PLP “Renews Pledge To End Conscription”

January 12, 2014

With the commencement of the 2014 Bermuda Regiment Recruit Camp taking place this morning [Jan 12], the Opposition Progressive Labour Party said they “renewed its pledge to end conscription in Bermuda.”

Shadow Minister for Community, Cultural Development and Sport Michael Weeks said, “While the OBA refused to collaborate with the PLP on a Bill we brought forward to abolish conscription, we remain committed to seeing an end to the practice of drafting young men into the Regiment in 2014.

“It is unacceptable for there to be another year of OBA inaction on this issue. The people want progress, not more promises and we intend to move Bermuda forward by ending this outdated practice.”

The Bermuda Regiment Recruit Camp begins this morning:

Shadow Minister for Public Safety Michael Scott said, “The role of the Bermuda Regiment in regards to internal security and disaster relief is critical and its transformation into a volunteer organization must be handled in a manner that not only maintains, but improves the effectiveness of the Bermuda Regiment.

“As Shadow Minister with responsibility for the Bermuda Regiment, I understand that there is nothing more profound than the Heart of the Volunteer. I believe that this view is widely understood and that a volunteer Regiment has huge benefits for Bermuda.

“The PLP envisions a leaner volunteer driven Regiment that creates opportunities and careers for young Bermudians. Let’s end the practice of conscription and get on with moving Bermuda forward.”

Mr Scott added,” For this Recruit Camp, I would be very interested to know how many volunteers have responded to the Regiment’s recent and widely disseminated advertisement campaign and offer of a cash incentive. Colonel Foster-Brown is to be commended for spearheading this strategy and we look forward to seeing more ideas to increase volunteerism.”

The Bermuda Regiment said they had a total of 130 new recruits, with this latest intake of soldiers having the highest-ever number of volunteers – a total of 40, half of them women.

Slideshow of the beginning of Recruit Camp this morning:

Speaking last year Minister of Public Safety Michael Dunkley said, “No-one can question my commitment and that of the Government to the elimination of conscription. However, the timeline to do so will not be dictated by personal frustrations or single issue campaigns.

“There is a responsibility that comes with governing which is harmed by over-simplifying issues or allowing oneself to be caught in a wave of political expediency,” continued the Minister.

“Conscription will be eliminated and the Regiment preserved. It will happen this session and the timelines will be set to reflect the future requirements of the institution and not any version of its past.”

Eight former Commanding Officers of the Bermuda Regiment have come out in support of conscription, saying that “to abolish conscription is not in the best interests of Bermuda.”

A letter signed by all eight of them said, “A full-time volunteer unit will require substantial uplifts in pay scales to attract the number needed. It will cost substantially more to fund the Regiment as a result. Taxpayer costs will rise. This, too, is contrary to our best interests.”

Conscription first began in Bermuda under the all white Bermuda Rifles in 1957, and the all black Bermuda Militia Artillery began conscripting in 1960. The integrated Bermuda Regiment, which started in 1965, began with conscription in place.

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  1. Minister Dunkley Visits Regiment Recruit Camp | Bernews.com | January 13, 2014
  1. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    more plp blah blah blah!

    • Scoalsy says:

      Because they are talking piss-potagle and klingon as usual

      • hmmm says:

        “renewed its pledge to end conscription in Bermuda.”

        How many pledges for this issue are there, when was the last one, please can someone show links to all the other pledges on this issue from the PLP. Is there a time limit on pledges…do they expire?

  2. Really? says:

    How long were the PLP in power? Why didn’t they end conscription?

    • You my “friend” have hit the nail upon its head…Why now?

      • Sisu says:

        What difference does it make? Nothing like taking the opportunity to stick it to those pesky plp’ers though, right?

        • hmmm says:

          What are you on about “Pesky PLP’ers” ?

          the opportunists here are Weeks and the PLP. Why wasn’t this a story last week?

          • Lebron says:

            The answer why the PLP did nothing on this for over a decade is one of two.

            A) this is another lie
            B) this is another example of incompetance

            Either way it reflects badly and acts as a reminder why they do not deserve government.

    • Unearthed says:

      There was always talk about streamlining the Bermuda Regiment. When the PLP were in office, the regiment had larger recruitment numbers. Paula Cox, slashed the budget and the PLP wanted the regiment to operate as a professional organization offering more part-time and full-time roles without conscription.

      If the regiment paid more money and was professional I’d sign back up and continue my service. The Bermuda regiment in its current form is unorganized and a waste of time.

      The experience is awful especially when 90% of the recruits don’t want to be there. There low morale requires extra discipline and the organization loses its professionalism. Nobody takes the regiment serious.

  3. somuchless says:

    And the PLP continue to talk like they have dirrireh. When they where in power they had no interest in ending conscription and even faught the group BAD who tried to get conscription ended.

    All of a sudden the PLP want it stopped. PLP get a life.

  4. What? says:

    You got to be kidding me…

  5. O'Brien says:

    “The people want progress, not more promises and we intend to move Bermuda forward by ending this outdated practice.” – Michael Weeks

    Did you not get the memo? YOU AIN’T THE GOVERNMENT ANYMORE. You won’t be ending anything.

    You had 14 years to do this. The OBA needs time to make sure that ending conscription won’t prove a death blow to the Regiment, and that it can continue to exist off of volunteer recruitment.

    You can’t just bring a bill to Parliament as Opposition on something as big as this and expect the Government just to go along with your little plans. That’s why we have elections. If you want to set the country’s agenda, win the next election. In the meantime, stop pretending to be Government from the Opposition benches.

    • Frank says:

      No matter what you think it. Needs to. End
      regiment is a waste. Of. Money
      get rid of. It

      • Come On Man says:

        @Frank the regiment us not a waste if time it teaches some, not all potential crimminals how to aim and fire a weapon (sarcasm)..

    • Sisu says:

      “The OBA needs time to make sure that ending conscription won’t prove a death blow to the regiment” —– why? why does the regiment have more rights than me? why does the regiment get to go on it’s merry way when it’s lifeblood (conscripts) can’t? why must i be forced to serve in an institution i morally oppose because the regiment can’t function on volunteers alone? or figure out if it can function on volunteers alone? why does it take so long to figure this out? why does bermuda even need a regiment?

      • 5 Star says:

        because of people like you

      • hmmm says:

        Where were your comments on this when the PLP were in government???? I looked back, couldn’t see ya.

        • Sisu says:

          LOL you got me!! Because I didn’t say anything back then that negates any pro-regiment fanboys from answering some of my very basic questions above. Or maybe I posted under a different name. Things that make you go hmmm…

          • hmmm says:

            A Fanboy is someone who is obsessive about something. I hardly think that applies in any of the posts I read…

            Thinks that actually go Hmmm : Discharge of energy when the electrical field strength on a conductor surface is greater than the field intensity of the air surrounding it.

  6. 14 years too late guys. End it now

  7. 1minute says:

    The PLP had 14 years and did diddly squat to end it… Now if the OBA ends it, they want to take credit as if it was their idea.
    Anyway… where is the PLP leader…. Recently all public statments are by the shadow minister of this or that or the ACTING leader of the opposition… Where is their leader?

  8. Robert says:

    Come plp, you had 14 years to end it and now you are crowing about how out dated it is ?!!!!

    • Unearthed says:

      The PLP are under new management if you haven’t noticed. Not to mention, the high ranks in the regiment will most likely oppose ending conscription. Job security is a hot topic these days. Plus making changes to the way things have always been done is quite hard to implement given the fact that many will resist change.

      If it were easy to end conscription; I’m quite sure the UBP in their 34 years would have found it unconstitutional to require people to serve involuntarily against their own will and would’ve ended it.

      • hmmm says:

        PLP is not under new management…those who pull the strings are the same as before.

        The OBA on the other hand was started from scratch, all the old school levels you had to go through are gone.

        • Unearthed says:

          “The OBA on the other hand was started from scratch, all the old school levels you had to go through are gone”.

          I will say this humbly. Are you really this naive?

  9. Really says:

    Might as well go all the way and promise snow for next Christmas both are not necessary

  10. Bermuda Boy says:

    PLP / BIU are not in power anymore, don’t you get it yet!!!!
    PS and never will be again.

  11. Sandgrownan says:

    What’s the PLP “mood de jour”, are they “disturbed” or “concerned” today? I do lose track.

  12. swing voter says:

    laughable save your argument for something that counts i.e. how to attract foreign investment, how to arrange terms and conditions to employ locals including management teams and training.

  13. 32n64w says:

    PLP- party before country since 1998, one unemployed voter at a time.

  14. Scoalsy says:

    When are the PTP going to stop talking piss-potagle and
    klingon

  15. aceboy says:

    The PLP sound more and more like petulant children.

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    The PLP is out doing what they do best. Talk, talk, talk. That is why they were the “GONNA” Government. They were always gonna do something but they never got past the talking stage.

    Yes, the Regiment needs to change & that change is long overdue. It was overdue prior to 1998. What did the PLP do in 14 years? Oh yeah, they TALKED about it. They were gonna do ‘something’.

    The OBA has been in charge for a year. They say they are gonna do something too. The difference is that their supports will hold them to their promises. Excuses will not be swallowed without question.

    • Unearthed says:

      UBP did nothing about ending conscription in 34 years. The UBP/OBA as opposition for 14 years didn’t even make a notion about it. That’s a total of 48 years of nothing.

      We can go back and fourth on this one all day.

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Really? you’re blaming the then opposition for a PLP failure?

  17. 5 Star says:

    In your 14 years you did NOTHING. What or how do you propose to do if it is disbanded as I would defy anyone to say we didn’t need some form of MILITARY unit, and if the OBA does something you will only turn around and bleat that that is wrong.

    • Sisu says:

      Bro you make no sense. Why does Bermuda need a “MILITARY unit”? We are neither at war or with external enemies. Internal security could be better handled by an expanded police force. Marching by a volunteer band. And I think we can all agree that a MILITARY unit is a bit excessive to cut tree branches after a hurricane. So besides making up for the small d**** of those in charge, why does Bermuda need a MILITARY unit?

      • I admire your courage and conviction Sisu as well as the way in which you articulate your position. It is refreshing to read a no-nonsense approach to a system that is just wrong. Always notice how the conscriptionists never address the core issue which is that this toy army is maintained by a draconian system of forced labor.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Precisely. Expand the BPS through the existing BPS reserves. Sign up for post storm cleanup. Need a small unit for ceremonial stuff. I’ll bet you could get enough people to volunteer for a pretty sharp drill squad. Schools should be a good source for a marching band. Don’t expect anything as good as some of the US high school bands but I’ll bet with enough enthusiasm a pretty good band could be had too.

        I believe that there should be some sort of mandatory comunity service for all. I believe there should be options given first of what organisation to serve before the choice is made for you.

        • Sisu says:

          Agreed. Hadn’t thought of asking school students to help fill the ranks of the marching band but it’s a great idea. And many who enjoy the experience might stay on after graduation or re-join after university. (Y)

          The $7,000,000.00 currently spent on funding the regiment could get much better bang for buck elsewhere. If we are looking to save money why not hire an additional 50 police officers at $100,000 each and give them riot training? Or give 200 students scholarships of $25,000 each to attend an overseas university and have actual life-changing experiences? All whilst saving us $2,000,000 a year…

          The regiment was created some 50 years ago. Assuming the average annual budget to be somewhere in the region of $2,000,000 that is approx. $100,000,000 spent on our Bermuda regiment since it’s inception. In terms of meeting specified goals that $100,000,000 has gotten us what… one riot controlled and the cleanup of two hurricanes? FML :|

      • 5 Star says:

        sorry but disagree. a marching (school) band? What if we ever go independent? What about a Coast Guard? W & E can’t cut trees now? Someone always has to be in charge do they all have small d**** or is that your observation? I know we are to small but look what the UK or US military services offer during service time for the future.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      There seems to be a consensus of opion here.

      Where are the Betty’s?

  18. Redman says:

    PLP “Renews Pledge To End Conscription”

    Yawn!!!!

  19. Take it Easy! says:

    PLP can help us get out of the position We as Bermudians face plz! Since 75% of the damage is solely your fault!

  20. Ganja mon says:

    PLP lay down

  21. HeyBye says:

    PLP pulling at straws once again.Hodge podge of non important issues from the news headlines of the day.

    The economy should be issue number one and stick with it,everything else is minuscule in comparison. Without the economy ,we have no Bda.

    • Free-DUM says:

      The economy comes before human rights? Okay.

      • HeyBye says:

        Human rights!!! You got to be kidding me.

        You absolutely of no idea what real military service,if you think the regiment is tough.

        Many of this generation are wimps and momma’s boys that have been mollycoddled and cry about every little thing.
        The regiment can introduce some form of discipline and structure to some in our society,who are not getting it at home.

      • Of course the economy comes before human rights as the main reason why this current government drags it’s feet is economic. Sad but true.

    • Paul says:

      Let the Michael Misick trial begin.

  22. Unbelievebale says:

    This, again, is political theatre on behalf of the PLP. Just like their response to commercial immigration. They want to embarrass the OBA at all costs (even though the OBA do a pretty good job of it themselves). Sometimes they appear to be effective then sometimes they appear to be just petty.

    • The OBA deserves to be embarrassed as does the entire country.

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        Good to know you don’t give a s$%^ about “our” country. If the supports of the PLP feel this way what has changed they still put party over country.

        LOL