Column: Famous On ‘Information vs Deflection’

February 18, 2018 | 17 Comments

[Opinion column written by MP Chris Famous] 

On Friday, February 9th, 2017 in Parliament, the Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden asked Parliamentary Questions [PQs] pertaining to the cost of the Premier David Burt’s staff.

The total cost of Premier Burt’s staff is approximately $228,000 per annum.

Ironically, 5 years ago, on December 6, 2013, the then Shadow Finance Minister David Burt asked the very same question of the OBA pertaining to the cost of the then OBA Premier’s personal staff.

The cost was revealed to be approximately $419,000 per annum.

parl q, 1 name blocked by us

Let us do some rough maths. $419,000-$228,000 = $191,000.

So, give or take, the total annual salary of Premier David Burt’s staff under the PLP is near $200,000 less than the OBA.

After this revelation many of us sat in our seats asking ourselves why exactly would they desire to open that can of worms? Why would they waste hours of time trying to find out the total annual cost of the present premier’s staff when the costs were so much higher under their own premier? 


In the art of magic one of the key tricks is to cause deflection. Do something to cause the audience to look to the left-hand side of the stage whilst the magician seemingly pulls a rabbit out of nowhere on the right-hand side of the stage.

So, this could very well be a case of attempted deflection by the OBA.

Ask repeated questions about spending under the PLP, to make the audience, in this case the people of Bermuda, to look left, whilst ignoring the tricks being played on the right.

What could that trick possibly be you ask?

A rabbit out of hat?

A card out of their sleeve?

Sawing a lady in half?

No, sorry nothing quite that dramatic or exciting. However, something that the OBA really does not want to talk about or for you, the taxpayers of Bermuda, to know about.

White Elephant

On social media a few startling revelations were recently put out to the public by former Wedco Chairman Mr. Ray Charlton.

Some key facts for your consideration:

Charlton 2

  • Wedco could not afford to finance the Cross-Island Project
  • The previous board of Wedco had voted against the construction of the Cross-Island project
  • The previous board was forced to go to The Bank of Butterfield to take out a $39,000,000 six-year loan

So, what does this mean for you, Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda?

Simply put, it means that the taxpayers must fork up at least $48,000,000 to cover the loan, plus interest, to the bank for Cross Island.

A debt which the OBA and the former Wedco Chairman failed to tell the people of Bermuda about when they had ample opportunity to do so.

So, let’s recap a few salient points shall we.

  • The OBA stands up in Parliament to try to point out the total annual staff cost of the Premier’s staff under the PLP
  • The OBA is found to have an annual staff cost of nearly double that of the PLP
  • The OBA, under former Premier Michael Dunkley, had Wedco to take out a loan that they knew Wedco could not pay.
  • The OBA, under former Premier Michael Dunkley and other successive OBA leaders, have willfully avoided disclosing that the public will be forced to pay $48,000,000 for Cross Island.

It is evident why the OBA has not spoken publicly about the total costs of Cross Island and subsequently the total costs of the America’s Cup to the people of Bermuda.

Information vs Deflection

Parliamentary questions, should be used to gain and answers that will serve to be informative to the people of Bermuda.

Therefore, it is extremely painful to sit in Parliament week after week and listen to the OBA present one-hour Parliamentary Questions based on the pettiest of issues, knowing full well that they themselves have a lot to answer for.

It is my fervent belief that both sides of the floor, Government and Opposition, need to utilize questions and answers to make our population more knowledgeable vs. deflecting away from the truth.

Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda deserve these answers.

- Chris Famous can be contacted via email at or Twitter at @ryderz777


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Comments (17)

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  1. Red rose says:

    Chris’ writing sure has got a whole lot better since he was elected

  2. Deflection says:

    Mr Famous, why is Bermuda now over 2 BILLION in debt, when we were in profit before the last PLP Government took over? VERY simple question.

  3. Mike H says:

    My my my.

  4. Justin says:

    Chris, can you pleas compare Premier Burt’s expenses versus Premier Dunkley’s? If I recall Mr. Dunkley did not live in the Premier’s official residence so please net off at least $10k per month as Mr. Dunkley elected to rent the property out which the proceeds went directly to the taxpayer. Mr. Dunkley also did not have a housekeeper whereas Premier Burt does. So, year on year the taxpayer is paying more for the current Premier.

    Also, the loan taken out by WEDCO was included in the $77m budget to host the Americas Cup. Now Minister Caines headed a committee to figure out how Cross Island would be used for in the future in order to gain revenue to pay off the loan. May I suggest you ask Mr. Caines for an update? 24-12, it’s your baby now :-)

  5. Politricks says:

    Interesting how MP Famous only published Craig Cannonier related Premier expenses, but completely omitted Dunkley’s.

    And answering such a simple question does not take ‘hours’ Mr. Famous. Lastly, where was your article in 2013 denouncing the PLP for asking the same question?

  6. Double S says:

    Mr. Famous thinks everyone has short-term memories. If you are ‘outraged’ about Cross Island then you must be equally outraged at the ‘white elephant’ of the PLP known as the Grant Atlantic condos.

    The BHC board at then time voted against the development and was overruled by the Minister at the time. In response several members of the BHC board resigned in protest against the political interference.

    The main difference being is that Cross Island and the surrounding refurbished properties have found new uses under the new PLP Government less than a year into their new term whilst those ugly condos remain empty almost a decade on.

    Oh and lets not forget that those condos cost he BHC government upwards of $50mn which is guaranteed by the Bermuda Government (ie taxpayer).

    I double dare you Mr. Famous to write about the real ‘white elephant.’

  7. Lol says:

    Thank you Chris because for the last 5 years and counting that’s all and their trolls do is deflect deflect and straight up lie about things just to fool the ppl. That’s why the majority if the island is not with them. We are with you and this new Plp that will take us forward. Thank you sir for thinking of ALL Bermudians and not just the top 2 percent of this country like the previous govt did on so many occassions

  8. Mark says:

    The cost of burts staff is only $288k? Me thinks not. Ironic considering the title of this article. Get ya facts straight chris!

  9. Heyyy says:

    If Famous wants to compare costs then he should compare what Cannonier had vs Paula Cox. As they were a similar time period. Dunkley came in and cut two staff and reduced the cost considerably.

    Unfortunately Famous likes to compare apples to oranges to suit his argument. Misinformation from Chris is disgusting as it is pulling the wool over Bermudians eyes.

  10. Guy Smiley says:

    So if OBA premier’s personal staff was so much higher than Premier Burt, imagine how it compares to when Dr. B was in!!!!! The security detail alone and all the costs of taking them on the jet setting he did. Oh my word! Pulling the rabbit out of the hat while you didn’t mention this one TCF.

  11. northR says:

    Wow, what a liar…

  12. Me says:

    We are glad mr famous and his party are purging themselves of the 4 Year OBA money saving term ,as soon pretty soon it will be all PLP in the spotlight . Nobody to blame how’s that gonna work now they fixing all our problems

  13. Athena says:

    The real eye opener would be to see the expenses for All Premiers since 1998.

    PATI request anyone?

  14. puzzled says:

    Talk about the Chinese and Carribean influence.
    This guy is gonna be famous for all the wrong reasons.

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