OBA’s R. Wayne Scott: ‘It’s Time For A Change’

November 14, 2012

[Opinion column written by R Wayne Scott]

Bernews published a long column by Col David Burch a few days ago, in which he argued that the Progressive Labour Party had done many good things for Bermuda during their 14 years in office.

The One Bermuda Alliance agrees. No one wants to deny or diminish the good things the PLP has done. In fact, we thought his list of examples was unduly short…we would have added at least the land tax break for seniors, FutureCare (which we think is a good idea, though in need of a lot of fine tuning), the compromise over the siting of the new hospital, getting the new Police and Courts building in Hamilton built at last and the land swap which resulted in the saving of the Southlands property for the people.

But the Government’s record does not consist only of good ideas and projects that have benefitted the Island. There have been bad things as well, and we submit that the bad things far outweigh the good, and speak to the Government’s bad attitude towards the job of governance.

They have been careless…to say the least. The cost overruns at Berkeley, the new Testing Centre on North Street and in other projects are notorious testimony to that.

They have been unable to sort out their own problems – the Uighurs and the consultancy scandal involving senior officials at the BLDC are examples of that.

They have not operated in “the sunshine of public scrutiny”, though they constantly claim that transparency is one of their core principles. The difficulties the press, the Auditor General and other Bermudians have in getting answers to questions is well known.

They have been hubristic, spending millions of dollars on themselves and their friends – on travel, on cars, and on lifestyles of conspicuous and unnecessary luxury.

They have been arrogant – Col Burch himself is famous for his aggressive treatment of businessmen, foreigners and people who ask too many questions. He is not the only one, by any means.

But, above all, they have mismanaged Bermuda’s economy. They have spent money without thought and without care, to the point that Bermuda now faces a huge mountain of debt which they have no plan to pay back. It has taken them just six years to get us into a $1.5 billion hole which is growing by the day.

They say it was all an investment in shielding Bermudians from the pernicious effects of the global recession. But the global recession ended for most countries a long time ago.

Their spending seems not at all to have protected Bermudians, thousands of whom are now suffering from unemployment, underemployment and an economic squeeze never before felt this country before. And they can’t explain where all the money went.

If the electorate asks the OBA to clean up this mess, we have a well-developed plan to get Bermuda moving again. Among the steps we would take are these:

  • We would stimulate Bermudian jobs growth by giving employers a two-year payroll tax exemption for all new Bermudian hires.
  • We would establish an independent Contractor General to oversee Government construction projects to ensure fairness, enforce rules and eliminate wasteful cost overruns.
  • We would protect Bermudian jobs by cracking down on employers who abuse immigration rules.
  • We would support small businesses by directing to them 20% of all government goods and services spending – about $80 million a year.
  • We would revive Bermuda tourism by creating a Tourism Authority that puts professionals, not politicians, in charge of the industry.
  • We would use growing government revenues to reduce debt and restore and strengthen social programmes.
  • We would end wasteful government spending through the creation of a Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission.

Another benefit to the people of Bermuda that has occurred as a result of the PLP’s conduct in Government over the last 14 years has been that the OBA has learned how not to do it.

We have learned that the people must come first if Bermuda is to recover from the excesses of the last 14 years. We will put them first, leaving no one behind as we get Bermuda back on track, working for the people.

It’s time for a change!

- R Wayne Scott is the OBA candidate for C#27 Warwick North Central, where he will match up against the PLP’s Lt/Col David Burch.

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Comments (29)

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  1. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    I agree Wayne , and change is coming , soon . After you all in the OBA lose this election there will be change , first thing you will do is change your name …again . Any suggestions ? Or is there already a new moniker that’s been decided upon ?

    • Y-Gurl says:

      You better hope your right

    • Huh? says:

      there you have it folks another schoolyard response from the PLP.

    • Navin Johnson says:

      Give it up Mountbatten. The secret plan? All of you just need to slink away….we had to deceive you…you all now look like fools….secret plan?

  2. Yes Aye says:

    Thanks much R. Wayne.

    1 question, how much money is currently given to small business. Do you know, or did your consultant (the same one who scripted the OBA) just tell you it sounds good.

    • Black Bermy in IB says:

      Do you have anything meaningful to say or are you fixated on 3 letters? OBA vs. UBP. How about these 3 letters: GDP (gross domestic product in case you don’t know)- ours is shrinking rapidly… a trend that must be reversed or you will crush future generations of Bermudians under a mountain of debt!

    • Who Done it says:

      Yes aye has a problem with consultants I guess… Yes Aye do you km=now how much is currently given to small business (resiting the urge to type friends and family), you should because the PLP have the most transparent of policies

    • Rockfish#2 says:

      If only the Government would tell US the truth about how OUR money was/is spent! They could also tell US who their consultants are, especially the persons hired from off island, what their responsibilities are, and how much WE are paying them!

  3. For real says:

    Release the secret plan to bring in the Uighers first!

  4. Black Bermy in IB says:

    Do you have anything meaningful to say or are you fixated on 3 letters? OBA vs. UBP. How about these 3 letters: GDP (gross domestic product in case you don’t know)- ours is shrinking rapidly… a trend that must be reversed or you will crush future generations of Bermudians under a mountain of debt!

  5. Cleancut says:

    Mr. Scott, I dearly hope your are trying to knock some sense into the PLP diehards in Warwick north central. The people of this island have suffered immensely due to the threatening
    behavior and cynical actions of Col. Burch.

    Col. Burch needs to be stopped, it seems that he has the influence within the PLP to do as he pleases.

    Good luck! to you, and all of us.

  6. Johnny says:

    So basically, the OBA supporters just bash the PLP articles on Bernews. Here I am looking to see how they would respond to an article about the OBA, but nothing. Maybe because one of their own has owned up to the fact that the PLP has actually done a good job.

  7. Common Sense says:

    This article is the best I have seen so far from anyone of either political party summarising our current situation and offering positive steps for improving our economy. Mr. Scott clearly points out that the PLP have done some good things while in power, but they have also made some really major blunders which he also points out with devastating clarity.

    I wish he was running in my constituency because he would get my vote.

  8. Shelta says:

    I wish that more political discourse were at this level.
    Thank you Mr. Scott, this is a reasoned response, acknowledging the good and the bad. Every politician should be so honest.

  9. Change needed says:

    Mr. Wayne I say all the best to you, this country needs men like you that will stand up for the country. when the I.Bs went to Col Burch about the immigration policies that were not helping them he attacked them and what they did was to leave the country leaving Bermudians unemployed. he was terrible for Bermuda.

  10. Tired of the bull says:

    They keep saying they will use growing govt. revenues to reduce debt but nowhere in this platform do I see how they intend to make revenues grow.

  11. Hmmmmm says:

    Mr. Scott, did you clear this with your right wing base? This isn’t the core OBA script (as a letter to the editor today shows). The core OBA message is that the PLP has done no good whatsoever and they should never have been elected. Do you have their permission to say anything complimentary about the Government? Some of the very examples you cite in your article have been central to the campaign against the PLP. FutureCare JUST became a good idea, that’s new. And building the Dame Lois building was always “unecessary” along with anything else this Government has built. You may fool these people who woke up yesterday but some of us have been watching your rabid right wing inside the Party and on the fringes, and with the greatest of respect, you don’t sound anything like them.

  12. argosy says:

    Well said, Wayne.

    One of the best ways to describe many of the most powerful persons in the PLP, who are responsible for its deviation from its core values, is “hubristically incompetent”. Sad but oh, so true.

    You all know who they are. They stick out a mile!!

    The current PLP’s engine is fueled by pure hubris…and it’s spread like wild fire. Look at the aggressive behaviour everywhere, the violence, the eroding of Bermuda’s social infrastructure…

    • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

      How profound Uargross , this explains exactly how the UBP lost control of Bermuda in 1998 .Think about it . The aggressive behavior than was contained though , and confined mostly to cases like the killing of the wife of Mike Meredith ,of which for some reason he walked . That case remains unsolved .

  13. simon says:

    The sad truth for many folks is that neither party presents a strong enough case for leading this island through the next 5 years of what will clearly be very rough seas. In the first few years of the PLP’s reign it appeared that the then Leader of the country and Minister of Finance had made a pact to reduce the national debt, cater to the business community and show the naysayers that they could be every bit as conservative as the UBP. In fact, to some, they out UBP’d the UBP in this regard. There was little Progressive or Labour oriented stuff for us to feed on. They would have made good Republicans!
    Unfortunately, very little was done to address the campaign promises made to their base,many who sought real social change; affordable housing -rents, assistance for seniors, programs that sought to move the young black male back into the mainstream and other much needed social initiatives.
    The internal fight amongst the old guard and those seeking the change promised in the spirited campaign speeches was now in full swing and led to changes at the top of the ticket and more changes until we got to the Big Cahuna of all promises and his new Minister of Finance, the latter sharing the same name and genes of the previous Minister of Finance, if nothing else.
    The outcome of that period of darkness is well documented and it left us with a mountain of debt (approximately $1,500,000,000.00) and seemingly no shovels to dig ourselves out from under this mountain of S_ _t. And yes, the global economic meltdown played its part but there is not a serious economist amongst us that wouldn’t agree that most of Bermuda’s economic woes have been self inflicted. Simply put,it just didn’t have to be this bad!
    Fast forward to election 2012 and what the ruling party has to contend with is an electorate that are just plain tired; tired of the rhetoric,tired of the broken promises, tired of an education system that continues to fail our children-our future, tired of being afraid of losing our jobs, houses, cars and all of the other stuff that people accumulate, and tired of their stale attempts to appeal to our blackness as the reason for why we should stay with them for another 5 years of their wild roller coaster ride. Will somebody tell them that the ride has made us a little sick and our stomachs just can’t take any more.
    Having said all of that…this is not a cry for the OBA. Nooooooooo, not at all, and here’s why. For one, at some point soon, they just have to do something bold that convinces us that they are a not a repackaged version of the UBP. That they are not UBP-Lite.
    Back to the PLP….We honestly thought that they had got it right all those years ago when they created the B.A.T. Strategy. Seriously, I for one assumed that this Tourism plan would push us back in the right direction only to find out quickly that they had absolutely no intention of implementing it. Now 12 years later, the current Minister in charge of Tourism tells us that we need a Tourism Authority–really, no kidding!Our tourism business is on life support, and those that bother to visit are largely dominated by the least profitable customer, the cruise ship visitor, which has led us to an almost total reliance on the international business community to drive real revenue into our economy.So much so that the PLP are now falling over themselves to offer this sector just about anything they want much to chagrin of some of us that wish that they had figured how to strike that happy balance between Tourism and International business. You know, that early party platform promise.
    So fast forward and what we have are two parties making all kinds of promises, none of which that will make a dent in lowering our debt and putting people back to work. Have you really looked at these promises? They simply can’t be done and simultaenously address our mountain of debt and the stiffling interest payments attached.
    What they can’t say in an election year is what right thinking people know has to happen:
    * The civil service workforce has to be reduced–not popular but a must if we are to lower the debt (yes I know, this will create other problems, but like it or not, it has to be done and will be done). Reduced hours/reduction in pay / very different pension plans–very different, are just some of the ideas that have to be kicked around
    * The winning party have to increase taxes (take your pick) in order to generate much needed revenue
    *The new government have to address the civil service pensions –not sustainable as is–just not!
    *Some of the social services have to be looked at
    *Again–we will need to impose addional taxes–yes additonal taxes

    The problem with all of the above is that neither the PLP nor the OBA are prepared to make these bold statements because yes, it could be political suicide.But for those that don’t walk around with their head in the clouds, we know that the only way that we will climb out this financial hell is for our leaders to take bold and brave steps going forward. To continue feeding us this comfort talk is not comforting at all..it’s just more of the same BS that we have been fed for way to many years.
    So I go back to my original point and ask for a REAL party to step forward–PLEASE!!

  14. LOL (original TM*) says:

    I’m not cpu savvy enough but as the guy on the Everest show said can we get a tv debt before the election? Start a petition lets get them to put their money where there mouth is and lets do it. The PLP should be all for this as they have said constantly that Premier Cox could run circles around the opposition leader. Lets do it.


    • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

      If you don’t want to see your leader get his balls smashed and handed back to him on a PLP platter , then you’ll do well to keep him far , far away from any one on one debate with the Premier . It will not end well for him . Please don’t do it , mince meat for Christmas pies .
      I know that I shouldn’t warn you , but I’m not that cruel .

  15. Classmate says:

    Wayne Scott has not gotten a record being trustworthy. This goes back before his marriage. He is duplicitous and deceptive. He does more damage for the OBA than he does good. He has always been bright. Yet what he does not get is that Bermudians dont want bright they want whats right. He has no credibility. Beyond arrogance he can not be trusted.

    • Come Correct says:

      Arrogance lol…. “WE DONT CARE WHAT YOU THINK”…that goes back 4 years and dont get me started on the Dr. of arrogance.

  16. @ Classmate…what a load of BS you write. I know Wayne personally and he is the exact opposite of the slanderous libel you wrote. Your desperation is oozing out of your pores mate!!

  17. Kneedeep says:

    Ha haaaa,
    Wayne is that desperate he writes his own blogs….Classmate you hit a nerve! You got him right. We know him too and despite his own blogs as “Say What” and “Come Correct” and him trying to talk about the good ole Dr. Brown, Wayne is what he is. bright yah true but ya not true bra…