OBA’s Qualified Apology To Minister

November 24, 2011

The One Bermuda Alliance issued a qualified apology to Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert today [Nov.24] after the Progressive Labour Party claimed the Opposition “struck below the belt” and called into question his empathy for the victims of violence.

Earlier the OBA’s Shadow Board on National Security spokesman Jeff Baron told the Royal Gazette, “Where is the empathy for the families that have buried loved ones? Where is the empathy for the marginal communities that have suffered this violence? Where is the empathy for Bermuda? It’s clear from these statements that a Cabinet Minister, Wayne Furbert, is suffering from an empathy deficit.”

The comments came after Mr. Furbert said local media should be more responsible in its reporting after a story was published in the Royal Gazette based on United Nations statistics which suggested Bermuda’s per capita murder rate is almost double the world average.

OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said this afternoon, “We apologise to our Minister if he felt we were insinuating, in any way, that he did not have feelings or empathy towards the families of those who have suffered from crime in Bermuda.

“But certainly our spokesperson, which was Jeff Baron who spoke in the newspaper, we felt that the situation could have been dealt with a lot better.”

Mr. Cannonier continued: “We felt that maybe the Minister really should have gone and spoke to the media about it, to work out, if he wanted to a plan. To have it plastered in the newspaper, just seemed a bit, to Jeff, as a bit of posturing there.

“And it seemed almost as if we were more concerned about a product, the tourism product, as opposed to what we can do to help support those families that have suffered under some pretty atrocious crime that has taken place.”

“So again we apologise to the Minister if he felt we were insinuating he did not have feelings. Our Minister certainly gets out there in the community and does show his concern.”

The PLP released a statement this morning, saying, “Anyone that knows Wayne Furbert knows that he cares passionately about Bermuda and our people.

“Wayne is one of the hardest working members of Parliament. Day in and day out, he is in his constituency, meeting with people at their doorsteps and in their living rooms. He talks to them about their problems and what government can do to help improve their lives.

“Today, the OBA struck below the belt calling into question Wayne Furbert’s empathy for the victims of violence. The OBA spokesman’s attack was offensive. Wayne Furbert and the entire PLP Government care deeply about violence and crime.

“It’s why we’ve passed a rash of anti-crime legislation – tougher laws, prevention programmes, police training and much more – to address the problem. And, while more improvement is needed, the last 6-12 months show that our reforms are beginning to work.

“The OBA claims to represent a ‘new’ way forward, but, these personal attacks seem to represent more of the same. If the OBA really wants to turn the page, we call on Craig Cannonier to publicly apologise to Wayne Furbert for his spokesman’s callous and inappropriate remarks. We look forward to Craig’s reply.”

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Comments (30)

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  1. Sooner Than Thought says:

    Well this was fast, hope they don’t ask for a donation/scholarship to go along with this

    • Yup says:

      PLP should be the ones apologising! After PLP got elected they followed a policy of co-existance with the gangs, and now that policy has blown up in their faces!

  2. Portia says:

    Why should the OBA apologize? There was nothing out of line in what their spokesman said. Wayne was being ridiculous when he hit out at the RG this week.He and his party are flirting dangerously close to trying to control the media’s reporting.

    OBA, you need to grow a set; stop showing weakness and timidity. Stick to your guns, if you want people to vote for you! Public opinion was greatly on your side in this matter, so why should you apologize?

    Maybe the PLP should be issuing an apology, for every time they called the OBA the UBP. That is extremely disrespectful and immature and they are attacking the OBA every time they release a statement doing it. Craig, you make them apologize for that!

    • Hmmmmm says:

      Please. Just like the murder stats in the Paper, calling the OBA the UBP is true. No apology required.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        And, by the same token, calling the PLP the UBP/PLP/BIU is true as well. No need to apologise.

        • Yup says:

          PLP should apologize for running Bermuda into the freaking ground!!!!!!!

      • HMMM HMMMMM says:

        Okay then maybe the PLP should apologize for.

        Poor Public Transportation
        Health Service that is in crisis mode
        Downturn in the economy / high unemployment
        Downturn in tourism
        Screwing up with Cruise Ship Contracts
        Personal Favours to fellow PLP members
        Failed Education system
        Loss of International Business
        Contstruction Favours and cost over -runs – TCD / Cruise Ship terminals / Berkeley to name a few.
        should I go on?

  3. wondering says:

    Bermuda’s Politicians are not sincere. It is all posturing….we live in a society bred by thieves, discrimination, social injustice and “um gettin mine”. We as a people have changed our tune whether it is for the OBA, the PLP, the UBP or whomever. We go with what ‘feels right’ and not what ‘is right’. the demographic breakdown in Bermuda hasn’t changed significantly in 40 years…our attitude and ethics have!

    Brainwashed for hundreds of years and in a tailspin with the politrickans fighting on the front page against each other and sitting in board rooms as partners in other forums (business interests….)

    Bermuda is still very much a B & W society no matter how hard we try – we haven’t finished the socio-political-racial “Cold War”.

  4. Clinton J. A. Paynter OBA Affiliated says:

    I may not see eye to eye with Wayne Furbert but there is one thing that I am sure of…. He cares deeply for the people he represents… As such I believe that this apology was very much needed. Political parties are formed by people and as such they sometimes make mistakes. Apology made… Now let’s keep it moving.

    Clinton J. A. Paynter
    One Bermuda Alliance

    • kevin says:

      I agree that we all know Wayne cares, however that was not an apology. The fact is that Wayne was talking about bloated headlines and was not speaking about gun violence or victims. This fact has been ignored by Craig in his pretending to apologise. He in fact is trying to defend his party spokesman by spinning some nonsense about the Minister could have handled it better. That knife cuts both ways. The OBA keeps saying that what Bermuda needs is change, I beg to differ. What we really want is improvement!! We dont want to change one bunch of hacks for another bunch of hacks. We want and need better from all our politicians. We especially want and need honest discord!

    • specialgirl4you says:

      Well said Clinton, Wayne is a person for the people and of the people. He is a hard worker, and puts himself last. This apology was very much needed !!!

  5. Noel Ashford says:

    I agree that saying Wayne doesn’t care is just wrong as someone that knows Wayne as well. He cares too much, however, I find the PLP’s expoiting of this is laughable at best! If the “PLP” cared in their 12 years they would have done something about the violence, its only gotten worse and they have NOBODY to blame but themselves and their own incompetence on adequately addressing this issue. The PLP should appologize for the scenario that Bermuda now finds itself in… It’s their fault. I remind myself of their 1998 slogan – Vote PLP, make it happen… I think OBA needs one stating “Don’t Blame Me – You MADE it Happen”


    • Street Business says:

      What a tool you are. You fail to realize that the UBP caused this when they decided to open Cedarbridge Academy.

      Thats why the majority of people caught up in this gang culture are under 30 years old. Back in the days when you had High Schools in different parishes the only time you met up with Country guys or Town guys was at an event like Inter-school sports. Now these guys clique up to feel comfortable in the war zone of these 2 high schools walls.

      The UBP knew what they were doing at the time and knew it would self implode years later leaving the PLP with the scraps to try and put back together!

      • Mad Dawg says:

        Well, Sreet Business, what a complete tool you are as well.
        Cedarbridge was opened in 1996, under the UBP. Jennifer Smith was actually on the committee that approved the idea.
        Two years later the PLP got in power. And they have done nothing, zero, nada, nothing at all, to change the educational system or close Cedarbridge. And that’s in the past 13 years. So the UBP had Cedarbridge for 2 years, and the PLP have had it for 13.
        So if you blame Cedarbridge for the gang culture, don’t you think just a teensy bit of the blame should be placed on the PLP, who have presided over the current education system for 13 years and who have given us what we have today?

      • Noel Ashford says:

        Street Business,

        You are the tool if you still blame the UBP 12 years later and think the PLP still needs ANOTHER 4 years to actually accomplish something and stop blaming the PLP. 12 years later, all excuses of the UBP are void. Sorry you lack the intellect to see this.


  6. Street Business says:

    You old people dont know what going on in these times! You have no idea!

    • HMMM HMMMMM says:

      If you know so much…fix it…report it…or sit on the sidelines and accept it.

  7. specialgirl4you says:

    Thanks OBA Leader Craig Cannonier., for taking the big step and making a much needed apology to Mr. Furbert. I give you much credit for standing tall, in regards to this matter. We all know the hardworking and caring person that Mr. Furbert practices daily in his life. Few MPs work and care for people like Mr. Furbert. Maybe one can say that one of Mr. Furbert’s weaknesses is that he cares so much for others, and often puts himself last.

    • Yup says:

      Does he care more now that he’s gone from UBP to PLP? Can I throw-up now you paid PLP hack!!!

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Was he “hardworking and caring” when he was the UBP leader, or was he a complete horse’s a*s in those days? Think carefully before answering Betty.

      • specialgirl4you says:

        It does not matter which party Mr. Furbert represented. He cared for the people, regardless. I got to know and respect Mr. Furbert while he was a member of the UBP. I found him very respectful and focused on how he can help all people. Please keep in mind, I am friends with persons from both political parties. However, while our political ideology may differ, but our friendship is long lasting.

  8. Wondering says:

    Why do people keeping all of the blame on the PLP – no I am not a supporter – and not taking to task the parents or guardians of these young men/women. Mind you, the PLP could have put into place a recall of the cat of nine tails, longer jail sentences and heftier fines – if the perpetrator couldn’t pay the fine – hold the parents/guardians responsible. So let us put the blame where it belongs and then hold the government respnosible. Also, the Community is to blame as well – they know who/what/when/where – tell the police.. remembering it takes a whole village to raise a child.

    • Yup says:

      You are correct. But the problem is that PLP are soft on crime.

  9. Vote for Me says:

    It is interesting to note the actual wording of the apology. In some instances the OBA refers to Minister Furbert as ‘our Minister’ and in other instances he is referred to as ‘the Minister’. The specific naming of Jeff Baron is also interesting. It gives a sense of trying to distance the OBA from Baron. Did the OBA not know that Baron would be issuing such a statement and grant prior approval?

    This whole apology brings back the comments made by OBA candidate Francis. He generally asserted that there was no recent racsim at play in Bermuda. Then a few weeks later we have the OBA Throne Speech reply speaking to the lasting legacy of the impact of racism and white supremacy in Bermuda and how it continues today.

    Me thinks the OBA will need to be more consistent with its messaging and make sure the left hand knows that there is a right hand!! Otherwise we will remain unsure of their position on so many matters.

  10. Cancer says:

    It takes a big man/party to throw out an apology when they know they have made an error… Has the PLP ever apologized for anything in their life???? NO !! They owe the biggest apology!

    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Cancer
      If you read the Throne Speech, you will see where the Premier acknowledges that some things have not gone as planned under the PLP government.

      • Rick Rock says:

        An ‘acknowledgement that thing have not gone as planned’ is not an apology. Nowhere near.

        The damage they have done to this country is incalculable.

  11. barracuda says:

    The Pillage Loot Party failed . Time to move on.

  12. Cancer says:

    @vote for me…. Are you kidding me! You call the an apology… “some things have nit gone as planned” !!!! That’s an understatement… Almost laffable but it’s so so sad!!! Were in the worse state ever!!