Dr Gibbons On Debt, Education Cuts

June 8, 2011

[Written by Dr Grant Gibbons, Shadow Minister of Education] Before commenting on the specifics of the PLP Government’s decision to cut back the number of teachers in our schools, I want to make a general observation:

Teachers losing their jobs, cutbacks in ferry and bus services and decisions to pull our athletes from international competitions are all happening because the Government for years mishandled the public purse. These were years the Government did not put Bermuda first.

The hard reality of our soaring debt is coming home to roost. Here’s an important fact to keep in mind when considering what is happening: Interest payments on our public debt are now costing the government approximately $190,000 a day. That’s $70 million this year.

And so today, we witness more fallout from the Government’s reckless, multi-year spending spree; this time affecting children in the classroom.

The Education Minister’s statement failed to spell out the impact of the cutbacks and we, therefore, can only ask for clarity on how she sees these cutbacks playing out.

For example, were the teacher cutbacks – and those last week of para-professionals – made with a view to minimizing class disruption? Was there an effort to target positions at the ministry and department levels before cutting?

We would have been more receptive to the Minister looking first to trim her Ministry’s bloated bureaucracy before focusing on the classroom, as she has done. The education of Bermuda’s children does not appear to be the priority.

The Minister needs to provide parents, educators and the public with a more thorough explanation of thinking. What impact will the teacher cutbacks have on teaching in the coming year?

Bermuda needs to hear answers to these questions. Just saying schools will have to “Do more with less” won’t cut it.

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Comments (105)

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  1. Preto Plato says:

    Oh yes Dr. Gibbons, please tell us what your plan is? I suspect you don’t have one.

    • sandgrownan says:

      I suspect, given his track record, that he’s more than qualified to comment.

      Besides, he didn’t create the soaring debt, the PLP did. Not the global recession, the PLP created the debt. Get it yet? It’s the PLP’s fault.

    • Rick Rock says:

      That’s all you’ve got? Preto, the country is in a complete mess. The current government got us there by absolute fiscal incompetence. That is the point here.

    • Hmmm says:

      If you missed it, his plan would be to cutback at the ministry level “first to trim her Ministry’s bloated bureaucracy”

    • Michael says:

      and why would you say that Pretty Boy Plato? You got an inside track or you just criticizing for the sake of it; caught up in yesterday’s dogma…The peoples’ eyes are open now; you need to pour some cold water on your “hate on”

    • reality check says:

      seriously Preto? i know you could come better than that. Dr. Gibbons is making a lot of sense right now in his statements and it’s simply stating something that mostof us have been thinking all this time. But you’re probably thinking that you’re not going to be “directly affected” so i’m sure you don’t care about the state of the education of our youth anyway. And calling him out on a plan…what’s yours?

    • Black Soil says:

      When Gibbons was Finance Minister there was no debt. Explain that PretoPlato?

      • cb100 says:

        Let me guess what PP’s reply would be ..(same for the other kool aid drinkers too)

        *There was no social programmes for blacks back then
        *There wasn’t any money spent on helping blacks back then
        *The infrastructure (their newly discovered word) was neglected badly for 49 years

  2. True Bermudian says:

    Bermuda’s best day is done.

    The days of Bermudians playing landlords to overpriced and overpaid expats is done.

    A spoiled, selfish, pilfering government saw to that.

    However, Dr. Gibbons and the OBA offer NOTHING in the way of a solution. What’s their plan? How will they cut the debt and create jobs instead of losing them?! You know why the OBA / re-branded UBP can’t say what their plan is? It’s because they don’t have one.

    There is no magic genie in the bottle to fix our problems. The debt is large. There are no jobs. Big business is rapidly leaving.

    The only way to get out of this hole is for Bermudians to unite and move forward together.

    Anyone can complain but it takes a real leader to offer solutions to the problems around them.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Whoever is in charge will have a tough job to right the ship. The PLP have shown, through sheer incompetance and stupidity, that they are not up to the task. They lack the intelectual credentials and wit to tackla a problem of their own making.

    • News Flash says:

      When Gibbons was finance minister there was no debt…and he kept it that way.

      • Preto Plato says:

        That is not true, get your facts correct

    • Preto Plato says:

      Big Business Leaving… and Bermuda had more companies incorporate here in the first quarter of 2011 than in all of 2010… What you didn’t know.. why not.. Ahh yes of course, Bob & Grant didn’t say it so it can’t be the fact.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Why is Big Business leaving numb nuts?

      • 32n64w says:


        Per the Registrar of Companies the number of international companies at the end of 2010 was 13,145 (a net loss of 651 for the year). What are the numbers as at 31 Mar 2011?

  3. Debt? What Debt? says:


    As Hmmm said Grant already answered your question. First re education he asked if they’d looked at the Department proper before they slashed the teaching staff.

    Secondly he pointed out that interest payments on the debt amount to roughly $190,000 per day, $70 million per year – and that debt was accumulated entirely under the existing government, a government where Paula Cox was and is the Minister of Finance. The simple answer to the entire problem was “we should never have put the country in this position in the first place”. The realistic answer is to cut staff (but not in the classroom where you penalize students).

    • Preto Plato says:

      You think Grant would say if there had been changes at the department? Of course he wouldn’t… Doesn’t help him to make his point.

  4. itsme says:

    Thie from a man who when his old party was in charge implemented the current failed education system.
    Give me a frigin break.
    I guess all the people who secretly are still members of the UBP now the OBA (Old Boys Association) are hoping for a mass fallout of PLP supporters to jump ship over to the OBA.
    Trust me it just ain’t gonna happen.
    I suggest you hire yet another consultant so that you can have a new name by 2015/2016 in time for the next election. By then you lil Becky Sues and Robs should be enough to vote and make your result a lil more favorable.

    • Justin says:

      Or translated this way – I’d rather have a black slave master than a white slave master instead of not being in slavery at all.

    • Hudson says:

      The PLP insisted on a education overhaul and endorsed with open arms the creation of cedarbridge and the middle school system. The education system as it was wasn’t good enough they said. It was flawed they said. Change they wanted and they got. Now, 10 – 15 years on, they forget their endorsement and blame it on the UBP. No, give me a frigin break and don’t have selective amnesia. The PLP had plenty of time to change the system that exists today.. instead, they simply make rash decisions like they have this week and compound the issue. The incompetence of this government is frightening. Sadly, it’s not becuase of lack of skills, knowledge or brain cells… it’s because of flawed ideals and an insistance of looking backwards instead of forwards.

      • Justin says:

        Thank you Hudson for setting the record straight!

      • reality check says:

        well said!

      • M.Bouazizi says:

        Well said! More than endorsed, the PLP insisted the changes be made. Committees of lay-people met many many times to bring forward a system which was better than the one then in place. These committees were made up of people from all walks of life, of all political persuasions. Strikes me as being rather democratic.
        Selective amnesia is right.
        Besides I don’t think that there is anything wrong with the system….things go wrong in the high schools because, bless ‘em, a number of students have absolutely no interest in being there. No school system anywhere in the world will cure that. So, naysayers, tell us please, given the problem in these schools, what can you bring to the table in the way of alternative solutions? And please, no more “expert consultants”. There are 200-odd other countries out there that we can cherry-pick ideas from….

    • sandgrownan says:

      Really. Is that it? All you got?

      14 years on and education is still not “fixed”, in fact the PLP compounded the UBP’s education mistakes. And now, where are we?

  5. its me says:

    Hudson, i suggest you check your facts. The current Candian education system came under the UBP, lets make no mistake about it, and that included the Middle School format and CedarBridge Academy. It was a failing system when introduced to Bermuda.

    • crazytalk says:

      No. Hudson is right, and you, my friend, are wrong.

      The committee that approved Cedarbridge included Jennifer Smith. She was there. She was part of the committee that approved Cedarbridge and the middle school model.

      Add that to the fact that she was Education Minister while she was Premier. And then add the fact that the PLP has been in power now for 13 years. If she and the PLP disagreed with the Middle School / Cedarbridge model, they have had time to change it.

      If you want the education system changed, the PLP will not do it for you. They helped put it in place. And now, they lurch from one disaster to another because they don’t have the funds to run it properly.

    • Bermyman says:

      Again, we have a situation here where students suffer but the government is afraid to make cuts within it’s own bloated ministry. Afraid because they know that they risk losing votes and that would mean no car, six figure paycheck and unlimited spending on trips abroad. Again it is not about Bermuda or Bermuda’s students it is about getting re-elected and dusting the proverbial mess under the carpet.

      • Preto Plato says:

        Once again, not being honest. The Ministry of education has made changes in its Ministry and sent people out of Ministry HQ to schools. I’m guessing that’s not good enough for your however… In fact i doubt anything will ever be good enough for you.

        • Onion says:

          That’s not right they created positions in the ministry this year and took principals from schools to fill them which meant having to find new people to fill those positions.

  6. its me says:

    Justin, I had 40+ yrs of being shackled by the UBP and i cant say that i am better for it. I am sure a lot of people will say things were so rosy during the UBP days, but i guess it depends who’s eyes you looking out from.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Shackled? Riiigggght.

      • PLP Scare Tactics Volume I says:

        Shackled is from page 26 of the PLP’s “Race Rhetoric Handbook”. See Volume II for definitions of “plantation question” and “resetting the dial (that we broke in the first place)”.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Too funny. The PLP have actually cheapened the history of the struggle for equality with their eagerness to play the RC at the drop of a hat. The bitterness is palpable and serves no purpose.

          It must bite to know that the party you thought we’re gonig to make Bermuda better have driven it the other way. I can understand the pain.

  7. Citizen Banned (Original) says:

    I don’t care which party is in power as long as we have a responsible government. Fighting UBP, PLP or whatever won;t do anything. Clearly PLP has effed up our finances with their gross mismanagement of our funds. They ignored many warnings and continued to piss our money away on themselves. Ewart must be laughing right now cos he pulled the biggest con of all. He doesn’t have to clean up the mess – he has the great pictures of he and Beyonce and all the other people PLP waste money on for their huge egos.

    That time is done and Bermuda may never recover. So do your best PLP. Now you have shackled yourselves – it is no longer the big white Euro boogey man. You have enslaved yourselves.

    And now you talk independence?? You can’t friggin run a friggin faucet – let alone a country. Think again!!!

  8. Jim Bean says:

    Same old PLP rhetoric (Pathetic Lame Party) – come on. It is so obvious that the dogmatic PLPers are out there. The OBA has said this already on education:

    reform public education and create opportunity by significantly improving classroom effectiveness, introducing a fully integrated technical curriculum and a longer school day

    So stop your bull and if you look deep down you will know the truth – the government has failed us.

    • True Bermudian says:

      “reform public education and create opportunity by significantly improving classroom effectiveness, introducing a fully integrated technical curriculum and a longer school day”

      How??? Where will THEY get the money to have these programmes? What’s their game plan?!

      You can file those promises under: Smoke & Mirrors.

      • crazytalk says:

        Ah. You’re concerned about ‘smoke and mirrors’?

        By that, do you mean the litany of broken PLP promises? Free bus and ferries (never happened), Free childcare for all (never happened), Free Bermuda College (given and then taken away), that type of thing?

        Or, do you mean the way that they dismissed all suggestion 5-6 years ago that that the ecomony was entering a downturn? Don’t you remember? Every time someone would say ‘let’s be careful, let’s save money, let’s not overspend’, the PLP govt would say the oppostion was “making mischief” and “didn’t understand that Bermuda was different”. They stuck their heads in the sand for years. Spent money on parties, consultant friends, lavish trips, jobs for all (including, apparently, dozens of teachers and teacher aides that they now describe as unqualified and unneccesary), project cost overruns, you name it.

        And now there’s no money for anything. Their biggest problem is how to pay the interest on the debt they ran up since 2006.

        What we need is some competent people running the country. People with a plan, who don’t just lurch from crisis to crisis. Cox, Smith, and all those people have had a long chance at driving the bus we’re all on. They failed to maintain it, and now they’ve pretty much crashed it. They blew it. It’s time for change.

      • Preto Plato says:

        This is all CRAP “reform public education and create opportunity by significantly improving classroom effectiveness, introducing a fully integrated technical curriculum and a longer school day”

        Sounds great but… HOW…

        1) We have a fully integrated technical curriculum
        2) Longer school day, OK show me how you pay for that one
        3) Improve effectiveness… some would say getting rid of unqualified teachers does that…..

        • sandgrownan says:

          Cut ministerial cars, trips, perks and salaries.

          Get the performance bond back from the BIU?

        • sandgrownan says:

          How about this…clamp down on the rampant overtime scam at PTB?

          (I understand it’s not unique to PTB either….)

    • YES MATE! says:

      PLoP PLoP FLUSH! That’s the sound of our already shaky education system going down the Pee eL Pee toilet. I guess she had to fire those teachers to re-allocate money for the new Ministry Of Community Development. We won’t have much of a community to develop if our police force can’t stop gangsters from taking it all over and killing it, the ranks on both sides of the law manned by poorly educated people. If we put more money into our education system to hire high quality teachers then the community will progress automatically because we are producing well educated children.

  9. WHY NOT says:

    Take FIVE everybody,
    There no PLP or OBA money, it is the people money and country , so all we need is a Responsible government period! So we should be challenging both parties to come up with the best solutions to our problems, not the best explanations why we are in this MESS!

    • YES MATE! says:

      It’s obvious why we are in this mess. Well it’s obvious to us non-kool aid drinkers. It’s obvious the PLoP can’t be trusted with our money, they’ve already wasted hundreds of millions of hard earned dollars. When your great grand children are born they will be responsible for paying some of this debt. Could you imagine how you would feel if you were born into that situation? You would probably be more than a little pissed off with the creators of that debt. The UBP didn’t do it, nor did the people. The PLP did this all by their greedy selves. The PLP are all out of solutions. Correction. They never had any solutions. It’s time for them to go.

    • Terry says:

      True ‘WHY NOT’. And that’s why people are taking their money elsewhere.

      It boils down to the complete mismanagement of public funds. I’ll stay away from who got what and by what means. Some people have ‘gone green’ big time.

      Brings a new meaning to “what’s in your wallet”.

      May Quo Fata be with you.

  10. Jim Bean says:

    I believe gibbons said that money will come from cutting red tape, cutting spending in non essential services and generally having better fiscal management. I suspect that more will need to be done like wage freezes. they will need to increase the tax base by giving more incentives to international business to raise income. true bermudian you are terrible for callinng yourself that – if all bermudians were like you we would be done as a country. your very tone spits venom

  11. Trish says:

    After reading all these comments , I see the same old thing, complaining about the Political parties and what they have and have not done. Unfortunately, we are crying over a busted bottle of milk that has spread throughout our entire island. We the people of Bermuda need to stop crying in our soup and come together to find solutions to OUR problems. We are looking for help and guidance from politiians who are clearly not interested in helping our country and that goes for PLP, UBP and OBA. These parties are made of of “PEOPLE” and we the citizens of Bermuda are sitting back on our backsides waiting for them to pull a rabbit out of a hat to fix all the problems that we have.

    Well, Bermuda, it ain’t going to happen. I don’t care who is in power, we will not have anything other than what we have if we the people of this country don’t take a stand and say enough is enough. Education is the most important thing in any community and we have destroyed it. We can’t blame the countless Education Ministers, we don’t value education enough to stand up and fight for what we want in our Education system. Bermudians are a reactive people, not proactive. We call talk radio and scream about all the injustice that we are facing yet we are hard pressed to find one person who will fight for what they believe, except for the gays who are bold enough to march to City Hall and demand rights. Maybe we need to take a page out of their book and march on our Government and demand value for money in our Education system.

    I would suggest that all the teachers and para professionals that will be out of a job come next year form a group and look into providing our students an alternative to this “failed” system that we now have. If you put your minds together and come up with a proper education plan I am sure that Bermudians would support you. This is a suggestion to help you get started with brainstorming. You all have been in the school system for years and have provided valuable contributions to our system. It is now time for you to think big and outside the box and use your talents to help our young people.

    • YES MATE! says:

      Trish I agree with much of what you say and I admire your energy, but I have to disagree with your first paragraph. The majority of us voted for representatives of the PLP, but to be more accurate, the majority of us voted for the PLP. They made promises and have failed to deliver anything close to what they said. We voted for them to do our bidding, but they don’t. You said “We are looking for help and guidance from politiians [sic] who are clearly not interested in helping our country” well of course we are – that’s what they were voted in to do and they are not doing it while driving a GP car and collecting a fat paycheque no matter what the financial climate is! My boss would fire my ass in a heartbeat if I failed half as bad as the PLP has been since they were voted in. We have every right to bitch about the situation and demand better, but we have to wait for a general election to do so.
      “We the people of Bermuda need to stop crying in our soup and come together to find solutions to OUR problems”. A lot of us have solutions that we would like to try, but it isn’t as easy as that. First you have to be voted in and hope your party gets the most seats. The PLP with their new leader and cabinet reshuffle still have the same old priority – PLP first and if there’s anything left, we’ll give it to the people. Take a look at our national debt, that’s what’s left for us to squabble over now that the PLP have gotten theirs.

      • Trish says:

        Yes Mate I feel your pain and agree that we as employees would NEVER be able to get away with the crap that the government both past and present have been allowed to get away with. Unfortunately, when the next election is called you will see the same old people come out of the woodwork and hoodwink us with the same empty promises to vote for them again and guess what, we will do it. We don’t make them accountable to us the voters. We complain about all the GP cars and the other abuses that we see going on but nothing can be or seems to be that we don’t want to do anything about it. Well the only thing that I can say is we can stand up and demand that our ideas and solutions be heard or we can accept the old saying that Silence is consent.

        • YES MATE! says:

          Just don’t vote PLP next time. Convince all the diehard PLP voters that the PLP is not on their side. They admit deceiving us, they admit that they do what the party tels them to do rather than what their constituents want them to do. What more proof does the diehard PLP voter need? It’s one thing for the opposition to accuse or raise doubt, but when the PLP says outright that they had to deceive us and that they would sooner do the party’s bidding than anything else and you still vote PLP you must be looking at the world through the bottom of an empty kool aid glass.

  12. S Brown says:

    Out of curosity, how many of you posters have worked in the Public School system recently? Just a question.

    • Justin says:

      We don’t need to work in the school system to see the results. For example, one year the graduation fate was an embarrassing 40% or something then the next year it’s almost 100%. Doesn’t that make you wonder? Dramatic change like that is never a good thing.

      Also, employers get to see the final product. When a person with a GED can’t even fill out a job application form, that’s quite appalling!

      • Trish says:

        AMEN, Justin, we are herding our kids through the education system like animals through a slaughter house. It is very true that Employers have the task of putting Bermudians first and sadly some of them can’t even read or fill out a simple job application.

        These are some serious times.

      • S Brown says:

        Actually Justin, it would help if you did. A bit of insight to the 40% of graduation rate… some of those students transferred to other schools i.e. private, went overseas to complete their education or simply preferred to get a GED.

        When I left the public school system after 3rd year.. I would have been classified as one of the 40% who did not graduate.. was it because I dropped out or the system failed?? No, I recieved a schloarship to attend a private school overseas.

        FACT: Many students in public schools are doing well, Berkeley for example had a higher GCSE pass rate than all the private schools in the island. Have you spoken to the teacher who was in charge of the GCSE program at Berkeley?? I have and do you know what the driving force of such good results were? Parents!!! making sure their kids got to school on saturdays for extra lessons to take the exams.

        The fact is, in my opionon and observations is that the value systems in the homes have changed and the value of education is not as emphasized as it once was.

        I could never even think of facing my mom if I got suspended from school much less telling her I wanted to drop out. nowadays some kids get suspended because they want a few days off from school! imagine that!

        next time you attend a honor roll ceremony in a public high school you will notice something about the students… I will let you figure it out.

        Having said that, I for one am not saying that our current education system is perfect, it is not. However, I do not think it is bad as people who are not involved in the system make it out to be. Work still needs to be done, I am against any student being promoted to another grade even if they fail.

        • Young Observer says:

          “Berkeley for example had a higher GCSE pass rate than all the private schools in the island”

          lets not get ahead of ourselves here, Berkeley only had a select few people from the top classes take GCSE whereas in the private schools all students take them. also Berkeley only offered 4 GCSE programs of which i dont believe any student took all four of in the same year whereas in the private schools everyone takes 9 GCSE. It also must be mentioned that the private school kids take GCSE at the end of what would be S2 and the public school kids take them at the end of S4.

          Now i know there are exceptions such as that group of students that took the Math GCSE in S2 who i believe you are refering to when you mention the extra classes but that was 9 kids out of 120+ taking 1 GCSE when the kids in private school took 9 that year.

          • S Brown says:

            GCSE are optional, therefore the children who took the GCSE’s was a result of parents giving them the OK.

            • Young Observer says:

              GCSEs are only after optional after the school decides that you are worthy of being given that option. Not everyone at Berkeley was awarded with that option. My point is that there is simply no comparison between the minimal GCSE program offered at Berkeley to the extensive one covered in the private schools and i for one find that to be completely unacceptable.

            • In General says:

              Not at Private schools they are mandatory.

          • Neyo says:

            thank you for pointing that out i was about to go off of the deep end.
            and the information is flawed anyway, warwick academy has a 99% pass rate for 5 or more IGCSE A-C and the majority are academic subjects ….not drama and acting, please dont make me continue

        • Young Observer says:

          As for the rest of your statement i must say agree with that but sometimes the truth is that public education really is as bad as it seems. You take the top level of student in the public schools and they have to fight to get into the same universities as the average kids in private schools and its not their fault its the fault of this government.

          How can you expect to apply to overseas colleges having done “Highschool Level Bermuda Math” or anything class. We simply dont have the privelege of having our own classes when we have an island this small. We have about 200 people a year BEC and global colleges have no clue what that is. We need to put our children in an internationally recognized curriculum not one or two GCSE exams but the full slate of GCSEs, APs, IB Program, something has to be done! If we want people to learn about Bermuda have one Bermuda civicas class but we can ill afford this current system they have now.

          • S Brown says:

            For as long as I can remember (16+ yrs ago) the overwhelming majority students who finished public high school in Bermuda WENT TO THE BERMUDA COLLEGE before going overseas, even honor roll students before the overhaul of the education system. Usually people who did extremely well in their GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels (which was not the majority) went overseas to school after finishing public schools.

            Again, I state, that the current system does need some adjustments, but it is difficult exactly to determine which of the failures are due to parents or the actual education system.

          • Neyo says:

            thank you for saying this young observer, on an international level the public school system does their students a disservice, PERIOD. Im hesitant to actually write how bad it actually is for fear that the entry length will deter readers but here goes my attempt at a condensed version.

            At the end of this academic year your average public school student (S2) will have 2 IGCSE passes A-C, based on last year’s statistics, one of which will be drama, yes that’s right drama. The average high school student in the public school passes drama, math and maybe a language. They are rarely entered into anything else. The passing statistic that is published is based on students entered into the exam NOT all the students in that year level. (I think someone else wrote this earlier). So out of the 150 students in each year group a few are selected based on their grades and they are entered into the exam. So yes if you calculate your success rate this way of course you will get a whopping pass rate.

            Now here comes the confusing bit, according to the latest newsletter, almost half of the student body is on the honor roll?! How is it possible that most cannot even pass an IGCSE, which stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education but they are on the honor roll? Maybe they didn’t think anyone would crunch the numbers when they handed these out at my brother’s prize giving.
            To highlight an error in someone’s post above the public schools sit the IGCSE in S2/S3 as well, they do not allow the S4’s to sit them. The S4s may take A level English but that’s it they take no other A levels or IB courses instead they complete a plethora of fabricated courses which include dance, cooking and project ride. Now I believe in a well rounded student as much as the next person but; a) universities do not care about your score in project ride and b) how can you be prepared for the freight train that is university work if your teacher gives you remedial work in your final year?

            The homework that my brother got in S4 I was doing in S3, (at least for the academic classes) he was also taking religious studies and first aid, he wants to be an engineer what guidance counselor in their right mind would have encouraged him to select those courses in high school to be an engineer and why doesn’t a future engineer have an IGCSE in physics?!

            Here is a fun project, ask a M3 student a S2 student and a S4 student to show you the work they are doing in a similar subject let’s say science or math and see if you can spot the difference…..the results will surprise you.

        • Justin says:

          Well isn’t that a relief. The UBP wasn’t that bad after all. What are all these people complaining about then?

      • Spikes says:

        You guys are so damn negative. When the UBP was in power they didn’t do shi$ for the guy on the street. The surely didn’t concern themselves with public education because their kids went to private schools anyway. They shut down Tech because it’s graduates were opening businesses that competed with theirs. Those pirates weren’t having that. Now the deceitful bastar$s are opening up the holes in their faces and complaining about the education system.

        • Bermyman says:

          Mate the guy on the street and education don’t really go hand in hand, that is mostly down to life choice. But I know currently there are no jobs for guys on the street, I spoke to a “guy on the street’, yesterday and he was telling me he had been trying to get a job for 2 years and was NEVER unemployed before then. So my question is what has the PLP really done for the ‘guy on the street’?

        • crazytalk says:

          Spikes, you think the PLP children all go to Government schools? Not a chance. I see a prominent Minister dropping off children in the GP car every day at a private school. Don’t kid yourself.

          As for the “UBP not doing – for the guy in the street”. Cancelling buses, cancelling ferries, sacking teachers, sacking teachers aides. At the same time – giving cosy jobs to people to run the high-priced Washington DC office. That’s what the plp have done in the last few weeks. Is that your idea of doing things for the “guy in the street”?

          • sandgrownan says:

            shh….you’ll make his head explode with all those facts.

            • Spikes says:

              Make my head explode? nothing that you folk say could make my head explode.By the way who said that they are facts. It is just your opinion. It doesnt matter what the PLP does. People of your Ilk never wanted the PlP to succeed anyway.

              • sandgrownan says:

                Yes I did. But they didn’t. They failed instead.

              • crazytalk says:

                Which of those things are my opinion? They’re all facts.

    • Neyo says:

      I have….

      @ Justin i agree with you buddy they have amended all sorts of things to cover the failure rate, and most of the pressure is actually coming from the parents who refuse to believe anything the teacher says because they are foreign/white/female/male. I have learned this from experience, early in my tenure I was told by a parent that “you (I) just don’t understand Bermudian children, how can a student learn when they only hire foreign teachers and that I should go and teach in my own country”…….. … Which I found extremely odd, because I was born and raised in Bermuda.

      • S Brown says:

        Well then, if you have a parent making excuses for their child’s poor performance where do you think the issue lies??

        As I said previously…

        • 32n64w says:

          The issue lies with both the school (for artificially amending the criteria to suit the parents’ needs and not the students’) and the parents (for not properly supporting their child’s education).

  13. its me says:

    Let me apologize to all the NON kool-aid drinkers. I am sorry that i didnt get the opportunity to climb the steps of Medical Hall and enjoy some of the flowery substance you used to share. I am sorry that i didnt attend Harvard or Vale, so i couldnt play golf with you and go sailing with you at your exclusive clubs. I am sorry that when you decided to make laws that effected the majority, the majority didnt look like you. I am sorry that now that you are no longer in power, you cant sleep at night because you spend so much time, contemplating how you can swindle the voters into putting you back into power.
    I am sorry that i had to type this

    • not me says:

      And the rest of us are sorry that you’re so stupid and have to deal with that chip on your shoulder ..

    • bermyshotta says:

      @ its me – well i’m sorry I had to read dat retarded post ya just typed. i’m sorry that u just base ya statements on what ya hear and not de full truths. um sorry but when was de last time ya talked one on one with any of those guys?? Um sorry it’s called Yale. Um sorry but not everyone who voted UBP or wateva sails/plays golf at exclusive clubs. um sorry dey got u brainwashed. um sorry dat if you look up the definition in de dictionary bout SWINDLE in the dictionary you know what 3 capital letters gonna be der. um sorry ya ignorance is shinin thru…tryna lump everybody who aint “like you” in de same category. get a life! and oh ya um sorry for ya children or whoeva gonna have to pay off dis debt that just….oh ya um sorry KEEPS GROWIN!!!!

    • Terry says:

      And thats why it ‘Wasn’t you”.

      Now go do all those things now. Read what you wrote. You can’t, along with many others.

      And don’t be sorry. Were all doing well. It’s yah ace bouys and gulls over the past 6 years that have truly dropped your clubs and shredded your sales.

      Then again, your spot on……and the irony is killing you it “IS ME”………….

  14. SMDH!! says:

    I’ve seen a lot of good comments but IMHO a lot of people are missing the “ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM”!! People say oh the PLP messed everything up, and then some feel that the UBP/OBA messed things up before the PLP even got into power. Well I look at it from a whole different perspective and I’m sure the majority of you would never agree but I’m going to say it anyway. Has anyone ever thought to themselves that maybe the PLP, UBP, OBA are working for the same interest…. Someone said in their comment that the now Education Minister Jennifer Smith was on the committee that approved the current education system. How could that be if the PLP was then the opposition party, how could they agree on something that everyone else knew was a dead end road and a proven failure. Some, if not most Bermudians believe in their party no matter what they do and it has turned into a BLACK or WHITE issue with one party being the “Black Party” & the other the “White Party”. Now this is going to be hard to comprehend for most of you but what if the parties are really neither “Black” or “White” meaning that behind the scenes and out of the public eye they are ALL buddies and they work together collectively to continue to blind the people of Bermuda so that they never even know the difference. I know you’ve heard the term Divide & Conquer, well that’s what I feel is going on and it’s not just a “Bermuda” problem. If you listen to the main stream media it’s happening ALL over the world where countries have been over spending for the last 10 years and all of a sudden it’s a problem. Why is it a problem you ask, well you just have to look and find out why is pretty much every country in the world in Debt? Who are they in debt to? Well the simple answer is that every country has a “Central Bank” that produces and issues their currency and this bank produces money pretty much out of thin air, how you ask? Well in simple terms a government can “burrow” a million dollars with interest from the bank but now in return, that same bank can take that same million dollars and create ten million in lending out of nothing. Just look on the front of the U.S. dollar bill, it says and I quote “This note is legal tender for ALL DEBTS, public and private”. This means that every time a dollar is produced it’s already DEBT!! The U.S. is in debt for TRILLIONS of dollars and the BIG Banks get a Bailout!! Does this sound familiar to Bermuda, how about the millions of dollars OUR government gave Butterfield Bank last year because it was TOO BIG to FAIL!!! Who has to pay that back, US!! I said all of that to say this our government along with ALL the other governments especially in the G20 and G8 are controlled and ran by offshore banking and financial conglomerates!! There are powers operating that a lot of people are unaware of and they are setting up a control grid in order to control every aspect of our lives. Why would someone agree with the OBA making the school day longer for students? What I’m going to say now most won’t agree with but again here it goes. Why would the government want to make the school day longer, well like I said before it’s about total control but how do you achieve that? The simple answer is to break up the family unit, these people have been studying human psychology and behavior since the beginning and they know that the FAMILY UNIT is the strongest thing us as humans have. That’s what this life is all about and that’s what the father had in his plan for us. Why do you think we’re having this “GANG” issue, families are not united and hence the breakdown in our society. They want to have more time with our children so that they can manipulate and corrupt their young impressionable minds!! It makes perfect sense, why do you think that they’ve allowed so many foreigners into Bermuda and I have nothing against them, my point is that if you mix up different cultures and heritages then people lose their identity and a sense of who they are and what they were taught. It’s like a melting pot and what you get at the end is a large number of people that are subservient to whoever is in power because they rely on them so much that they have no other choice. Just look how diversified “OUR Heritage” parade was this year. There aren’t too many real Bermudians left!! I know that might offend some but that is not my intention, I want people to take a look outside the box and be careful what you wish for. There can never be any “REAL” global peace and the powers that be are creating the problems and then offering their solutions to those problems at the expense of our civil liberties and freedom!!! Do not be fooled!!!

    • hoping for better says:

      You my friend have hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately your comment will be lost on most people, as they are unaware of the banking issues that you speak of and the methods of control that are in place to prevent people from coming together. A people divided are easy to mislead.

  15. Joe Delmonte says:


    • Terry says:

      They already have ‘mounts of rats’ in Bermuda…….in 5 years…there will be only four legged ones and they will only survive a short while until Sir Ewart arrives to rekindle on his good ship “beeyonce”……….

    • see it coming says:

      And all we’ll hear is… ‘It’s all the UBP’s fault’ ..
      (Or any other percieved group of white people)

      All the wealthy whites (and blacks) will have fled ..which is all part of the long term plan anyway .. And the blacks remaining will have nothing ..as will the remaining whites. But the blacks will be happy because even though (through their own shortcomings) they still don’t have it , neither will ‘whitey’ .

  16. Young Observer says:

    Lets just be honest the new school system was adopted under the UBP government BUT it had full PLP support, in fact they were pushing for it, for our education to be “bermudianized” and look where it has gotten us. However 15 years later all we seem to be doing is trying to figure out who’s to blame and not fix the problem. How long do we allow the PLP to be in power before we realize that hey maybe some of these problems are their fault or that hey maybe theyve been in power long enough that they should have been fixed or at least should have a plan to fix them. I would think 15 years would be enough and then hey if the other party cant do it we vote them back in. We in bermuda need to learn that its not the governments that will force the change but we have to. The are very apt at doing this in the United States, look at their House of Representatives which has switched between Democrat and Republican 4 times since 1996. Its time for our democracy to mature and for us to learn that you know simply voting in one party for long periods of time isnt best suited to our interests.

    And to bring it back to education can we just look at the number of education ministers have been appointed in the last decade, its actually ridiculous.

  17. its me says:

    @ bermyshotta – its quite obvious that your sense of humor or lack there of, vanished along with the UBP.
    Its truly amazing, how some individuals focus on the negative and NEVER offer any real solutions.
    Whats even more amazing, is that some of these same people, who are complaining, are riding the bus/ ferry for free, didnt have to pay any fees at TCD and every other program or cost cutting that the PLP have tried to implement.
    Since those people are so fed up with not having to pay, because of the mounting debt, why dont they add up what they owe the Government and write a cheque.
    Maybe they should stop riding the fast ferries, or PTB buses. Maybe when they go 65 they should turn in their drivers license and get a family member to drive them around.
    Maybe just maybe, i wouldnt have to say sorry then.
    FYI – I am as much brainwashed as EVERY UBP/OBA child who attended private school.
    Class of 87. Dr Marshall rules ‘ God Bless his Soul ‘

    • Young Observer says:

      lets correct a few things shall we.

      #1. Buses are only free for students. It was promised for everyone but for some reason we havent been able to make that happen because theres something real difficult about just not charging people to go on a bus isnt it.
      #2. fees most certainly are not free at TCD
      #3. “cost cutting programs” you couldnt possibly means ones like the not-so-free-anymore tuiton at BDA college could you?
      #4. going to private school doesnt brain wash your children. in fact quite a number of PLP MPs children and grandchildren attend private schools, i would know because they sat next to me class :)

    • bermyshotta says:

      @ its me – lol um still got my sense of humor thx. Ppl and everybody else in de world focus on the negative things because dey have a greater impact than de positive things. WHERE are YOUR solutions den?????? haha ya crazy you should be sayin sorry to yaself. an in reality de majority of ppl r havin to pay even tho its “free”. Maybe you should really take de chip off ya shoulder. HOW is “EVERY UBP/OBA child who attended private school” brainwashed????? as far as i kno we all have our OWN brains and can think for ourselves. maybe u should do de same! wha u gettin jealous? lmao

    • Young Observer says:

      to add to that it seems that there are people out there who everyday go to bat for the PLP, fighting for them tooth and nail and yet they dont seem to realize that the government only does the same for them at election time. at election time they come and talk of the oppressors of the working man while the previous four years they enjoyed rounds of golf at Tuckers Town with these very same people. They talk of privileges of the wealthy whilst they too partake in these privileges. You see what they do is they come around and they try and seem relatable to you, like they are just like you and i but the truth is their not. I mean we dont earn $160,000 and drive cars paid for by someone else. Pull your head out of the sand and actually look around and you;ll see the picture is in fact quite different from the one you imagined whilst your head was buried.

  18. Jim Bean says:

    the OBA platform is crap huh? wow – go check how many broken promises the plp has made. it is laughable. dyed in the wool plpers – I pray for you. this is not about race. it is about your country….

  19. Spikes says:

    First of all the OBA members in parliament are bogus anyway. The people of this country put them there as members of the UBP. They should have resigned and call for a by-election. Only in Bermuda this could happen.I am not surprised that there is so much resentment toward the PLP anyway. The world is in a recession not only Bermuda. Other countries are going through the same situation.

    • sandgrownan says:

      One of the things a responsible, forward looking, intelligent government can do, is “save for a rainy day”. Hoard the budget surplus and keep borrowing to a minimum. That means when the next recession comes around, government has the means to step in and assist charites that often have to take up the slack during a funding crisis, as an example. It also means they can stimulate the economy through capital and other projects.

      The situation we find ourselves in is not a function of the global recession, it’s a function of the PLP being incompetant. They failed.

    • Serious? says:

      No, other countries are not going through the same situation. Bermuda is in a very precarious place due to its dependence on international business as really its sole provider of $$ towards GDP. You say America or other countries are in debt. Yes they are, but they also have a very dynamic and multi-faceted economy- essentially, not all their eggs in one basket like Bermuda. If Bermuda’s crime continues to worsen, then this island is in real trouble as all these international companies are incredibly mobile and can easily set up shop in the myriad other offshore jurisdictions. What do we do then..other than pay 190,000 a day?

  20. its me says:

    @ sandgrownan – so i guess every Government in the civilized world isnt intelligent, because the last time i checked, the USA, Canada and the UK were all feeling what lil old Bermuda is feeling ( A thing called a world recession ).
    So i take it, because the old timers used to sing about, Bermuda is another world, it must be true.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Largely. But there’s a difference. The larger countries, let’s use USA and UK, have multi-faceted income generating options (we don’t if you hadn’t noticed) so borrowing and repayment power is somewhat better. But similarly, the UK, for example, is now having to deal with the folly of Gordon Brown’s mismanagement. So yes, equally stupid.

      Canada, however, is in a markedly different situation becasue of…sensible planning and regulation.

      What hurts here, is that the effect of the global recession could have been effectively managed in Bermuda…..had the PLP not overspent. So, I stand by my comment – they failed, they are incompetant.

    • In General says:

      Do you realize that Canada has been out of their recession for over a year now? The US recession is well into recovery, as is the UK. Their recession took place in 2008 – 2009. In Bermuda we are just starting to feel the affects of the Recession. Our economy will become worse in the next 12months and not begin to improve for another 24 months. I wish we would stop blaming the state of our countries problems on recession. The world recession is finishing and the Bermuda recession is just beginning.

    • Serious? says:

      You don’t get it do you. Yes, there was a recession- it actually began back in Fall 2008, but the PLP neglected to address it. Perhaps they thought we could avoid it, or perhaps they were ignorant. We may never know. But these other countries that you are mentioning actually DID address the issue, oh about 3 years ago? Only as of the recent Budget did the PLP recognize the need to deal with the downturn. Now- who is to blame for the postponed reaction? The PLP. Flat out.
      And by the way, I am not a die hard UBP supporter. I thought the PLP deserved the chance back in 1998 as the UBP grew complacent over its many years serving Bermuda. However, the PLP have had their shot. To be honest, they blew it. Time for a change. This island needs it, desperately.

    • Ecky says:

      A friend of mine in Hong Kong tells me that earlier this year, each HK resident (that includes expats in Bermyspeak) received a cheque from the Govt for just shy of US$1000 because the place is doing so well. This is the 3rd or 4th time this has happened. Same has happened in Macau though granted they have HUGE gambling revenues… HEY! there’s an idea.

      If anyone can sort this mess out, it’s Grant.

    • Rick Rock says:

      Canada has done very well during the past few years. Good planning, enlightened approach to the economy. China, Brazil, HK, are other places with good economic stories.

      But for example – Greece, Eire, Spain, Portugal – are in a real disastrous mess.

      Others – USA, UK, – are ok, making their way through it. Not great, not a disaster.

      So none of it is ‘automatic’. Various countries have had various outcomes.

      Bermuda had the opportunity to come through it very well. Went into the recession with no debt legacy, no unemployment, and an almost unique business environment. Now we have enourmous debt, high and growing unemployment, a largely disenchanted business community, escalating serious crime, cutbacks in all sorts of services including transport, police, education. “Its me”, the government screwed it up. Wouldn’t listen to warnings, spent money like drunken sailors, stuck its finger up to business whenever it got the chance, lived on credit, forgot about payback day.

  21. Clafe says:

    Guyz r str8 missin de point…erry last one of you.


    I dropped out after primary 6 at whitney dun, and it wuz de best decision um ever made. De teachers didnt care about us and we sure as jooks didnt care about dem. I remember one time my boy Three-Flump left math class to go smoke a fet spliff, and DE TEACHER DIDNT SAY NOFFIN.


    Science – teaches kids how 2 make drugs
    Math – teaches kids how 2 weigh drugs
    English – teaches kids how 2 talk 2 crackheads who they sell drugs to
    Geography – teaches kids where de best spots r 2 sell drugs

    Its a MASSIVE conspiracy that goes in 2 de deepest depths of goverment dun! all this mug arguing bout OBA and PLP is compleetly besides de point…WKAE UP N SMELL DE COFFEE, BIE. AND WHY R GUYZ TALKIN BOUT KOOL-AID…WHAT THAT MEANS?

    So ya, I dropped out of school and I currently run my own water trucking business. I make a decent living, noffin 2 sneeze at, but um humble aswell. Flashy? NO, bie. Honorable? You bet ya Auntie Shunteesha’s left toenail it is.


  22. WHY NOT says:


    Can we all move, past who did what when and how to how we can make it better TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The country will never move forward, if all we can do is blame PLP< UBP< my BOSS, your BOSS, his BOSS, my Mum and Dad, and the other Family members!

    If all Bermudians want change! look inside, deep inside and look to the future and ask not what PLP and OBA will do for you, BUT how better can your voice be heard, and who can hear you and represent you voice!

  23. Terry says:

    Duckett, Sharples, Rego, Doe, Sayers, Redman and the rest. Yes it is the UBP’s fault to a degree.

    They should have extradited the other son of a b%$ch that lives abroad and said….’No more. Enough is eneough’.

    History..repeating itself with such vengence because Front Street kept it and lost it all.

  24. Down 'n' Dirty says:

    I’m sure that everyone realizes that we,ve been in a double dip recession for quite some time now . Dr Gibbons is acutely aware of this , as he has seen first-hand the bottom line steadily deteriorating in almost all sectors of his families businesses . Every Government ,both current and past could be judged and found guilty of wastefullness , mismanagement and other financial improprieties . This financial crisis is not for sprinters it is here for the long distance runners , and everyone has to adjust and govern themselves accordingly .

  25. Keep pressing on PLP and doing the work of the people !! You will never get a positive vote or comment from persons that do not favour you anyway, so press on…..They are UPB/OBA diehards…and thats okay everyone has a choice !! Just be honest in your debate !! Switching from party to party may not be the answer either. It is still the same players with a different change of name, as the old name wore out > What can the UBP/OBA do different that they have not done in the past ???? While the PLP may not have done somethings right, they did accomplish a heck of alot more than the past government. Both governments have made major errors ! Folks that are blind must make their case based upon hard facts and not what is just said by others. It almost seems like a desparate mad rush to put back into power those they think are deem to be there !! But hold on for the next ………………….episode of ” Bermuda goes around and around”……..

    • Young Observer says:

      im confused what you mean by “they accomplished a lot more than othe governments” so id really like you to explain that. also a lot of us arent UBP/OBA diehards in fact some of us are former or current PLP supporters that simply see a problem that has existed for almost 20years now not being dealt with, so lets try not to paint us all with the same brush.

      But lets be honest all I’ve seen so far is people from the current government make a whole pile of promises with education and then never deliver. They decry the education plan put inplace by the UBP in mid 90s and yet went right along and spent millions building the new Berkeley school, this just dont add up to me. So “keep pressing PLP and do the work of the people”? how about start doing the work of the people. how about fix some problems. how about take the advice of the million dollar consultants for education they bring in and ignore. How about just trying to change something instead of the constant cries of “the government before us put us on the road”. if you dont like road were on why are they continually driving us down it? can you answer that? I hear constant complaints of they closed down Tech, bring back Tech, well the PLP has been in power for well over a decade now thats plenty of time to have brought back Tech. How about you tell me something that has actually been accomplished in education and not the promises that they bring around every 4years for change we can believe in but never get to see.

      i mean really just listen to what you say “must ake their case based upon hard facts”, well there are some hardfacts i just presented to you, i dont see any facts in what you wrote. This is a topic of education and i ask you what sort of positive comments should i be making for them in this tread? what have they done correct?

  26. If this exercise has been mentioned in the replies above, I do aplogize. Should Dr. Gibbons math on our debt (it is our money this Goverment (cost cutting measure)is wasting) be correct, and I believe it is. Here is a little something to think about. Paula Cox has said the her Government will reduce Bermuda’s national debt by paying off $250 million by the year (fiscal) 2016. At an increasing interest rate of $70 million a year from 2010 to 2016, that is between $350 to $420 million, minus the $250 mill to reduce the debt, still means an additional $100 to $170 million to our growing debt. So where is the reduction? Basically our debt will be over the top and out of our control by 2018. An interesting artical in Nat Geo on the Crimea/Ukrain. A thriving tourist industry of millions every year (not to mention the export stuff)and has a national debt just about $1 billion, which their country’s leader says they have no hope of being able to reduce or repay. This is a country 30 time larger than Bermuda.