Opinion: “What A Difference A Year Makes”

March 7, 2014

[Opinion column written by Junior Minister of Finance, Sylvan Richards]

Last month, I drew attention to the appearance in a Caribbean news outlet of several columns hostile to the One Bermuda Alliance Government, written by Progressive Labour Party personalities like Mark Daniels and Walter Roban.

It was quite apparent that a majority of the public who read that article were indignant at this tale-telling in the Caribbean. It is, after all, something that is universally accepted as something one simply doesn’t do.

Despite that, the articles continue. At the end of February, our southern neighbours were able to read a reprint of an article written by Christopher Famous for the Bermuda Sun, entitled “Did we witness the OBA’s St Valentine’s Day suicide?”

It accused One Bermuda Alliance politicians of, among other things, using profanity to disrespect the Speaker of the House and Bermudian citizens, of making gang-like threats and of having no knowledge of how government works.

So my article and the public’s response to it have plainly had no effect on the PLP – they are going to do what they want to do regardless. That puzzles me I must admit.

I went back and read again the Shadow Finance Minister’s reply to the Budget Speech a year ago, in 2013, given in the House of Assembly on March 1. Mr Burt was speaking at that time under the heading “Our approach in Opposition”.

He said:

“We are of the belief that naked partisan posturing on the issue of finances destroys a country’s credibility. We believe that for the last three years, the relentless attacks of the then opposition OBA have made our country weaker, not stronger.

“Though the One Bermuda Alliance has won a political victory, it is our view that the lack of confidence in our institutions due to repeated and unfounded allegations of corruption and malfeasance have done more harm to this country over the last three years than any single act a Minister of Finance could have done.

“Mr. Speaker, we can disagree without being disagreeable. We can argue the merits of our actions without accusing others of having improper motives. We can make our point locally, but when we speak externally we must speak with one voice and of one accord.

“While the PLP was busy marketing Bermuda across the globe, you would think that some were rooting for our failure, to the detriment of this country and its future.

“Mr Speaker, that will not be the approach of this Progressive Labour Party government-in-waiting. We will not engage in those destructive actions, because the people of this country need their leaders to work together and spend time solving their problems.

“We will not throw our country under the bus because we disagree with the OBA. We will stand strong for Bermudians and for Bermuda’s businesses because in this Honourable House the welfare of the island must come above political grandstanding.

“We will applaud the OBA on successes that lead to a better life for our people, and we will give them constructive criticism when we see them off track. That is the leadership that we will provide in this chamber as the Opposition when it comes to matters of finance and the economy.

“For when Bermuda succeeds, Mr Speaker, it is not a victory for the PLP or the OBA, it is a victory for our people.”

All I can say is, what a difference a year in Opposition makes!

-Sylvan Richards

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (34)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. LiarLiar says:

    “Mr Speaker, that will not be the approach of this Progressive Labour Party government-in-waiting. We will not engage in those destructive actions, because the people of this country need their leaders to work together and spend time solving their problems.”

    “We will not throw our country under the bus because we disagree with the OBA. We will stand strong for Bermudians and for Bermuda’s businesses because in this Honourable House the welfare of the island must come above political grandstanding.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • LiarLiar says:

      Another PLP broken promise I guess

    • Speak Truth says:

      This a sad piece to read. Here Mr Richards overlooks his own government and Premier’s lack of TRANSPARENCY and attempts to paint a false picture of the Opposite.

      Here we have the OBA WHO HAVE FAILED TO GIVE Bermuda , WHAT THEY PROMISED Per-election. But instead are trying to paint the PLP in negative light to deflect the public from examining their lack of ability to be Transparent and honest.

      This is a joke and nothing more than Mr Richards attempting to Spin Political Retching to Save the OBA as many have lost faith in. Poltical strategy by the Oba to win back confidents, but it has failed big time.

      • Srsly? says:

        What have they failed to give us? Stop with these insubstantial claims.

  2. jt says:

    No difference, really.

  3. clearasmud says:

    Perhaps you should direct your advice giving to your own party because according to a recent poll you are not doing much better! You state “It was quite apparent that a majority of the public who read that article were indignant at this tale-telling in the Caribbean.” please explain why then another media reported atrer your article, that if a snap election was called the OBA would lose? The PLP were held accountable for their actions at the polls which is where the people get to speak for themselves. We have not seen the transparency that we were promised so I too can say What a difference a year makes!

  4. David Henry says:

    Well done Minister Richards. Call ‘em out on their hypocrisy! There’s no shortage of it, that’s for sure.

    Unfortunately, when one governs one’s self with knee-jerk emotion instead of rational thinking, the meaning of “hypocrite” and the word itself seems to disappear from one’s vocabulary all together.

    • Jonah says:

      Davie – Hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue….

      • David Henry says:

        Jonie- A hypocrite is a person who pretends to have virtues, morals, or principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess. Certain members of the opposition party who continually display what awful short-term memories they posess fits the definition well.

        • I agree 100% with all you’ve written David…”Life’s a real b—- when the shoe is on the other foot”. They can say all they want reference to “if” a snap election where to be held the O.B. A. will lose. Well if my aunt had testicles she’ll be my uncle…So much for “IF” :-(

  5. Kangoocar says:

    Thank you JR Min of finance Mr Sylvan Richards for bringing to our attention of the continued acts of treason on all of us by, famous and other plper’s, they have not learned their lessons and obviously are still DEAF to public opinion, they totally ignored our cries of disgust toward them!!! Also it was helpful to bring to our attention the outright lies by the shallow min of finance, how he said what he did on this matter a year ago with a straight face is outrages!!!

    • In the nick of time... says:

      Treason really? I suppose you subscribed to the Bush doctrine of either you are with us or you are with the “terrorists”

      trea·son/ˈtrizən/ Show Spelled [tree-zuhn] Show IPA
      noun
      1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
      2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
      3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

      How is printing articles of what actually happens in our contry (leave your biases aside here please)treason? This is no differnt from a Mainstream news organization printing stories about the atrocities in Syria, Libya or whatever country US funded rebels seeks to overthrow…no one labels those stories Treasonous – and if they do who is the Traiter? The Newspaper? The One Leaking the Story? Or the ones COMMITTING the crimes?

      Are you suggesting excerscising ones right to unuimpinged speech in print and word be curtailed and POLITICAL SPEECH IS PROTECTED MOST ABOVE ALLL!!!- good luck – maybe you are the Tyrant!

      Point 1. – What steps are then taken to “overthrow” our government – ones allegiances must be to the truth and if there is truth in what they print then a case for treason is void
      Point 2. Explain exactly how these actions are a violation to the sovereignty of Bermuda we are not a Sovereign firstly, and
      Point 3. -if it is a betrayal of trust that defines treason to you, then ALL Government and here in (Berrmuda OBA/PLP)are treasonous

      I suppose you are a mainstream media subscriber and belived that Snoden’s leaked documents were also “treasonous” – what a time we live in…Slyvain Richards and his cohorts attempting to label the truth Treason.

      If this be treason, make the most of it!

      Patrick Henry

      • Kangoocar says:

        Why don’t you read what your lines 1to 3 over and over with an objective mind as opposed to the closed minded plp way??? I stand by what I called those treasonous a.. holes,
        Also I do fully support Pres Bush who did the only thing a respectable President would do after his homeland was attacked and 3000 people were killed on that day 9/11, may I remind you that a few Bermudians were killed as well??? Are you serious when you question why he did what he did??? Your type that think otherwise are despicable, I bet you see no wrong in pres Clinton using the White House as a brothel and the now wimp in the Whitehouse that has allowed the US to become the laughing stock of the world!!! Get real !!!

        • Just saying! says:

          Same old Racist…bull…s.h.t!
          Your breed is dying…thank Goodness!

  6. watching says:

    LOL ain’t no one listening to Sylvan.

    • BURTY TRUMP says:

      Perhaps the PLP should listen to their own words.

    • inna says:

      nor burt! so whats ya point?

    • Mike Hind says:

      You’d love to believe that, wouldn’t you?

      Cling to that desperate hope. It’s all you have left.

  7. Speak Truth says:

    But the OBA has failed to operate as the promised Bermuda in a manner of TRANSPARENCY. The Oba has disappointed me as they continue not to do Politics Differently.

    The failure of the Premier to answer questions on the floor of the house further eroded the credibility of the Oba.

    I think Mr. Richards overlooks the actions of his party and failure to take accountability by deflecting on the Plp.

    • All questions asked of the Premier will be answered in the Courts in due time. All he said he will not answer any question at this particular time…(It will all come out in the wash.)

  8. HEY DIS BIE HERE says:

    This shows your weakness Sylvan…you have to spring board off of what Marc says rather than come to your community with solutions, all you guys do is moan about the PLP but you guys are doing worse and doing nothing for the community……i guess this is that black black blakity blackity black speech you was talking about

    • LiarLiar says:

      The solution to this particular issue is to live up to what you promised and refrain from publishing hyperbolic articles on foreign websites as a means to denigrate the Government and by extension Bermuda. And Mr. Richards stated the solution in the original opinion piece.

      Why is it righteous to some when the Opposition points out hypocrisy of the Goverment, but a waste of time when the exact opposite occurs? Why do some show faux outrage over supposed broken promises and show no concern when their ‘team’ does the exact same thing?

  9. PBanks says:

    I fear this time, they’re clutching at straws. If it’s a repost of an article already published in a Bermuda newspaper, what’s the problem here?

    This differs a ton from articles submitted directly to non-Bermuda newsmedia.

    • GoodIdeaBadIdea says:

      I would disagree with that. It’s one thing to have op-ed articles in Bermuda media for the Bermuda community to ponder on and if someone outside were to go looking to find said article. It’s another thing to drag our dirt out and display it in a forum outside of our borders.

      I would equate that to keeping family business within the realm of family and although the neighbours might hear in on a few conversations or glean details from first hand experience, the family certainly isn’t going posting their business on telephone poles in their community.

      For a similar reason, people in Bermuda have context to what is going on politically and socially. The same op-ed posted outside our borders has the double effect of potentially damaging our reputation as a place to do business and really provides nothing useful except to make a “name” for the author.

      Sadly our politicians (on both sides) can’t play nice in the playground and respect each others’ toys. Why can’t they just realize that they’re all in it together to get this country back on top again? The previous government didn’t handle the purse quite as well as they could have and the current government has a big job to deal with global and local shrinkage in our economy.

  10. In the nick of time... says:

    And the Funny thing is all of the Audio of what they (politicians)say can be foung on parliament.bm
    Slyvain are you right in the head mate? you say Famous’ article ACCUSES the OBA of saying such things? here from your above article “It accused One Bermuda Alliance politicians of, among other things, using profanity to disrespect the Speaker of the House and Bermudian citizens, of making gang-like threats and of having no knowledge of how government works.

    You did! You said what you said believe it or not!! It is on record for all to hear. We are not you stupid little subservient SHEEP…as much as you are in church you should know to tend to your “flock” a little better than that friend…

    This quote that lead off Famous’ Article is particuarly Apt!

    “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” – Margaret Thatcher

  11. Lone Wolf says:

    It’s okay if the PLP does it. It’s okay for them to be hypocrites and do exactly the opposite of what they promise. It’s only an issue if the OBA does it.

    Where are all the usual trolls in this one? I notice a few USUALLY mouthy people are avoiding this post. Hmmm, I wonder why?

    So BLIND and brainwashed it is astonishing beyond belief!

    I have never in my life witnessed so many brainless people. It’s like watching a huge flock of birds. Whichever way the lead bird swoops and swoons the entire flock just follows with absolutely NO idea of where they are going.

    So sad that it’s comical …

  12. Rumforbreakfast says:

    I’ve had enough of all this. In an ideal world, I would love to get rid of everyone and start from scratch. What a shame that base politics and questionable motivations are detracting from what’s important.

    Can I propose Dale Butler as my first appointment and we can go from there? There is no question that there is one man who genuinely LOVES Bermuda and wants what’s best.

    Anyone else have suggestions for a “dream team”?

  13. Coffee says:

    People , the OBA still fails to realize that when the current finance minister publicly sided with then priminister Keeva Bush in Cayman Island , owing to his own personal blind hatred of then premier Paula Cox , he initiated the mutualization of spreading lies and untruths about the PLP and Bermudas core business model . No wonder IB packed up and made a quiet exodus from our shores .

    • Mike Hind says:

      Speaking of spreading lies and untruths…

  14. brutus says:

    the plp is acting like the nazi party with goebbels propaganda machine but it aint working as anticipated..LIES AND LIES too laughable!

  15. Uncle Bob says:

    Who is Sylvan Richards…isn’t he the rest home down in st georges?