OBA Calls For Apology, DeSilva Apologizes

June 21, 2011

[Updated] Michael Fahy, Chairman of the One Bermuda Alliance [OBA], has called for “the Premier to have Mr. DeSilva issue a public apology to Bermuda’s Jewish community.”

During the debate in the House of Assembly this past Friday [June 17], Health Minister Zane DeSilva accused OBA Shadow Minister Bob Richards of “Jewing down.” Minister DeSilva withdrew the comment after Mr Richards pointed out it was offensive, and Speaker of the House Stanley Lowe accepted the withdrawal, while saying he did not think the remark was out of order.

Mr Fahy said, “When challenged by Mr. E.T. (Bob) Richards and other OBA MPs to withdraw the offensive remark, Mr. DeSilva did so, but we do not think this goes far enough. We therefore call on the Premier to have Mr. DeSilva issue a public apology to Bermuda’s Jewish community. We cannot tolerate abusive, alienating, racial language in any form.”

“Unfortunately, the PLP has failed time and again to enforce best standards when it comes to public statements by its members. In recent years, its members have used offensive language such as “house n$#gers” or “racist dog”, to cite just two. In each and every case, the words were allowed to stand,” said Mr Fahy.

Mr Fahy’s full statement follows below:

The One Bermuda Alliance supports the sentiments expressed by the Progressive Labour Party recent graffiti-inspired statement against “degrading political practices of smear, negative imagery and cheap character assassinations…”

The One Bermuda Alliance believes government, any government, must set the highest standards of conduct in professional and private life.

Only through example can we reinforce the values that our young people need to grow into productive, law-abiding citizens.

This is fundamental to government given that its conduct is under such public scrutiny. A bad example left uncorrected can do untold damage, giving both children and adults an excuse to engage in unacceptable behaviour.

On Friday, Health Minister Zane DeSilva was the latest PLP member to use a term that we consider disgusting, derogatory and disgraceful. During the course of his remarks in the Motion to Adjourn, Mr. DeSilva used the term “jewing down”.

When challenged by Mr. E.T. (Bob) Richards and other OBA MPs to withdraw the offensive remark, Mr. DeSilva did so, but we do not think this goes far enough.

We therefore call on the Premier to have Mr. DeSilva issue a public apology to Bermuda’s Jewish community.

We cannot tolerate abusive, alienating, racial language in any form.

Unfortunately, the PLP has failed time and again to enforce best standards when it comes to public statements by its members. In recent years, its members have used offensive language such as “house n$#gers” or “racist dog”, to cite just two. In each and every case, the words were allowed to stand.

We note that on the same day Mr. DeSilva made his remark, the Premier made a public statement that Bermuda’s Parliamentarians “must all be models of leadership.” Well, Madame Premier, here is an opportunity to give meaning to your words.

Update 4:49pm: Minister DeSilva has just issued an apology, the text follows in full below:

My attention has been drawn to the degree of concern that still exists around a comment I made during the Motion to Adjourn in the House of Assembly this past Friday.

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my sincere apology for the comment and to those who I offended in uttering it.

I accept that my remarks were insensitive and incorrect, and my instant withdrawal of the comment at the time it was uttered, without instruction from the Speaker of the House, is clear evidence of my regret.

Bermuda’s community is diverse. My responsibility and commitment is to all residents of our community and thus I strongly apologize once again for the concern and discomfort my words have caused.

Thank you.

Update 7:52pm: The OBA has released a statement saying they “welcome” Minister DeSilva’s apology:

The OBA welcomes Minister DeSilva’s statement. This is a step in the right direction. There are so many pressing issues facing our island. This incident, while distracting from issues like the poor economy, rising crime and education problems, still needed to be addressed. Silence to such matters means consent. The OBA will continue to call out such incidents to ensure a higher standard of governance and put forward our plans to solve the country’s problems.”

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Comments (154)

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  1. Spectator says:

    I don’t approve of the Minister’s remarks either but the OBA should refrain from making too much out of these ‘side stories’ or they face sounding more like the UBP. Stick to the main issues, inadvertent remarks like Mr. DeSilva’s are made every day in our society regardless of political affiliation (Google President Obama’s apology to the Special Olympics) for a good example.

    The Minister apologized…it’s the Speaker that should be criticized for not thinking the comment was out of order. It was, apologize, move on.

    • Cherie says:

      Well said!

      • Got Dat Rite says:

        If the Alliance had used an offensive word the PLP would be freaking out and scoring as many points as possible. That said NO ONE should be using offensive words.

    • Onion says:

      He didn’t apologize he just withdrew his comment.

  2. PEPPER says:

    How many Bermudians use the term “he /she tried to jew me down” I think the OBA are just nit picking.

    • Real Talk says:

      I’m not sure. I’ve personally never heard the term.

      Born and raised here for 32 years…

      • Jonas says:

        I have heard the expression before, but never used it myself. I don’t think it’s a very commonly-used phrase in Bermuda; certainly not one that most Bermudians would say without thinking. In a formal setting like the House of Assembly, I would think that one would be less likely to say “Jewing down” accidentally or unwittingly, even if one were in the habit of using the term informally or colloquially. Unfortunately, Mr DeSilva probably said it quite deliberately, to prove God only knows what point…

        Whether the usage was deliberate or unwitting, it was in poor taste.

      • White Christ says:

        I never heard the term before! Had to look it up! It’s pretty much like calling someone an ‘Indian giver’. Don’t think that ‘black-mail’ or calling chocolate ‘devil’s food’ and white dessert ‘angel food’ isn’t a rather cleaver way of promulgating racism.

    • well... says:

      everyone knows the term…and while i agree it was inappropriate, all it means is to try to lower the price.

      • The Truth says:

        I’ve heard this term but never in Bermuda and I’m Bermudian born and bred-it’s not something I think you’d hear the average Bermudian say. I think it’s a term used more in the U.S. and it means exactly what you say.

        I tend to use and have heard the term ‘Indian giver’ used quite a lot in Bermuda-meaning to give something and then take it back. People in my office even say it and we’re a mixure of all different colours and backgrounds-but none of us are Native American. I think we tend to use a lot of terms and not think of it as being insensitive unless it insults our own personal race/culture, etc.

        It’s something that we all should be mindful of.

      • UncleElvis says:

        Really? You can’t see that it’s offensive?
        I’m serious here. You don’t think the phrase is offensive?

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      I have never heard and/or used such a dergoatory term in this island.

      It is amazing how some think these days.

      If a derogatory term, referring to black people, was used by the Opposition in the House during a debate there would be cries of racism. And if some Opposition supporter claimed that the PLP are just nit picking when taking offense then there would be another outcry of racism and what not.

      But because it wasn’t directed at black people such terms are acceptable and beyond criticism.

      Absolutely sickening and hypocritical…and yet wholly predictable…

      • Ganja mon says:

        oh shut up..you people always make things BLACK & WHITE !! This is why the OBA wont win because everything is has to refer back to race..

        • Ambassador .. says:

          Tired of nonsennse is right Gunja… you people also make it about race all the time, if it was the other way and the oba said it, plp supporters would be crying.. and I’m black!

          • Spikes says:

            It’s a common term used in America. It refers to Jewish merchants who do not have a set price for the merchandise that they are selling. A potential customer could negotiate or “Jew down the price to their liking depending on their negotiation skills. It is not considered to be offensive as far as I know.

            • Hebrew Schooled says:

              No, it is offensive. It equates the Jewish people with haggling, being cheap, etc.- perpetuates a stereotype. It is very offensive. It doesn’t refer to the merchant as much as it does the customer…whether inappropriate or offensive, it has no place in the House. True, this is a side issue, but come on- Zane is ‘the white guy’, a token. He sure isn’t in Cabinet because he’s some mastermind, especially not as Health Minister- seriously, he knows about health??? He’s a building contractor. In the same way that Henry Tucker has been criticized as being the craftiest white supremacist of his time by promoting certain blacks, promoting someone like Zane might be in that same vein. Take the second most alienated members of the population, the Portuguese, pick and choose a few you can puppet-ize, and there! You have a diverse cabinet, brilliant. Hah.
              For those who think it’s not offensive…what about calling a person of colour a spear-chucker? After all, the noble Masai carry them, it’s not that bad is it? Of course it is. It’s a no-fly zone in exactly the same way. Just because there aren’t many Jews here doesn’t mean it’s okay to offend them. Minimizing or marginalizing the statement means one of two things- either some prejudice is more acceptable than others, or that racial epithets are no longer important. Which is it, then? Or, are some of Zane’s best friends Jews??
              Un-freaking-believable. Prejudice is intolerable, even if it’s not directed at you.

              • JP says:

                I agree that the comment is offensive, however, let us acknowledge the fact that there is no race of Jews. Judaism is a religion, not a race of people, no different than Islam and Christianity. Using “people of color” when making analogies is overused. These religions are not exclusive to any one group of people.

                • Hebrew Schooled says:

                  So…because Judaism is a race the comment is somehow less inappropriate??? I don’t understand at all where your comment is coming from. You think it would be okay then to make a crack about ‘Portagees’ in the House? After all, they’re not a race, just a nationality. Jews are different in that they are far more insular and have preserved culture and traditions for thousands of years. Not the same at all. They may not be a race, but they are as distinct an ethnic group as any other.

                  And I agree that perhaps ‘people of colour’ is ‘overused’, but until there’s a neutral manner of describing someone of darker pigmentation than a white person, then I’ll continue to use it. What would you prefer was said?

                  • Hebrew Schooled says:

                    Sorry- in my ire, I meant to start with ‘because Judaism is not considered a race…’

                    Carry on.

          • Don says:

            What do you mean when you say ( You people?)

      • Organic Bermudian says:

        For REAL?? Get over it how could he possibly be offend a BLACK BERMUDIAN with the term Jewing down?? I remember a court case where a white man called a BLACK policeman a KAFER and the judge ruled that his words were NOT OFFENSIVE because it was a term used in SOUTH AFRICA!! For real I am still waiting for arrest on 12+ UNSOLVED MURDERS!!! ATTACKING ILLITERACY!! GANG VIOLENCE!! A cap on rent on MORTGAGE FREE homes!!WHAT are your PRIORITIES???

    • ElectionTime says:

      I don’t know, but I’d never use that term.

    • Scott says:

      never heard of it, but im sure a lot of people use it, and i woulndt think the minister is racist for saying it…

      if anything i would say he wasnt racially sensitive enough to not say it.. and definitely should not have said it in his role as a minister.. big no no..

      at hte end of hte day, an apology means nothing tho and we all know it… i’d say the OBA is just nitpicking to embarass the MP

    • UncleElvis says:

      So… that makes it ok?


    • Pastor Syl says:

      Now that Bermudians know it is an offensive term, perhaps they will stop using it.
      I admit there are probably many phrases that we use without thought, mostly out of ignorance that they are offensive. Hopefully a word to the wise will be sufficient and we will become more aware of what we say. More than that, I hope we won’t just decide the Jews, the Portuguese, black people, etc. are “just nit-picking,” and continue to make offensive remarks.

  3. well... says:

    Um are the OBA intellectually challenged? It clearly states that Minister Desilva withdrew his remarks. what more do they want?

    • alsys says:

      Hello? It clearly states what they think is appropriate, an apology. Unless you think that simply withdrawing your statement after being asked to is the same as apologizing…

      Perhaps it isn’t them who are intellectually challenged.

      • well... says:

        he actually did apologize and withdraw.

      • well... says:

        and now there has been yet another apology. Should now be the end of story.

    • Concerned Bermudian says:

      Um are you intellectually challenged? They are asking for an apology. Read the headline. DUH

    • Bermudian says:

      shouldn’t have said it in the first place.PLP think they are entitled to say what they like same reason we have people around here shooting and killing because no one sets a example not even a MP .

  4. Riley B King says:

    Spectator, DaSilva withdrew the comment but did not apologise. Obviously, he should.

    Pepper, I think I get it. Reacting to insensitive remarks about some races is ‘nit picking’. So you can pick and choose which races to derogate, is that it?

    And as for How many Bermudians use the term to ‘jew down’, like Real Talk, I have never heard the term used. Must be just certain circles of people that use the term.

    • Real Talk says:

      “Must be just certain circles of people that use the term.”

      My thoughts exactly… Pepper and anybody else who can count on more than one finger (with ZD being the one) the number of Bermudians they’ve heard using the term should probably re-evaluate the kind of company they keep. Not condoning the use of any derogatory language at all, just disputing the suggestion that this is a term commonly known and used by Bermudians.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Fair point, but that doesn’t negatthe offensive nature of the term.

        And I’ve heard it used here and elswhere, by the way.

        • Real Talk says:

          No, not at all! I agree that it is an offensive term and has no place coming out of the mouth of one of our MPs and in the House of Assembly noless.

          I think it’s quite rich that this takes place on the same day the PLP call for respect, taking the high road, etc in response to the anti-PLP graffiti.

          That said, like a number of other Bermudians I am sick and tired of the political freak-show…

    • Spectator says:

      That local who came into your shop asking for 10% off when there isn’t a sale on; what are they doing? Haggling? Being thrifty? Jewing you down? I’m sure there’s a history professor somewhere that can clarify the terminology.

      Is the moral of the story that we continue to pressure our elected Government officials to lead by example through their words and actions? I would say so. But to devote another page in the paper to petty party bickering is an insult to trees. I’d recommend waiting for the local Jewish community to request an apology before running off to the rags.

      • UncleElvis says:

        So… the Jewish community are the only ones allowed to be offended by this?

        To call this “petty party bickering” shows either gross naivete or rather shocking political bias. As the opposition, they have a responsibility to the people of Bermuda to speak out against this sort of thing, just as the Government do, and should have.

  5. Citizen Banned (Original) says:

    I wonder how Zane would react to an offensive remark about his people:

    “Bye dat car looks like it belong to a PORT%$EE”

    “Bye he Drinks St Pauli – muss be a PORT#@EE”.

    “Bye check de lawn mower – you turned in a POR#@GEE or sumpin?”

    See how it feels Mr De Silva?

    • Relax says:

      Seems like you’ve been holding on to a deep-seeded hatred for your Portuguese brethren! Give Minister DeSilva a break before you find yourself having to defend your favorite politician over a mistimed gaffe.

      Try to provide more productive commentary in the future instead of inadvertently provoking backlash from an offended reader (not me).


      • Citizen Banned (Original) says:

        Hey, if he can dish it out – and think its no big deal (as he said) – then my comments should be no big deal either. Apparently they are since they hit a chord with you.

        I have no animosity towards Portugese folk nor anyone else. I was merely trying to make a point.

        In addition, I believe my commentary was more productive than yours.

        • Citizen Banned (Original) says:

          And why should I give this jerk a break after he insulted Jews?

        • lol says:

          honestly hes got a sense of humour i think he would find it funny!!!

  6. Jim Bean says:

    Given these comments so far I am ashamed to call myself Bermudian. Ask any Jewish person if they find it offensive – THEY DO!!! We are further gone than I thought. Good for the OBA for calling it out.

  7. Vote OBA says:

    This is BS, Zane apologised on the floor of the house.

    Are we really playing this game OBA.

    How can the OBA be about the future, if they are digging up old statements about the past!

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      “How can the OBA be about the future, if they are digging up old statements about the past!”

      I guess the same can easily be said for the PLP. The Party Living in the Past.

  8. Guilden says:


    Spot-on, by focusing so much attention on these petty matters the OBA will very quickly sound like the UBP, the party from which it is trying so desperately to distance itself from. The UBP in highlighting these things made themselves look desperate to garner any little bit of support they could muster. Let the public deal with MPs who make these kinds of remarks. Bermuda has some huge issues it must contend with and these matter will only detract from those.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Well that’s the point Guilden, and you have exposed yourself to be exactly what you and the PLP have repeatedly called others.

      It is not petty if you’re Jewish. It’s a derogatory term for which there is no excuse.

      I do agree though, that Bermuda has real problems if there are people defending this vile, disgusting outburst. Is there some sort of scale of racial bigotry that’s rates what’s acceptable and what isn’t?

    • Riley B King says:

      You know full well that the PLP would make an issue of a racist statement by the opposition, particularly if there were no apology. The PLP makes an issue of race all the time. For some reason though on this occasion it’s a “petty matter”. I wonder why.

      This happened the same day that the premier issued a statement saying “We must be models of leadership, and therefore we must focus on character, substance and integrity in all that we do”. The hypocrisy is pretty amazing, you have to admit.

  9. S Brown says:

    I have never heard that term either. But seriously, if a white MP said a statement that even remotely sounded racist people would be up in arms. Imagine if a white MP stated someone acted ‘niggardly’ how that would be percieved??

    Right is right wrong is wrong, and what I cannot stand is hypocrites.

    • UncleElvis says:

      Even though “niggardly” has absolutely nothing to do with the N-word, other than sounding like it.
      There’s a difference. “Jewing down” is about as blatant a slur as there can be, “Niggardly” is ONLY phonetically similar.

      • Tibicen bermudiana says:

        i was so waiting for someone to misuse niggardly – chingas ve bies are dopey

      • S Brown says:

        Obviously you did not read my comment properly. I said “REMOTELY SOUNDED RACIST” which is equivalent to your statement ‘phonetically similar’.

        You people are always so desperate to find fault in unnecessary details its disguisting. My point is revalent to the discussion at hand.

        Tibicen, get a life seriously.

        • Tibicen bermudiana says:


        • UncleElvis says:

          Sorry if it seemed I was saying something against what you said. I was just clarifying. I recall that there was some controversy over the word a while back. I just wanted to make sure that it was clear what you were saying.

  10. Terry says:

    Cheap as a Jew. Jews are cheap. Look it up. Certain peoplke have sunk to lower than lower levels then want to appoligise because of where it was said. House privliage.

    Hitler said similar. Call Zne a freekin Por$#gee…….

    Son of a …… never mind. Used, for a purpose. Gotta run……some onions need planting in Marthas Yard…………………………..

    Money………nothing like cherico up your ass………………………..

    • Spectator says:

      I’ve said this before but you really should consider going to the doctor and inquiring about your mental stability. You’re not funny, mostly annoying, and could use a job.

      • Dee says:


        He’s well know for the absolute drivel he posts but none of the moderators on Bernews seem willing to block his inane comments.

    • Terry says:

      It, my words were typed properly. Internet. Lost in translation. Let’s see if this comes out…….

  11. Guilden says:

    Tired of Nonsense,

    I do not think anyone is necessarily minimising these comments (any form of discrimination is wrong) they simply should not be the focus of a party that wants to become the Government. To attract persons to cast their vote for you, you must show an ability to address the most pressing concerns of the country. Trying to gain some sort of political point by highlighting these matters is not going to do anything to advance the cause fo the OBA.

    If we are going to be this sensitive to everything someone says that could be offensive than we need to remove the terms black sheep, black balled, black Friday/Monday/Tuesday, etc. (let’s not forget successful black businessman) from the English language also. No?

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      Agreed. But no one has used those terms in this instance. Remove them then.

      And I disagree with your notion that certain posters are not trying to minimize the ignorance of his comments. Accusations of nit picking and the justification that others speak in the same manner are exactly that…an attempt to minimize the derogatory nature of the comments.

      As I said in another post if some OBA representative used the term “blacking it up” as some form of a derogatory metaphor there would be cries for the head. And say that the Speaker was a white Opposition member who stated that he/she does not believe it was insensitive and derogatory, what would be the result? You and I both know there would be cries of racism, white supremacism from the roof tops.

      But because the term is not directed at black people the OBA is just nit picking and we should just get over such ignorance. Wrong is wrong.

      And besides the Opposition points out the Govts follies and/or screw ups and they are accused of just whining. They point out such disgusting comments have no place in our local politics and they are accused of nit picking.

      The double standards in this island are sickening and disgusting.

    • sandgrownan says:

      You are joking right? That has to be tongue in cheek?

      “Trying to gain some sort of political point by highlighting these matters is…”

      That’s been the PLP’s MO for 13 years Guilden. Hypocritical beyond words.

    • Riley B King says:

      But Guilden, DaSilva doesn’t need to abide by the same standards, is that it?

      You don’t like racist comments, but this one is just “gaining a political point”?


    • Rich says:

      Guilden – your first remarks on this subject were: “Spot-on, by focusing so much attention on these petty matters the OBA will very quickly sound like the UBP”.

      The first words out of your mouth should have been ‘the comments were unacceptable’ and then any statements about the wisdom of the OBA’s position should have followed. You ARE minimising the comments. You clearly are more more concerned to lambaste the OBA than to call someone out on his passive racism.

      • Guilden says:


        Point taken and accepted.

        • Rich says:

          To be fair, your comments re: the OBA and possible misguided focus politically are not completely off-base. But I do think it’s very sad when that is the case and I believe the OBA raising the issue shouldn’t be a demerit on their part. But alas …

  12. Billy M says:

    All sorts of racist, hateful and derogatory terms are used here and elsewhere. In ever instance they are unacceptable, regardless of the offended group. However, when such speech occurs on the floor of the House of Assembly, it truly rises to another level. When it is given voice by a supposed leader of the majority party, it becomes a matter unto itself and clearly calls for a resounding rejection. Clearly, an apology is owed to the Jewish Community of Bermuda, and to all other minority groups, as such hateful speech on the floor of the House, by a Minister, exposes all minorities to the possibility of hateful speech, and the actions that may follow.
    For a supposedly educated person like Dasilva to be so appallingly ignorant as to express such a thought, and then to not apologize, is repulsive. He should be ashamed of himself. The Premier owes it to the entire society to reject his comments, his sentiments, and to spell out the Government’s position on hatred and racism.

  13. Jim Bean says:

    SHOCKING! Guilden – silence means consent

  14. Rich says:

    Why are people so apathetic about the terminology used? So tolerant of passive racism? Maybe the OBA are making a mountain of a molehill. Certainly, there must be political calculations behind these remarks. Who gives a s%^t about the OBA on this? Yes the Minister withdrew the statements and probably shouldn’t resign. But frankly, I’m more apoplectic about the fact the comments on this board aren’t unanimous in their condemnation of the words used. Wrong is wrong is wrong. One’s first thoughts shouldn’t be too defend the comments. Or to explain them away. Or to accused the OBA of being petty (even if true). Or to say ‘well, Zane aplogised’ (he didn’t). It should be an unequivocal ‘Zane DeSilva was 100% wrong when he made that comment.’ Or a condemnation of Stanley Lowe for his idiotic statement that the comment wasn’t out of order. Anything short of that is unacceptable.

    • Real Talk says:

      I just re-read that part and my jaw dropped. The Speaker did not think the remark was out of order!? Astonishing really.

  15. Tired of nonsense says:

    What do you expect from a party that has no problem labelling black bermudians that do not prescribe to their ideology as house ni&&ers, all whites as neo-fascists, and foreign female expats (from a certain country) as prostitutes…

  16. dat guy says:

    bye get a life!!!

  17. Guilden says:

    My remarks on this topic have specifically related to the OBA, in MY opinion, looking for any political mileage it can get. My views on the use of any form of discrimination have been documented in the public domain and I do not believe I need to state my views over and over. Any form of discrimination is WRONG. Thus my second post on the use of black balled, Black Friday, etc. Why is black listing a negative and white listing a positive? Have any of you ever stopped to question that? Have any of you who are now speaking out at Zane’s comments ever complained about the use of the phrase black listed? How about black sheep? Let’s advocate the removal of all and similar phrases from the our vocabulary.

    I would agree that I should not have used the word petty as its use was interpreted contrary to what I was trying to convey. My use of the word petty was purely to highlight the overall mess in which Bermuda now finds itself.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Then you’re a hypocrite. Back peddle all you like, but you’re still a hypocrite.

    • Riley B King says:

      Guilden. “Black Friday” is a positive. It is the day after Thanksgiving and is the day on which, traditionally, retailers believe they have paid their expenses for the year, and everything from that day onwards (i.e. the last month of the year) is when they make annual profits. Therefore they are out of the “Red” and in the “Black”. If you knew anything about business you would know that being in the “black” is a good thing, not a bad thing. The word “Black” is used in a very positive sense.

      This is typical. Any time a white person uses the word “Black” you automatically think it has to be bad, whether or not you know anything about why the word is being used. You know, the word “black” is not automatically derogative.

    • Rich says:

      You’ve clearly gotten yourself into a bit of a corner and you’re trying to make false equivalents by your references to ‘black balled’ and ‘black sheep’.

      ‘White’ and ‘black’ as synonymous for ‘good’ and ‘evil’ comes from a long figurative tradition that arguably goes back to prehistoric and medieval times, when the light of day was associated with familiarity, warmth and wakefulness and the dark of night, with the exact opposite. Or the long, cold, dark winters and their association with death and destruction.

      But perhaps more importantly, the terms you use are not built upon a particular racial stereotype. ‘Black balled’ comes from the name of a voting mechanism, while ‘black sheep’ are rare precisely because sheep are genetically pre-disposed to being white or gray. Hence the understanding behind the metaphor. ‘Jew’ clearly means Jew.

      The closest equivalent to ‘jewing down’ would be if I were to start saying ‘blacking it up’ as a short hand for being unproductive and lazy – a horrible stereotype that has absolutely no basis in truth. Or maybe ‘Geeing it up’ in lieu of one who beats his wife up. I’m sure Zane DeSilva would like that one.

    • Rich says:

      Guilden – one more thing.

      If “Any form of discrimination is WRONG”, why do you need to couch your comments with such intellectual fecklessness surrounding the OBA’s motivations or artificial semantic debates? Why can’t you just say very simply ‘Zane DeSilva was wrong to make the comment’, ‘Stanley Lowe was wrong to not rule the comments out of order’ and call for the two of them to apologise?

      • Guilden says:


        Zane was wrong to make the comment as was Stanley Lowe in his ruling and both need to apologise.


        Call me what you wish, you know very well I do not give a damn what you think about me, never have, never will, we have traveled that road before. I know where my moral compass points and I can live with myself and sleep very soundly at night knowing who I am and what I stand for.

        • Rich says:

          Guilden – I appreciate your comment. I hope others follow suit.

          And I repeat what I said before, if there is any language that relies on a pernicious understanding of the word ‘black’ I too think we need to advocate its removal from our modern lexicon.

          • Guilden says:


            With sincerity, I appreciate you calling me out.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Hmmm…accepting of petty bigotry. I suppose you can always ask for forgiveness eh?

          The big issue I have here, is the number of people rushing to a) defend DeSilva and b) in the next breath lambast the OBA for demanding an apology. You are in that group and it demonstrates an inbuilt, dare I say, quasi-institutional approach to bigotry held by many in the PLP that effectively says “I’m black and a victim, and therefore cannot be bigoted or racist”. It partially explains the rush to play the race card at the drop of a hat. It devalues the very real struggle to overcome discrimination, but I digress.

          But, if you can sleep soundly, then sweet dreams.

          • Guilden says:

            This just explains why I do not care one littlebit what you think or say about me. You know very well I have NEVER used the black victim persona. You are one of the reasons I stopped posting on certain blogs, I got sick of your labelling anyone who sees things different from you and who may have different political leanings from you as bigots or racists, I know I am neither.

            I know what my parents went through a a mixed race couple as it relates to race and I have vowed and I live by life by not discriminating against anyone in any way. As a child I heard someone tell my father that people like him (black) are not welcome in the neighbour in which my parents still live. With all my parents went through they instilled in me a respect for people of all colours and creeds and I am raising my children in the same way.

            That is why I can sleep at night and why people like you and your opinions of me are of no value in my life. So please, knock yourself out labellng me what you will.

            • sandgrownan says:

              So I’m wrong to call you on your “petty” bigotry?


    • guilden's beyatch says:


      You don’t get the difference between the subtle evolution of liguuitics and nasty perjorative racism?

      You are nothing but a one eyed political hack like Vanz and his mother.

      What a charming role model you are.

      • Guilden says:

        I have admitted I was wrong in my intial approach to this topic yet you want to go your childish rant and name calling.

        Political hack? Ha!!!! That’s the first time I have been called a political hack, I must be moving up in the world. I am a member of no political organisation, nor do I have any affiliation with any political organisation, so please tell me who I am hacking for and what benefits I would derive from being such.

        Further, when did I ever claim to be a role model for anyone? There are only two people for whom I would hope to be a role model, my son and my daughter and they seem to be rather happy to call me Daddy so I guess I am doing a good job there.

  18. Terry says:

    Bermuda is doomed. As can be seen by comments here from the racists that live abroad yet proliferate the internet.

    Easy meat.

    ……….You are what you are, no matter what color or background.

  19. OU812 says:

    I cant believe all those that are calling this an over-reaction or a simple ‘gaffe’. And to say that it isnt the OBA’s responsibility to take on this battle is beyond belief. The PLP should be outraged at this xenophobic remark as well. If situations like this are met with apathy, then they will continue. DeSilva is a representative of the people and our country. He should conduct himself accordingly.

  20. Riley B King says:

    Another thing about this demonstrates the parochial and small-mindedness of DaSilva and his blind defenders on this board. A couple of people have indicated they don’t think it matters very much because there aren’t many Jewish people in Bermuda.

    I can think of many people who are Jewish who are in significant positions in international business. I can easily think of at least two CEO’s of major companies who live here, and whose companies are based here. And several other senior people, including general counsels. And, don’t forget a lot of clients of companies who transact business here are also Jewish. They are all people who would have every right to be offended by the thoughtless and disgusting comment by a Government Minister.

    The fact that there has been no apology already says a lot about the arrogance and insensitivity of DaSilva. The longer it goes on, the worse it is.

  21. The BOSS says:

    who cares about Jews anyway?? They had a whole country wanting to eradicate them from Europe. Then after the “World War” they were given a country, given Military equipment to kill and oppress the Palestinians for the US.

    People say they were mistreated just as bad as blacks, HOW? They were slaughtered for 10 years max, had a hundred thousand killed and given everything they wanted afterwards. Now they own the media (New York Times, New York Post)

    They own 96% of the worlds Media !! WHY?? These people are working for the Illuminati and are hell bent on keeping up brainwashed, poor and living well below them !! Do the research yourself !!!!!!!!!!

    • Rich says:

      “People say they were mistreated just as bad as blacks, HOW?”

      No one has ever made that comment. It just popped up in your own imagination. But I’m glad to see you think they were slaughtered for 10 years max. I suppose it’s fair to say they ONLY lost 6 million people in those 10 years.

      Except, oh wait? In addition, they were terrorised by the Babylonians, held captive by the Egyptians, stygmatised by the Romans, had their cities razed by the Assyrians, slaughtered by Christians en route to the Holy Land during the Crusades, expelled from England, France and the German and Italian city-states and principalities, sent to their death during the Inquisition, deprived of their rights to worship and civic participation during the medieval ages, and they have to contend with 2,000 years of hostility from some who still regard an entire race of people as responsible for the death of their Saviour.

      The Holocaust was the least of Jewish suffering.

    • Billy M says:

      @boss, you are truly an ignorant and repugnant thing. Go slither back under your rock.

    • Hebrew Schooled says:

      Wow…so by your same reasoning, all blacks are thieves, who cares about them??? Wow. You need to do some actual reading apart from whatever comic books you’ve seen. Jews were treated as witches and freaks wherever they went. They took care of their own and became successful because they had to, in order to survive. And here’s a little ‘who cares about them’ for you- if you’re black, you should. Jews have been very sympathetic to the plight of the blacks in America, and they were staunch supporters of the Civil Rights movement, and they remain today fervent supporters of equal rights for blacks and other minorities. Jews weren’t allowed in country clubs, or even certain theatres. They experienced much of the same cruelty, you just haven’t heard as much about it.
      Jeez, talk about ignorance and hate. You, sir, embody it.

    • Pastor Syl says:

      OH MY GOD!! I cannot believe or understand why Bernews allowed your comments to remain on line, BOSS! Talk about racism, prejudice and ignorance! It is you who needs to do the research. The Jews have been reviled and mistreated since the days of the Crusades!

      That being said, Mr. DeSilva’s initial retraction should not be construed as an apology, just as Sen. Furbert’s “regret” over her statements should not be construed as an apolgy. An apology says in effect, “I am sorry for what I did/said and I would like to make amends. I know I was wrong and to the best of my ability I will not do/say such things again.”

      The OBA, in demanding an apology, are behaving exactly as I would hope an effective Opposition should: drawing the public’s attention to issues that would otherwise be glossed over or lost to view. This was the job the PLP so ably did in the years before they were elected, and this was were the UBP failed to perform effectively, helping to hasten their demise.

      • Pastor Syl says:

        That should read “since before the days of the Crusades”

  22. well... says:

    Ok now we have a second apology. session done.

  23. Brainstormer says:

    The use of any derogatory term such as this is dispicable and disgusting, and has no place on the floor of the House. Even if the Minister withdrew the statement, and even if he apologized in the House, as an elected official he should apologise publically.

    I point out that if this were any other jurisdiction, an apology statement would have already been released to the media giving a full statement and apology to the public. I don’t care if he apologised in the House to the Speaker and the MPs. He needs to apologise to the People, and that requires a little extra effort in my view.

    Those of you letting it slide confound me. If it were a derogatory remark that targeted you, I have no doubt that you would be baying for this man’s blood. Without knowing more about you I can’t say this with absolute certainty, true.

    I hasten to add, this isn’t a party thing for me. Each individual HUMAN has a responsibility to his fellow human not to engage in this behaviour.

    @ Terry: All two wrongs get you is two wrongs, not a right. Simply condoning retaliation as a response is not going to stop prejudice, it will let it continue to fester in our society.

    @ Vote OBA: this is not a game, this is an ongoing stuggle against racism. Perhaps we don’t deal with it head on, but these “games” offer us an opportunity to chip away at the prejudice that permeates our society.

    @ Guilden: A “petty matter”? Is it a petty matter to refer to a black man as a “N**ger”? Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice. It’s evil, hurtful and has no place in civilized society.

    @ Spectator: I take your point that the Jewish Community might be the best mouthpiece for outrage, but as I have said already, prejudice is prejudice and empathy compels me to call loud and hard for an apology on behalf of my fellow humans of the jewish faith. I’m not jewish, but I’ll be damned if I let a remark like this, referring to ANY GROUP, go by unchallenged. See my comment to Guilden about “side stories”.

    @ Well…: Let’s examine your comment “All it means is to try to lower the price’. The Jewish community have always been associated with being successful at business, which has often led to resentment by other portions of society. You see this resentment throughout literature and western culture. Shylock anyone? Fagin? The Holocaust? The phrase used by the Minister is another form of that sentiment: Jewish people are money-hungry, hate to spend it so they can keep it, and hate to share it. That is the meaning of the term, not the shallow definition you provide. Dig deeper.

    • Guilden says:


      I have accepted that my use of the term petty was inappropriate and that I did nto express the intent I had in a very clear manner. I agree fully that prejudice is prejudice.

      • Brainstormer says:

        Oops! Owe you an apology, Guilden. Didn’t see your post above.

        I’ll ask you this though: What role do you think politicians should play in our society? IMHO, Mr. Fahy is performing the role I believe politicians should: to lead us to a better existence.

        I also note the Minister’s apology, and would say thank you to him. I believe it to be sincere, and I hope he has learned from this.

        • Guilden says:


          I do believe political leaders should set examples, but we have seen both the UBP and BDA highlight every single, even remotely, negative thing that a PlP MP has said or done and tried to gain political mileage. They have tended to throw as much as they can in the hopes something sticks and my view is that this was no different. It is that reason and in that vein that I posted my original comments in the manner I did.

          Quite frankly I am sick and tired of both sides of the political divide and as far as I am concerned none of them have any right to try to direct the moral compass. The PLP is many wys ha ignored a certain segment of the Bermuda population,as did the UBP when it was the Governmemt and when eah sits in Opposition we are to believe they care about all and promise to serve all equally including those outside their support base.

          • sandgrownan says:

            Boo hoo Guilden. Suck it up. Like everyone else has for the last 13 years…”house n***ers” “we don’t care what you think” “racist dog” “prostitutes…” “whites must feel uncomfortable”….etc etc.

            This is about calling out on a bigot. Don’t you get that?

            But keep banging that drum.

            • This is funny says:

              Boy, you really have a hard on for Guilden don’t you?

              • sandgrownan says:

                We go way back…

              • Guilden says:

                This is funny,

                Yeah his stalking is kind of scary. Yet he continues to hide behind his veil of secrecy throwing his darts. I have no problem whatsoever accepting criticism (thus the reason I write/post under my own name) but if one is going to name call he/she should at least be man/woman enough to do so “in the light”.

                • sandgrownan says:

                  Ah, but then Laverne would come a-knocking…

                  • UncleElvis says:

                    My identity has never been a secret and I’ve had more run-ins with Ms. Furbert and her son than I care to count and not once has she “come a-knocking”.

                    • sandgrownan says:

                      Similarly, but remember the LIB episode? Unfortunately, I have no confidence in the ability of the PLP to deal with criticism.

                    • UncleElvis says:

                      That’s one example out of hundreds and hundreds.

                      But it’s an easy excuse, isn’t it?

                    • sandgrownan says:

                      Sure, but I don’t want my family getting abuse for my opinions.

                  • Guilden says:

                    What does LaVerne have to do with this? You consistently attack anything I say and you resort to name calling. As I said, I have no issue being called out if I am wrong, which I have been on many ocassions and will be on many ocassions going forward (my initial response to this matter was certainly not the right one and I have admitted the error I made, which is all I can do after the fact). I guess, however, you are never wrong and that is fine with me. I have no issue with having my positions being questioned/attacked/rebutted, whatever you want to call it. However, I do not believe I have ever disrespected anyone on these blogs, yet I am subjected to name calling. If I do not disrespect you why do you believe I am entitled to be disrespected? You have claimed you want open and honest dialogue but if someone does not see things in the same light as you your response is to attack and name call, surely you can agree that will not need to any open and honest dialogue.

                    I have no problem discussing matters with anyone, whether they agree or disagree because for the most part political-related discussions are based on opinion and one’s life experiences. So we can either have sensible dialogue and agree to disagree when we do not see eye to or we can cease dialogue altogether because it then becomes fruitless.

                    I am extending an olive branch and I hope you accept it.

                    • sandgrownan says:

                      That’s because I disagree with your point of view, in the most part. This was a prime example.

                    • Guilden says:


                      So if you disagree with my view point for the most part and our view points are so vastly different, what is the point of yo continung to respond to my view point? There are many persons whose view point I probably woud never agree with and I know their view point is not going to change so I do not attempt any correspondence with them. To do so would just antagonise and quite frankly I have better things to do with my life. Clearly you don’t and clearly yo are not interested in any dilogue with me you goal is to antagonise. I am not interested, therefore, there will be no further correspondence between you and I, unless of course you wish to speak to yourself.

    • Terry says:

      Well thats my point Brainstormer. Your missing something. Or is that your point with all this propoganda you display in your writings.

      Your not even funny which some may think. How much they paying you……

      • Brainstormer says:

        a) I’m not laughing Terry. You want to make it about being funny, that’s your prob not mine. I’ll stick to what I’m actually talking about. Not what you decide to distract me with.

        b) No one’s paying me. Who do you think I represent? The OBA, the UBP, the PLP? I already said it, this isn’t about politics, it’s about being human to your fellow man. The sooner you can distinguish between that, the more useful your contributions will be.

        I’m curious, though. Is it because we disagree that you tar me with the same brush as those you dislike politically? Again, that’s your problem not mine. Why do you assume what I say is propaganda? It’s my opinion, and you’re free to reject it, as is anyone else who should come across it. You have that right and I respect that. That’s what discussion is. I speak from my heart, and I know my own mind. Perhaps you should become better acquainted with yours…

        • UncleElvis says:

          Trust me on this one… trying to apply logic to this man’s posts is an exercise in futility. Trying to figure out what he’s saying, ESPECIALLY asking him about it, is a complete waste of time. Time is better spent ignoring him and his gibberish.

  24. VoT!!! says:

    Mr. DeSilva was wrong to use this racist terminology. Mr. DeSilva was wrong to not apologize to the Jewish community for his use of this racist terminology. The Speaker of the House was out of order when he stated that the use of this racist terminology by Mr. DeSilva was not out of order.

    Isn’t this the same Minister who once infamously claimed shortly after being elected to the House that he was the HNIC? (look that one up). How soon we forget.

    • Rockfish#1 says:

      Yes it is the same Minister.To the uninformed, HNIC means Head N$#ger in Charge!

  25. I think we are entering what is known as the “Silly Season”. The OBA/UBP are now playing the race card or is it the Political Card ??? We have entered an election race, and so everything will be challenged and probe !! Watch what you say people or I will get ya…… They are racing for votes….. One way is to make it look as if the PLP is playing the Race Card all the time !! Even if this is really not the case. As “Jewing down” also means can mean to bargain or haggle with a seller in order to obtain a lower price for a good or service. Jewing down, has several meanings. I did not heard the context in which Minister Desilva applied the word….to determine which meaning if fell into. But, I sure he had no evil intent.

    [edit] Usage notes

    • Citizen Banned (Original) says:

      Special Girl. This is not OBA playing the race card. This is the general public asking that Zane issue an apology for his error in using that word in that fashion. It does not matter if he didn’t mean anything by it – he still owes an apology to the Jewish community – because it was still insulting.

      This is an excellent time for him to show humility unlike most of his fellow PLPers would do. He could come out ahead here. He just needs to do the right thing.

      Did you also know it is an insult to refer to a person of Asian descent as ‘oriental’? Well you should be glad I told you then. Because even if you said it and meant nothing by it – you’ve still insulted them.

      Think about it.

      • Terry says:

        The General Election will be heldon the @#/^/2011….. Feel the love. Feel the turmoil, feel it.

        We hug, kiss, and carry big knives…… Feel it…………………..

    • Rich says:

      I don’t believe a single person has suggested the PLP are playing the race card. I certainly haven’t. And I don’t believe they are.

      You’re right to say that “Jewing down” “means can mean to bargain or haggle with a seller in order to obtain a lower price for a good or service.” But the objection to the use of the word is precisely because of that meaning. Where do you think it comes from? A pernicious stereotype about Jews that has persisted for centuries.

      And I’m sure he meant no evil, but that’s besides the point. The comments were inappropriate. Zane DeSilva should apologise for making the comments and Stanley Lowe should apologise for saying that the comments were not out of order. And maybe the OBA shouldn’t be trying to score political points, but that doesn’t make the comments OK.

    • UncleElvis says:

      Even in the context you use, it’s offensive!

      Do you really not see that?

    • Young Observer says:

      you really are a slow one arent you. no one accused the PLP of using the race card they accused a member of making a racist statement. “Jewing down” is a racist slang that implies jewish people are cheap and greedy, and is certainly inappropriate to be said in the house of assembly. I can only imagine the outrage you would have had if i member of the OBA had walked in late and said “im just making ‘black time’”. ‘black time’ is another racist term which assumes that black peple are always late and is just as inappropriate.

      What i dont understand is why your trying to defend this statement when the Minister himself struck it from the record, apologized and the speaker said if he had heard it he would have rebuked him. Your trying to defend people who themselves have admitted their mistakes and said they were wrong. your similar to an engineer on the titanic who even after people starts boarding lifeboats stays on the ship because you’ve been told its “unsinkable”.

  26. Must be election time. says:

    Ok he made a mistake…

    If anyone of you have never made a racist comment ever in your life please stand up and give yourself a medal for being perfect!:) As far as im concerned it should have not been said publicly but it was and it was apologized for ! Get over it ! I am white and have more black friends then white probably and still make racist jokes sometimes even with my black friends infront of me and the do the same round me.. Its life get over it.. and if you have never heard the term “jew down” get out more and talk to more ppl your stuck in your own little bermuda circle and need a life!!

    • Terry says:

      Must be an election….stop your hatred and bias. Never heard that in Bermuda. But it must be a PLP Plow…..Hell…check who owns what. See whom they employ…Bermudians………Now Government (Goverment) employs……

      Where the hell is Buck Burrows when we need him……

  27. twentytwo says:

    everyone needs to relax… its just political flame throwing….. all politicians do it… and everyone makes mistakes… it would be a different story if he didnt apologize…but he did……
    none of you have EVER made ANY incorrect, improper comments in the past I take it? Just not on the public stage. It was not mal intent just an incorrect colloquial slip………


    • Rich says:

      Zane DeSilva withdrew his comments. And maybe you’re right about people making mistakes. But the same cannot be said about Stanley Lowe who needs to apologise too. Frankly, I think Zane DeSilva does at least deserve some credit for withdrawing the comments and is worthier of respect than the Speaker who refused to recognise the comments as out of order.

  28. Citizen Banned (Original) says:

    Now that Zane has apologized (4.45) – we should cut him some slack. That’s all the public wanted. Most of his co PLP MPs would never have done that.

    Good on you Zane – you showed some humility.

  29. Bigus says:

    Ironically it was the UBP at the last election seeking to end the petty divisive rhetoric that was thrust upon the electorate. does anyone recall the outcome of that challenge? Since which we have had to endure “Going back to the Plantations” “house n%$gers” “Taking you back to slavery” “uncle Toms” “confused Negros” “They want to lock up black people” just to name a few. Oh how soon they forget.

    Are we that removed from “Massa’s got a new negro”

    SMH in disgust

    • Get Real says:

      All of that happened BEFORE the last election. Keep living in the past, it’ll do really well for you and your party.

      I think people can see that the PLPs tone is changed with Paula Cox as leader.

      • sandgrownan says:

        They’re still incompetent.

      • Citizen Banned (Original) says:

        I sincerely hope you are right ‘get real’. I guess we’ll find out soon when they call the election.

        I think they’ll get very racial as usual – but thats just me….. It has worked for them in the past with the ‘restless natives’ – and the PLP has nothing else really. They lose the race baiting – they ain’t got sh*t. Well, not much anyway.

        Low cost housing starting at half a mill for example…

  30. Common Sense says:

    Minister DeSilva’s remarks were clearly racist by any standard and should not have been uttered. He did the right in withdrawing his comment in the House but Mr. Fahy is also right in saying that Minister DeSilva needed to issue a full public apology for his remarks – and what has happened? While driving home this evening I hear the Minister doing exactly that – issuing a full public apology.

    I commend the Minister for doing so. It’s not often that our politicians make such apologies, especially in the type of cases quoted by Bigus. And as for those who are denigrating the OBA for rasing this issue. Like it or not, Mr. Fahy was spot on with his criticism and it resulted in the Minister’s full and complete apology. That is exactly what Opposition parties do – criticize when the Government gets things wrong. The PLP did it for decades until they came to power and now it’s their turn to receive criticism. In this case it was deserved but we now need to move on.

  31. Andrew says:

    For the record, the word “niggardly” has no racial connotations and is etymologically unrelated to the “n-word”. A white MP should feel free to use it. In spite of the phonetic similarities, there should be no insult.

  32. Down 'n' Dirty says:

    Work -um Zane ya got their attention now !!!

  33. Tibicen bermudiana says:

    many bermudian portuguese actually may have had jewish roots too btw (how about that):


  34. Eric C says:

    wow thanks Tibicen…i looked up my great Grandparents name’s from the azores…coincides with the Jewish Migration to the azores..during the Inquistion..times…wow I could have Jewish Blood in my system..really proud of that…also my grandmother only ever had an old testament..around..common with the Jewish immigrants..from the inquistion days…Hey Zane…Dasilva is a name on the list as well!!

  35. star man says:

    Jews were discriminated against in Bda as late as the 1950s. Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow (a popular late night radio personality during the 60s at 77 WABC AM Radio in New York) was actually a DJ at ZBM in those days, early in his career… and his book, “My Life in Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio” is a testament to his treatment here as a Jew. Not good.

    Book: http://www.amazon.com/Cousin-Brucie-Life-Rock-Radio/dp/0688066151/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1308752294&sr=8-3

  36. For Sure says:

    OK, Zane man up and made a public apology, now what will the OBA gripe about? Crime and Education are major concerns. The economy? Boy that Fhayee has a lot of free time on hand, now get to work Michaels and save the country. lol.

  37. No BDA votes here says:

    Agreed, they are ridiculoush.

  38. hehehehe says:

    very true! vote in independents not party!

    • Guilden says:


      Agreed 100%, rid the country of divisive party politics and have each member sit as an independent with the inclusion of a recall vote, which means the member has to work for his earnings.

      • UncleElvis says:

        Lord… wouldn’t that be amazing?

        Only in our dreams, though… sadly.

      • sandgrownan says:

        That’s the first thing you’ve said that makes any sense.

        They do that in Cayman right? How does it work in practice, do you get “blocks of MP’s” that align themselves unofficially? How effective is it?

        Does anything get done – 30 different points of view?

        • Guilden says:

          Actually, I made that suggestion in a recent letter to the editor. As far as getting “blocks” of MPs, if the electorate see this happening it means that members are not working for the betterment of the country or putting the country first and they could exercise the recall.

          Additionally, I believe the salary and benefits MUST match those in the private sector in an attempt to get persons involved in the running of the country who most believe woudl be true assets. To attract these people the country must be willing to ensure they lose nothing by way of income or benefits. Further, the benefits have to be such that if a member is on the road to facing a recall he/she will be cognizant of what he/she is actually going to lose if he/she does not do what is best for the country.

          I think most people are in agreement as to the direction in which Bermuda needs to go, where they differ is how to get there.

          I do not believe there should be representatives of constituencies, instead each member will earn his/her seat via an island-wide election, so that if there are 20 seats available and 35 people present themselves as candidates the leading 20 vote getters will win the seats.

          Constituency issues will be handled via Parish Councils, the members of which will be voted in separately via Parish elections.

          Clearly there are additional items to consider but I believe you get the point.

          • sandgrownan says:

            Understood, but how effective is it in Cayman? Genuinely interested.

          • Pastor Syl says:

            This type of government has been suggested for years – I believe Stuart Hayward was one of the first, citing one of the British Channel Islands as a good example of how well it can work.
            I truly wish we would adopt an independent system as I believe party politics, although necessary at its inception, has led to more divisiveness, more rancour and the worsening of many things on this island, since members of Government care more for the Party line than the welfare of the country.

        • Rich says:

          Actually, the Cayman does have party politics. But it also has certain ideosyncracies compared to the rest of the Westminster world. It has a unicameral legislature, presided over by a party-independent Speaker and with a number of ex-officio members, including the Governor. But more interestingly, their Premiers cannot serve for more than two consecutive Parliamentary terms.

          As to independent MPs, it probably could work in Bermuda; we’re a small community and rhetoric notwithstanding, there isn’t too much political divergence. Plus our legislature isn’t unweildy in size. We could very easily build non-permanent coalitions on an issue-by-issue basis, which is how sub-regional assemblies in Europe and municipal bodies in North America operate.

          We’d have to redefine the relationship between the Executive and Legislature. For one thing, strict conventions of responsible government would have to be relaxed, especially as it relates to confidence matters.

          And while not necessary, I think there is a genuine question as to whether the Executive should be drawn from the Legislature. Two models include the Premier being elected by the House and then becoming independent of it, and appointing ministers as normal (as is the case with the President of South Africa). Or having a completely independent, nation-wide election for the Premier whose programme would be scrutinised by the wholly independent House. I’d suggest following a model similar to the instant run-off election of the Mayor of London.

          Like Guilden, I too would like to see island-wide constituencies. I’d given no thought to Parish Councils at all, but giving them a more robust role to play politically is an intriguing idea.

  39. hehehehe says:

    Neither the PLP nor OBA shows any sense of leadership. Where’s is Burch?

  40. Not Surprised says:

    I am not surprised that Zane doesn’t see a problem with what he said, “Jewing Down” is a way to say someone is “cheap.” However, there is another word for that and it is “Niggard.” To use it in context, one would say, “Zane, stop being so Niggardly!” There are not a lot of Jews on the island so he was probably not brought up thinking that this is a derogatory phrase, but the reality in the civilized world is that it is. Just as one would argue that using the term ‘Niggard’ is racist. While I do not think he meant any harm by his statement, it just goes to show how sheltered and unintelligible he is. If you listen to the radio clip when he made this remark, you can hear Kim Swan agreeing with his rhetoric is not a problem. Zane is not to blame, it is a systematic result of the dumbing down this island is going through.

    • UncleElvis says:

      One might argue that, but one would be wrong.

      As has been mentioned, “Niggardly” has no relation to the N-word, other than sounding like it. It is in no way racist at all.

      Now, one COULD argue that using the word in this day an age is a bad idea, because ignorant people (and I use the word “ignorant” intentionally, meaning “not knowing”), or those who use race as a political weapon, would cause an uproar of fake outrage, but one CANNOT argue that the word is racist.

      And ignorance is no excuse. Zane IS to blame for using an offensive, derogatory phrase, ignorant or no.
      “Kim Swan agreeing with his rhetoric” is not the same as using offensive language.

  41. Rich says:

    Stanley Lowe has also given an explanation for his role in the debacle. He was pretty clear in thinking the terms were offensive and gave his explanation that he didn’t hear them initially. We should give him the benefit of the doubt and commend him for his swift response.

  42. People's Poet says:

    Zane made a terrible gaffe
    Not deliberate but just being daft
    He mentioned a Jew
    So was basically screwed
    His income is now cut in half

  43. Minister DeSliva,

    My mother often plays CDs of Dr. Martin Luther King’s great speeches, and one quotation comes to mind when I reflect on this current situation you find yourself in:

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
    — Martin Luther King Jr.

    Keep standing tall Minister DeSliva you did well !!!