Brown: Premier Made “Misleading Comments”

March 30, 2015

“In light of the deliberately misleading comments by the Premier about that meeting and sustained calls for clarity from myself I am compelled to respond,” Shadow Minister of Immigration Walton Brown said today [Mar 30].

This follows after Premier Michael Dunkley commented on a meeting he had with Mr. Brown, saying: “In that meeting, which included Home Affairs Minister Fahy, Mr. Brown said he had no problem with the proposed legislation and that he wanted to avoid an escalation in political rhetoric. Yet hours later, he raised the spectre of civil disobedience if the Opposition did not get its way.”

Mr Brown said, “It is both unfortunate and unproductive that time is now being spent detailing what transpired in a meeting I had with Premier Dunkley and Minister Fahy over the contentious issue of immigration reform when our energies should be directed to getting the policy right. In light of the deliberately misleading comments by the Premier about that meeting and sustained calls for clarity from myself I am compelled to respond.

“Firstly, the actual meeting needs to be put in context. Along with a number of other concerned Bermudians over the lack of consensus on immigration reform and the refusal of the OBA government to engage in a collaborative undertaking, a protest activity at the Cabinet Office grounds was organised within 24 hours. Members of this loose collective began to spread the word, and I set up a Facebook page as part of this promotional effort.

“The morning of the protest [25 March] I wrote to the Premier seeking a meeting to discuss ways to resolve the impasse over immigration reform. Between 12 noon and 1:00pm I appeared on The Sherri Simmons show to discuss and promote the 5:30 pm protest. One point I emphasized during the interview is that I, like many others had talked enough and marched enough — and to no avail. The only logical next step was to engage in civil disobedience to demonstrate the gravity of the situation and the unfortunate abyss we had fallen into.

“My meeting with the Premier was an attempt to get him to commit to a collaborative approach to immigration reform. His first response was that his party won the election and were elected to lead; that the PLP lost and has no authority to tell the government what to do. Premier Dunkley then quoted favourably a PLP member who once said while the PLP were in power that, ‘The Opposition will have their say and the government will have its way.’

“My response to the Premier was that while the government has the power to pass any law and to implement any policy they wish, it will only lead to an increasingly divided Bermuda. I indicated to him that if there was a commitment by government to a bi-partisan approach on immigration reform there would be no need to have any protest. I further indicated the protest set for later that day was but the first step in a progressively escalating set of measures.

“At some point, Minister Fahy [whom I did not expect at the meeting] interjected that he was offended that civil disobedience was even uttered and that he would not be intimidated into making any decision. My response to Minister Fahy is that civil disobedience has long been a part of protest movements, it is an important part of a democracy and has already been a part of Bermuda’s history.

“The meeting was primarily about the need for collaboration. As I indicated to the Premier, the proposed immigration legislation provided the lightning rod for the protest. It was clear to me that the Premier and Minister Fahy understood this. When speaking specifically about the legislation I said while I think there is great merit in allowing PRC holders to purchase a greater range of properties and avoid a class bias benefiting the wealthy so typical of OBA policies, there were other aspects of the legislation I had grave concerns about.

“When it was clear no commitment to a bi-partisan effort would be announced before the planned start of the protest I indicated the protest would go on as planned. The Premier and Minister Fahy did commit to engage in a process with the PLP over the ensuing weeks to see if we could come to an agreement over key principles that would shape a collaborative undertaking. The Premier asked that I begin to set out my views on some key guiding principles. I left the meeting with that clear understanding.

“It is regrettable that the Premier has sought to misrepresent the details of that meeting. I sought the meeting in a genuine effort to resolve an impasse and propose strategy that would calm, not stir the political waters. For the Premier to engage in feigned, surprised indignation over an act of civil disobedience; for the Premier to falsely claim I supported the legislation; and for the Premier to try to present the meeting as a focus on the proposed legislation, is all very unfortunate. They speak to his character and it is for the public to assess.

Mr Brown concluded, “My position with respect to the OBA government has thus far been to respect their role as the government and work where we can on the critical issues, our differences notwithstanding. If the OBA simply wants to assert they were elected the government and can do as they please then we crawl down a rocky and dangerous road to the next election.”

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Comments (45)

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  1. swing voter says:

    you’re lying….NO YOU R LYING….no not me YOU r lying…I didn’t say that you’re a lya….no YUR a lya….lya! no LYA!!!! LOLOLOL @ politicians

    • Rock Paper Scissors says:

      I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.

      Martin Luther King, Jr.

      • Hmmm says:

        Brown is playing mind games with people….go to a meeting , but has already organised a protest. He then used the threat of a protest on the meeting. The protest was already organised.

        People are being used as pawns by Brown………are you a pawn?

  2. Lois Frederick says:

    Aside from this side show, what in the most recent legislation was so objectionable to the PLP? Funny how after all the scaremongering from the PLP members in the Senate the other night, when it came to the vote they were silent. When you heard the reasoned thinking from the Independents in the Senate, it was clear that this legislation made sense. To the OBA, stay focused and don’t get caught up in these regular side shows designed to distract. You have important work to do and Bermuda is relying on you to get on with it.

  3. So, Shadow Minister of Immigration Walton Brown has say indirectly, “if the Government, (which are presently the O.B.A.) do not give in there will be as was in the past, an up-rise in the streets :-(
    I quote Mr. Walton Brown from this Bernews: “My response to the Premier was that while the government has the power to pass any law and to implement any policy they wish, it will only lead to an increasingly divided Bermuda. I indicated to him that if there was a commitment by government to a bi-partisan approach on immigration reform there would be no need to have any protest. I further indicated the protest set for later that day was but the first step in a progressively escalating set of measures.
    “At some point, Minister Fahy [whom I did not expect at the meeting] interjected that he was offended that civil disobedience was even uttered and that he would not be intimidated into making any decision. My response to Minister Fahy is that civil disobedience has long been a part of protest movements, it is an important part of a democracy and has already been a part of Bermuda’s history.”
    I personally believe if he “wants to stir the waters” (and that seems to be the case) he too is a just another piece of crap and isn’t worth sh%%%ts

  4. Noncents says:

    Pipe down Walton. Your party caused this mess, the least you can do is allow the grown ups to fix it.

  5. somuchless says:

    So who’s the one lying????? PLP or Oba. In any case politricks is like a drug. Bad. But what is even worse is that the ones suffering are the people.

  6. hmmm says:

    “The only logical next step was to engage in civil disobedience to demonstrate the gravity of the situation and the unfortunate abyss we had fallen into.”

    YOu have no place in ANY Government in Bermuda for promoting civil disobedience.

    You just gave licence for people to do what they want regardless of any laws…

    BROWN OUT , BROWN OUT, BROWN OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. jt says:

    Mr. Brown…when the plp win the next election you will then have the opportunity to reverse, ammend and create policy to correct all of the horrendous mistakes the OBA have made.
    At the moment it’s the OBA’s turn to rectify the plp mess. It is what Bermudians elected them to do. They will be held accountable for their results, just as your party finally was.
    Trying to draw comparisons between what you are doing now and the actions that were required in the past is what is truly ‘misleading’.

    • Time to change the name back UBP 100% says:

      Please speak for yourself I never elected these red koolaid drinking smile in your face clowns. What I see is 2 Bermudas.

      • jt says:

        So you voted PLP in the last election. Why? What was it about their performance as government that led you to do that?

        • jt says:

          And btw…. I would never presume to speak for anyone but myself. I would never say that I speak for “Bermudians” or for “the people”.

      • Noncents says:

        @ Time to change

        Unfortunately the majority of voters did vote for them and that’s how democracy works. PLP didn’t care at all about the opposition during their reign.

  8. Toughchit says:

    So the Premier asked Brown to come up with some key guiding principles and yet he still went through with his civil disobedience threats. Real collaborative there PLP.

    Interesting Brown is actually not against PRCs being able to buy a greater selection of local real estate.

    Well done Fahy for stating you will not be moved by PLP threats of disobedience and unrest. Stick to the wicket and never let bullies intimidate you.

    • smh says:

      LOL you think someone’s bullying Michael FAHY? Wow. You must not read the news much.

  9. Kangoocar says:

    Who would any one trust in this matter?? The OBA who are doing what ever it takes to clean up the carnage of the plp, or the brown/plp who are now on record of saying ” we had to deceive you and now, civil disobedience has long been part of protest movements!!! ” seriously plp, you now are condoning civil disobedience??? How pathetic is this latest attempt by the very party that has caused so much fiscal damage/ hardship on everyday bermuda Joe blow, to get re elected at any cost???

    • alarmed says:

      Yes it comes down to who you trust the most in this instance, and going along with everyones political bias, I am sure most will trust either Premier Dunkley or MP Brown based on that same bias.. Kangocar, yes, the PLP made a hell of alot of mistakes during their tenure, and yes the OBA certainly remind us every day that everything they do is based on “fixing” the failures of the past administration. However, for you to sit there and suggest that the OBA haven’t given the Bermudian public any reason to not trust them during their short time in office, taking into consideration the about turns on major issues is very “if not the words of a truly deluded supporter” dishonest at best.

      You sit there and continue to repeat the words spoken after the 2003 election when Dr. Brown said (paraphrasing)” we had to deceive you”, but you say nothing of the actions of last then a year ago when the very Leader of the OBA “who are doing whatever it takes to clean up the actions of the plp” had to resign from his position based on allegations of corruption (I’m sorry, political wrong-doings). Not to mention, the chairman of the party himself resigned on matters related to that incident.. Then you have a party who continue to break election campaign promises, and you come on here and speak as if the PLP is the only party that lacks credibility.. Go wash your hands before you come to this table to eat..

      • Yes we can trust the OBA says:

        Now you stop that!!!! The former leader craiggy did nothing wrong. That 350K was made up by the boogeyman. The man was used as a puppet I tell you!! He kept his mouth shut or so it would seem and was rewarded before all the other oba mp.

  10. Heedy says:

    I knew it was more to this than the Pemier let on.
    Mr. Brown has never come across as dishonest,and I personally think many would agree.
    Why all the attitude from our Premier Dunkley and Mr. Fahy? I once supported the O.B.A., but now I ask myself,do you the O.B.A. really have my best interest at hand. Pathetic. I feel let down by the Premier. SAD day!

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Hook line and sinker…

    • Kangoocar says:

      Yeah, like you ever voted for the OBA??? Hahahahahahaha, you fit right into the plp profile!!! Lies are just a part of being part of the plp!!!

      • Heedy says:

        Your attitude needs adjustment kangoocar.In life we have a responsibility to our community,petty picking on people has to stop,may that understanding be graced upon you,sooner rather than later,your treatment of others who do not share your opinion has to be addressed. Peace.

        • Hmmm says:

          Brown trustworthy.bwahhhhhhhhh haha .
          You have got to be kidding. The guy is hellbent in independence, he has his own agenda, and it is not the will of us the people.

        • Billy Mays says:

          Sucker!

      • confused says:

        Talk about lies!! Do I need mention JETGATE and your former unethical, and immoral Premier acting as if he knew nothing but in fact resigned because of the very thing you’re claiming the PLP to be!hahahaha. ALBERT EINSTEIN,since you know it all,please explain to me how the former Premier remains a part of Government?? I can tell you!Dont p-ss him off because he is the most powerful man in the OBA with all that he knows!! Trust me, he can bring the Party crashing down!!! Get your popcorn ready,the movie is about to start!

    • jt says:

      I agree that Brown has always been honest about his goal……independence. His approach is less than honest. I wonder if those demonstrating know what they are really being assembled for.
      Independence at any cost.

  11. PSJ says:

    OMG! I feel like am watching a sope-upper! All this “he said” “she said” is so crazy! Lord help them all!

  12. Kangoocar says:

    The Hon Premier Michael Dunkley reaffirmed his position, even stated he had witnesses, he went on to say that invited Walton to bring others to the meeting and Walton declined??? So again, who would anyone with a sane mind beleive??? I am going with the Hon Premier!!! I long for the day the plp just stop their deceiving ways and be a part of the solution!!!

  13. Family Man says:

    And Walton (the cheque’s in the mail) Brown has so much credibility.

  14. Coffee says:

    Never go into a meeting with the leader of the UBP/OBA alone , always have someone with you . Walton you know better . Do better .

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      Probably better than a meeting with the leader of the PLP/UBP! lmao

  15. confused says:

    @PSJ I totally agree about the he said,he said stuff BUT I have to question Mr Premiere accounts of the meeting,and no,I definitely wont take Mr Fayhes word as a witness!!! Do you really believe that he will side with Brown SMH?!If Mr Dunkley’s version of the meeting had taken place,WHY DIDNT MR DUNKLEY THROW MR BROWN UNDER THE BUS WHEN THE CROWD GATHERED SOON AFTER THE MEETING??? NO BETTER OPORTUNITY!!!SMH Mr Dunkley, you almost had me Deceived! For a minute I thought you were the great Doc!!

    • Sad says:

      Brown confirmed what Dunkley claimed.

      And yet you sill can’t see it. SMH.

    • Dude says:

      Mr Dunkley has more class in his little finger than Walton Brown will EVER have, THAT’s why he doesn’t “throw him under the bus”.

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

    Both of them need to be on “Springer” and let them slap it out!!

  17. Casual Observer says:

    Walton essentially admitted that he had no issue with this piece of legislation regarding PRCs ability to purchase more property than what they are currently restricted to.

    Notice how he never accused the Premier of lying, but instead used the obtuse word misleading. The Premier was right when he said Ealton stated his agreement on the legislation in question.

    Walton said what he said and just confirmed it above which is He essentially agrees with this legislation, but wanted to make it about politricks instead and using he emotions of the people he is supposed to be serving.

    This is all one big game for the PLP. How many times have one of their current and former elected members (inc. current and former PLP heads) called on the overthrow of this government by any means necessary? It was reiterated as early as this month when Marc Bean said his only reason for being was to topple the government (just like the Tea Party has said about Pres. Obama).

    Not to lead or assist in Bermuda’s recovery that his Party contributed to in a much greater fashion than they will ever admit. No they only exist to do regain power no matter the cost socially and economically to this island.

    They are willing to talk out of both sides of their mouths as a means to garner political support via increasing social division. This has been their MO since day one. This is just another example in a long list. Walton said he agrees with the merit, but demands it to be halted because they agent the ones doing the legislating and when he doesn’t get his way he uses the emotions of his support base to create civil disobedience.

    The funny thing is above he admits the Premier told him to put together some key guiding principles from the PLP’s perspective and has the nerve to hold a march about non-collaboration on the subject. He used those people and has no shame in doing so.

    The PLP’s past immigration policies chased away business and treated Bermudians married to non-Bermudians like dogs via a licensing requirement as well as depressing the real estate market even further.

    And the most interesting thing is Walton and Co. have yet to provide one suggestion for immigration reform. Not a single one.

  18. Rhonnie aka Blue familiar says:

    As in all matters, I suspect the truth is somewhere between the two sides.

    However, that said, it’s clear to me that Mr. Brown had every intention of the ‘civil disobedience’ happening regardless of what the meeting with the Premier held. I simply can’t imagine him coming out having come to an agreement with the Premier and saying to the people there ‘Go on home, they’ve agreed for us all to sit down and talk about things to find a middle ground. Sorry I wasted all your time, guess I should’ve just sat down and talked to them first.’

    Mr Brown had no expectations, or intentions, of ever having to make that announcement, because he didn’t go into the meeting for that purpose at all. It was all another act in what appears to be an orchestrated ‘show’.

    It should also be noted that to expect any politician to tell the whole truth is absurd. They will always manipulate what they say and don’t say in order for things to look the best for them. Doesn’t matter what party, just they way politicians tend to work.

    Do I believe everything the OBA says? No. Do I agree with everything they do? No. But we, the voting Bermuda public, put them in power and effectively saying ‘okay, here’s the mess. Do what you think is best to fix it.’ On the other hand, the PLP lost the election, making them the Opposition, but by no means should their loss at the election make them behave as if their only job is to oppose everything the present Government tries to do. To be the opposition means so much more than that.

  19. joank says:

    Wa wa wa a bunch of kids!

  20. blow in says:

    THAT statement was the most long winded bit of nothing,he talked his way around the question without saying a word,EDUCATION was lost on this man he should have been a politician .

  21. Supercat! says:

    Gosh! Don’t the PLP get tired for once lets just work together and get things going for the betterment of the island. Please its not about going backwards its about going forward and we all know that the mess that was left behind from the PLP the damage is real and we must see it and if not we are all blind. Bermuda is not another world we are apart of this world.

  22. Sad says:

    This is what I mean about blind allegiances and their effects on the human brain.

    Mr. Brown confirms his support for the legislation in question as per his merit comment, but yet people still will call the Premier a liar.

    Not even Mr. Brown labeled the Premier a liar, because he knows that would be a lie.

    And why would he continue with his civil disobedience threats when the Premier asked him to put together his guiding principles on their proposed immigration framework?

    Premier, it is obvious the PLP are not genuine in their desire for so called collaboration. The above is a perfect example along with the daily threats from the PLP’s leader
    and recent proclamation that he will not deal with the Government.

    This is a game to them and they don’t care what the destroy as a means to ensure they win.

  23. Starting Point says:

    #LOLplp

  24. Gary says:

    Who do I believe? Well, it ain’t Brown!! Politicians Lying to the Public (still)….

  25. Nahhhh looonk….we …i….perhaps we….the people love you both…dislike both…but if you pertain to us asour representatives we would expect exeplery behaviour as a pre requisit….no other behaviour is acceptable…you both are put in your respective positions as we request and require your lead…it does not imply drama….as such your requirements and implore as such…our elected…there by remit only observance of our needs and leadership as a country and people who need ,request,and require leadership …to…our …needs as may best be meeted…please refrain from drama…as it is as distasteful as reality(sic)….programing to seek out sponsorship for it …programming tripe to gain advertising monies….we are turning off all tripe television it is of “no interest to us”….only people with time to waste would view…and the way i see it time is not to be wasted…life is fleeting and we request and require reality and our best interest …and only that…but please bring a sense of humour….we never get tired of that…presumably…but myself…i can attest…humour is key of all endeavor…