Column: ‘Level Of Influence Becoming Null, Void’

July 18, 2016

[Opinion column written by Chris Famous]

“A lame duck, in politics, is an elected official whose successor has already been elected. The official is often seen as having less influence with other politicians due to their limited time left in office.” -

Over the last month, it has become increasingly apparent that Premier Michael Dunkley has taken a hit on multiple fronts; so much so that it now obvious that his level of political influence is becoming null and void.

Chris Famous Bermuda July 19 2016

Strike One

On Friday, June 17th, 2016, PLP MP Rolfe Commissiong presented his bill seeking to establish a Joint Select Committee [ JSC] to study a living wage for Bermudians, something that thousands of Bermudians of all stripes have been calling for over the last few years.

Initially the OBA, via Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, attempted to turn the bill into a ‘Take Note Motion’ which, in effect, would mean that there would be no JSC. With the majority of MPs on their side, the OBA looked as if they would accomplish this feat.

That was until two OBA MPs – namely MP Leah Scott and MP Shawn Crockwell – rose to their feet and stated that they felt so strongly about the issue that they intended to vote to support the bill. These declarations caused the entire OBA to have to make a U-turn in their decisions and the JSC was formed.

Strike Two

On Friday, July 2nd, 2016 in the House of Assembly, MP Shawn Crockwell exposed that, under the leadership of Premier Dunkley, the OBA was nothing more than a reincarnation of the UBP.

While many Bermudians have known this since the formation of the OBA, hearing the words coming from one of the founders of the OBA had a whole new ring to it.

Take a look at his words:-

“What has happened is, instead of the OBA reflecting the vision of the BDA, particularly under the current leadership, Mr. Speaker, the OBA has embraced the philosophy and the methodology, Mr. Speaker, of the UBP.

We’ve had a methodology of arrogance, Mr. Speaker, coming from this government. My way is the right way, Mr. Speaker. That is why we have had all of the protests that we have seen in the past three years.

“The fact of the matter, Mr. Speaker, is that in 2012, the people of this country did not vote for the United Bermuda Party. The people of this country, voted for the One Bermuda Alliance. They saw something new, something fresh. They thought they were getting a different vision.

“What they have received, Mr. Speaker, is the UBP.”

With those poignant words, he laid it bare for the entire Bermudian public to see.

This one speech alone has damaged, beyond immediate repair, any hope of the OBA gaining back the crucial black swing vote.

Strike Three

On Friday, July 8th, 2016, the OBA, via Health Minister Jeanne Atherden, attempted yet again to bring a rushed bill titled: “Bermuda Health Council Amendment Act 2016” that would bring draconian measures to Bermudian doctors and the private practice.

Not only was the bill soundly criticized but Minister Atherden was forced to retreat by declaring she would “rise and report”.

In typical OBA fashion, it turns out the bill was never fully discussed with all medical practitioners until after it was presented in the HOA. Not surprisingly, when the medical professionals heard the details of the bill they too rejected it.

So much for wide consultation.

Downward Spiral

Consider the magnitude of what has happened to Premier Dunkley over the last few months:-

  • His government forced to u-turn on a major position due to lack of support from his own MPs
  • His government forced to “rise and report “ on a major bill due to lack of votes and lack of consultation
  • His government exposed as being nothing more than the UBP by one of its own founders.
  • His government having only 18 seats out of a 36 seat parliament.

Bearing all that in mind, it comes as no surprise that on Friday July 8th, 2016 Premier Dunkley found himself abstaining from voting in the HOA on the major issue of SSM .

Let that sink in for a minute, the leader of this country will go down in history as an elected MP afraid to vote in Parliament on a major issue.

As the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck and walks like a duck…

- Chris Famous can be contacted via email at or Twitter at @ryderz777

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Comments (24)

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  1. San George says:

    Blind, deaf and dumb – he does not care, neither does he need to. The job is just a hobby – check that off my bucket list.
    There may be a huge price to pay for this Quo Fata Ferunt attitude.



      Great article the “Famous One”. … are Spot on. ….

      DUNKLEY’S weak Leadership is evident and he is indeed a Lame Duckling. …


    • Onion Juice says:

      And none of you FOOLS will hackle Dunks and de Governor at Cup Match when they present de cup, just like at de last Cup Match at Somerset when you ALL marched up Government House de weeks before and then let Dunks sweet talk his hooray for Somerset Bull S!@# !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. steve says:

    Wait..dont you work for the PLP? if so 1 why dont you write a piece detailing their weakness and failures? 2 you have a one sided political position that leaves you unable to make balanced comment.
    Hell i dont even like the oba and i think they are a bunch of confused,indecisive weakling. Its just that I am terrified for Bermuda if the PLP are reelected.
    oh forget it i am wasting my time..

  3. watching says:

    This column by Mr. Famous is on point.

    • Starting Point says:

      Agreed and for once he did not try and indicate the PLP was a viable alternative. They are not, I think the OBA lacks leadership and a collaborative approach, the PLP were arrogant as well and have proven to be incapable of managing even a tiny project.

      the options for the voters at this next election are bleak.

    • lalal says:

      On point… it’s biased.. That’s about all that can be said about it. Chris’s opinion has been nothing other that what the PLP want him to say… IE the Healthcare Bill… This act was discussed by the relevant advisory bodies and approved… The point is.. to reduce healthcare costs (something that is not in the best interest of most Doctors). Just because some Doctors don’t like it doesn’t make it wrong!!

      Our Dr’s are overcharging and giving tests that are not needed!!!!

  4. Yahoo says:

    Never read this clown’s ramblings.

    • Smh says:

      Yet here you are…along with the people who liked your post and clearly had to scroll past all those words ( and then read everything sbove ) to get there !!!

      • airportgate says:

        Shoot the massager that’s all you OBA supporters do shame shame shame on you UBP supporters :) one in the same

  5. Coffee says:

    Hey , if Shawn says the man is no good for the country , then he would know . Dunkeley and Shawn used to go to America together watching the Dallas Cowboy games , Shawn was disappointed to learn that Dunkley was really not the person he portrays himself to be .

    • Ringmaster says:

      You could equally say Dunkley was disappointed to learn Shawn was not the person he portrays himself to be. Even the PLP have said Shawn would not be welcome, despite welcoming the likes of Wayne Furbert (ex leader of the UBP)and other ex UBP members.

  6. Unbelievable says:

    The OBA has managed Bermuda’s affairs under dire constraints. Looking presently and in the near future we need to stay on course with them. To do otherwise is simply not an option.

  7. John says:

    Mr. Famous omitted his lack of leadership and weakness on the Marriage Equality issue that was major to voters the Furbert hate Bill and the shameful 21 will stick forever in our minds

  8. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Can Mr. Famous now do an equally poignant piece about the PLP’s weak leadership, and lack of ideas on how to right the mess they set us on?mjust because the PLP likes to promote an illusion of them as a united party, in no way means that they are. The divide has existed long before ’98 and the shadow cabinet split was only on of the latest incidents, and all indications are that its won’t be the last.

    • Onion Juice says:

      that would be anti bermudian… PLP is for BERMUDIANS OBA is for foreigners don;t you get it yet? smh you rich people will never learn… just leave our country and don’t come back

      • Noncents says:

        @ Onion Juice

        What is so pro-bermudian about the PLP? Running our country into extreme levels of debt that won’t be reversed for decades? The OBA are far from perfect, but the anti-bermudian argument is played out. I am Bermudian and the PLP have hurt my future far more during their reign of terror than the OBA have.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Wouldn’t it be more anti-bermudian to attempt to sell our country to foriegn creditors??? That is what the PLP were doing, and in fact have promised to do again. Or is it just that you think the PLP can magically make everyone rich and equal… they did so well at it after 14 years after all. 14 years of the PLP’s social, political and financial leadership left their own supporters even worse off than when they promised to fix education and social equality the first time. Or do you still believe that it wasn’t their fault that unemployment and financial debt was on a runaway train. Took them only a few years to flush us down the toilet, gonna take decades to fix.

  9. jackpot says:

    There seems to be consensus that the OBA serverley lacks leadership and the PLP is not a viable alternative. Yikes!! Bermuda is in a serious dilemma. So what are the people going to do? Historically we have just continued with the same system that has produced these unfavorable results. It is time to do something different. If you want change then bring about that change. Those who believe they can do better and truly serve the people, run an an independent in the next election and let’s see how serious we are about changing our precious island.

  10. Terry says:

    OBA have it; Front Street and IB.
    PLP have it. They run every thing………………into the ground.

  11. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    It’s too late …Bermudas future is bleak…PLP or OBA…none of them can stop what is coming…The OBA has been operating under the “shock n awe” of the PLP since the day they were elected by the “people”…they’ve done a tremendous job while having to waste time and money on the PLP distractions and continuous mind conditioning of the people…THINK! for yourselves or are you just a souless sheep.

    • airportgate says:

      never has bermuda been so divided I’m a supporter of the PLP and I give the OBA their respect but all I’ve observed is so much things that were not thought out properly its a dame shame the things they have put our country through starting with the honorable list Craig, Michael, Michael, Bob, Shawn, hitching a ride fella, referendum, immigration,, and the airport that will go down in history as the must tragic deal of all, this dishonorable list is just started. Now rental cars, $$$$$ investigations, school mold, the list goes on and on I’m sure I’ve missed many don’t forget the rip of of the contract from Mr. McLean = watergate or should I say dockgate

  12. takbir Sharrieff says:

    Mr.Christopher Famous has my deepest Respect as a writer, commentator ,and political analyst’s a frequent writer in the Caribbean News, and increasingly becoming a historian in his own right. To research the amount of facts that he is currently doing absorbs lots of time ,devotion, and dedication. I have been following his progress as an authority on Bermuda politics. I wish him much luck in the future in educating the Bermuda Public forward as we move slowly to becoming and Independent Island Nation. Peace.

  13. Average Bermudian says:

    fey ??