Opinion: Kim Swan “We Must Demand Better”

April 7, 2015

[Opinion column written by  Kim Swan]

At a recent OBA Town Hall meeting in the Town of St. George – amidst a crowd which contained many of my former UBP colleagues and members ‎[now OBA] from all over the island — I was reminded of how important it was not to contravene the UNESCO World Heritage designation the Town of St. George enjoys.

Many in that crowd would have remembered how important is was to have a fully functional 24/7 Police Station within the Town of St. George as many within the UBP used that as a repeated drum to beat when encouraging the government to use its persuasion to keep it open.

Today, an OBA Government of 30 months is presiding over the same situation but more importantly is making matters worse by not dispelling concerns that East End Primary School is targeted for closure.

At that Town Hall meeting, I took the occasion to speak up and point out that it was irresponsible for the Government to hold a meeting and not address the concerns of parents at East End Primary School.

In addition, like the Police Station which still fails to operate 24/7, not so dissimilar to the condition the UBP/OBA once criticized – that any consideration of closing a historic school like East End Primary within the World Heritage Site of the Town of St. George would be a historical travesty; one that would injur the Town of St. George’s cultural integrity – an obvious red flag to anyone mindful of the importance education plays in UNESCO.

‎Ironically, Premier Dunkley was quick to be dismissive to these valid points raised by categorizing them as speculation, but given the record of the OBA in the last 30 months, it is important for the people of Bermuda to make there concerns known early and challenge this government with vigilance.

The OBA have made a mockery of our democracy – as the real majority the people voted for was 19 – 17. Ironically, one AWOL PLP elected seat held by Speaker KHR Horton allow the OBA an unearned majority which has further divided Bermuda.

The true will of the people has not been carried out and we have seen a mockery made of the will of the Bermuda people by both the Government and also by Government House – a matter worth raising in the UK Parliament.

It is also worth noting that the OBA were not interested in fielding questions from the floor at that Town Hall Meeting – many persons hands were up as the OBA team stifled the questions/comments waiting patiently. The OBA MPs Kenneth Bascome, Nandi Outerbridge, and Suzanne Holshouser are yet to speak to any of the hot button issues facing St. George.

The people of Bermuda have honestly had our democracy trampled ‎on and must demand better now.

- Kim Swan

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Comments (57)

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  1. Kettle or pot says:

    Well well well,
    All of a sudden he’s perfect! Typical…

    • Yahoo says:

      He’s still looking to be relevant in any way he can.

    • watching says:

      He never said he was perfect but in 2007, the residents of St Geo loved him and voted him in. Now the UBP/OBA considers himself persona non grata because they used him and dismissed him.
      The current OBA MPs in St Geo , Ms. Outerbridge and Mr. Bascome have been awful representatives for the area. The people deserve better.
      How can one honestly feel it is ok for them to “host” a town hall but say virtually nothing? How do the MPs feel on all the major issues? They are silent and it is insulting and embarrassing.

      Next election I hope and pray that both are ousted as they are not deserving of the positions.

      • Not exactly says:

        The Opposition talking point nowadays to attempt to discredit MPs Bascome and Outerbridge. They appear to make a great team and due to both their hard work and constantly advocating for St. George’s has brought about many positive things for the Olde Towne after years of neglect. UNESCO tax on gas, renewed interest in the hotel development as well as the recent news about smaller ships servicing there directly.

        • Mockingjay says:

          They discredit themselves by not representing the people’s interest and being silent.

          • Time for Cuts says:

            They’re representing the interests of the whole island by preventing bankruptcy!

  2. Onion says:

    The OBA won 4,000 more votes than the PLP. If the final count on seats in the House had been tied or gone in the PLP’s favour then that would have been a mockery of Democracy.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      On another point to discredit his arguement, even if East End Primary were to be closed, by his own arguement, this would not jepordize St. George’s with UNESCO, there is still St. George’s Prep in St. George’s. In fact, having looked at the criteria, I cannot find any requirement for there to be a school or a police station as part of being a UNESCO world heritage site.
      More and more it appears that Mr. Swan has decided to tote the PLP lines, including information misrepresentation.

  3. Kim, Kim, Kim, please stop it. First: The O.B.A. have been our Government for 28 months not 30. Second: I want to bring to your, (as well as others) attention that the O.B.A. held the St. George’s Town Hall Meeting to enlighten the general population and not only them from the East End but Island-wide as to their vision/s for Bermuda on a whole in coming months / years.
    The meeting was hosted by the three M.P.s for the region and if anyone wished to address either of them they had adequate time to do so after the presentation…Mr. Kim Swan you got up and voiced your opinion so why are you ranting and raving about matters that haven’t been written in blood?

  4. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Hindsight is always 20/20 vision……it takes guts to have foresight and to follow your convictions to the final conclusion ……even if it means the end of your previous aspirations and loss of friends and followers………Man up and stop being a wimp..!

    • Wimps says:

      The OBA government will spend thousands of dollars on the wimps incarcerated but refusing to spend up front on our children.

      Wimps are the OBA and the families who don’t turn their families in that are in the illegal businesses.

    • Eastenders says:

      Wimps are our OBA eastend politicians and the musical chair politicians such as Pamplin and Scott.

  5. Lois Frederick says:

    I was there last week and many people had a chance to ask questions. Even Aunt Peggy had her chance to ask whatever she wanted to ask. Kim Swan also had his chance and spoke. Maybe if he hadn’t spent so long himself, others too would have had a chance. He does like the sound of his own voice it seems.

  6. Spectator says:

    Wow, those grapes are really sour.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      My fist thought too. A shame. Had a lot of respect for Kim. Now…Not so much.

      • Historyatell says:

        The history books will show the true social minded of the UBP/OBA leader was Mr Kim Swan.

        Other leaders and members who crossed over to the PLP Wayne Furbert, Simmons, Maxwell Burgess also were the men who looked out for the betterment of ALL Bermudians, especially the needy population.

  7. Casual Observer says:

    Yeah, I am sure that when the UN decided to designate St. George’s a UNESCO site it was primarily on the basis of East End primary. I imagine that the designation will be pulled immediately once and if the school is closed. And I got a causeway to sell you if you believe that.

    I was there and people were able to ask numerous questions including Kim Swan and even that white mental illness lady.

    How is winning a majority a mockery of democracy? I would love to hear an explanation on that claim.

    And why would Kim Swan want anything to do with the PLP, who he accused (while in the UBP) as being the main reason for the downfall of St. George’s financially?

    And why did Kim Swan (and Senator Ming) both pretend like no other topics were discussed at the meeting that will directly benefit St. George’s?

    • Lois Frederick says:

      I don’t follow the logic, that if East End Primary School closes, it somehow violates the terms of being a World Heritage Site. Even if that were to happen and apparently that has not been decided, there would still be St. George’s Prep actually in the town of St. George’s. If the requirement is for a school to be in a World Heritage Site, and that is something I would question, having St. George’s Prep, which is a school, would meet that requirement. Is Kim saying there should be at least two primary schools, to meet the criteria of being a World Heritage Site?

      • Vote for Me says:

        @ Lois Frederick
        Tying the school to the World Heritage Site status is probably a stretch.

        Notwithstanding, there is a world of difference in the history of East End vs St. George’s Prep. Check your history or ask anyone over age 55 that went to primary school in St. George’s.

        • serengeti says:

          If they are 55+ years old and went the East End Primary, that was 50+ years ago. We can’t keep a school open for ‘old times sake’.

          And it has nothing to do with the World Heritage designation. Nothing at all.

        • Redman says:

          @ Vote for Me,
          There is also a world of difference between Bermuda today and Bermuda of Five Years ago, in case you haven’t realized we are living in this day not yesteryear.

          Tying East Ends possible closure to World Heritage Status isn’t a stretch it’s like leaping the Atlantic… plus its pure BS. If anything could cause St Georges to lose that status I would bet having no police station within the Town Boundaries would be the reason rather than a school closure.

          East End is so historically important that East Enders are clearly sending their kids to other schools instead. Yup got it. Mr. Swan, give the School closure ala UNESCO link a break you sound like a fool. In the right Party for that though!!

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Historically significant is not a justifiable reason alone when the times call for better spending of education monies and the school’s enrollment has been in continuous decline.

    • Not exactly says:

      Sound bites over substance. That’s why.

    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Casual Observer
      What is your reference to ‘that white mental illness lady’?

      • Casual Observer says:

        The lady that held the ‘white mental illness’ sign in a march not too long back. I believe it was a People’s Campaign march if I remember correctly.

        The very outspoken and hate filled individual that has no qualms displaying her racial hatred and believes she is morally justified in hating on people due to the color of their skin. Something I was always taught was unacceptable and abhorrent. Even she was there and had questions.

      • Casual Observer says:

        For the record I do not know her or care to get to know her.

        Someone pointed her out to me and stated that she was the ‘white mental illness’ lady.

    • I along with others, (I’m sure) appreciate the points you’ve mentioned. May I also make a remark in reference to how the former Progressive Labour Party neglected the Olde Town of St. George’s by doing literally nothing ever since Dame Jennifer Smith was the Leader…
      Please, you who can’t see “the proverbial trees for the forest” stop the crap and be a bit more patience with them that are now the Government Party e.g. One Bermuda Alliance. (And may I say, have done far-more for the East end and this Island on a whole in two,(2)years than the Progressive Labour Party had done in fourteen,(14)years)

    • watching says:

      I don’t think they pretended that topics affecting St George’s were not discussed. I think their point, which I totally agree with, was that the MP’s have been and were, on that night, silent. If I attend a PLP Town Hall for Constituencies 15, 16, 17 and 18 then I would expect to hear from Walter Roban, Michael Weeks, Walton Brown and David Burt. I think it is ridiculous to have a regional town hall, and then restrict the MPs for the area to supporting cast. They had a real opportunity to dispel some of the rumors surrounding them, but they have actually done the opposite.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        The reason the constituency MP’s did not speak there are 2 fold; 1, they were not presenting, so they floor was given to those that were, allowing for more time to cover the large number of topics for a single meeting. 2, nobody asked them anything when the chance was there.
        I know full well that it is the PLP way to have unnecessary speaker get about and fill time repeating what presenters are going to or have already talked about, but the PBA were there to discuss a range of plans for the east end, and that is what they did, no fillers.

    • Not voting OBA anymore says:

      I was there to give the OBA one last chance to keep my vote. They did not mention anything about our school and airport to suit me. Senator Woolridge and Nandi Davis pass by many of the outspoken PLP supporters not giving them the mike to speak. Someone had to convince Mr. Swan to go to the front of the room so he could get a chance to speak and was told there would be no more speakers when the Premier tried to embarrass

      You call that fair and transparent? Next day we see Premier and his Mrs in St. George photo opping lol.

      I can tell you this I WILL NOT BE VOTING OBA NEXT ELECTION.

  8. Unbelievable says:

    When he was the UBP leader and Opposition Leader, Kim Swan kicked and screamed that the PLP were running roughshod over laws and policy. He can’t deny it because it’s all online to look at.

    Then when he kicked and screamed that the UBP would not die as long as he was around. He declared up and down the street that the UBP still was a valid force. Now he’s a PLP member and is attacking the OBA who, although not a well organised machine, is trying to revive the Bermuda’s fortunes.

    Kim Swan appears to be a shrewd politician but that is exactly what he is playing at – plain old politics. Mr. Swan history will see you, sir, as a player

  9. Think... says:

    Kim Swan are you lost on the fact that the PLP lost 8 or 9 seats on their way to losing the election in 2012. Even the sitting Premier lost her seat. There was a very clear mandate that the people of Bermuda no longer wanted the PLP to lead them…please do not ever forget that fact.

    • LMAO says:

      We are extremely sorry we voted for OBA.

      I WISH I COULD TAKE BACK MY VOTE. OBA DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ST. GEORGE NOR UNESCO. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT BIG MONEY BUSINESS.

      • Casual Observer says:

        Strange thing to say, considering all that the OBA has done for St. George’s in 2 years.

        - Granted monies to the Corporation as a means to ensure the much needed infrastructure enhancements could take place.

        - Levied a 0.25% tax on the oil docks with all proceeds going to the St. George’s coffers

        - Implemented an East End ambulance service

        - About to break ground on the old Club Med site

        - Leased a fast ferry to do runs to St. Georges’ which resulted in more than 100 thousand tourists being transported to the Old Towne in its first year alone

        Now let’s compare what the PLP did:

        - Blew up Club Med, forced the closure of St. George’s golf course and a local business for a failed foreign developer

        - Stripped away the Corporation’s revenue preventing them from doing much needed infrastructure upgrades

        - Focused all attention on Dockyard while making no effort to ensure St. George’s thrives financially

        - Cancelled the ferry service to St. George’s depriving the Town of further much needed visitors and economic activity

        Now remind me as to which Party has done more for St. George’s?

  10. watching says:

    what I find interesting is that even if people could have directed questions to MPs Outerbridge and Bascome, they should have addressed the crowd on their own. They have NEVER addressed their constituents.
    This is not an attack on them as individuals but it just seems clear that there is an unwillingness to face the public.

  11. inquiring minds says:

    Unfortunately Mr Swan has forgotten the previous government actually deliberately mislead the old towne and the public in regards to the Fire Brigade presence.
    The deliberate misleading ( in my world we say lie) was that the government would continue to support the volunteer fire brigade that had provided the towne with coverage for decades and assisted the remainder of the island on numerous occasion, in the towne. However the real plan was to have NO FIRE BRIGADE that is stationed in the towne as was promised and necessary given the irreplaceable buildings to be protected. I also believe it was a condition to maintain our world heritage status but it appears that no government takes this seriously.
    How about beating your drum about that Mr Swan or will that mean having to criticize the policies of the party you now represent.

  12. bluebird says:

    Mr Swan,now do tell us about the $2 BILLION DOLLAR DEBT and the $167 MILLION DOLLAR INTEREST that wehave to pay every year.Besides the $100,s of MILLIONS that the OBA have to borrow and they are still paying your grand pension for being party leader in oposition,and benifits.
    Let us hear you now,otherwise sit down

    • I concur 100% with what you’ve written “bluebird”. I further suggest / would like to see all former Leaders whether of the U.B.P. or P.L.P. and yes, even the present O.B.A. Government who may have chosen / or choose to cross “the floor” and support the “other Party” NOT be given the benefits / pension because of who they’d been prior to crossing the “Floor”. As we lot would say, “it just ain’t right.”

      • St George Voter says:

        Swan did not cross the floor. His colleagues, now all OBA MPs crossed the floor and started a new party after an injunction was placed on them to follow their constitution, if they wished to dissolve the united bermuda party.

        Remember the ‘secret plan’ for Dunkley to become Premier.

        Get rid of Swan. Simmons. Furbert etc & get a ‘surrogate’ aka Craig Cannonier – then rid the party of the black surrogate and crown the now mighty white leader. Come now you recall the plan Raymond.

        It was After Swan and Swan ran independent, Swan decided to join a political party and he joined a party that welcomed him and his social ideologies. You can recall his outspoken voice for the underdog in Caucus….that’s the problem with the OBA,they have mere opportunistic heads, no one with the heart to help average Bermudian.

        In #2 with loads of family in #1&#3 and will not be voting for kiprock nor davis nor Craig if rumor is right the fool will give up the safest OBA seat and come down to St. George. So a Ming/Swan/Foggo ticket gets our votes.

        • @ “St. George’s Voter”: You like everyone else have the right to vote for whoever you wish to and for whatever reasons. But as the old saying goes, “it will all come out in the wash.” Yes Sir / Madame, time will tell. Now, go and have yourself a “Bermdaful day.”

          • John Smith says:

            The wash is finished and the OBA ain’t looking clean.

        • Casual Observer says:

          Can you remind me what the PLP did for St. George’s and why you are so adamant in voting them back in down that way?

          After you do I will remind you what the OBA has done for St. George’s in the space of 2 years.

          Then let’s compare.

          But I know it is all about race for you.

  13. Navin Johnson says:

    East end primary has 50+’students? How can you keep it open with such a limited number in this day and time?

  14. Dylan says:

    Mr swan this must be so very difficult to do,to sit on the side that you so wholeheartedly criticized on a daily basis and now you want us St. Georgians which may i point out you are not just living here for a few years doesn’t qualify you, to support you. We were so poorly represented by your new peeps and yes Police station ,volunteer Fire station and the corporation were discarded. They did a great job on MJ (past Mayor).That was even when the Premier was living in the area. So as long as my ….. points down I will never vote for them or you.

    • Eastender says:

      Dylan, Kim Swan had done more for St. George than any of you born in St. George or not.

  15. Alvin Williams says:

    Well the OBA held a dance at it’s recent meeting in the old town but the hosts were not allowed to dance. but than to this government night is day and the sun really rises in the West?

  16. Ice Bank Mice Elf says:

    It is my believe the OBA is selling the citizens of this country out to foreign investors. Pretty soon all we will be doing is emptying their trash and cleaning their pools.

  17. Dylan says:

    East Ender you’re not from …i would bet you too came from elsewhere please tell me what Kim Swan did for St.George’s , I would be very interested to know
    and now he like a few others are throwing their toys out of the pram

  18. Reality Check says:

    Kim Swan is so desperate to be back in the political game it really is pathetic . For all those years he rightly condemned the financial mismanagement of the PLP , and now he gets on his soap box to bleed about the hard choices necessary to address the mess left by his new friends . No one ever thought he was the sharpest tool in the UBP but we did think he had integrity . Wrong again !!

    • Simple minded says:

      Of course only Dunkley and Gibbons are smart and have integrity.

  19. Charlly X says:

    Lol !!! They the MPs of the area couldn’t speak because they hadn’t rehearsed it with the party speech therapist !! The one who writes their public addresses ! How much do we the taxpayers pay him to advise them ? Smh ! He should be party leader !! Mr Don G ! No of fence to him personally . Gotta love it . No Bermudian qualified to do that job either ?

  20. stgeo says:

    Could it be that East End School is in line with the whenever hotel plans are final.

  21. ridiculous says:

    Kim Swan is more self serving than Bermuda serving. Closing of East Primary would have no impact on anything. The school has been under performing for years. Consolidate it with St. Georges Prep and have the principals work together until a retirement occurs.