Premier Cox: ‘Move Away From Conscription’

October 17, 2012

[Updated] Speaking at this evening’s [Oct 17] PLP event at the Ruth Seaton James auditorium, Premier Paula Cox indicated that the election would be held this year, and also said they are “committed” to “move away from mandated conscription.”

The Premier did not expand on the conscription topic during her 45-minute speech, saying only: “And we are committed to having a full time Regiment, with a paid cadre of officers and to move away from mandated conscription.”

A quick soundbite is below [please excuse the questionable quality, full video to come later!]

The policy of conscripting young men to serve in the Bermuda Regiment has been in the news for some time, with the group Bermudians Against the Draft [BAD] leading the anti-conscription movement. BAD took the case against conscription all the way to the British Privy Council, which upheld conscription in 2010.

In last year’s Throne Speech, the Government pledged to “review a recent decision by the Privy Council to take account of any inconsistencies in any discrimination provisions. Second, the Government will table legislation that makes provision for new alternatives to conscription, including the introduction of a National Youth Service.”

Update 11.58pm: When asked about the Premier’s statement, a Bermuda Regiment spokesperson said there are currently 27 full time military personnel employed by the Regiment.

“We actively try to recruit volunteers [tv, paper, electronic media advertisement]; and conscription remains a governmental matter,” said the Regiment.

“No matter the composition of the Regiment the Commanding Officer will still expect each soldier and officer to fulfil their duties as directed in the Defence Act and Governor’s Orders. Conscripted and volunteer soldiers are given the same opportunities and treated with the same level of professionalism by their chain of command.”

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  1. Premier Signals Election To Be Held This Year | | October 18, 2012
  1. Itsaboutallofus says:

    I’m liking what I’m hearing…go PLP!

    • 1minute says:

      You are hearing what they want you to hear… An election is coming!!!

      • Be for real . . . says:

        Be for real people! How come all of a sudden they (government) are going to move away from concription? I smell an election soon and PLP will “promise” anything to win. After election, “Sorry we have to take back what we said about conscription. We do not have enough money to pay the cadre of officers as promised”. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

        • ABM says:

          Can’t that same perception be preceived of the opposition as well? Say anything to get into the lead seat and then say sorry!

          • LOL (original TM*) says:

            Yes it can but the PLP have a track record…………….

            LOL “it’s Free to make promises”

      • C.B.A says:

        The plp has fought the BAD campaigners for years now. All of a sudden they want regiment out? Can they make up their minds?

        • Jah says:

          Yep, Public Enemy said it right…. Don’t believe the hype…..PLP just before an election after 14 years of Nothing! It is one of their bag of twisted tricks to STEAL votes and cling onto their secrets.

  2. Kim Smith says:

    Oh boy… there is just no end to the promises being made for votes in the next election. Can no one see that there are actually some benefits for young men to go through the 3 year national service experience… especially young men who have no real male role model in their life. A little discipline is a good thing for them. Have a look at a video piece done by Andrew Kirkpatrick. Do these look like young men who are ‘suffering’ with their national service?

    • jah says:

      Are you serious, the violation of someone’s rights, you’re okay with that? Discrimination, you’re okay with that? Slaves never looked like they were suffering when they were in the field because they knew their masters would kill them, give me a break, END CONSCRIPTION NOW, if education was improved there would be no need to enslave anyone into such an institution, actually there is no need now…

      • Moojun says:

        Regiment conscription is a walk in the park. I did it, and in truth, it was a piece of piss. Your rhetoric is very arousing to be sure, but the fact of the matter is… Regiment service is as intrusive as being drafted into the Boy Scouts. Please don’t insult Bermudian’s ancestors who were slaves by comparing the two. They are nothing of the sort.

        Slaves actually, really, truly, suffered. Bermuda conscripts just have to just go without cable TV for a couple of hours each week and keep their boots shiny.

        And to answer your question about education; I have a degree, am Bermudian and have a professional Accounting designation, and I still “endured” my conscription time in the Regiment with fond memories. The Jamaica camp in particular is great!

        Come on… It’s the Bermuda Regiment people! we pick up Hurricane debris and help out in the Community. Who can object to that? Or do you really think that we ship out to Afghanistan each weekend and actully fire guns?

        • Red says:

          I TOTALLY AGREE!!! I’ve served in the Bermuda Regiment as well. I have a feeling that the majority of the conscientious objectors don’t want to do anything at all! Otherwise there would be an influx of would be soldiers, lined up for St.John’s Ambulance or other volunteer based organizations which fall in the category of providing a service for this, OUR COUNTRY. I believe that patriotism is not a priority due to the amount of Bermudians I see trying to identify with many other countries and nations. I’m proud to be Bermudian!

          • Red says:

            I’m not against people interested in other cultures and countries at all I love diversity….Just put your country first!

        • ABM says:

          I served as well, and by the sounds of it our experiences were completely different. I have an MBA in Business, no thanks to the regiment. Waste of time in the reegiment, illtreatment of myself and my comrades. Im sorry, but I hated every bit of it. Point is, not everyone will view the regiment in the same light as you. Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself, wish I could say the same.

          • Come Correct says:

            The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude. At times I enjoyed the regiment, I learned a lot, other times I wanted to stop someone from breathing. Would I say the regiment had an overall positive effect on my life, yes. With conscription, the ones who need it don’t go, without conscription, the ones that need it won’t go. It also doesn’t help when you can’t even afford to send the RP’s out to pick up AWOL soldiers. Ending conscription could be a good thing but you won’t have anyone volunteer unless you make it really appealing. It coud also backfire and cause the disintigration of the regiment alltogether. Maybe that’s the plan, the regiment has a colonial past doesn’t it?

            • ABM says:

              Great points you make there. It could either way when ending conscription. Thing is though, you won’t know the outcome until/or if it really happens. Guess we have to wait and see.

        • No way Jose says:

          I loved the Jamaica trip a well.

    • Free says:

      Everyone is different and not every young man wants to be forced to join the regiment. Not every young man in this country is fatherless and in need of a male role model or “a little discipline”. Are you really going by the logic that because those young men in the video enjoy it others should or would? I’m sure you could find just as many of these guys that didn’t like it and wouldn’t want to join. Yes there are some benefits that doesn’t change the fact that these young men are basically forced into it and that in 2012 that shouldn’t be. There are plenty of negatives as well.

      • Moojun says:

        But anyone who doesn’t want to get conscripted can simply join the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, or the Reserve Fire Service or the Reserve Police Service and then they wouldn’t get called for the Regiment.

        As you say, every young man is different and if they want to serve in different ways then those avenues are already open to them uner existing law.

        What is the problem? Is it that modern young men just don’t want to serve ther community? period?

        • Free says:

          The problem is that no one should be FORCED to do something they don’t want to do. Why should they be forced to serve the community? Why do young men have to choose out of those things? When young women don’t?

          My brother didn’t want to join the regiment and was serving his country in another way and they still harassed him on and off for years. It’s his choice in what he wants to do in life! Not the governments, not the regiments. Just because you liked being ordered around and told what to do doesn’t mean everyone wants to. Do you not understand that?

          • Amazed says:

            You asked ” Why should they be forced to serve the community” that is the price of membership. And if everyone was allowed to not do what they did not want, half the school children would never go to school! What then?

            • Free says:

              You are comparing apples to oranges. What is the benefit of being forced to go to the regiment in comparison to children having to go to school? I’ll wait.

              People need to be educated(learn how to read and write) to be productive members of society and no children do not have to go to traditional school-you can teach your child at home if you so wish to. No one NEEDS to be forced to join the regiment, again as it only applies to men that is another reason it is unfair. Why do women not NEED to serve the community? Price of membership? How utterly ridiculous to say such a thing.

      • I says:

        There’s a common misconception that the Regiment is there to correct attitudes or provide discipline to people who need it. Those are bi-products of service. The Regiment has three distinct functions: Support for the Police force; disaster relief; and ceremonial duties. National Service should be considered an honour not a punishment.
        The whole concept of National Service is that it’s for the community as a whole and not about the individual. “Selfless” not “Selfish”. Pretty unfortunate that the average Bermudian doesn’t seem to grasp that concept
        Military service might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s why the reserve police and St. John’s Ambulance were always options.
        Is the Regiment really the issue or the fact that most Bermudians simply aren’t willing to serve their community?

        • u says:

          If it’s really about serving the community, why aren’t women forced to ‘serve’ as well? If not in the military setting, some place else… Looks like it’s not really about serving the community as you say…

    • Kim your comments are simply backward and graphically illustrate how ignorant people become when they refuse to accept the truth. There is no way one can justify forced labor and it’s inevitable abuses. To suggest that people view a propaganda video made by the Regiment is an insult to our intelligence.

      You foolishly and condescendingly refer to these men as if they were boys and therein lies the problem. Who are you to decide who needs “discipline” and who is responsible for dishing it out.

      Furthemore only an idiot would equate being cursed, ridiculed, and insulted with discipline. Why don’t you talk to the victims of sexual abuse and get their opinion. Oh, you probably didn’t know about that. Google Glenn Brangman.

      • Moojun says:

        Larry, I appreciate your point of view. I was 18 when drafted (like most), and I have to say that looking back now, as a 40 year old man, I was very much a boy back when I “endured” my Regiment days in the early 90′s. But, and here is my own personal experience, you are bang-on when it comes to your comments about discpline for the following reason:

        By the time a man is 18 it is too late to instill discipline through a military experience alone. It is either in there as a result of family/friends influence, or it is not. If it is in there already then the young man is ready to face the World and he can cope with anything, even Conscription. If it is not then he will constantly think that the “Man” is against him and Conscription into the Regiment will only serve to reinforce that belief and possibly turn him into a criminal (i.e. not showing up for 3 drills = trial = prison).

        My only caveat to this entire thread would still however be that serving 3.25 years in the Bermuda Regiment is by far the easiest/wetest public service known to man.

      • Austin Smith says:

        This is why your quest to end conscription has failed so far, this is a consttutional issue and can only be argued on these grounds. Your approach on emotive grounds is shallow and immature. Someone being shouted at and or cursed out, or even insulted are not grounds for your argument. Yes it is not a nice thing but not the ground you want to base your argument on!The bottom line is your group will always lose based on such an emotional argument.

        • outsiDe man says:

          Austin you have no compassion. Have you ever been threatened with anal rape. Do you know how people look at you differently after they know you’re a male rape victim. That’s the reality of the regiment for a lot of people.

          Ignore the facts if you want. Those ‘boys’ will never be the same

          • Austin Smith says:

            You had missed my point completely! The whole matter of conscription, or how one enters the regiment is a constitutional matter. What makes you think that if conscription is abolished such behavior will end! Or are you saying that conscription is the reason for these problems…

      • Micro says:

        You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • outsiDe man says:

        That’s just the tip of the iceberg. People are afraid to come forward. Bun him

      • stop you bs says:

        really pal, you are the one who got dtunk and rasn to you daddy that the rp’s beat you, —–. having you daddy fight you issues. i have one question did u ever apply and join police or st john’s. if not go do that then run your your mouth your —-!.

      • Amazed says:

        It is attitudes like yours that treat anyone who disagrees with you with disrespect that has kept back this cause!

      • Katlyn says:

        I should Google your name regarding recent events.

  3. Soooooo says:

    Ok… We must be waiting for an election… Government has been so pro conscription …and all of a sudden… What a load of crap!!!

    • Autumn Fire says:

      Uh, yeah! BIG ANNOUNCEMENT people! “HINT: there will be an election this year!” It was officially announced! BERNEWS will have it all reported very soon, I’m sure, come on Bermuda!

    • say it like it is. says:

      Load is right! load of doo doo all from the PLP, they are not going to change it, get it right, empty promises all over the place, sorry.

  4. BermyDude says:

    Premier is crazy, she been looking out for Bermudians!! joke of the year!!

    The PLP has the worst record ever, 1.5B debt, unemploment at 8%, cot of living thru the roof and on and on!!

    As the Premier quoted “” WE ARE ON THE REVOVERY” another joke

    There most be some big annoucement coming???

  5. bda says:

    ok so u get rid of conscription but where is the money going to come from to pay these full time soldiers and who will be willing to serve. I don’t see this happening for sometime. On top of having the persons to fill certain roles plus sub units such as boats that are now working with the police then add in the amount of ppl needed for parades i don’t see it sounds like wishful thinking.

  6. .am says:

    They’ve had 14 years to move away from it. Why now?

  7. Jonathan D Smith says:

    The promise to end conscription is a bold move. Long overdue. It is the right thing to do and we will be fine as a country with a smaller, professional, paid Regiment. Yes, some will resist change but it is an incontrovertible fact that conscription in the 21st century was bound to fall to the contemporary human rights standards of the day. Kudos for those who have stood up for change and not relented from their position on this. This is an initiative that is the right thing to do.

    • Jah says:

      Committed to move away from mandated conscription, is not a promise to end conscription. If it was a promise to end conscription, she would have said. We are ending conscription and give a date. She didn’t, you will still have to serve your country if asked. Don’t believe the COG. She is attempting to capture your votes today and will forget you tomorrow. Don’t believe the COG.

    • OMG says:

      Mr. Smith with all due respect you are stuck on silly – how in lord’s name are we to pay for this?? We have no money now to pay for such an idea. Oh I forgot you to are drinking the green juice. It may be a better idea that we teach everyone how to read a financial statement to see what we owe under the current PLP governement.

      If we did not do away with the volenteer fire brigade and St. Johns we would have other avenues for someone like Mr. Marshall to do for service for Bda.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Well if it’s so ‘long overdue’ Jonathan, why wasn’t it done in the last 14 years? Why wait until niw to announce it? Oh yeah, I know, there is an election coming. It makes a distraction from the disasterous handling of the economy, crime, kickbacks, and government debt.

      Talking of debt, what will the army cost, and how will it be funded? I know that one too. More borrowing.

      I kniw what the army’s real purpose is, too. To disguise escalating unemployment. Niw we will pay people to be in the army, to do goodness knows what, rather than add them to the unemployment figures. Another few hundred employees to be paid for by the government.

      Ridiculous Jonathan.

      • Tolerate says:

        Agree 100%…. Embarrassing attempt to win more votes. What would this Government not lower themselves to? The topic of conscription is has been ongoing for years; Mr. Marshall has gone as far as the courts to fight his case. Nothing has been mentioned until now? And how do you bring the topic up? “Committed to move away from mandated conscription”. I am not an OBA, PLP, UBP supporter but this electioneering is becoming ridiculous. Silly season is definitely here, hurry up and call the election. Dumb promises with nothing to back them up. Where the money going to come from? Must have picked up a nice check from the visit to the middle-east. By the way what’s this sh!t about posters legally displayed in bus shelters being removed? Can we find who the quoted “higher up” person in government ordered this?
        Damn mob/dictatorship mentality

      • C.B.A says:

        Lol the more the plp talk the more they sound like fools. They fought to keep conscription in the English courts WITH OUR MONEY and now they say they want it out so they can get our vote! They need to get out. Now.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      It’s the correct move, but to say the timing is anything more than crass electioneering is stupid.
      Human rights? Hmmm… you really want to go there with the homophobic PLP?

      Can i have my land license money back? That was discriminatory.

      What’s that sound?


      • swing voter says:

        yeah I want my fckin money back as well…there has to be a back lash….I can’t reward bad policy with my vote

    • I says:

      A “smaller, professional” regiment wouldn’t be able to function. For anyone that understands the military structure, almost exact numbers of personnel are required at every level of the organization for it to be a functioning unit. Ending conscription would essentially end the regiment as it is. The Gov doesn’t have the resources to equip and pay a full-time regiment; that’s fantasy.

      • u says:

        We don’t need a regiment ‘as is’. It’s laughable that we have one in the first place. We need a disaster relief corps and a volunteer parade-marching crew. Internal affairs can be handled by a specialized police-type force. Tell your buddies to kiss their $100k paycheques goodbye. No more Skyping on taxpayer dollars!!

        • I says:

          A disaster relief corps is essentially what the regiment is. A volunteer parade-marching crew? That’s what I call laughable. My point was only that talk of making a smaller regiment is irrelevant because certain numbers are required for a unit to be considered a regiment.
          And as far as a specialized police-type force…that would involve stretching already thin resources to the breaking point. That’s what the regiment’s primary function is; reinforcement for the police when their numbers can’t contain an internal situation.
          It would be a mistake to throw away the regiment and replace it with a less organized, less capable volunteer group.
          I agree however that a lot of changes need to be made within the regiment, and there’s plenty of areas they can be more involved in. That’s up to the Government and not the regiment though.

    • Katlyn says:

      Oh now you have a voice,thought your vocal cord was pulled out.

  8. Bluetopaz says:

    Must be an election comin up. To bad it’s taken this long.

  9. Bullseye says:

    “Let us remember we inherited a country full of division and a forgotten group of people were sidelined by people who put business first. We changed that equation – now we put the people first.” – Paula Cox

    Whatever Paula thinks she inherited, this country has never been so divided as it is now, business has never suffered as it is now and more people are suffering now than ever before despite all this “investment”.

    The PLP ate all the grain and there is nothing left to plant for years to come and apparently ending conscription is the big key for them to stay in office.

    Please Bermuda give these people a wake up call. This is your chance to make them accountable. You can vote them back in in five years, but right now they need to be shaken up just like the UBP needed it years ago. Bad behaviour wasnt rewarded then – don’t reward it now.

  10. Bermyonion says:

    Lord……deliver us from evil…….

  11. HeyBye says:

    Paula Cox just has no clue.
    What problems? She lives in her insulated world along with her party members..
    She lives well, employed by International biz and collecting a Gov pay cheque.

    How is Bermuda going to pay for even a handful of a military force,should the Police need backing up like in the past?

    She is definitely scrapping for votes.The timing of this question is very convinent.

  12. CB says:

    No one wants to have to conscript an army. The problem is, Bermuda can’t PAY for a full time force, even when times were good.

    This is a blatant pandering for votes, that will be conveniently forgotten when it comes time for the budget.

    They did the same thing in 1998 when I was in the army, and never found the money then either – don’t be fooled kids, kick the bums out.

  13. Family Man says:

    The fat lady hasn’t sung yet.

    Paula wont call an election until her generous pension vests on October 28th. I’m sure she supports all Bermudians, but gotta look out for herself first. Stand strong Bermuda, you’re going to have a huge weight to carry on your shoulders.

    • No way Jose says:

      She won’t be getting on my shoulders. I could tell you that much.

  14. swing voter says:

    If you care more about your country more that party politics and historical stories of the 40 thieves, vote OBA

  15. Roger says:

    She is only saying conscription will be removed ahead of some European directive mandating that it has to be removed anyway.

    Why not make it sound like it is the PLP’s idea for a few votes when she would have no choice anyway this time next year.

  16. Truth is killin' me... says:

    TELL THEM WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR…and you will get their votes and win the election!!!

  17. tidbit says:

    Another political trick. Why say this now, why havent you supported Larry Marshall and his group all this time. Will the PLP reimburse them for all the expenses they have incurred now that you seem to be moving towards their wishes. The answer is simple, she is looking for young black men’ vote, since this is the majority of population that get conscripted. Hope these young men are wise enough to figure this political trickery out.
    The PLP know that they are in trouble with their current leadership of this country. Is this another “got to fool the people” again statement.They have had 14 years to get rid of conscription, and they havent. It is time we fire the Finance Minister from Office…elect the OBA in most constituencies Bermuda.

  18. tidbit says:


  19. Shawn S says:

    Sorry PLP TOO Little to late this should have been done years ago you all are really scraping the barrell and dragging your A_s with calling the election.

    Again this should have been done, with the tired uniform army that we have. Let poeple make a career out of the Regiment and have some real soldiers come from England or the USA or Both to train our troops.

    • I says:

      Full time UK Army and Jamaican Defense Force are part of the training staff. We follow the same training schedule that a UK Territorial Army regiment would follow. Which is essentially what we are; an overseas Territorial Army regiment.

      • u says:

        Who is going to attack us…the Spanish? No, that was 400 years ago!

      • Shawn S says:

        If you belive that i feel for you cause you dont know what you are a talking about. Because there soldiers are paid as full time. Talking to you like a 3 year old this means that Privates get paid as full time. Please think before your talk.

        • I says:

          @Shawn S
          I know exactly what I’m talking about.
          TA is part-time, just like BDA Regiment. Our Officers follow the EXACT training schedule that a UK TA officer follows. I know this because I’ve done it myself.
          And It’s not full-time pay by any stretch of the imagination; Bermuda’s conscripts are payed WELL above what UK TA’s recieve.

          We’re not an overseas unit in that sense of the word i.e. to defend against foreign attackers on UK interests. We’re an overseas TA unit technically because Bermuda itself is an overseas territory and our regiment follows UK methods of training. The Bermuda regiment’s role is an entirely local one.

  20. Victor says:

    Hardly a position of principle when the PLP have had fourteen years to end conscription. Well for a few extra votes, why not let a few more vulnerable kids join a gang and not get a leg up in life by a little military experience.

    • Bullseye says:

      That is exactly what this looks like.

      It’s also part and parcel of the underlying “tear down the old in spite of the new” strategy.

  21. bump says:

    Hang on didn’t she promise everyone free bus rides before the last election? I’m still waiting for that to happen! It’s all lies, next they’ll be promising 10hr work weeks and $30 per hour minimum wages!!

  22. 10872 says:

    1) If conscription is as good as everybody says it is, why aren’t ALL 18 year olds (male/female) forced to serve?

    2) Why aren’t/weren’t women (girls?) conscripted?

    3) Why does Bermuda need a regiment/full-time defense force?

    4) Why aren’t conscripted soldiers who serve at St John Ambulance/the reserve police or fire service compensated for their service to Bermuda?

    5) Why does the regiment fail to separate state/religion (prayer, Sunday service, camouflaged bibles, etc.)?

    • I says:


      1) All 18 year old males are entered into the ballot system. It wouldn’t be sustainable if EVERY 18-33 year old on the island was there at once.

      2)The issue of female conscripts….I’m sure there’s many arguements that can be made for or against that being in place.

      3)The Regiment has three functions in this order: As a support unit for the police service in times of civil unrest; disaster relief; ceremonial duties. I think the first two roles are absolutely necessary, even though they should be developed in certain areas to be more relevant for today’s Bermuda. Ceremonial duties come with the territory for any military unit

      4)That’s a valid point. Perhaps something that should be seriously considered

      5)There isn’t a military in the world that totally seperates religion from military service. There’s only one day a conscript will attend a mandatory “church service” during his conscription and that’s on the second Sunday of recruit camp.

      • Tolerate says:

        Excellent points, I however have a problem with question #2. Yes, it can be pointed out that around the world females are in the army and in Israel; who like Bermuda have mandatory conscription (mind you in a country where your life is truly on the line and not playing Boy Scouts like here) woman do serve. But really, constantly using “why woman do not have to serve” is really cowardly. While if a female would like to join, I have no problem with that. But to question why the policy not including woman being unfair?
        Kinda like questioning the common rule of when the ship is sinking, woman and children first.

      • 10872 says:

        1) If there were real/tangible benefits from being forced to serve in the regiment it only makes sense that all 18-33 year olds serve their 3 years and 2 months of service. Not all at once, but at some point in those 15 years. As not all persons are forced to do so I fail to believe those arguments put forth that the regiment actually gives benefit to those ‘lucky’ enough to be selected for service. If the benefits were real, why not bestow them upon all of our young people so that they/we reap the benefits?

        2) There are no valid reasons as to why females should not be conscripted (if men are). It’s discriminatory and unfair.

        3) Does the Defence Act state these three functions? I’d have to re-read the act but I don’t think it does… Why are people conscripted to march in parades? Does that make any sense at all?! Disaster relief is a good thing but again, why do we need to conscript men into a military force to pick up branches? Again, that doesn’t make any logical sense…

        4) They have it in their budget to pay all conscripted soldiers. If I choose to serve at SJA, etc. what do you think happens to ‘my’ money? I don’t see it… and I’m sure it’s never properly accounted for either. I doubt they spend less than their budget allows for.

        5) When people of all/no religious background are conscripted and forced to serve in a military force there should be no religion forced upon anybody. Singing hymns of being Christian soldiers, etc. is farcical and a slap in the face of those who do not identify as being Christian. Just because others do something does that mean we should blindly follow? There is absolutely no justification as to why this takes place. It needs to stop ASAP.

  23. joe says:

    I wouldn’t work for $30/hour. Those days are over.

  24. Blankman says:

    The PLP must be worried about the youth vote. After all, they’ve had 14 years to end conscription and have done absolutely nothing – now, with an election coming up, they suddenly make this announcement.

    • Dockyard Lackey says:

      Promises, promises. Last election it was free puiblic transport. I am still paying and the public transport system is in a mess.
      Another Front Street business is closing, so Dr. Brown’s plot is almost complete. The plot has impacted the entire population Dr. B, not just the white folk. But you don’t care. You are home free.
      Hopefully you will pay the price one day.

  25. Private Parts says:

    I was conscripted at 18 years old, and although I had to serve 3 years against my own free will I made the most of it and in the end was proud to have served my country and help other islands during hurricane relief efforts. I made many life long friends and saw many Bermudian men and woman from all backgrounds form relationships that they would have never had it had not been for the Regiment. All that being said I still don’t agree with conscription just saying that the Regiment was a breeze, good experience and taught me a lot about teamwork and discipline. PLP are definitely gonna win votes with this announcement – timing is everything I guess.

  26. lyfe says:

    its gettin cut throat get ready for your minds to be F****d

  27. Triangle Drifter says:

    I did my three years many years ago. Considered it a waste of my time & taxpayer money then. No change now.

    With the exception of special parades the regiment does not do anything that other organisations cannot do better & more cost effectively.

    In 14 years the PLP has made more than a few feeble motions to make changes to the Regiment. Nothing happened.

    Nothing will happen now. Certainly nothing in the next year. This is pure electioneering. Another item on the PLPs long list of ‘gonna do’ items which never get done.

    What is the OBA position on the Regiment & public service? Personally I’d like to see a period of public service mandatory for all males between 18 & 25. Give the opportunity to choose the field such as St Johns, the Fire Service, Police Reserve, any one of a number of charitys, the Regiment. If a choice is not made or obligation is not fullfilled, into the Regiment you go.

    • I says:

      That’s exactly what’s in place right now, except the age for service is 18-33
      I think the issue is that most Bermudians just don’t want to have to do national service in ANY form

  28. Suck it up says:

    I’m currently enlisted in the regiment and theres nothing wrong with it or the system of conscription. You meet people outside of your normal circle of friends, learn a bit, and gain some great experiences. After being promoted a few times up there I’ve realized that most Bermudians can’t take the regiment because they are spoiled and lazy. Not too much is asked of you and even if you feel it is you are being compensated more than enough for your services. No other private soldier in the world makes almost $1000 per week.

    Also, the regiment can be a cure to this anti social behavior plaguing the island today. Stop being so small minded people and support your country.

    And like many others I too graduated from university and received my underwriting designations. I have seen a lot of positive changes in young men after their term and I wholeheartedly support the regiment and conscription.

    • 10872 says:

      Let’s see… I too am currently enlisted and have met the following people in just my barracks alone: i) convicted theif/assault with a weapon (stabbed somebody), ii) another assault/robbery which ended up in magistrates court, iii) various other people who assaulted others WHILST UP AT WARWICK CAMP…even sending one to the hospital!, iv) racists, v) wannabe gangsters, vi) rabid womanizers/’dogs’, etc.

      Gee… I’m glad to have been forced to serve with these lunatics.

    • Free says:

      Or they could teach the anti social thugs how to shoot and clean guns and help keep this gang war raging.

      People like you miss the point entirely but it is not surprising since you are just a number who is used to conforming and doing as told. Is it not surprising then that you like being up the regiment? Isn’t that the whole point? The gullible, weak and naive followers make the best soldiers because they have no original thoughts in their head and take and respond well to orders, no matter how absurd? Kinda like the Jonestown/People’s Temple situation. Most leaders don’t like being a soldier and leaders make the best kind of people. My parents taught me to be a leader not a follower. You are basically a hollaback boy, all that abuse and the only thing you all do is clean up after hurricanes anyway. You aren’t even real respectable soldiers, if there is even such a thing. Look at the psychology behind it but you might not like what you see.

      • I says:

        Don’t project your own distrust of all things “Regiment” on to people who served their time productively and genuinely enjoyed the experience. I may be wrong but from the sounds of things you haven’t served your time yet. You might speak differently if you ever have the opportunity to.

        …”gullible, weak and naive followers make the best soldiers because they have no original thoughts in their head and take and respond well to orders, no matter how absurd? Kinda like the Jonestown/People’s Temple situation. Most leaders don’t like being a soldier and leaders make the best kind of people.”…

        You’ve just disrespected a pretty broad spectrum of people with that statement. I’m glad to see you speak on behalf of “most leaders” as well. I’d argue that some of the best leaders on this island are/were serving Regimental soldiers.
        As a civilian with no apparent experience in the military(again I may be wrong), kindly educate us on what a “real respectable soldier” should look like? With regards to our regiment I’d say those who chose to serve their country and fulfill their national service fit the bill.
        P.s. look at the psychology behind conspiracy theorists, but you might not like what you see

        • Free says:

          I’m not projecting anything and I am a female and do not have to serve in the regiment(while as I female I know why females shouldn’t have to serve why do we not have to give back and serve our country as females in some other way then?). So why should my brother? Or any other young man if they do not want to? What people like “suck it up” are essentially doing is saying that just because they enjoyed it everyone else should. Is that not projecting their experience onto others who might not have experienced the same thing?

          I did not disrespect anyone. It is my opinion on suck it up and people who like to be ordered around. If you or anyone else do not like it or agree with it then that’s fine. Who are these best leaders you speak of who were soldiers? Let me ask you then what makes a respectable soldier? So are you saying those who do not want to be forced to serve their country aren’t respectable people? And by serve what do you mean? Because like I said the only thing I really see them doing is cleaning up branches out of the streets. “Civilian”? “Military”? Don’t make me laugh.

          A respectable solider could look like anything, I never said they should “look like” anything but what they do as a soldier that would be deemed respectable. What’s been said and proven about the Bermuda Regiment is not what I consider respectable. What conspiracy theory am I going by? I never mentioned any conspiracy and facts about the regiment is NOT a conspiracy. Forcing young men to join the regiment against their will is NOT a conspiracy, although I suspect people like you would like the public to believe it’s all a conspiracy. But for the record I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than a kool-aid drinker.

          You are basically saying since I did not experience being in the regiment I should not have an opinion on it? That’s like saying since I’ve never been raped I wouldn’t know how terrible it is and that it’s really okay. Or that’s like saying since “suck it up” enjoyed it then everyone else should enjoy it because he did.

          • Thanks for your support free. The comments made are very insightful and enlightening. Amazing how anyone who expresses a strong opinion against conscription is automatically called anti-social in so many words.

            • Bred here fed there says:

              @Free I agree with alot of what u said but theres more 2 it. Alot of Bermudians look at the regiment as only pickin up branches. Not realising as a military force Bermudian males r lucky as regiment wake up 2 look at the ocean soldiers across the ocean wake up in that exact uniform 2 the sound of gunshots n explosions.

              most Bermudians think conscription is dead in the US n the UK but its not abolished, it sits right there on the back burner. They have a required amount of soldiers 2 operate efficiently n they get enough volunteers where they don’t need 2 conscript, but shall those numbers go below what do u think would happen. so bermuda with conscription is most guys in the regiment there against their will so how many ppl u think they would have if they tried it the US way. with the UK is responsible 4 our overall defense they want conscription 2 end but yet if a military conflict arises they expect british soldiers 2 com fight 4 them while they sit on de wall micin, granted it does need 2 b improved

              • Free says:

                Thank you Larry. Appreciate it. Keep up the fight, there are people out there who support what you are doing!

                @Bred here fed there – As you said Bermuda is essentially apart of the UK and if we needed any military help the UK would cover that, only in desperate times would they need to call up any Bermudian soldiers. In reference to what you are saying when or if volunteer numbers get too low is probably the only time I would ever agree with it. But that rarely happens and probably won’t happen. If they made the regiment optional and made it more like a career and paid people to do it that way, I doubt many people, especially these young men who complain that they can’t find work would not take up that offer. They could make it more enticing instead of forcing the people who don’t want to do it do it. I give you props though for being one of the few people here actually making a point for conscription instead of just saying “suck it up you have to do it so do it”. With all that said I will have to respectfully agree to disagree with you and others.

            • Bred here fed there says:

              @Larry marshall
              I personally dont agree with the whole B.A.D movement but I can respect others opinions n beliefs. I neva was 4 conscription n like most bermudian boys growin up I tried 2 think of every way 2 get out when I turned 18. but 1 thing I don’t agree wit is guys wait til they get called up 2 come out against it. I didn’t grow up in bermuda n found out 4m I was 10 that I was gon get called up. thats a big part y I believe B.A.D keep gettin over looked. not positive but Im guessin most if not all members of B.A.D have already been called up. 2 most ppl thats jus complainin cause u got caught as in u wouldnt support B.A.D if u hadnt been called up. every bermudian boy knows that at 18 their name goes in that ballot but no 1 has a word 2 say til their name is pulled. 4 me growin up spendin all that time thinkin of ways 2 get out always told myself if I get called Im jus gon get it over with. 2 all who try 2 compare it 2 slavery ur illiterate those slaves make more than those who risk their lives daily

          • I says:

            You have a clear disdain for an organization you have know real experience with, formed entirely on the opinions of others. That makes you more of a sheep than the “gullible, weak and naive followers” at the regiment you’re describing. Having spent 5 years there, 2 of which I volunteered my time for, and having moved up through the ranks and experienced the regiment in most if not all areas of operation, I have a pretty good guage on what life is really like there. And yes, there are absolutely some of Bermuda’s best leaders there, many of whom I have the privilege of calling my close friends.

            Having said that, I can agree that for every positive aspect of the regiment, there’s probably a negative opinion as well. I totally agree with that. Each person takes from it what they will.
            For you to describe Suck It Up as a “holla back boy” is what I call disrespectful. The regiment works like any other company with superiors and juniors at all levels. So going by your logic, unless you’re the CEO of your own company doesn’t that make you a “holla back girl” as well Free?
            If you had a clear understanding of the role of our regiment you’d understand that disaster relief is one of their three main functions. So when you see them “cleaning up branches out of the streets” it’s usually after a hurricane. Thats part of their mandate. Should the need arise their primary function is as a reinforcement for the police. They also travel overseas and provide security, disaster relief and charitable services for a number of countries, Jamaica, the Bahamas and the UK included.
            If you knew me you’d understand that I’m far from a “kool-aid” drinker. I certainly had a different opinion of the regiment before I joined. It’s obviously changed since then, so when I speak it’s from experience wheras your opinion is formed more on heresay and uninformed/biased opinions. That’s really my point.

  29. James says:

    The defence budget this year appears to be about $8M.
    Lets just scrap the regiment and when the next Hurricane comes pay some of this money to landscape companies who knwo what they are doing.
    As all Bermudians are entitled to A British passport, anyone that wants to join the forces can go and do so in Britain.
    I am sure that if they speak to the Navy right they can get a detachment for the odd parade on Front Street.
    Sell off Warwick Camp to some private business enterprise.
    Seems like ther could be a lot of savings there.

  30. Amazed says:

    People here need to remember this is essentially a two party system and therefore you will have supporters of both sides but that does not mean anyone has a right to disrespect people who feel different from them. No one has a right to attempt to berate people into supporting a particular party just because they think they should. The best way to encourage people to any action is to show them the positives.

  31. time has come says:

    I served in the Regiment. I was well disciplined, and educated before i was “drafted”. I did not need the regiment to shape me, mold me or correct me. For people with a plan and a purpose it was a complete waste of time. I wish I could make more of my time in the regiment but i cant. There is nothing worse than listening to men shouting, cursing, and you have to by rank do what they say. I did well in the regiment, but that is no credit to the organization I just did what I had to do to leave.
    the regiment as an insitution had to evolve as this current model has come to the end of its usefulness. I am glad to see that we are considering what our other roles are: Ceremonial and diasaster relief.

    lets hope the New Regiment works to make us better as a Country.

  32. Highly Concerned2 says:

    Hmmm no surprise there this just happens to come out right before the election

  33. Curiousone says:

    Election ploy as usually. Abolishing conscription will not take place right away. Will take years I bet.

    A lot of prep, pros, cons, budgetary measures etc has to be worked out.

    People will be asking government why its taking so long, to be met with the same ol answer as with everything else.

    We are still in consultation.

  34. Shawn S says:

    Bottom Line is you will never get the best soldier that doesnt want to be there PERIOD why you think countries like USA, England, Canada have fulltime soldiers. Thats why a few years back the when Some senators in the US was talking about having conscription the head of the US Milatary at the time said that we would never get the best soldier that way, we need people that want to be there.

    Bermuda wake up and get with the times. We are so far behind in many things.

  35. Vote For Me says:

    Another election strategy. They know that many young people are not drinking the PLP Kool Aid. So the PLP are trying to get them by ending conscription who do you think gets picked? The young men who vote. I hope they don’t buy that pack of lies because we all know that will never happen. Keep trying Paula. When are you gonna be on the talk show to help your campaign like the rest of the cogs? Can we have an election every year or maybe two years because now the trees on the road side are getting cut things are getting done all of a sudden. WOW!!!!

  36. ABC says:

    2 each their own

    STOP DE WARS ^_^

  37. So Ironic says:

    I’m sure the B.A.D. Boys are happy to hear this news

  38. Katlyn says:

    I dont care who wins the next election.Take the best from both parties and lets run this country.
    Should we bail out PHC for the election?by saying surrounding schools need a field?surrounding schools have been just fine,anyway TN Tatem is stones throw away.
    Should we not know why the chief of K.E.M.H was dismissed.
    GP cars running around on my tax payer dollar seen atPort Royal playing golf,or Alberfeldy buying plants i pay for the car.

  39. Just Sayin says:

    If you STILL believe the plp lies you deserve them to be elected.

  40. Cleancut says:

    Maybe if the OBA win the next election we can look at getting the Regiment back up to full strength again. Say 700 or 800 strong, that would be great for the young men and women of Bermuda and for the defense of this little vulnerable rock.

    The Bermuda regiment has been the greatest institution this island has ever had, god only knows the state we would be in without it.

    Countries like,

    Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Israel, Indonesia, Greece, Finland, Egypt, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Russia, Mexico,
    Iran, Algeria, Switzerland, Turkey, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Syria, Lybia, Angola, Cuba, Jordan, Venezuela,
    Korea, Taiwan. Ukraine,

    all enjoy the benefits of conscription.

    • Laughed says:

      LOL sorry bro but this post made me laugh. I’ve served for 2 years in the Bermuda Regiment and other than the one or two times we’ve been forced to clean up something, there has been ZERO disaster relief training or skillset training for outside of the regiment. The only one I can recall being of any sort of use in life was the mapreading session where our instructor was clueless in but I learned a little that night.

      If you want to increase the Regiment’s budget instead of the education sector’s then more power for you, that kind of thinking put us into debt.

      To the regiment: You guys are trying to instill discipline into my generation way too late. I have to keep my mouth closed during those nights and keep to myself to prevent from being a target, these youth are set in their ways, start younger please.

  41. watchfuleyes says:

    Oh my goodness are we all still debating the pros and cons of the Regiment and conscription? I thought we had come further than that in the last 14 years and that BAD has educated the people that there are ‘no’ pros to consider. Well the discussion should be, when is the PLP going to put their money where their mouth is by either, putting their promise in writing/ come right out and say that conscription is now over/give us a date before 2013 of when conscription will officially end. Any one of those actions will suffice. Only then may they get our votes. Only then may they sleep at night knowing that they have secured the votes needed to win. But until that happens they are in the same position they were in before they came out and announced (coming up with a timetable for ending conscript, yet another ‘vote grabbing tactic’. No one believes you PLP- go back to the drawing board and come again. The ball is in your court.And to the silly person who said why is BAD still grumbling it’s because we are more savy about Politics than you are-and see through empty gestures meant to just get our votes, ever heard of empty promise?