Column:’Shenanigans By Grown Adults’ In House

October 10, 2017 | 52 Comments

Justin Mathias Bermuda October 9 2017[Opinion column written by Future Bermuda Alliance chair Justin Mathias]

Last week Friday was my first time sitting in the House of Assembly, and what a day that was.

Being a student of Bermudian politics for the last 15 years and listening to the House religiously, and hearing some of the shenanigans by grown adults while real issues that affect Bermudians were being put to the wayside like a formality was sad to say the least.

I witnessed prepared questions from Government backbenchers to reduce the time that the Opposition had to question statements made by Government Ministers.

One in particular that was illuminating was from MP Commissiong, in his second attempt at trying to put a coherent question together at the behest of the Speaker and Minister Burch, who had no idea what he was talking about, speaks to the lack of preparation of this new Government.

I found myself thinking that if they couldn’t even read their prepared questions correctly, what would the future look like for Bermuda under the current Government?

We then delved into an elongated period of hypocrisy. The new Government decided to bring forward legislation from the prior OBA administration while seamlessly making it seem to their supporters that this was the hard work of their administration, rooted in their historic win at the polls.

Accusing the OBA of inaction on key issues but putting forth legislation that would have been tabled if the electorate had given us the mandate. The debate on the Tourism Investment Act turned into a misstatement of facts that really started to heat up the house.

Opposition MPs overwhelmingly supported the legislation, for how could they not support legislation which they nurtured into existence, but at the same time giving prudence to the Government of the day in how they handle the legislation and the current state of Bermuda’s tourism industry and development?

Which brings us to the debate within the house that started it all off, the current short fallings of our tourism industry as it relates to Bermudians and our competitiveness in our region.

All of these are relevant issues that should be discussed in our Parliament, why aren’t there more Bermudians, especially younger Bermudians in the hospitality sector?

Is it because Bermudians love their summers? Is it because they don’t like shift work and rather have a regular 9 to 5 job? Is it because the pay is not in line with the cost of living or is it the stress of being laid off during the off-season with no guarantee of re-employment when the business picks up? Or is it the lack of training opportunities?

These are all questions that we as one, unified Bermuda must figure out together. How do we reduce the burden on developers as the cost to build and the bureaucracy surrounding it prevents the adequate return on investment?

These are all questions that every Bermudian, especially our lawmakers, should be discussing! Unfortunately this sparked a firestorm of race and history of stolen lands by Government MPs, and a not so helpful ‘wonderful boy’ statement by MP Moniz.

These were all distractions and was an opportunity seized by the Government to make this yet another race issue. This is an all too common theme, which was used in the past to hide the neglect and shortsightedness of their own shortcomings and lack of competence.

However, what people won’t hear about is how the Government misused budget supplementary estimates to lambast the former OBA administration into committing to events that they deemed we didn’t budgeted for.

The lack of knowledge of the use of supplementary estimates by the Finance Minister and the lack of information provided by those Ministers that were asking for supplemental monies to their budget was an embarrassment to their members and in extension the Country.

This was all on the backdrop of an Education Ministry in complete and utter chaos which the Minister and Government have distanced themselves away from instead of leading the charge and figuring out what is really going on?

A party that is hell bent on creating a Police Authority rather than forming an Education Authority, which the affairs of this last week have clearly shown we truly need.

Furthermore, the mere fact that the Minister of Public Works brought forth a plan to bring a banned substance back into Bermuda with no real idea of the consequences and social impacts is simply dumbfounding. Especially considering that he thought two months is not enough time to do research on this topic.

Then they yet again continued on their consistent public misinformation crusade with the new airport. They are still trying to misinform the public on the Airport Facility move so that they can once again turn the airport deal into the most corrupt agreement, although this was the most transparent agreement that the Government has ever entered into.

This is all in the pursuit of scoring political points. The election is over, so when will the government stop electioneering and start, you know, governing and being held accountable by the Bermudian people?

The Country believed it voted for change on July 18th, that it voted in a young leader that could elevate the discussion within our Country, something that I wholeheartedly believe is what we need. But that was not the leadership that I saw last week Friday.

I saw petty leadership, which was more worried about scoring political points. I saw a leader that has a disorganized membership, which was totally uncoordinated in their efforts to do whatever they liked because they won in a landslide victory. I saw a Premier and Deputy Premier heckle and taunt the Opposition Leader in the most misogynistic display I have ever seen in my life.

This is the party that campaigned on change and moving forward for the good of Bermudians, yet I’m concerned, as we should all be, because nothing changed on July 18th! We got the PLP of the past; a petty, unprepared, incompetent party in relentless pursuit of absolute power.

- Future Bermuda Alliance Chair Justin Mathias

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Comments (52)

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  1. Toodle-oo says:

    Strange , Eron doesn’t say anything like this after a visit to the house . Were we being bamboozled with only one side of the story.
    Surely not !

  2. Real Onion says:

    If I had a dollar for everytime I was called boy I’d be very rich.
    Diallo Rabain needs to stop acting this way and grow up because he sure as hell aint big enough to threaten anyone.

    • Joe says:

      True dat, aceboy!

    • Yesitsme says:

      Funny, I’ve never been called a “boy” in that regard. If someone had, a bussed ar** is what they would have got. Maybe your so used to being called those derogatory names that your numb to it. A shame you let people call you that. Maybe you need to be a bit more prideful of yourself.

      • Double S says:

        Come talk to me when you admonish the PLP for consistently using racial slurs.

        Or let me guess, that’s just them ‘speaking pain.’

      • Toodle-oo says:

        I’ve been called far , far worse than ‘boy’ by the very people who are making the fuss but it runs right off my back because I don’t have any self inflicted issues or allow myself to own any trigger words.

        (And it’s ‘bust’ )

      • Truths says:

        I find it extremely hard to believe you’ve never been called “boy” or “bie”. No one has ever said “hey bie” or “pull up a stool bie”. BS.

        You are all grasping at straws here. You are so hell bent on catching someone being racist that you jump on even the slightest. If you can use the words “mate, pal, buddy, chap” in place of the word “boy” is it really a racist remark? I think not.

        This is just noise. Stop it. You’d think someone used the words “house n_____.” Oh wait, that’s been done already and it was fine.

  3. Off shoot of O.B.A, funny he didnt see no fault in O.B.A.
    So um gonna be listening to this for de next 5 years.
    And he sees no wrong in de airport deal, are you F!@#*** serious.
    There is a new Sherrif in town.
    Get over it already.

    • nerema says:

      You come back with slogans. Funny how you don’t come back with any facts.

    • Earth watch police says:

      Anybody calls me white boy again gonna have some issues

    • Double S says:

      I bet you couldn’t state one concern with the airport.

      That is the most vetted deal in Bermuda’s history. Bar none.

      But then again you defend the Port Royal contract as being legit and above board. Dopey is as dope does I guess.

    • Onion says:

      Do you know who else didn’t see “no wrong” in the airport deal?

      Finance professionals.

      Who else?

      The PLP when they did the same thing with the Hospital.

    • wahoo says:

      Careful because the new sheriff don’t give two cents about you either you are expendable.

    • Strictly politics says:

      Clearly the chairman of the FBA has some very obvious basis. He sees no fault in the lack of accountability and transparency in OBA administration. He is young and has much to learn!! The people voted on July 18th; do something positive with your voice Mr. MATHIAS! Don’t be a koolaid drinker…..

  4. watching says:

    This whole column is ridiculous.

    • Double S says:

      Another overwhelmingly intelligent and thorough rebuttal by the head PLP cheerleader on this site.

      Damn you guys are good…

      Only facts are ‘ridiculous’ to the PLP and their supporters.

      • Yesitsme says:

        No facts here Im afraid, these are strictly opinions from the young FBA member.

        • Double S says:

          Uh huh….like I said facts are you and the PLP’s kryptonite.

          Your parallels with Trump become more evident each and everyday.

          Now go along and dilute some more human rights.

          • Yesitsme says:

            Not sure how you came to those conclusions. Better yet, what has he said above that is actually a fact? He has asked several important questions, which are not facts but QUESTIONS.

  5. Dontsleep says:

    This guy still thinks race is a non-issue after going school in Canada? You still sleep bro cant listen to you.

    Any racial slur should not be tolerated. Toughen up and ignore your oppression is what idiots do real onion.

    • really says:

      He didn’t say that. You just make things up and pretend that was his view. It wasn’t.

      Did you read the whole piece, if you did then you would be commenting on the failings of the PLP

      By the way…

      “Boy” is a tem used as a positive throughout the world affectionately between friends.

      “Boy” is a term used in officialdom to refer to someone who is new, someone who is green or wet behind the ears. It is petty and should not have been used in the house.

      Boy is commonly used…….

      “attaboy”

      “Aceboy”

      “He’s my boy”
      “He’s one of the boys”
      “Oh boy”

      For PLP to turn it into something it wasn’t is pathetic. That is their modus operandi.

      I do think Moniz should apologize for being petty and using a schoolboy school yard comment.

    • Double S says:

      You guys have tolerated, cheered and championed countless racial insults spewed by the PLP.

  6. wondering says:

    this future bermuda alliance column is hypocrisy at its best:

    you can’t use phrases like:

    “we as one, unified Bermuda”

    followed by phrases like this:

    “scoring political points. The election is over, so when will the government stop electioneering and start, you know, governing and being held accountable by the Bermudian people”

    these types of commentary prove that WE as Bermudian people are brainwashed into a particular style of politics that thrives on grandstanding, pulling one another down and lacking any real meaningful debate when a columnist (for example) takes up more than half of his editorial blurb with an attack on our leaders (in this case) from one side of the house.

    can we just get a column that offers a better ratio of problems to solutions say 20% to 80% on a consistent basis – we all know the problems that we face and on some we agree, others disagree and yet others are on different planets but at the end of the day – we still have to survive as a country TOGETHER

    • Double S says:

      Where is your outrage at the biased columns from Eron Hill?

      • wondering says:

        i try not to read his columns and after interacting with him in public i am certain that he is just a situational puppet – in other words, he will say the right thing in certain situations and stir the pot in similar situations with a different audience. sad but true – so i rreally don’ waste time reading his stuff

        i expected something different in this column but was sadly mistaken

      • wahoo says:

        Eron who?

  7. MJ says:

    Spot. On. The majority of our politicians are an absolute joke – and that goes for both sides. Grow the hell up.

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      I agree, politicians (both sides) are an absolute joke! Honorable members my a*s. You know why? Because the people of this island allow them (both sides) to get away with it. Once you start holding all of your politicians to a certain standard, then and only then will you see change. Stick to your teams (OBA and PLP) and watch this island flip flop between the two for the next hundred years.

  8. Southampton says:

    There has been elected men and women in the House acting like children for years.
    This will not change.
    AND WE ARE SUPPOSE TO RESPECT THEM?

  9. clearasmud says:

    I agree with wondering that this column is pure garbage. The writer states that he has been following the house for 15 years then acts surprised at the level of debate in the house? He does not see much wrong with his own parties participation which makes his observations a fraud. I believe that education is more important to our future than tourism so i was disappointed when the former government choose to establish a tourism authority before an education authority. I think the level of debate has been poor for too long and we the people must find a way to demand better because we deserve better.

    • Justin Mathias says:

      I know the level was already low in the past, but this was my first time seeing it (literally sitting in the gallery of the House of Assembly) and the tactics they you obviously can’t see on audio was unbelievable. There should be live video of the House so all those who can’t sit in the gallery can witness those tactics.

      • watching says:

        and I am sure the only tactics Mr Mathias is referring to are by the PLP. I am sure the OBA does not do anything wrong.

        Mr. Mathias might do well to observe a bit longer rather than jumping into criticism head first with no real political context.

        • Anbu says:

          Oh, u mean like how the plp ” jump to criticism head first with no real political context” ? On every single issue brought forth. Kind of how jamahl mentioned a mickey mouse event? Lmao. Billionaire and mickey mouse dont even go together. Smh. You get what u vote for.

    • wondering says:

      it is a continuation of the infantile state of Bermuda’s societal modus operandi that keeps us behind and very vulnerable and breeds predatory tactics by politicians, employers, countrymen and women

  10. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    Is he the only grown up that is sitting on the hill? It seems like it. His comments are 100000000% spot on and he is my absolute ace boy !! I am furious with the goings on in the House on Friday…….the PLP are nothing if not opportunist and are a complete and utter blight over all of us. They are pigmy thinkers with no thought whatsoever to their awful behaviour and their constant spew. I have in my lifetime never seen a group that continues to denigrate the discourse in Parliament to its lowest level possible. Shame on you and why are the hundreds of well educated PLP supporters allowing this to continue? They reflect badly on every single PLP supporter and do a huge diservice to the daily sound bite of this little Island. PLP race baiters and those who continue to spew vile comments on a daily basis, guess what? You ACTUALLY DID WIN the Election – why not concentrate on GOVERNING and grow a pair and morph into a GREAT GOVERNMENT and leave the c**p behind where it belongs. Grow Up, Lead by example not pigmy racist thinking. And don’t let me EVER see anyone of you call anyone an ‘Ace Boy’ or ‘Boy Wonder’ or …..’he’s my boy’ or ……whatever again. You have totally poisoned that innocent well for ever.

  11. Brandon says:

    This is so typical of someone whom like to be in power not just for his party but for himself of course he’s not going to say anything good about the current Government because he’s not a part of it and this current administration in BDA has to watch very carefully as to whom they invite to these sessions because they cannot continue trust people like this fool they don’t know as to whom he’s working for also be careful PLP trust NO ONE.

    • Politricks says:

      “this current administration in BDA has to watch very carefully as to whom they invite to these sessions”

      It sounds like you want this PLP Government to ban any spectators who do not support them?

      Wow. Do yo know how anti-democratic you sound? The House is for the public and anyone can attend to watch the silliness.

      You PLPers are crazy these days with your new found power.

      PS: Typical of you not to rebut one claim made in the above.

    • Anbu says:

      You forgot to add, ” and dont trust themselves, especially with the purse strings.”

  12. Joonya says:

    Ya-boy looks like a young Wayne Furbert..LOL

  13. Rhonda says:

    The sentiments of racism and divides don’t died..

    They get passed on to the next generation..

    • Double S says:

      As we see with you and the PLP…

    • Rocky5 says:

      CURB is the leader

    • wahoo says:

      I guess if you say so it must be true. I think that race is being used by the plp in place of good policy ideas it is a good way of distracting people’s attention from more pressing issues. It is sad. CURB is just another political arm of the plp.

  14. Rocky5 says:

    I hope this articulate young man is very well prepared to deal with all the threats and name calling (much worse than “wonder boy”) that he will be called by those who disagree/don’t like what he says!

  15. New Day says:

    The statement was and is racist by Mr Moniz

    Not seeing this is why the oba/UBP lost by such a large margin.

    Mr Mathias, to be honest this is a poor and biased political statement from the future Oba chair or whatever you want to be.

    Make sure you are in a really safe seat.

  16. Real Onion says:

    and ya wonder why so many of our young people are killing and maiming others and end up locked away for many years…
    just take a look at the so called power movers on de hill,is the way they act any kind of role model…
    it’s like don’t do as I do,but do as I say…
    in fact,they are all little boys!

  17. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    BTW lets be clear. There is NO place in life for the use of the “N” word. Never, ever. The now infamous “B” word, USED IN THE HORRIBLE CONTEXT of how it was used in the 1960′s and onwards in America’s South, is also TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and in my mind, rates equally as highly offensive (totally unacceptable) as the “N” word.

    What I am so angry about is MP Robain KNOWS that is NOT what was intended in this comment YET HE HAS DELIBERATELY CHOSEN TO MANUFACTURE this incident into a TOTAL MASSIVE FIRESTORM.

    Remember Chicken Little and the sky falling in……why not save such outrage for a REAL such incident, instead of a manufactured, faux outrage, staged incident? You keep this up PLP and when a real such event happens no one will listen because they have heard it all before.

  18. Christine F says:

    It amazes me how an opinion of one man can start the same sort of mud slinging out of the house. I am going to enjoy the ride. we have buses that need fixing but when bought what they failed to tell the people is these buses are not being made anymore in Portugal and that Portugal’s government did not want to have them in existence anymore. SO now you have 20 or so buses laid off and you do not have parts because there are no parts cause Portugal is not making these buses. The Hospital which I am studying under has re-opened wings because when they built the new hospital they did not account for all the beds they need so there are about 46 less beds then when using previous the hospital. Our schools were fashioned after a system that many countries got rid of for they knew lumping kids in one big school spells chaos. I am happy we are reverting back to primary and high school.I’ll sit back and wait to see how many more changes will be made. I hope and pray they get the molds out of the schools. Lord only knows there was mold problem some 30 years ago when i went Warwick secondary so obviously the problem wasn’t dealt with in the first place when they expanded the school. And can we fashion ourselves after one of the “top 5″ schools in the world instead of America system which I believe 14th. Lets stop the fighting and pointing fingers you did that in your campaign and lets just get on with fixing our island. Lets get it right this time. I am patiently waiting and I am praying for a positive outcome.

  19. S Rego, MA (Dist), BA (Hons Merit) says:

    Justin,

    I can see you’re trying to make an argument here in this article. You look like you’re around my age, but I’d like to give you some advice, take it or leave it.

    We’re the future of Bermuda as young Bermudians – but we have to make our arguments strong.

    While I may not agree (let’s agree to disagree) with what you have to say in this opinion column, I will say you’re not really giving yourself any solid ground to stand on when making your case.

    For instance, direct statements you make like:

    “This is an all too common theme, which was used in the past to hide the neglect and shortsightedness of their own shortcomings and lack of competence.”

    Or

    “A party that is hell bent on creating a Police Authority rather than forming an Education Authority”

    Or

    Then they yet again continued on their consistent public misinformation crusade with the new airport. They are still trying to misinform the public”

    Or even

    “I saw a leader that has a disorganized membership, which was totally uncoordinated in their efforts”

    and

    “We got the PLP of the past; a petty, unprepared, incompetent party in relentless pursuit of absolute power.”

    While I get this is an opinion column, it’d be really wise to provide substantiating evidence to these type of statements.

    For instance when you talk about how they’re providing misinformation – why not direct people to hard facts, and then put the misinformation that’s been provided along side of those facts?

    That way you’d be informing your readers rather than just pointing out the flaws of what you consider the opposition? No one party is perfect, but if you see something where there is a negative trait in a person or party, it’s really best to try and back it up with a structured and strong argument.

    It’d be really wise to avoid emotionally charged statements and words like “petty” and especially “corrupt” if you’re not going to provide concrete examples.

    I want to see my generation of Bermudians make a positive difference in the island, but we have to look at how we approach debates differently in order for them to be effective and engaging so people actually listen (if they choose to) and can decide with the appropriate information put in front of them.

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