Opinion: Looking At PLP’s “New Management”

February 11, 2015

Wayne Scott[Opinion column written by Education Minister Wayne Scott]

Something I take great pleasure from is the growth of a vigorous online community which reacts strongly to the news of the day online. It’s not a scientifically accurate measure of public opinion, but it is an indication of the way people feel about current events.

Comments are providing plenty of evidence that Bermudians understand what has happened to the Bermuda economy in the last few years, and the reasons for it. They are not buying the line of self-serving political spin that is often being served up by Progressive Labour Party commentators.

A classic example was the article to which Shadow Finance Minister David Burt put his name a few days ago, and for which commenters took him to task. In support of his contention that the Government had run out of ideas, he suggested that the Progressive Labour Party was under new management. How can that be true?

Marc Bean is a long-time Cabinet Minister and Mr Burt was Junior Finance Minister in the old government. Spinning that pair as new management doesn’t make the facts any different. This is the same old management, the one that got us to where we are today – $2 billion in debt. It’s the same old PLP, with the same old math problems.

We have never made any secret about the fact that the government we took over was in worse shape than we thought was going to be the case. And we have never made any secret about the fact that repairing such badly-torn economic and social fabric is going to take a long time to fix.

That’s not because we’re afraid to fix it, and not because we’re asleep on the job, it’s because the damage is massive. And in trying to fix it, we’re fighting the clock, we’re fighting to pay the Island’s creditors and we’re fighting a mindset that has many people believing that it’s more important to give the OBA some political slaps than it is to help the process along.

Where is that mindset coming from? Look no farther than the PLP’s “new management”.

A case in point: Mr Burt says we are doing nothing to create what he calls “quality jobs” for Bermudians. If you’re wondering what that odd phrase means, my guess is that it will allow Mr Burt to dismiss the jobs created in connection with the America’s Cup in 2017 as temporary, and therefore non-quality jobs, which do not count in the jobs-the-Government-has-created column.

One political commentator, in looking to make a racial critique of Bermuda’s effort in winning the America’s Cup, used his column to attack the OBA Government record for not magically restoring the Island’s economic fortunes in two years. Want to guess where that slap came from?

Here are some of the significant things we in the OBA Government have managed to achieve in the short time we have been in power:

First, and I think most important, we committed ourselves to making the tough, unpopular decisions to address the economic challenges – something the PLP obviously didn’t have the guts to do when they were in government.

  • We amended the Human Rights Act to stop discrimination.
  • We introduced casino gaming to drive hotel development and put the tourism industry under professional leadership.
  • We took steps to restore the confidence in Bermuda that the international business community had lost.
  • We came up with a plan to modernise the airport that mitigates strongly against cost-overruns.
  • We successfully incubated several hotel projects, with more on the way.
  • We legalised medical marijuana.
  • We cut Cabinet Ministers’ pay by 10% to lead by example.
  • We brought accounting for ministerial travel into the public domain.
  • We passed freedom of information legislation.
  • We brought about 10% food price reduction days.

I could go on at great length about the Government’s many achievements. Perhaps it is also worth observing that we didn’t raise taxes in order to get those things done.

Mr Burt, in his article, dusted off the old PLP idea of creating a committee to examine Bermuda’s existing tax framework, with a view to increasing Government revenues.

He spoke of his party’s proposals to legalise marijuana and get the Island involved with online gambling, and took issue with a recent article by my colleague, Senator Vic Ball, that suggested these were risky proposals.

Mr Burt says the legalisation of marijuana would be a “progressive” move, worthy of the roots of the PLP, under its new management. We don’t think so. We believe it would be a dangerous move that would put our already-established lines of business at risk, and make economic recovery even more challenging than it already is.

I’ve seen little sign of Bermudians embracing these Opposition ideas. That may be just desserts. After a disastrous few years under PLP management, I’d say many Bermudians have learned to be more than a little wary of the kinds of risk its “new management” is pushing.

- R Wayne Scott

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Comments (21)

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  1. progress says:

    did don grearson write this article too? oh how the puppet master pulls the strings.

    • serengeti says:

      Yawn. Boring.

    • Joonya says:

      Who cares who wrote… it all made sense to me.

      • BETTTYTRUMP says:

        The OBA strategist team of Trew, Gearson, & Mang…..writing Opinion pieces one after another. …this really speaks to the fact that OBA Are intellectually bankrupt of any creative ideas to jump start Bermuda’debt economy. This is a sign that the OBA are falling on their swords but not sure how to move or where….they’ll have loss the trust of the people….these Opinion pieces help to ensure that trust will continue to erode. ..but keep it up. …I love a good laugh. ..

        Take this suggestion OBA. ..your time may be best spent seeking ideas and developing an “Economic Plan.” As Sir John Swan pointed out the OBA are doing nothing more than “PROCRASTINATING”…..rather than act on Solutions…..

        But keep it up it works in great favor for the PLP….the ‘Blame Game’ strategy is failing and folks at the end of the day will hold the OBA accountable……especially if they see not turn around in the economy

        Folks know Swan lacks the ability to write anything. ….he is not one of the smartest in the bunch….really….OBA your falling now…..what chess piece will you move next…..ooooh. …really….lol…

        • “Marc Bean is a long-time Cabinet Minister and Mr. Burt was Junior Finance Minister in the old government. Spinning that pair as new management doesn’t make the facts any different. This is the same old management, the one that got us to where we are today – $2 billion in debt. It’s the same old PLP, with the same old math problems.”

          In quoting “Unbelievable”
          February 11, 2015
          “Well the Minister does have a point. Where were all these PLP folks when the PLP were running rampant with our tax dollars? Were they hoping it would all “work out”?

  2. Ed Case says:

    @progress. You speak as if your fearless leader writes his.

    Now that’s a joke!

  3. Jones says:

    Wayne’s World shouldn’t you be busy with education now or are you just another template Minister filling in the spot the other sheep don’t want.

  4. Huh says:

    As Premier Dunkley said “what a waste of f****** film.”

  5. Unbelievable says:

    Well the Minister does have a point. Where were all these PLP folk when the PLP were running rampant with our tax dollars? Were they hoping it would all “work out”?

    • inna says:

      Of course!! A good lot of em did manage to work it out too!

      These are just those who weren’t high enough up on the family & friends totem pole!

  6. Tell it like it is says:

    I see that Mr. Scott doesn’t believe that the PLP is under new management. He highlights the fact that many of the PLP membership, namely Mr. Burt, played an important part under the “old” PLP as past junior minister. Yet the OBA vigorously deny the fact that they are the new UBP when many of their present members formed the framework of the UBP and form the framework of the OBA. C’mon Mr. Scott you can’t seriously expect us to take your flawed logic seriously.

    • serengeti says:

      The PLP is not ‘under new management’. Burt tries to tell it that way, but it isn’t. This lot are the same ones that got us into this mess.

    • Dee says:

      Oh how you have missed the point of the article. Read it again – slowly, making sure you understand what you are reading. Please, do it now – the island is counting on you!

    • Kangoocar says:

      Did you actually read the article or did you just spend time looking at the photo of Min Scott??? I am sure the latter is closer to the truth!!!!!

      • BETTTYTRUMP says:

        Kangaroocar I eagerly await to see the “Economic Recovery Plan” by the OBA….anything else is a waste of time and silly season by the OBA.

        Sir John Swans puts it best….OBA are doing nothing but “PROCRASTINATING”. …THUS THESE RANDOM ARTICLES OF SWEET NOTHINGS….

        FOLKS WANT SOLUTIONS AND A JUMP START of Bermuda’s ECONOMY

        FOLKS WANT JOBS

        FOLKS WANT GROWTH OF Bermuda Economy…..

        Anything else is frankly a waste of time….

        The OBA will be held accountable for growth of the economy, PLP are no longer the government and it will not matter…..

        Stop with this nonsense and get on with real solutions. ….really. …what this shows is a government that is void of ideas and stuck in the mud of political gamesmanship. ….truth. …

        • It's about time! says:

          Bettty….you need to change your name to “POT”….’cause all you do is call the kettle black!!! With any luck at all the PLP will NEVER AGAIN be the government…and it MOST CERTAINLY does matter!!! If the OBA are to be held accountable for the re-growth of the economy then the PLP are to be held accountable for the demise of the economy!!

          And before you go on about it aint their fault…it’s the world wide recession…bunch of CRAP…let me remind you that there is still $800,000,000.00 unaccounted for by the Auditor General…and that amounts to just about HALF of our National Debt at the time that the PLP were made redundant.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…YOU and your incessant rants have done more, and will continue to do more, for the OBA than you can ever imagine!! Keep up the good work!!

          • God 1st says:

            True !!!!

          • BETTTYTRUMP says:

            Guess you do not understand what “Unaccounted for really means?” really I think I have hit your nerves…..so rock on…… truth is a killer for most folks….. it is killing the OBA …..ahahah

            Sounds like your in a panic over the possible falling down of the OBA….lol….

            I love you still…

  7. Coffee says:

    Silly season seems to be a constant with the OBA op- ed’s .

  8. umjusayin says:

    What a waste of an Op-ed Minister Scott. The OBA must want to deflect from their absolutely poor record of representing all Bermudians. But don’t worry we have seen and will not forget how the OBA/UBP treat SOME Bermudian people. Bermudians pay attention and watch how we are treated with the upcoming America’s Cup, NO PARTICIPATION AND NO JOBS!

  9. SMH says:

    People like to conveniently forget and it’s funny.. Plp didn’t put us in this mess.. While they were in power.. They had to clean up a lot of mess that UBP left. It didn’t take two years to clean up.. 8 to 10 year later they where still cleaning up the mess it didn’t just go away.. Then a world recession happen.. That wasn’t the Plp’s fault it was the world economy. Lol Jobs where being lost world wide governments where in trouble all over the world. Unrest between the people and governments all over.. To be honest the OBA isn’t doing any better.. You lie and now your trying to steal to support your America’s Cup.. I would have loved to see that energy put into Bermuda’s sports and education.. But this country will always be split.. We have those that is getting the money, property, investments and everything they want.. Then we have those that are trying to make a living..