Opinion: Senator Rabain On Growing, Evolving

July 18, 2014

[Opinion column written by Opposition Senator Diallo Rabain]

As a result of the 2012 General Election, the PLP that held the Government of Bermuda for 14 years prior emerged from that election with a new leader and a host of new faces in the House of Assembly, The Senate, and The Party Executive.

This combination of veteran experience and first-time parliamentarians has allowed the PLP to continue to evolve with ideas based on its core tenants of always putting Bermudians first, with fresh ideas and approaches to the issues they face in 2014.

Critics of the PLP, rather than discussing the merits of such fresh idea and approaches, will often cite the default statement of “...you had 14 years to do that…” whenever the new PLP team raises an issue or suggests a proposal. It is almost as if these critics want to try to ignore the merits of the idea or proposal in favour of an approach of complaining for complaint’s sake.

For any organization to survive, it must be an organic and living entity that learns, grows, and evolves just as the world around it grows and evolves. What these critics often forget is that the world has evolved over the last 14 years. What was relevant in 1998 has changed in 2014, and in order to continue moving forward, we must recognize this. We must be open to engage newer and fresher ideas or proposals in tune with this new reality.

The PLP Team has always and will continue to go into the community and connect with Bermudians from all walks of life. We will engage with Bermudians via the media, social networks, town hall meetings, and on doorsteps to listen to people’s concerns, opinions, and ideas in order to gain a firm grasp on what they want Bermuda to look like in the future.

Some examples of ideas generated by the people of Bermuda are as follows:

  • Abolition of conscription
  • Decriminalization of Marijuana
  • Abolishment of jailing of debtors
  • Commission of Inquiry on theft of properties

With this mandate, from the people themselves, our team is committed to transforming Bermuda into a society that weighs the needs of Bermudians and our visitors alike. We wish to create a Bermuda that assures fairness and prosperity for all who reside here.

To do this, we will not shy away from the difficult conversations that have too often been swept under the carpet in the past. We will continue to acknowledge past injustices while setting the foundation for a more equitable Bermuda in the future.

We firmly know that in Bermuda, Bermudians must come first. And as such, we will continue to provide an ever-evolving mandate of ideas on behalf of you, the people of Bermuda, and our visitors.

Please continue to send us your ideas for Bermuda, and we promise to always be a party that presents these ideas, regardless of those who will continue to complain only, with no interest in genuine dialogue.

Thank you, Bermuda, and God Bless.

- Diallo Rabain

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  1. somuchless says:

    ‘Core tenants of putting bermudans first.’ That’s part of your problem. In some ways it is important to put these people first. Get back to the drawing board and come back when you care about everyone.

  2. Mike says:

    “…you had 14 years to do that…”. “What these critics often forget is that the world has evolved over the last 14 years. What was relevant in 1998 has changed in 2014″

    What a poor rationale for the events of the last few days. It’s a 100 years since the people’s of Tuckers were “cheated” out of there homes, as some would suggest.

    It was relevant in 1920 and 1998.

  3. Allow me to be the first Senator Diallo Rabain. I can only wish you mean what you write but, for some reason or another I have an innate warning signal going off when I hear you,(and others) mention stuff like, “new” Progressive Labour Party. “With, this combination of veteran experience and first time Parliamentarians has allowed the the P.L.P. to continue to evolve with ideas based on its core tenants of always putting Bermudians first, with fresh ideas an approaches to the issues they face in 2014″
    Sorry bie’ but you are attempting to sweep the wrongs done by the same Progressive Labour Party that you’re representing today without first answering the questions of the people of Bermuda in reference to the wrongs done by the same P.L.P. over 14 years as our Leaders :-(

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Senator Robain’s has written a very eloquent and well thought out piece. The trouble is, it does not reflect the divisive and negative behaviour and attitude that the PLP have been showing this country over the last 18 months. This has culminated in the the deception perpetrated by them during the Tuesday March on Government House, whereby, they proclaimed that all were welcome to join them in this march for democracy, only to turn it into a PLP rally call for independence and issue a demand that the FCO, the very organization that the PLP think we should break free from, un-democratically dissolve our parliament. A demand to which none were aware of until after the rally.
      Change and new PLP, nope, same divisive politricks, out for only PLP interests, and Bermuda needs and deserves better than this. The only thing that has changed in the PLP since the loss in the election, is that they have shown that they are even more unfit to lead this country now, than they were in 2012.

      • Black Soil says:

        The PLP fought BAD. The PLP are FOR CONSCRIPTION. They never spoke about abolishing conscription until they lost the general election by 1,700 votes. The PLP are NOT VISIONARIES. They are about political power and using negative resentment (OK it’s hate) to gain support. The PLP simply don’t stand for anything. This is why they need to DISBAND…..and maybe this is where Terry Lister comes into play. A new party led by him will probably get my vote.

        • Black Soil says:

          The PLP also fought any attempt to question land deals in the Tuckers Town, Mid Ocean area.

    • Ian says:

      I think you are confusing “innate” with “ingrained” Raymond…

      • hmmm says:

        PLP, the friendly party that listens.

        Me thinks you just won last comic standing !

      • I would say that’s a matter of opinion and we all know what they are like right?

  4. Sandgrownan says:

    Or titled another way:

    “Why we sucked for 14 years”

  5. Creamy says:

    He seems to have forgotten that the abolition of conscription was in several PLP throne speeches. They just failed to do it.

    The properties weren’t “stolen” Diallo. Maybe you need to review the facts a little more thoroughly.

    • Real talk (original) says:

      “The properties weren’t “stolen” Diallo.”

      Which is precisely why a public inquiry is needed. There are some who are ignorant (willfully or otherwise) of what went down in Bermuda…

      • serengeti says:

        It can easily be argued that’s precisely why a public inquiry is not needed. The properties were not stolen. Governments acquire property by compulsory purchase all the time. It’s legal and ethical, and it makes no sense to go back and investigate every instance of it happening 100 years later.

        But anyway, if a public inquiry is a good idea, the motion has to be worded so that it makes sense. If it’s a good idea the motion will pass and the governor will do it, as he has already indicated.

        And Creamy is right – the PLP had conscription in its throne speech and did nothing about it.

        Marijuana is already on the table being discussed, and debtors are not sent to prison.

        So Diallo’s points are all as lame-ass as usual.

        • Ian says:

          Lol! What happend in Tuckers Town was ‘legal’ and ‘ethical’… Easy to say that when race and many decades seperates you from the sight of a black grandmother and/or child being dragged out of their home kicking and screaming. You people will (choose to) never get it.

          • Double D says:

            It has been stated numerous times over that not only black Bermudians were affected by the compulsory land purchase order of T. Town.

            Even Laverne Furbert, Chris Famous and CURB have acknowledged the fact that whites and Portuguese were also present on the land at the time.

            The other fact is that only ONE person had to be forcibly removed from their T. Point home at the time with many others feeling that they were properly compensated for the land.

            You should really learn some history before you sound any more ignorant and uninformed about the subject.

            And where was our ‘outrage’ when yor beloved PLP passed the T. Point SDO or when they have away Morgans Point?? Or should we talk about the Ombudsman report ‘A Grave Error’ in which she laid the blame at the then Min. Of Environment for being slow to react which resulted in the demolishing of the tomb stones? Guess who the Min. Of Environment was then?

            Simple question that I imagine you can’t or will refuse to answer.

            • Ian says:

              Lol… Keep trying to “reason” your way away from the blatantly obvious and see to what extent the truth will “push back”… The universe has a tendency to balance itself.

              • Creamy says:

                It isn’t unreasonable to use “reason”.

                It beats the outright lies and myths you come out with.

          • WillSee says:

            Thats not true.

            • Ian says:

              Then we should all just forget about it, right?

          • serengeti says:

            Compulsory purchases of houses and land happen all the time, and they are almost always involuntary. So you can save your made-up stories about children being “dragged out of their homes”. They sold their homes. That’s what happened.

            What do you mean by “you people”, by the way? A pejorative term aimed at a group of people defined by race? You know what that makes you, don’t you?

            • Ian says:

              Uh lets see… I will put on my “serengeti”/OBA/UBP/PRC hat and say that makes me a “racist”/”xenophobe”/idiot/uneducated/uninformed/dummy right???

              LOL…

        • Real Talk (original) says:

          Sounds as though you actually didn’t listen to the presentation… this is not just about Tucker’s Town. That was a compulsory purchase. I “get” that.

          The point is that there is evidence that there was some systematic collusion between certain individuals over a period of time aimed at the theft of prime real estate, particularly from black Bermudians.

          • serengeti says:

            So, if there is any merit in it, redo the resolution and present it. Use the democratic system, not a mob.

            And I take it you agree the other “points’ listed by Diallo are ridiculous.

          • Creamy says:

            **** you and your “systematic collusion”. What a load of ****. Every time your weak arguments get exposed you people just make up a new ****** lie.

          • furby logic says:

            it only became prime real estate AFTER it was developed. Before that it was hardscrabble farm land.
            Bermuda’s birthright is fishing and farming. EVERYTHING after that has involved partnering with foreign investment

      • Concerned says:

        who is left in Tucker’s Town/Cleveland County/Harrington Sound to tell the story You borrow money can’t pay it back the agreement verbally was that if I can’t pay back you take garden or something else or house and property this type of agreement was island wide between friends, neighbors family and other and all in between so who stole what

  6. Roger says:

    All makes sense.

    Let’s give the OBA 14 years then to ge things moving and then start focussing on the genius ideas that the PLP keep bringing up but didn’t have chance to do anything about.

    This will give the PLP folk time to focus on their other endeavors, peoples campaign, CURB, hospital electricity systems etc.

  7. aceboy says:

    “Critics of the PLP, rather than discussing the merits of such fresh idea and approaches, will often cite the default statement of “…you had 14 years to do that…” whenever the new PLP team raises an issue or suggests a proposal. It is almost as if these critics want to try to ignore the merits of the idea or proposal in favour of an approach of complaining for complaint’s sake.”

    Your leader is trying to dissolve Parliament and force new elections. That is not raising an issue or suggesting any proposal. It is tantamount to a coup. You appear to be backtracking and acting the victim here. How is anything that has happened over the last few weeks “fresh ideas and approaches?” Are we living on the same island?

    • Concerned says:

      Ewart is stirring the dust in the yard for his return be watchful

  8. Huh says:

    PLP fought BAD in Court to retain conscription

  9. Bermuda Boy says:

    Does it really matter what the PLP/BIU think? Keep going Bean & company, it won’t be long before you ruin the Island AGAIN!!!!!

  10. Huh says:

    Sen. Rabain why would anyone trust the PLP? – what about the Corp. of Hamilton 2″ X 2″ RG ad/RFP = 262 Year lease to Mike MacLean – talk about a land grab under the PLP. Check it out on Ombudsman web site http://www.ombudsman.bm/systemic_reports.html
    What about Rev. Bean lease on Whites Island, secret PLP/PHC lease to Dept. of Education? BLDC $186,000 paid out – “no report? The list is almost endless..Berkeley, Dame Lois Bldg., oversized Cabinet Minister cars..like pigs feeding at a trough…

    • @ Huh: Unfortunately them that criticize the One Bermuda Alliance for changing Bermuda,(for the betterment of all) have overlooked the points you’ve mentioned in your letter and that’s part of the reason why we in Bermuda are facing the problems we’re facing today.

  11. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    In the last 18 months, I have seen nothing from the PLP that would make me think that anything has changed. They employ the same divisive politricks, still put together flimsy legislation/motions before the house and are solely focused on what they want for the PLP and not what Bermuda wants. In the last couple months it has become even more clear that the PLP would still rather lie to the people of this country than engage in an honest debate, we have seen them bring some of the greatest shame to the House of Assembly, as they and their leader have taken every opportunity to disrupt the house from getting on with it’s work for the people. At it’s lowest point was the PLP leader engaging in a barely veiled innuendo tit-for-tat with Mr. Lister, all because he does not think the people should have the right to know if their representatives in the house are of sound and sober mind, free from the effects of narcotics.
    Now they repeated lie about how PRC’s if granted status will diminish the opportunities for Bermudians in employment, housing and education, despite the fact that they already share in those rights, in order to cover their true motive of deny these citizens the right to vote and have a say in the country they have made their home for nearly 3 decades.
    They put forward a poorly written motion, on the sensitive subject of past land deals and possible injustices, warp the truth about how it got through the house by say in was an unanimous vote, the cry indignation and injustice when the Governor inevitably sends it back to the house so that it can be further worked on to meet the requirements for establishing a commission. They then send out call for all Bermudians to join them in a march on Government house, claiming it was for the protection of democracy in the island, only to turn it into a PLP rally for independence, then mislead the people at the march further and submit an undisclosed demand that the to have our democracy, un-democratically dismantled by the very organization they want no part of.
    All in all, there has been no indication that this ‘new’ PLP is any thing other than a worse version of the old PLP, with even worse notions about how to properly rebuild this country from the disaster that was the last PLP government.

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

    Diallo…THE MAJORITY (proven at the last election) don’t care what you think!! You support a bitter party that lost the last election because of the people’s mistrust of YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES…GET IT!!!???

  13. Say What? says:

    All this from the party whose leaders said ‘we had to deceive you’ to win in 2003 and repeatedly state ‘we don’t care what you think’ is now looking out for all Bermudians. And just this week boycotted Parliament and called on the UK to order new elections. That’s your way of promoting dialogue and conversation? You have no credibility PLP.

  14. Intriguing says:

    Senator,

    Thank you for your piece and I want to believe that the PLP is evolving in its thoughts and platform as I would like to have a viable option in respect of my political choices at the voting booth.

    I want to select a party based upon their merit, leadership skills, creative thought process to bring solutions to the table to confront the issues of the day and not the color of their skin or their mantra.

    I will be listening carefully to hear if the “new” PLP embraces ALL Bermudians regardless of race, creed or sexal orientation.

    If your party can do this and acutally mean it–you have a very real opportunity to appeal to the youth vote in Bermuda.

    Sadly if you do not–the plp will be seen by younger voters as an outdated mouthpiece for a group of really socially disonnected folks that have no clue about the importance of issues to the youth of Bermuda.

    We will be watching and listening.

    The OBA should be very aware of this too!

    • Onion says:

      The new PLP has already voted overwhelmingly to explicitly ban gay marriages and enshrine discrimination in law so it’s too late already.

    • Conservative says:

      Dear Senator Rabain,

      Show us that you and this NEW PLP are serious by introducing new candidates and not the same tired souls who want to bring their 1980s comrades back as Senators as soon as you guys win again. Only with new candidates and a new tone from the top will the PLP be taken seriously even by its own supporters.

      For example what do the following PLP MPs and MPs in waiting or should i say senators in waiting really have to offer 15 to 20 years later with our current economic challenges and the importance of Bermuda bringing all hands on deck to make us successful, actually the best hands on deck, like the OBA is trying to do, although they are not succeeding in their efforts.

      please replace the following for the PLP to look new sound new and be new and stand Strong!

      - Michael Scott
      - Wayne Furbert
      - Terry Lister
      - Randy Horton
      - Rolfe Commissiong
      - Paula Cox
      - Jennifer Smith
      - Patrice Paris
      - Walter Roban
      - Derrick Burgess
      - Lovitta Foggo
      - Glen Blakeney

      and for the record OBA please address this madness with MP Nandi Outerbridge in particular who is really just there to make up the count and makes no contribution inside or outside the house as those op ed pieces are NOT written by her and while your at it the UBP faces are getting old (Trevor Moniz, Grant Gibbons, Cole Simons, etc etc etc) like enough already

      Will everyone get behind and support todays new PLP which is actually just a recycling of the same old PLP team from 1998? come on you lot you know you can do better

      • Cleancut says:

        Actually some of the names above were very talented ministers,

        it was only Col. Burch and Dr. Brown that caused all the collateral damage.

  15. Onion says:

    So it’s the “New PLP”. That worked out really well for the UBP in 1996.

    It’s obvious to everyone that on issues like conscription the PLP was simply playing catch-up after the OBA took popular stances that were 180 degrees from what the PLP had actually done.

  16. haha says:

    “the merits of such fresh idea and approaches”

    HAHA don’t make me laugh….where they at??!?!?!

  17. BlueFamiliar says:

    Dear Sen Rabain,

    Following the 2012 election I had great hopes for the PLP to take stock, reconsider their actions of the past and what had gone wrong and how they lost enough of their votes to have lost the election, and come forward strongly with change as the opposition.

    On the first of the messages from Mr. Bean and other PLP members that hope was strengthened that the PLP were looking back to the values their party had in the past.

    Sadly, that hope died quickly enough in the face of complete contradiction between the words spoken and the actions taken.

    I like to believe that the PLP truly do have the best interests of Bermuda at heart, and that they are just simply too naive in the workings of government to know how best to work within the system. But there are some days that it’s exceptionally hard… no… it’s impossible to believe that so many intelligent adults could be so misguided and naive as to do the things that they do.

    Point in case… the response to the Governor’s response to the unarguably great idea of the commission of inquiry.

    Having read the release from the Governor it’s clear that the PLP did not understand what was said because their response suggested they only took in the the word ‘no’ and not the full message.

    But even so, to boycott the house saying they would do so until the Governor was recalled was a poorly thought out action. Did no one think about what would happen when the Governor wasn’t recalled? Either stand strong and fail to do what the people who voted for you expected you do to, your job. Or have to back down looking a little foolish and go back to work.

    Most children understand that when you’re told to go back and do a more comprehensive job, that’s what you do, not throw a temper tantrum.

    Then there’s the march on Government house. I actually don’t have a problem with a peaceful protest of that kind. It is a freedom that is alloted to us with democracy. But using the ruse of the Commission of Inquiry to a historic and emotional concern in order to forward a host of complaints against the government was simply wrong.

    In the end, yes, the PLP does have some good ideas, they always have. The problem remains that they don’t seem to be able to follow through in a mature, professional and effective manner.

    I continue to hope that someone in the PLP ranks will eventually find the nerve to stand up and speak up and lead the party into a new and bright future because Bermuda does require a strong and intelligent opposition to help the Government lead Bermuda into a better future.

    With respect,
    one of The People

  18. Need Peace says:

    Senator Rabain it is pointless to try to have a discussion with those that know the inevitable but continue to fight tooth and nail. Those that feel it know it and have requested that your party do their business. They have seen the masses but still want to believe that you act alone. Be silent just like the OBA and get on with it.

    • furby logic says:

      yes we saw the masses – maximum of 2000, 3% of the population, so what is your point?

  19. bluebird says:

    The “YOUNG” population must be reminded all the time where the $2.5Billion Dollar “DEBT” came from which was left to them to pay off.
    By the PLP/BIU.
    And now the new “GROUP” would like another $2.5Billion dollars for them selves of which the YOUNG Generation will be saddled with.
    And if you dont believe me may i suggest you take a very close look at Jamaica.

  20. Don’t wait for extraordinary cercumstances to do good….try to use ordinary situations…

  21. Nothing……………..is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on….of an uncompleted task!

  22. How soon……not now……..becomes never……

  23. Sickofantz says:

    The second sentence includes the words “core tenants”! (He kind of lost me there…….)

    • serengeti says:

      Well yes. He absolutely used the wrong word, so the sentence makes no sense. Just illustrates why the laws they passed all need redoing years later.

  24. CommonSensenBda says:

    The great ship “BERMUDA” is finally emerging from the Triangle of Loss of International Business, Lack of Investment (Local and Foreign), and No Job opportunities in Construction & the Hotel Industry that the PLPbiu drove us into.

    That is why Marc Bean and the party apparatus is desperate to retake the government back now…..the engines they the PLP BROKE and had no credible plan to fix from 2009 to 2012 under former Premier Paula Cox, is now building up to full steam and the OBA is steering us to the prosperity that was constantly “PROMISED by not delivered” by the PLP.

    St. Georges Wharf (damaged during Hurricane Fabain) — repaired under the OBA who provided funding to the Corporation of St. George’s.

    R.F.P. is currently underway at the former Club Med site (due to the OBA insuring a PROPER proposal and funding process) where the PLP “POMISED” a hotel would be built, but after the 2012 election we were told had fallen through the previous September because of not enough investors had come on board…..

    2014 National Jobs Programme detailing avenues for those without a PATHWAY to job opportunities (what was the PLP’s program when thousands were without work…..become a landscaper, pot washer, or waiters(but no waiter were ever sent HOME).

    Sites currently active or soon to be undertaking construction;
    Hamilton Princes (Phase 1 complete, Phase 2 shortly to begin)
    Pink Beach
    Aerial Sands
    Morgan’s Point (not just the hotel but also part of the site to serve as Race Central for the America’s Cup Race — brought to you by the OBA government’s submission and subsequent arrival as being the last of TWO finalists).
    The Former “Grand Atlantic” Fiasco, will be repainted a “welcoming” color, the seawall strengthen (how many individuals did MP Weeks manage to sell those units to when the PLP’s version of “low cost” was $5,000 a month for rent-to-own during an economic downturn?)

    Shall I keep going, or do you see the point?

  25. Um Um Like says:

    “We wish to create a Bermuda that assures fairness and prosperity for all who reside here.”

    Does this include foreigners, or just Bermudians who live here? Does this also include gay Bermudians?

  26. Common Sense says:

    We have some potentially good things in the pipeline eg Club Med site, Pink Beach, America’s Cup sailing, improving IB, and others. Why does the PLP want to sabotage these by deliberately causing unrest at this critical time??
    Make no mistake possible foreign investors are watching.

  27. Huh says:

    Sen. Rabain, with all due respect, the word is tenet, not tenant.
    tenet
    NOUN
    any opinion, principle, doctrine, dogma, etc., especially one held as true by members of a profession, group, or movement.

    tenant
    NOUN

    a person or group that rents and occupies land, a house, an office, or the like, from another for a period of time; lessee.

    Law. a person who holds or possesses for a time lands, tenements, or personalty of another, usually for rent.

    an occupant or inhabitant of any place.
    VERB (USED WITH OBJECT)

    to hold or occupy as a tenant; dwell in; inhabit.
    VERB (USED WITHOUT OBJECT)

    to dwell or live (usually followed by in).
    Now we see how sloppy PLP law drafting created a pathway to status for PRC holders…

  28. Chris Famous says:

    The OBA is not in favour of same sex marriage now are they?

    • Come - on says:

      Cannonier wasnt – dont know about the new guy

    • Double D says:

      And the PLP is against ALL rights for gays as their beloved ‘leader’ believes these people are ‘upending civilization.’ One of your intolerant MPs even suggested having a referendum to see if these individuals should be afforded equal rights.

      Wonder how a few of the PLP members feel about their ‘dear leader’s’ opinions about them?

  29. nuffin but the truth says:

    the plp,always putting themselves family and friends first!

  30. Watcher says:

    Having been at the March on Tuesday, I didn’t see a host of new faces, I saw the same tired, divisive politicians spouting the same old rhetoric, from what I saw gathered on the steps were Zane Desilva, Glen Blakney, Walter Roban, Derik Burgess, Lovita Foggo, Wayne Furbert, Michael Scott, Kim Wilson and Mark Bean all Mp’s in the last cabinet so please don’t insult my intelligence by trying to tell me that the new PLP are not responsible for the old cabinets sins.

  31. Officer says:

    A leopard don’t change its spots.
    The PLP took care of themselves and we youngsters voted them out,for a party that is for everyone!

  32. Herbert says:

    Any party that can allow itself to hijacked by Evil Incarnate (we all know who I am talking about) will never have my vote – they simply cannot be trusted because by definition they have to lie to us.

    • furby logic says:

      He is not evil incarnate!
      But he is not safe to Orate and drink tea at the same time!

  33. PANGAEA says:

    Pearl told Leroy to get rid of the land because the soil was not deep enough to plant onions or carrots.

    Leroy, Smokey can not not pull the plough over the steep hills.

    Many farmers got rid their wind swept salty ocean front land in favor of more fertile Devonshire and Pembroke land.

  34. Redman says:

    Opinion: Senator Rabain On Growing, Evolving.

    Sadly for the people of Bermuda the PLP are evolving into an entity that ‘those on whom shoulders they now stand’ would not agree with. The PLP are so far removed from their original core values that we can’t see where the old Colonial powers start and they finish.

    Power at all costs and no real desire to serve the people whom deserve much better representation that they are getting from the PLP.

    How the mighty have fallen!!

  35. PANGAEA says:

    Do you know what you get when you build your house of straw ?

  36. Unbelievable says:

    Far as I am concerned, the PLP still has the exact same people in the House of Assembly and at the highest levels of the party (with some new faces) that put Bermuda in the mess that it still is in. So please don’t even talk about OBA/UBP.

    Whatever, dude.