Column: ‘Tone Down The Rhetoric, Stop Threats’

March 9, 2016

[Opinion column written by Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy]

In our work on the Home Affairs Ministry’s Pathways to Status plan, we have tried to be rational and open, knowing that our fellow Bermudians are rational people who make their minds up about controversial issues by listening and reasoning.

It is clear that the majority of Bermudians support Pathways. Every survey done on the subject in the last sixteen years in Bermuda has shown a majority in favour.  Indeed, latest polls show that there is at least a 70% approval. Even a poll done in 2000 by Opposition MP Walton Brown’s firm showed a majority in favour.

Replay of the CITV Pathways to Status programme:

I’m confident that the majority of us do make up our minds in a reasoned way although sadly the leadership of the Opposition have no intention of listening and no intention of using reason to judge whether Pathways is the right thing to do.

The Opposition brought an emergency motion on Monday seeking to have the House of Assembly agree to a Joint Select Committee on comprehensive immigration reform.  On the face of it, you may ask why in the world the OBA would have a problem with such a motion.

Well frankly, we have heard false calls for collaboration from the Opposition before. I say false since we have heard on the one hand a call for collaboration on immigration from MP Brown but on the other hand, MP Burt says that status is their red line.  The Leader of the Opposition, MP Bean has also said he will never collaborate with the OBA.

Which is it? If you are in any doubt about how disingenuous the Opposition is on this matter, all you need to note are the following comments made by certain members of the Opposition during the marathon debate:

MP Bean, said, “If they proceed to vote down the joint select committee, then they will have 48 hours to withdraw the bill.” After that point the OBA will have involuntarily submitted themselves to the will of the people. All hell will break loose. This is the ultimate and final appeal.”

Despite MP Bean’s comments, the will of the people is quite plainly that we should proceed. What he means is the will of the crowd he controls that is prepared to be disorderly at his command.

Michael Fahy 160309

He knows the majority of Bermudians are not impressed by this kind of blackmail.  He’s firing his supporters up, getting them prepared for the next level of protests.  His words constitute a classic incitement for his followers to take action.

My counterpart, the Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, MP Roban said in the House: “I have to… almost compare the OBA to a cockroach…which carry certain diseases of their appendages…”

One can only hope he regrets using such unparliamentary language in reference to his fellow Bermudians.  I ask what the result would have been if a member of the OBA had said such a disgraceful thing.

MP Bean does at least know that he should not be inciting his supporters, because he denied he was doing so, at least twice.  He does it anyway. “That is not a threat,” he said, “it is what I suspect will happen.”

And he said, “There are not enough police in Bermuda for you to hide behind!”   He made references to the 1977 riots and 1981 General Strike, but he said again “we are not inciting violence.”

Since those statements were made, and others like them, it is difficult to believe that it is possible to persuade the Opposition to listen to reason or that they have any real desire to collaborate.  Perhaps in their desperation to regain power in Bermuda by any means possible, as Dr. Ewart Brown urged them to, they have abandoned reason and democracy.

This is clearly a naked attempt to strong-arm the One Bermuda Alliance and the majority of Bermudians into turning their backs on Pathways that will help ensure long-term viability for Bermuda’s success.  We have shared all of the economic reasons and many personal stories as to why this must be done.  We remain convinced that this will be helpful for all Bermudians.

Bermuda is not the place for undemocratic action that jeopardises the economic recovery that is underway. I call on the Opposition Leader and his supporters to tone down the rhetoric, stop the threats and, re-commit themselves to the rule of democracy in our community.

- Michael Fahy
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Comments (48)

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  1. Johnny says:

    Is Fahy the new Premier of Bermuda? Does he need permission from Dunkley to talk or can he just say whatever he wants.

    • Jolly says:

      Uh, he’s the minister responsible for this area.

      • Joe Public says:

        He’s the Minister of Disaster “It is clear that the majority of Bermudians support Pathways. Every survey done on the subject in the last sixteen years in Bermuda has shown a majority in favour. Indeed, latest polls show that there is at least a 70% approval.”

        Where did he get this % Pembroke dump? Include this is your referandum or are you afraid of the out come Fahyyy. Yep your afraid!!!!!!!!!!!

        • grammer mate says:

          you’re*

          • Verly says:

            @ grammer mate…I hate to break it to you, but correct English is GRAMMAR. You’re correcting somebody when you’re making a common mistake in the spelling of this word.

      • Vixen Star says:

        I have to give him credit – he has stuck to the wicket and shown real leadership. Being in Government requires tough decisions that not all will support but I’ve no doubt they are proceeding with majority support. He/they have done their homework.

        • M.P. Bean, said, “If they proceed to vote down the joint select committee, then they will have 48 hours to withdraw the bill.” After that point the O.B.A will have involuntarily submitted themselves to the will of the people. All hell will break loose. This is the ultimate and final appeal.”
          “Despite M.P. Bean’s comments, the will of the people is quite plainly that we should proceed. What he means is, the will of the crowd he controls that is prepared to be disorderly at his command.”
          Well said Mike…O.B.A. aren’t afraid of any ghost!!! If the P.L.P. and B.I.U. choose to cause havoc only the poor will lose…Be smart and think for yourselves u’lot and stop being a pawn for either the Union or P.L.P. neither can help you when the chips are down :-(

      • Trisha says:

        He is actually the master mind boss of the OBA, Minister Michael Dunkley is just his servent, shame!
        By the way Michael fahy also comments nasty toward PLP, two wrongs that make more wrong.

    • wondering says:

      similar to Marc Bean’s antics with EB at the helm

    • The Facts says:

      The PLP are doing Whatever they can to get in power. They are not doing whats best for the people of bermuda and i hope me people wake up and see this!!!

    • Anon says:

      He is a brave man having the guts to take on and tackle many important issues.

      How anybody can support the previous government with the theft of millions that has taken place, I cannot understand.

      It is not rational for human beings to support those who have stolen from them.

      The PLP needs to disband and start again.

    • Cow Polly says:

      I wish he was our Premier – I bet he’d have given full human rights to our LBGT community without pandering to the religious self-righteous!

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Desperate words. Desperate threats. Desperate rhetoric from deperate people out to destabilise the elected Government by any means necessary.

  3. San George says:

    Fahy is not an elected official; he is a usurper. The government is antecedent to the constitution. Include the granting of status, the airport development, maintaining the size of the civil service or increased taxes and other major decisions that will affect this country for decades, as an option in the same referendum on same sex marriage. These matters are too large to be placed in the hands of 36 people.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

    • smh says:

      So Colonel Burch was a nothing more than a usurper too then? Fool

      • FURB1960 says:

        to: smh
        Whose the fool, you didn’t like then, but now it’s ok cool!!!!
        Seriously, at least Col Burch, wasn’t a paper Bermudian!!

    • Noncents says:

      @ San George

      You couldn’t be more wrong. These “large issues” are exactly why we elect a Government and exactly why we pay them to make these decisions. The PLP lost, get over it.

      Your party had 14 years to make decisions and never once listened to anyone that objected with them. Their decisions have ramifications that will be felt for a generation so they don’t have any credibility nor do you.

      • San George says:

        PLP is not my party – but this is my country. Those MP’s are not in that House for you. We need to be pro Bermuda and less pro OBA or PLP.

      • mixitup says:

        I don’t recall Immigration reform being on the OBA’s manifesto…

      • Trisha says:

        We elected this goverment because PLP was not transpetent but same thing is happening with OBA.

  4. Tired of it all says:

    There is an apt description for a Party and its supporters who threaten violence and seek to incite unrest…

  5. Bermy Realist says:

    @ Johnny so tru…I have to say he seems to work harder then him too.

    • The Facts says:

      @ Bermy realist and @ johnny… The OBA is made up of many leaders that are educated and have shown to have even more common sense. Micheal fahy is a great leader and is working hard for the betterment of our country. The PLP/BIU are messing with the country and are hoping the uneducated will follow and keep allowing them to do so.

      • mixitup says:

        I don’t know where you people (yes you people) keep getting off with this uneducated (PLP) Educated (OBA) nonsense…. Educated yourself on the history of this country for starters.. Educate yourself on the social imbalances that have gone on for decades, only then will you have a clear picture of why the ‘uneducated’ feel the way they feel..and have zero trust for this Gov’t.
        It seems that the ‘educated’ have really never got it right.. It’s the ‘educated’ that perpetuated segregation and thought nothing wrong with that, it’s the ‘educated’ that endorsed slavery and thought nothing wrong with that, it was the ‘educated’ that caused the world financial markets to collapse, now the ‘Educated’ are at it again?

  6. smh says:

    Michael Fahy for the next Premier of Bermuda! Stay strong in doing what’s right for Bermudians and know a lot of people are firmly behind you on this!

  7. smh says:

    POT, MEET KETTLE !!!!

  8. Portia says:

    “It is clear that the majority of Bermudians support Pathways. Every survey done on the subject in the last sixteen years in Bermuda has shown a majority in favour. Indeed, latest polls show that there is at least a 70% approval.”

    What is he basing this on – Bernews blogs? The RG survey? Seriously? The same survey that one person can vote on, say, three or four times if they wanted to? If that’s what he’s using to justify these actions – flimsy, Fahy, very flimsy.

    There may have been surveys done in the past, but to my knowledge they have not indicated majority support for immigration reform IN THE MANNER in which he is suggesting we do it. To state so is simply not correct.

    • Rhonda says:

      The question is not do you support pathways, the questions is what is the best route to take….. unliteral or bipartisanship

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Well, we know the PLP don’t believe in bipartisan, they just want it to be stalled out until they can get their unilateral again

  9. Reality Check says:

    Min Fahy reckons that 70% of the population agrees with his plan, so he should push forward with it. OK.

    Over 65% of the population disagrees with Min Richards plan for the Aecon build at the airport, so he should not push forward with it, OK?

    Seems to me that if Fahy is right then Richards must be wrong.

    Or, this governing party is absolutely two-faced.

  10. ALVIN WILLIAMS says:

    It too late for this minister to call upon us to tone down our threats; It not a threat it is a defense of Bermudian national rights and our natural aspirations in the country of our birth; a right that is recognize by the whole world.

  11. Rhonda says:

    The only group allowed to bully is the oba

  12. Jus' Askin' says:

    The ONLY POLL that counts is the ELECTION POLLS ;-)

    Call a Snap Election if You are So SURE :-D

  13. Ian says:

    Fahy. You’re full of crap… Try to convince your supporters in constituency 13 they’re the “silent majority”. You have a lot of people wishing the worst on you right now mate. And you somehow think talking to them like they’re a bunch of fools is helping. Any credibility you could have had went out the window the moment you DRAFTED THE LEGISLATION BEFORE ANY CONSULTION with the people of this country. Your words are empty from that moment onward.

  14. Enough says:

    The PLP behavior has reached the point where many of their MP’s should not even be allowed to be in the position of opposition, yet alone vying for Government. Last year Bean came out and said that their job was to get the OBA out of Government. Eh…no, no it’s not Bean and if you believe that is your role as opposition then you need to seek other avenues away from Politics.

    Continued threats of inciting violence, name calling and lies is all the opposition has to offer and it is becoming a serious problem for Bermuda which is exactly what they want. Time we stop pandering to these schoolyard bullies and leave them in our dust.

    Can you imagine where on earth Bermuda would be if we had Bean as Premier? He is angry, crude and there is absolutely no substance behind anything he comes out with.

  15. FFS says:

    GET ER DONE MIKE ! LETS HAVE IT !

    While we are at it, is it not time for the majority to get togther and have a March?

    How about when the bill goes through we have one a dem World Cup type motorcades with all the flags flying from trucks etc.

    • Verly says:

      From what has been said, you all are afraid to show your faces publicly. Unlike the protestors you criticize so much, you’re too cowardly to ever do what you’re suggesting!!

      • Seriously? says:

        Why would they when you guys are threatening violence against them?

        Resorting to violent threats is much more cowardly.

        • Verly says:

          Name one instance where they have been threatened with bodily harm!! Just because somebody feels threatened doesn’t mean there is an actual threat!!

  16. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    Well go ahead Beanie baby…incite incite…so I can get a front row seat enjoying watching REAL soldiers doing what they do best…y’all playing like this is a backyard brawl whereas we all go home after and watch TV while eating your favourite gruel…just remember that if you use anything other than sticks n stones…well I’m sure you know the saying that for every Action there is a Reaction…I sure hope you can accept it when it’s upon you.

  17. Trisha says:

    Cowerly not worse than despicable.

  18. NO, we won’t!!!! The people’s voices must be heard……not snubbed.How rude, inhumane and disrespectful.The nerve of this guy!!

  19. Ash says:

    I don’t like how he’s implying people are only rational if they agree with him. He’s coming across as very arrogant.