Opposition Deliver Reply To The Throne Speech

September 16, 2017

GORDON PAMPLINOpposition Leader Patricia Gordon-Pamplin delivered the official Reply to the Throne Speech in the House of Assembly, saying the “relentless pursuit of power” by the PLP “denigrated the entire political process to a level perhaps unprecedented in Bermuda politics,” and it is “unfortunate that the same approach is being perpetuated through the Throne Speech in an attempt to negate the positive things that were done for our community by the OBA administration.”

Ms Gordon Pamplin said, “Our responsibility today is to respond to the Throne Speech, delivered last Friday, which was short on real solutions and long on studies.

“Government has said their Throne Speech outlines a vision for the future, but a vision without a plausible plan is merely a dream. Governments must be doers, not dreamers. The tenor of the speech suggests that government has either purposely elected to disregard the country’s tenuous economic position or has chosen to continually misrepresent the achievements of the former OBA government.

“This deficiency was made manifest in the relentless pursuit of power by the PLP Opposition which denigrated the entire political process to a level perhaps unprecedented in Bermuda politics, resulting in their leader being subject to the criticism from his own membership that he operated with subterfuge and deceit.

“It is unfortunate that the same approach is being perpetuated through the Throne Speech in an attempt to negate the positive things that were done for our community by the OBA administration, cynically claiming that the OBA believed in trickle down whereas the new administration will focus on a so-called ‘ripple effect’.

“The record will show that the OBA government restored much-needed confidence in Bermuda. Due to the unprecedented debt and looming deficits created by the former PLP government, the OBA moved quickly to rein in government spending and did so without the massive layoffs seen in other jurisdictions.

“The reference to crumbs from the table may appeal to the PLP base, however the reality is that when the OBA assumed government, there were no crumbs, the cupboards were bare, the table and floor had been swept clean, and little, if any had been made available to the people for whom they now profess to have concern.

“Good governance and accountability were also in short supply, as dramatically highlighted by the Auditor General in her various reports on government operations and finances.

“We saw the misinformation machine in full view when the stories grew like fish tales to cause the airport project to be depicted as some kind of sinister arrangement.

Audio comments from Ms Gordon Pamplin, who spoke with Bernews yesterday

“We heard the challenge to the Desarollos group and the untruth that they would take the beach away from St. Georgians.

“We saw it yet again when the OBA government was accused of pepper spraying seniors, when it is known that constitutionally, the government neither gives direction nor orders policing policies.

“We saw the cowardice when the leader of the PLP encouraged through robo-calls and blast emails for protesters to attend Parliament, then some of the attendees proceeded to push seniors into the line of fire when the police department determined that law-breakers should be challenged.

“We therefore wholeheartedly support a committee to investigate the occurrences of that dark and unfortunate experience that will surely highlight the substantive part played in the debacle by those now calling for an investigation.

“We saw the vilifying of the America’s Cup, an event that rejuvenated our tourism industry and helped a significant number of our people and businesses to obtain work, not for the short duration of the event, but during more than two years preceding, and the time following the event. We heard gross misinformation being perpetuated on a daily basis.

“It is said that politics make strange bedfellows. We will watch closely the developments of the questionable New York trip that was planned by an unlikely quartet with would be gaming operators to determine the purpose of their meeting at the Four Seasons, and the benefit to Bermuda, if any.

“The Bermuda government continues to live on borrowed money. The electorate is not the only people to whom the government must answer. Bermuda’s creditors are expecting us to follow through with plans established by OBA administration to balance the budget by 2019 and thereupon pay down the debt.

“We note the government’s immediate plan to increase personnel in the transport division, and their implication that the OBA failed to staff that department. Again, the stark reality is that this was the legacy of the previous PLP administration and the limitations on finance.

“The electorate has made it abundantly clear that some of our policies were disappointing to them, and we take full responsibility and apologize for those disappointments. We note the new administration has decided to approach governance differently, and has determined that people will be better served by consultations and studies and rehashing of things that have already been completed. It is important, nevertheless, to recognize that courage to define and implement policy must be a goal for effective governance.

“Subsequent to the election, the new administration has adopted a rather ‘Trumplike’ approach to undo many of the actions initiated under the OBA government. In respect of civil recoveries and some of the ensuing criminal investigations that have been initiated in rather high profile matters, we note the Attorney General’s decision to delist at least one of these cases.

“Failing to recover money that legitimately belong to the people of Bermuda is a dangerous precedent, and to fail to hold to account those who have perpetrated such injustice on our people is not just unfortunate, it sets a dangerous precedent and can be interpreted as tacit approval. This hardly puts Bermudians first.

“The government has promised to eliminate conscription. The OBA administration ended the annual conscription process, and the Royal Bermuda Regiment was successful in attaining a fully voluntary intake for the 2017 recruit camp for the first time in its history. We believed it be prudent to maintain a conscription option in the event of national emergencies should the numbers fall short, in order to truly enable safety and security of our people should the need arise.

“We are fully supportive of the introduction of regulations for debt collection agencies and their aggressive practices,” the Opposition Leader added.

“The OBA believes that it is right for the Government to continue to work with Bermuda College to support the trades and STEAM programmes which are internationally recognized.

“We also share the Government’s view that programmes of this nature should also be introduced in all of the primary schools, as they are already in the middle schools and senior secondary schools.

“While not surprising, it is disappointing that the government did not acknowledge that the process had already commenced for the implementation of wi-fi services to our schools.

“Both of our senior secondary schools have wi-fi services, and fully functioning IT infrastructure. One middle school is fully equipped, and another middle school, has been adopted by one of our larger telecommunications companies, who has agreed to provide wi-fi at that campus, free of charge.

“Further, it should be noted the OBA government had entered into an agreement with a new wireless internet company to provide wi-fi services to all of our schools. As a part of the remuneration package they would receive the rental of an arm on one of government’s communications towers, and the placement of their antennae on the top of our school buildings.

Ms Gordon Pamplin concluded by saying, “In summary, this Throne Speech proposes many initiatives that were well underway. In our view, a ground zero approach to implementation is costly and time wasting. Many of the committees that have been proposed to examine topics can utilize the work already done to move to the implementation stage.

“We have expressed concerns with proposed legislation with which we have reservations, and have committed our full support for those that we deem to be appropriate and which enhance the good of our people, business partners and investors.

“We wish this Parliament success with its deliberations, because Parliament’s success is Bermuda’s success. We are committed to a collaborative approach, and trust that the pettiness of politics takes a back seat to cooperative and constructive debate.”

The full 2017 Reply to the Throne Speech is below [PDF here]:

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Comments (23)

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  1. Long bay trading says:

    PGP is my absolute hero. Sure the OBA got things wrong at times but they got a whole heck of a lot more right. They saved Bermuda when it was taking its last breath , after years of financial slaughter by the PLP.

    Sadly it now a case of fool me once shame on you. Fool me a whopping FOUR times big shame on me.

    • Athena says:

      Thank you for putting it in a nutshell!

      Sadly so many do not understand small island economies.

      The 21st century is far different from the 20th and people need to realize how their actions and words can change how the outside world, upon whom we are VERY dependent, views us.

    • steve says:

      Yep …she is one smart Lioness.

    • Earth watch police says:

      Hey juice you feeble and week Mon .

    • Really says:

      However little the PLP pay you to spout your nonsense, they are not paying you enough for the time you spend.

      Although I’ve noticed that more recently you have decided to drop sound bite comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the article. The PLP are being shamed because they have been shameful and we are not even 3 months in. Yet here you are pretending otherwise…does your propaganda nonsense help Bermuda and Bermudians…clearly not. Shame on you and your shameful PLP.

  2. Mark says:

    Amen. Resist the occupation by the oppressive plp!

    • mixitup says:

      You have no clue of what oppression looks like I’m sure.

      • Mark says:

        Nah. I remember the last plp regime so im good on that. How bout you?

  3. wahoo says:

    Wow she ripped de plp!

  4. CoffeeBeer says:

    I’ve never seen a political party do so much good and be vilified for it. I’d love to know how many people said the AC did nothing for them, while they rented their apartments to team crew or staff to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per year.

    The PLP said they have plans for bettering education in Bermuda, and the first thing they ask is for people to volunteer to clean up schools. Imagine the reaction if the OBA said the same thing.

    Throughout the world, the political party that uses race and nationalism to win is never the party with the best ideas. They never make the economy better unless they start a war. Let’s hope the PLP doesn’t get any ideas.

  5. cpm says:

    What a reply, brilliant
    The problem is that the sheepies have been brainwashed by four and a half years
    I still have questions
    1.Why was Ewart Brown getting out of GP1 at the airport
    2.I am in the Premier’s constituency and my trash has just been collected [Saturday] it was out on Tuesday-I bought rat poison
    3.You are hammering America’s Cup but it has been proved to be good for Bermuda and the constant critiscism from the plp means the end of any further involvement

    • Ringmaster says:

      If I may, and pointing out the obvious, the person exiting GP1 at the airport is the one in control of the PLP. Labour party? What a joke, but the believers believe.
      The part in the Throne Speech about looking into Tuckers Town has the immediate effect of making property in Tuckers Town effectively unmarketable. Who would buy knowing the PLP are looking into reparations? What form, who would pay? Bang goes millions of dollars of taxes if there was a free market. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

      • Vote says:

        Bang! Where’s all the taxes from imports duties for AC? Oh yeah right OBA waived them smh

  6. Jose says:

    Never mind all that when are they putting the fitness equipment in all public parks 100 days are loooming ???

  7. Realist says:

    We may have a small opposition but they have the integrity, maturity and confidence to outshine the majority Government any day. They will be back as I know this PLP has nothing to offer the people.

  8. Sara says:

    Good luck to all that voted for the PLP, you will need it most… Interesting she mentioned the planned gaming trip to New York with the leader of PLP. Funny how none of the PLP voters new of this shady trip.

  9. Aware says:

    This is an excellent speech. I’m sure many will not listen to the points on the OBA, but in reality, we are not in an election and the OBA is currently not electable. Let’s learn from her sage words on supporting the Government where possible for the betterment of our country and to remember these words on election behaviour next time. Similarly regarding the various Committees planned by the new Government – let’s have them by all means, but mandate them to leverage from the work previously done so that actions happen quickly.

    Well spoken Pat – you are a star.

  10. The dark knight says:

    Look at all these otg losers talking to themselves

  11. Triangle Drifter says:

    Go get em Patricia. Give them what they gave the OBA. Hold their toes right to the fire. The difference is that the PLP have no clue of what to actually do. All they can do is talk & make promises that cannot be kept. Sounds good to the easily fooled but it is not good governance.

  12. princess says:

    The Queen of Vindictiveness has spoken

  13. BustedTheEconomyStartinNew says:

    The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.