bermudians believe about the OBA government’s true intentions?

“The One Bermuda Alliance does contradict itself sometimes. We make no apologies for that.” OBA MP Glen Smith

Fellow Bermudians, it is irresponsible for the OBA to be discussing Commercial Immigration, without first establishing a national sustainability plan to protect and manage our very limited resources of Bermudian land and jobs.

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  1. Al says:

    Ah yes, the PLP wants a plan before the OBA make a plan.

    That’s why they never got anything done when they were government.

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      Again, This is not the same PLP ;-)
      They are different now. Why can’t you except that?
      I know, maybe they should break up, some form another party, come back together and change the name all together.
      It worked for the current government party ;-)

      • Black Soil says:

        Who were the Bermudians in 1608? Walter and the PLP want Bermuda to stop in its tracks as it relates to RACE. They want a population of scared distrusting black people to ensure political power is theirs. They hate Bermudians who were not born in Bermuda, they see them as second class citizens…this is why they are so proud to state in the media that they are the party of born Bermudians. This is RACISM IN ITS PUREST FORM. Any govt based upon racism will be inward looking and backward, resulting in ECONOMIC DECLINE. This is the choice the voters have on election day. The PLP are indeed VERY DIFFERENT from the OBA. To Marc Bean….your party will fail with the likes of Diallo and Walter pushing their agenda of HATE. Bermudians are tired of HATE politics. It does NOT make them want to change their vote. So CHANGE, or watch your party Mr. Bean slowly decline.

        • Truth Teller says:

          Ha, ha…now that is really funny. Is “black soil” saying that white anglo migrants are the new victims of racism.

          He’s another one like Hind who does not know what racism is and likely does not want to know as he appears comfortable in his”tea party” style alternative universe.

          Black Bermudians have never practiced racism in Bermuda.

          Lastly you will note that only white Bermudians vote as a virtual racial monolith in this country election after alection. Black Bermudians have always been far more diverse in their political choices.

          • Mike Hind says:

            Here we go again with this guy.

            ‘Truth Teller”, you have no idea what the truth is, you’re so wrapped up in your own racist hate.

            The lie that I am in any way similar to the tea party is laughable and is a sign of just how desperate you are to defend your sick, twisted world-view.

            I’ve tried to have a conversation with you about this, but you aren’t interested.
            All you ARE interested in, it seems, is spewing hate and personal attacks, then running away like the coward that you are when called on it.

            You are a waste, and that makes me incredibly sad. I live in hope that my countrymen were better than this. Hate onagers like you prove that that hope is wrong.

          • Kangoocar says:

            Black Bermudians have never practiced racism in Bermuda??? And you want to be taken seriously???
            Ever give any thought to why black people actually do vote for the other party than plp?? Those blacks obviously want to distance themselves from the everyday racial nonsense of the plp and be part of the majority of Bermudians that don’t bring race into every equation in this island!!! In fact, all those that don’t support the plp do so because we believe in a Bermuda that should be equal for everyone of us!!! You plper’s should be considered nothing other than dinosaurs!!!!

            • Mike Hind says:

              Not PLPers… Just the ones who have hijacked a good party with their racist hate and greed for power.

              • Rob says:

                The funny part is in a few years time the very same people will be slithering back in to pick up from the damage. Yes you guessed it Dame Smith,Col.Burch, minors, etc, maybe even Ewart too.

          • Mike Hind says:

            On another note, regarding your last bit, the usual racist nonsense from you and your pathetic ilk…

            “White folks vote like a monolithic entity…”

            Why does that matter? What does it even mean?
            Black folks vote the same way in the states… Does this mean anything? Other than the fact that the party they’re NOT voting for has shown, time and again, to not represent their interests.
            You want to talk Tea Party? Which one is made up of mainly one race? Which one regularly uses racial epithets? Which one has representatives and supporters that regularly use racially hostile language? Which one regularly denies their own racism?

            Yeah. You post the things you do and it’s ME who’s the tea party equivalent?

            You’re only trying to link me to them – and failing – because they are evil and because of the colour of my skin. There is NOTHING else that I have in common with them.
            Try honesty.

            • Kangoocar says:

              Ummm!! You are now sinking down to truth tellers level, which is now causing you Mike too say untruths!! Can you give some examples of Tea parties use of racial epithets?? I am not a tea party person but have no problem saying I lean the right way, but you are now no better than truth teller because you are simply saying false things!!! The last thing we as a small island that has serious raciall issues, is more falsehoods spread!!! You need to learn that, it is never wise to argue with idiots because you will only be dragged down to their level, and they will win because of experience every time!!!

              • Mike Hind says:

                I can give many, many examples of it. If I make a statement I do so because I can back it up. The examples of the tea party’s racism are very well documented.
                Do NOT paint me with the same brush as “Truth Teller”. I can and will ALWAYS back up what I say. Change the channel. Fox News has clouded your sight.

                • Kangoocar says:

                  If you are so confident, please give the examples??? Also why don’t you actually watch what goes on at any democratic function and compare it to a Republican function and tell me honestly what the difference is!!
                  Mike you are somewhat intelligent but you are seriously misguided with the US politics !! Why don’t you think for one moment about all those that have held the White house since JFK??? JFK was known for all his extra marital affairs, Johnson actually was against desecration and slick willy Clinton used the White House as his brothel!!! The only Democrat president that behaved properly was Carter, who was a complete disaster and only just beats Obama for incompetence with the economy!!! Wake up my friend because you are seriously misguided !! And I know you want to throw Nixon in my face, but he actually was the most LEFT leaning Republican President we ever had, so don’t even try it!!! Now again I ask you to give me the examples!! I can safely say more racial BS goes on with the Democrats than you are even aware of!!! The Black Panthers standing at the election Booths trying to intimidate the voters in the last Two US elections is were I will start!!! Go for it and prove me wrong!!!!

          • Planet Rock says:

            Really??? Black Bermudians have never practiced racism in Bermuda??? You are either a fool or you believe the rest of us are!

        • Black Santa says:

          hmm your either a 1)black person trying to be white…….or a 2)white person calling yourself black soil.

          I think I’ll go with #2.

        • Kangoocar says:

          Very well said, black soil!!! Somehow they think it is ok for them to have Caribbean roots but anyone with European roots is not OK??? They are sick individuals and they were voted out for good reason!! And obviously they have NOT learned their lesson!!! As you correctly pointed out, their thinking only leads to economic decline ( which a blind man can see happened under their watch) and we still have people that are suffering terribly, but will still support the plp to death??? Makes it hard to feel any sorrow for them, believe me!!!!

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        How are they “different” now? Marc Bean was a minister for years in the previous government. So was woban. So was Burt. They’re the people who created this mess.

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          So was Weeks.

        • Jus' Askin' says:

          Are you serious?
          OBA:-
          Bob
          Michael
          Grant
          Mark
          Shawn
          Donte
          Suzann
          Jeanne
          Trevor
          Patricia
          Shall I go on?
          But you’ll be quick to say “They are not UBP” ;-)

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            You’re the one who said it’s not the same PLP. They are. They got us in this mess.

            • Jus' Askin' says:

              It is not the same administration, was my point. Just as OBA has the same players from UBP, and people are willing to accept they are not the same administration ;-)

          • so what says:

            and so what….what does it matter? Even if it was…WHO CARES!!!

            • Jus' Askin' says:

              It matters because UBP had such a bad legacy, ‘the rats had to jump ship’. Because they are on another ship doesn’t change who they are by nature ;-)

        • Frank says:

          sandy bottom the name. Is raban
          and you need to take a. Break

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            The name is “raban”? Got it, thanks. Raban it is.

            • Ringmaster says:

              You guys need to get it together. Are you referring to Roban or Rabain? While you’re about it, was either born in Bermuda?

          • Mike Hind says:

            The name is “Bud”…

      • Kangoocar says:

        Jus askin, for a person that claims to not support any political party, in fact when you are squirming out of stuff when challenged have even called the plp a joke!!! You seem to spend a lot of time defending the indefensible plp??? Me thinks you are a big fat liar!!!

        • Jus' Askin' says:

          When have I defended the PLP?
          Speaking up against the OBA is not a defense for the PLP.
          I was the first to comment on PLP’s silence through last week’s ‘labor action’. I have always called both parties out. I am apart of that 1/3 of Bermudians that do not get swayed by the BS. PLP deceived us and OBA is doing the same. PLP took care of a select few and OBA is doing the same. The last election should have concerned a lot of people but it did not.
          PLP proved that ‘because you are in power, does not mean you have the power’. People that could have helped Bermuda did not. They sat by and let it fall. Still to this day people will blame PLP for Bermuda’s economy, when in fact Bermuda has been on a true decline for over three decades. The pumped up wealth was not sustainable and had less to do with Bermudians and more to do with foreign capital.
          I believe in a “Better Bermuda for All Bermudians”. Something PLP proved they were not about and OBA is proving the same ;-)

    • Testing says:

      Loltest

  2. aceboy says:

    I’m going dawn St. Kitts and buying up all their inheritance under their own Commercial Immigration policies.

    Chris Famous says it’s ok to do that to them, as long as nobody comes here and tries.

  3. swing voter says:

    But Walter, who are you and your comrades pitching your point to? Why write negative articles in a regional new paper that makes us all look stupid? Let’s face it, BDA was the envy of the region. Airing our dirt is like taking a knife and stabbing yourself in the eye man ;-(

  4. Gotham says:

    Please just go away before you inflict even more damage. Have you no shame?

  5. Mike Hind says:

    So…. Bud is basically NOW concerned about these things?

    I guess it IS “it’s ok when we do it”

  6. Lois Frederick says:

    Pure deflection. Because writing opinion pieces like they are doing against Bermuda cannot be defended. I am disappointed by Mark Daniels he knows better. Like I say to my son 9 year old son when he starts talking toilet humour, please raise the level of conversation.

  7. Lauren Bell says:

    There can be no meaningful dialogue about commercial immigration until we first establish a clearly defined immigration plan that INCLUDES:-

    1. defining what our ideal population number is

    2. how we plan to address issues surrounding PRCs

    3. the validation of the legality of the waiver letters attached to work permits.

    4. children born in Bda to non-Bdian parents as per OBA’s Throne Speech

    5. protecting Bdian access to home ownership and job opportunities

    In addition, we can’t have a purposeful conversation without a proper framing of what commercial immigration will entail

    Minister Roban is absolutely correct; all of these cons were presented by OBA’s migration expert and they must not be so flippantly dismissed. Other jurisdictions experienced these cons and for us to ignore the mistakes made by others equates to willful negligence.
    Our limited resources means that these cons will be magnified in our Island.

    Remove the political biases and educate yourself about both the pros & cons and then judge for yourself.

    • Chingas says:

      This article is about the PLP badmouthing Bermuda overseas. I see you are deflecting from the substance of the issue in the same manner as Mr. Roban did in his reply. I have little issue with our political parties disagreeing and “spinning” topics locally, but I find it outrageous that people in leadership positions feel it is appropriate to their negative opinions overseas. Bermuda first, Party second please.

      • Chingas says:

        This article is about the PLP badmouthing Bermuda overseas. I see you are deflecting from the substance of the issue in the same manner as Mr. Roban did in his reply. I have little issue with our political parties disagreeing and “spinning” topics locally, but I find it outrageous that people in leadership positions feel it is appropriate to *AIR their negative opinions overseas. Bermuda first, Party second please.

        • Lauren Bell says:

          Re-read the statement…..this is about commercial immigration

  8. Ringmaster says:

    No wonder the PLP cancelled their Thursday Town Hall meeting. Must have gone something like this:

    Let’s have a Town Hall meeting to rubbish Commercial Immigration

    Great idea set it up. Get the usual 3 panel members for this sort of topic.

    What’s the Agenda?

    Don’t have one yet, and what is Commercial Immigration?

    Don’t know, thought you did?

    No.

    Cancel the meeting.

  9. Walter Burgess says:

    I think we all realize that the political parties will “spin” their point to there advantage, fair enough. But when you start to do this overseas in foreign news papers, I think this reflects how desperate the PLP is to infect a new audience and calls into question the PLP motives.

    Hey, PLP the last time I looked the Bda electorate was here not down south…….

    Just the way i see it…..

    -FWB jr

  10. James says:

    In order for the OBA to become the ruling party, they had to secure votes from people that voted for the PLP in the previous three elections. It really is that simple; if enough people are left unsatisfied with the OBA at the end of this term, VOTE them out.

    • Gotham says:

      That is somewhat true James, but what really turned it was former PLP voters not voting, in other words lower (though still high when compared to other jurisdictions) turnout.

      • swing voter says:

        I donno about most of us but i really hope the next election will be decided on fact and substance, not emotion and shallow race baiting

  11. The Messenger says:

    To all of you who do not know what racism is and who is afflicted with the disease, I hope that the following will open your eyes of overstanding:

    Racism wHITE supremacy is a meticulously crafted system/institution developed by wHITES to conquer, exploit and/or annihilate all non-whites on planet earth. Therefore, it is absolutely incorrect to accuse people of Afrikan ascent of being RACISTS–PREJUDICE, yes, and there are marked differences in the meanings of both words. In no way have we ever had such a sustained negative and devastating effect on the earth’s people of color as have the wHITES. Racism wHITE supremacy is a group relationship which adversely affects all aspects of the lives of Afrikans everywhere. It has been said that wHITES are incapable of diagnosing or interpreting racism wHITE supremacy. Therefore, this is why they readily pin the racists label on us when we show and tell them who they truly are–the real racists.

    • yello says:

      Shut the hell up you sound so ignorant it’s not even funny. What do you make of Mother Teresa than?

    • cha says:

      From the dictionary:
      rac·ism (rā′sĭz′əm)
      n.
      1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
      2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      Well shoot the messenger cause he knows no history at all. Go back to a time when some armies shook the ground hundreds of miles away. Where they white? Read up on the Persians

      LOL

    • Onion™ says:

      “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

    • Mike Hind says:

      Yeah. It’s us that don’t know what racism is. This is just a load of ranting, trying to justify your hate. Shame on you.

  12. brutus says:

    The plp lot grasping for straws..they know that they messed BIG time and searching for anything to discredit the OBA …
    Btw what were those three stooges
    .roban,robain and daniel thinking bad mouthing their country which feed,house and make a living..that’ pretty low if you ask!

  13. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    I think that the question is valid, why was the interview or information given to a Caribbean regional newspaper? As a political party is the PLP seeking and enlisting the assistance of Caribbean island leaders on the subject of commercial immigration, and why? Is Mr Roban speaking as an individual MP or on behalf of the leadership of the PLP, and again why or why not Mr Bean?

    This issue of commercial immigration is a very long way from having any definitive formulae, proposed policies and/or concrete answers from both the UK and US governments who need to be consulted FIRST.

    We must get answers from both the UK and US on their immigration policies on commercial immigration, and they in return must consult with their respective government agencies and government ministers. Additionally, the UK must consult with the European Union [EU] parliament for directives on this matter.

    Conversely, the US must be consulted on whether they are prepared to grant visa waivers to these new citizens in the same manner as the average Bermudians now enjoy. And both countries will have very grave national security and/or tax evasion implications to consider. Their consultations, deliberations and feedback will take time – considerable time.

    In the meantime, why has no-one questioned why the consultation firm has stated that citizenship cannot be revoked? Of course it can – precedence by both the UK and US, nazi soldiers who later became UK or US citizens only to discover their status in Nazi-Germany meant that they were stripped of their UK or US citizenships. And, the same would apply to anyone who was granted Bermudian citizenship and later it was discovered that s/he had an active part in the Syrian war and obtained ill-gotten wealth from their involvement – an example – of who can be stripped. So this issue on irrevocable citizenship is falsely stated and should be withdrawn and/or updated by the consulting firm.

    As we are a very long way bringing this issue to the parliamentary table, why is it a high profile issue for the PLP?

    London, England

  14. FBR says:

    Just wanted someone to check the profiles of the OBA and PLP Ministers, Senators etc.
    Either grandparent, parent, wife etc. came from another country. So why all the talk about expat. I can understand that everyone cannot live on such a small island and things must be done to prevent that. Lets review the system and offer meaningful suggestions/solutions.