OBA & PLP Exchange Words On “Transparency”

December 11, 2012

The only way Bermudians can keep tabs on Government’s finances is through transparency, however the promise of transparency is “proving to be just another empty, broken Government promise,” OBA candidate Sylvan Richards said.

The PLP responded saying it’s “laughable that a party that tried to cover up a secret plan that called for the use of black surrogates” is calling for greater transparency.

Mr Richards said: “The only way Bermudians can keep tabs on this Government’s finances is through transparency. The more they know about its finances, the more they can exert common sense pressure on the management of our taxpayer dollars.

“The Premier said as much last December when she promised to follow a new ‘open budget process’ to foster ‘greater public participation and clarity in budget decisions.”

“In order to achieve this, she promised to release ‘all pre-Budget reports’ in the budget year including a ‘Citizen’s Budget’ and a ‘Mid-Year Review’, and that by doing so, her Government was conforming to international standards of budget transparency” and reaffirming “its continued commitment to good governance.”

“But the promise of transparency is proving to be just another empty, broken Government promise. A case in point? Where is this year’s Mid-Year Review? When asked, a Finance Ministry spokesman said the Ministry ‘does not have an update to provide at this time.’

“How bad must the numbers be if this Government is willing to kill an explicit promise made just last year to promote public participation in the ‘open budget process’? Is it possible that the deficit is going to be even greater than last year? Is our debt going to pass $1.5 billion?

“Instead of stalling, the Premier needs to fulfill her promise and provide information and answers to the people of Bermuda. After all, she did promise to be open and transparent,” concluded Mr Richards.

In response, the PLP said: “It’s laughable that a party that tried to cover up a secret plan that called for the use of ‘black surrogates’ and called some of us ‘less educated’ and ‘downscale’ is calling for greater transparency.

“It’s telling that they are trying to distract form that fact that they still haven’t told Bermudians exactly what their Cuts & Pain Commission may cut. Will they cut DayCare? The EEZ? Public education? Assistance? Benefits?

“Instead of telling us what they’re going to cut, the OBA is trying to distract by attacking the PLP who has delivered the most open budgeting process in the history of Bermuda,” the PLP concluded.

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Comments (52)

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  1. Blurt says:

    Where are the promised, Premier promised financials. That is transparency. Live up to your responsibilities as the ruling party and don’t come out with EXCUSES WHEN YOU FAIL TO DELIVER.

    The consultant reprt done for the UBP has nothing to do with the OBA., and to use it in a weak attempt to justify your failing to deliver to us, the taxpayer and voters is appauling. It is like saying, I didn’tget a licence and tax, for my car, I had to drink alcohol because that stressed me out, and I had to drive fast, so the police couldn’t catch me. Because I didn’t want to get in trouble. EXCUSES that do not justify your failer to deliver your promises.

    What happened to the AG, where are the financials, why are you paying games and toying with us the voting public. We demand and desrve better. Remember we oay your wages, with oyr votes we are your employer. Guess what PLP, thus current job interview is nit going well for you at all.

    • Black Soil says:

      The “secret plan” was discussed publically 3 years ago, a full year after it was produced. The PLP are now turning this into a “secret plan”. No “secret plan” was ever produced!!! The PLP are desperate!!!

  2. Ringmaster says:

    The PLP is following the Electoral Strategy playbook to a T with their straw man approach. The OBA is calling for greater transparency from the Government, not the PLP. The Government is not the PLP. Now get out of the way and let the Government respond to requests for Financial information. Or is the PLP interfering to prevent the publication of the financial nightmare facing Bermuda?

  3. GOD 1st says:

    Hi Paula Cox I Heard you say that you aren’t using race as a trump card. Paula and The PLP administration never gets tired of lying.

  4. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    The consultant report done for the UBP has everything to do with the OBA ! If there was no report , there would be no OBA or BDA for that matter .

    • Hey says:

      Irrelevent. Focus on the Transparency declarations and promises of the Premier..She failed to live up to them. this is what we are voting for. the voters then need to consider if the PLP aren’t transparent with promises now, what will they be like if they get back in….We WILL BE SUNK.

      PLP can focus on reports Markham strategies and repeating the same few lies to brainwash the public, but the Bermudian public are not that stupid, show us some respect PLP and stop insulting our intelligence…we are not as stupid as you think you mades us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      The consultant report by Markham has everything to do with the PLP.

      Quotes from it include: “Competency is secondary to race, accountability is secondary to race, and everything is secondary to race”. The document is a blueprint, written in 2012 by a card-carrying PLP supporter and long-time consultant. It describes how to cynically use racial fear, doublespeak, front groups, bad science, bait and switch, lies, demonizing the opposition, disinformation, straw man arguments, and FORGED DOCUMENTS, in order to win elections.

      So we have seen the PLP election playbook. It is in full swing right now.

      • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

        Sorry , but Mr. Markham is a certified Quack and his ‘unsolicited report’ holds no weight outside of the imaginations of the OBA supporters .

        The Panzer report though was commissioned by the UBP and all actions there after sanctioned by the aforementioned .

        In a post I made late last week , I actually congratulated the OBA in the execution of the Panzer report and acknowledged the professional way in which it was carried out . If given the chance I said that the OBA would be well qualified to totally govern this Island back to financial health while the rest of the world is suffering fiscally , based on the first class performance demonstrated through their experience of building trust out of falsehood .

        • Hey says:

          Irrelevent. Focus on the Transparency declarations and promises of the PLP and Cox..She failed to live up to them. this is what we are voting for. the voters then need to consider if the PLP aren’t transparent with promises now, what will they be like if they get back in….

          PLP can focus on Markham style strategies and repeating the same few soundbite lies to brainwash the public, but the Bermudian public are not that stupid, show us some respect PLP and stop insulting our intelligence…we are not as stupid as you think you mades us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Zombie Apocalypse says:

          Mr Markham has been a consultant to the PLP over a 15-year period. He describes himself as a card carrying PLP supporter. According to you and the Premier, we are asked to believe he wrote his 2012 report on election strategies for no-one in particular. But now that the secret report has been leaked, of course the PLP can do nothing about it except attempt to distance themselves. But all the while, they continue to work by the playbook outlined in it.

          You and your PLP mates seem to have an unending supply of childish names. “Panzer report”? Grow up.

        • Keturah says:

          Well, quack or not….we have all lived through these tactics since 2007…all the while trying to convince ourselves that it could not be an organized strategy on behalf of our representatives in government. Race really should be kept out of politics on either side of the political fence. It does trickle down to all of bermudian society. If we want to tackle race issues then let’s do it in a way that is productive and responsible. I know that it is but a few in the plp govt who behave in this way and we shouldn’t tar everyone with the same brush…but my point is that it is tolerated at all and is frustrating to those of us who just want to live in harmony with ALL Bermudians. If it is tolerated by ANY party (OBA included…and no I am not a fan) there is the overall suggestion that it is ok…and it is not.

        • Rockfish#2 says:

          Markham may or not be a certified quack, but that did not stop a number of PLP Members of Parliament from paying for his advice.

    • Familiar says:

      Even were that true, Mountbatten, what does it have to do with the present Government’s failure to meet it’s promises regarding transparency?

    • Tactics says:

      “A PLP favourite technique is the straw man. The straw man fallacy occurs when a statement misrepresents or invents an opponent’s view (sometimes even the opponent is invented) in order to easily discredit it.”Michael Markham

      “In the PLP there were secret front groups to influence public opinion with call (sic) to the talk shows, letters to the editor and Internet messages. The shadowy way front groups operate makes it difficult to know whether a seemingly independent grassroots is actually representing some other entity.”
      Michael Markham

    • Bullseye says:

      Nothing to do with the article except deflection.

    • Argosy says:

      Perhaps you know where the “Son of the Soil” report is, Battenburg?

    • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

      The Budget Mid-Year Review was something the Premier promised to the people of Bermuda, not to the OBA or the UBP.

      We, the people, deserve and have a RIGHT to know what the reality is with our financial situation since it is we, the people, who will be ultimately responsible for making good on any debts or contractual agreements this, or any government, may have entered into.

      Shame on the PLP for using such a feeble excuse as a trumped up “secret” document for reneging ON THEIR OWN PROMISES!

    • More with less says:

      What happened to the AG? Could it have anything to possibly do with say 1.5 BILLION of debt? Hmmm, can’t wait to hear the excuses when all is finally revealed.

    • Nuff Respect says:

      And would you not say the PLP benefitted from it? People that live in grass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Look within! Check your MPs resumes, you might find that a few UBPers stuck in there when you were busy hating and not paying attention.

      Maybe they are a part of the big secret bad plan that you guys go on about. Maybe they are seeds! Can you trust Furburt, Jamal and the others! If you believe the plan and they were a part of it, can they be trusted!!! You can’t have it both ways.

  5. GOD 1st says:

    @ M.P. Mountbatten jP Open your eyes you are in denial like this PLP Government.

  6. GOD 1st says:

    fear mongering tactics no solutions

  7. GOD 1st says:

    The PLP Government are liars

  8. More Confused says:

    The PLP’s response raises the question as to who is pulling the strings behind the scenes. It is apparent the PLP Leader Paula Cox is not in charge and is being undermined in her authority, yet is powerless to stop it. It is known Derrick Burgess defied her over the BLDC matter, but who else could have such control over the PLP? An ex Premier perhaps?

  9. Clive Spate says:

    After hiring a consultant to define the term transparency, the PLP decided not to share the findings or costs, but assured the public the report came in on time and within budget.

  10. Xman says:

    There’s no such thing as full Govt? Transparency .
    There are some things that Govt. just don’t share with the people.
    Both the UBP and the PLP
    has kept many things from us the people
    And a lot of stuff were never going to know.
    I would have liked to have known by the present day Govt. that it was going to get this economically bad in Bermuda.
    One of the PLP’s best kept secrets.
    Hopefully the OBA will not hold secrets that have affected us in a negative way like the PLP did.

    • A Bermudian says:

      @ Xman,

      I agree with you,I believe the PLP acted in the same manner as the old GOV, and OBA would do the same if they get the chance. Lets be real, there are not to many countries who tell their people everything, it just does not happen. I honestly believe that if people really knew what their GOV’s do, they probably would like to go back to not knowing, because I’m sure it would raise a few eyebrows.

      On the document and whatever, listen, the PLP are playing the game that is known as Politics or Politricks, however you want to say it. Don’t get mad at them if they know how to play the game better then the other side. It’s politic’s!!! Act like you know. Obama went through way more rhetoric that the OBA has. Get smarter, find a new angle or be able to get your message out more effectively. This country is ready for change, but they are not convinced that the OBA is the solution.

      This is from a person who is unhappy with both parties, as neither of them deserve the trust they are asking for.

  11. Rockfish#2 says:

    What exactly does the Government mean by transparency? The general public have several unanswered question about the shameful misuse of our money. But all we get are smoke screens, diversions and lies, instead of honest answers!

    On another matter:
    “In response, the PLP said: “It’s laughable that a party that tried to cover up a secret plan that called for the use of ‘black surrogates’ and called some of us ‘less educated’ and ‘downscale’ is calling for greater transparency”.

    Speaking of name calling.
    What former Minister who is now a PLP candidate, called some Black people house n*****s simply because they they disagreed with him? This on public radio!

    • Argosy says:

      ….and Renee Webb is now on-Island spouting on VSB about how Bermuda should be like the US and get race out of political elections.

      Rich, coming from the name-caller who coined the phrase “people who look like me”.

      She then goes on to further spout about the number of Caucasians in the OBA!!

      Another PLP joker – had a good laugh listening to her, though!

      • Nuff Respect says:

        She was a power head from day one – best thing they did for the PLP and Bermuda was to push her out!

        • Rockfish#2 says:

          Push her out? No, she is a highly paid consultant to the PLP government.

          It is unclear what her responsibilities are, but she returned home to sing for her supper!

          Some will remember her connections with the Stonington “deal”

  12. switchingtoOBA says:

    PLP need to stop!!! all they do is come up with poor a$$ excuses as to why this or that was not done. excuses, excuses!!! it has been proven over these last few years that PLP hasnt been about Bermuda all this time, but somehow manage to be tryna do all these things all of a sudden (to damm Late). They have been taking care of themselves thats why its only us people that are suffering and going through the hard times. So many people have lost their jobs and homes due to the hell that PLP has generated for us. So cut the $hit PLP. Paula Cox I have no faith in you, it seems like you and that fool Brown had a secret conspiracy to run Bermuda to hell and thats exactly what you have done.You had us all fooled in the beginning thinking that you was gonna sort out the $hit that brown had done but that wasnt the case, you just sneakly continued what he was doing which makes you worse then him. i hope PLP doesnt get back in cause you sure as hell wont be getting my vote. I’ll rather take my chances with OBA!!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      If there are enough smart voters out there the PLP will stop in 6 days. Now, if only there was a way to make them & their supporters liable for the mess that they have left behind.

      Looks like a good chunk of our money went to pay a California law firm.

  13. Petra says:

    “Will they cut daycare?” No – they will cut something of great importance to society, the Sunshine League! And then, when “this too has passed” they will overrule technical professionals and allow one of their mates to build something that might be an orphanage, or maybe a seniors home, or maybe a great big residence for a Cabinet member to live in. Oh…no…… wait……….

    Fearmongering and race is all they have left. Answer the questions? Where is the mid-year budget update? Where is the Procurement Code of Practice that promised transparency in contract awarding?

  14. Cha says:

    I for one would love some transparency in Bermuda government regardless of who is running the island. While we are at it can we get some accountability in there as well with Civil servants needing to go through peer reviews and performance evaluations? Honestly if they do not wish to work then the dead weight should be dropped and people who want to make a difference and will take passion in their roles can move in leaving the others to find employment elsewhere. Right now the civil service is substandard, you call and no one answer then it goes to voice mail but the mailbox is full because no one checks it. Truly is incredible. That is how you move Bermuda Forward as opposed to backwards like the PLP are presently doing.

  15. GOD 1st says:

    PLP excuses excuses and more excuses

    • jt says:

      Dear God – thing is – the the responses don’t even have excuses in them (however lame) because the PLP know any attempt to actually address the issues head on is a bad idea. Therefore – divert, deflect, silence, blame etc.

  16. navin johnson says:

    When the Government was asked about the promised budget reports they asked Darius Tucker for a response and he said…”It’s about Transparency” where are the reports? simple question….the last thing that Madame Premier wants to have leak is the state of Bermuda’s finances….worse than anyone could imagine…..

  17. BermudianVoting says:

    How can you compare fiscal transparency in today’s economy with a “secret plan” that sought to merge two parties (whoop de doo and in the end that resulting party was dissolved)? The latter has NOTHING to do with finances or the debt that Bermuda has found itself in. All political parties lie and cover up, all use inexcusable tactics at times. The use of the term “black surrogates” is one such example. The PLP is guilty of no less. However, I would much prefer a FISCALLY transparent government by a party (no matter who started it, ended it, jumped in or out) than a fiscally irresponsible, over spending, secretive (financially) government, which is what we currently have. The $$$ speak for themselves. For the record however, I’m not PLP or OBA, I am your classic swing voter- female, single, mixed race. I have a duty to vote, I have a right to my vote,and I have a brain and I USE IT. OBA’s got my vote this time.

  18. Terry says:

    Follow the money.
    Scotland Yard…

  19. Concerned says:

    Please let us know what is going on with our Accountant General – did she refuse to issue cheques for MP’s requesting last pay cheques before the 17th so they can purchase 1st class plane tickets for departure on the 18th via MIAMI to DR or Brazil. Why was the A/G sent home!!

  20. GOD 1st says:

    yes i am a OBA supporter

  21. OBA... says:

    Why is PLP playing the “I know you are but what am I?” game? The OBA answered the questions about this “secret document” countless times but you just won’t let it go! It goes to show that you’re relying on less educated and die hard voters to win you this election.. Let’s hope that there are more intelligent ppl in this country!

  22. Balanced Facts says:

    It seems that all the Government can do is throw out snarky lines like “Cuts and Pain Commission” and allegations of a secret plan by a defunct party. Reminder, YOU are the Government, and your scandalous lack of disclosure of finical reports, muffling of the Auditor General, lack of accountability on the debt and over all lack of ethics is painfully obvious for all to see. You’re only hope of retaining power lies in the whipping of the emotional pot as there is little substance in any form of plan or commentary to address the issues we face. The Government lacks integrity and leadership and is now becoming embarrassing to all, including those of us that have supported you in the past