Chris Famous Column: Which OBA MP Is Next?

April 29, 2018 | 36 Comments

[Opinion column written by MP Chris Famous]

“At times, it is as if those Members have realised that they will never ever be the ruling government again and are simply marking time by attending sessions until the next election is called.

Looking at their ranks, it is easy to see that this will be the last round for most of their Members. They will either retire as MPs or face being retired by the voters in the next General Election.

For many, it seems clear that they have thrown in the towel.

As the former Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Bob Richards, stated on August 14 last year, “it’s time for the old soldiers to shove off.”

Bob Richards Bermuda June 22 2017

A small section of something written approximately two weeks ago.

As usual there were claims of this being untrue and the OBA is still regarded by many a vibrant and viable opposition.

Then reality struck via a social media posting on April 25th, 2018.

Strike One

“Dear Bermuda: Thank you. It’s been a privilege to serve you for the last 5+ years of my life. I am stepping away from politics – effective today, and am stepping towards new opportunities.” – Jeff Baron

As history will record, this was the first resignation, of an elected official, from the OBA post July 18,2017. Shocking for many, yet fully expected by some.

The stark reality is it has been patently obvious to anyone of us sitting in Parliament that former MP Jeff Baron simply has had no interest in day to day or week to week politics since the OBA lost government.

During our canvassing in Warwick it was made clear by most residents in Constituency 25 that they have not seen their representative or any sign of the OBA in over 9 months. In fairness, there will be those who will, rightly or wrongly, say the same thing about any given elected official.

So, opinions are subjective.

What is not subjective and or open to debate is the fact that former MP Jeff Baron was essentially absent from parliament for near 75 percent of the time. The few times that he bothered to show up he never spent more than 3 hours in the HOA.

Hence, it was glowingly obvious to all and sundry, on both sides of the aisle, that it was only a matter of time before he checked out officially.

There will be weeks of speculation as to what was the root cause and the subsequent effects on the OBA in losing someone with wide popular appeal. The reality is that only Jeff Baron truly knows why he threw in the towel.

Jeff Baron OBA 2015 TC

Strike Two

“When you think is peace and safety: A sudden destruction” Bob Marley

On Friday April 28th, 2018 the dust was settling on this “shock resignation” from the OBA and we gathered inside of the chambers of the House of Assembly to carry out the people’s business.

For most of the day it was a fairly routine sitting with the following items standing out:

  • Tributes to Mr. Ira Philip
  • Tributes to Mr. Ellsworth Christopher
  • Ministerial statements
  • The laying of 3 pieces of legislation

At approximately 6:30pm the regular business of the day had concluded, and then it was time for Motion to Adjourn or MTA. This is the segment that any member can get up and speak on any subject they wish to discuss for a maximum of 20 minutes. At times it can be the most interesting and or contentious segment of the day.

This particular Friday would prove to be slightly different.

The first MP to rise to their feet was Dr. Grant Gibbons.

Immediately, persons began to look at each other as Dr. Gibbons usually never is the first up, he tends to be the one studying what everyone else has to say and then giving a point of order where and when he sees fit.

That has been his signature for years.

Today was not that day, as he spoke the following words, “Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening on a bittersweet note. This will be my last sitting of the House. I will be forwarding my formal resignation as an MP to you effective April 30th.”

Perhaps it was the shock of hearing those words.

Perhaps it was the sound of a man holding back tears.

Despite our philosophical and political differences, respect is due to Dr. Gibbons for standing in public office for a quarter century. His family deserves to have more time with him.

Grant Gibbons

Strike Three

I cannot quite put my finger on it, but it suddenly came crashing down to many, that at that moment in time it became crystal clear that the OBA has suffered a long series of self-inflicted mortal wounds from which it will never recover.

The writing has clearly been on the wall since March of 2016 that the majority of people will never support any political entity rooted in the UBP ideology.

With 6 of the 10 remaining OBA MPs being born and bred in the UBP, there is only one certainty.

Political extinction.

There is no doubt that other OBA MPs will resign or retire before the next General Election.

The only question at this point is this: “Who is next?”

- Chris Famous, a PLP MP, can be contacted via email at Carib_pro@yahoo.com or Whatsapp 441-599-0901

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Comments (36)

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  1. Hey says:

    On a weekend of United celebration. With Bermuda on a wave, you choose to soil it with petty divisive politicking. Shameful.

    • David says:

      To be fair, that’s his job in the operation. It’s not like he’s got the intellect to contribute anything of substance to the country / help improve the lives on Bermudians.

      Premier Burt, on the other hand, is no fool. He’s put the pawns exactly where they should be.

      • Shift says:

        Chris, are you for real. People that live in glass houses should not throw stones. How many different leaders of the PLP.and premeirs did we have in their 14 years? I believe five , if my memory serves me correctly.

  2. Vortex says:

    Its all about timing your run Chris.

    Difference is, when you lot aren’t in power you whinge, and moan like children, unions out on strike. It’s pathetic.

    Timing the run is Baron replacing Atherton in a year or two when you’ve messed it up again.

  3. Coffee says:

    The real question is , ‘Will the Party survive , or is the Party Over ?’

    Now for “Who got Next ” , …. I’ll put my coin on Benjiman Smith !

  4. Rocky5 says:

    All that, just to say who’s next! It doesn’t matter. The OBA/UBP is almost dead meaning that the Government is a dictatorship. Unfortunately will be negative consequences to Bermuda’s future as there always is with dictatorships. I hope that Mr. Famous has the courage to hold his Govt. to account when they lose the plot and you can guarantee they will!!

  5. Rego says:

    Jeff quite because Jeff was all about Jeff and $$$$$$. The PLP worked hard for years and never gave up trying to be Government. The UBP would beat the PLP hands down at every election but they never gave up trying. Even the Milk Man was shocked at Jeff.

    Grant didn’t throw in the towel. Grant is already a rich man and doesn’t need the extra stress. Allowing another young OBA member to take his seat is a good thing. Good for you Grant.

    • Onion says:

      There are a ton of people who have slowly left the OBA since December 2012. Many of them just because they have other things going on in life. The PLP are so successful in politics because so many of them are unencumbered by success in their careers.

      • shrew says:

        truer words never been spoken. all the PLP MPs can’t hold down a real job or create a successful company so they feed off the taxpayers.

      • Joop says:

        Or the ones the OBA has turned its back on.

  6. OBA on A crutch says:

    Bermuda and its people must remain the chief issue before the Government. We need to tackle even harder the homeless initiative,raising educational standards, senior citizens and drugs. Too many laying around. Time to pick up sticks and get people to work in areas of competence. So I don’t care a hoot about the OBA “ducks”. I want to see more runs on the board from the PLP.

  7. Justin says:

    24-12 or 36-0, what’s the difference? It’s your country now, do what you want.

    • Truthertz says:

      Exactly my feelings. You lot have got what you wanted (no Opposition and little to no political participation from a certain segment) and yet you continue to write articles like the one above that should be written by a jealous teenager.

      Either way do what you guys want as you will receive no opposition from either internal or external sources. You’ve won and Bermuda is now yours for the taking. Congrats.

  8. MB says:

    Oba fate was sealed when it dumped cannonier for dunkley
    And allowed ubpers back in cabinet.
    Then it became the ubp…
    Sadly those stepping down were not the idealogical problem.
    Also, one of them may have been overrated, but give them huge credit for VISION, so lacking in any other MP other than maybe the Premier.
    Baron didmuch for funding the Regiment and other youth initiatives and of course gibbons got America’s Cup, which
    For all it’s haters, put Bermuda on an international map and most of all showed us
    What world class looks like
    And what modern tourism is

  9. steve says:

    Dear world:An elected politician in Bermuda wrote this gloating piece of cr%p.

  10. Substantive says:

    This guy is like a big child, it’s embarrassing. He’s quite happy for the PLP to rant, stamp their feet and incite when in opposition, but when they are power, total acceptance. The guy is no more than a self-serving fool.

  11. aceboy says:

    I cant blame these guys one bit. You cannot do what is right for those who are so easily fooled by silly political games and the use of race as a weapon over common sense.

    Your gloating is unbecoming.

  12. Yahoo says:

    Smugness is not a good look Famous and karma is real.

    “Be kind to everyone on the way up; you’ll meet the same people on the way down.”

  13. Beverley Connell says:

    Something about empty vessels and no noise (in this piece) comes to mind…….

  14. Wagyu says:

    Chris – and I’m a fan of yours – careful, as the joke may yet be on you. Don’t be an Ewart about this, that’s a big part of what cost the election 2012 and seats in 2009.

    • Black Panther says:

      BS Wagyu! that is not what cost us the election. Remember that Ewart wiped the floor with Dunkley and the UBP in 2007 and put them out of business a few months late.

  15. Mark says:

    Famous, tell us what the “UBP ideology” is please? And then tell us what the “PLP ideology” is please?

  16. nerema says:

    So far the PLP have been able to coast along reaping the rewards of the economic uplift created by the efforts of the previous government. When that comes to an end, which it will, they will be too busy making excuses to spend time writing columns about how superior they feel.

  17. Truthertz says:

    Well done PLP. You guys have almost achieved your goals of making Bermuda a one party state with zero politicians of a certain type. Instead of writing snarky letters that are beneath an elected representative you should be planning a PLP party to celebrate no opposition. I am sure it will be a huge turnout.

  18. carpe diem says:

    It’s predictable but wrong to try to tie these two resignations together.
    It was an open secret that Grant Gibbons wanted to retire before the general election and was persuaded to stay on. He is 65 and has been in politics for a quarter century. He will be 69 or 70 by the time of the next general election, so this is a good time to step aside and to give younger politicians the chance to get some experience. And yes, there will probably be others, in the same way that people like Randy Horton and Terry Lister retired in the last parliament.
    Jeff Baron’s case is different. He has dropped pretty big hints that he has been given a job that will be very time consuming. But he also sounds pretty disillusioned with politics. He did have leadership ambitions and may feel those are being stifled.
    It will be interesting to see if the OBA can find strong candidates for these two constituencies. And this is an opportunity for Jeanne Atherden to show she can lead her party.

  19. facts of the rock says:

    Nobody cares about anybody famous by name or not!

  20. puzzled says:

    Once again Mr. Famous has shown his true self

    Look at who I am and now in the house.

    Well Chris your house is built on sand and one day you and children will have to eat.

  21. Thanks, no thanks and a suggestion says:

    Dr. Grant Gibbons thank you for your years of service to this country.

    Mr. Baron, no thanks whatsoever. Mr. Baron was about Mr. Baron.

    Suggestion… a weekly reporting of which MPs are in the house and for how long they are there. The way I see it is that we hired them and if they don’t show up for work, we should fire them.

    • wahoo says:

      How about a weekly drug/alcohol test also? After all who pays them?

  22. Anbu says:

    Done any actual “work” yet chris?…….. oh wait, nvm, u dont have to, you just get paid to be ignorant

  23. Black Panther says:

    BS Wagyu! that is not what cost us the election. Remember that Ewart wiped the floor with Dunkley and the UBP in 2007 and put them out of business a few months late.

  24. Harold Conyers says:

    History is well stocked with examples of an electorates self-inflicted consequences when elected officials confuse the popularity contest of an election result with competent and capable leadership.

    At some point for the betterment of us all I hope that Mr. Famous and those of similar mindset will awaken to the reality that they actually have to DO SOMETHING as MP’s rather than gloat and toast themselves in a never ending circle of ‘if you do not look like me and think like me not only are you irrelevant but demonized’.

    Kudos to the OBA members who withstood and continue to withstand the political baseness that the PLP continues to put forward as acceptable HoA intercourse.

  25. SMH says:

    Start moving your money out now!

    • shrew says:

      you can say that again! problem is house is worth nothing since PLP got back in. nobody will buy it so stuck with my life savings in an asset i cannot liquidate.

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