Column: Young People, Your Voice Matters

October 21, 2015

Eron bernews photo[Opinion column written by Eron Hill]

“Sheriff John Brown always hated me, For what, I don’t know, Every time I plant a seed, He said kill it before it grow, He said kill them before they grow.” - Bob Marley

Bermuda has a gold mine of young people full of talent, potential, and intellectual brilliance. We must involve these young people; for they are the young people of today but the leaders of tomorrow. Generation Next!

The government has been in negotiations with two non-Bermudian entities who plan to rebuild the L.F Wade International Airport terminal. Many Bermudians, regardless of political affiliation, social status, or race have expressed their discontent with the proposed course government seeks to take.

On an island like ours, why is a $255 million dollar airport necessary? Why is it necessary in a time where visitor arrivals are at record lows. Why is it that the contracts weren’t tendered for bidding to local contractors? Why the lack of transparency with the negotiations?

Why was there no public consultation before contracts were signed? Why didn’t we look to support Bermudians? These are just some of the questions young Bermudians concerned for the future of their island home have asked in response to the government’s plan.

There was a petition organized by a group calling themselves “K.E.Y – Knowledge & Empowerment for the Youth,” which is made up of seven young people whose ages range from 20-35. Their stated goal is to “educate and empower our generation as a lot of us are out of touch with issues that are happening around us, particularly as it pertains to decisions made by the Government of the day.”

The group’s petition with respect to the airport can be found here.

In response to the petition, which has garnered over 500 signatures in just a few days, Mr. Sullivan, in an attempt to belittle the efforts, went on to suggest that those young people signing the petition were not “real voters”; and that the group should “Let us know when the petition gets past 14,186 signatures of ‘real voters’”.

eron hill column pic 2

Sir,

  • 1. Thank you for revealing how you and many others truly feel; thank you for the motivation.
  • 2. The correct spelling is “wine” not “whine”
  • 3. There is no “us” and “you”. Young people truly do believe in a better Bermuda for all, not a select few.
  • 4. You’ll be notified when your number is met; it will be.

It’s a shame that individuals like this would choose to degrade young Bermudians standing up for a cause they believe in; but we’re not sad, we are motivated. For revealing how you and many others truly feel about young Bermudians, we thank you.

This type of mindset and arrogance is embedded in the current government, their proposed policies, and the manner in which they seek to implement them.

Many share the sentiments that can best be described by the lyrics of Michael Jackson’s lyrics “They don’t really care about us.”

There is a wealth of potential inside of every young Bermudian; as such there are those that fear your innate value and spend much time, energy and effort trying to obscure the truth and diminish your light. Be not daunted by those that share those views or attack your beliefs and actions.

Young people, your voice truly does matter, your potential is immeasurable.

If you don’t support selling our airport to CCC & Aecon for $255 million as proposed by the government sign the petition.

The people really possess the power! The youth of today, but the leaders of tomorrow! Your voice matters! Every voice matters!

- Eron Hill

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Comments (54)

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  1. BINFORD says:

    METHINKS ERON HAS BEEN COACHED BY CHRIS INFAMOUS
    inFAMOUS SPOUTS MISINFORMATION ON A DAILY BASIS
    NOW ERON IS SAYING THAT WE ARE SELLING OUR AIRPORT.
    GET OUT NOW BEFORE YOU FALL TOO DEEP INTO THE PEEELPEE WABBIT HOLE

    • Bermuda’s future Oligarchy threat.

      • Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

        Bermuda’s future propogandist. i agree. seems like he is being trained by “inFamous” sad really. so much potention. the force is strong with this one. the darkside in him, i sense

  2. Lois Frederick says:

    I won’t be signing. Politically motivated petition, what a surprise. The govt. was elected to turn this island around and bold decisions are being made. If you listen carefully to the rationale for this approach, it really is our only option, if we are to build a new airport. The financial straight jacket put on us by the former govt. has created that weak financial position. To now have the very party that is responsible for our state, along with its mouthpieces, finding fault with this approach is sad as well as offensive. This govt. is doing what it needs to do to stimulate, what has been 7 years of stagnate economic conditions, with no ability to borrow to build capital projects. This is a very attractive and creative approach to building a new strategic infrastructure project and in turn create much needed jobs in a multitude of areas. New to Bermuda maybe, but an approach used all over the world. I won’t be signing the petition.

  3. Varied says:

    However you feel about the airport redevelopment plan, Mr Sullivan has given a whole bunch of ammo to Eron’s claim that “They don’t really care about us”.

    Of course the follow-up was a pretty sneaky burn as well, but that’s another matter.

    • Chaaa says:

      LOL ya hill lashed him. Can’t take the heat then get out of the kitchen papa. He got stung; bet he’ll think twice before degrading young people again

      • Jim Bob says:

        Eron did not lash him. He simple degraded himself to the sort of gutter politics that many of the politicians resort to here. What did his last comment add to the debate? Whatever happened to taking the high road?

      • Fairylands says:

        Ya boy Hill completely missed what Sullivan meant with his ‘real voters’ comment… but let’s not let that get in the way of trying to score meaningless political points. A petition with 15,000 signatures is not ‘real’ if there are made up names/e-mails associated with said signatures, ya? I think we can all agree to that. But when Hill and others only look at things with blinders on they only see what they want to see. Hill brings no heat. He is not his own master. He is simply another pawn in the game and can’t see the forest for the trees. He has not an original thought in his head as evidenced by his completely copied and somewhat annoying attempt at a Famous-esque article, yet again. His writings suck and, his, use, of, punctuation, suckier. Carlos Fuentes said it best: “writing is a struggle…”. For Hill, the struggle is real.

  4. Ryan says:

    The airport redevelopment is an exercise, by the Government, in bad public relations.

    That being said, I don’t see anything inherently controversial about the financing. It’s not exactly new: the users of the new airport pay for the new airport. It’s the same way toll bridges are paid for, and the same way seemingly thousands of other infrastructure projects in the world have been paid before.

    I’ve commented elsewhere why projections of future revenue ‘lost’ to Bermuda are bunk; the exorbitant figures of $1 and $2 billion thrown about have no foundation in reality, and those who utter them are either deliberately misleading people, or need to take a class in project valuations. I nearly fell out off my seat when I saw the Shadow Finance Minister valuing the project using inflation rates.

    I, too, would like more information about this development. But the idea that we are “selling” the Bermuda airport to CCC for $255 million is so off-base that it must be called out for what it is: a deliberately misleading statement. There is *no* proposal to sell the airport. On the contrary, the users of the Bermuda airport are “buying” a new airport for $255 million.

  5. Hoolieh says:

    Mr Hill:

    Tourism or our economy will never get better with the myopic perspective you’re advocating.

    My parents always taught me to be the best! Why? My competitors are trying to be the best…

    Quick analogy: because the number of law jobs in Bermuda is declining I should cancel going to law school to get my masters, similar to you, to better my skills to get the job? I’m sure if I don’t obtain my masters; I’ll get the job…?

    What type of critical thinking should you then deploy with respect to Bermuda and it’s future?

    What I often find is that certain people have NO interest in being strategic or any interest in thinking BIG. Bermuda didn’t win the America’s Cup venue of choice by myopic thinking…

    Bermuda (and other countries) was one once great when it thought “BIG”!

    You are a bright young fellow; unfortunately I believe you still have lots to learn!

    Think outside the box…study hard and learn things from people who are different from you. Critical thinking involves 360 analyses!

    Good luck!

    P.S. It’s great that Young folk express their opinion. However, more than equally important, they MUST be informed to provide useful feedback

  6. Zevon says:

    He asks “on an island like ours, why is a $255m airport necessary”?

    Well, the PLP had plans for a more expensive airport that would have actually added to debt. Maybe ask them.

    there are billions of dollars worth of office buildings. Billions of dollars worth of houses. Amd 15 years ago a $105m school was built, the one in which Mr Hill was educated. In 2017 dollars Berkeley probably cost as much as is being proposed for the airport.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      You’ve touched on one of the cruxes of the PLP hypocrisy on this matter, even before 2008, the PLP recognized the need for a new airport and made plans for a new one… what happened was they couldn’t finance it. Now the OBA has found a way to finance it, it’s not ideal, but it will work for us. We aren’t losing and airport, what Minister Richards is negotiating is a way that those financing this will make their money back over a long term lease agreement that won’t require direct liability on the public books.
      The PLP harp on about the lack of RFP, and how an RFP will garauntee value for money and ensure we get the best deal… like every PLP capital project RFP did. The only reason the PLP want us to stall out the project is that they want to delay any contractor selection until after the next election, where if they win, then they get to be the ones who pick who get a quarter of a billion dollars… just like they did with the Berkley, TCD, Waterfront, Bermuda Cement, Courts building… RFP’s … oh wait, not all of those went out for RFP, they just went to friends.
      The PLP harp on about how this is just a back door way to privatize the airport… the PLP already privatized the airport, the only services that aren’t outsourced to private contractors are the management and customs.

  7. Anthro says:

    Way to use the negative energy in your favour bra. Maestro! Sullivans comments reveal how they truly feel about young people. Press on! Sign the petition and save our airport

    • True Onion says:

      How can one man’s comment reveal how “they” feel about anyone?

      Sigh,

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      One does not use negative energies, negative energy uses you

  8. Bill says:

    I don’t think his comment was bashing young people at all. It had a lot of sarcasm though. I think you might have took it out of context. I think that your reason for the petition is a valid point. But we do need a new airport.

  9. Starting point says:

    The correct spelling is “wine” not “whine”

    LOL the fact that you did not see the parody being used in the referenced statement shows perhaps you don’t fit into the category of intellectual brilliance……

    • serengeti says:

      Yep. He seems to have trouble discerning subtleties in the use of words. Interesting, considering he’s a law student.

      He also says, in point 3: “There is no “us” and “you””. But then he later quotes a pop song which says “they don’t care about us”.

      So he seems a little confused on the message he wants to deliver; at one point it seems to be a call for unity, but then a paragraph or two later an emphasis on division.

      He also says “If you don’t support selling our airport to CCC & Aecon for $255 million as proposed by the government sign the petition.”

      It’s hard to believe he’s not being, to put it mildly, disingenuous. Nobody is ‘selling our airport’. Mr Hill must know that when he says things like this, it makes him look either dumb (which I presume he probably isn’t), or just willing to say anything, whether true or not, to try to make a point. And if he’s willing to do that, he risks losing whatever credibility he might have left.

  10. huh says:

    Pre December 2012 estimates from PLP Government on building new airport were $450M – $1.0B If they were still in power Mr Hill would be extolling the wonderful benefits” of new PLP airport. This is politics at its worst.

  11. Codfish and potato says:

    Keep the gibberish coming. More reason to never vote PLP again.

  12. Kim Smith says:

    How will young people get involved to be empowered by this group? Or are they hand-picked when there is a need for targeted education and empowerment, such as for a specific issue/petition? Will they be given the benefit of hearing all sides to an issue (which would be the real education) or is this more of a recruitment exercise?

  13. Onion says:

    I’m not sure why Eron Hill would be proud of his exchange with David Sullivan. It reflects poorly on both of them.

    Juvenile and petty.

  14. David J Sullivan says:

    It is very unfortunate that in order to attempt some faux rage the writer of this piece needs to fabricate, indeed fictionalize, the positions of others by selective, not in context, copy and paste. His inherent lack of dealing with the facts quickly allows the readers of the sophomoric editorial to see the true intent of his writings, character assassination. Assassination on the grounds that those who do not share his views must be maligned, belittled and indeed fictionalized to a demonic level. We have seen it before.
    The writers intent is to cause support for what already is a petition with questionable signatories. I glory, in the spirit of democracy, in such an exercise. His unfounded accusations as to my belief of ‘young voters’ is at best worthy of the type of product produced from both a imaginative and confused thought process. No where did I state anything about young or old voters. Rather I used the term ‘real voters’, those who take the time to exercise their right of the process so many have worked so hard to insure they can. I understand the ‘red meat’ language, spoken or printed, used in order to gin up one’s faltering base as a tactic. However, if there is both merit and seriousness to your cause one does not have resort to fabrication as a basis for validity. This is true whether you are ‘young’ or ‘old’.

    • NT says:

      You used two paragraphs and extensive use of your thesaurus to write a whole bunch of nothing. How did he fabricate words you wrote that are right there for everyone to see? You left it for people to interpret however they want, you should be glad he didn’t make it a race issue and claimed you meant that black voters aren’t “real voters”.

      Why are you assuming those who disagree with you and signed the petition aren’t real voters is the true issue since you now claim your meaning of a real voter is, “those who take the time to exercise their right of the process so many have worked so hard to insure they can.” Who worked so hard to “insure” that they could vote? This should be good. The word you are looking for is ensure by the way.

      • serengeti says:

        The point about the petition signers is that it is open to manipulation. One person can go on there, make up as many names as he wants, and sign the petition multiple times. The names are not verifiable. They are obviously not all going to be voters, they are not all going to be Bermudian, they are not all going to be in Bermuda.
        A petition has a value in helping to raise an issue, sometimes, but let’s not pretend it’s something it isn’t. It isn’t verifiable “real voters”. It’s another example of Mr Hill presenting something in a way that is inaccurate and untrue. Or, just as possible, he doesn’t really know what he is talking about.

        • NT says:

          If that were the point he would just say so, he didn’t. He said they weren’t real voters which opens up debate as to what he is trying to suggest.

          Since when does anyone have a problem with petitions though? They are used for plenty of causes and no one ever has said anything about them being manipulated but in this case it’s suddenly different?! When that horse collapsed you all said let’s sign a petition! When you wanted court cases to be fully documented you all said sign a petition! When you wanted same sex marriage to be passed you said sign the petition! The only difference in this case is the color and age of the people behind this petition. Let him speak for himself.

  15. Lmao says:

    The lengths people go to to defend their cause and those that support it are amazing Lol Sullivan knew what he meant

    • TheUnamedFeeling says:

      consider this statement when defending yours…

  16. Sickofantz says:

    I don’t know if we need a new airport but bother political parties have said we do!

    I don’t know about any structural issues the existing building has or the cost of constant repair.

    However on track record I would go for the OBA building the airport rather than the PLP and another expensive overrun!

  17. bermy Bud says:

    Eron OUR generation (same age as u) is going to be paying the majority of this debt caused by the same people u are taking advice from! LAW 101- lawyers are independent be yourself then maybe people will listen to you! BTW the Deloitte report show the deficiencies within the contract, which in fact show transparency. Then again dont let your degree get in the way! (LAW)

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      The Deloitte report was also commissioned by the government to find deficiencies so that they could address then, further to that, the report also highlights that most of the remaining gaps they highlighted could only be dealt with at the actual construction contract negotiations that they have only just begun.

  18. Muhammad Goldberg says:

    Sorry Eron – I missed the part where you provided positive, realistic suggestions on how to create much needed jobs without increasing our massive debt burden. Please do elaborate…

  19. Jess says:

    Does anyone not realize that we are reading polititcal commentary from a kid who has barely just started his degree?? He’s got potential, but he’s missing age, experience and the ability to present a fair and unbiased argument.

    • NT says:

      He’s an adult and he can vote therefore he has every right to voice his opinion! Oh the lengths they would go to silence us.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Age is hardly a factor for adulthood, there are plenty of children in the HoA.

    • the truth will set you free says:

      Age is just a number. True knowledge, and wisdom comes from God and God does not discriminate. I have noticed when males of colour take a stand and speak out regarding social injustices and this predatory capitalistic system, there are individuals who try to tear them down. One thing those of European descent can not handle is a free thinking man of colour and one who does not bend down to them. Those who have benefitted from this oppressive system try to silence those who speak out against it. There are numerous males of colour who spoke truth to power. For example Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Huey B. Newton, Stokley Carmichael,Patrice Lumumba, Mumia Abu Jamal and numerous others. And there were always individuals whose tongue rose up against them just because they wanted to enlighten the people. Ecclesiastes 1:9 There is nothing new under the sun. Eron be encouraged and stand firm, this has been their tactic since slavery. Like Harriet Tubman stated: I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.

  20. Codfish and potato says:

    PLP propaganda?

  21. NT says:

    In total spin mode now. Dog whistle politics.

  22. Cow Polly says:

    “Sheriff John Brown always hated me, For what, I don’t know, Every time I plant a seed, He said kill it before it grow, He said kill them before they grow.” – Bob Marley
    Michael Jackson’s lyrics “They don’t really care about us.”

    Seems someone already has an almighty chip on their shoulder way beyond their years.

  23. Muhammad Goldberg says:

    Eron – do not allow yourself to be turned into a puppet or herded like a sheep.

    “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,
    None but ourselves can free our mind.”

    Now go do your homework

  24. it says:

    The correct spelling IS “whine,”

    It’s a play on words.

    He’s implying you and others like you are snivelers.

    I’m starting to think he has a point.

    • Really says:

      Huh…..? He’s the one writing and article whining about what some guy said to a pointless petition and placing in Bob Marley quotes. This stuff is hilarious.

      • it says:

        Oh, I agree with you.

        David Sullivan suggests that the creators of this (inflated) petition are, in essence, unrepresentative gripers.

        Initially, I thought that seemed like strong wording. But Eron’s petulant reply and consequent soapboxing gives the initial suggestion some weight.

        For someone who was accused of insensitivity over that dopey bros-in-bras thing not long ago, Eron is a bit careless about laying similar charges.

  25. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    So first there was the PLP/BIU collusion, when that failed to maintain the PLP’s hold on power, they started the PC, and now they have formed their youth wing to KEY. Since their stated goal is to educate and empower the youth, I would interested to hear from them about the perversion of history that was presented in false fashion at the Liberty theatre several weeks ago. The exposing of our youth to a history that has been so warped and raped to an ideological view point, does nothing to empower or educate our youth, but will only serve to disadvantage them further. They should really show a stance for an unbiased history before they start on presenting their own version of a biased future.

  26. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Thank G-D that we know now who the Devil really is….he was really very clearly to us in 1932. Here in this western hemisphere and more specifically in Bermuda in the early 1950′s……today he is wide out in the open….Young brothers like Eron Hill can now openly expose these Devils for who they really are without fear of retrubition ……or backlash!

    • Hmmm says:

      Seems to me the Devilish act was committed by Eron. Lies trickery and double talk were all used.

  27. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    ” Putty and paint hide many a complaint” .

    Go Modern Paint the existing airport medium grey and save a bundle.
    Trompe – L’oeil

  28. Pun Intended says:

    Aside from this entire situation being utterly childish if anything, I still can’t get past the fact that Mr. Hill did not get the “whine” pun.

    Come on, people.