Leah Scott: We Need To Listen To Their Voices

June 3, 2015

“We need to listen to what the people are saying,” OBA MP Leah Scott said in the House of Assembly on Friday, adding that “we need to stop saying that we want to collaborate and actually do it.”

Leah Scott’s Comments

Ms Scott said, “I have to agree with my parliamentary partner across the aisle, Walton Brown, about the need for immigration reform. It’s something that he has been calling, for a very long time. We have seen evidence of amending legislation, piecemeal, by the whole PRC loophole and people being granted status, which was an unintended consequence.

“I think that this piece of legislation is something that we actually do have to work together on both sides of the aisle, because it’s so important. It affects all of Bermuda. It is a piece of legislation that people are very passionate about, because it is … Bermudians feel that their birthrights are being taken from them. They feel that their rights are being taken from them and they’re unhappy. We need to listen to their voices and we need to listen to what they’re saying.

Audio of Ms Scott’s speech in the House on Friday:

Ms Scott continued, “I agree that we do need wholesale reform. We do need to listen and we do need to come together and work together on this. The government is in a catch 22 situation. We’re trying to stimulate the economy. We’re also trying to amend legislation to bring about that economic stimulation without creating offense. People are scared. I understand the fear. I’ve been in a situation where I’ve seen the BELCO man come turn off my lights, where I’ve borrowed money from people, and I don’t answer the phone, because I can’t afford to pay them back. The fear is real. People don’t have jobs. It’s humiliating not to be able to pay your bills. It’s humiliating not to be able to pay your rent….

“I can’t imagine sending my child to school, because I can’t give them any food. I can’t imagine coming home and not being able to feed my child, because I can’t afford to or because I don’t have a job or because I can’t get financial assistance. I think that, at the risk of getting my knuckles wrapped, as a government…we need to listen to what the people are saying. I don’t know how many people have children here, but when you have a baby, there are times when that baby cries and you think, ‘oh the baby’s wet and they’re hungry’ and there’s no urgency in picking them up, but then there’s a time when that baby cries and you know you’ve got to go and get that baby and you know you better pick it up and you know you better listen to it.

“The people are saying to us, ‘We need you to hear us.’ People don’t get up and march just because that’s what they want to do. They’re saying I need for you to hear me. I’m hurting. I have a voice and I want you to listen. I think that what we have been tasked with as a government is a very difficult job. I think that people are tired of hearing that, ‘oh it’s the PLP’s fault.’ We’ve gone past that. We’ve been in the government for 2 1/2 years now and we need to come up with some viable solutions.

“We need to work together. We need to stop saying that we want to collaborate and actually do it. We need to stop practicing personal violence and vendettas against each other. We need to stop talking about each other and truly come together. We are here to be leaders of this country. We stand up every morning on Fridays and we turn around and we face out and we say the Lord’s Prayer and then we turn into demons.

“I don’t mean to offend anybody and I don’t want you to take it that way, but we are here to lead. We are here to be by example. We’re not going to be here forever. I don’t know any young people that are interested in getting in politics, because they’re very unhappy about the way we are governing ourselves, first of all, and this country. It’s embarrassing. It’s humiliating. We should not be up here saying the things that we’re saying to each other or doing the things that we do to each other. We are adults. We got into this, because we want to do things in this country to take Bermuda forward. That’s why I got elected. I didn’t get up here to come up here to talk about my fellow colleagues across the aisle. That’s not my intention. There are people in this country that are hurting and we are being distracted by nonsense, because we don’t want to come together and do the things that we are supposed to do. Yes, the Westminster system is divisive. We can be different.

“Last week, we collaborated on a legislation. This week we’ve collaborated on legislation. Why can’t we do it all the time? This whole thing about the government has its way and the opposition will have its say. Foolishness. We need to come together and work together as a total unit,” added Ms Scott.

PLP’s Comments

  • “People are very passionate because Bermudians feel that their birthrights have been taken from them.”
  • “They’re unhappy and we need to listen to their voices. We need to listen to what they have to say.”
  • “So while I agree that we need wholesale reform, we need to listen and we need to come together.”
  • “People are scared. I understand the fear. I have been in a situation where I have seen the Belco man come to turn off my lights.”
  • “At the risk of getting my knuckles rapped, as a Government we need to listen to what the people are saying,”
  • “People don’t get up and march just because they want to. They’re saying, ‘I need for you to hear me; I am hurting, I have a voice and I want you to listen’.”
  • “People are tired of hearing, ‘oh, it’s the PLP’s fault’.”
  • “We have gone past that … we have been in Government for 2½ years and we need to come up with some viable solutions.”

A PLP spokesperson said, “The above quotes taken from OBA MP Leah Scott in the House of Assembly should provide the public with an awareness that the governing OBA has a total disconnect from the people they are representing.

“Ms. Scott took to her feet in the House of Assembly to speak largely against the actions of her own Government. She took them to task on not listening to the people, and on blaming everything on the Progressive Labour Party.

“Ms. Scott then abstained from voting in support of the OBA Bill on Immigration.

“It begs the question, why is the OBA so hesitant to work on Immigration reform through the mechanisms of a Joint Select Committee as proposed by Shadow Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown, and supported by Leah Scott?

“Wouldn’t the International Business community, and the majority of Bermudians in general feel more comfortable with Immigration Policy created by having both major political parties around the table?

“Wouldn’t this comfort be enhanced by knowing that at the end of any eventual general election, immigration policy would not change based on who was the winner?

“For a government that speaks about collaboration, where have we seen this collaboration? It appears we have only heard it in words, but have yet to truly see it in action.

“If only more backbenchers had the fortitude of Ms. Scott to speak their minds then perhaps the OBA would focus their attention on the needs of the majority of Bermudians rather than the few. Hopefully Ms. Scott will continue to speak out when disappointed in her government.

“Premier Michael Dunkley looked very displeased with Ms. Scott at the conclusion of her remarks, but perhaps he will think about her remarks and realize there is a truth that she spoke and maybe he, in turn, will begin to lead his government in a manner that is reflective of the needs of all Bermudians.”

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Comments (65)

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  1. BTCHECKER says:

    So the PLP use it for political purposes…….sigh

    • Ms. Scott needs to take time to visit the people within her own constituency first, so she needs to start with The Vernon Temple Church and speak directly to the Pastor who she has not spoken with or to, at anytime since she has been in the constituency.

      If you can not work with the leaders in your own constituency, you don’t have a hope in the world of accomplishing anything you said on the floor of the house, and there are many within Ms. Scotts constituency who have never seen her dust the doorstep of their residence of place of business.

      So words mean absolutely nothing until you back them up with action, I have been here going on two years, and I have not seen her not even once.

      • Kiskadee says:

        That also goes for Ms Nandi Davis in St George .She canvassed with Richard Spurling and we haven’t seen her since
        She earns her money easily

        • That would probably apply to the vast majority of representatives whether they be of the Government Party or the Opposition Party. Nothing has changed in that respect :-(
          But in this age of “technological possibilities” there is nothing to obstruct a citizen from either emailing or “texting” and last but yet as efficient, the use of the common telephone if there is something/s a member of the public wishes to bring to the attention of the representative of their region.

    • Why? says:

      We elect politicians to act.
      One action, okay, is to cry. It is acceptable if you have taken a stand on anything meaningful and got it done. We have big issues:
      What has she done to identify the best Maths teaching programmes in the world when Maths teaching ion Bermuda is weak?
      What has she done about the continued decline of males in our system?
      What has she said about the homeless?

      The list is endless and had she been trying and speaking on the Motion to adjourn she would have more public support. She makes over $60,000 being a back-bencher. I would cry for $30,000. Cost saving.
      We want action and tears AFTER you have done the job you were elected to do.
      I assume you have some ideas and things you want done and if you don’t talk to Kenneth Bascome because he has lots and just needs some help getting things done.

  2. Sad says:

    Just the other week Ms. Scott was vile for admonishing the BTUC and the PLP howled for her resignation over her plagiarised letter to the editor. Now she is a PLP hero. I love politics.

    Also, she was criticising the lack of honest and to it debate based on the PLP’s rants in her speech. Something the PLP left out in their press release.

    Where were the calls for collaboration when the PLP was in power?

    Where are PLP’s ideas for immigration reform? All they have offered is opposition to every government bill. Sounds as if they simply want their own way. That’s not collaboration. That’s domination.

    • More Fake Drama says:

      Collaboration as in “we don’t care what you think!”

  3. Huh? says:

    Positive and constructive comments from Leah Scott.
    The PLP response? Political opportunism.

    • hmmm says:

      Exactly what Leah was speaking against…PLP you learned nothing from Leah.

      • Huh? says:

        Learning things was not their plan. Becoming wiser was not their plan. Wisdom is not a part of the philosophy of today’s PLP. They shun it.

      • frank says:

        She should just walk out of the house and stop allowing herself to be used like the last premier

  4. thetruth says:

    “I think that people are tired of hearing that, ‘oh it’s the PLP’s fault.’ We’ve gone past that. We’ve been in the government for 2 1/2 years now and we need to come up with some viable solutions.”

    Leah has officially redeemed herself after plagiarizing. I rate Leah for this statement. This is nothing but the truth.

    If only the OBA and it’s supporters felt the same way… In my opinion, they will play the blame game until the end of time. Dunkley doesn’t like when people state the truth.

    “Premier Michael Dunkley looked very displeased with Ms. Scott at the conclusion of her remarks.”

    Local Bermudians in general feel the OBA just doesn’t represent them. The OBA is an extremist pro foreigner party ready to sell Bermuda at the drop of a dime. That concept doesn’t sit well will everyone.

    • Mockingjay says:

      The only way she can REDEEM herself is to publicly apologize to the workers on the article she wrote and cross the floor, other then that she will remain an emotional flip flop

      • hmmm says:

        whatever suits your PLP purpose…isn’t it. PLP sold their souls to the Devil

    • Cow Polly says:

      Here we go again. What local Bermudians feel the OBA don’t represent them? The few within the People’s Campaign? Oh give me a break. The silent are the majority and will remain so until something really displeases up and then we will make our voices heard.

      • iabingi says:

        I agree with you Cow Polly, most people that I know who are employed remember when things started to go down hill and don’t need to be told how to think and act. If the time comes our voices will be heard no matter which party is Governing.

  5. Huh says:

    Ironic PLP are calling for comprehensive immigration reform when they did nothing in 14 years but create immigration havoc. In some ways it’s a shame PLP didn’t win 2012 election so everyone could really see how awful they are managing a self created challenged economy. No America’s Cup, no PRCs becoming Bermudians, no Morgans Point, no Ariel Sands, no Pink Beach, no Newstead sale, no furlough days & spending cuts, out of control Govt spending & borrowing, international business & Bermudian exodus, no Grand Atlantic redevelopment…the list is almost is endless..

    • Everything written in the letter above (by Huh?)is, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!” How can people not understand this dispute / clause could’ve been rectified by the former Government, (the Progressive Labour Party) while they’d been in the position to do so…I wonder, (like countless others) we just don’t understand, why hadn’t they?
      The O.B.A are doing the best that can be done for us all in these extremely precarious times and the writing is upon the wall for everyone to see/read. Please give it a break…all you anti O.B.A. supporter.
      Here’s a thought for today:
      There is nothing more dangerous than a government of the many controlled by the few.-Lawrence Lessig, professor and political activist (b.3 Jun 1961)He has described the Progressive Labour Party leaders to a “tee”.

      • This I present to the,(thus far 15)citizens who are so bias that when slapped in the face with the facts still deny it as being the truth? :-(
        “How can people not understand this dispute / clause could’ve been rectified by the former Government, (the Progressive Labour Party) while they’d been in the position to do so?” Dah

  6. Big Eyes says:

    Proud of you Ms. Scott for standing up for the truth and the people of Bermuda.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Because she had a come to Jesus moment you are proud, PLEASE.
      First she needs to apologize to the workers for her offensive article and she needs to cross over, other then that it’s just B!@# S!@#.

  7. Sage says:

    Wow.

  8. Sage says:

    Keeping it real.

  9. NCM says:

    Marc Bean said in December, 2014 that ‘there will be no collaboration with that unscrupulous government.’

  10. Kiskadee says:

    She will be joining the PLP soon! She says the PLP get blamed for everything. Well, they should as they have ruined this country

  11. San George says:

    She is way out of her league. She has had her power turned off – they own the power company. Bob deals with billions – she can’t afford electricity.

    She’s in shock!

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  12. Alvin Williams says:

    The Leah Scott saga and whether the PLP has taken political advantage? A few days ago an American diploma was seen on television inspecting an honour guard of Vietnamese navel units, This is the same country where America lost thousands of American lives and the Vietnamese lost over a million in years of bitter conflict. But today they have a common enemy China. Bermudian politics have seen numerous examples of politicians crossing the floor and changing political allegiances. This is not to say that this is at play in the Leah Scott saga; But the PLP taking political advantage? What can we say when the OBA government offered the Speaker’s position to an elected PLP member of parliament; where they taking political advantage? One thing we can be sure off and that is the constant of change and that is no less true when it comes to politics.

  13. Terry says:

    Another day in the Isles of Devil/Divide.

    Happy Humpty Dunkley day.

  14. jt says:

    This makes it obvious why significant collaboration isn’t in the cards.

    • Huh? says:

      A two-party Westminster system is pretty much guaranteed to discourage collaboration. Elections where the winners take absolute control mean that our elected body is by definition polarized. We even call the minority the ‘opposition.’
      Until we introduce a system that is based on collaboration we will never have it in our government.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Please highlight a political system which isn’t adversarial… please do, but I won’t be holding my breathe. The simple fact is, there isn’t one… even in a totalitarian state where there is a single voice rule, they still have to eliminate opposition voices, often political arrests and worse… but it is still adversarial. It is tiring to constantly hear people blame the Westminister system for our woes, at least it gives us a chance to choose our leaders. There will always be more adversarial and less collaboration in politics, it comes down to human nature.

  15. aceboy says:

    There is no room for emotional nonsense in the cut and thrust of politics.

    Ms. Scott, you have simply provided the PLP with ammunition. They do not want collaboration, they want power back and as you can plainly see have no problem making political “hay” out of this.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Exactly. The PLP are only concerned with gaining control of the Govt so they can appear to be the “liberators” of this country which is a total joke.

      But I’ve never seen a Govt perform so many own goals like the OBA. It’s really not that hard, OBA. Just do all the things that the PLP couldn’t, wouldn’t or didn’t want to do.

  16. aceboy says:

    “Local Bermudians in general feel the OBA just doesn’t represent them.”

    Local Bermudians? Is that code for black Bermudians?

    • Mockingjay says:

      Yup, like lazy Bermudians, Cool-aid drinkers, Surrogates, those at Alaska Hall, and all the other labels you conjured up.

    • Ian says:

      Your code maybe…

      • aceboy says:

        I am a local Bermudian and feel that the OBA represent me just fine. So, who is this person talking about?

        • Mockingjay says:

          Well you’re a very small %.
          Who are you brown nosing.

          • aceboy says:

            No I am not a small percentage. The small percentage can be seen marching with the PLPeoples Campaign.

            Brown nosing? lol You and your ilk did a lot of that.

    • hmmm says:

      I think it means the direct family of the PLP opposition member.

    • Anbu says:

      Yup as only black bermudians are the “real” bermudians. Smh

  17. Forethebest says:

    I must agree with the spirit of what Ms. Scott is saying. Party politics, in Bermuda, have proven to be racially divisive when, in fact, there are so many areas of concern where working together, Members of the House could be more constructive. If they would stop the name calling and unnecessary castigation of each other, all MPs could likely work more closely in the best interest of all Bermudians.

  18. Jus' Askin' says:

    I wish members of both sides would speak up and keep their party honest ;-)
    There truly can be a “Better Bermuda For All Bermudians”

    • Mockingjay says:

      B!@# S!@#

      • Anbu says:

        As long as d-bags like u are on this rock we will never ever move forward. Keep up the trolling mate as that is prob all that u are good at. Lmfao.

        • Mockingjay says:

          So when did you arrive?
          That’s the same thing they said about Dr. Gordon, Gerald Brangman, Robert Austin Wilson, William Davis and the rest of them and look at how far they bought us.
          LMFAO

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Your response tells all, you obviously don’t care about keeping your party honest

    • Tough Love says:

      Agreed. The finger can be pointed at both sides for many things. The government needs to do what is right, fair and just.

  19. Huh says:

    Having re-read Ms. Scott’s very noble comments in the HOA, sadly it’s abundantly clear to me that she simply is not cut out for the ruthless world of politics. To function properly in politics you have to have a very thick skin and be able to focus on the bigger picture. Yes people are hurting. Many have been hurting SINCE 2008 when the PLP totally ignored comments from the business community and the then UBP Opposition about cutting back on Govt expenditure, term limits, etc.. So YES in my humble opinion – it is the PLP’s FAULT…

    • @ Huh: Sad yes, but true…

    • Tough Love says:

      So instead of making our politics/politicians accountable, you suggest that Ms. Scott grow thicker skin? Just leave the system as is, because we need to get tougher right? Guess who wins when we operate like that? Not Bermuda!

  20. Silence Do Good says:

    For all those who feel Bermuda should not have a immigration policy that grows our economy and provides opportunities to strengthen Bermuda for all, than I hope “birthright” will feed us, provide a roof and educate our children. I believe those amoung us have forgotten how our ancestors got here and how we are able to prosper after the military bases closed.

  21. Unbelievable says:

    I really have to ask the question…it’s been reported today that motor bikes sales are doing extremely well. One can only assume that car sales are too, have been or will pick up in the same vein.

    I know for certain there are people struggling but are the numbers of people really struggling like it’s being reported? I’m not asking this to down play anyone’s situation but these seem like big ticket items.

    I’d like to really see some kind of “National Quality of Life” report before even believing much that is reported from the PLP.

    • inna says:

      Depends what is considered quality of life.

      I would bet you that a lot of struggling people are those who fared so well under the PLP govt (read govt workers). Double and triple overtime afforded a lot of people with disposable income to spend on things they became comfortable spending on. Their quality of life is no longer what it once was, but i am sure that it is no where near as bad as you would suspect.

      Then there are those that would gladly take regular time and be damn happy to have a job!!

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        There in is the crux, there were many that benefitted greatly from the loose running of government, the excessive OT, they developed lifestyles beyond their base pay; boats and BMW’s. Now those reins have be pulled in and it is becoming more difficult than it would have otherwise been if they hadn’t grown to an excessive lifestyle. We all want to provide, but one should never live in excess of their base pay, now there are many who would just be happy with a base pay, and they aren’t in public sector.
        We hear constantly that the OBA doesn’t listen, isn’t collaborating… but they are listening, they are trying to rebuild Bermuda back to success so all can have an opportunity again and they know that it isn’t collaboration the PLP want. The PLP want it their way again, even though their way is what landed us so far down the hole we are in, even though they still refuse to acknowledge that their way failed Bermuda, they still think we should be going their way. The PLP have it easy, they can appeal to what people want, the OBA have to do what needs to be done, to make to hard choices. The OBA is listening, the question you have to ask yourself is do you want them to do what you want, or do you want them to do what needs to be done, because we all have to understand, there is no easy way out of this hole.

  22. Bermyman says:

    The OBA MP makes an appeal for collaboration, and the PLP spin it as a Political motive with more insinuation and innuendo.

    Yet Leah’s words are on point:

    “We need to work together. We need to stop saying that we want to collaborate and actually do it. We need to stop practicing personal violence and vendettas against each other. We need to stop talking about each other and truly come together.”

    How is that achievable when the opposition leader is making references to ‘TAKING PEOPLE OUT’, no matter what the context!

    “There are people in this country that are hurting and we are being distracted by nonsense, because we don’t want to come together and do the things that we are supposed to do”

    Key words here are DISTRACTED! The divisive politics of distraction and misinformation by the PLP are the very reason that there is no collaboration. Personal attacks, smear campaigns and wildcat strikes are the agenda of the opposition. How is anyone supposed to collaborate with an entity, whose main aim is to “TAKE YOU OUT’!

    Brown is more concerned with political witch hunting, than actual real immigration reform. He want’s the spotlight on him and he want’s it soo bad!

  23. Economist says:

    The PLP listened to the people?

  24. Oh,I see now says:

    Two things are self evident in this island.

    1…Still waters continue to run deep heh heh look at certain thinly veiled comments as well as the blatant ones.

    2….The leading party and the opposition are simply two sides of the same coin no matter who has the reigns at the time.