Full Audio: One Bermuda Alliance Town Hall

September 1, 2011

[Updated] The One Bermuda Alliance [OBA] hosted their second Town Hall this evening [Sept.1] at Penno’s Wharf in St. George’s. The panelists were Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards and Senator Craig Cannonier – the two leadership candidates.

OBA Town Hall St Georges Bermuda September 1 2011 (2)

Moderating was former UBP Senator Suzann Roberts-Holshouser, while Shadow Education Minister Dr Grant Gibbons and Alan Marshall also sat on the panel. OBA membership sign ups were being accepted at the door.

There were approximately 50 people in attendance when the Town Hall started, with just over 60 by the end. Attendees included OBA Interim Leader John Barritt, MP Cole Simons, Senator Michael Dunkley, Jeanne Atherden, Jeff Sousa, Sean Pitcher, Michael Branco, incoming Party Chairman Thad Hollis, St George’s Mayor Kenneth Bascome, PLP candidate John Gibbons and more.

oba town hall bermuda sept 1 2011

Mr Richards said, “irresponsible spending has placed this little island in a precarious position of being in debt to the tune of $1.2 billion. That is billion with a B.” He said that is 580% higher then it was in 2004.

Highlighting the chart below on a projector screen, Mr Richards said, “Premier Cox as Finance Minster has blown her own budgets by huge amounts per year.”

Fullscreen capture 01092011 113206 PM

“Take a close look at this, cause this overspending started in the year 2004/5, three full years before the global recession set in. So don’t let anyone tell you that these problems are due to the global recession. They are not.”

Mr Richards said we need to fix the economy, increasing revenue through international business and tourism, and cutting government spending. He said out attitude to customers is critical to success, and that we need to treat them like customers not like “pariahs,” and that change in attitude must start at top with government. One very enthused lady in the audience gave Mr Richards a standing ovation when he finished his presentation.

Senator Cannonier spoke after Mr Richards, and started off reminiscing about growing up in St. George’s, and later in his presentation snickers could be heard through the room when he said years back “the only thing we used to worry about in St George’s was if Alabama was drunk again.”

He said the present Government is not committed to St George’s, and he knows this as he lives in St. George’s. “The OBA realizes St. George’s needs reason – not rhetoric,” said Senator Cannonier.

The full audio from the Town Hall – 1 hr 40 mins long – is below:

The first question from the audience was about seeking foreign investment, asking “is that selling Bermuda out?” Mr Richards replied that if we don’t we will have nothing to sell out. The lady who asked the question replied, saying she feels we “need checks and balances, as she is not about to sell out the country.”

Senator Cannonier said we need to welcome billionaire investors, and make sure they are welcomed and customs doesn’t search “everything including their underwear.”

Asked if there is a blueprint to fix St. Georges, Dr. Gibbons started to answer saying we “would support the Corporation of Hamilton”, which drew a quick correction from many in the audience, esp the Mayor of St. George’s. Dr Gibbons quickly fixed his error and continued on.

Two people from the audience – which was overwhelmingly middle aged/older people – suggested getting more young people involved in the party.

OBA Interim Leader John Barritt gave a brief welcome, and a few words at the end:

This was the second Town Hall the OBA has hosted, the first was last month and the full 90 minute video replay of the first Town Hall is here, and additional videos from this evening are on Bernews TV.

Update: The full slide presentation from Bob Richards is below, click to move to next slide:

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Comments (78)

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  1. Thoughts of a local says:

    Come on now. Any sensible person that knows political sience and basic economics skills should know that the whole world is in a recession, not just Bermuda. Even if Premier Paula Cox had reduced spending figures like the previous Finance Ministers, we would still be in a recession. I know we all like to think Bermuda is immune to the rest of the world concerning issues on a greater scale, but lets face facts now, we would still be affected by the worlds economic crisis. Just think of the domino effect. When one falls, another falls, and another, and another, and so on. One of those dominos is Bermuda and just like the rest, the crisis will and has hit us. We are not immune! And as the unoffical word amoungst the streets and just simple common knowledge that a good portion of locals beleive, is that the now Premier had to make those neccesary spenditures in order to cover the costs that UBP had been covering up and forging when they released their financials. Of ocurse this is just speculation, but given the UBP’s track record this was well within their means at the time. Just think, when they lost, why did one of the 40 theives up and leave their famed front street location after soooo many years?? Citing that they are now bankrupt? Word from an inside man is that they were one of the groups that were raping and pilaging this country for years and that since PLP got in power thy could no longer account for their expenses and prove their profits becasue they would not be getting a peice of the pie any more. Funny right. Though, this is all based on speculation and words from others.

    I thik the OBA’s intentions are true, but their are a few rotten apples in the bunch. I just hope the few do not spoil the bunch, as thats what happens when all the apples are together.

    Cannonier in please you guys, do not put Bobby in. Bobby good with saying what is needed, but he fails to provide how he would acheive what is needed. Plus, he reminds me of Furbert, just to sneaky!

    • RobbieM says:

      Hate to burst your bubble, but the recession wasn’t upon us from 2005-07 when Paula Cox and the PLP Government did its greatest spending, getting Bermuda into the debt we are in. So you cannot blame the recession. Also if you look at her father’s tenure as Finance Minister, he managed. mostly, to balance the budget. So what happened when then MP Paula Cox became Finance Minister? The former adminstration under Dr. Brown spent our money like there was no tomorrow. Now we are all suffering the consequences!

      • Black Soil says:

        The Alliance demonstrates change. The PLP betrayed our brothers and sistaas.

      • Thoughts of a local says:

        Hate to burst your bubble, but PREMIER Paula Cox’s (as is should be stated) spending was in line with the rest of the world at that time. Go do some research.

        I mean really, using her father as leverage for your point?

        And based on your comment, are you saying that if she did not spend all that money, we would not be in a recession??? You are giving microeconimic thoughts to a macroeconomic problem.

        And still you blame former Premeir Dr Ewart Brown. So out with the PLP party because of former Premeir Dr Ewart Brown despite he is no longer there? Makes no sense to me as you are basing that part of your argument off of the past leader when we have a new one.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Incorrect. The recession is not the PLP’s fault, the debt is, and now we have no option to keep the economy turning because we’re broke. That’s the issue.

          IF she had not spent all the money, we’d have options to weather the storm. And she was warned.

        • global village says:

          Paula Cox is not a leader, she is Lois Brown and Jennifer Smith’s apt pupil, also a very conservative lawyer by profession with limited confidence which is why anyone with an idea or opinion is frowned upon and ostracised from her personal space, let alone the inner sanctum.

          Do not expect anything except big words and eloquent speeches during the next 18 months from Paula Cox, as by then she will be removed from office either by the public during the next general election, or by the PLP Delegates when they realise that all the got was yet another wolf in sheeps clothing.

          In the hope of a handout or to keep their positions her followers are forced to make postive statements about her administration, and type in blogs like this, but sadly even they recognise she will not last even one day past 3 years as Party Leader luckily for Bermuda she has completed 11 months of her painful tenure.

    • sandgrownan says:

      You suck at basic reading comprehension.

    • Bermyman says:

      Vast amounts of money under the PLP are unaccounted for. VAST! That costs taxpayers and jobs in the long run. Do you fully grasp the situation we are in under the PLP? Yes we are in recession but instead of trying to combat that we have had little action on the government’s part, especially in the tourism sector where we could earn additional revenue, but the PLP were convinced that spending millions upon millions on a cruise ship Warf was the answer. They single handedly chased a large portion of IB away from the Island. We know this because international business leaders have come out and said that this was a case. Under Ewart this Island became extremely inhospitable. Spending is one thing but how and what you are spending on is another. We had funds leaking out of the seams, faith based tourism? TCD building etc the list is huge. Poor financial management pushed us further into debt than we needed to be. Why have ministers not taken a pay-cut since we are in a recession?

      • Thoughts of a local says:

        Vast amounts of money are unaccounted for under the UBP as well. VAST! But don’t talk about that right?

        • sandgrownan says:

          Citation please.

        • bermyshotta says:

          The reason no one talks about it is because it isn’t true. You do not have one single piece of evidence to support your outlandish accusations. The PLP government has had 13 years to uncover something scandalous about previous UBP administrations, and they never have. The independent auditor general never found anything to support your lies. But that doesn’t prevent someone like you from making it up.

        • bermyshotta says:

          @ thoughts of a local – talk about it den…wa examples u got??

          • Thoughts of a local says:

            OK then, I will.

            Define how several members of the then UBP/OBA have afforded such lavish house in much sort after neighborhoods during their inception into government? Define how, based on the salaries at the time they were able to afford such properties that compeletley surpassed their monetary worth? Answer just those two questions and you will find several examples.

            • Thoughts of a local says:

              Though the same can be said about certain PLP members as well.

            • bermyshotta says:

              @ thoughts – um maybe because dey made der $$$ from de jump i.e started der own businesses from de ground up…and did it well! AND dey kno how to run a BUSINESS/s…one example which de PLP maybe should look at. also back den properties weren’t worth half as much as dey are now so dunno wat ya gettin at. ya sayin dey took $$…jus claims and bs opinions….ain’t no truth.

      • Thoughts of a local says:

        OKAY, name the leaders who said this, becasue I can name all the big wigs who said under the new leadersip of the PLP we are heading in the right direction concerning international business. US Congress even said that. Go check your Gazettes past postings. By the way, tourism is up. Just ask the hotel employees who are knocking off at 2am instead of the regular hours of around 9 through 11pm.

        • In General says:

          Ever thought that is becuase there are less hotels, and hotel beds available? Because 3 hotels are busy now does not mean we have more tourists – AND cannot be compared to when we had 10 hotels….

    • Got to go says:

      When there is a recession, governments need to have funds to draw from in order to stimulate the econmy. True, Bermuda is not immune to the world economic crisis, but having funds would have helped the present administration stimulate the economy and create jobs while we weather the economic storm. However, since government is broke, they have had to make cuts instead of creating jobs, thus further deepening Bermuda’s economic problems. Thus they were unprepared and have made things worse with their negative attitudes towards international business, not getting a handle on the increase in gun crime, not improving the quality of education, and not being serious about increasing tourism by putting the stake holders in charge.

      • Thoughts of a local says:

        Not sure if you are saying that Premier Paula Cox has a negative attitude towards international business or the former premier’s administration did? Please clarify.
        By my count, the papers (all of them), exempt companies CEO’s, and the US Congress have all reported praises for Premier Paula Cox on her positive attitude and direction in which she is taking international business in Bermuda.

        • sandgrownan says:

          That would be like hte repot today that says Bermuda is unfriendly to business. Is that why there is a net outflow of jobs and personel?

          Cog is doing too little, too late. Where is the relaxation of home ownership rules, where is removal of the permit term limit policy, where is the reduction in red tape, oh yeah..just hot air..cogswallop.

    • Bermyman says:

      “And as the unoffical word amongst the streets and just simple common knowledge that a good portion of locals believe, is that the now Premier had to make those necessary spenditures in order to cover the costs that UBP had been covering up and forging when they released their financials”

      How is that possible after 12 years of PLP government?? What are you referring to the Music Festival?? Do you even know anything about economics because I would love to see you connect even a speculative dot to how this could make any sense?

      The PLP overinflated the civil service to give their voters easy jobs, big healthcare and pension plans etc without looking at the long terms effects of how sustainable overpaying and over employing the public is. That is just one piece of the financially mismanaged pie. Your so called ‘word on the street’, maybe completely fabricated as PLP spin, but at the end of the day people on the street do not have a clue how to run a country or an economy, so people ‘on the street’ can say what they like but people who know what they doing should be in the charge. Maybe that was the problem with the PLP over the years, they simply had no idea what they were doing!!!

      • Thoughts of a local says:

        Man you guys are easy to gas up! Have any of you ever partaken in politics? Or are you just observers giving your two cents based on what you think you know and what you’ve heard?
        And last I checked, words from the street are more accurate than anything the papers or government have ever spewed out. Then again, I am just a local who knows nothing right. Someone who is getting shot down for bringing up issues that everyone avoids.
        I wonder what you all are going to say when the PLP win, again! I wonder if you will shrink and take your two suitcases back in your holes!

        Check with random people across the island and you will see most of the people (well the majority of the ones I have asked anyway, 433 to be exact) are still in support of the PLP. Go figure huh.

        • My two cents says:

          Oh I believe you alright. This country will have to become third world status before people see clearly

        • Bermyman says:

          Sorry, you’re right. Under the PLP Bermuda is in a better place. It is plain to see or should I say for the 433!

          There are many issues with participating in politics on this Island, hence why I have not, I am not in the business of deception like yourself. So whilst you scour the country looking for support amongst the ignorant, I post comments on this blog site with the hopes that someone with half a brain may realize what sort of situation we are in.

          FYI-If the PLP do get into power, I will sell my house, change every dime I have to USD and I will be out because we are F***ed! I would encourage anyone else with half a brain to do so. Don’t hold assets in this country, they will be worth pennies in future.

          • Thoughts of a local says:

            Good-bye then!! Start looking for a buyer!!!

            • Bermyman says:

              I can’t find a buyer right now because the economy is so bad under your administration and there is no positive outlook in sight!!

          • Eastern says:

            @ Bermyman
            Regarding your last paragraph: I couldn’t have said it better myself.
            Can’t wait for the next election, but I will give up my island that I love so much if things don’t change.

            I can visualize Bermuda turning into a horrible place to be if our economy continues to collapse. You’ll be up all night, every night, just trying to protect what belongs to you.

            • Thoughts of a local says:

              Nah, don’t think it will go that far. This island has seen worse times and has bounced back, just look at history. It will be fine. If you sell and move adnthe nsee that the island is ok, you’ll be kicking yourself. But hey, we all know ya both not serious about moving.

          • LaVerne Furbert says:

            “I will sell my house,…. and I will out because….” That’s what Bob Richards said in 1998 and he’s still here, and now he’s hoping to be the Opposition Leader (again).

            • Thoughts of a local says:

              LMAO!! I was hoping someone else would say that before I had to!

            • sandgrownan says:

              Difference is, now the country really is f*cked. In 1998 he was scaremongering, now it looks like we were all proved right. I think that’a what must really hurt eh? Knowing the beloved PLP failed spectactularly. Incapable, incompetant and corrupt.

        • Bermyman says:

          ‘Just think of the domino effect. When one falls, another falls, and another, and another, and so on’.

          Just like Bermuda’s jobs under the PLP, now and more so in the future.

          Just like Hotels under the PLP, now and more so in the future.

          Just like International Business under the PLP, now and more so in the future.

          • Thoughts of a local says:

            You have no clue whats going on do you? Hotel business is up, international business is up! Who have you been talking to? Why don’t you get off your lazy arse, stop listening to others and ask the people in those industries their opinions! All of the hotels are thanking former Premier Dr Ewart Brown for turning the industry around! And international business is praising Premier Paula Cox for her versatility.

            • sandgrownan says:

              Obvious troll is obviosu troll. Unless you are breathtakingly stupid.

            • Justin says:

              You don’t actually believe what you’re saying, right? If you do then it’s really a shame that people with your level of intelligence are allowed to vote.

              • Thoughts of a local says:

                Yes I do. I’ve been to several meetings where CEO’s of various corproations have openly said that this island should be thanking Premier Paula Cox for her new found direction. And I quote them, “she is taking this business very seriously.”

                Exxamples are:
                A total of 585,266 visitors arrived in 2010, up from 559,048 visitors in 2009 (proof). This was a direct result of an active year on the cruise and yacht front (proof). Hotel occupancy rates averaged 54.0% in 2010, which represents an increase of 5.7% from 2009 (proof). Visitors contributed an estimated $383.9 million to the economy in 2010, up from $331.3 million in 2009. This compares to $475 million in 1996. (more proof).
                In 2010, 15,078 international companies were registered in Bermuda, many U.S.-owned. They spent an estimated $2 billion in Bermuda in 2009. This sector provided $1.5 billion in total output (current market prices), representing 26.1% of total GDP, or a 3.7% decrease compared to 2008. International business is no longer the island’s largest employer, with 4,293 jobs in 2009, down from 4,761 in 2008. Provisional estimates for 2009 state that there were 4,758 jobs in wholesale and retail and repair services and 4,680 jobs in hotels and restaurants.

                Need I say more.

                • Thoughts of a local says:

                  Want more facts?

                  • sandgrownan says:

                    You’re joking right? This has to be a wind up.

                    I mean, you’d have to be beyond stupid to think that the economy is fine, i mean how do you walk and breathe at the same time?

                    • Thoughts of a local says:

                      Funny, I was going to ask you the same question!

                • sandgrownan says:

                  Thoughts of a local…explains everything.

            • sandgrownan says:

              Hotelier’s Dire Warning – Bemruda Sun Today


              The Platinum Era huh?

              • Thoughts of a local says:

                Thats just one hotel. The guys at Princess hotels are not singing that tune. Theirs is much different, as they have had several weeks during this yea,r on seperate occasions might I add, where all the rooms were sold out.

                • sandgrownan says:

                  54.x% occupancy rate. Well that’s piss poor in my book, especially since the number of total hotel rooms has gone down.

                • Shaking the Head says:

                  The 2 Princess hotels were at 100% for about 6 weeks due to a learge convention which I would bet was sourced by the hotels themselves. Recently, the proposed 3 star hotel next door to Southlands has been put on hold. Not one of the other new hotel developments has broken ground. Newstead is in Receivership. These are facts. You have confirmed employment is down, as is GDP, by your figures. You have actually argued against yourself.

                • Hudson says:

                  Um, a member of my family is a manager at the Princess. They are suffering. Badly. Last winter was a nightmare. This winter is looking the same. They are desperate, as is Tuckers Point.

            • Eastern says:

              And what planet did you say you were from?

  2. Emeka47 says:

    When I look to my left I see the UBP and to the RIGHT I see some sort of hope and a new beginning. Bob Richards will not win this race!

  3. Bulldog says:

    How can the OBA represent change when the players are the same. Even if you examine their name, it is the same as UBP. One (United) Bermuda Alliance (Party). Look who their party stalwarts have become, the same people who the BDA split from in the first place. If they were truly all about the democratic process, how committed were they to those UBP voters who put them there. Shouldn’t they have resigned their seats and fought for them back in a Bye Election to get a mandate from the electorate? What happens when they suffer a devastating loss in the next election? If I were a UBP supporter, I would have felt hoodwinked because many of those MPs ran under the UBP banner knowing that they were going to split. The 40 Thieves are still tricking you!

    • Bermyman says:

      If I voted PLP and lost my job or watched my business fail, I would also have felt hoodwinked.

    • Thoughts of a local says:

      Exactly! But not one of these guys on here will talk about the same players running or about them giving up their seats! Why, beacuse the truth HURTS LIKE HELL!!!

      • Clinton J. A. Paynter OBA Affiliated says:

        So let me get this start… It would be better to have a fresh party with a bunch of political neophytes that have to “learn on the job” like Patrice Minors is doing? Bermuda needs the new and the old…let’s be real.. You currently see the old (experienced) but the new is coming… Sept 10th is not far off.

    • Thoughts of a local says:

      By the way, no one will probably argue that UBP OBA comparison with you either. Why, because the TRUTH HURTS LIKE HELL!!

      • bermyshotta says:

        @ bulldog and thoughts – DON’T look at dem as de same faces…who gives a f#$%! dats de problem hur in bermy…guys jus think dem guys are de same…but LOOK AT DER SUGGESTIONS/PROPOSALS/TOPICS/WAT THEY ACTUALLY ABOUT/WHAT DEM GUYS R OFFERIN instead of jus sayin oh it’s Dunkley again…well it’s been flippin well de same faces in de PLP for de past 12 yrs….n wats happenin?? u tell me…

    • Clinton J. A. Paynter OBA Affiliated says:

      Ok… So they should all resign and fight in a bye election for what? To all be voted out and let the PLP run roughshod all over the land? Sounds foolhardy to me…. I’m just sayin…

      • Thoughts of a local says:

        They would be fighting to earn their seats the right way. Under the OBA banner, not the UBP banner.

      • Guilden says:

        Clinton, why is it assumed they would be voted out? I thought the OBA had the solutions to Bermuda’s problems and on that basis why would anyone vote them out? When the OBA members presented that argument I was amazed because many of them were very vocal that the BDA MPs, upon leaving the UBP should have fought by-elections and were calling them cowardice and saying they were undermining democracy.

      • PEPPER says:

        The O.B.A. are playing the same old game ,it’s all about race…so they think the can get the black vote by putting in the two black candidates!!!! HELLO we voters are not stupid ,the best man for the job is Michael Dunkley…but he is white …….when are we going to grow the hell uo ? enough of black versus whites !!!!!!!!!!!! we need Jamel Hartman and young people like him to be in charge….not these old cronies that have a vendetta…we need to move forward.

        • Bermyman says:

          The Government is trying to lock Jamal up for not going Regiment!

  4. Guilden says:

    I firmly agree that the PLP has mismanaged the economy, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that.

    What I want to address is Clinton’s comment, “To all be voted out and let the PLP run roughshod all over the land? Sounds foolhardy to me….”

    Clinton, are you saying that the electorate should not have a choice in who its representatives are? I believe anyone who resigns from a party under which he/she was elected should find a by-election. I also find it very amusing that when the BDA was started you, like me were calling for the former UBP MPs to do just that, step down and fight by-elections. Yet now you have changed your tune…..is that selective democracy?

    • Eastern says:

      And What about Wayne Furbert or does he not count?

      • Guilden says:


        I did say “…anyone who resigns from a party under which he/she was elected should find a by-election.” So yes, that includes Wayne Furbert, it includes ANYONE who resigns from the party under which he was elected between election cycles.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Got to agree with Guilden on this one. And let me tell you, that doesn’t happen very often.

      • PEPPER says:

        Wayne Furbert needs to retire we have had enough of his #$%^ he is a looser..

  5. JCS says:

    Well said, Guilden

  6. “Thoughts of a local says” is probably a paid PLP operative.

    @ Guilden, I cannot think of one MP in Bermuda’s political history who has decided to walk across the floor between election cycles in order to join an opposing party and then resigned his or her seat thereby forcing a bi-election in order to be re-elected under the banner of their new party. In all of Bermuda’s history it has never happened and it never will. If it has please enlighten me. Politics is Politics.

    And oh yeah…the PLP sucks….period. They have driven Bermuda into the ground. Facts are facts. All that rhetoric about tourism being up and international business being up is Bull!! Stop with that nonsense “Thoughts of a local says”. You should change your handle to “Thoughts of an imbecile says.”

    • Advocating for Truth says:

      @VOt – the oba wants us to believe that they are the way forward and will do things differently, so why not do it the right way and resign and have byelections?

      What’s amazing is that John Barritt has said that he will resign his seat if Craig wins leadership and then cause a by election, but they all don’t want to do the right thing and resign. They are all untrustworthy!

      • sandgrownan says:

        Fair enough, but trust isn’t a quality you could attribute to the PLP is it?

        • Advocating for Truth says:

          Sandgrownan – Don’t trust non of them.

          V O T E FOR THE I N D E P E N D E N T S

          tHEY Dont HAVE TO PLEASE the dunkleys gibbons coxes nor brown nose up anyone

          • Shaking the Head says:

            Don’t disagree, but can you give us a list of them and the Constituencies they will be representing?

  7. Nasty n true says:

    They are all parasites and political hoes, them oba un-elected party members of parliament.

    Dunkley states that he would of won if he ran for leadership? Does that make me feel that Craig and Bob are the right people for the job if the OBA would prefer Dunkley but are settling for the 2nd string quaterbacks?

    Craig enjoy the ride, you will be NEXT, those nasty power hungry political hoes will sell their mother to regain power.

  8. Bermyman says:

    @ Thoughts of a Local:
    “Yes I do. I’ve been to several meetings where CEO’s of various corporations have openly said that this island should be thanking Premier Paula Cox for her new found direction. And I quote them, “she is taking this business very seriously.”
    Do you think that statement means anything? Of course they said she is taking it seriously, so she should!!?? And I don’t think they said directly that the Island should be thanking Paula as she was in the previous administration which did a good job deal of relationship damage with IB, is she merely putting band aids on wounds her former boss inflicted? How do we know the PLP will not do any further damage since they already have set themselves a track record.
    ‘A total of 585,266 visitors arrived in 2010, up from 559,048 visitors in 2009 (proof)’:
    Larger Cruise ships, maybe a few more boats here and there, the Charleston to Bermuda yacht race comes to mind!! An event put on by the sailing community and yacht clubs, nothing to do with the Government, but I am sure you will try and take the credit. The only thing the present tourism minister has done so far is offer me $50 to invite a friend down to the Island!! What a plan!! Oh wait where is the tourism Plan?? almost a year on from the new administration and we still don’t have one!! Pro active by the PLP!!!
    “Hotel occupancy rates averaged 54.0% in 2010, which represents an increase of 5.7% from 2009 (proof). Visitors contributed an estimated $383.9 million to the economy in 2010, up from $331.3 million in 2009. This compares to $475 million in 1996. (more proof).”
    What are these occupancy rates in comparison to in terms of total beds available? Last time I checked Elbow beach was partially closed so I am guessing you have adjusted their cottage numbers (occupancy) to reflect total occupancy, while the rest of the hotel closed because it had such piss poor occupancy. $475 m in 1996 before the PLP got into power, not taking into account inflation, so why the decline if the PLP have done such a good job since 1998? 5.7% is a small improvement on rock bottom which we pretty much hit last year. Shall we count out the number of derelict hotel sites on the Island, and how long they have been undeveloped under the PLP? I am sure your mates at the Princess are happy, why? Because they have limited competition, of course they have higher occupancy rates because there are limited hotels on the Island to choose from. But when they offer me a rock bottom rate of $90 a room in winter, you know they are hurting! Hamilton Princess we all know is fed by IB, once again this has nothing to do with the Tourism Department, it is the Private Companies brining these people to the Island. If tourism is so good why did Tuckers point apply for an SDO to boost revenue??? Because Bermuda at present is not a sustainable tourism model.
    ‘In 2010, 15,078 international companies were registered in Bermuda, many U.S.-owned. They spent an estimated $2 billion in Bermuda in 2009. This sector provided $1.5 billion in total output (current market prices), representing 26.1% of total GDP, or a 3.7% decrease compared to 2008. International business is no longer the island’s largest employer.’
    International company registration does not mean a thing because many of them are Captive and financial vehicles. In short they are a postal address and they hardly employ anyone, they may not employ someone at all! The hostility of the PLP toward the expat community, alien licenses, work permits, racial rhetoric, property ownership etc, has done more than enough to detriment the property market in the current environment. Why would you not want people to buy houses in a recession especially with dual incomes??
    I work in the IB sector and have sat through many panel discussions, dinners and meetings where the actions of the former Premier and immigration minister were highlighted as largely contributing to the need to decreased foreign staff numbers and proposed relocations, which in turn hurts the Bermudian landlord, plumber, electrician etc. Rising violence and crime are particular concerns as many high level execs have children and family on the Island. This rise in crime rate and hostile attitude all has escalated under the recent PLP administration.
    The Government is the largest Employer on the Island as an organization. How do we expect to continue to fund an overinflated civil service on the tax payer’s dime? Every recent industrial action and ministers paycheck is paid for by those people who work the hardest!
    Need I say more, the results speak for themselves?

  9. Bulldog says:

    The thing about it is this… Do all of you UBP/OBA/BDA (or whatever) supporters honestly think that Bermuda would be in a different state economically if there was a different party in power??? If that is the case then you are clearly clouded by your loyalty as opposed to paying attention to what is happening beyond the tiny shores of Bermuda. Do you honestly think that the OBA was formed to provide a new perspective? How can you have a ‘new perspective’ with the same players saying and doing the same things but under a new name? That is not a new perspective. That is a trick.

    • Shaking the Head says:

      Answer this. The PLP has on many occasions stated they are the party for the people and that the The Opposition are the party for business. The issues facing Bermuda concern business, not people. Who do you think could have handled the problem better – a business party who understands business, or a people party who unfortunately understands neither?

  10. Sad says:

    The real problem is nobody cares in bermuda! The current party has made people numb ole fake politcian wanabees
    Whining on the radio and blogging ………..next