PLP: ‘Shocking’ That Premier Increased Cabinet

May 13, 2016

“At a time when budgets are being reduced” it is “shocking that the Premier has disregarded the SAGE committee’s recommendations, and increased the size of the Cabinet,” Acting Opposition Leader David Burt said today.

Mr Burt’s statement follows after Premier Michael Dunkley announced a Cabinet shuffle earlier today, with Jeff Baron being named Minister of National Security, Sylvan Richards as Minister of Social Development & Sport, Cole Simons being named the Minister of the Environment, Patricia Gordon-Pamplin moving to the Ministry of Home Affairs while Michael Fahy moved to the Ministry of Tourism, Transport & Municipalities.

Acting Leader David Burt, “Today’s Cabinet shuffle is a last ditch effort by Premier Dunkley, who is hemorrhaging support within his party and the country, to try to regain control.

“Bermudians recognise that a change in faces does not represent a change in policy. Sylvan Richards was most recently the Junior Minister of Home Affairs and Bermudians will recall his comments during the Pathways to Status debate on March 7, where he said, ‘The Opposition will have its say and this Government will have its way on this issue. And I look forward to ushering Pathways to Status through this House and doing the right thing for Bermudians and long-term residents of this country.’

“His reward for dutifully pushing Premier Dunkley’s Pathways to Status agenda is elevation to the full Cabinet, while those persons opposed to his pathways agenda, such as MP Leah Scott, have been sent to the backbench. These are simply new faces put forward in Cabinet to execute the agenda pushed by Ministers Fahy, Moniz, and Richards that has been supported by Premier Dunkley.

“At a time when budgets are being reduced for education and when money is being taken from the vulnerable and being redirected to Aecon for the Airport and to the Americas Cup; it is shocking that the Premier has disregarded the SAGE committee’s recommendations, and increased the size of the Cabinet to 12 full ministers which will cost the taxpayer more money simply for his own job security.

“Bermudians want leadership that is transparent and accountable, follows the rules, and puts the interest of Bermudians first. Until the agenda and priorities of the One Bermuda Alliance change, the Premier will continue to see his numbers fall, no matter how many faces he changes around him.

“Given that reality, today’s Cabinet additions are simply an exercise by Premier Dunkley to try and protect his failed and weak leadership. This is a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic that will not benefit Bermudians, but may stay the Premier’s political execution for a little while longer.”

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Comments (65)

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  1. Public says:

    It is too bad there are only the OBA and PLP to vote for in an election here in Bermuda. The PLP put the economy in the crappy situation we are in. The OBA doesn’t seem to be doing any better because my job is making us take pay cuts and some people are being made redundant. I would honestly vote for a trained, even untrained, monkey if it ran against the bozos from the PLP and OBA in my constituency.

    • Verly says:

      I strongly believe that the OBA had the best of intentions at first. However, it seems like now they’re basically just riding the gravy train too.

      • Kangoocar says:

        WRONG!!! When the plp actually support ANY cost saving measures??? That would be SHOCKING!!! It has already been proven everytime a cost cutting measure is brought up, they scream bloody murder!!! The plp for once need to be SHOCKINGLY quite!!!!!

      • sandgrownan says:

        Discuss at length? Explain why

      • Terry says:


    • San George says:

      Hey Public – use your cell phones and computers to start your own party. You don’t need a physical location all you need are a platform, e-mail addresses and a following. This is a great time to be alive. Alternatively you can control the MP in your area or they are gone – you have to own that person.

      • Today it is Real says:

        Spot on Burt, an increase in Cabinet size during this bad economic time is not a good move.

    • Truth Teller says:

      “Public” sounds like someone (probably white) who has never in her/his life voted for the PLP. Par for the cause.

    • Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

      Mr Burt would you prefer the OBA act upon the SAGE recommendations regarding the size of the Civil Service or make an issue over a seat ?

  2. steve says:

    I have a question for the PLP being as they referenced the sage commission to give credence to their latest “all things OBA related must be ridiculed in the news” My question is: would you like to see some,all or just this one sage recommendation acted upon? Its a rhetorical question of course merely to remind you that many of us see you as a group of BS-ers ..and poor BS-ers at that.

    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      thanks, saved me having to type.

      • Jeremy Deacon says:

        I have to say, tho, that I do wonder why the size of cabinet had to increase. Has there been an explanation?

    • Real Talk (original) says:

      I think the bigger point that you’re perhaps missing is that the government is cherry picking which SAGE recommendations are deemed worthy of pursuit. Eg Cutting the civil service vs. leading by example and reducing cabinet, etc.

      • Today it is Real says:

        Thanks @Real Talk, the OBA is merely cherry picking which Sage recommendations they choose to put into place. As SAGE is a product of the current government the credence truly rest with them, and not the PLP to say. So the OBA can not play this game back and forth when it suits them.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I think the biggest hypocrisy about the PLP critizing the OBA for increased spending is that that is exactly what they have promised to do if returned to power. I am disappointed with their choice to increase the cabinet size, tourism replacement was really all that was needed

      • Onion Juice says:

        Its funny when U.B.P.’ers are angry at their party they say words like disappointed, not pleased and upset.
        Instead of Pathetic, Embarrassing and Disgrace.

  3. Rickee Bobee says:

    Shocking? Oh brother.

  4. Lois Frederick says:

    If it’s “shocking” it must be Burt. Everything is “shocking” to him. Find another word, you’re bright.

    • Bob says:

      Lois – shocking seems quite aporopriate, given the level of hypocrisy coming from the OBA camp.

      Wait, breathe, shhhh – the PLP under EB were shocking also….

  5. Mike says:

    It is shocking. So shocking that I am not sure that I will be able to sleep tonight.

    In fact, I am beside myself with grief.

    (Gee whiz PLP – give us all a break) You will be playing the “I saw an OBA Minister in a car yesterday” game before long.

  6. Jim says:

    Tomorrow’s headline: “PLP- Unbelievable that Dunkley has nerve to go grocery shopping while Bermudians are losing their jobs”

    LOL..this PLP crap gets sooo tiring day after day…

    • Lol okay then says:

      Brehhhhh nooooooooooooo! LOL!!

    • high road says:

      its all they have to offer

      • Bob says:

        Low Road …….Casino flip flop – Jet Gate – Ac 35 – Airport – Citizenship war – Etc – lots to offer / no minor matters here !!!!!!

    • TO JIM: Nothing more tiring than Fehy, Dunkley and all of the foolishness put forth in the last 3 years.

      Lopsidedness and foolishness best describe the happenings over the past 3 years..5 months.
      Bring on the election.

  7. Shocked says:

    I’m also shocked at, to use there term “SPENDING LIKE DRUNKEN SAILORS”

    They have engaged in a over $300.000 SSM referendum, cut back on education and scholarships to educated our youths (note some are being educated as the good ole boy clubs looks out for them all including giving him opportunities in the American Cup teams)

    I’m looking forward to Fahy’s debate in the house with Simmons – oops I will be denied a good chuckle as Fahy can’t speak in the house.

    Now I’m getting caramel salty popcorn and a front row seat the “youngest MP…and Party Whip, taking over from now Minister Cole Simons, with whom she has worked as an understudy” Lawd, if that not the cats meow. Cole’s is painful on his own and to up-study, Davis????Lawd help us all

    No joke, a young person came up to me saying after seeing Nandi as party whip wanted to know “what’s government doing hiring a party whip, she’s the on that needs help”

    • GB says:

      lets not be quick to judge. She is a very bright, articulate, young Lady. I’m not a big fan of hers but she deserves the opportunity to show her worth. I wish her all the best, this will possibly make her or break her!

  8. San George says:

    Public – use your cell phones and computers to start your own party. You don’t need a physical location all you need are a platform, e-mail addresses and a following. This is a great time to be alive. Alternatively you can control the MP in your area or they are gone – you have to own that person.

  9. Charlly X says:

    Its a Shame n Scam what the oba , aka – one bad attempt are doing to the public to push their own agenda ! They cant even prove what theyve done n are doing will benefit Bermudians . Theyre displacing Locals by the scribble of a pen , while empowering a select few. Aka friends n foreigners . i guess its true they reallllllly dont care about those not in their circle . Sorry im not a surrogate nor a donkley believing in false hope . Its too bad they dont promote Equality n Justice for all !!!
    P.S . i guess this is the price we pay for Capitalizm.

    • Skytrain says:

      What was it you are trying to say. So disjointed I wish I didn’t try to make sense of it.

  10. I am sailing says:

    How big was the plp cabinet. All the MPs cars. All the security they had etc the list is endless.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      Oh how short are their memories are :-( Suggest more positive things as oppose to all the, “scaremongering stuff”. The One Bermuda Alliance are focused on what needs to be done and are doing it…

    • aceboy says:

      Yup. That was basically the very first thing the PLP did. Buy a whole fleet of cars for their MPs which they all drove around as personal vehicles.

      I was shocked then.

    • Smh says:

      Don’t forget. The 10% raise all the PLP MPs got when EB came in…..where was this shocking then? Makes me laugh

      • Raymond Ray says:

        Many of the “nay” / dislike supporters of the (P.L.P.)Progressive Labour Party here n Bernews are, “still wet behind their ears” :-( Many are far too dumb when it comes down to “politics”…

  11. Unbelievable says:

    OMG it’s soooooo shocking.

    Get a grip, PLP.

  12. no vision says:

    Those of you who are pushing this back on the PLP…we voted for a change – a change of honesty transparency and accountability – where is this with this government?

  13. Hurricane says:

    I read just last week that there was a freeze on Government jobs.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      @ Hurricane; That’s true but, as we all know sometime we must do what must be done…

      • over 60 says:

        We seniors are suffering. The OBA DO NO CARE if we can purchase our medication or food.

        Will not be voting for OBA as they see fit to spend millions on America’s Cup, SSM, gaming and immigration for their White supporters. Let’s see if this get printed.

        • Sunfish says:

          @over 60

          Try this on for size, The AC,SSM,GAMING are issues that are being done or addressed.
          The AC, you must know by now its big, really big!! The amount of advertising Bermuda is getting is priceless,the amount of wealth floating in Bermuda waters next year will be undeniable, don`t fight it, embrace it. It will pay off that 77mil 10 fold. We must be in this together.

          You say all this is for White supporters of the OBA? Come on now, you have to know most support for the OBA is Black and White! Just the way Bermuda is, Black and White. :)

          • Bob says:

            That black support is fading quickly – wait ….

    • Son of Beach Bistro says:

      So ? Why would that surprise you. During the PLP 14 years the civil service became bloated and 1000 civil service jobs were added. Why do you ask? It was done to simply prevent the already bleak employment situation from looking any worse.

      The PLP and their policies and arrogant pushed many companies out of Bermuda and had others moved offices to other friendlier jurisdictions. When they saw the mass exodus happening, they just hired more people and employed many more consultants.

  14. Wake up Bermudians says:

    You jokers forget that the PLP was criticised for the entire time that they were the Government. The current premier was the chief critic. Now that the tables have turned OBA supporters are moaning about criticism. The premier should have eliminated the former Immigration Minister from Cabinet all together. He is arrogant out of this world.

    • aceboy says:


      We don’t care what you think.

      Remember that?

      Arrogance was a-plenty from 1998-2012.

      How quickly you forget. Guess what….we didn’t.

      HERE. HERE.
      I totally agree.
      A disaster.
      Too arrogant, too self-serving, too nasty!!

      • Sunfish says:

        Trouble with you HSB is you didn`t know your nose was being rubbed in it from 1998 to 2012. If anyone needs to wake up,,,its you!!!!

  15. ST says:

    Ministry of Defence should have it’s own minister and two ministries merged making it too big to manage so very happy to see Environment getting it’s own as it’s an important area.. hardly shocking!! Great shuffle and now more work can be done as there will be more focus. PLP forget how many ministries they had and how HUGE the civil service grew under them – not to mention all the cars and gas bills we paid for so they could stroke their egos and feel important at the expense of all of us. Start adding something positive PLP it’s getting very boring…

  16. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    The Premier should have taken the opportunity to form a leaner, more efficient Cabinet.
    It’s called, leading by example!!

    • Sunfish says:

      So that would be like Rockfish 1&2 fishing on the same boat instead of Rockfish 1 on one boat and Rockfish 2 on the other?? Tell me Rockfish which would be more productive? SMDH!

  17. Leroy says:

    Oooh im shocked

  18. History says:

    Remember who increased the civil service and look where we are now?

  19. Coffee says:

    Very distasteful of the government to increase spending in this area ! This is a pension move , but they need two years in office to benefit .. They won’t make it ! Jeff Baron is tasked to do a job that he and Dunkley together couldn’t do . They both are dismal failures , the results speak for themselves .
    I see failure , Kenny Bascome has been silenced with a very small bone , he’ll soon tire and switch over .. Again …

    • Sunfish says:

      Yep Coffee you have it all figured out, funny though you didn`t have a clue from 1998 to 2012!!!!!!!!!!! SMDH!!!!

  20. Get over it and move on says:

    This administration isn’t in disarray like the opposition and are achieving results.

    GDP up. Economic growth for consecutive quarters. Overseas rating agencies supporting the budget of the MOF saying it is correct to position Bermud for recovery. More airlift to the Island. New and more cruise ships to the Olde Towne. Hotels being renovated and constructed. Plus they are dealing with complex social issues like immigration and SSM while protecting and positions the country in larger international discussion that if go wrong can impact our competitive position.

    I would say they have earned the right to expand the cabinet to continue this positive trend.

    I wish all of you that are so blinded by your own agenda would give it a rest.

    This is about the future of the country for our kids and grandkids. Without. Solid economic base your ideologies and philosophies will be pointless.

    And before you skewer me for being and OBA puppet. If the opposition appeared to be solid and had a reasonable and forward looking plan for the development of this country I would be listening to it. But they don’t so I think it’s time we just work together for the benefit of this country.

    The negativity, scaremongering and short sightedness is transparent to the future voters of this country. They are going to reward results not rhetoric.


  21. sandgrownan says:

    Burt needs to STFU…can you imagine if this gibbering idiot was in London making Bermuda’s case? Horrifying,

  22. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Through our history Taxation has always lead to poverty.

    Taxes, hard to earn,easy to spend !

  23. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    I can’t say I agree with increasing the size of the cabinet, but of the positions there’s only one I fully disagree with and completely fail to understand. I’ll leave it to guesses which one.

    Otherwise, I really do wish the PLP would use more realistic terms. No one is ‘shocked’, least of all the leaders of the PLP, unless they’ve really not been paying attention, which I admit is entirely possiblek. How about going with ‘dismayed’ or ‘disappointed’, ‘disgusted’ even?

  24. Terry says:

    It’s commonly called “The Working Mans Blues”; courtesy of Merle Haggard.

    The previous PLP administrators were a mess Gitmo and Beyond/ce.

    OBA is trying to use heads above water to keep us afloat.

    Why the hell I waste my thyme here.

    • reddamtibi says:

      Good question terry – yet you do it time and again…

    • steve says:

      @terry- your comments are pretty dry and critical. However I usually agree with your point.

  25. Scotty says:

    Nandi who? is the Party Whip! The enforcer, now that is an oxymoron!
    Why does no one ever look at the problem and try to conceive of a decision controversial or otherwise.? The PLP renaged so diid the UBP and now the OBA. Utter nonsense. That’s what happened to Michael Fahy. Too bad the same rules don’t apply to Chris and The People’s Campaign.
    David Burt is grasping at straws… Too many appointees??? The Premier sees problems in his Cabinet and is trying to fix it. Every Leader does that, even Ewart, This country will never move forward until the day and hour it decides to listen to the truth and make the hard decisions. Everyone wants to fix the problem but no one is prepared to stand up in favour of controversy or discomfort. Insular, comes to mind.

  26. Yurt says:

    “Bermudians want leadership that is transparent and accountable, follows the rules, and puts the interest of Bermudians first.”

    Not the PLP, then.