Opposition Leader: ‘Serious Cause For Concern’

May 23, 2018

“The question of Independence needs to be treated with careful consultation,” Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden said, adding that “to come out so strongly on this issue without a mandate or consultation with the Bermudian public is a serious cause for concern.”

Ms Atherden’s comments follow after Premier David Burt gave a speech with multiple mentions of independence, calling it the “next chapter.”

“The Bermuda Constitution Order was largely the British contribution to this narrative, and the intent was that we, the people of Bermuda, would finish the story by writing our own chapter called Independence,” the Premier said.

“The constitution of the party that I am privileged to lead, states that the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party is to, ‘serve as a vehicle in moving Bermuda to independence.’ So, it can and should be no surprise that as Premier, I have no fears about repeating that ultimate aim.

“The fits and starts, the passing flirtations with independence have never taken hold in the hearts and minds of the people. This is perhaps because we, as politicians, have been consumed with managing Bermuda and all its disparate interests and have never turned our collective energies towards establishing the vision required to lead Bermuda into the next chapter of her constitutional development.”

Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden said, “At the 50th anniversary of Universal Adult Suffrage and Bermuda Constitutional Order of 1968 the Premier made quite the statement on where he intends to lead our Country.

“The question of Independence needs to be treated with careful consultation, deliberation; to ensure success for all Bermudians. To come out so strongly on this issue without a mandate or consultation with the Bermudian public is a serious cause for concern.”

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Comments (24)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    With all the talk of Independence over the years, no one has yet, to my knowledge given any, let alone 3 economic reasons, as opposed to emotional, it will benefit Bermudians. Sure many politicians love the idea but what does it benefit the people? When the UK had the referendum to break from the EU it was the younger people who wanted to stay as they saw the benefits. The same for Bermuda.
    Bermuda has allowed the UK to appear to interfere with Bermuda with their recent announcement about financial transparency, yet most other OT’s have pushed back as they should. It seems Premier Burt wants to use the UK’s stance as a reason the raise the Independence issue. Any such decision should follow the Scottish vote and allow all residents to vote. That was the alleged reason for Term Limits under the last PLP administration. PRC and long term residents will have the vote, not just Bermudians.

  2. rodney smith says:

    The OBA must be in on all talks, if not leading the conversation . Bob needs to come out and tell us under what conditions would the OBA had led Bermuda to independence .It is the next step . Bermuda must grow up one day. And yes, How is it that PRC’s and long term residents who come from independent countries ,are against Bermuda going that same way ?

    • Vortex says:

      I’ve seriously doubted an electorate that would return the PLP so soon after they basically bankrupted us.

      But this is something else. Noone in their right mind really believes this is sensible.

      We’d be in pieces in a couple of years.

    • Question says:

      Burt has to tell us why it would be a good idea. It won’t make the transparency issue go away (and there are legal objections we should raise to that in any case).
      So what so we have to gain from independence? What concrete benefits will it bring?
      What will we lose, and what will those things cost? What will we be foregoing for our descendants?

      None of this is ever discussed. Burt has no intention of talking about any of this.

    • Bill says:

      Bermuda has a lot of “growing up” to do before it even thinks of going independent. Also I would like to hear all pros and cons first rather that just pipe dreams

    • sandgrownan says:

      The question makes no sense. Based on an assumption pulled out of your backside and not relevant.

      And Bermuda must grow up one day, but it’s not there yet. And won’t be for a long time.

  3. Me says:

    Bermuda at the moment is like an alcoholic it will have to hit an all time low to rise back up again for better or worse and like being an alcoholic folks are happy to help on the way down and some just watch the fall . But come back up we will but in what state who knows?

  4. Hate BDA says:

    How could this man even think this way and we are so far in debt due to mostly the PLP and some. Part of the OBA – we. Can’t even stand on our own two feet and you come up with INDEPENDENT crap man go sail on a boat some where really go back to Hawaii where you like hiding in ur privet life . You hv no damn clue about what independence is – we IMPORT everything how the hell can we go INDEPENDENT???????

  5. Vote for Me says:

    ‘How is it that PRC’s and long term residents who come from independent countries are against Bermuda going that same way’

    … and that sums it up. We can all recall the sheer joy of celebrating Canada Day, Independence Day and all other holidays that commemorate freedom… lets stop with the scare mongering.

  6. There will be enough time to talk, consider, re-think.
    Independence IS the way to DEFINITELY go.
    Oba did absolutely NOTHING for Bermudians..they were a big, disastrous headache.
    With Britian being wishy washy about their BREXIT concerns, it is time for Bermuda to move away from brutal colonialism and move towards making our own stand in this world.
    P.L.P. will be open, forthright, intelligent and share their wealth of knowledge n taking this country out of colonialism and move towards our own stand….INDEPENDENCE.
    Burt is clever, sensitive and brilliant and would not damage the country in which he was born and raised in!
    oba would not even have the intellect to channel this island out of oppressive colonialism!!

    • sandgrownan says:

      Let’s pick this apart…

      Oba did absolutely NOTHING for Bermudians…OK, let’s see, they inherited a financial disaster created by the PLP nad stopped the decline to a point of us seeing the green shoos of recovory.

      they were a big, disastrous headache…..OK, politically inept, but everything they did was with the aim of getting us back on track economically

      to move away from brutal colonialism …hyperbole? Examples would be good.

      P.L.P. will be open, forthright, intelligent and share their wealth of knowledge ….history teaches us that the PLP are incompetent at best

      Burt is clever, sensitive and brilliant and would not damage the country in which he was born and raised in!…he may well be, and that may not be his desire, but we have to ask him…why would he put so much at risk for an emotional construct.

      “… to channel this island out of oppressive colonialism!!……example please.

    • JAYBIRD says:

      That’s pretty good – I almost missed the sarcasm!

    • Patricia says:

      OMG, really!

  7. Black Soil says:

    That thud you just heard was your home value tak’n slams.

  8. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    Grow up! Yaaaas Rodney while our politicians are acting like children in the playground. They need to grow up before taking this country forward with independence . Grow de haaall up!!

  9. Chauncey says:

    Before any Referenda there should be no less than two years of consultation and complete openness about what we are heading into. ALL Bermudians must have mandatory voting and this includes Bermudians that might be working or living abroad. No 50/50. A vote must be passed by no less than 60%. A then follow a second or final referendum.

    • PBanks says:

      I think Alex Scott’s initiative sometime ago was using the consultation period, before vanishing without a trace.

  10. The Kid says:

    It just doesnt make sense

    Why give up

    The right to live in the UK

    The right to work in the UK

    The right to be educated at a much lower cost

    The ease of travel throughout the UK and Europe

    • Comfortably numb says:

      Don’t forget the right to live in the UK, NOT work and collect welfare as so many Bermudians have done over the last few years.

  11. The Original Truth™ says:

    Your all lucky that Trudeau block the China deal yesterday or BDA would be owned by China in a few years. Too bad for me, I will have to own a part of the Airport for 30 years until the share price recovers from all the concessions dilution. Who knows if the Airport will ever get done & I will ever get my investment gains the way PLP is taken us. Now that I think about it, maybe BDA would have been better off taken by China.

  12. Politricks says:

    It is telling that not one independence advocate has the ability to articulate advantages that Bermuda and her people would receive by goign at it alone/

    Not one thus far.

  13. Joe Bloggs says:

    24 – 12. Get used to not having any say in the way you are governed!

    • Ringmaster says:

      Not long before the PLP infighting begins. 24 – 12 will soon result in positions being taken, the “new’ supported financially by the old and the old who aren’t supported so don’t care. Bermuda will be the loser.

  14. watching says:

    The Premier clearly stated that while independence should be the final phase in our constitution, it is NOT on the agenda right now and the mandate delivered in 2017 was not in reference to independence. So why is everyone getting over excited in their responses? There is nothing wrong with having the discussions on the issue, but now the bogeyman is out to say David Burt will take us independent tomorrow. Absolutely untrue. For Mrs. Atherden to be so disingenuous shows why she has no control or leadership over her party.